Tramontina Tri-Ply Lids Are Not Tight
I have a feeling this issue is not specific to this manufacturer, so not necessarily knocking the product but am looking for feedback.
I Just picked up 2 pieces from Wally World as I begin to wean myself off a 10yo nonstick set of cookware. Approx. 5qt Jumbo Cooker (Large Saute Pan) and 3qt Sauce Pan. The lids have a reasonable amount of weight and do a decent job of staying in place until pressure builds (eg. boiling water). The amount of steam that escapes out of the sides is fairly ridiculous at that point. I don't think these pieces are defective though, but designed that way. I did "handle" a few different brands of Stainless cookware in various stores before deciding on these pieces to begin with. I can't say that I noticed any manufacturer had tight fitting lids. I sort of assumed the weight of the lid would keep it in place.
I know I can turn down the burner and I know I can place a piece of foil between the pot and lid but is it too much to ask for a tight fitting lid? Is this the norm for Stainless cookware?
Sorry, but I just don't get it. If you put a lid on a pot of boiling water, steam will escape from the edges. Where else is it going to go? If the lid were so tight that the steam couldn't escape, the pressure would build up in the pot until the lid blew off and hit the ceiling. Also, even if the lid has a vent hole, steam will come out the sides if the water is boiling rapidly.
re: tanuki soup
"If the lid were so tight that the steam couldn't escape, the pressure would build up in the pot until the lid blew off and hit the ceiling." Exactly - that's why lids are designed to be a little loose. I recall a few years back that Magnalite lids were recalled specifically because they were too tight, and were blowing off.
DId a quick check on the CPSC web site, and I guess it was more than a "few" years ago. (As I get older, the years keep getting shorter. I don't get it.)
It doesn't mention any lawsuits (that would probably not be reported on the CPSC site), but there is mention of several burn injuries being reported.
How loose are we talking about? When the lids are put on the pots, do you see noticeable gaps? When you move the lids on the pots, is there a lot of movement? (a little movement is normal) If your answers to both of the questions are "no", then the lids are probably fine.
I have an entirely different set of criteria for lids. I don't mind if they aren't 'air-tight'. So I look for:
How well do they fit in the dishwasher.
How well they will fit in a 'plate rack' in my drawer
(Both of the above are concerned with how domed / flat the lids are)
Can they be turned upside down on the pan to help storage / stacking
If I put them outside on the balcony and it rains, does rain enter the pan.
(This is Canada - we have a really, really big fridge freezer outside for 3 months)
Do they fit in my drainage rack above the sink
Can they go in the oven
Will they sit slightly off-centre to stop things boiling over.
Are they easy to clean
Are the lids see-thru. If glass, to they have a protective edge.
Does the handle get 'too hot to handle'.
I often use the following (Stabil) lids for convenience for some of the above reasons:
If I recall from my Tramontina pots, the lids have a step, so the upper section covers the edges of the pot and the inner step provides some play, but keeps the lid from sliding sideways much.... the fit is fine for me - normal steam escaping, nothing out of the ordinary.. I think AC has the same sort of design. Maybe their lids are a bit heavier... so if you are worried about the Tramontina's, just throw something a bit heaver on top when you are braising..
I have a lot of all-clad and a lot of the tramontina tri-ply. I haven't noticed any discernible difference in the fit of the lids for either and while there is steam, it appears normal to me. Only you can determine whether you think you have simply bought one with a slight defect and maybe you can exchange just for peace of mind but as others have responded - no lid can be so tight as to completely prevent steam from escaping or it would present a much worse hazard!