Tramontina manufacture a big range of differently budgeted cookware and in this review we are going to be looking at one of their cheaper offerings – the Tramontina 13-Piece Lock & Drain cookware set. This is probably the cheapest full on cookware set we have seen so far, and has a retail price of only around $60. For this price we aren’t expecting too much in the way of quality, so is it wise to purchase such a cheap set? We have a closer look at this below.
As mentioned above Tramontina seem to create a range of different cookware products from very cheap like our current set, ranging to the expensive variety in their “Restaurant” range of cookware which has received many positive ratings. We can only hope this set retains the same quality we have heard about from the more expensive sets.
This 13 piece set is comprised of the following pieces: 8″ and 10″ saute pans and a variety of pans including a 1.5, 2, 3 and 6 quart pans. You will also receive three nylon utensils including a full spoon, and a slotted spoon and turner. All the pans come with lids, and these lids have quite a unique feature. The Lock and Drain feature is a somewhat different feature built into these pans and lids. Essentially all the lids have holes in them which allow you to drain your food easily. The lids clip into place on top of the pans, so you can tip the pans upside down and drain your food. This is a great idea in theory, however what will happen with food that needs to simmer? More on that below.
This is a hard anodized cookware set so it does feel very light and flimsy. Even more so than your average set, so we suspect some cost cutting has gone into this set by perhaps using less aluminum overall. We have read some user reviews on this particular set who claimed that their cookware arrived with dents in it which is quite believable. Being made out of aluminum this cookware set is definitely not induction friendly.
The cookware set has stay cool handles, but there is no mention of whether this cookware is oven safe or not. The handles do feel ok to work with and are fairly comfy in your hands. The color of this set is maroon, although it does look red in the picture. The lids are stainless steel and overall the set looks quite average. We don’t mean this in a bad way, but it certainly doesn’t stand out much compared to other cookware. Now lets take a look at how well it performs.
To begin with we put the pans to the test. Grilled cheese is a firm favorite we began by making a batch of that. The cookware was quick to heat up, and our cheese was melting in no time. The cooking surface seemed to heat up quite evenly and there were no major evident hot spots. The nonstick coating appears to be slick and our sticky cheese didn’t stick at all. After that we moved onto some potato fritters. These can be a little messy at times, but again we were quite pleased with the results. The flavors were all intact afterwards and the nonstick coating seemed to be holding up so far. After this we got hold of two eggs and fried them together. The eggs cooked fairly quickly, and a little nudge with our nylon turner was enough to get them sliding around the pan and out onto our plate. So far so good.
After than we moved onto the pots. In our large 6 quart pot we decided to make a lamb stew. This is lovely on rice, so we put the larger pans to the test to make a meal which we could last a few days. This particular recipe takes around 5 hours, but after around an hour or so we did notice something which we feared could be a problem. All the steam was coming out of the vents in the lids, so there was no real means to prevent this heat from escaping. The Lock and Drain would be a great idea if the vents could be closed, but with them stuck in a permanently open position there is no way to retain the heat in the pan. This is a real problem especially for dishes like our stew where you need to simmer it on a low heat for several hours, as the flavors can also escape this way. Thinking quickly, we used some aluminum foil to help counter this problem. It seemed to work, but having to resort to this with a brand new set of cookware is a problem.
After our rice and stew was finished cooking we gave it a taste test and it had turned out quite nicely. The rice was quick and easy to drain thanks to the Lock and Drain lids. We left the stew residue to cake onto the pot afterwards for a good hour or so. After this we ran it under the tap which dislodged most of the leftover stew, then wiped it with a sponge a few times to get rid of the remainder. This was a quick and easy job so the nonstick coating had done well here.
So that is where we are going to leave the review. We did put the other pans to the test with similar positive results. They cook well enough, but the lids are a bit of a problem. If you could get a very cheap set of lids that fitted this set then it would be an ok investment. If Tramontina had simply put in a means of opening and closing the vents then it wouldn’t be a problem. Presumably this is why this cookware set is at the bottom of Tramontinas product range, as such a problem should have been picked up long ago. However if you are in the market for a very cheap cookware set and the vents don’t bother you then you might be pleased with this set.
- Very cheap
- Easy to clean
- Range of different pots and pans
- Lock and Drain works well
- Feels cheap
- Not oven friendly
- Not induction friendly
- Can’t simmer food due to vents in lids
The Tramontina cookware set is a very cheap set, which does feel quite flimsy. It isn’t induction or oven friendly, and the holes in the lids mean simmering food is difficult. However if you want a very basic cookware set then it would be hard to find anything better at this price point. You can find more info on this product over at the Amazon page.