The best saucepan sets

With tough long-lasting finishes and timeless good looks, we’ve rounded up the best saucepan sets for budgets, big families, expert cooks, and everything in between

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Whether you’re a Jamie Oliver-style kitchen wunderkind cooking on all four burners, a first-time cook just learning the ropes, or anything in between, there’s one thing that every home cook needs, and that’s a trusty set of saucepans. The initial outlay might seem off-putting, especially when the price creeps into triple figures, but buying a set of pans in one go can often mean saving money in the long run.

If this isn’t your first foray in the world of buying cookware, you might have seen a few materials mentioned, and wondered exactly what it is they’re all for: well, wonder no longer! Hard-anodised pans are a popular choice, with the superior conductivity and lighter weight of aluminium, but treated with a hard finish that won’t chip, peel or react to acid in food. They can be expensive, but they last exceptionally well. Stainless steel isn’t the best conductor, and may suffer from hot spots, but it’s incredibly durable and easy to clean, so it’s a great investment for pans that you want to last a lifetime.

Finally, there’s the size of the set. If you’re a student just starting out, or taking the first step on your voyage to TV chef superstardom, three will probably cut it. If you have a little more to spend and are planning on cooking a wider range of dishes, it makes sense to get a set of five, which will often include a frying pan and a milk pan for making sumptuous sauces.

Morphy Richards Special Edition Pan set 4 peice

1. Morphy Richards Special Edition Pan Set 4 Peice

A specially-designed set that looks great on the hob

Specifications
Best for: Design
Material: Stainless steel
Non-stick: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Looks fantastic + Durable tempered glass and stainless steel 
Reasons to avoid
- Very much an investment set 

If you think that all saucepans look much of a muchness, then think again. Presenting the Morphy Richards Special Edition Pan Set, rocking a matte finish in beautiful pebble grey and contrasting shades that are sure to stand out in your kitchen cabinet. With 16, 18 and 20cm saucepans and a useful lidded frying pan, this high-grade stainless steel and tempered glass set is durable as well as good-looking. 

Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick 3-Piece Saucepan Set

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

Extra tough and extremely handsome, these durable pans always look the part

Specifications
Best for: Investment set
Material: Aluminium
Non-stick: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Look great + Lifetime guarantee 
Reasons to avoid
- Hugely expensive for three pans 

These professional-looking pans will give you years of faithful service, and look darn good while doing so. Le Creuset pans are a household name, and with very good reason: they’re durable, beautiful, and if we’re being totally honest, a total kitchen lust-have for you to show off to your friends. These ones are no exception, with quick and responsive heating, metal-safe non-stick coating, an oven and dishwasher-safe finish, and lovely, subtly branded hardware. 

Tefal Ingenio Pan Set, Stainless Steel 13 Piece

3. Tefal Ingenio Pan Set, Stainless Steel 13 Piece

An ingenious whopper of a set that goes from hob to oven and back again

Specifications
Best for: Best family set
Material: Stainless steel
Non-stick: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Really versatile + Easily movable and usable anywhere 
Reasons to avoid
- Big investment 

For big and busy families, or enthusiastic cooks without a lot of shelf to spare, this Tefal Ingenio set is a space-saver as well as a weeknight sanity-saver. The detachable Ingenio Bakelite handle can be attached securely with a single click onto the pan of your choice, leaving the unused pans to nest neatly in the cupboard, no awkward fixed handles to work around. The versatility doesn’t stop there though: these pans can be used on all hob types including induction, in the oven, at the table, in the fridge, and finally, in the dishwasher. Truly remarkable stuff, with a remarkable price tag to match. 

Argos 3-Piece Pan Set

4. Argos 3-Piece Pan Set

A budget threesome that makes light work of light cooking

Specifications
Best for: Budget buy
Material: Aluminium
Non-stick: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Fantastic value + Light, even-heating aluminium 
Reasons to avoid
- Not for use on induction hobs 

This budget saucepan set from Argos comes in at under £20, but feels much less flimsy than many of its low-priced rivals, making it a great first saucepan set for students, starter homes or infrequent home cooks. With their aluminium construction, these plans are light to lift for serving or draining, and offer quick and even heating for guesswork-free cooking, while the strong tempered glass lids feature steam vents to prevent unwatched liquids boiling over.  

Cooksmark Ceranano Ceramic Cookware Set 10 Piece

5. Cooksmark Ceranano Ceramic Cookware Set 10 Piece

The good looks of copper and the functionality of aluminium — win-win

Specifications
Best for: Copper look
Material: Aluminium
Non-stick: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Look very smart  + Ceramic non-stick coating 
Reasons to avoid
- Aluminium for the price of steel 

These copper-finish Cooksmark pans will look the part in any vintage-style country kitchen, or add a touch of warmth to a modern minimalist pad. The satin-finish exterior is durable and scratch-resistant, and the aluminium construction heats evenly and resists warping — so not only do they look timeless, they’ll keep going, too. The ceramic coating is a nice alternative for those who aren’t comfortable with the alleged health implications of traditional non-stick. 

Stellar 6000 Hard Anodised 5 Piece Pan Set

6. Stellar 6000 Hard Anodised 5 Piece Pan Set

Induction-safe and long-lasting, this set makes a stellar addition to any kitchen cupboard

Specifications
Best for: Induction hobs
Material: Aluminium
Non-stick: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Comes with a milk pan and frying pan  + Durable and versatile 
Reasons to avoid
- Not as long lasting as steel 

This induction-safe hard anodised pan set is versatile enough to handle any kitchen task you can throw at it, without commanding the high price tag of its equally useful competitors, making it a great value set for enthusiastic home cooks. It comes with a 14cm milkpan, ideal for sauces and hot chocolate, and a frying pan for starting off flavourful bases. For frequent and varied from-scratch cooking, this is a truly excellent buy.