Scanpan offers 10 lines of nonstick cookware across a wide range of price points. In this article I’ll help you understand the differences between each collection, so that it’s easier for you to choose which one the right for your kitchen.
I’ve used and reviewed A LOT of nonstick pans over the last couple of years, and as far as brands go my opinion is that Scanpan is one of the good ones. At the same time, you can drop a lot of money on one of their more expensive collections and end up with similar performance to some of the less expensive base models.
I spent 20 hours pouring over owner feedback, materials specifications, and Danish patents while compiling the Scanpan reviews that you’ll find below. My goal is to help you separate meaningful upgrades from marketing gimmicks, and hopefully save you time and hassle when determining which best fits your goals.
In This Article
Comparing Scanpan Collections
If you’re new to Scanpan, the brand focuses it’s product development on nonstick frying pans and box sets.
The cookware pieces you’ll find in any of Scanpan’s large multi-piece bundles are similar to what you’d expect from any other nonstick brand: a few frying pans, saucepans, stockpots, and a saute pan.
Why are there so many collections if the core product is all essentially the same?
There are 3 core variables that distinguish one line from the next,
- The metals used in the base of the pan.
- The type of nonstick coating applied to the cook surface.
- The design aesthetic and finish materials.
This chart outlines the key differences from one collection to the next, at a glance.
|Feature||Scanpan Classic||Scanpan Professional||Scanpan CTX||Scanpan CS+||Scanpan HaptIQ|
|Core Material||Cast Aluminum||Cast Aluminum||Clad Stainless Steel||Clad Stainless Steel||Clad Stainless Steel|
|Lids||Tempered Glass||Stainless Steel||Tempered Glass||Tempered Glass||Tempered Glass|
|Handles||Plastic Resin||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel|
|Read Review||Scanpan CTX Review|
Scanpan Classic is the company’s original model. Stated simply: it’s no-frills nonstick cookware.
This collection is nothing special to look at, but it compares favorably to other nonstick brands in terms of durability and the ethics of their manufacturing set-up.
The pans are made from squeeze cast aluminum using recycled material. The company also makes an induction compatible version of the Classic collection which is slightly more expense. For the induction model, a stainless steel disc is pressed into the bottom of the pans so that it responds to the magnetic coil in an induction hob.
The cooking surface of each pan is coated using a PTFE-based nonstick spray, which Scanpan has branded as “Stratinum.” The lids and handles are molded from a plastic resin.
With the Professional collection, Scanpan offers a slight fashion upgrade on the Classic collection. None of the changes actually impact cooking performance, but the set does look and feel a bit better than the base model.
This set is equipped with stainless steel lids and handles, which are riveted to the base of the pan. Whether you rate this as an aesthetic upgrade, and I do, is incredibly subjective.
One aspect I don’t love about this set is that the stainless steel lids are solid, meaning that you don’t get a viewing window like you might with a glass lid. Yes, they are probably more durable and easier to clean, but I like to see what’s cooking.
Scanpan also makes an induction compatible model of the Professional collection called PRO IQ.
Scanpan’s CTX collection offers a significant aesthetic improvement, and also some performance benefits.
Unlike the cast aluminum construction used for Scanpan’s lower lines, the CTX collection utilizes a 5-ply stainless steel and aluminum base. This design lends the cookware the best properties of aluminum (fast heat conduction) and steel (even heat retention).
The stainless steel cladding gives the pans a polished and refined look. It makes the pan exterior more durable, although that particular benefit unfortunately doesn’t translate to the nonstick coating. And it means that all of the pieces in this set are compatible for induction cooking.
The stainless steel handles are nearly identical to those used in the Professional collection, but the lids are unique. The CTX lids are designed with stainless steel handles and large stainless steel rims, but there is a small glass component which provides a viewing window while the lid is closed.
At a glance, Scanpan CS+ is nearly identical to the CTX set.
The handle styles have been modified, so they’re slightly more sleek and angular. It’s a nice touch.
The lids have a wider viewing area, thanks to a slimming of the stainless steel rims. Loop handles have been replaced knob-grip handles which is a cosmetic downgrade but slightly decreases the risk of burning your knuckle when lifting the lid. An incremental benefit.
With this set, Scanpan “upgraded” the nonstick coating from Stratinum to Stratinum+. The new coating is applied with a sand-like micro-texture which provides some benefit toward searing and frying.
All pieces in this collection are built on 5-ply aluminum and stainless steel. They are induction compatible.
HaptIQ is functionally the same as CS+. But there are a few cosmetic changes.
For one, this set is incredibly shiny. Not my cup of tea, but some people love this look. The stainless steel exterior is mirror-polished to create this effect.
The lids have loop handles, unlike the CS+ which uses knobs. It’s not necessarily better from a functional standpoint, although if you have a lid-hanger in your cabinet you may see some value.
Otherwise, this set is identical to CS+. It uses a clad steel and aluminum base, stainless steel components, glass lids, and Stratinum+ nonstick.
The biggest performance differentiator between collections is the type of material used in the base of the pan – cast aluminum or clad aluminum and steel.
Cast aluminum is the more affordable option, and it’s and excellent heat conductor. An aluminum pan will heat up quickly and respond quickly to changes in temperature from its environment.
This means if your food is burning, you can lower the temperature of the pan with speed. The downside is that if you add cold ingredients to a hot aluminum pan, the pan may quickly fall from its ideal cooking temperature.
This dynamic may be meaningful, for example, when dropping a cool steak on a hot pan. Or when adding a 1 lb box of pasta to a boiling stock pot.
Clad aluminum and steel is more expensive because of the materials involved and the extra manufacturing processes used to bind them. “Cladding” is a process of sandwiching multiple layers of metal together and binding it into a single unit.
This process was originally developed by All-Clad, but since the patent expired now everybody does it!
Scanpan uses 5 layers of aluminum and stainless steel for their clad cookware. By combining these two materials, they are able to leverage the benefits of both in a single piece of cookware.
The aluminum provides excellent heat conduction. The stainless steel gives even heating, heat retention, and durability.
Stratinum vs. Stratinum+
In 2019, Scanpan released an “upgraded” version of their original Stratinum nonstick coating called Stratinum+. You’ll find it on both the CS+ and HaptIQ collections.
Stratinum and Stratinum+ are both PTFE-based nonstick coatings, commonly called “Teflon.” It appears they were both built using the same patent, and there may be very little scientific difference between the two materials.
From a functional standpoint, the newer Stratinum+ is applied with a coarse micro-texture. The surface feels more gritty, like a fine sand. This means that there is more room for oil between the pan’s surface and your food.
Even on a nonstick pan, oil can make a huge impact on both the texture and flavor of the food. More oil means a better sear and usually a more favorable result with the meal.
As you can see, there aren’t many functional differences between Scanpan’s base model and the more expensive collections. Although none of the collections are what I’d consider “flashy,” each level has a unique aesthetic twist.
The bigger your budget, the more elegant the design elements become. You’ll see this in the design of the handles and lids. Loop handles are more expensive than knob handles. Stainless steel is more than plastic resin. Mirror-polished steel exterior is more than brushed steel.
None of these cosmetic elements will change how your pan performs on the stovetop, but there is definitely an element of beauty toward enjoyment. There is no “right” answer here, and you’ll need to find what works for you.
Plan accordingly if you intend to use your collection on an induction stove. Not every set is compatible, but every collection has an “induction compatible” version.
For those unfamiliar with induction, this is a type of cooking that uses an electromagnet to create heat. In order for it to work on a pan, that pan needs to have a magnetic metal (iron or steel) included in the base.
Functionally, this means that Scanpan binds a steel disc to the bottom of the aluminum-based pans to make them induction compatible.
There are a handful of other brands competing with similar nonstick cookware products, offered at a similar price range, performance and aesthetic. Among the most popular are All-Clad and Calphalon. All are excellent options.
If you’re looking for more design options then Calphalon is a great spot to start. I’ve had great luck with the All-Clad HA1, but the truth is that the All-Clad brand is better known for their stainless steel pans. They don’t have as many options.
Scanpan stands out because of where and how it is made. The entire production takes place in Denmark, and the company has taken a proactive approach to sustainability. For example, all of the aluminum they use is recycled.
You could make an argument that “sustainable nonstick” is a bit of an oxymoron. Most nonstick pans don’t last more than 5 years, and there are environmental difficulties related to the manufacture of PTFE.