Behold the Robert Welch Campden 3-Piece Saucepan Set review, reduced to just one sentence. These well-made, effortlessly stylish pans are the kind of gift that lasts a lifetime, including if it's a gift to yourself.
Looking for a swish set of stainless steel pans for your glorious gas or multi-zone induction hob? This striking homegrown three-piece from Robert Welch should be just the product you’re yearning for. Expect to see these in our guide to the best saucepan sets for some years to come…
Robert Welch Campden 3-Piece Saucepan Set: price and availability
This set costs £170 at Robert Welch's own online emporium and is available worldwide with the exception of Brazil and Russia.
Robert Welch Campden Saucepan Set: Design and build
Stainless steel is the material of choice for most pro chefs, partly because it lasts for years and the temperature in the pan is very evenly distributed across the entire base. Moreover, stainless steel is especially good at producing the Maillard reaction, where the proteins in food turn brown when introduced to a high temperatures. Of course, another major bonus is that they are just so aesthetically pleasing to look at as well as to use. Many reasons, then, why you see so much stainless steel cookware on TV programmes like Master Chef and Great British Menu.
These stylish pans are suitable for use on any heat source, whether it’s induction, gas, ceramic, halogen or an Aga-style hot plate. Constructed from high-quality 18/10 stainless steel, they come in three sizes – 1.38-litres, 2.2L and 3.2L – and one of the best things about them is that they’re generally taller and narrower than many other saucepans of similar capacity. This means they don’t take up much space on the hob and are easier to store in the cupboard.
The fact that there’s less surface area on the Campden pan doesn’t affect the heating of the food because the base is comprised of a core of copper sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel (you can clearly see the vein of copper if held at an angle). Hence the Campden pans heat up really quickly and the heat is distributed evenly across the entire base. This in turn leads to less stirring, far fewer boil overs and hardly any burning, unless of course your hob is the temperature of the sun.
The stainless steel lids are beautifully styled, too, and they fit like the proverbial glove with absolutely zero wobble. No, there aren’t any holes in the lids for steam to escape but if your hob temperature is set correctly, you shouldn’t have any issues of rice water or sauces boiling over. And if you do, simply slide the lid a few centimetres to the side or use the old wooden spoon trick – simply lay the spoon across the lip of the pan with the lid off. The whole package is topped off with a long elegant stainless steel handle that remains cool to the touch as long as your gas flame isn’t licking over the sides.
Robert Welch Campden Saucepan Set: Performance
The first thing you notice with these pans is how quickly they heat the ingredients. In fact we were gobsmacked at how fast they boiled water. Aside for the sight of all that stainless steel loveliness, cooking with these pans is a joy and really easy to do as long as you don’t whack the temperatures up too much. You will probably find you don’t have to be as attentive when using these pans either, because everything is cooked so evenly and with fewer stirring sessions to boot.
Be mindful that the exterior surface of stainless steel pans can be easily tarnished, especially if used on a gas hob where the flames are breaching the sides, so stick to the number one chef rule and don’t stick your pan on a blazing flame in the first place. Less is more. If the interior becomes stained in anyway or small spots appear on the inside base, Robert Welch advises applying white vinegar with a soft cloth and a thorough scrub.
This writer and his expert cooking partner really rate these pans – we especially love their tall but narrow stature. In our tests, they heated up phenomenally quickly, didn’t take up too much meal estate on the hob and they were easy to control.
Almost equally important, they also stacked easily and without taking up too much space.
Robert Welch Campden Saucepan Set: Verdict
Granted, these stainless steel pans aren’t cheap but the workmanship is second to none, which is hardly surprising given that this writer hasn’t come across anything by Robert Welch that I didn’t like. It’s also nice to know that the Chipping Campden-based company is entirely family run. Should you buy a set? Well if cost isn’t an issue and you’re a discerning cook, then yes, absolutely. After all, not only do they perform superbly well, but they will last for years, too.