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Tramontina Cookware Review: Tri-Ply Clad Stainless Steel

By trk

Last Updated: April 24, 2023

Tramontina makes several lines of stainless steel cookware. This review is for their Tri-Ply Clad line, also called Gourmet Tri-Ply Clad. This is Tramontina's All-Clad D3 knockoff and closest to All-Clad in design and heating performance. It is their highest-performing line of clad stainless steel.

We look at the features of Tri-Ply Clad, including heating, durability, safety and stability, budget, warranty, pros and cons, buying sets vs. individal pieces, and more. We also look at how Tri-Ply Clad actually compares to All-Clad D3 (plus features to consider when buying clad stainless steel cookware).

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Cookware Summary

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad is good quality cookware at an affordable price. It's the best All-Clad D3 knock-off on the market. 

See Tramontina Tri-Ply cookware on Amazon now

See tramontina Tri-Ply cookware at wal-Mart.com now

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Cookware Sets at a Glance

These are the Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad sets sold in the US. 

Open stock pieces are also available. See this Amazon page or see Tramontina cookware at Wal-Mart.com.

We look mostly at sets in this review because clad stainless is the best material for sets. The information applies to all Tri-Ply Clad pieces.

Tramontina makes cookware in China and Brazil. We discuss the differences below in the section Chinese Vs. Brazilian Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad. (Hint: the main one is glass lids vs. stainless lids.)  

Our favorite and recommended sets are the 12- and 14-piece Chinese sets. They have larger skillets than the other sets (10"/12") and better all-around pieces. Unfortunately, they now have glass lids, which are less durable than steel lids, but they're great sets nevertheless.

NOTE: Table may not be visible in mobile view.



TRK Rating/


Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Made in Brazil

Tramontina Gourmet 18/10 Stainless Tri-Ply Clad Cookware Set (made in Brazil)

80116/247DS (8 pc, about $360)

80116/248DS (10 pc, about $320)

80116/249DS (12pc, about $340)

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless 12 pc set (Brazil)

8 pc:

2 skillets: 8"-10"

2 sauce pans: 2qt-3qt w/lids

5qt Dutch oven

10 pc:

2 skillets: 8"-10",

2 sauce pans: 1.5qt-3qt w/lids

6qt stock pot w/lid

3qt braiser w/lid

12 pc:

2 skillets: 8"-10",

3 sauce pans: 1.5qt - 2qt - 3qt w/lids,

5qt deep sauté pan, 8-qt stock pot.

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Made in China

8 pc. Tramontina 80116/544DS Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Clad Cookware Set 

About $140

Tramontina TriPly Clad 8pc set China

2 skillets: 8"/10"

2 sauce pans: 2qt/3qt w/lids

5 qt Dutch oven w/lid.

See all sets on Amazon

See all Tri-Ply Clad at Wal-Mart

2 small skillets, otherwise a decent starter set.

10 pc. Tramontina 80116/566DS Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Clad Cookware Set
About $210

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad 10pc set China 2

2 skillets: 8"/10",

2 sauce pans: 1.5qt/3qt with lids,

8qt stock pot w/lid,

3 qt sauté pan w/lid. 


See all Tri-Ply Clad at Wal-Mart

Nice sauté pan, stock pot, and sauce pans, standard skillets, glass lids.

12 pc. Tramontina 80116/567DS Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Clad Cookware Set 

About $240

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad 12pc set China 2

-2 skillets: 10", 12"

-2 sauce pans: 1.5, 3qt w/lids

-5qt sauté pan w/lid

-5qt Dutch oven w/lid

-12 qt stock pot w/stnls. lid or 8qt w/glass lid.


See all Tri-Ply Clad at Wal-Mart

2 big skillets plus good sauce pans and stock pot, glass lids.


14 pc. Tramontina 80116/568DS Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Clad Cookware Set

About $300

3 skillets: 8"/10"/12"

2 sauce pans: 2qt/3qt w/lids

5 qt saute pan w/lid 

5qt Dutch oven

8qt stock pot w/lid and pasta insert.


See all Tri-Ply Clad at Wal-Mart

2 big skillets plus good sauce pans and stock pot w/pasta insert, glass lids.

Recommended if you want the pasta insert. Otherwise, get the 12pc set.

If you can't see the table, our recommendation is the 12 piece set from WalMart. It has the best pieces, including a 10" and 12" skillet, a 5 qt. sauté pan, and a 12 qt. stock pot, and 1.5 qt. and 3 qt. sauce pans. The 14 piece set is also good if you also want a pasta insert for just a little more. The smaller sets don't have 8" and 10" skillets and smaller sauté pans and stock pots, but if you want smaller pieces these are also excellent deals. We recommend buying from WalMart because the prices are better than on Amazon (unless you find a good sale going on--so always check both stores.)

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About Tramontina

Tramontina is a Brazilian company that makes cookware, utensils, mixing bowls, induction burners, and other kitchen items. They are best known in the US for their knives and their cookware.

Tramontina was founded in 1911. It is privately owned and currently has somewhere around 7,000 employees. They have several factories around the world. Their cookware is manufactured in China, Brazil, and the US. Most of the Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad stainless cookware sold in the US is made in China and Brazil.

Tramontina has several lines of cookware, including nonstick aluminum cookware, ceramic nonstick, enameled cast iron, and clad stainless steel (disc- and full-cladding). This review is for the Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad cookware line only.

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What Is Clad Cookware?

Cladding is the process that bonds different types of metals together. For cookware, this usually stainless steel and aluminum but can also include copper.

Cladding was patented by John Ulam, who went on to found All-Clad--the original clad cookware--around 1970. If you want to read more about cladding, see the Wikipedia entry for All-Clad.

Why is clad cookware the best all-around choice for most cooks?

Stainless steel alone has terrible heating properties, but is durable and non-reactive. Aluminum by itself has excellent heating properties but is soft, scratches easily, and can leech into food. 

Cladding capitalizes on the properties of both metals to produce what most people consider the best all-around cookware on the market: durable and non-reactive exterior with an aluminum heating core. 

Let's look at the different options for clad stainless cookware.

Tri-Ply Cladding

The most common configuration of cladding has three layers and is known as tri-ply or 3-ply: stainless-aluminum-stainless, as shown in this diagram for the Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad stainless line:

construction diagram: Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless Cookware: A Comprehensive Review

The magnetic stainless on the exterior makes the cookware induction-compatible.

Multiple Ply Cladding 

When All-Clad's patent on tri-ply clad stainless cookware expired in the early 2000s, two things happened. One was that hundreds of competitors began making tri-ply clad cookware (including Tramontina). The other is that All-Clad introduced new, multiple-clad products to the market in an effort to stay ahead of their competition.

Today you can find clad cookware with 4-, 5-, and even 7 plies, with alternating layers of stainless and aluminum (or, less often, copper, such as All-Clad Copper Core).

Many people assume that more plies equals better performance. However, more plies do not automatically improve the heating properties of clad stainless steel cookware. 

More important than the number of plies is the thickness of the heating core. That is, the thicker the total amount of aluminum (and/or copper), the better the heating properties are going to be. 

Looking at plies means nothing if you don't know how thick the heating core is. Multiple plies can mean more aluminum, as is the case with Demeyere Industry, which has a 2.1mm aluminum heating core (compare to 1.7mm of All-Clad D3 or Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad). But they can also mean the same or less aluminum, as is the case with All-Clad D5 (see our article All-Clad D5 Vs. Demeyere Industry 5 if you want more information).

Many brands of 3-ply clad stainless provides more than adequate heating properties. Our recommendations on this site will help you know which brands are best, as it can be hard information to find.

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad stainless steel cookware certainly fits the bill here, with a heating core roughly identical to All-Clad D3 (true for both the Chinese and Brazilian lines).

Full Cladding Vs. Disc Cladding

Some clad cookware has cladding just on the bottom: a tri-ply disc is bonded to stainless steel sides. This type of cookware is called "bottom-clad," "disc-clad,"  or "impact-bonded." You can tell a bottom-clad pot by the seam where the disc is welded to the pot: 

disc clad callout: Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless Cookware: A Comprehensive Review

Tramontina makes several lines of disc-clad cookware, including their Gourmet Prima, one of their most popular lines of cookware.

Bottom-clad cookware is typically less expensive because it's cheaper to make. In most cases it doesn't perform as well as fully clad cookware. The abrupt break where the disc meets the sides of the pan causes heat to simply stop transferring; this is called "thermal discontinuity."

This is not what you want in a skillet, which uses the sloped sides to aid in cooking food. However, in the case of sauce pans, stock pots, and Dutch ovens, bottom cladding isn't a huge drawback--these pots are typically used for liquids, which create their own convective currents and are less reliant on the pan itself to spread heat. 

What about sauté pans, which many people use as a skillet? It really depends on your cooking style and how you'll use the pan. If you use a sauté pan like a skillet (as many people do), you'll prefer one that's fully clad. If you use it more for poaching and braising, you can get away with disc cladding. 

saute pan: Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless Cookware: A Comprehensive Review

The upshot? If you don't care about a matching set, you can save a few bucks by buying disc-bottomed sauce pans, stock pots, and possibly sauté pans, and put that money toward a high-end fully clad skillet. 

If you think you've come across a stupendous deal on clad cookware, make sure it's not disc-clad. Disc-clad cookware is usually cheaper than fully clad cookware, and the difference isn't always apparent if you're not looking for it. 

Bottom-clad sauce pans, stock pots, and Dutch ovens are fine because they're primarily used for liquids, which spread heat evenly through natural convection. But don't skimp on your skillet! You should buy the best skillet you can afford, always with full cladding. (Same goes for a saucier, a less common pan with curved sides for whisking/reducing sauces.)

While there are excellent brands of disc-clad cookware, you probably aren't going to find fabulous deals on them. They tend to be expensive (e.g., Demeyere Atlantis, Fissler, and Sitram).

Tramontina makes several lines of disc-clad stainless cookware, so be careful you're buying what you want. All of the Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad line of cookware we recommend in this review is fully clad.

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How Does Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Compare to All-Clad D3? A Buyer's Guide to Clad Stainless Cookware

All-Clad introduced clad cookware to the world, and it is still the brand against which all other brands are measured. A few brands are better (e.g., Demeyere), most are worse, and a few are very close--so close that you almost can't tell the difference.

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad cookware is a brand that's very close to All-Clad D3 in construction and heating properties.

In comparing Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad to All-Clad D3, these are the factors we looked at:

  • Heating properties
  • Stability and Safety
  • Durability
  • Design (pan shape, handle shape, rims, weight, overall aesthetics)
  • Ease of Cleaning
  • Country of Origin.

We'll compare Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad stainless cookware to All-Clad tri-ply cookware (D3) in each category. 

These are also the features to consider when buying clad stainless cookware in general, so you can also use this section as a buyer's guide.

See our All-Clad Cookware Review

Heating Properties 

Heating properties are what make or break cookware. No heat source provides perfect heating, so there are always going to be hotter and cooler areas transferring to a pan. The pan's job is to even out the heat and spread it throughout the pan.

Cheap pans do a poor job of this. If you've ever used a pan where your food burns in some spots while it barely cooks in others, or your sauces bubble around the edges (where the heat is) while the interior just sits there and does nothing, then you know how frustrating bad cookware can be.

Good clad stainless cookware solves this problem to a large degree. 

As we said above, how well a tri-ply clad stainless pan spreads heat depends on the amount of aluminum in the heating core. Some manufacturers skimp by using thinner layers of aluminum. If this is the case, the pan won't spread heat evenly and rapidly. 

It's surprisingly easy to tell how well a pan will spread heat simply by its weight: cheap pans are lightweight and feel flimsy--also like they might warp easily--while better quality pans are heavy and have a solid feel.

So, what are we looking for, exactly, as far as weight and pan thickness? We look to All-Clad D3  (tri-ply) clad stainless for the industry standard: All-Clad D3 has a total wall thickness of about 2.6mm and an internal aluminum layer of 1.7mm. An All-Clad 12-inch tri-ply clad skillet weighs about 3.7 lbs. This provides enough aluminum for fast, even heating, enough stainless for a durable exterior, and yet not so much of either that the pan is unwieldy or hard to use.

A Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad stainless 12" skillet is also 2.6mm thick and weighs about 3.5 lbs. Testing shows that Tramontina pans heat slightly less evenly than All-Clad, but the performance is very close. All-Clad distributes heat a little more evenly, while Tramontina retains heat a little better. This indicates that All-Clad has slightly more aluminum and Tramontina has slightly more stainless steel. 

However, the differences are so small that you are unlikely to notice them in everyday use.

With All-Clad D3 costing so much more--more than twice as much in some cases--that's saying a lot.

See the Tramontina skillet at Wal-Mart.com

See the Tramontina skillet on amazon

Tramontina skillet: Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless Cookware: A Comprehensive Review

The All-Clad tri-ply 12" skillet weighs 3.7 lbs and has a wall thickness of 2.6mm. The Tramontina tri-ply 12" skillet weighs 3.45 lbs and has a wall thickness of 2.6mm. These near-identical measurements result in near-identical performance--with Tramontina a fraction of the cost.

Stability (Safety) 

Stability refers to how cookware reacts with food and other substances (e.g., air, water, cleaning solutions, etc). For example, aluminum is soft and can leech into food, and cast iron will react with acidic foods, tainting the flavor and leeching iron into the food (it's not toxic, but it affects the flavor). 

You want safe cookware that's stable and won't react with foods or the environment. (This should go without saying, but we want you to know that safety is a priority in all of our cookware recommendations.)

Most clad stainless cookware is made with an 18/10 stainless steel cooking surface, including Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad cookware. 18/10 is one of the least reactive and most corrosion resistant grades of stainless steel and one of the safest cookware materials available. It is extremely stable and non-reactive.

Some studies have shown that stainless steel can leach tiny amounts of chromium and nickel, but these are extremely small amounts, and not unsafe. If you want more information about safe cookware, see our article Safe Cookware: The Definitive Guide to Healthy, Non-Toxic Cookware.

All-Clad and Tramontina are going to provide similar safety and stability, if not identical.


Durability refers to cookware's ability to hold up to heavy use and last for decades. Stainless steel is one of the most durable materials used to make cookware. 

Not all stainless steel cookware is created equally. Chinese-made cookware in particular can sometimes be made with inferior grades of stainless steel which are more prone to rusting and corrosion. If the layers are too thin--as is the case with some inexpensive clad stainless cookware--they will be prone to warping, too. (To avoid warping, never preheat an empty pan on high heat or put a hot pan in cold water.) 

If you want to read more about this--why Chinese stainless steel can be inferior--check out this thread on Reddit. If you've ever wondered why some Chinese cookware is priced so low that it seems too good to be true, this will help to explain it.

Not all Chinese cookware is low quality. Tramontina uses high grade, 18/10 stainless steel on their cooking surfaces and high grade 18/0 stainless steel on the exterior for induction compatibility. And as we already said, they use thick enough layers to ensure their products will last, perform well, and resist warping. 

All-Clad and Tramontina are going to provide similar durability (if not identical). Some All-Clad knockoffs can get a reputation for warping because they're slightly thinner, but this is not the case with Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad

If you've ever wondered why some tri-ply stainless steel cookware is so much less expensive than other brands, it's in the quality and the amounts of steel and aluminum used. Chinese-made stainless steel cookware in particular can be made with inferior stainless steel.

Not all Chinese-made cookware is poor quality; some of it is very good. Tramontina uses 18/10 stainless steel on the interior and 18/0 stainless steel on the exterior of a quality similar to All-Clad. 


Design is about overall usability and aesthetics. Is the cookware easy to use? Is it attractive? We look at handles, lids, rims, pan shape, weight, and overall aesthetics.

Many elements of design are subjective--basically meaning that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But there are some design elements that make cookware better and easier to use than its competitors. Some of the design elements we think are important are the overall aesthetics, lids, rims, and ease of cleaning.


Handles are a big deal in cookware. They can make the difference between a pan being easy to handle or awkward--and even dangerous--to handle. 

A lot of people dislike the handles on All-Clad tri-ply; they say the U-shaped groove cuts into their hands and is uncomfortable to use. It looks like this: 

All Clad D3 handle closeup: Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless Cookware: A Comprehensive Review

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad cookware handles are very different. They're hollow stainless, which keeps them cool, and they're a roundish shape that most people like. In fact, Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad handles tend to get higher marks from most users and reviewers than All-Clad tri-ply handles.

The handles are also forked where they attach to the pan. This means air flows through the handle near the burner, aiding in keeping the handle cool:

Tramontina Triply Clad handle closeup: Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless Cookware: A Comprehensive Review

The short handles--such as those on stock pots--and lid handles aren't quite as critical, but Tramontina has made them large enough for easy grasping, as shown here:

Tramontina Triply Clad lid closeup: Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless Cookware: A Comprehensive Review


Many lower-cost tri-ply sets have glass lids instead of stainless lids. Many people prefer glass lids but we recommend stainless. Glass lids are heavier, they break more easily, and they're only good up to 300F in the oven (stainless lids are good up to 500F). And since glass lids are a way manufacturers cut corners, they're also an indication that the pans themselves might be lower quality.

All-Clad and Brazilian Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad have stainless steel lids. Unfortunately, the Chinese Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad has glass lids.

This puts us in a bit of a bind about our recommendations because we prefer the pieces in some of the Chinese sets (12 piece in particular), but prefer stainless steel lids.

The price difference is significant, as well, so if you want to save some money and don't mind the glass lids, go with a Chinese set (the quality is otherwise identical).


Some cookware has curved rims/lips for easy pouring. This is a nice feature because it reduces drips.  

The Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad skillet has a lip, but the rest of the pieces have straight sides. 

Here you can see that the skillet has a lip, while the sauce pan does not:

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless skillet
Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless sauce pan

This is a small issue, but we know it matters to some buyers.

All-Clad D3 has the same: a rimmed skillet, but all the other pieces have straight sides.

Other lines of All-Clad have rims on all the pieces, so this design is not universal with all All-Clad.

Pan Shape

Pan shape is an important consideration, particularly for skillets.

Some skillets have long sides and a small flat cooking surface. Some skillets have steep sides and a larger flat cooking surface. Compare the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro skillet, left, to the Tramontina skillet, right:

Cuisinart Multiclad Pro skillet

Cuisinart Multiclad Pro skillet: fairly straight sides.

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless skillet

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad skillet: fairly steep sides.

The straighter sides of the Cuisinart MC Pro skillet make for more flat cooking surface. (We use Multiclad Pro because this is also a D3 knock-off that's very close in construction and performance to All-Clad D3.)

Most cooks want their skillets to have as much flat cooking surface as possible. This is our biggest complaint about Tri-Ply Clad: the skillets should have more flat cooking surface. However, if you compare to All-Clad D3, you can see that it's about the same:

All-Clad D3 skillet

All-Clad D3 skillet: fairly steep sides.

We recommend the 12-inch over the 10-inch no matter which brand you buy, but if you're going with the Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad cookware, we strongly recommend the 12-inch. You get a more usable amount of cooking surface in the 12-inch skillet (so the sloped sides are less of an issue).

Many people are concerned about the bottom of a skillet being domed in the middle, but most skillets are designed this way because they expand when heated, creating a completely flat cooking surface. If you buy good quality cookware, this shouldn't be an issue. 

As for other pans, most cooks generally prefer straight or slightly angled sides. Curves can make a pan harder to use and wash, and you definitely don't want a pot that has a smaller opening than base. 

We like the shapes of the Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad cookware. 


Weight is a tricky issue because you want heavy cookware, but if it's too heavy, you will find it hard to use. 

Our recommendation is to buy the heaviest cookware you can comfortably handle--which means different things to different cooks.

We recommend this because weight is, in general, an indication of quality: thicker, heavier cookware is going to provide more even heating than thinner, lighter cookware. It's also going to last longer and be more resistant to warping.

But not everyone wants super heavy cookware, no matter how great it is. All-Clad is designed to provide the best, most even heating in a fairly light package. There is better clad stainless cookware out there (Demeyere, we're looking at you), but All-Clad--and thus, Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad, which is as close to All-Clad D3 as you're going to find--is a marriage of light weight and great heating.

Overall Aesthetics

Is the cookware well made? Does it have a nice heft? Is it pretty? Is it easy to handle and store? Do you like the finish? (With clad stainless, the two finish options are polished or brushed; most is polished, including Tramontina.)

"Pretty" may not seem like a good gauge for something as utilitarian as cookware, but it's important. If you don't find your cookware aesthetically pleasing, it won't be a pleasure to use, which could mean the difference between enjoying your time in the kitchen or hating it. 

The prettiest cookware is often the best made, too. People have an intuitive eye for quality, so what you like is often going to be high quality. 

The Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad is beautiful cookware--every bit as beautiful as All-Clad. The polished finish, stainless lids (though the Chinese is switching to glass lids at a reduced price), handles, and overall shape is pleasing to the eye, and also a great indication of quality.

Ease of Cleaning

Compared to nonstick, no stainless cookware is going to get high marks for being easy to clean. Stainless steel can be sticky, especially if you don't use the right cooking technique. But it's durability makes it better cookware overall than nonstick.

Stainless steel cookware is finished with a polishing, and a high degree of polishing can aid in the ease of cleaning. This is another area where economy brands can take shortcuts to save money, so some less expensive brands can have minimal polishing.

However, this is not the case with Tramontina cookware. Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad stainless steel cookware is as highly polished and finished as All-Clad and other premium brands; some people believe the finish is even more polished than All-Clad stainless cookware.

You can see the high polish in this photo:

high polish: Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless Cookware: A Comprehensive Review

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad cookware is comparable to other stainless brands. including All-Clad, for ease of cleaning. 

Maybe most importantly, if you know how to use steel cookware, you can avoid much of the stickiness issue. Here's how: 

How to Cook with Stainless Steel (and Keep it Easy to Clean)

  • Heat pan, then add oil, then add food when the oil is hot (but not quite smoking). The hot oil creates a barrier that helps food to stick less.
  • Deglaze the pan with water, stock, or wine after removing the meat. This not only removes cooked on bits of food to make cleaning easier, but also makes a delicious sauce to serve with your meal.

There are other methods you can try, too:

Some people also swear by seasoning stainless cookware, much like you can make cast iron practically nonstick by seasoning. This article on Epicurious explains how. (We haven't tried it, so we can't say whether or not it actually works.)

You can also try the Leidenfrost Effect: if you add food to a pan when it's at exactly the right temperature, it won't stick--you don't even need to use butter or oil! It really works, but it requires some practice. Here's a video on the Leidenfrost Effect for more information.

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Why Is Tramontina Cookware So Much Less Expensive than All-Clad D3?

Cost is a major factor for most people when they buy cookware. We all want the best product we can afford, but we don't want to pay more than necessary.

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad stainless steel cookware is economically priced, and yet as we've already stated numerous times, its quality rivals that of All-Clad D3. 

How can this be, when All-Clad D3 cookware costs so much more? 

The main reason is that All-Clad D3 cookware is made in the USA, so production costs are higher. All-Clad has shipped many of their products overseas to cut costs, but their clad cookware is still made in the US.

It's an important part of the All-Clad prestige that it's made in the USA. People who buy All-Clad want an American-made product. 

You're probably also paying for the All-Clad reputation, which is excellent.

If you don't mind buying cookware made overseas, you can get better prices for cookware that's almost as good (if not as good) as American-made All-Clad.

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad/Gourmet Tri-Ply Clad certainly falls into this category.

And if you absolutely don't want Chinese-made cookware, Brazilian Tramontina is a good option (though the quality is the same).

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Chinese Vs. Brazilian Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad 12pc set China 2

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Chinese 12 piece set: glass lids.

Tramontina 12pc set Brazil

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Brazilian 12 piece set: stainless lids.

Up until a few years ago, the vast majority of Tramontina stainless tri-ply cookware sold in the US was made in China. This has changed, and we're not sure why. You can now find both Chinese and Brazilian Tramontina cookware on Amazon and at Wal-Mart, as well as at other retailers.

Both Chinese and Brazilian Tramontina stainless cookware are induction compatible, made from 18/10 stainless, NSF certified, and come with a lifetime warranty (which Tramontina seems happy to honor by most accounts). The Brazilian cookware costs more, but that may have to do with production costs--it probably costs less to make cookware in China. 

The biggest difference between the Chinese and Brazilian Tramontina is the lids: Chinese Tramontina has glass lids, and Brazilian Tramontina has stainless lids.

Also, the Brazilian Tramontina has "precision cast riveted" handles, which are not listed as a feature on the Chinese Tramontina. However, the Chinese pieces do have riveted handles, so this probably means little in terms of a quality difference. 

The other important difference is the pieces in the larger sets. The Chinese-made Tramontina 12-piece Tri-Ply Clad set offers the best mix of pieces--2 large skillets (10"/12"), 2 nice sauce pans, and a 12 quart stock pot vs. the 1 large skillet (8"/10"), 3 small sauce pans, and an 8 quart stock pot in the Brazilian 12 piece set. The 14-piece Chinese set also has these larger pieces. 

You can see more details about set pieces in the table at the beginning of this review or below in the reviews.

One great thing about the Chinese sets with glass lids is the price: they are significantly cheaper than the Brazilian sets.

Here's a comparison of the Brazilian Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad and the Chinese Tri-Ply Clad:






 18/10 Stainless

 Induction Compatible

 NSF Certified

 Lifetime Warranty

 Stainless Lids

(check individual pieces/sets to verify)

 Riveted Handles

 Premium Build Quality

 Precision Cast Riveted Handle

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Buying Sets Vs. Buying Individual Pieces

Since this review is primarily for cookware sets, and because sets are a good way to buy clad stainless steel cookware because it's so versatile, we thought a section on how to pick out sets would be helpful.

Advantages of Buying a Set

  • You'll get the best price-per-piece of cookware.
  • You get a lot of cookware at once--best option if you're just starting out and need a lot.
  • Matching cookware.

Disadvantages of Buying a Set

  • It's a bigger outlay of cash.
  • You probably won't get every piece you need (e.g., a roasting pan)
  • Conversely, you could get pieces you won't use (e.g., an 8" frying pan or 1-quart sauce pan).
  • All the pieces will be the same quality (and you may want to have a higher quality skillet and a lower quality--and therefore less expensive--stock pot, for example).

The Goal of Buying a Cookware Set

Your goal when buying a cookware set should be to get one with as many usable pieces as possible, and no unusable (filler) pieces.

A lot of cookware sets have "filler" pieces. That is, small pieces that are cheap to include but aren't all that useful. For example, if a set has two small sauce pans--1 qt. and 2 qt. for example--one of those is considered a filler piece. A set with a small and a medium-to-large sauce pan (3 qt. or larger) is much more versatile.

So even if a bigger set has a cheaper price per piece, so what? If you're not going to use certain pieces, they're not a bargain at any price. 

Sometimes you can't always know. You might think you'll use the 8-inch skillet, for example, but then find that it's really too small for much of anything, and you should have gone for the set with the 10-inch and 12-inch skillet. Or you might think an 8-quart stock pot sounds enormous, but you find that you really like to make (and freeze) large batches of soup or stock (meal prepping!), and the 8-quart is great for that.

One thing we love about the 12 piece Chinese Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad set is the two large skillets and 12 qt. stock pot. Pieces this large are hard to find in sets, and cost more to buy separately than smaller pieces--so by going with a set that has larger pieces, you'll not only get more use out of them, you'll save money when you do add to your collection with smaller pieces.

You're always going to need another piece or two, because no set has everything. But better to buy pieces you need separately than to have any pieces of cookware that you don't use. 

What to Look for in a Cookware Set

You know you're going to have to supplement the set with some individual pieces. For example, we've never seen a set that contains a roasting pan--and who doesn't need a roasting pan? 

So if you can't get everything, then what should you get? What's the best mix? 

Here's what to look for in a cookware set.

Pan Types

Make sure that you'll use all the pans in a set. Do you really need two skillets and a sauté pan? (Hint: it's best if they're all different sizes: a 3- or 4-quart sauté pan is roughly the same size as a 10-inch skillet, but with more flat cooking surface.)

Will you use that pasta insert? (If you own a colander or strainer, you don't really need it.)

And how many small sauce pans do you actually need? Does it make sense to get a 1.5 quart sauce pan and a 2 quart sauce pan? Wouldn't you rather have one small one and one quite a bit bigger? (You can't easily boil long pasta in anything smaller than 3 quarts.)

Make sure the set has a good mix of pan types that you will actually use

For more information on pan types, see our article Should I Buy a Skillet or a Sauté Pan (Or Both?)

Pan Sizes

We touched on this already, but look at the pan sizes, too.

When you're considering a cookware set, pay close attention to the sizes of the pieces in the set, especially the skillets, sauté pans, and sauce pans.

One of the biggest drawbacks with buying cookware sets is that the standard pan sizes are on the small side. This is true no matter what the price point: even expensive cookware brands tend to have too-small skillets so that when you're ready to supplement your set, you have to buy the bigger, more expensive 12-inch skillet (for example) instead of the smaller, less expensive 8-inch skillet. 

Most of the Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad stainless cookware sets, like other brands, have standard pieces like an 8-inch and a 10-inch skillet. If you're cooking for more than one person, the best all-around skillet size is really a 12-inch. A 12-inch skillet ensures that you've got plenty of flat cooking surface for pan frying.

And remember: you can always use a larger skillet for a smaller amount of food, but you can't use a smaller skillet for a larger amount of food.

Sets often come with two smallish sauce pans, too. The Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad 12-piece Brazilian cookware set comes with two small sauce pans, yikes. What's small? 1-quart, 1.5-quart, and 2-quart are all considered small.

3-quarts is a more usable size. So, a good mix of sauce pans would be a 1.5-quart and a 3-quart, or a 2-quart and  a 3-quart. A set shouldn't have a 1.5-quart and a 2-quart; they're too close in size (and both small--too small to boil pasta in, for example). 

When sets have two or more smallish pieces, these are called filler pieces. That is, you get a lot of pieces so it sounds like a great deal, but the truth is that you don't need a 1.5-qt and a 2-qt. sauce pan. One of these is a filler piece.

Always check the sizes of pans in a set. They may not be what you want or need.

Manufacturers like to put smaller, less expensive pieces in sets and make you supplement with the bigger pieces, which are not only more expensive, but also more usable for most people. 

As for the larger pieces in a set--e.g., Dutch oven and stock pot--what works for you depends a lot on your personal cooking style. You may get more use out of a 5-quart Dutch oven than an 8-quart stock pot, for example. But both of these are usable pieces that work for most people.

However, if you're really into bone broth or making and freezing big batches of soup or stew, a large stock pot is going to serve you better than a Dutch oven (e.g., 8 quarts or larger).

(And we recommend supplementing with an enameled cast iron Dutch oven, which is much better for braising than a clad stainless one. You don't have to buy le Creuset, but if you like to do braising, you should own an enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)

Once again: you probably won't get everything you need in one set--just be sure you get as many usable pieces as possible. For most people, this means that larger pieces are better. 

Tips for Buying a Cookware Set

  • When you're considering a cookware set, pay attention to the pan types AND sizes. A lot of cookware sets have filler pieces--that is, two small skillets or sauce pans instead of a small one and a large one. 
  • Don't buy a set with pieces you won't use. You're better off buying a smaller set and supplementing with new pieces as you know you need them than buying a large set full of pieces you don't need and won't use (again, filler pieces).
  • The Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad set with the best sized pieces is the Chinese 12-piece set. It has 2 large skillets, a 5-qt. sauté pan, and a 12-qt. stock pot. The Chinese 14-piece set has the same great pieces, plus a pasta insert. 

What Individual Pieces Will You Need After Buying a Set?

The answer to this question will depend on which set you choose and on your cooking style. 

Having said that, regardless which Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad cookware set you buy, you will almost certainly need:

roasting pan: Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless Cookware: A Comprehensive Review

For more information see our article The 5 Must Have Cookware Pieces Every Cook Needs (Plus a Few Nice Extras), plus our reviews of cast iron and carbon steel skillets.

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Tramontina Cookware Set Recommendations

All the Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad stainless cookware is comparable to All-Clad for safety, durability, design, and ease of cleaning. It ranks slightly below All-Clad for performance, and very much above All-Clad on price (most pieces and sets cost less than half what you'll pay for All-Clad D3). 

Most home chefs should be very happy with Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad cookware.  

All that's left, then, is getting the pieces you want. Here are our recommendations for Tramontina Tri-Ply sets.

TRK Favorite: Tramontina Tri-Ply Stainless 12-Piece Set (Chinese)

See the 12 piece set on Amazon (other set sizes at this link, too)

About $240 (or about $340 for the Brazilian 12pc set)

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad 12pc set China

Our favorite set from Tramontina is the Chinese 12-piece. It's hard to find any cookware set that doesn't have at least one or two filler pieces.

But every piece in this set is usable.

If you need a lot of cookware, this is the set to get. It has everything you need and nothing you don't.

This set includes:

-10" skillet

-12" skillet

-1.5 qt. sauce pan with lid

-3 qt. sauce pan with lid 

-5 qt. sauté pan with lid (roughly equivalent to having another 12-inch skillet but with more flat cooking surface)

-5-qt. Dutch oven with lid

-8 qt. stock pot with lid.

The two large skillets alone are more than a third of the price of this set (about $110) if purchased separately--and these are the right sizes for most kitchens. 

The 8-quart stock pot is an excellent piece that most cooks will get a lot of use out of.

The 5-quart sauté pan is also a really nice piece. You can use it like an extra skillet, or use it for poaching and braising. The lid will also fit the 12-inch skillet, so that saves you from having to buy an additional lid. (The Dutch oven lid fits the 10-inch skillet.)

You're going to be hard-pressed to find this many great pieces in any set. We don't normally recommend a 12-piece set because they inevitably have pieces you won't use. But this set is an exception. 

Tramontina offers: NSF certification, a lifetime warranty, induction compatibility, a mirror-finish, and performance very close to All-Clad. It's also oven and dishwasher safe.

Compare to Tramontina's other 12-piece sets: 

12 Piece Brazilian Set: (see it on Amazon for the best price) This set has smaller skillets for almost $100 more, but it also has an excellent 6 quart deep sauté pan and three sauce pans (1.5/2/3qt). Most people would consider one of the small sauce pans a filler piece, but it's still a decent set (and we love the stainless lids).

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless 12 pc set

Buy the Tramontina Chinese 12 piece set on amazon:

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Runner Up: Tramontina Tri-Ply Stainless 13 Piece or 14-Piece Set

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad 14pc set China 2

For about $20 more than the 12 piece set, you can get essentially the same set with an extra skillet and a pasta insert. The main difference is that the stock pot is smaller--8 quarts instead of 12. But otherwise this is a very nice set.

This 14 piece set includes:

-8" skillet

-10" skillet 

-12" skillet

-2 qt. sauce pan with lid

-3 qt. sauce pan with lid

-5 qt. deep sauté pan with lid (nice piece!)

-5 qt. Dutch oven with lid

-8 qt. stock pot with lid and pasta insert.

The 14 piece set really has no filler pieces, except maybe the 8-inch skillet. The biggest difference between this and the 12-piece set is the stock pot with pasta insert (also called a "3 piece multi-cooker"). 

If you buy the pasta insert separately, you will pay about $50--considerably more than the cost here. So if you have a need for all the other pieces, it's a great set at a fabulous price.

As with the 12 piece set, Tramontina offers: NSF certification, a lifetime warranty, induction compatibility, a mirror-finish, and performance very close to All-Clad. It's also oven and dishwasher safe. 

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad 14pc set China 2

Buy the Tramontina Chinese 14 piece set (and other sets):

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Best Smaller Set: Tramontina Tri-Ply Stainless 8-Piece Set (80116/544DS)

Tramontina TriPly Clad 8pc set China

If you're looking for a smaller set, the 8 piece set is a decent option. The Brazilian and Chinese sets have identical pieces in them, with the Brazilian set costing quite a bit more (though you do get stainless lids). 

This set includes:

8" skillet

10" skillet

2 quart sauce pan with lid

3 quart sauce pan with lid

5 quart Dutch oven, with lid.

It's a great basic set, though you will probably want a larger skillet at some point.

Remember that Tramontina offers NSF certification, a lifetime warranty, induction compatibility, a mirror-finish, and performance very close to All-Clad. It's also oven and dishwasher safe. 

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless 8 pc set

Buy the Tramontina 8 piece set at wal-mart:

Buy the Tramontina 8 piece set On amazon:

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10 Piece Tramontina Clad Tri-Ply Cookware Set 

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the Brazilian and the Chinese 10 Piece set (which we do not recommend, but included for comparison).

Brazilian 10 Piece Set (80116/248DS)

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless Brazilian 10 pc set

See the Brazilian 10 piece set on Amazon 

About $320

The Brazilian 10 piece set includes:

8" skillet

10" skillet

1.5 quart sauce pan w/lid

3 quart sauce w/lid

6qt stock pot w/lid

3qt braiser w/lid.

buy brazilian 10 pc set at amazon:

Chinese 10 Piece Set (80116/566DS)

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless Chinese 10 pc set

See the Chinese 10 piece set on Amazon

About $210

The Chinese 10 piece set includes:

8" skillet

10" skillet

1.5 quart sauce pan w/lid

3 quart sauce w/lid

8 quart stock pot w/lid

3 quart sauté pan w/lid.


Because of the two small skillet sizes, we don't like these sets as much as the 12 piece Chinese set. The 3 quart brasier in the Brazilian set is a nice piece that you can use instead of a Dutch oven, but 3 quarts is small--about the diameter of a 10-inch skillet with deeper sides. We prefer the 5qt Dutch oven in the 12 pc and 8 pc sets.

Same goes for the 3 quart sauté pan in the Chinese set: it's a nice piece, but on the small side. And with the long handle, you can't use it in the oven as easily as the brasier (or a Dutch oven). The stock pot is too deep for use as a Dutch oven.

So while we prefer the braiser that comes in the Brazilian set, is it really worth paying $80 more for? Especially considering the small skillet sizes? Probably not.

This is the dilemma with both of the Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad 10-piece sets: a mediocre mix of pieces and the price is not great. This is why we recommend the 12 piece or the 8 piece Chinese Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad stainless sets.

You may prefer different pieces: if you like the 8-inch skillet, then either of these sets are a good option.

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Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Open Stock Recommendations

If you want to buy pieces rather than a set, or want to supplement a set with a few more pieces, here are our recommendations.

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad 12-Inch Skillet

Tramontina Triply Clad stainless skillet

This skillet is durable and the price makes it well worth your consideration: highly polished stainless, induction compatible, lifetime warranty: everything you need in a piece of clad stainless steel cookware.

Tramontina Triply Clad stainless skillet

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Nonstick Skillet

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad nonstick skillet

Tramontina makes several nonstick skillets, and most of them get excellent customer ratings. We like this one because it has rivetless cooking surface, a nice shape, and a high grade, PFOA-free coating. (Which means it's PTFE, so if you don't want that, check out this ceramic nonstick skillet from Tramontina, which also gets excellent reviews).

This particular skillet isn't always available at Wal-Mart, but you can check out all of their Tramontina nonstick products by clicking here.

For nonstick skillets, we think a 10-inch is large enough, unless you're routinely cooking eggs for a crowd. 

For nonstick, we also recommend the inexpensive aluminum skillets rather than the clad stainless because the nonstick coating is going to wear off about 50x sooner than the clad stainless construction is going to wear out--so why pay clad stainless prices?

This Anolon Copper Nouvelle skillet also provides excellent quality at a surprisingly reasonable price. 

For more information, check out our article The Best Nonstick Skillet: Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy.

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad nonstick skillet

buy tramontina nonstick skillet now from amazon:

Tramontina Gourmet Prima Roasting Pan

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless roasting pan

Unless you're a vegetarian, you need a roasting pan, and preferably one large enough to fit a good-sized turkey. This Tramontina Gourmet Prima roasting pan is an excellent option. It has roomy handles--very important when you're grabbing the heavy pan from a hot oven. It's deeper than most roasting pans, which is great for a lot of reasons, and it comes with this great rack that also has roomy handles for getting that rib roast or chicken out of the pan easily, plus a smaller rack for smaller meats.

You can also choose from other size and depth options.

Tramontina Gourmet Prima is a line of disc-clad stainless cookware, but in the case of a roasting pan, it doesn't really matter.

We would prefer a roasting pan with no lip for slightly easier cleaning, but the price of this pan is hard to beat.


BUY TRAMONTINA roasting pan NOW FROM Wal-Mart:

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Drawbacks of Tramontina Clad Tri-Ply

While overall we really, really like Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad cookware, no cookware is perfect, and the Tramontina is no exception.

Here's what we don't like about the Tramontina stainless cookware overall:

  • Skillets have a smallish amount of flat cooking surface
  • Most sets have standard piece sizes, which means smallish skillets and sauce pans. The sets we recommend have larger pieces than most sets you'll find from any brand.

If you're on a budget, these drawbacks are small in comparison to the value and quality you get from the Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad stainless steel cookware.

Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Stainless Brazilian 10 pc set

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Final Thoughts on Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Cookware

We hope this review of Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad cookware was helpful.

For the price, Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad stainless steel cookware offers exceptional value. It performs almost as well as All-Clad tri-ply (the industry standard) while costing less than half the price, offers induction compatibility, a lifetime warranty, NSF certification, and a beautiful aesthetic.

The 12-piece Chinese set has two large skillets, but glass lids. The Brazilian sets all have two smaller skillets (8"/10"), but have stainless steel lids and are more expensive.

Wal-Mart often has better prices than Amazon on the Chinese pieces and sets, while Amazon usually has better prices than Wal-Mart on the Brazilian pieces and sets. 

Overall: We recommend Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad stainless steel cookware for value, looks, durability, and performance.

Thanks for reading!

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  1. It seems that only the Brazil made line with the stainless steel lids are showing NSF certified on Amazon now. All the other sets are not claiming NSF certification. Does this mean anything? Could the China made sets have lower quality standards?

    1. Hi Stephanie, we can’t say for sure, but it’s possible that because the Chinese Tramontina has glass lids, it is not NSF certifiable. But that’s just a guess. We’ll put the question to Tramontina and if they give us an answer, we’ll let you know.

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