A generation ago, we were grateful for the nonstick surface of Teflon, but now that we have a better idea of the impact those materials and chemicals have on our bodies and the environment, we aren’t so excited.
Getting food stuck to the surface of your pan during high heat is something all cooks dream of avoiding. Companies have a variety of answers to the problem, and one is using a ceramic surface for its natural nonstick properties.
T-Fal’s ceramic cookware is one product that might be the right answer for you. T-Fal is known for durable yet affordable cookware, and the Initiatives line offers a better nonstick surface with fewer unnatural chemicals. Let’s take a look to see if this set is the right one for you.
T-Fal Initiatives Ceramic Cookware Set – The Details
Keep these things in mind about the T-Fal set. It comes in two different standard sets, with most of the base pieces identical in both.
Construction and Materials
T-Fal uses an affordable heavy gauge aluminum throughout its cookware pieces in this particular line. Aluminum is lightweight and conducts heat quickly. The interior is a gray ceramic lining with nonstick properties.
The handles are heat resistant and riveted to the sides of the pans for durability. Lids use tempered glass with heat-resistant handles, and the lids are vented to allow excess moisture and pressure to escape.
The design is classic cookware and suitable for a variety of cooktops, excluding induction. The lighter interior helps you keep an eye on the status of your food, while glass lids make it easy to check without disturbing your moisture seal.
The line is basically a ten-piece set with the inclusion of a few cooking utensils. The ten-piece set features all the essential, everyday pots and pans designed to perform a variety of cooking tasks. It’s an affordable alternative to some more expensive ceramic-based nonstick lines, but yet it doesn’t sacrifice durability.
If you’ve used a heavier material like stainless in the past, the lightweight nature of aluminum may take some getting used to. The pieces are at risk of warping when left on high heat, so be careful when you’re preheating or searing.
You don’t need to take time to preheat because aluminum is highly responsive. The ceramic interior does offer a better nonstick surface as long as you oil it before you put food in. If you have trouble manipulating a heavy pan, the weight of the pieces in this set could offer some relief.
Regardless of your cooking surface, the pans work well. Induction is the only type not compatible, but for the rest, aluminum heats quickly. You’ll have to stir often and make sure there aren’t any hotspots for foods that take longer to cook. It’s more at risk of scorching than stainless.
T-Fal Initiatives Ceramic Cookware Set – The Review
The set is highly affordable. For less than $100, you get a variety of pieces to start your kitchen off right. The nonstick surface from T-Fal isn’t as durable as others, but in reality, no nonstick pieces last a lifetime.
They’re dishwasher safe, but hand washing may help you preserve the coating. The lighter interior is more likely to stain, but the set is oven and broiler safe up to around 375 degrees. Not bad for a beginner set.
These sets would be best for beginner cooks or those stocking a kitchen for the first time. Both the 14- and the 16-piece sets have cooking utensils included—great for beginners, unnecessary for already stocked kitchens.
What’s in the Set?
All the everyday pieces are included with the set, plus a few extras like utensils and niche cookware pieces.
Here are the basics included in both sets:
- 5-inch frying pan
- 11-inch frying pan with lid
- 1-quart saucepan with lid
- 2-quart saucepan with lid
- 5-quart Dutch oven with lid
The 14-piece set includes:
- One Egg Wonder frying pan
- 4 nylon cooking utensils
The 16-piece set includes:
- 10-inch square griddle
- 6 nylon cooking utensils
The cooking utensils are unnecessary if you’ve already got a stocked kitchen. You’ll end up paying for things you don’t need. However, for newlyweds or college students who need to stock a kitchen for the first time, the set is affordable and comes with everything to get started right away.
Get the T-Fal Initiatives Ceramic Cookware Set if:
- you have a new kitchen
- you’re on a budget
- you want a lightweight cookware set
Stay away from the T-Fal Initiatives Ceramic Cookware Set if:
- your kitchen is already well-stocked with accessories
- you want something induction capable
- you prefer a heavier, slower material like stainless
Choosing the T-Fal Initiatives Ceramic Cookware Set
If you’re just starting out and need to stock your kitchen, T-Fal’s set is a good option for natural, nonstick cookware. It has plenty of options for basic cooking activities and even includes utensils in both sets to help you get started.
If you’re upgrading from your budget set to another, you may be disappointed by the weight of T-Fal’s line. It’s more likely to experience some warping at very high heats, and it isn’t induction cooktop capable. However, it would make a great gift for beginner cooks and those just starting out.
Editor Rating: 3.5 out of 5
- Price: $$
- Weight: 4.5 out of 5
- Performance: 3 out of 5
Materials: Aluminum and ceramic
Construction: Heavy-duty aluminum with ceramic interior
Handle: Heat resistant and riveted
Warranty: Limited Lifetime