T-Fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Cookware Review
In this review we are going to be looking at a 12 piece cookware set – the T-Fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Set. T-Fal are well known for making affordable nonstick cookware pans and pots, but how well does this cookware set perform? Is it simply another cheap set to avoid, or will it add value to your cooking? Lets take a closer look at it below.
T-Fal has quite a proud company history when it comes to nonstick cookware. They were the first company in the world to manufacture a nonstick cooking pan way back in 1954, and ever since then they have continued to produce a range of innovative cooking products. The Ultimate 12 piece hard anodized cookware set is a culmination of these many innovations they have made over the years, and we are hoping that it makes for a quality product.
The cookware set is comprised of an 8″ and a 10.25″ frying pans, a 1 quart, 2 quart and 3 quart sauce pans and a 5 quart dutch oven. A nice little extra is the inclusion of a nylon spatula and spoon, which is something we don’t see too often on other cookware sets. The lids included with the sauce pots and dutch oven are made of glass and have heat proof silicone covered handles, and each one has a vent to release some heat.
The handles of the pots and pans are all riveted on, and they feel very sturdy. Like the pot lids, the handles are covered in silicone, which is oven safe up to 350F.
The design of these units is fairly modern and stylish. The posts and pans come in a matt black, and the handles and rivets are stainless steel. The lids also have stainless steel handles, with an outer stainless steel rim. The T-fal non stick pans appear to have a textured finish in the base of the pan, but this is more for looks than anything else as the base itself is completely smooth. The pans have T-Fals patented “Thermo Heatspot” technology which is an interesting addition to this set, and this will glow red when the pan is at an ideal preheated temperature. This does seem like a bit of a gimmick though, but it certainly doesn’t do any harm!
There are also some other good bits of technology that are incorporated into this cookware set that we should mention. The nonstick coating is supposedly very durable, and T-Fal claims you can use metal utensils with this set. This is often a feature found on high end nonstick cookware, so it is great to see this in a more affordable set. Still, we would advise you to stick to nylon to be on the safe side and to prolong the life of the cookware for as long as possible. This durable coating means that the entire set is dishwasher friendly, but remember that you will need to re-season the pans more often if they are cleaned in the dishwasher. This nonstick coating is also PFOA and PTFE free, so there is no need to worry about any harmful chemicals getting into your food. The pots and pans have what is called “Technoresist” bases, which means that they are warp resistant and provide an even heating surface. We have read user reviews which claim to have used this cookware for over a year without any evident warping, so there must be some truth to this.
This sounds like a promising cookware set so far, but there is one little downside to the T-fal nonstick cookware set. They are made out of hard anodized aluminum, which means that they will not work on an induction stove. If you are looking for inducton friendly cookware, then we have written up an article talking about some of the models to look at over here.
So it sounds like a promising set so far, but how well does the T-Fal Hard Anodized cookware set actually perform? We began by putting the frying pans to the test. We seasoned them with a little olive oil, then we tried some fried eggs in the smaller one, and some bacon in the larger one. To put the nonstick durability to the test, we used a metal spatula. Both the bacon and eggs happily slid around the pans, and there was no sign of any sticking. Both pans heated up fairly quickly, and the heat spectrum seemed to be very even throughout the pans. The eggs and the bacon were both evenly and thoroughly cooked, and tasted really good. The next day we performed a similar test with hash browns, french toast and sausages. Again we were very pleased with the results, and we were left with well cooked tasty food. This time we left one piece of bacon in a bit too long to see how easy it would be to remove any burnt residue. The good news is that a quick swipe with a paper towel was all that was needed to remove this burnt bit of food. Looking at the pans afterwards, there was thankfully no signs of any gashes in the nonstick coating from out metal utensils.
Next up we put the sauce pots to the test. In the dutch oven we decided to try out some homemade chilli. We decided to go for a beef variety mixed with kidney beans, and after around 4 hours our mixture was smelling quite enticing. A quick taste test revealed that our noses weren’t lying, and we poured out the bulk of the mixture and left a little bit in the bottom of the dutch oven. We left this little leftover bit in the bottom for another 45 minutes, and we did not stir it either. At this point it did look like it was a bit dry and caked on, so we poured some hot water into the pot to see how easy it would be to clean. Using our sponge, the entire mixture was dislodged in a few wipes which was very impressive. The chilli tasted fantastic with the rice we have prepared in the 2 quart pot, and the 3 hour long simmering time really helped the flavors to blend together.
The following day we tried out the 3 quart and the 1 quart pots with some homemade pasta. We won’t go into too many details, but we will say we had similar results again. The pasta came out really nicely, and cleaning up the pots was simple and straightforward..
So that is a quick summary of what you can expect from the T-Fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Cookware set. With a retail price of under $200, it definitely is a very tempting set to buy. We were quite impressed with the performance of this cookware, and also found it easy to clean. With a limited lifetime warranty on this set, this is one set you should seriously consider.
- Very affordable
- Oven safe
- Heat proof handles
- Scratch resistant (can use metal utensils)
- Dishwasher friendly
- PFOA and PTFE free
- Not induction friendy
Summary: If you want a affordable nonstick cookware set that doesn’t cost a fortune, the T-Fal set may be for you. It is durable, non toxic and easy to clean. At the time of writing this set was almost half price on Amazon with free shipping which makes it a fantastic bargain. You can check if it is still on sale over at the Amazon product page.