Tramontina TriPly quality issue (scorching at the inner seam) -- has anyone seen this?
After reading rave reviews on various cooking sites, and hearing about a thumbs up from Cooks Illustrated, I decided to take the plunge and buy a set of Tramontina TriPly cookware from Walmart.com. (Ended up going for the set because it had multiple items that I wanted to add to or replace from my current collection, including their nice 12qt stockpot.)
After getting the set I was very excited. The build quality wasn't quite at All-Clad levels (a few superficial nicks/scratches), but I wasn't concerned. They were heavy and looked like they'd last a long time.
Needless to say I was shocked when my wife used the 2qt pot to boil some water (pot 2/3 full, medium-high heat), and it ended up with a bunch of odd looking scorch marks emanating from what appeared to be perforations along the inner seam (between the bottom piece of SS and the more highly-polished side piece). The whole point of SS TriPly is that you have a single smooth surface of SS that can be easily cleaned, etc. But these scorch marks show that on a Tramontina, this isn't a single surface, but two surfaces joined by a seam that apparently begins to fail after boiling water a single time.
This is the NFS rated Tramontina TriPly, made in China. (The full TriPly, not the cheaper line with the disk in the bottom.)
Needless to say I'm pretty bummed out. For point of reference, I have a Calphalon TriPly saute pan that has received heavy abuse for 7 years, and always cleans up beautifully with a little barkeepers friend. I've never seen anything remotely like this with the Calphalon. I also did a lot of searches online to see if other people were discussing this, and couldn't find anything, which leaves me confused. How can everyone else have such a great experience with Tramontina when my pot did this on the first time use?
Has anyone seen anything like this before?
Based on the second picture, it appears there's a seam - connecting the bottom of the pot to the sides - visible from the interior of the pan? I don't have these pans, and never heard of such a thing. I'm sorry I can't help, but I'm also curious to hear of others with this problem or their advise.
Sorry to hear about your experience.
There is no easily discernable seam in the pot; the dark ring you mention in the picture is a reflection in the curve of the metal (odd that it goes all the way around in the picture). The reason I call it a seam is that it's the only explanation I can think of for why these scorch marks seem to emanate from tiny pockets that run in a ring above the bottom of the pan. Why else would there be these holes opening up in a perfect ring? Maybe there's a reason I haven't thought of ... perhaps the aluminum has burrs or imperfections at these points that make the SS thinner there which causes hot spots.
I have the Calphalon Triply too, and have never see this. I don't know about everyone vs you, but you should return this set.
I bought Tramontina tri-ply pots and pans, probably about a year ago. I've had no problems. I just looked inside the 5 qt. pot with a flashlight and don't see a seam.
I'd return that unit for a replacement, based on my experience with the product. I use these pots and pans every day. I boil water on high heat sometimes. I can't compare to other high end cookware, but they seem to heat evenly, retain heat well and clean up beautifully. You may not feel that you can trust this company, but manufacturing defects happen, and this seems like an isolated example. Maybe, if you contact the manufacturer they can tell you exactly what caused the problem, and if they care about their reputation they will want to know about and make good on a defective item. You're lucky this happened on the first use. I've had these from 12/2011. I'd be pretty unhappy if they failed this way after 13 months, or ever for that matter, but it would be hard to get restitution at some point. At least you won't have a problem with that aspect.
The "scorch" marks look like they are emanating from minute cracks in the lining. Their orientation (parallel with the pan's floor) and location (just above the radius) would indicate that these are stress cracks formed when the pan was stamped. This pattern and location would be *exactly where I would expect the mechanical stress of forming would be the greatest.
You should take these back (all of them), exchange them for a different set. My bet is this was a CQC issue, not an endemic problem.
:: How can everyone else have such a great experience with Tramontina when my pot did this on the first time use? ::
Because you were unfortunate enough to get a defective item. You should return it for a replacement (but first boil-test each of the other pieces, starting with the stock pot).
As kaleo says, fully clad tri-ply cookware is stamped from sheets of the three-layer metal. There are going to be failures; if things are working as they should, most of those will be pulled off the line before being boxed for sale. A few will sneak through; that's what replacement/refunds are for.
Makes sense when you watch the video of the Falk pans being stamped/pressed -- the deeper the pot, the more likely the metal stress.
A stock pot seems like a good situation for tin-lined copper, anyway -- there's not much utensil use other than skimming, and stock's not highly acidic.
I purchased from Walmart Tri Ply Clad NSF Tramontina cookware over a year ago. The edges have become sharp as knives since the aluminum in the middle of the triply has become eroded to the point that the exterior edge is as sharp as a kife and the interior edge is as sharp as a knife all around the diameter of the pans. I purchased both the 8 piece and 10 piece tri ply clad as well as several other open stock items. I have cut my hands and arms several times on these pieces. The review I posted on the Walmart website regarding this issue was deleted by Walmart and I have contacted the Tramontina company who did not seem to care. I regret my purchase and would never purchase any Tramontina product again.
I hope you sent this pan back to Tramontina. Their products have a lifetime warranty for any defects in materials and manufacturing. My new 3qt sause pan made by Tramontina had few small sharp chips around the top edge of the pan. As the chips are small my hubby said they probably where miss during quality control. I call Tramontina they are replaced the pan. They sent me a label for shipping.
Tramontina stands behind their product.
I love my Tramontina tri-ply clad set.
I did eventually send them back and get replacements. The new pots have been fine. I still love the set -- it's a great value. It's too bad that their QC isn't more careful. It sounds from this thread that I'm not the only one who's been bitten by bad pans slipping through their testing.
Others on this thread have noted that the way these pans are stamped, there can be failures. I'm sure this is true, but it seems to me like these types of defects could be caught ... you don't see these kinds of complaints online about All Clad or Calphalon Tri-Ply, even though I'm sure they have similar manufacturing constraints. Having shoddy QC, and doing all these free replacements, can't possibly be helping Tramontina keep their costs down.
Griping aside, I still recommend this set to others. You can't beat the value. It's amazing to me that a company that must have very small margins is able to have such good customer service in terms of replacing items that customers aren't happy with.