Is T Fal good cookware? Your Shopping Guide To The Best T Fal Stainless Steel Cookware Sets in 2019
T–FAL ULTIMATE HARD ANODIZED COOKWARE PROVIDES EXCELLENT VALUE FOR YOUR MONEY. … So far I have opted for inexpensive T–Fal nonstick pans. After all, the T Fal Stainless Steel Cookware Sets, has become synonymous with affordable non-stick cookware, much like Teflon has become well known for its non-stick coatings. But is it a good quality that will last you a long time.
For serious and committed cooks, a high-quality sauté or saucepan is a prized possession, even better — a complete set of them. A matching set of cookware will appeal to both the new cook wanting to delve into a cooking show or online video inspirations and the seasoned chef looking to replace their ragged pots and pans with a collection that is visually appealing and able to meet their culinary demands. With the wide variety of cookware sets on the market, cooks can handpick which pieces they want in their collection and how much they want to splurge on.
T-fal is one of the rulers in the cookware. The company got its start in France in 1956 as Tefal, a mashup of Teflon and aluminum, and it continues to be a well-known source of high-quality cookware around the world.
This guide studies some of the standout cookware collections provided by T-fal. Along the way, we address some of the features and other considerations — including price — you will need to face when shopping for a T-fal cookware set.
Cookware construction basics
Cookware can be created from a number of different kinds of metal, each with its own unique features and pluses/minuses. Some types of cookware may include:
- Stainless steel: This is the most customary material used in cookware. It’s not very costly, it doesn’t react with foods as other metals do, and it’s an effective all-around cookware material. It is not a particularly effective heat conductor, which is why it’s usually paired with other metals.
- Aluminum: An efficient heat conductor, aluminum is also low-priced. It is a soft metal, however, so it can be easily scratched or damaged and can also react with foods. Hard-anodized aluminum is a type of aluminum that primarily fixes these negatives but at a higher cost.
- Copper: The selection of professional chefs due to its superior heat induction, copper has a number of disadvantages, including its high cost, maintenance (you will need to work at it to maintain its appearance), and the fact that it reacts with certain foods.
- Clad: Clad cookware features numerous layers of different metals, so you end up with all the advantages and few of the negatives. The majority of these will feature a “sandwich” of aluminum or copper encased in stainless steel. The result is cookware that heats up quickly and doesn’t react inadequately with foods, all at a moderate cost.
The actual pieces you obtain with your T-fal cookware set (usually between 10 to 20 pieces) will differ depending on what you buy, but most of the sets will contain the following.
- Frypans/sauté pans: These will typically be nonstick, and you will receive two to three different pan sizes.
- Saucepans: These may be nonstick, and you should again obtain two to three different sizes. All with lids.
- Dutch oven: This is a bigger pot that you can use to cook everything from a chicken to pasta. It should include a lid and might be nonstick.
- Griddle: Usually included in a set, this flat pan is typically nonstick and is designed to cook items like pancakes.
Other pieces can vary immensely and include everything from steamer inserts to egg pans. Accessories such as spatulas, spoons, or forks may also be included. Some sets include a recipe collection alongside a user manual.
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Product in depth
Quality construction in a large set.
The 17 pieces here are constructed from hard-anodized aluminum and are enduring. This assortment provides excellent quality and selection. It’s one durable T-fal set.
How heavy are the various pieces?
Weight can be a problem with some cookware sets. A heavy pot on its own generally won’t be too burdensome but add the weight of the food being cooked, and a few pounds one way or another can make a big difference. Ensure you’re comfortable with the weight and balance of all the pieces. If you are shopping online, the product specs should be able to provide some information on this.
How easy is cleanup?
Are all components of the cookware set dishwasher safe, or do some or all need to be washed by hand? Pans with a nonstick surface are much more effortless to clean than those without.
Does the set have nonstick options?
A pan with a nonstick surface can definitely be easier to cook with, but there are a variety of surfaces we’re talking about when we bring up nonstick, so be sure you know what you’re spending money on.
A nonstick coated surface like Teflon should be free from PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and other possibly harmful chemicals. Ceramic coatings are another durable way to attach a nonstick surface to a pan. Features like starburst surfaces are created to resist sticking without the use of a coating, although some find them to be less effective.
Handles can assist you in moving safely around pots as you’re cooking, but some perform better than others. The handle should be securely locked to the side of the pan or pot using either rivets (more common) or welds. It should stay cool to the touch when on the stove — a rubberized coating will assist in this regard and offer a more comfortable grip. It should also include holes or loops so the pan or pot can be hung for storage, and it will ideally be oven-safe.
All saucepans and Dutch ovens should have their own durable lids, and the cookware set receives extra points if the lids also fit the fry and sauté pans. Lids should fit tightly to keep steam and food inside the pan, and tempered glass construction will allow you to monitor the cooking process without interrupting it by constantly having to lift the lid.
T fal stainless steel cookware set prices
Cookware sets, in general, can be costly, but T-fal sets are actually pretty moderate in comparison to other brands. The majority are in the $60 to $75 range, with others going at $100 to $200. More of the high-priced options are usually a result of one of two factors: you receive more pieces at a higher price, or the manufacturing materials are more expensive.
Other products we considered
We wanted to include a couple of other T-fal cookware sets that really stood out for us. The Titanium Advanced Nonstick Cookware Set features 12 pieces that include the T-fal Thermo-Spot heat indicator, which indicates when the pan is preheated. The inexpensive Excite Nonstick Cookware Set features 14 pieces that is available in various attractive colors including gold, purple, and red. Finally, you will pay up for the Stainless Steel Heavy Gauge Cookware Set, but this 10-piece set is built like a tank and its heavy-duty design is oven-safe up to 500°F.
Product in depth
Nonstick convenience at an affordable price.
While not as durable as other sets, the 12 pieces here provide the best value you will find in a T Fal Stainless Steel Cookware Set. Nonstick surfaces are PFOA-free, and the lids are designed from tempered glass.
- High temperature is actually harmful to nonstick surfaces. Turning down the heat will not only help prolong the longevity of your nonstick pans, but it will actually enhance the way the pan cooks.
- If you have an induction stove, check that any cookware set you are considering will pair with it.
- Let all cookware cool down completely after cooking before cleaning it. Placing a hot pan in a sink filled with water could distort the metal and permanently damage it.
- Check your documents carefully before using any metal utensils with your cookware set. While some nonstick surfaces claim to be “metal utensil safe,” the majority is not.
- Pots with measuring marks on the sides can come in handy if you stick closely to the recipes while cooking.
- Sets can range from 10 to 20 pieces or more, but you should be aware of what exactly you’re buying in terms of these pieces. If you are buying a 20-piece set, ensure that the spatulas and lids aren’t pieces 14 through 20.
- When your set first arrives, admire it for several minutes and then wash it thoroughly with a cloth and warm, soapy water.
- To keep foods from sticking to stainless steel, heat the pan first, then add the oil and food when it is hot. Take the opposite approach when cooking on a nonstick surface: add oil and food to the pan, and then turn on the heat.
- Hard-anodized aluminum cookware is designed from aluminum that has been electrochemically transformed. This leaves the cookware sturdier than stainless steel, resistant to reacting with foods, and immensely nonstick.
- If you would like more options than “polished stainless steel” for your cookware, search for sets that provide finishes in a variety of colors. This is an excellent way to match your cookware to your kitchen décor.
Q. What potential health risks should I worry about when using cookware sets?
A. Some nonstick coatings consisting of chemicals such as PFOA, which should be avoided. Metals like aluminum and copper can react with certain ingredients like tomatoes and infiltrate into foods. Ceramic-surfaced pots may also consist of trace elements of lead or cadmium. Cooking with stainless steel (or hard-anodized aluminum) and being aware of the composition and origin of any pan coatings can cut down on the majority of potential cookware-related health risks.
Q. I’m new to cooking. What should I concentrate on when buying a cookware set?
A. First, critically evaluate what you like to eat. Try to purchase a set that is going to contain the pans you may need (without the ones you don’t). Aim for an inexpensive stainless steel set that includes utensils to start yourself off right. Bon appétit!
Q. Will my cookware work in the oven?
A. It mainly depends on the cookware set. Some sets are as much at home in the oven or under the broiler as they are on the stove, while others could be damaged or spoiled in the oven. Check all your documentation carefully. If your cookware is oven-safe, take note of the maximum recommended temperature and stay within that range.