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Tramontina 8-piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set Review

By: Kelly Burgess on September 08, 2017

Bottom Line

The Tramontina 8-piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set, sold primarily at Walmart, offers superior construction and cooking performance at a bargain price. It heats food evenly, and its riveted handles stay cool on the stovetop (all handles will get hot when used in the oven or broiler).

Pros

  • Heats evenly
  • Very durable
  • Oven-safe to 500 degrees
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Can require scrubbing to look pristine
  • Pan sizes on the small side
Our Analysis
Specs

Breaking it down

Performance

Rivals that of much more expensive sets. In several professional tests, Tramontina skillets and cookware sets offer performance rivaling that found in the much pricier All-Clad cookware. That leads one professional test kitchen to give it both Recommended and Best Buy status, with a perfect 3-star rating for cooking performance. At TheSweethome.com, that superior cooking performance, along with the bargain price compared to its closest rival, the All-Clad Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set (Est. $700), leads them to give the company's 12-piece set their top recommendation. Like All-Clad, Tramontina cookware has tri-ply construction, with a core of aluminum sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel. The pots and pans are also fully clad, meaning that the aluminum core extends all the way up the sides of each piece. This construction helps with heat retention and even distribution. Shoppers at Walmart.com wax lyrical about its performance. A few users are frustrated that food tends to stick and scorch, but more experienced owners explain that cooking with stainless steel has a learning curve.

Ease of use

Pay attention to experienced owners. As with all stainless steel, the only consistent complaint we saw regarding the Tramontina set was that food sticks to the pan. However, these folks were largely expecting the same type of nonstick performance as dedicated nonstick pans offer, and stainless steel will always disappoint in that area. The best approach to using stainless steel for the first time is to seek out the advice of more experienced stainless steel cooks to better understand its purpose and how to use it -- there are numerous resources on the internet. This set includes 8- and 10-inch fry pans, 2- and 3-quart saucepans with lids, and a 5-quart Dutch oven with lid. Some users complain that the pans are on the small side, although we saw a number of comments that they're perfect for single cooks or couples. For a larger family, we agree with the Sweethome.com and recommend the Tramontina 12-Piece Cookware Set (Est. $300), which includes larger 10- and 12-inch fry pans, 1.5- and 3-quart sauce pans with lids, a 5-quart sauté pan with lid, a 5-quart Dutch oven with lid, and a 12-quart stock pot with lid. The pans are dishwasher safe, although most experts recommend hand washing for all cookware. You also may have to do some scrubbing of the bottom of the pan to keep discoloration under control.

Durability

Astonishingly well made for the price. The pans in included in this Tramontina set are reasonably but not uncomfortably heavy, and their riveted handles are sturdy. The outer surface is made of 18/10 stainless steel, an alloy containing 18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel. We did not see any durability complaints with this Tramontina set, although in the event that any problems develop, the set is backed by a lifetime warranty. However, like many manufacturers, Tramontina requires the user to cover shipping costs for cookware repairs or replacement.

Our Sources

Michael Sullivan, Jan. 3, 2017

Michael Sullivan at TheSweethome.com makes the 12-piece Tramontina his top pick in this roundup. It performs well in testing, as well as offering a good value of pieces for the price. Although there are more pieces than in the eight-piece set we recommend as a better fit for most kitchens, they are the same construction.

Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, May 2009

Although this is an older review, all except one of the tested cookware sets are still widely available, popular, and are top finishers in testing at other expert sites. Three sets are Recommended, two are Recommended with Reservations, and one is Not Recommended.

Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

ConsumerReports.org includes the Tramontina 8-piece cookware set in its kitchen cookware roundup. Sets are evaluated and rated on cooking evenness, speed of heating, ease of cleaning, and handle temperature, comfort and sturdiness.

Editors of GoodHousekeeping.com, December 2015

Editors at Good Housekeeping's Kitchen Appliances & Technology Lab tested 72 cookware lines; evaluating skillets over a variety of cooking tasks, including the Tramontina 12-inch stainless skillet. They praise it's even heating, but say it can be tricky to clean. This is a test of only one skillet, but the editors note that this was a test of "cookware," so the results can be extrapolated to the entire line.

Contributors to Walmart.com , As of September 2017

The Tramontina 8-piece 18/10 Stainless Steel TriPly-Clad Cookware Set earns an overall rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 in more than 630 reviews. Owners call it a terrific value, with praise for its even heating, stay-cool handles and attractive looks. Most users are satisfied with the assortment of pans, though some say they are a bit too small.

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