Range of sizes
Easy to clean
Passes the “egg test"
Unstable due to light weight
Handles loosen, requiring tightening
French cookware company T-fal created the first nonstick cookware more than 60 years ago, and nonstick products are still the focus of their offerings today. To see if these affordable pans lived up to the company’s reputation for innovation and performance, we tested the T-fal B363S3 Specialty Nonstick 3-Piece Fry Pan Set. We cooked eggs, veggies, and meats in these nonstick pans over several weeks, considering factors such as durability, performance, ease of cleaning, and heating. Did they deliver on the brand’s promise despite the attractive price tag? Read on to find out.
Design: A basic, branded look
The sides of these pans are shallow enough to make it easy to slide foods from pan to plate. The bases and rims are bare aluminum, so scratching isn’t a concern, and the bottom is stamped with the T-fal logo. While not as hefty as a metal handle, the offset plastic handles are ergonomic and embossed with the T-fal logo as well. Plastic also eliminates the risk of scorching your hands when you go to grab the handle.
This set certainly isn’t the most beautiful option on the market (you won’t be itching to display them anytime soon), but they’re practical and function just fine.
Material and Construction: Light, thin-gauge aluminum
These aluminum pans are extremely light, which is great for users who struggle with heavier products such as cast iron skillets. These pans won’t make as firm contact as heavier options if you have off-kilter electric burners, but the ribbed bases prevent any sliding, even when they’re off balance.
Unlike more scratch-resistant nonstick pans—including T-fal’s own professional series—these budget pans can’t tolerate being scraped with metal utensils and may not stand up to high heat. They’re only rated oven-safe up to 350 degrees, and the thinner aluminum may be prone to warping if you do a lot of high-heat cooking.
After a few weeks, the handles on the pans started to become loose, but we found that they can be easily tightened with a screwdriver.
Unlike more scratch-resistant nonstick pans, these budget pans can’t tolerate being scraped with metal utensils.
Nonstick Performance: Passes the “egg test”
You need a lot of grease to keep eggs from sticking in cast iron or stainless steel pans, but the T-fal pans produced picture-perfect eggs with minimal sticking using just a small amount of cooking oil. Similarly, we found that pancakes were easy to flip and required very little oil, too. Meats, such as sausages and bacon, and starchy veggies didn’t stick at all while we cooked. A reliable nonstick coating should be in T-fal’s wheelhouse since this is the brand that introduced the concept in the first place. And like all T-fal products, these skillets are certified as being free from perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA.
The T-fal pans produced picture-perfect eggs with minimal sticking using just a small amount of cooking oil.
Helpful Features: Preheat properly with Thermo-Spot
Like many of T-fal’s fry and saute pans, this set comes center-stamped with the brand’s unique Thermo-Spot indicator. When the darker red dots turn bright red—making the stamp one solid circle—the pan is preheated. While experienced chefs might find this gimmicky, novices can use the Thermo-Spot to avoid preheating too long, which can damage nonstick cookware.
The brand’s limited lifetime warranty will replace any defective pans in your set, but it won’t cover damages from misuse, such as warping from overheating or scratches to the nonstick coating.
Cleaning: No scrubbing required
All it takes to clean the T-fal Specialty Nonstick Fry Pans is warm, soapy water and a soft rag or sponge. A note of caution, though: Don’t use any metal tools or scrubbers on the pans or you could render the nonstick layer ineffective. Busy cooks will be glad to know that these skillets are also dishwasher-safe, allowing for even easier cleanup.
While experienced chefs might find the Thermo-Spot indicator gimmicky, novices can use it to avoid preheating too long, which can damage nonstick cookware.
Price: Totally reasonable
These pans do what you’d expect of nonstick cookware, and the price is reasonable for items you’ll eventually have to replace. However, if you want something longer lasting, you may want to look elsewhere.
T-fal B363S3 Specialty Nonstick Set vs. All-Clad Hard Anodized E785S264 Fry Pans
While the T-fal pans are a great budget choice, the All-Clad HA1 Nonstick 2 Pack Fry Pan Set, which comes complete with 8-inch and 10-inch skillets, has an edge in performance, construction, and coating. With sleek, stainless steel handles, they’re also easier on the eyes. However, the T-fal pans are a smarter choice if budget is your top criteria.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best nonstick pans.
Yes, buy it.
If you need new nonstick pans and cost is a major factor, start with this set of T-fal pans. They deliver classic nonstick performance from a decent brand at one of the lowest price points available. The pans aren’t made to last forever, but you can increase their lifespan by avoiding metal utensils and cleaning them with care.
- Product Name B363S3 Specialty Nonstick Nonstick 3-Piece Fry Pan Set
- Product Brand T-fal
- Price $29.99
- Weight 3 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 18.5 x 12.5 x 11.2 in.
- Color Black
- What’s Included 8-inch, 9.5-inch, and 11-inch fry pans
- Material Aluminum alloy
- Warranty Limited lifetime
- PFOA, Lead, and Cadmium-Free Yes