Whether you’re boiling, braising or stewing, pans are at the heart of every kitchen. A nice, good quality set will allow you to cook more easily and effectively, but they can also look fabulous and add a dash of sparkle to your kitchen when you bring in materials such as stainless steel, ceramic or copper.
There are now saucepan sets to suit every budget and cooking style from cheap and cheerful to premium and professional, and because they’re available from a whole host of online retailers, it's never been easier to get a shiny new pan set delivered to your door. Check out our buying guide and picks from Amazon, John Lewis and Argos to help you find your match.
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As the bit that does the cooking, the actual pan is perhaps the most important part of your saucepan set. It’s vital, therefore, that you pick one made of a quality material that’ll cook reliably and stand the test of time. Iron, carbon, and steel, for example, will conduct heat effectively and distribute it evenly.
Not only does this ensure more even cooking, but it also prevents warping, which occurs when different parts of the pan heat and cool rapidly, and at different rates. Pans that have been made extra tough through the process of anodisation will also prevent scratching by kitchen utensils, ensuring that your pans look great and last for longer.
Unfortunately, a large portion of the materials used to make pans emit toxins when heated. It’s therefore worth looking out for pans made from non-toxic materials, such as stainless steel, cast iron, or ceramic.
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Once you’ve considered the perfect pan design and set size, the next step is to find one that’s compatible with your kitchen. Most pans are suitable for use with gas and ceramic hobs; induction hobs, however, are a little more particular.
Induction hobs work by creating a magnetic field between the pot and a set of magnetic coils, so they're only compatible with pans that contain ferromagnetic materials, such as iron or steel, within their base. Pans made entirely from materials such as copper or aluminium are, therefore, not fit for use with induction hobs.
A simple method of checking for the presence of ferromagnetic materials is to hold a magnet to the bottom of the prospective pan. Unfortunately, that’s not possible to do when shopping online, so instead, you can refer to the product description or to our top 10, where we’ve detailed the hob compatibility of every set we’ve featured.
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Browse through a selection of non-stick saucepan sets and you’ll notice that most consist of three differently-sized pans, usually measuring 16, 18, and 20 cm. The triple saucepan approach gives you enough pans that you can have several things cooking simultaneously, and enough variation that you can swap for a bigger or smaller pan depending on what you need it for.
Others include extra utensils and cookware, usually as part of a beginner or starter set. If you're kitting out a new home or aiming to replace most of what you've got, it may be worth seeking out one of these expanded sets. You’ll get several pieces of cookware, and usually at a lesser price than if you’d purchased it all separately.
Handles are for holding, and a well-designed one will enable you to keep your pan steady while remaining comfortable in your hands. Look for handles that are ergonomically-shaped to fit your hand or those covered in an easy-grip, soft-touch material such as silicone or rubber.
The other thing to consider is whether the handle will get hot during cooking. This will depend in part on the material – metal and wood handles are significantly more likely to conduct heat, for example – but also whether the manufacturer utilises specialist materials such as Prestige's 'cool touch' technology.
An oven glove will ensure that you remain safe while using any kind of cookware, but it’s always nice to know that you’ll never be in for a nasty surprise if you forget to wear it when you reach to take your pan off the stove.
The first step towards finding pans with practical, useful lids is to check whether the set actually comes with them included! Once you know that a set does include lids, there are a couple of things to look for that’ll help you tell a great pan lid from an average one.
Every pan lid requires some form of ventilation to allow steam to escape, and usually, this takes the form of a small hole. Others feature steam vents or even a series of holes in the side of the pan, both of which double as a straining system that allows you to pour water away without the need for a colander.
The other consideration is the material of the lid – whether the pan itself is aluminium, ceramic or steel, a glass lid will enable you to keep an eye on what's going on inside without taking it off.
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Transfer your pan from the hob to the oven and you can slow cook, brown the top, or keep food warm after cooking. It can then even be transferred to the table, ready for serving. Not only does this make things easier when using multiple cooking methods, but it also saves on washing up, too!
But, due to their coating, not every non-stick saucepan is safe for oven use, and many are only safe for use below a certain temperature, or for a set amount of time. Always check the product description to learn more about whether, and how, a set can be used in the oven.
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Style Hard-Anodised Aluminium Non-Stick Saucepan & Lid Set
Durable Non-stick Saucepans With a Lifetime Guarantee
Neverstick3 Professional Non-Stick Lidded Saucepan Set
Cook and Fry Without Any Oil or Butter
Innovative Technology and Materials Come Together to Make a Spectacular Saucepan Set
Toughened Non-Stick Saucepan & Lid Set
PFOA-Free Pans That Can Be Used With Metal Utensils
Ingenio Non-stick Induction Expertise Saucepan Set
Space-Saving Stackable Pans With Detachable Handle
Eco 3-Piece Saucepan Set
Plant a Tree With Every Purchase of This Eco-Friendly Set
8-Piece Non-Stick Cookware Set
A Complete Basic Set for Everyday Cooking
Copper Stone Pan Set with Lids
Three Pan Set That’s Suitable for Induction Hobs
Leo Non-Stick Saucepan Set
Energy Efficient Design for Faster Cooking
Essential Pots and Pans Set
An Affordable 5 Piece Set That’s Great for Beginners
The first thing that strikes when looking at this set of pans is their beautiful design and the unique, sleek, stylish unique D-shaped handles. They're strong and comfortable to hold, and the pans themselves are extremely durable while remaining lightweight.
Inside the pan, there's even heat distribution, and low circular grooves which provide superior food release. The metal handles do tend to conduct heat, but for everything else, this is a phenomenal set of pans that any chef would be proud to own. You'll even get a lifetime guarantee from John Lewis.
Aviation-grade anodised aluminium makes the Neverstick3 set the most durable so far from Easiglide – perfect for regular use by culinary professionals. The 'Neverstick' non-stick coating is incredible too, claiming that you can fry without any oil or butter at all.
You also get the fancy 'eazipour' straining lid that allows you to drain excess water without the need for a colander, which is super handy when you're busy in the kitchen. The metal handles may be a little difficult to grip for some, but otherwise, this is an incredible set.
You'll be instantly impressed when we tell you that this saucepan set gets its durability from a ceramic coating derived from sand and lined with diamonds! The result is a pan that's completely toxin-free, meaning no toxic fumes will be emitted, even when the pans are overheated.
You also get GreenPan's patented MAGNETO induction technology, which ensures even heat distribution, and non-slip ergonomic handles. Not a bad package for such a reasonable price!
Le Creuset are a premium brand, producing kitchenware of only the highest quality, and this pan set is no exception. Its innovative, three-layer, non-stick surface is PFOA-free and can easily endure the use of metal utensils – definitely a rarity when it comes to non-stick coatings.
The heat-resistant lids are great for retaining moisture and flavour, and will even allow you to check progress without them needing to be lifted. The handles, too, are designed to stay cool. The set comes at a hefty price, but if you're a kitchen connoisseur, they may just be worth it.
The most impressive thing about the Ingenio set is its ingenuity: its nesting design means up to 50% more cupboard space, and each pan doubles as an oven dish, meaning they can be transferred between hob, oven, and table.
Naturally, they include Tefal's signature thermospot technology; they don't, however, include lids, and the handles are not dishwasher or oven safe. It's a small price to pay for such a versatile set of pans, though.
This set of saucepans is perfect for those with a mind for the environment: their non-stick ability is granted by chemical-free glycerine, and they even come in FSC-certified recyclable packaging.
Prestige have even partnered with Tree Aid to ensure that a tree is planted for every one of their pans sold. The pans themselves are not oven-safe above 150°C, but add their cool-touch handles and excellent price point into the mix, and you've got a really impressive set.
Get into the habit of healthy home cooking with this nonstick cookware set from Amazon Basics! Everything you need to prepare healthy everyday meals is here, including sauce pans, fry pans, and casserole pans, giving you variety in your cooking too.
There's no need to use a lot of butter or oil due to the nonstick coating. Plus, this will prevent cooked food from sticking to the pan; instead, food is easily transferred to a serving platter or dinner plate for seamless presentation.
This set of copper pans looks so good that you'll have no hesitation in hanging them on your kitchen wall after you've used them on the stove. Their rustic-looking material is also extremely durable, meaning this set will last for years to come.
Unfortunately, the handles tend to get a little hot, and because of their shallow height, they're not suitable for deep frying. For the occasional bit of boiling or frying, however, this is a beautiful bit of kitchenware.
This set of pans from BergHOFF features phenolic soft-touch handles for a better, more comfortable grip, and a sophisticated PFOA-free non-stick coating to ensure you can cook at high heats without worrying about sticking.
You also get tempered glass lids, complete with silicone rims and steam vents that ensure that these pans use energy as efficiently as possible. They also allow you to pour excess water away without a colander. Unfortunately, the pans are not oven-safe, but for frying and boiling, this is a top notch set.
This amazing-value starter set also includes two frying pans, making it a great gift for students or those leaving home for the first time. It features Tefal's signature red thermospot indicators and durabase technology for efficient heat distribution.
They're a basic non-stick pan, meaning that they lack many of the more advanced features found in other pans on this list, and they won't last a lifetime. For beginners on a smaller budget, though, this is a great choice.
No. 1: Circulon｜Style Hard-Anodised Aluminium Non-Stick Saucepan & Lid Set
No. 2: Eaziglide｜Neverstick3 Professional Non-Stick Lidded Saucepan Set
No. 3: GreenPan｜Saucepan Set
No. 4: Le Creuset｜Toughened Non-Stick Saucepan & Lid Set
No. 5: Tefal｜Ingenio Non-stick Induction Expertise Saucepan Set
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