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T-fal Natura is the new nonstick on the block. Instead of Teflon that T-Fal is known for, they have now incorporated the granite nonstick coating. It uses a ceramic base design that is PFOA free and supposedly more healthy than traditional Teflon. Nonstick coating aside, perhaps the best thing about this pan is its cast aluminum construction. On amazon, its one of the best sellers. But once you dive deeper into it, you will see some issues start to arise.
What is T-fal Natura?
T-fal Natura is T Fal attempt to capture the Granite Stone market. Because of growing fears of teflon, the granite stone cookware is gaining popularity. These pans resembles a rock like pan with a pebbly texture. However, at its core, its basically another ceramic nonstick pan.
The handle uses a wood design much like its competitors. This ensures that the handle stays cool to the touch during use. However, this also means that it has a limited oven safe temperature.
What is Cast Aluminum
One of the selling points of the T-fal Natura is its cast aluminum design. Cast Aluminum is superior to the standard stamped pan. Instead of the pan being stamped out via a hydraulic press. Cast Aluminum is “Casted” based on the mold. Molten hot aluminum is poured into a mold and gets its shape from this design.
Cast Aluminum cookware tend to be made of a higher grade. Since the thickness isn’t as limited, manufacturer can make the pan beefier. This lets then pan store more heat and perform better than your standard pan.
What is even better about the pan is its induction base. Since standard aluminum has a weak magnetic pull, it wont work on induction stove top. Manufacturer got around this by adding a stainless steel base. What this does is that it gives the pan extra heft. That extra heft means that it can sear better giving your food more flavor. Lighter pans cause food to steam instead of caramelize.
T-fal Natura Nonstick Performance
The weakest point of T-fal Natura is its nonstick performance. When compare to the traditional T-Fal, its not as good. With Teflon, the life span usually last 2-3 years. But with T-fal Natura, you can expect 6-12 months. This is because ceramic nonstick lacks ductility. As the pan expand and contract, tiny fissures/cracks form. When this happens, the nonstick performance starts to fade. This issue isnt present when you first get the pan.
Cleaning and Care
With this pan, I recommend that you always hand wash it. Even if the manufacturer say its compatible, you generally get a longer lifespan from a hand washed pan. The heat cycle and the water can damage both the coating and the wooden handle.
When washing by hand, always use the soft side of the sponge. Even though the nylon coating is gentler than metal, it can still damage it.
Is T-fal Natura Safe and PFOA Free?
Compare to your standard teflon pan, yes its safe. It does not use the PFOA chemical in manufacturing. Hence, there is no chance in getting in your food. Another thing is that since it does not use teflon, you wont experience teflon flu if you accidentally over heat it.
With that being said, these issues arent as common on normal teflon pan. As long as you dont heat the pan dry, the chance of overheating it is slim. Also PFOA is only used during manufacturing. Its rare for it to end up in your pan.
Is T-fal Natura any Good?
I think T-fal Natura is a pretty decent pan. The construction is beefier and sear better than your standard pan. The only downside is its nonstick coating. Its simply not as durable. if anything, you can use this pan as training pan for stainless steel cookware. Once you learn how to cook with stainless steel, you will reach for nonstick cookware less.
Looking for Stainless Steel? Check out our article on the Best Stainless Steel Cookware.