A solid saucepan set is a big but worthwhile investment. Discover how Le Creuset's set of 3-ply pans stood up to our test.
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Le Creuset 3-ply stainless steel saucepan set
Pros: Classic styling, unsurpassed heat distribution, lifetime guarantee, diverse range of pans can be added to the collection
Cons: Initially expensive, not easily stackable, heavier than most sets
Overall rating: 4.5/5
If you're serious about cooking, the chances are you'll have an example of Le Creuset cookware in your kitchen. The French company started forging heavy, cast-iron pots in 1925 and their colourful pans, cocottes and roasting dishes soon became classics.
Their stainless steel range is good news for anyone without the muscle needed to haul the more traditional Le Creuset pans from the cupboard. That said, these pans still felt weighty, but with comfortable handles and an additional 'grab' to support easy lifting, that wasn't a problem.
The three-ply, stainless steel set we tested was a delight, combining utilitarian styling and sturdy construction that performed perfectly no matter what was asked of it.
A low heat is all that was needed to bring these saucepans to the perfect temperature for sautéing onions, boiling vegetables or keeping a stew simmering, with every size of pan base conducting the heat evenly.
The solid pan lids stayed nicely in place, letting very little steam – and flavour – escape at all. Once the heat had been turned off, it was a bonus to discover it had been retained extremely well.
Carrots and new potatoes were still at perfect serving temperature 10 minutes later. When juggling to get everything ready to be served at Sunday lunch, it's useful to have that little bit of leeway.
We liked the laser-etched measurement marks inside the pans, making sauce ingredients easy to gauge. The gently curved rim and extra handle meant gravy poured exactly where they were supposed to, without drips and spills messing up the smooth stainless steel sides.
One little niggle, though – when stacking the pans together on their upturned lids, this set tended to slide sideways, as the steel was so smooth and lids don't have rims on the underside to keep them in place. They're best hung or displayed individually, but wouldn't you want to show them off?
Pans included: 20cm, 18cm, 16cm saucepans with solid lids
Dishwasher safe: yes
Ovenproof: to 260 degrees
Guarantee: Lifetime. Buying direct from Le Creuset also gives a 90-day money back promise.
Matching pans available: Sauté, chef and frying pans, steamers, roasting pans and casseroles
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This review was last updated in August 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.