T-fal C836SA Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper-Bottom Heavy Gauge Multi-Layer Base Cookware Set Review

T-Fal Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper Bottom Cookware Set

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A good cookware set makes your daily experience of cooking all the more enjoyable, easy and productive. A sub-par, under-performing set can result in unevenly cooked food, burnt surfaces, warped bottoms and chipping, peeling pan interiors. What does this achieve?

Nothing but frustration, tossed cookware in the trash, and more money spent on replacement cookware.

You don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a new cookware set, as there are some great brands out there creating affordable, high-quality sets. One of these sets is the Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper Bottom Cookware Set from T-Fal, which we are focusing on here today.

T-Fal is generally associated with non-stick surfaces and Thermo-Spot Technology. But this set is different, and far more aesthetically pleasing! Hint: it’s made from layers of stainless steel, aluminum and copper for excellent performance and durability. But more on that to come.

Let’s get into it! We’ll find out the features, pros, what it includes and how to know if it’s the one for you.

 

What do you get?

The T-Fal Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper Bottom Cookware set includes:

  • 8-inch fry pan
  • 5-inch covered fry pan
  • 1 and 2-quart covered saucepans
  • 5-quart covered Dutch oven
  • 5-quart steamer insert

Looking at this collection I really can’t see anything missing. You’ve got your frying pans in two sizes for sauteing veggies and searing meats. You’ve got your two saucepans in various sizes for boiling pasta, simmering soups, sauces and gravies.

A Dutch oven for larger pasta portions, stews, risottos, casseroles and stocks. And your steamer insert for steaming veggies, rice, dumplings, steamed buns etc. This is perfect for a couple or small families everyday cooking tasks.

T-fal c836sa Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper-Bottom Heavy Gauge Multi-layer Base Cookware Set, 10-Piece, Silver by T-fal
  • 10-piece cookware set includes 8-inch fry pan; a 10.5-inch covered fry pan; 1- and 2-quart covered sauce pans; 5-quart covered dutch oven; 5-quart steamer insert
  • Stainless-steel construction offers long lasting performance; multi-layer base with copper bottom for fast, even heat distribution
  • Riveted stainless-steel handles ergonomically designed for comfort
  • Glass lids allow for watching cooking progress; vented hole lets steam escape to prevent boiling over

What are the materials and how do they perform?

As the name suggests, this cookware set is made from stainless steel and copper. But there’s also aluminum thrown into the mix too. The bottom of the pan is extra thick, with layers built up to create durability and heat conductivity.

The base is mainly stainless steel, with an aluminum core hidden inside, with copper along the bottom (visible) to grab and keep the heat.

Stainless steel: the 18/10 stainless steel is safe due to the fact that it is non-reactive and won’t leach metal into your food. It’s also very durable, scratch-resistant and aesthetically stylish. It’s easy to clean (hand wash is best!) and there’s no need to worry about chipping or peeling (no coating, just hardy stainless steel).

Aluminum: aluminum adds an extra layer of strength to the base of the cookware to prevent warping as well as creating heaviness to sit firmly and evenly on the heat source. But most of all, it conducts heat quickly and evenly, far more so than stainless steel. 

Copper: copper conducts heat incredibly quickly, effectively and evenly. By adding a layer of copper to the bottom of the cookware, hot spots are avoided and slow heat-up times are a thing of the past.

What are the key features and benefits?

There are many benefits and impressive features of this shiny, classy T-Fal set. Here they are in quickfire form so you can see if they appeal or apply to you:

  • Induction compatible (and all other cooktops)
  • Glass lids with steam vent holes
  • Compatible with metal utensils (scratch, peel and chip-free)
  • Oven-safe up to 500 degrees F (broiling, slow cooking, keeping warm)
  • Dishwasher safe (but generally best to hand wash to prevent spots or stains)
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Heats up quickly and evenly (thanks to the copper and aluminum)
  • Warp-resistant (due to the thick, layered bottom)
  • Leach-free, safe cooking surface (18/10 stainless steel)
  • Stainless steel handles firmly riveted
  • Handles contoured for comfort
  • Holes on end of handles for hanging on storage hooks

Anything to be wary of?

In terms of safety, there’s nothing to be wary of or concerned about. This is due to the fact that the cooking surface is 18/10 stainless steel which is non-reactive and won’t leach into your food.

However, this might also be a con for you, depending on what your cooking needs are. Because this set is not “non-stick”, you may have trouble cooking eggs, pancakes and delicate fish. You could always buy a non-stick frying pan to add to the collection.

In saying this, if you heat your pan, add a dash of oil, and cook your food from room temperature you shouldn’t have a problem with stuck food.

Another (and very, very minor) concern is that the large frying pan doesn’t have a helper handle on the opposing side to the long handle. If you were taking a hot, full and heavy pan out of the oven you might struggle with the one handle if lifting heavy items is an issue for you.

Lastly, the handles themselves could potentially be shuffled into the “cons” list. They’re not coated with silicone or rubber-like many other modern cookware sets.

They’re entirely stainless steel which means they’ll get very hot when in the oven and when over high heat on the stove. This just means you need to remember to grab a tea towel or mitten before grabbing the handles for safety.

T-fal c836sa Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper-Bottom Heavy Gauge Multi-layer Base Cookware Set, 10-Piece, Silver by T-fal
  • 10-piece cookware set includes 8-inch fry pan; a 10.5-inch covered fry pan; 1- and 2-quart covered sauce pans; 5-quart covered dutch oven; 5-quart steamer insert
  • Stainless-steel construction offers long lasting performance; multi-layer base with copper bottom for fast, even heat distribution
  • Riveted stainless-steel handles ergonomically designed for comfort
  • Glass lids allow for watching cooking progress; vented hole lets steam escape to prevent boiling over

What about the price?

Considering the quality of materials, design features (great lids and thick bottoms), a variety of pieces, oven and dishwasher suitability, this is a very reasonably-priced cookware set. It would be great for a young couple or for kitting out a new kitchen on a budget…but with high standards.

Final thoughts

The T-Fal Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper Bottom Cookware Set is aesthetically impressive, versatile, and performs excellently in terms of heat conductivity.

The fact that it is oven safe, dishwasher safe and induction friendly makes it even more appealing as versatility and easy maintenance are always important.

If you don’t require a non-stick set and you’re okay with hot handles, this could be a real winner for you and an affordable one at that.

As a gift, it could be ideal for students, “leaving home-ers”, or simply for someone who’s in dire need of a cookware upgrade and loves a shiny silver aesthetic.

See also: T-fal A821SA Initiatives Nonstick Cookware Set, 10-Piece