T-FAL ULTIMATE HARD ANODIZED COOKWARE OFFERS EXCELLENT VALUE FOR MONEY.
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I’m one of those who has to ALWAYS have one or two nonstick skillets in use in my kitchen at ALL times. I mean, really, what else can you use for those fried and scrambled eggs every day?
So far I have opted for inexpensive T-Fal nonstick pans. After all, T-Fal, has become synonymous with affordable non-stick cookware, much like Teflon has become synonymous with non-stick coatings.
But is it good quality that will last?
Let’s find out in my T-Fal cookware review.
Is T-FAL THE SAME AS TEFLON?
If you thought that T-fal and Teflon were the same thing, you’re not alone – many people, (including me at one point) refer to the two brands synonymously. But while they are linked, they are not the same, so let’s first clarify this detail.
Tefal is the brand name for a French cookware and small appliances manufacturer.
Teflon, on the other hand is a non-stick coating brand owned by the company DuPont.
Tefal is credited with inventing the non-stick frying pan and creating the non-stick cookware category The name Tefal was formed by taking the TEF from Teflon and the AL from Aluminum. Hence the confusion between the two brands.
So to summarize: T-fal is a brand of cookware and Teflon is a brand of non-stick coating on cookware. They are not the same.
IS IT T-FAL OR TEFAL?
It’s both. Originally launched in Europe as T-fal, this line of cookware was introduced in North America as T-fal since the name Tefal was too much like Teflon. But whether T-fal or Tefal, it is the same cookware and the same manufacturer offering the same technology and the same quality.
While T-fal cookware comes in a mind-boggling number of choices, for this review, I will focus on the T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Titanium Nonstick with Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator, 17 piece set. This line is also available in a 12 piece and 14 piece set.
- 8-inch Fry Pan
- 10.25-inch Fry Pan
- 11.5 inch Fry Pan with lid
- 10.25 inch Square Griddle
- 1-quart sauce pan with lid
- 2-quart sauce pan with lid
- 3-quart Sauce Pans with lid
- 3.5-quart Deep Saute pan with lid
- 5-quart Dutch Oven with lid
- 3-quart Steamer Insert with two side handles
- A one Egg Wonder
WHAT IS IT MADE OF?
The T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized cookware set, as the name suggests, is made of a good quality hard anodized aluminum. It comes with a proprietary TechnoResist Anti-warp Base, which prevents the pans from warping and also provides very even heat distribution
Users report that despite rough use, these pans do not warp and look like new after several months of hard use.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
The T-Fal Ultimate Hard Anodized set has T-fal’s signature gray smooth, satin finish on the exterior and a smooth nonstick interior. The interior has a texture pattern but is actually smooth and flat, that is just a design.
WHAT ABOUT THE HANDLES?
The handles are riveted to the pans which makes them very strong and secure. Additionally, they are silicone which means a few good things for you. Namely:
- They won’t get hot, users report a zero heat transference
- They are soft and comfortable, providing a secure grip even when the pans are full
- The handles are oven safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Additionally, the handles come with end holes, giving you the option for hanging storage.
WHAT ABOUT THE LIDS? AND ARE THEY INTERCHANGEABLE?
The lids are made of tempered glass which to me is a great feature since you can see the food while it is cooking plus it just looks great. The lids have a snug fit which traps heat and moisture. Each lid has a small vent which just allows excess steam to escape and food to simmer.
As for interchangeable, the 17 set comes with lids for almost everything except the larger fry pan. The lid of one of the smaller pans fits the 8 “ smaller fry pan, however, the 10 3/4” skillet is the only one without a lid (other than, of course, the square grill pan).
Additionally, you can order replacement lids separately if needed.
WHAT ABOUT THE NONSTICK COATING?
The T-Fal Ultimate Hard Anodized cookware set uses Expert, a Titanium reinforced nonstick coating that is very durable and scratch resistant – which means you can use metal utensils!
Expert nonstick coating is PTFE based, so think of it like another brand of Teflon.
The nonstick coating is PFOA free.
DOES THE NONSTICK COATING LAST?
This is the common problem with nonstick cookware that eventually the nonstick coating wears out. Especially in economically priced cookware sets like T-Fal. However, in my experience as well as other users, the nonstick coating really lives up to the claims and is very durable. Food still slides off even after a year of regular use.
Thermo-Spot is a unique feature of the T-Fal Ultimate Hard Anodized pans. The way it works is that you place the pan on the stove and wait for the design to change to a solid red “spot,”. At that point, the pan is preheated to the perfect temperature at which it will seal the natural juices and flavors.
Something to note, the Thermo-Spot is built into the non-stick surface of ONLY the fry pans, not all the pans.
CAN YOU USE THESE IN THE OVEN?
Yes, these pans are safe in the oven up to 400F making these pans ideal for dishes that start on the stovetop and finish in the oven.
WHAT ABOUT THE BROILER?
T-fal Ultimate Hard anodized cookware is not safe under the broiler. In fact, I would never recommend using a non-stick coated pan under the broiler as that causes the coating to deteriorate rapidly.
IS IT DISHWASHER SAFE?
Yes, as per the manufacturer, this set is dishwasher safe and some users who have washed it in the dishwasher have found that there were no issues or damage to the pans or its nonstick coating after being washed in the dishwasher.
Additionally, the T-fal Ultimate Hard anodized pans also come with a very durable hard anodized exterior that cleans very easily and suffers no ill effects in the dishwasher.
Personally, as the The Cookware Advisor, I am always in favor of handwashing any pots and pans, no matter what the manufacturer says. These pans literally clean off like butter, its that EASY to clean them. So why subject the pans to the long and intense cycle in a dishwasher which is bound to affect the pans after several cycles.
CAN IT BE USED WITH INDUCTION COOKTOPS?
No T-Fal Ultimate Hard Anodized is not induction compatible. For an induction compatible hard anodized cookware set, consider T-Fal Professional.
This set can be used on all other types of stove tops including gas, glass, ceramic etc.
WHERE IS IT MADE?
T-Fal Ultimate Hard Anodized pans are made in China
DO THEY INCLUDE A WARRANTY?
Yes the set comes with a limited lifetime warranty against defects and workmanship.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
The T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized set is a very popular set with high ratings by most users.
You can read more reviews here
ARE THERE ANY COMPLAINTS?
Hardly any and the complaints that are present are quite minor. Some of the minor complaints are:
- Thermo-spot: Most users have reported that the Thermo-spot on their pan never changes to a solid red color as the company claims it should. I personally experienced the same. However, I feel that’s such a minor feature that it doesn’t matter and doesn’t’ affect the overall performance of the pan.
- Lid (this relates to the 17 pan set): The lid for the Dutch oven does not fit the 10.25” pan which was a bit disappointing for some users. Luckily two of the other fry pans have lids or lids that can fit them so it works out quite well.
In a nutshell, if you are looking for quality AND value, this is the set for you.
WHERE CAN I BUY IT?
I find the best deals are on Amazon so you can go here to check the price or buy it.