On this page, you will discover the differences between the Calphalon Unison vs Signature lines of cookware. We’ve done research for you. Hopefully, by the time you are finished reading this page, you will have a complete understanding of the features and benefits of these two lines of cookware from the esteemed Calphalon brand.
Calphalon Unison – Click here to check price
Calphalon Signature – Click here to check price
Non-Stick and/or Stainless Cookware
The Calphalon Unison is a collection of non-stick cookware only. The Calphalon Signature on the other hand is a more comprehensive and cohesive collection of non-stick and stainless-steel cookware pieces. In fact, the Signature collection is designed to gradually replace two Calphalon lines: Calphalon Unison (comprising only non-stick pieces) and Calphalon AccuCore (a stainless-steel collection).
The Calphalon Unison cookware is constructed from heavy-gauge aluminum. The aluminum is then hard-anodized to ensure the durability, even heating, and excellent conductivity of the entire collection. It also gifts the cookware with the ability to be safely cleaned with dishwashers. As it is a non-stick cookware line, the interior features a three-layered PFOA-free coating.
This non-stick coating, apart from being healthy, eliminates the need for users to grease their pans before cooking, minimizes the occurrence of food sticking to the bottom and sides of the cookware, and enhances easy-release of food from the pans.
The non-stick line of the Calphalon Signature is constructed similarly. It is made from heavy-gauge hard-anodized aluminum and boasts three layers of PFOA-free non-stick coating for its interior surface. The construction process for the Calphalon Signature’s stainless-steel line is quite different and more superior. Rather than the single metal found in the non-stick cookware, the Signature’s stainless-steel collection utilizes two different metals arranged into five layers for a five-ply heavy-gauge construction.
From the outside in, an outer layer of non-porous brushed stainless-steel serves as the exterior of the cookware, three layers of aluminum in the middle provide an even and fast heating core, and a stainless-steel layer serves as the interior of the cookware. The stainless-steel cookware is praised for its exceptional strength and durability thanks to its stainless-steel layers while the triple-layer aluminum core is responsible for the cookware’s ability to quickly respond to temperature changes and cook food evenly.
For both Calphalon collections, the long handles riveted to the cookware pieces are constructed from cast, brushed stainless steel. These handles are designed to stay cool to the touch during the cooking process.
Design and Appearance
There is a noticeable difference in the design of both Calphalon lines. Cookware pieces in the Calphalon Unison line are designed with a wide, flat base and curved sides. The Signature pieces on the other hand have straight sides and a flat base. The sloping walls of the Unison cookware make it easier for users to toss, flip, and transfer the contents in the pan.
Regardless of this difference in design, both Calphalon lines have a modern, aesthetic feel, giving the kitchen a sense of elegance and style.
Praised for having two different non-stick surfaces, the Calphalon Unison provides users with the unique option of choosing which non-stick surface would suit their cooking needs at the moment. The type of non-stick surface found in most Unison pieces is the Slide Non-Stick Surface which is extra smooth and enhances easy release of the cooked meal. The Sear Non-Stick surface can be found in Unison cookware pieces used for browning, searing, sautéing, and braising foods. It feels rougher than the Slide and its textured surface helps to seal in the food’s flavor for increased taste and maximum enjoyment.
All non-stick cookware pieces in the Signature collection are designed with the Sear Non-Stick Surface. Users can enjoy tasty and nutritious foods as the cookware’s surface ensures the natural flavor of the food is retained throughout the cooking process. However, this singular option for Signature cookware limits users to cooking tasks involving searing, browning, simmering, deglazing, and sautéing. Users wanting to make omelettes and pancakes with as little stickiness as possible would be better off using Unison cookware pieces with the Slide Non-Stick Surface.
Like most non-stick pieces in the market, the Calphalon Unison cookware can only be used with nylon and wooden utensils. This is done to preserve the non-stick surface of the pan as metal utensils scratch and gradually remove the non-stick coating. The Signature’s non-stick line flouts this convention with its non-stick surface being so durable it can withstand the use of metal utensils.
Stainless-steel cookware can be used with all types of utensils, and the Calphalon Signature stainless-steel line is no exception.
Dishwasher and Oven Use
Both Calphalon lines (whether non-stick or stainless-steel) can be safely used in the dishwasher and oven. However, to prolong their useful life, non-stick cookware pieces should be manually cleaned rather than tossed into the dishwasher.
Note: Over the years we’ve found that the best way to clean nonstick surfaces is to add a couple drops mild detergent like dawn along with some water. Rub your hand along the surface a few times. Scrubbing pads should never be used.
The beauty of the stainless-steel cookware in the Signature collection is their apparent imperviousness to the adverse effects of dishwashing cycles. They are also broiler-safe.
Cookware in the Calphalon Unison collection can only be used on gas and electric ranges. They are not designed for use on induction cooktops.
For the Calphalon Signature collection, the stainless-steel line can be used on all stovetops, including induction ranges. However, its non-stick line is not induction capable, and just like the Calphalon Unison, is suitable for only gas and electric ranges.
The Calphalon brand is renowned for its excellent cooking results and with good reason. Calphalon Unison cookware with the Slide Non-Stick surface cooks food evenly on both gas and electric cooktops. Those designed with the Sear Non-Stick surface distribute heat evenly on gas ranges but fail to repeat the same feat on electric cookers.
The Calphalon Signature’s encompassing range of non-stick and stainless-steel cookware makes it a favorite among home cooks and professional chefs.
The non-stick line exhibits superior strength and durability than most non-stick pieces in the market. It provides even heat distribution on both gas and electric ranges and can be used comfortably with metal utensils, an impressive feat for non-stick cookware.
The Signature’s stainless-steel line also performs satisfactorily in all the areas that count: durability, conductivity, even and fast heating, and induction capability.
Pros and Cons of the Calphalon Unison
- Heavy-duty construction
- Dishwasher and oven safe
- Unique dual non-stick surfaces
- Slide Non-Stick surface heats evenly
- Not induction compatible
- Sear Non-Stick Surface does not heat evenly on electric ranges
- Can only be used with nylon and wooden utensils
Pros and Cons of the Calphalon Signature
- Superior heavy-duty construction
- Heats evenly
- Stainless-steel cookware is induction compatible
- Non-stick and stainless-steel cookware can be used with metal utensils
- Dishwasher, oven, and broiler safe
- Non-stick cookware is not induction compatible
- Non-stick cookware designed with only Sear Non-Stick Surface
Hopefully, you now know which model you want to go with in the Calphalon Unison vs Signature cookware comparison. If I were choosing between the two, without consideration for price, I would most likely go with a set from the Signature line (as I prefer stainless steel cookware). They offer both nonstick and stainless steel options. The pieces in the Signature line have a heavier-duty construction, are induction and dishwasher safe.
The downside to the nonstick pieces from the Signature line are that they only come in what is called “Sear non-stick surface”. Like the name suggest, these are great for searing, browning, and sautéing but not as good for making omelets. If you have an electric stove then you will not enjoy the even heating properties from the “Sear nonstick surface”.
In the end it comes down to preferences. If you want to go with all nonstick pieces than go with the Unison.
Calphalon Unison – Click here to buy
Calphalon Signature – Click here to buy