The Calphalon brand was established in 1961 by Bill Johnson, who founded the company bearing his name in Chicago. The focus then and now is on developing and manufacturing premium kitchenware products made of hard-anodized aluminum and other superior materials. Their current product line includes bakeware, cutlery, cookware, grillware, kitchen electrics, knives, knife block sets, measuring tools, spice and herb mill grinders, storage containers and utensils.
Calphalon Air Fryer Performance Convection Oven
Calphalon is mostly known for their high-quality kitchenware with superior durability and a lifetime warranty, but their line of appliances surely lives up to the legacy. The Calphalon Air Fryer Performance Convection Oven with built-in air fryer is one of the nicest looking countertop ovens on the market, but does the performance matches the design?
First, let’s start with the appearance. The oven is made in combination of black, grey and dark stainless steel, and has a distinct industrial look to it that fits perfectly into any kitchen. The oven comes with an air-fry rack, a non-stick drip tray, a general purpose wire rack and a removable crumb tray. Everything feels well-made and sturdy, and a class above cheaper convection ovens. There are guards over the heating elements, which is a feature that is usually found on much more expensive countertop appliances.
Size and Volume
The exterior dimensions of this oven are 18.7 x 15.8 x 11.6 inches, which makes it smaller than most microwave ovens, suitable for very limited kitchen spaces. The interior dimensions are 12.5 x 13 x 4.47 inches, which means it can fit a quarter size pan. That is about enough for cooking 2 lbs of chicken wings, or a couple of chickens breasts.
It is a rather small oven, so don’t expect to cook an entire Thanksgiving Turkey in there, but it’s certainly enough for most meals. The capacity is about 0.43 cubic feet.
This oven features the Quartz Heat Technology which Calphalon markets as a breakthrough in heating elements. It uses a combination of quartz and metal elements, which heat up evenly and provide a more consistent heat for a perfectly cooked meal every time. It does a great job at maintaining a constant temperature, and preheating somewhat faster, but we wouldn’t call it revolutionary. It does look cool though!
The convection fan and the Turbo convection technology ensures the hot air circulates evenly around your food for precise cooking, and avoiding any cold spots.
The Performance Convection Oven features 11 different cooking presets. There is a roast, bake, broil, toast, bagel, warm and dehydrate functions. We have also air-fry mode to make fried food with no oil. The maximum temperature is 450 degrees Fahrenheit which is more than enough for most baking tasks. Keep in mind that you should adjust the oven temperature for air-fry mode, as it is set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit by default. There is also a pizza bake function which can be adjusted from 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit.
The display panel controls are easy to use. The display is a bit small, but it is not a big issue as it is very bright and the text and digits are clear. The presets are selected by pressing the buttons underneath the display. There are also two knobs; a timer knob and a temperature knob, which is pretty standard for this type of ovens.
The timer can be set to 30 minutes for most cooking presets, or up to 8 hours in delay start mode. If you want more precise control over the time you should use the manual panel.
Thanks to the Turbo Convection technology, it cooks faster than a traditional toaster oven. The oven cavity heats up very evenly so there is no need to rotate or flip your food during cooking.
Calphalon Performance Oven is also excellent for baking, toasting and broiling. Roasting is better than average oven, due to the convection technology, but you can’t rely on this oven for slow cooking.
Overall this little oven is great for cooking all kinds of dishes: roasted chicken, pizza, toast, bagels etc. You will be able to bake almost anything, as long as you have the pan that fits.
Air Frying Feature
The Calphalon Performance oven features a unique design which distributes the heat more evenly through its heating elements, and also uses a fan to accelerate the circulation of hot air, but it lacks the high-powered fan that is found on traditional air fryers.
The oven does a great job at cooking crispy foods with little oil, but the food tastes more baked than fried. It also takes more time than an air fryer.
Does it work well as an Air Fryer or Microwave?
This little oven can really do a lot: it bakes, it roasts, broils, and dehydrates. It is excellent for cooking chicken wings, as the results are crispy and flavorful with no oil.
That being said, it is not a replacement for an actual air fryer, so if you are looking for healthier alternative to fried foods, this will not be the right appliance. On the other hand, it’s great as a compact convection oven with air-fry mode. We highly recommend it while we wait for the actual Calphalon Air Fryer.
What we liked
The temperature measurement accuracy is something that ovens have notoriously struggled with, but not this one. This oven is spot on with its temperature measurements, which is great for baking.
The interior of the oven is coated with a non-stick surface that makes cleaning very easy. Simply wipe it down with a wet cloth and you’re all set, as there is no need to scrub anything.
What we didn’t like
It seems that there is lack of a proper insulation, so the oven itself gets really hot while cooking. This may be a problem for surrounding appliances or the countertop. The instructions add 6″ clearance around the oven, so have that in mind when measuring the designated kitchen space.
There are lots of different settings, so the controls might be overwhelming at times, especially if you are in a hurry. Sometimes it takes too long to adjust the temperature or time, but it is just a matter of getting used to.
Calphalon Performance Countertop Convection Oven with air fryer function is very versatile and well built, it looks great and is very easy to clean. If you are looking for compact oven with air-fry function, this is the right appliance for you. It would be perfect if only it had better insulation.