Tramontina Cookware Review: Select The Right Cookware For You
Selecting the right cookware for your everyday cooking can be a daunting task. The selection within any particular pot or pan segment can be enormous. Then you must decide to piece your set together or choose a multi-piece set.
Then there are the specialty items that may seem useful, but get them home, and you suddenly realize their practicality is limited once it comes time to whip up a meal.
Once you start dialing into certain brands of cookware, the decisions can quickly move from daunting to discouraging. Some cookware lines are overpriced. Others may be priced right but lack quality and quantity.
Then there is the problem of some brands only producing specific products while ignoring the needs for others. Tramontina attempts to bridge those gaps with a wide array of cookware options available both individually and in sets.
Let’s fire up the stove, preheat the oven, and see if Tramontina is worthy of a place in your kitchen.
Who is Tramontina?
If you’ve never heard of Tramontina, you are probably not alone. A Brazilian company that started in 1911, Tramontina didn’t make its way to the United States until the mid to late 1980’s when they set up a small operation in Houston, Texas.
While they don’t carry the broad recognition of brands likes All-Clad, Cuisinart, and Farberware, they do serve an extensive retail network that includes both major box stores and online outlets.
What does Tramontina make?
In a word, everything. Unlike some of their competitors, Tramontina doesn’t seem to specialize in any one item or material, instead offering a range of options.
An excellent example of this robust product line is their selection of frying pans and skillets. Whereas some makers would only give you aluminum and stainless steel options, Tramontina attempts to cover the needs of a wide array of chefs.
Stainless steel and a basic aluminum non-stick, of course, are offered, but so are a copper-porcelain hybrid, enameled cast iron, and hard anodized aluminum. This level of variety runs through most of their stock, which allows them to compete in quite a few different segments.
They also offer numerous cookware sets that can help take the guesswork out of the shopping experience.
Cookware Sets and Pricing
Let’s start with the overall sets offered by Tramontina. It’s important to note that as with any cookware set, the number of pieces provided can vary by retailer and Tramontina’s specific product lines.
Target may offer an exclusive 11-piece that includes an extra pan, while Wal-Mart may only carry a standard 9-piece without the unique add-on. For clarity, we’ve based our Tramontina cookware reviews and pricing on the top three sets from Amazon’s website.
8 to 12 Piece Gourmet Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Cookware Set
From Tramontina’s Gourmet line of higher end pots and pans, the 8-piece set covers basic cooking needs with the following:
The 10-piece set includes:
The 12-piece set includes:
The stainless steel construction houses an aluminum layer, which makes this set useful for all cooktops, including induction. You can also utilize the set in ovens set up to 500 degrees F.
Also, each of the pieces has a substantial weight and feel that is hard to find in this range of cookware. Heating is also uniform, and cleanup is a breeze as the full set is dishwasher safe. A couple of drawbacks to this set include susceptibility to scratches, and the cooking surface on the two pans may not be as large as advertised.
Overall though, this is a quality cookware set that aims to be at the higher end of the market without the accompanying high-end pricing. We believe the value here is a big plus and this set will serve a chef well for moderate to heavy, long-term use.
10-Piece Gourmet Ceramica Ceramic Cookware Set
Tramontina’s ceramic set is quite eye-catching if you’re looking for something that is a bit less functional but far more stylish than stainless steel. The construction of this cookware is an aluminum base with a nonstick ceramic interior. The exterior is porcelain enamel, which means it comes in multiple colors.
If you’ve been cooking for any amount of time, you know that non-stick cookware isn’t the most durable option for everyday cooking needs. This set falls into that category, so you will need to invest a little more time to ensure it receives proper care.
Performance is on par with other, more well-known brands with the ceramic/porcelain combo best used for gas, electric, and ceramic glass cooktops. You can also utilize these pieces in the oven, up to 350 degrees F.
Tramontina claims you can pop these in the dishwasher, but we’d recommend hand washing with non-abrasives to extend the life of the non-stick surface. The even heating is a plus here, and the non-stick surface indeed works as advertised.
Ultimately, this is an excellent set for light to moderate general use, with the non-stick surface lasting a decent time if following care instructions correctly.
The set includes:
15-Piece Hard Anodized Cookware Set
For our last Tramontina cookware review set, we’re going with the biggest. The hard-anodized aluminum is a sturdy option with a nonstick PTFE coating on the interior. The handles are stainless steel, which further gives this group of pots and pans a pleasant, professional quality.
Similar to the ceramic cookware option, the anodized cookware will degrade over time, but with proper care can meet your cooking needs for many years.
The heating is quick and even although as with most sets of this material, you will not want to overdo it on the high heat settings. The material is oven safe up to 350 degrees F. Keep these out of the dishwasher and hand wash with care.
The set includes:
Value wise, this may be your best option considering you may need to replace some of the heavier used items in a few years as the non-stick coating begins to deteriorate. Until then, this is a versatile everyday set that would fit well in any kitchen.
Current pricing on Amazon is as low as $179.99 for the full set.
As we mentioned earlier, Tramontina has a wide-ranging product line that goes beyond everyday pots and pans. From griddles and grill pans to woks and roasters, there is a little bit for everyone.
Depending on your specific needs, a full cookware set may not be practical or necessary. Each of the pieces listed in the collections above is available for individual sale. Paring a set of frying pans and Dutch oven may be all you need. Or a wok and stockpot may help you fill the gap in an already well-appointed kitchen.
Here are a few other Tramontina pieces that might be a fit in your kitchen.
Tramontina Professional Aluminum Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan
Arguably one of Tramontin’s most highly regarded products. This aluminum-based pan is made in the United States and features a stainless steel handle that comes with a removable silicone grip.
Great for varied uses, this pan performs best when frying over medium heat. Specific to gas, electric, and glass top cooking surfaces, you can also set this in an oven heated up to 400 degrees F.
The non-stick coating is PTFE variant called Eclipse. You’ll also want to note the NSF certification this pan carries, which essentially means it meets professional kitchen standards.
A popular choice for professional chefs, it very well may have been used in scrambling your last brunch time eggs.
The pan comes in three different sizes, 8-inch, 10-inch, or 12-inch. The pricing starts at $24.95 for the small version and runs up to low $40.95 for the 12-inch model.
You can also buy the 8 and 10-inch pans as a set for $49.50.
Tramontina, of course, offers your standard stockpot and three set frying pans, but it’s with some of its specialty cookware that the company separates itself from its competitors. Two such items are their Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven and Enameled Cast Iron Braiser.
Available in multiple colors, the 6.5-quart Dutch oven prices for as low as $55.46, and the 4-quart Braiser runs $67.71.
It’s no accident that the Dutch Oven and Braiser both fall into the same material family. The enamel cast iron seems to be something that Tramontina does exceptionally well. While they may not match the high-quality level of specialty brands like Le Creuset and Lodge they do provide a worthwhile alternative at far less the cost.
If you’re in the kitchen more than the average person or consider dinner a serious or adventurous endeavor, and want to stay budget conscience, either one of the Tramontina cast iron pots may be worth your time.
Tramontina Versus Other Cookware Brands
We’ve made mention of it several times, but Tramontina is not a household name when cookware comes to mind. Do a general Google search, and inevitably the usual suspects in the cookware business will be first to appear such as:
It’s also good to note that a lot “Best of” lists do not include a Tramontina cookware review for an individual piece or set. And yet, when you dig a bit deeper and visit multiple retail sites, Tramontina consistently receives high marks from purchasers.
Does name recognition make that big of a difference? It most certainly does. What the disconnect shows is that once a Tramontina product can reach the real testing ground of a consumer’s kitchen, it regularly rates right up there with the most well-known brands. The individual comparisons play this out reasonably well.
All-Clad is arguably the high-end brand in cookware, but is this a case of buying the name instead of the pan?
When you measure similar Tramontina products against All-Clad, it’s a close comparison, with the final decision often being personal preference instead of a distinct advantage. Using the Using Tri-Ply Stainless Steel as our example, both brands use a similar construction and finish and both offer similar performance, with the All-Clad offering a higher heat level in the oven.
When held in opposing hands, the All-Clad pans do feel a bit more robust, but it’s not by much. Again, depending on the person holding the handle, the result may be reversed.
The two most significant differences come down to price—All-Clad being the higher of the two—and place of manufacture. The All-Clad line comes from the United States with the Tramontina Tri-Ply line produced in Brazil.
With the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro line, you will find a very similar feel and performance when weighed against the Tramontina Tri-Ply cookware. In fact, a lot of the categories between these two will come out pretty even. Heat distribution, cooktop versatility, ease of use, and ease of cleaning all measure about the same.
If you look for a tiebreaker in online and retailer consumer ratings, those won’t be much help either. The Cuisinart set, by virtue of a wider known name, has been reviewed more often but scores the same as the Tri-Ply in almost every instance.
It’s hardly a comparison, with Tramontina standing several steps above the Farberware lines, but still worth noting the value that Tramontina can bring to a lower segment.
Tramontina has several competitively priced products that even if you are a consumer looking for a starter set or a pair of entry-level frying pans, you may find a quality investment at an unexpected price point.
What We Think
When put to use, Tramontina cookware has its pros and cons, just like every other brand of kitchen pot and pan available. Additionally, when going head to head with a few brands that specialize in a particular cookware segment, Tramontina may fall short.
But it distinguishes itself, by being a reliable middle to upper tier brand with a lot of variety at an affordable cost. That may be what we like most about Tramontina, the versatility and incredible range of products. If you want a cheap starter set, then Farberware is an excellent choice.
If a luxury line of cookware is a must-have, All-Clad should be your first and only choice. However, if you need solid, mid-range cookware at an affordable price, we do recommend giving Tramontina a try.