* Prices may differ from that shown
As a consequence of our kitchen refit I have been persuaded to invest in a new set of saucepans. I say persuaded, as I did love my Le Creuset saucepans which I have had for about 15 years and they are still as good as new, but Dave (hubby) pointed out that they are very heavy and since the sink and the hob are on opposite sides of an albeit small kitchen maybe a new set of lighter saucepans would be a good idea. He also bravely mentioned that I am not getting any younger (I'm 56!) I think the look on my face showed that it would be a mistake to pursue that line of reasoning any further!
As with everything else we began our research to make sure that we chose the right saucepans for the hob. They had to be suitable for my new induction hob which is brilliant! I have written a review about it if you are interested. This meant that they had to be magnetic as that is how induction hobs work. The set that we originally decided upon was found in the Argos catalogue where it stated that they were fine for us with our hob, but when we went to the store we were told that there was a mistake in the catalogue and that they were NOT suitable for induction hobs! Oh well, back to the drawing board!
In November Dave and I manned a stall in the entrance of one of our local shops here in Llandudno called Claire's where we were selling Christmas Cards in aid of the RNLI. At one point Dave went into the shop for a wander round to get warm and he went downstairs into the kitchenware department. He came back thrilled to bits as he had seen a set of 4 saucepans and a frying pan reduced from the RRP of £220 (which I can't believe anyone ever sells them for) through a couple more reductions to finally stop at £70! We had found our saucepans!
I have taken a look online and have found them ranging from about £75 up to about £195 so, if you are interested it is worth shopping around.
The saucepans come in a smart, sturdy box so would make an ideal present - maybe for a wedding. The set comprises a 20cm / 3.3l saucepan, an 18cm / 2.4l saucepan and a 16cm / 1.8l saucepan all of which have draining lids. There is also a 14cm / 1.2l milk pan with two pouring lips so that it can be poured with either hand and a 26cm non stick frying pan. They all have thermic bases so are suitable for all hobs and they all have easy to grip black Phenolic handles. The whole set is covered by a 25 year Stainless Steel guarantee so they'll probably outlive me then!
The milk pan is just plain stainless steel but with a pouring lip on each side which I immediately thought was brilliant! I am right handed but often seem to find myself trying to pour out of a right handed saucepan backwards if you see what I mean. Maybe I am just awkward!
The frying pan is stainless steel with a non stick coating but does not come with a lid.
The three main saucepans are plain stainless steel with a pouring lip on either side and they all have glass lids with round black handles. The lids have a deep rim which drops inside the saucepan and there are two sets of holes in the rim set opposite one another. The idea is that, when the saucepan is in use, you can line the holes up with the pouring lips so that any excess steam can escape if this is what you want or you can turn the lid so that they don't line up if you would rather do this. I must admit I find this great as I always used to balance the lid at an angle on the top of my old saucepans in order to release the steam.
The other thing is that, once you have finished cooking, you can pour away the liquid from the saucepan without removing the lid or having to use a strainer of any description! Brilliant!
The combination of these saucepans and my new hob means that my cooking time has been considerably reduced as these pans reach boiling point very quickly. I find them very easy to use, they are fairly light and it is great to be able to see the contents without having to remove the lid thus letting all the heat out. The draining holes in the lid are a super idea and it makes it so much easier for me to strain the vegetables once they are cooked.
The saucepans are all dishwasher proof although this is something I didn't bother with in the new kitchen so I wash mine in the sink. They are very easy to clean and, if you do get something burnt on, as I did when I boiled milk the other day, just put a drop of water in the saucepan with some washing powder and boil it up. Then all you need to do is give the saucepan a rub, rinse it well and there you are - as good as new again.
In conclusion I would say that we definitely made the right decision buying this set of saucepans. They are practical, lighter than my old one, nice and deep and they look very smart in my new kitchen. I am also selling my old green Le Creuset set on EBay so I shall get a bit of money to offset the cost of my new saucepans too!
Incidentally we are so impressed with this set that we have already bought a matching sauté pan!