Best saucepan set 2023 with the best steel and non-stick pan sets

Stainless steel, hard anodised, non-stick, hybrid, copper look… what's the best saucepan set for you?

Best saucepan sets
(Image credit: Stellar)

If you're serious about cooking, having the best saucepan set in your kitchen is essential. No matter how experimental your cookery, you won't be able to advance your culinary skills if you only have one pan. The best saucepan set is also one of those fundamental life investments that people make, when moving out of the family home, getting married, moving onto the housing ladder, getting divorced and so on... buying a really expensive saucepan set can cheer you up and take your mind off things in a click of a button.

What we don't suggest is that you randomly buy the first saucepan set you see, just because it's cheap… there are so many reasons you might buy a saucepan set but it's an infrequent purchase so you want the best saucepans, not the cheapest.  

Remember when you moved out of home at your parents' insistence, and you got that cheap sh*t saucepan set made of aluminium covered in 'non-stick' that, with hindsight, you now realise was basically some paint? Well you don't want a pan set like that. You want one of these saucepan sets… The best saucepan sets.

If you can't imagine having a decent kitchen setup without the best quality cookware (we can't), have a look at the best Le Creuset deals

We also have a roundup of the best non-stick frying pans that won't peel after one or two uses. And, of course, the best chef's knives.

The best saucepan sets to buy, in order

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Stellar Stay Cool stainless steel 4-piece set on blue backgroundT3 Best Buy Award badge

(Image credit: Stellar)

1. Stellar Stay Cool Draining Saucepan Set Non-Stick

The classic mid-range pan brand serves up the perfect pan set

Specifications

Best for: Everyday cooking
Material: Stainless steel
Non Stick: 2 of the 4 pans have non-stick

Reasons to buy

+
Everything a household could need in one set
+
All 4 pans are real quality
+
'Stay Cool' handles do indeed 'stay cool'
+
Excellent glass lids seal well but also let you pour water out without needing a sieve

Reasons to avoid

-
The Stay Cool handles maybe don't look all that premium
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Not everyone wants a frying pan in a saucepan set

• In the UK the best price on this pan set is at Horwood (established 1896) (opens in new tab)

Okay, call off the search, I have found your perfect saucepan set. Or at least the best pan set if you don't want to spend some insane amount on overpriced, and yet oh-so-enticing, Le Creuset pans.

Stellar kindly sent me this sample and I must admit I was fairly sure I had never heard of Stellar. I'm perfectly happy with the set of pans I've used for the last 20+ years and had no need of an upgrade. My 20-year-old pans have gone everywhere with me and been battered and misused and dishwashed thousands of times.

I bought them from an offer in a Sunday newspaper the first time I felt like I had enough cash and they have endured brilliantly ever since.

So anyway, I got these new Stellar pans home and I really liked them, but how can you tell that a pan set you like today is going to still be pleasing you 5, 10, 15 years later? 

That aside, I liked them. Realistically this set has everything a first-homer or newly-wed or even a pan upgrader could want. You've got 2 stainless steel saucepans and a non-stick milk pan and frying pan. The quality of all of them is excellent and they all work with every type of hob.

The non-stick pans seems substantially covered in Teflon, or whatever non-stick stuff  it is that they use nowadays (please don't use them on a really high heat or dishwasher them too much; that's not what you do with non-stick pans).

The steel pans are great – good sizes, robust, handsome enough but not so you're worried about whacking them about. They're easy to clean and the lids are cunningly vented so you can drain water off without needing a colander or sieve.

All the pans heat up quickly and evenly, and the 'Stay Cool' handles do indeed 'stay cool'. You know how I know that? I clumsily set fire to one of the steel pans while attempting to boil sprouts – hey, I got distracted – and came back to find the pan literally glowing, it was that hot. But I could still lift it using the handle (okay, and an oven glove to be fair). Oh, and I still am using that pan, though it has changed colour a bit.

As I say, I was perfectly happy with my hardy, 20-year-old set of pans, but using these ones did pique my curiosity. I decided I would find out who the no-name brand was that I bought a pan set from 2 decades ago, by filling in a little form in a ripped-out newspaper page and posting it off along with a cheque.

(For younger readers, a newspaper was a bit like this website, but on something called 'paper' and a 'cheque' was 1990's answer to Bitcoin.)

It turned out those pans were made by Stellar.

So I think I can vouch for the longevity of this brand's pans. Stellar has approximately 4 billion pan sets (opens in new tab) to choose from and I seriously doubt you'll find a better set of saucepans for the prices they ask.

Robert Welch Campden 3-Piece Saucepan Set on blue backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Robert Welch)
The pinnacle of stainless steel saucepans

Specifications

Best for: Discerning cooksmiths
Material: Stainless steel
Non Stick: No

Reasons to buy

+
Good value
+
Good performance
+
Good looks

Reasons to avoid

-
Glass lids would have been better

These stylish pans from Robert Welch (opens in new tab) are made from high-quality 18/10 stainless steel, and are suitable for use on any heat source. The set includes three sizes – 1.38-litres, 2.2L and 3.2L. One of the best things about Campden pans is that they’re generally taller and narrower than other saucepans of similar capacity, so they take up less room on the hob and in your hard-pressed cupboards.

Heating is fast and uniform thanks to a core of copper sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel – you can actually  see the vein of copper if you hold a pan up at an angle. The stainless steel lids are beautifully styled, too, and fit perfectly, with absolutely zero wobble. If you want a top set of saucepans that will look as good as new after years of use, step right over here.

• Read our full Robert Welch Campden 3-piece saucepan set review

Circulon SteelShield Stainless Steel C-Series on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Circulon)
(opens in new tab)

3. Circulon SteelShield Nonstick Stainless Steel C-Series 3 Piece Saucepan Set

Best tech-laden saucepan set for competent home cooks

Specifications

Best for: Steel cookware fans
Material: Stainless steel
Non Stick: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning design
+
Intriguing stainless steel and nonstick mix
+
Excellent performance
+
Easy to clean

Reasons to avoid

-
Lids don’t stack
-
No steam holes in the lids
-
Expensive

If you like cooking with stainless steel but hate cleaning sticky pans, perhaps consider this high-end pan set from the house of Circulon (opens in new tab), purveyors of all types of mighty fine cookware. 

The induction-ready hybrid SteelShield range comprises both stainless steel and nonstick coatings in one easy-to-use pan that heats up quickly and stays uniformly hot across the entire pan base. Since nonstick coatings tend to wear away over time – especially if metal utensils are used – the Circulon SteelShield C Series addresses this issue with a circular mix of stainless steel and nonstick coating on the base of its pans, a total coating of nonstick on the pan’s interior sidewall and beautiful mirrored stainless steel for the exterior. The handle is stainless steel too and it feels lovely in the hand.

Heading above, there’s a glass-topped lid for each pan, replete with an attractive S-shaped steel handle that completes the aesthetics. However, these lids can’t be stacked on top off each other so storage could be a bit awkward. Also, there’s no steam hole in the lid which means you’ll need to keep an eye on things if boiling rice or pasta.

This pan set reaches temperature quickly and the heat is very evenly distributed across the entire base, which is what you want from stainless steel cookware. Whether a hybrid system like this is suitable for just boiling veg, pasta and making sauces is a moot point. The price is pretty hefty, too. But, by jove, they look darn splendid on any worktop and will make any cooking session go with extra pizzazz.

Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick 3-Piece Saucepan Set on blue backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Le Creuset)

4. Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick 3-Piece Saucepan Set

The pinnacle of non-stick saucepans

Specifications

Best for: Wealthy kitchenistas
Material: Stainless steel with PFOA-free non-stick coating
Non Stick: Clearly

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic looks 
+
Even heating

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite premium pricing

This three-piece suite of non-stick saucepans from Le Creuset is just fantastic. The pans feel weighty and solid without being overly heavy while Le Creuset says that the new three-layer reinforced non-stick coating is 'four times stronger'. Given the price of this pan set, you probably want to take Le Creuset’s word for that rather than test it out with metal cooking utensils.

The set contains a 16cm, 18cm and 20cm saucepan each with solid stainless steel helper handles and glass lids, and they’re suitable for all hob types including induction. They’re also oven and dishwasher safe and they come with a lifetime guarantee.

The metal handles look much more premium than plastic handles but we did find that in use the lid handles can get quite hot.

We love everything about these pans. The price may be a little hard to swallow, but you know what else is hard to swallow? Food that's badly cooked due to you using a crap saucepan set. This set is discounted below its quite high recommended retail price from time to time. Today’s best prices for these pans are listed in our pricing widget above.

Ninja ZEROSTICK Stackable 3-Piece Saucepan Set on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Ninja)

5. Ninja ZEROSTICK Stackable 3-Piece Saucepan Set

The best saucepan set for stacking

Specifications

Best for: Tidy storage
Material: Aluminium
Non Stick: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
So easy to stack
+
Sturdy build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Picky on induction hobs

The problem with most saucepan sets is that they don’t stack at all well and this not only causes damage to their interior surfaces but also makes the storage cupboard look a right old mess. Well here comes a set of heavy-duty nonstick pans that stack beautifully in a tidy nest by dint of a second grab handle that keeps them all parallel.

Available in 16, 18 and 20cm configurations, the Ninja ZEROSTICK Stackable 3-Piece (opens in new tab) isn’t the best set we’ve tested on an induction hob – they seem quite picky about induction zone placement – but their chunky 4mm aluminium bodies retain heat exceptionally well and heat distribution is excellent, too.

The nonstick surfaces on these pots has quite a rough texture and this means that some ingredients may stick if not enough butter or oil is used. But in the main, we are mostly impressed with these pans and especially their superb stacking ability.

Tower Scandi 3 Piece SetT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Tower)
Best cheap saucepan set

Specifications

Best for: Cottage kitchens
Material: Aluminium with bonded steel base
Non Stick: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Appealing caldron shape
+
Light in the hand
+
Glass lids with steam holes
+
Dishwasher safe

Reasons to avoid

-
Grandma styling
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Waxy wood-effect handles and lid tops

This 70s Habitat-style retro set has two big things in its favour: not only is it cheap, it's also available everywhere all the time, which is not true of a lot of good quality cheap saucepan sets. 

is comprised of three cauldron-shaped pans – 16, 18 and 20cm – and forms part of Tower’s Scandi range of ‘minimalism designed’ cookware and small electrical appliances. Their spherical shape doesn’t necessarily help with heat radiation but the look is appealingly countrified and, if we were to be a little disparaging, reminiscent of what grandma used on her Aga.

Available in grey or white with non-stick cream interiors, the Scandi set’s bodies are constructed out of aluminium bonded to induction-ready steel. They’re very light in the hand and a good choice for anyone with arthritis or weak wrists. The chunky dishwasher-proof 'wood effect' (ie: plastic) handles, meanwhile, provide excellent grip and remain cool to the touch, though the jury’s out on their waxy feel. The whole set is topped off with tempered glass lids fitted with the same wood effect lid knobs and handy steam release vents. 

If you’re on a tight budget, have a country-style kitchen and like bowl-shaped cookware then these are a worthwhile choice. Seriously, just pay £50 more and get the Stellar set, though.

• Read our Tower Scandi saucepan set review

GreenPan Venice Pro on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: GreenPan)
High-quality non-stick pan set with toxin-free coating

Specifications

Best for: Eco aficionados
Material: Aluminium and stainless steel
Non Stick: Thermolon

Reasons to buy

+
High quality manufacturing
+
PFOA-free non stick ceramic interior
+
Superb heat distribution

Reasons to avoid

-
Glass lids don’t have steam vents

Belgian company GreenPan gets its name from the ‘green’ credentials of its proprietary ceramic coating Thermolon, a safer alternative to PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) which is said to release toxins when overheated. According to the blurb, GreenPan’s curing process also produces 60% less CO2 than other methods.

Manufactured using an extremely durable bi-ply composite of stainless steel and aluminium with Thermolon interior and oven-ready stainless steel handles, these induction-friendly pans provide excellent heat distribution and impressive non-stick slipperiness when whipping up thick and sticky sauces like bolognese. However, we would have preferred so have seen the supplied glass lids fitted with steam holes to prevent froth from spilling over when boiling pasta and rice. Hint: removing the lid and placing a wooden spoon across the pan often helps keep froth at bay.

Available in dark grey with light grey interior and measuring in at 16, 18 and 20cm apiece, this is a supreme set to add to anyone’s kitchen armoury.

• Read our Greenpan Venice non-stick frying pan review

Stellar 6000 Hard Anodised 5 Piece Pan Set on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

8. Stellar 6000 Hard Anodised 5 Piece Pan Set

A large, hard anodised saucepan set for induction hobs

Specifications

Best for: Induction hobs
Material: Stainless steel
Non Stick: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile set
+
Compatible with induction cookers

Reasons to avoid

-
Takes up space

Stellar again, and another great pan set. For a five-piece set, this is eminently affordable, cooks well and can take a beating. It is praised for its durability and the hard anodised material makes this one of the best saucepan sets for induction hobs.

 This set includes three saucepans, a frying pan and one milk pan with a spout for cooking soup or sauces with ease. If the banging and clattering of saucepans is a familiar sound in your household, opt for the Stellar 6000 pan set (opens in new tab)and you won't worry about your pans chipping or denting.

Tefal Ingenio Pan Set on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

A large saucepan set perfect for cooking family meals

Specifications

Best for: Family kitchens
Material: Stainless steel
Non Stick: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Compatible with all hobs
+
Easy to store

Reasons to avoid

-
Not dishwasher friendly

This large saucepan set is great for cooking big meals. Each of the pans uses thermo spot technology which tells you when the pan has reached optimum temperature and they are oven safe up to 260c so you can keep food warm. 

Although pricey, the extra thick titanium base means that this set will stand the test of time. If you cook regularly for big families, this 13 piece set is your go-to option.

• Read our full Tefal Ingenio saucepan set review

Buy now from Argos (opens in new tab)

HOME 3 Piece Stainless Steel Pan Set on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Home)

10. Argos Home 3 Piece Stainless Steel Pan Set

Best REALLY cheap saucepan set

Specifications

Best for: Students
Material: Aluminium
Non Stick: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Cheap
+
Easy to clean

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for induction hobs

• Buy Home 3 Piece Stainless Steel set from Argos (opens in new tab)

If you just want a basic saucepan set that will get the job done, this Argos 3-Piece Pan Set won’t let you down. Although it doesn’t include a frying pan, the set does includes 3 pans which measure 15, 18 and 20cm and have Bakelite handles and tempered glass lids for perfectly adequate cooking. 

To save on your order, it's worth checking our Argos discount codes

Derek Adams

Derek (aka Delbert, Delvis, Delphinium, Delboy etc) specialises in home and outdoor wares, from coffee machines, white appliances and vacs to drones, garden gear and BBQs. He has been writing for more years than anyone can remember, starting at the legendary Time Out magazine – the original, London version – on a typewriter! He now writes for T3 between playing drums with his bandmates in Red Box (redboxmusic).