High-Quality, Budget-Friendly Cookware

Greens in a pot and pasta in a larger two-handled pot, shot from above
Caption: Rachael Hartley, RDN, LDN, CDE, CLT

Product reviewed: T-Fal Color Luxe Nonstick Ruby Red 12-Piece Set

The overpriced set of nonstick cookware I had registered for as a wedding gift turned out to be not quite as durable as promised. Scratched to the point of being unusable after just a few years, I had decided I would never spend money on expensive cookware. So I was thrilled to review T-fal’s titanium nonstick cookware as a budget-friendly option.

This cookware set includes 12 pieces — four pots with lids, two skillets, a spatula and a slotted spoon. The cookware is all dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning, and it’s oven-safe as well. The cookware also comes with T-fal’s patented “Thermo-Spot” heat indicator in the center of the pan, which shows when it’s hot and ready to be used. The set I was sent came in a beautiful jewel red color that I love, though it’s available in other colors, too.

My favorite thing about this cookware is how light and easy it is to use. The handles are ergonomically designed and comfortable to handle. My last pots were so heavy that draining a large pot of pasta without burning myself was a task that usually required my husband’s assistance. But with this pot, I could practically do it one-handed! Although I haven’t fully broken in these pots and pans, the nonstick surface seems more durable than the ones I had before. And even if they eventually scratch, they were at a price point that I wouldn’t mind replacing after a few years. I also love that I can throw these in the dishwasher for cleaning — a great perk for someone who hates hand-washing!

My only complaint is the sizes that come in this set. In purchasing a cookware set, I’d ideally like something that includes all the main sizes I would need in the kitchen. I felt like I could have done without the second smallest pot, and would have loved a large-sided skillet with a lid instead. As someone who sautés a lot of vegetables, the two smaller skillet sizes aren’t big enough to provide the surface area I need to cook a larger volume. That said, it would be easy to purchase a large skillet separately and feel complete.

I would highly recommend this cookware set, especially for a new cook or college student looking for a budget-friendly but durable set that can stand up to some heavy use. Unless you’re cooking for a large family, this set should meet all of your cooking needs! 

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Rachael Hartley
Rachael Hartley, RDN, LDN, CDE, CLT, helps clients rediscover the joy of eating and learn how to nourish their bodies and improve energy and wellness without dieting and restriction. Read Rachael's blog, Rachael Hartley Nutrition, and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.