I appreciate nonstick, it’s so easy to use and clean up. The look can get a bit boring though. I also know some of you might be concerned with the chemicals in traditional nonstick.
T-Fal, offer an alternative in the form of this good looking cookware set. This T-Fal ceramic cookware review will tell you if these are the right pots and pans for you.
In short – this is a great ceramic cookware set and I’d recommend it. There are other alternatives that can also work well. Read on to find out what they are and why I recommend T-Fal.
- 1 What makes a great cookware set?
- 2 T-Fal Initiatives Ceramic Cookware Set Review
- 3 What do you get for your money?
- 4 Alternatives
- 5 Verdict
What makes a great cookware set?
The most important questions I ask myself when looking at cookware sets are:
- Does it have lids to stop any splatter? I prefer see-through lids.
- Does it have the pieces I’m looking for?
- One or two saucepans
- At least one stockpot (also called a dutch oven)
- At least one frying pan, plus a sauté pan unless the frying pan is able to double duty
- A steamer
- Is it dishwasher safe? This isn’t such a big deal with easy to clean nonstick.
- Do the handles have holes for easily hanging (storing) the cookware?
- Will it work well on my stove? Gas works with everything, electric stoves are variable and induction stoves need the right sort of pans.
- How easy is it to clean up?
Perhaps most importantly though I want something healthy and safe for my family. Traditional non-stick, is OK these days but PTFE-free ceramic is better.
T-Fal, also known as Tefal in Europe, is a manufacturer of high quality nonstick products. It’s very name is a portmanteau of TEFlon and ALuminium. This makes it interesting to see a T-Fal ceramic cookware set, which doesn’t use Teflon.
Teflon and similar nonstick contain a chemical called PTFE. This is food safe and I’m happy to use it. Not everyone is though, and it’s always good to check out other options. Ceramic can offer a nonstick surface with superior heat resistance and a nicer look.
- Glass lids, including for a frying / sauté pan
- PTFE and Cadmium free
- Oven safe to 175°C (350 °F)
- Heats evenly and efficiently
- Easy to clean
- Good quality, especially considering the price
- One frying pan doesn’t have a glass lid
- Oven safe to 175°C (350 °F) isn’t exactly high!
- Can’t use on an induction stove
- Actually seems a bit slower to heat than traditional nonstick
- There are reports of these pans staining
- No Steamer
Or Continue to this T-Fal Ceramic Cookware set review read to find out more
What do you get for your money?
Heat Resistance & Oven Safe
One of the advantages of ceramic should be increased heat resistance, and these pans certainly don’t disappoint!
They are heat resistant to 300°C (570 °F), which is significantly higher than Teflon 260 °C (500 °F). I’ve seen ceramic go higher, but in reality this is probably as high as you need.
Where they do disappoint in terms of heat resistance is in the oven. Yes they are oven safe, but only to 175°C (350 °F). This is due to the material the handles are made of. That said I don’t normally transfer pans directly from the stovetop to the oven. This is a nice to have and generally cookware sets with good handles don’t do well in the oven on a high temperature.
If you want to use the pans in the oven at a higher temperature, then consider the T-fal Stainless Steel cookware set. It’s oven safe to 260 °C (500 °F). But at the time of writing it’s much pricier and it isn’t nonstick!
Is T-Fal ceramic cookware safe? Traditional nonstick, like Teflon, uses a chemical called Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which is food safe. There used to be some potentially nasty chemicals involved in the manufacture of PTFE nonstick, but not anymore.
So I believe Teflon is actually safe today. However not everyone agrees, and may be suspicious of PTFE. T-Fal ceramic nonstick is PTFE free.
So T-Fal ceramic cookware is safe? It ticks the boxes, is from a reputable manufacturer and doesn’t use any known toxins. It should be safe, but of course there are no guarantees. I’m happy to use it.
Nonstick makes life easier, and sometimes is hard to manage without. If you want to flip a pancake, nonstick is essential. Even with nonstick my pancakes end up sort of folding in half instead of flipping some of the time!
The T-Fal ceramic frying pan and the griddle included help with this. You can use either one to flip pancakes. Avoiding them folding is now a question of skill!
T-Fal have managed to create ceramic with genuine nonstick properties here. I’d be happy to use this set instead of my normal nonstick pans.
Quick and Even Heating
According to T-Fal, their ceramic pans distribute heat evenly and quickly. It’s true that they do so evenly, the ceramic coating helping here. This is useful as it makes it harder to burn food with hotspots.
However, some users report that this ceramic cookware can take a little longer to heat up than traditional nonstick.
Scratch and Stain resistant
T-Fal claim scratch and stain resistance for this ceramic cookware set. Since they also say not to use metal utensils, I am a bit skeptical about the scratch resistance.
In fairness to T-Fal, if you stick to wood / nylon / plastic utensils then these pans don’t scratch easily. Scratch resistant to everything but metal is the best you can hope for with nonstick.
In terms of stain resistance there are mixed reports. It’s difficult to know why this cookware stains for some users and not for others, but it might be due to overheating (see Looking after nonstick). Staining doesn’t affect functionality, but it is unsightly on the white ceramic.
When T-Fal say dishwasher safe they mean it. I often put my T-Fal pan in the dishwasher and it’s still like new. That being said, sometimes dishwashers ruin cookware. This may be due to abrasive detergents, or putting a nonstick surface in contact with metal in the dishwasher.
You should be fine if you:
- Are careful how you arrange your dishwasher. Don’t put the nonstick surface in contact with anything.
- Don’t use abrasive detergents.
On the other hand, these are so easy to clean you may find yourself not using the dishwasher at all.
Looking After Nonstick
Generally nonstick is easier to look after than many alternatives like cast iron. It won’t last forever but if you take care it should last years. Ceramic may sound tougher, but if you want to keep it nonstick then you should follow this advice.
- Keep the heat low – medium. On gas I suggest only using the medium burners. On electric keep it at 8 or below.
- Never heat the pan without anything in it. At least use a little bit of oil. The oil stops it getting too hot, and helps you tell when the pan is warm enough to add food.
- Pre warm the pan before dropping food in it.
- Don’t let anything metal, including utensils, touch the inside of the pan. This is also the case in the dishwasher – be careful how you arrange your nonstick ceramic cookware.
GreenLife offer a great ceramic set, with more cookware pieces, at a slightly higher price. The included steamer is a welcome addition.
Both T-Fal and GreenLife make high quality ceramic cookware. The main difference is that this GreenLife set comes in a range of beautiful colors on the outside. This looks nice, but there is a risk of discoloration over time.
In a nutshell:
- Slightly Pricier
- Similar quality
- More pans + a steamer included
- Beautiful range of colors available
If you like a bit of color in your cookware then T-Fal themselves offer similar cookware sets in blue and gold.
These sets have a different pan combination at a higher price. At the time of writing the “blue” set was slightly higher, and the “gold” set was much higher. You should check the current price and decide if it is worth it. I would be reluctant to pay a steep premium for color that could fade anyway.
In a nutshell:
- Ranges from slightly pricier to much more expensive
- Two colors on offer (blue / gold)
- Different pan combination
- Same nonstick material and quality
Are you not convinced by ceramic? Then consider a T-Fal nonstick cookware set. T-Fal cookware is good in general and this nonstick cookware works well for me.
This set is more pricey, but in return offers more pans, including a steamer, though no utensils.
In a nutshell:
- Classic nonstick – you know what you are getting
- Has PTFE (which is food safe)
- More pans, including a steamer
- No utensils
- Significantly higher price
If you are uncomfortable with PTFE, or want nice looking cookware then ceramic could be right for you.
The most surprising thing for me is how much you get in terms of cookware and quality for the price you pay. This is the case with T-Fal, but also other products, like the GreenLife Ceramic NonStick Cookware set mentioned above.