Make sure the pan has a smooth, flat base to provide the best contact with the hob ring. Remember to regulate the flame to prevent it from extending beyond the base of the pan, as this can damage the handle and waste gas.
An indicator light on the hob will start flashing if it’s not the correct type of pan or it will simply not heat up. Uncoated aluminum pans are not suitable for cooking acidic foods.
Uncoated non-stick cast iron pans will need to be seasoned to build up a patina. As this metal can react with acidic foods, fish and meat, these pans are normally lined with tin or stainless steel to act as a barrier.
Hard-anodised aluminum Distinguished by their deep gray or black color, these pans feature a hard finish that will not chip, crack, peel or react with acidic foods. They’re reasonably lightweight and heat up rapidly, eliminating hot spots, but they don’t work on induction hobs.
Stainless steel on its own is liable to hot spots, so copper or aluminum is usually incorporated into the base. It’s best to use them on low heat settings and with a splash more oil to avoid sticking.
We test these pans by cooking a range of different ingredients, such as meat, sauces, caramel, and rice, across gas, electric and ceramic hobs. If there’s a frying pan included, we flip pancakes and cook eggs, checking to see that heat is distributed evenly.
The non-stick coating was so effective we needed very little oil, and both the saucepans and frying pans performed well across all hobs. Lightweight yet nicely balanced, the handles remained cool throughout, so there’s no danger of burning your hands.
This robust, budget five-piece set is ideal (and even includes two frying pans). They can be used on all hob types, the handles and lids remained cool during testing, and the non-stick coating worked well, needing nothing more than a quick rinse after use.
Boiling an egg will present no problem, even for the most basic cook, as this set had particularly effective steam vents and lids that stayed put, even at full boil. Uk Made from upcycled stainless steel and aluminum, we couldn’t fault the non-stick capabilities of this eco-friendly set.
All our food cooked evenly, producing perfect fried eggs on every hob. Even after making a frittata in the oven our set looked as good as new, however it did incur a few chips from the dishwasher.
Key specificationsIncluded in set: 16, 18, 20 cm saucepans with lid Non-stick: Yes Suitable for induction: Yes Oven safe: Yes to 260C. Made from plain aluminum (as opposed to the tough hard-anodised version above), on test we found the non-stick coating just as impressive, with no food remaining in our saucepans.
Watch out on the frying pans though, they lost a few marks when cooking on induction and slightly burnt our eggs on the electric hob. Due to the wooden handles, they can’t be used in the oven and must be washed by hand, but they do look good.
Not only do they look great, the Prestige Prism range has a very effective non-stick coating, producing a good sear on our meat. As such, they didn’t really need to go in the dishwasher, but it won't alter the lovely purple hue if you do.
Uk For such an inexpensive set, our testers were mightily impressed by the performance of these pans across all hobs. John Lewis & Partners Hard Anodized Saucepansjohnlewis.completed and timeless, with an efficient non-stick coating, this would make a fine update for modern kitchens.
Uk This space-saving, stainless steel 13-piece set from Teal will ensure you’re covered for every cooking eventuality. Although we couldn’t fault the non-stick frying pans, the uncoated saucepans didn’t fare quite so well, needing a good scrub to remove stubborn food.
That said, there are lots of useful features including measurements inside the saucepans and airtight lids to protect leftovers straight from the pan. Uk Designed in Bristol, this attractive set from Stellar includes four saucepans and a frying pan.
The non-stick pans performed brilliantly across all hobs, particularly with mince and onion, requiring minimal clean-up. You’ll also need a tea towel on hand for the hot handles.
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