Product Type: John Lewis Cookware
Newest Review: ... prefer to buy in store as I when I want something I want it now, however having used the John Lewis delivery service for other options I d... more
Flash in the pan
John Lewis Hard Anodised 5 Piece Pan Set
Member Name: mwah_xx
John Lewis Hard Anodised 5 Piece Pan Set
Advantages: Fantastic non stick, heat well, hot food, value for money
Disadvantages: Exterior marks easily
Moving into our shiny new flat was a symbol of starting our new life together, and as such our dingy, cheap, Asda basic pans with burnt bits on the bottom had to go into the bin and off I toddled to try and find some new ones (please note it was ME not my darling other half that went to find the pans, that should tell you who does the cooking in our house!)
**What was I looking for?**
I think the first thing that needs to be said is what was I looking for before I purchased the pans? I wanted non-stick and at least 3 pans, with a frying pan, I did not want the basic set that I would have purchased previously, because I had found that although they were cheaper they took more time and effort in cleaning and often led to me burning food by accident. The first thing that struck me as I wandered round all the department stores were the amount of pan sets which were emblazoned with celebrity chef names and the premium price associated with them. From memory I saw a Jamie Oliver 2 pan set for £60.
**The set and the Price**
After being gobsmacked at the prices of pans and pan sets (and looking longingly at Le Cruset!) I found the John Lewis range. The set I purchased set me back £85 which, in comparison to other sets in the shop, was the best value for the number of pans that you get as it comes with 3 saucepans, a frying pan and a milk pan.
The set is available in a 3 colours, pale blue, fire engine red and cream. All pans are non-stick, and covered by the Teflon lifetime guarantee. I bought the cream set, which in hindsight was not my best idea as I am finding that the exterior of the pan is easily marked.
You can either buy the set online (www.johnlewis.com) or in store - I personally always prefer to buy in store as I when I want something I want it now, however having used the John Lewis delivery service for other options I do know that this is very good, as you can pick date and time of delivery (morning or afternoon) and they do offer Saturday delivery (for a premium)
All of the pans in the set have a silicone soft grip handle, I find that this works well as it doesn't overheat whilst you are simmering or cooking as a metal handle would do, I have not had to use a tea towel to move the pan at any point. The handles are also easy to grip and give you control over the pan, essential when I am darting around the kitchen with a pan fall of boiling water that I need to drain and not throw over my feet!
The saucepans come in 3 sizes; 16, 18 and 20 cm, and all come with clear glass lids. The lids again have the silicone soft grip handle, so once again, it makes it easier to lift the lids off to stir the contents of the pan; it is not technically necessary to lift the lid in order to check and see how your cooking is doing as the fact it is glass means you can see straight through! The lids also have a small vent for steam, and I have not had any problems with overboiling and the contents of my cooking spilling down the side of the pan! The range of sizes I think is fairly standard, the small pan I tend to use to cook small veg, or if I am cooking pasta/new potatoes for one, the medium pan for cooking sauces where I need to simmer and add a variety of ingrediants, and the large pan for those "one pot" meals and for pasta for 2!
The milk pan - I have not actually used yet, it comes with no lid and is shaped so you can pour our the milk without spilling it everywhere. I am unlikely to ever use this pan for milk, though my other half does tend to use this one if he is heating up pasta sauce (when I am not in to cook for him obviously) as he finds the jug like edge means that the pasta sauce pours easily over his pasta, with less mess for him to clean up before I get home.
The frying pan, this is my most used pan (no idea why, I didn't think I ate that much fried food!), originally I thought it was a little bit small at only 26cm when the singular frying pans I had seen for sale were larger at 28-30cm. So far I have to say I haven't found this a problem but I think that is because I, generally, only cook for 2. The frying pan happily fits 6 sausages in, I have been able to throw in 3 diced chicken breasts and fry 2 eggs.....although not all at the same time!
Until actually investing in decent pans I always though that a pan was a pan. Now I know differently! These are easy to cook with and on, I am able to leave something to simmer without hovering over it constantly stirring, which leaves me free to get on with the rest of the food preparation and so we can have meals on time all at the same temperature rather than cold pasta and hot sauce! The nonstick element is fantastic, I have no problem moving the food around the pan where required (and occassionally have used a little bit too much force with splattering occurring!!)
They heat up evenly and quickly so it doesn't matter where in the pan I throw whatever needs cooking, it will all cook evenly.
As with all teflon/nonstick coatings I try not to use metal utensils, generally sticking to wooden spoons (again I have cheated a couple of times frying eggs using a metal spatula!) and there are no scratches....so far!
First thing to note is that these are NOT dishwasher safe. This is something that doesn't bother me, as I would always rather wash pans by hand as I don't think the dishwasher gets them clean enough, and if it does then the rest of your plates and glasses don't seem as clean. Having said that a couple of the pans have been through the dishwasher a couple of times (darling boyfriend again!) and no harm seems to have come to them though I wouldn't recommend you doing this!
Now, the nonstick, oh how I love teflon! The interior of these pans are so EASY to clean, hot soapy water, a bit of a wipe and even the most stubborn food comes off easily so the pans are ready to go again. What is not so easy is the outside of the pans. I made the mistake of buying these in cream, even though I have taken care of the pans there are now stains on the outside from general use that cannot be scrubbed off. I am not overally fussed about this as the pans tend to be hidden away in the cupboard rather than on display, though it is a little annoying when I think about the price!
**Would I recommend?**
On reflection I would definitely recommend these pans, they do the job, are easy to clean, heat evenly and come with a 25 year guarantee. I would probably recommend you buy in red rather than the paler colours as these do mark on the exterior. I think these pans are good value for money and personally would rather buy these than a Sainsburys/Asda/Tesco set as I feel that I will get more use from these over a longer period of time.
Summary: Not so much a flash in the pan......
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