Initiatives is the product line name for T-fal’s newest collection of ceramic nonstick cookware. It is available as either a 14-piece or 18-piece cookware set.
The pans are constructed with a pressed heavy gauge aluminum base. A ceramic coating is then baked atop the cook surface. Riveted plastic handles are added, along with glass lids for the covered dishes in the collection. The ceramic coating does not include PTFE (Teflon), PFOA or Cadmium.
The Initiatives collection is not compatible with induction cooktops, but it is manufacturer certified as oven safe for low-temperature baking.
The Tefal company (T-fal) has been around for more than 60 years and were the first producers of Teflon pans for home use. They have been a leading name in non-stick cooking ever since.
Although T-fal was founded specifically with Teflon coatings atop an aluminum base (hence the name), they have continued to innovate with new non-stick coatings over recent years. I’ll be covering one of their newest lines – Initiatives – in my T-fal Ceramic Cookware review.
T-fal Initiatives ceramic cookware is a great entry-level set. Like all budget conscious ceramic pots and pans, durability is the most common complaint. Handle construction on this set also leaves something to be desired. Still, we think it is a good buy for the money. The pots and pans included are practical for most meals and well-suited to cook for a group. This is our favorite collection among the budget-oriented non-stick ceramic cookware brands.
What we like
- Incredibly affordable.
- Good food release, and easy cleanup.
- Practical dish size and selection, with even heat distribution.
What We don’t
- Not compatible with induction cooktops, or suitable for oven use.
- The handles can become loose.
- Durability issues similar to other ceramic cookware.
Buyers Guide: What to know before you buy.
We spent hours sorting through product info and owner feedback to see how these pans really stood up to the brand’s claims.
What pots and pans are included in the bundle?
The T-fal ceramic cookware collection is available as either a 14-piece or 18-piece cookware set. You can find some of the dishes individually, as well. Lids and nylon spatulas are included in the piece-count, which consists of the following items,
- 8-Inch Fry Pan
- 12-Inch Fry Pan with lid
- 1-Quart Sauce pan with lid
- 2-Quart Sauce pan with lid
- 5-Quart Stew pot with lid
- One Egg Wonder Pan
- 4 Nylon Tools
In addition to the items listed above, the 18-piece cookware set includes a 10″ Skillet with Lid, 3-quart Saucepan and 4 qt. Stockpot.
Is T-fal ceramic cookware nonstick?
Yes. T-fal’s ceramic cookware is easy to clean, cost friendly, and maintains easy food release by using a ceramic materials alternative to Teflon.
Does it work with an induction cooktop?
T-fal ceramic cookware set won’t cook effectively on an induction stove. If you cook by induction, you should seek a pan that contains magnetic materials in the base such as cast iron or stainless steel.
What is T-fal Initiatives cookware made out of?
T-fal constructs their Initiatives ceramic cookware set from a pressed aluminum base. The base is then sprayed with an enamel which is baked atop it to create food release on the cook surface.
Are the materials safe to cook with?
Some recent studies have linked the PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) used in manufacturing of some cookware, mostly before 2013, with health conditions. T-fal ceramic cookware is PFOA-free, PTFE-free and Cadmium-free.
Does the non-stick work as advertised?
T-fal Initiatives owners gave mixed reviews on the performance of the ceramic cook surface. Owners were generally happy within the first few months of owning the pan, but many reported that the surface wore off after 6-months of regular use.
Low durability is a common attribute of pans in the ceramic cookware category. Learn how to properly care for your pan with our tips below to extend its lifespan. Even with great care, most ceramic coatings will need to be replaced eventually.
How durable is the pan?
Durability is among the top complaints of T-fal Initiatives collection owners. The riveted plastic pan handles routinely loosen after a short period of ownership. The ceramic coating wears quickly, with many owners reporting a total deterioration within 6-months of regular use. This pan may be more durable than several of the As Seen on TV competitors, but not by much.
Which is better, Calphalon or T-fal?
Calphalon is a common competitor to T-fal for ceramic nonstick pans. Calphalon ceramic cookware set is stylish, and in our view has better handle and lid construction. We also like that the white cook-surface provides food contrast when cooking. Overall though, we pick T-fal based on owner durability reviews of the ceramic surfaces. Both are low lifespan products, but in our view T-fal is a better value for the money.
How To Clean And Maintain
If you are seeking a bargain buy in the ceramic nonstick pan category then you should expect your product to have a shorter lifespan than other pans (cast iron, stainless steel, etc).
Our advice is to learn how to care for your pan now. A few simple steps go a long way toward maximizing your pans durability.
Let the pan cool before cleaning.
When cooking, leave a backburner open for hot pans to cool before cleaning. This will help you avoid burns from cleaning a hot pan, and also make your pan last longer.
Dropping a hot pan into water causes it to cool rapidly. The ceramic cooksurface may begin to weaken or separate from the aluminum base as it quickly contracts.
Clean with a paper or soft cloth towel.
Wipe your pan’s cook surface with a soft cloth or paper towel after the pan has cooled. The ceramic nonstick usually doesn’t need more than that. Use soap and water when food gets stuck tightly, but be aware that this can put extra wear on your. Even though the pans may be dishwasher rated by the manufacturer, we highly recommend against cleaning that way.
Don’t stack pans in storage.
Friction between pans creates scratches, dents and chips. Even when the damage isn’t obvious, storage friction can weaken the ceramic cook surface making it easier to chip when cooking or washing.
Avoid low-smoke oils and sprays.
Cooking oil sprays build up residue and char on your cookware. It can be very difficult to clean and will eventually ruin your pan.
Who should buy a T-fal Initiatives ceramic cookware?
T-fal Initiatives ceramic cookware is a great entry-level cookware set for the money.
If you’re just getting started in the kitchen and up-front affordability is a major priority, this set is a good buy. The pots and pans included are practical for most common uses, and especially group cooking.
Ceramic cookware isn’t known for durability, and the T-fal Initiatives collection is no exception. Even so, it will get you down the road and help you learn the practicalities of what you do and don’t like in ceramic nonstick coating without breaking the bank.
Other Ceramic Cookware Worth Considering
If T-fal doesn’t sound like exactly what you’re looking for, here are a few alternative ceramic cookware sets you might consider,
- Cookware set includes: 4” mini frying pan, 7” and 9.5” frying pans, 1 quart and 2 quart saucepans with lids, 5 quart stock pot with lid, 2.5 quart saute pan with lid, 7” stainless steel steamer, and 4 kitchen utensils
- Our healthy and easy-to-clean ceramic nonstick coating is derived from sand and free of PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium for effortless cooking and quick cleanup
- Soft Grip Bakelite handles are designed to stay cool on the stovetop for maximum comfort
If you are hoping to add some color to your kitchen, GreenLife makes a good medium heat pan at an affordable price. The collection comes in 7 colorways, each with a soft grip Bakelite handle. The white pan bottom adds contrast between pan and food that can come in handy, especially when cooking in a dim kitchen. The sticker price is similar to T-fal.
DaTerra Cucina makes one of the most durable nonstick pans we reviewed. Pricing is generally more expensive than T-fal and most bargain ceramic cookware, but the performance and durability is far superior. We like the 13” Vesuvio frying pan by DaTerra Cucina for families with many mouths to feed. Unfortunately, they don’t sell their cookware collection as a bundle so you will have to add each pot and pan to your cart individually.
If you are looking for an entry-level cookware set, or hoping to stock a new kitchen without breaking the bank then T-fal Initiatives may be a great fit. The pans do a great job for the price, but aren’t very durable.
If you are passionate about building an awesome kitchen, and have some experience to know what you like and don’t like in a ceramic pan, then we recommend upgrading to a higher durability product like Scanpan Professional. A small bump in budget can add significant performance and durability to your pan.
T-fal Initiatives is among the best options for affordability oriented ceramic nonstick cookware. Unlike some other brands, the selection of pots and pans in this collection is highly practical. If you are cooking regularly, there shouldn’t be any extraneous items included that you don’t use.