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When we moved house, we decided to get rid of our old ones, which were a cheap non-stick set we'd had for some 5 years. Due to a lack of love and care, the non stick coating was all but destroyed, so when we spotted this little set of 3 pans in Ikea for just £6, we decided to pick it up, along with a larger pan from the 365 range. The set consists of a small 0.8 litre sauce pan, a larger 1.4l saucepan with lid, and a double handled 2.4 litre pot with a lid.
The pans do require a little assembly, as the pan handles for the two saucepans are not attached, nor are the lid handles attached to the lids. This is very easy to do though, and although instructions are provided with the pans, I found it unnecessary to look at them.
The pans themselves are very stylish in a mirror shine steel, with smart black handles. The picture above doesn't make it very clear, but the lids are actually glass, with black handles and steel trim around the edges, and both lids have small holes for the steam to escape from. The pans are suitable for all kinds of hobs, and are dishwasher safe (although I don't have a dishwasher so this isn't too relevant to me).
I found that the pans are sufficient for most of my needs. The smallest can just about fit in 6 small to medium eggs for boiling, and is also the perfect size for reheating a tin of soup or baked beans. The medium pan is a good size for boiling veggies, and the larger one is just about the right size for boiling up pasta for two adults and one child. I do find that on occasion I do need a larger pan, as I do like to make things in bulk, or cook for friends, hence the purchase of the larger 365 pot seperately, but I think for a couple just starting out in a home, or a student in a bedsit, this little set of pans would suit most needs.
Obviously, being stainless steel they are not non stick. According to the little book I got with them, they have a ' Three-layer base: two layers of stainless steel with an intermediate layer of aluminium; reduces the risk of food getting burnt and stuck to the pan.' Now, I don't know if it's the three layer base, or the fact that, knowing that these pans aren't non stick, I'm more watchful of them, but I've never really had any issues with anything sticking to the pans, and on the one occasion where I did let some pasta boil ever so slightly dry, a soak in a hot sink and a gentle clean with a soft sponge did the trick and had the pan looking as good as new.
So far, I'm quite happy with these pans. I will probably upgrade them at some point, not because they don't perform adequately, but because I've always wanted a nice set of Le Creuset pans, which I'm getting one by one. However, I may still keep these as a back up set - they do the job well, the sizes are useful, and the clear lids allow me to check if the water is boiling without taking the lid off and letting the heat out.
On top of that, they actually look very smart - my pans are on display in this house, on a wall mounted shelf, and I find that after washing, a quick buff has these looking gleaming and new, and something I'm happy to have out where people can see them.
The one small downside with these is that, like many of the smaller Ikea homeware items, this set sadly y isn't available to buy online, but only in the stores themselves, for which I will deduct one point.