The best saucepan sets 2019: cookware sets to complete your kitchen

Stainless steel, hard anodised, non-stick, copper look… whatever your pan tastes, we've got a set for you

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No matter how experimental your cookery, you won't get far in the kitchen without a great saucepan set. It's one of those fundamental investments that people make, when moving out of the family home, getting married, moving onto the housing ladder, getting divorced, buying a really expensive saucepan set to cheer yourself up, just randomly buying a saucepan set in the new year sales cos 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

Remember when you went to uni or 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…

The best saucepan sets to buy, in order

Best saucepan sets: Stellar Stay Cool stainless steel 4-piece set

1. Stellar Stay Cool stainless steel 4-piece set

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-Not everyone wants a frying pan in a saucepan set

• Buy Stellar Stay Cool 4-piece set for £140 from Amazon (RRP £235, save £95)

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, and right now this set is almost half-price at Amazon, and they'll get it to you in time for Xmas. If you want a set without a frying pan, Stellar has approximately 4 billion pan sets to choose from. I seriously doubt you'll find a better set of saucepans for this price.

• Buy Stellar Stay Cool 4-piece set for £235 £140 from Amazon

Best saucepan sets: Circulon Origins 5 Piece Cookware Set

2. Circulon Origins 5 Piece Cookware Set

An everyday pan set that’s well suited to induction hobs

Specifications
Best for: Everyday use
Material: Anodised aluminium with stainless steel base
Non Stick: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Induction friendly and oven safe to 180ºC +Glass lids let you see cooking progress+Stylish finish
Reasons to avoid
-Anodised coating wears away over time-The smaller frying pan is perhaps unnecessary

This five-piece pan set consists of a 14cm milk pan, 16cm and 18cm saucepans, and 20cm and 24cm frying pans, all coated with Circulon’s iconic, non-stick surface, which features raised circles on the inside base which are designed to increase the durability of the non-stick and allow air to flow around the food for better results.

The black anodised finish gives this pan set a classy look while the shatter resistant glass lids allow you to keep an eye on what’s cooking without lifting the lid. This is particularly useful if you have an induction hob: such hobs don’t get hot enough to cause the panic-inducing hissing noise as a pan boils over so being able to see the water rising before that happens is a bonus. 

The pans’ construction is also ideal for induction hobs: the stainless steel base contains the ferrous metal needed to work on an induction hob while the aluminium sides ensure rapid conduction of heat throughout the pan.

The heat-resistant handles mean that you don’t need to reach for an oven glove or towel before you can remove the pan from a hot hob – or hurriedly thrust your hand under the cold tap when you forget.

If we had one complaint about this pan set it’s that the anodised coating does tend to wear off over time – both where the pan edges rub against each other during storage and in the base of the pans from utensils or perhaps over-enthusiastic scrubbing during cleaning.

Best saucepan sets: Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick 3-Piece Saucepan Set

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

An investment set that looks good and cooks well

Specifications
Best for: Investment piece
Material: Aluminium
Non Stick: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Lifetime guarantee+Dishwasher friendly
Reasons to avoid
-Very pricey

This grand three-piece cookware set is for those who fancy themselves a bit of a Jamie Oliver or Heston Blumenthal (and they have the celebrity price tag to match!). 

Although pricey, this is an investment set that is guaranteed to last a lifetime, no matter how bad your cooking may be.

 These pots are pretty heavy duty, but are compatible with all hob types and are oven safe. If you are looking to purchase a generous but useful wedding present, this set from Le Creuset is a timeless gift choice.

Best saucepan sets: Stellar 6000 Hard Anodised 5 Piece Pan Set

4. 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 and you won't worry about your pans chipping or denting.

Best saucepan sets: Morphy Richards Special Edition Pan Set

5. Morphy Richards Special Edition Pan Set

A stylish, functional and affordable cookware set

Specifications
Best for: Starter pack
Material: Stainless steel
Non Stick: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Dishwasher safe+Compatible with all hobs
Reasons to avoid
-A little expensive for a first set

If you want to start building up your kitchenware, then we recommend the Morphy Richards Special Edition Pan Set. Although it only comes with four pieces, they are of high-quality and allow room for you to add more items in the future. 

This cookware set comes with 16, 18 and 20cm pots and a 24cm frying pan which makes a great starter kit for new homes. Each piece has a silicone handle and glass lid for safe, easy cooking, so ideal for 'beginners'. The modern colour choices and sleek design make this the perfect housewarming gift for contemporary homes.

Best saucepan sets: Tefal Ingenio Pan Set

6. Tefal Ingenio Pan Set

A large saucepan set perfect for cooking family meals

Specifications
Best for: Family kitchen set
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.

Best saucepan sets: HOME 3 Piece Stainless Steel Pan Set

7. HOME 3 Piece Stainless Steel Pan Set

A basic saucepan set ideal for students

Specifications
Best for: Students
Material: Aluminium
Non Stick: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Cheap+Easy to clean
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for induction hobs

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 the essential frying pan, the set does includes 3 pans which measure 15, 18 and 20cm and have Bakelite handles and tempered glass lids for foolproof cooking. If you are a student looking for a basic set of pans, this is an ideal choice.

Best saucepan sets: Cooksmark Ceranano Ceramic Cookware Set, 10 Piece

8. Cooksmark Ceranano Ceramic Cookware Set- 10 Piece

A large copper cooking set you’ll want to show off

Specifications
Best for: Copper look
Material: Stainless steel
Non Stick: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Variety of pan styles+Look cool
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for induction hobs

If you’re someone who looks for aesthetics as well as functionality,  then these copper-look saucepans won’t let you down. For those who don’t cook very often, this saucepan set will look stylish on display in your kitchen and are scratch resistant so they’ll never lose their slick look.  

If you like idea of real copper pans but can't bring yourself to part with that much cash, this Cooksmark set is a perfect choice.