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Calphalon Signature vs Premier (2021): Which Cookware Collection Goes Better With Your Kitchen?

If you’re planning to buy new cookware, you might as well invest in high-quality pieces that will be able to handle your kitchen experiments. Calphalon, a well-loved cookware brand since the 60s, has two collections that are worth considering–the Premier and Signature lines. Both are popular among home cooks although they come with significant differences that you should know about. To help you decide between the two collections, here’s an in-depth comparison that takes their construction, design, heat tolerance, and cookware selection into consideration.

Calphalon Signature vs Premier Comparison Chart

ModelCalphalon SignatureCalphalon Premier
 Amazon productAmazon product
PriceAmazon productAmazon product
MaterialsStainless steel and aluminumStainless steel and aluminum
Construction5-ply construction; fully-clad3-ply construction; fully-clad
SurfaceNon-stick with ‘Sear’ coatingNon-stick
Stay-Cool HandlesYesYes
LidsTempered glassTempered glass; flat
Interlocking GroovesNoYes
Heat ToleranceMaximum of 500 degrees FahrenheitMaximum of 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Collection15 piecesOver 40 pieces


The Signature’s construction is more solid and durable than that of the Premier.

Calphalon signature vs premier construction
The Signature has a 5-ply construction while the Premier only has 3.

What’s great about the Premier and Signature lines is that they’re both fully-clad cookware. This means that they’re made by bonding different layers of metal together (stainless steel and aluminum). This results in durable cookware that’s able to distribute heat evenly.

However, the Signature has the upper hand over the Premier when it comes to construction. While the Premier only has a three-ply construction, the Signature has five. Instead of just one core aluminum layer sandwiched in between two stainless steel layers, the Signature has three core aluminum layers. So when it comes to durability, heat distribution, and temperature control, you can expect the Signature to be more impressive.

Another thing to note about their construction is their rivets. On the Premier, you’ll notice that there are only two rivets attaching the handle to the base while the Signature has three. While this may be a minor detail, having three rivets in place definitely makes the Signature feel a lot sturdier.


The Signature has a special non-stick surface while the Premier has space-saving features.

Calphalon signature vs premier design
The Signature boasts of a special ‘Sear’ non-stick surface while the Premier has interlocking grooves on the sides.

Both the Signature and Premier lines have non-stick surfaces but there’s something special about the former’s coating. The pots and pans from the Signature line all have a ‘Sear’ surface that’s rougher than the Premier’s non-stick coating, making them great for searing and browning meat like burgers and steaks. This means that you don’t need to buy separate stainless steel pans or cast iron skillets anymore. Because the Premier doesn’t have the same kind of texture, definitely don’t count on it to be able to brown your food properly.

While the Signature wins in the non-stick surface department, the Premier has something that it doesn’t–space-saving features. Premier lids are actually flat, allowing you to easily stack pots and pans on top of each other. To boot, there are interlocking grooves on both sides of the cookware which keep them from toppling over or scratching each other when they’re stacked. So if you’re short on kitchen space, the Premier line solves that problem for you.

Non-stick surfaces and space-saving features aside, the Signature and Premier do have some design elements in common. Both utilize stay-cool handles that will never burn your hands and they also come with tempered glass lids that make it easy for you to check up on your food.

Heat Tolerance

The Signature has a higher temperature tolerance than the Premier.

Calphalon signature vs premier heat tolerance
The Signature can take up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit while the Premier has a max of 450.

The Signature has a slight edge over the Premier in terms of heat tolerance. It can take up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit while the Premier has a maximum tolerance of 450. This shouldn’t stop you from experimenting with the Premier though because you can definitely whip up delicious meals with it. Also, it’s oven and broiler-safe just like the Signature so it’s just as versatile. If you want more peace of mind, however, the Signature’s higher temperature tolerance will give you just that. After all, you want to be able to enjoy the cooking process instead of having to worry about one more extra thing.

Cookware Selection

The Premier collection is much bigger than the Signature.

Calphalon signature vs premier collection
The Premier collection has over 40 pieces while the Signature only has 15.

If you want variety, that’s where the Premier shines. While both the Premier and the Signature offer non-stick and stainless steel versions in their collections, the former has space-saving options as well. As mentioned, these pieces have special features such as flat lids and interlocking grooves, allowing you to easily stack them and save up to 30% of extra space. Technically, you can stack Signature cookware as well but you run the risk of scratching their surface. Just to give you a better idea of how much bigger the Premier collection is, it has over 40 variations of cookware while the Signature only has 15.


The Signature and Premier are both high-quality collections but cater to different home cooks.

Amazon product

While both the Calphalon Signature and Premier are high-quality cookware collections, they each have their own pros and cons. The Signature is a good pick for you if you’re after durability, if searing is a big part of your cooking style, or if you like cooking with high temperatures. As for the Premier, it’s ideal for those who want a wide variety of cookware to choose from as well as those who don’t have as much kitchen space to work with.

If you’re interested in the Calphalon Select line and wondering how it measures up, you can check out our Select vs Premier comparison.


๐Ÿ“Œ Which is more durable, the Calphalon Signature or Premier?

While the Premier only has a three-ply construction, the Signature has five. This makes the Signature the more durable cookware collection.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which one has better heat tolerance, the Calphalon Signature or Premier?

The Signature can take up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit while the Premier only has a maximum tolerance of 450.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which one is better for smaller spaces, the Calphalon Signature or Premier?

The Premier has space-saving features that are missing on the Signature. Premier cookware has flat lids and interlocking grooves, allowing you to stack them safely and easily.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which one has more variety, the Calphalon Signature or Premier?

While both collections have stainless steel and non-stick options, the Premier has more variety as it also offers space-saving cookware.

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.