T-fal C836S Stainless Steel copper bottom sets introduce copper to the multi ply cookware playing field and reviews are quite positive. Stainless steel is an excellent cookware choice. It is safe and non-reactive which means acidic foods won’t alter the flavor nor discolor the pans.
Reviewers descirbe this set as being a beautiful set that goes way beyond the usual aluminum encapsulated bottom. It’s constructed with several layers of metals. Plus it has a final layer which is like a “disk spread.”
This works out to six layers. Aluminum is usually the metal of choice sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel because stainless is not a great metal for distributing heat evenly. Without a “helper” metal like aluminum, food would not cook evenly.
Aluminum conducts heat well. Copper, however, conducts heat even better but is more expensive. This layering of metals is referred to as tri ply, clad and multi ply. Most reputable brands of stainless cookware are layered in some way. Here are some of the features of this set that makes it worth considering.
Bottoms and Sides
As mentioned above, the bottom of these pots and pans have a unique construction of several layers ending with a splash-like design of copper that directly touches the heating element. In most sets there are usually just three layers of metal which is why the term tri ply is used.
This set includes six layers layers, one of which is copper sandwiched between the stainless steel layers. The layers are: stainless steel, aluminum, copper, aluminum, stainless steel. With both aluminum and copper used for heat distribution, this means enhanced performance for well-cooked food.
Some reviews have indicated that the copper portions that is exposed to the heating element flakes, discolors and tarnishes. However, copper is a metal that is known to flake and tarnish and it scratches and dents easily.T-Fal advises towel drying the cookware immediately after washing, do not let it air dry because doing so will cause spots to form that are hard to clean.
Handles can get hot on the stove top. This can happen when you are using the pot for a long period of time and heat builds up. They can also get hot when you are cooking at a high temperature.
So basically, the higher temperature used and the longer the cooking period, they may get hot. They are also safe to use inside ovens at temperatures up to 500 degrees. The handles are riveted and ergonomically shaped for comfort and ease of lifting. Riveting ensures a secure connection with the pots and pans.
LIds are made of glass. This feature will be appreciated by cooks who prefer to watch their food while it is cooking without having to lift the lid. Each lid has an arch-shaped handle that is made of stainless steel.
They have ample room between the top of the arch and the lid to prevent your knuckles from touching the hot lid when removing it. There is also a steam vent in each one to allow steam to escape and help prevent accidental boil overs.
The pots and pans in this series are of medium weight and ample and have ample thickness to deliver even heat distribution. This is good because it means the layers are thick enough to prevent food from burning easily.
Brushed or Mirror (Polished)
Unlike many of the popular sets, this series has brushed designs inside and outside. Thus, it is not as shiny as mirror polished, but rather have faint lines that seem to be embedded into the metal.
This type of design looks more like satin and is less likely to show any scratches on its finish. This design is also easier to maintain its original appearance than a mirror polished finish.
All of the items are compatible for use with induction cooktops, glass top cooktops, electric stoves and gas stoves. They are safe for use in the oven up to temperatures of 500 degrees. They can be washed in the dishwasher but due to copper’s fragile nature and the recommendation to towel dry, I would recommend hand washing.
T-Fal C636S Series
T-Fal is a European company with headquarters in France. This series of cookware is made in China. The following is a list of sets in this line. Features are similar except for the number of pieces included.
Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper-Bottom Heavy Gauge Multi-Layer Base Cookware Set, 13-Piece, Silver
Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper Bottom Cookware Set 12-Pieces, Silver
Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper-Bottom Heavy Gauge Multi-Layer Base Cookware Set, 10-Piece, Silver
Bottoms have multi ply construction of 6 layers
Bottom encapsulated with copper and aluminum
Safe for Induction cooktops, glass cooktops, electric stoves and gas stoves.
Safe for use inside ovens up to 500 degrees
Handles are comfortable
- Pots and pans have a sticker on the bottom that takes effort to get off
- The splash of copper on the bottom flakes and tarnishes
Ratings across the board are very good and the overall quality of the set is very good. The stainless steel areas are well constructed and durable. However, copper for all its great ability to contribute to even heating can flake and tarnish with time. With the bottom layer of copper being exposed, this may happen.
To some this may be a problem. As with virtually all stainless steel cookware products, those who are unhappy with their purchase are unhappy because they aren’t using correct methods for cooking using this metal and the result is that food sticks. This can be avoided by learning how to cook using it.
Price is aligned with number of pieces included. Some sets include a steamer pot for steaming vegetables. For the number of pieces you get, and compared to other brands of similar numbers, prices are moderate.
I would not recommend this set for the serious cook as I feel the added layer of copper along the bottom presents problems. There are other brands at similar prices and number of pieces that don’t have this problem.
It is a good buy for cooks who want to own stainless steel cookware but don’t want a set that is heavy or thin. This set is medium weight and anyone with limitations on lifting should not find it difficult to lift.