Saucepans are an indispensable, versatile tool in the armoury of the home cook. As the name suggests, making a sauce without one is a tricky matter, but they’re useful for a wide variety of culinary tasks. As a steep-sided pan with a lid, they’re invaluable for cooking vegetables, boiling pasta, making stews, poaching eggs….any cooking task involving liquid needs a saucepan.
Stainless steel is the preferred material; it’s non-reactive, conducts heat well for a more even finish and is, crucially, easier to clean than most other materials.
But it goes without saying that a bad saucepan set can be worse than no saucepans at all. A good saucepan needs to be well made to withstand the rigours of cooking. Cheap and poorly made pans can result in dishes going badly wrong, burning, sticking, cooking unevenly. So, keeping in mind that quality is vital, here are our top 10 best stainless steel saucepan sets.
Our 10 Best Stainless Steel Saucepan Sets
10. Tefal Jamie Oliver Classic Series
A robust and useful saucepan set from leading manufacturer Tefal, with the added seal of approval of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. This three pan set has handy measuring marks to help you get your quantities right when cooking, and the glass lids enable you to keep a closer eye on what’s in the pan. The pans come with silicone handles, making them comfortable both to grip and to hold.
9. Prestige Everyday Straining
This stylish saucepan set from Prestige has a number of appealing features. Its good looking design is also highly practical, with pouring lips and a unique straining lid, making pouring off excess liquids without losing other parts of the dish an effortless and much less messy task. The pans have clear lids and are oven safe up to 180°C/Gas mark 4, a convenient touch if you’re making a stew that you want to finish in the oven; overall this is a versatile and innovative pan set.
8. ProCook Stainless Steel Saucepan Set
A 2 piece set (with an option of 3), these ProCook saucepans are heavy duty kitchen workhorses. A capacious 1.2 and 1.9L, they are made of a commercial grade stainless steel.
Their relatively thick 7mm base helps distribute heat evenly during cooking, and they are oven safe up to a scorching 260°C.
These pans are robust enough to be suitable for any sort of hob, including induction, ceramic , halogen and solid fuel. Their self-basting glass lids are tempered for strength. Overall a very solidly constructed pan set, which is probably why ProCook feel confident enough to offer a 25-year guarantee with these pans.
7. Stellar Stainless Steel Saucepan Set
An attractive saucepan set which is ideal for the style-conscious home hook, these pans would look good hanging up on a pan rack. But there’s more to the Stellar three piece stainless steel saucepan set than mere good looks.
Dishwasher safe, these pans are made of premium stainless steel, with an attractive, polished mirror finish. Ranging in diameter from 16-20cm, they should be able to handle most domestic cooking tasks, and have thick bases for effective distribution of heat. They can deal with the heat of induction hobs, and have lips and strainer lids for ease of pouring.
6. Tefal Comfort Max
The Tefal Comfort Max stainless steel saucepan set is a pleasure to use in the kitchen. The pans have rubber handles for comfort, grip and ease of use – no risk of scorching your hand on a too-hot handle, and come with convenient internal measuring marks on the inside of the pan.
Dishwasher safe, they are also compatible with induction hobs, and are even oven proof up to 180°C for an hour, a rarity in rubber handled pans. with good sized handles on the clear lids, this is a really user-friendly saucepan set.
5. Tefal Ingenio
It’s Tefal impressing again with this innovative, storage friendly “Ingenio” saucepan set. These pans are ideal for kitchens where cupboard space is at a premium as the detachable handles of this three piece saucepan set means they can stack neatly inside each other, taking up much less room.
Other useful features include internal measuring marks and a thick base for reliable heat diffusion.
The pans are dishwasher safe, though the handle isn’t, and are also compatible with induction hobs. Another feature packed and thoughtful product from Tefal.
4. OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Saucepan Set
A High-spec set of saucepans which would grace any kitchen, these saucepans from OXO Good Grips come with a number of advantages. In addition to their high performance, with an aluminium core clad in stainless steel meaning very even temperature distribution, these pans have rolled edges to eliminate drips. Compatible with all types of hob, they have angled sides to enable quicker evaporation of liquid, which is easily gauged using the measuring marks.
3. Stellar 1000
A quality three piece set from manufacturers Stellar, this one comes with the bonus of a free fourth pan. As visually appealing as all the other items in the Stellar range, with a highly polished finish, these are also high-performing pans with much to recommend them.
Dishwasher safe and useable on all types of hob top, they have solid cast handles and a heavy base for effective cooking. Solid lids offer effective coverage for retention of heat. Excellent money for value is what the Stellar 1000 provides.
2. John Lewis Classic Stainless Steel Saucepan Set
An innovative and practical set of saucepans from renowned home retailer, John Lewis, these pans are attractively designed and aesthetically pleasing. Made of 18/10 stainless steel, they distribute heat evenly, quickly and efficiently.
Compatible with all hobs and oven safe to 180°C, the saucepans have handles which have a convenient tall lid rest for effective evaporation of liquid at the same time as keeping the kitchen work top tidy, a great example of thoughtful design making for easier living.
1. Le Creuset 3-Ply Stainless Steel Saucepan Set
Le Creuset are giants in the world of kitchen cookware, their name is synonymous with quality gear, and these pans live up to that label, with a strong claim to being the best stainless steel saucepan set reviewed here.
Oven safe to a scorching 220°C/Gas 7, they are compatible with all hobs and come with a lifetime guarantee.
Le Creuset’s 3-ply stainless steel is a strong performer with an aluminium core making it an effective conductor of heat throughout the whole pan, not just the base; and these pans have cast handles as well as helper handles on the opposite side, giving them a reassuring solidity of construction.