Tefal Ingenio Essential 14-piece pan set

Pros: small storage footprint, adaptable, hard-wearing, affordable, great choice of accessories
Cons: not suitable for induction hobs, relatively short guarantee, clipping from one pan to another may not suit those with mobility issues


Overall rating: 4/5

Tefal's Ingenio range has been a resounding success. This set, made of Teflon-coated aluminium and Powerglide non-stick lining, is the number one bestseller in its Amazon category.

Although there are different versions of the Ingenio line in more swanky steel – and, later in 2019, there will be new designs from Jamie Oliver, plus a copper range – we thought it was worth a look at the cheaper end of the scale and put the 'Essential' set through its paces.

The premise is simple with pans and lids, designed to be as flat and stackable as possible. Two handles are supplied that attach, universally, to everything in the range from wok to steamer to grill pan.

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Using a sturdy, click and release mechanism, the patented handles feel comfortable and fit the hand well. It does take a while to get used to this system, so treat your handle like the TV remote and give it a place to 'live' (knowing you've got a spare).

We made a full cooked breakfast for a table of guests, to put our set to work. Clipping from one pan to the next with the 'lock' handle felt secure, and there was no wobble when carrying a heavy panful of porridge to the table, which could then be 'disconnected' and left for people to serve themselves.

The familiar 'red dot' of the Tefal frying pan works as well as ever, darkening to show the pan is at the correct temperature to cook. Bacon and hash browns needed only a splash of vegetable oil to crisp up nicely and were popped in the oven till we got everyone's egg orders in.

Having the airtight cover that fit perfectly is great – no fussing around with cling film when it’s time to store leftovers in the fridge. We had some mushrooms spare so could save them to boost a risotto.

Although saucepan-only sets are also available in the Ingenio range, it's definitely worth considering the combination of large and small pans we tested, as having a hob-to-table casserole and sauté pan this adaptable means they'll look the part at the most well-dressed dinner party or a kitchen table supper.

Pans included: 16cm and 20cm saucepans, 22cm and 28cm frying pans, 24cm saute pan, 16cm, 20cm, 24cm and 28cm glass lids, 16cm and 20cm airtight covers, steamer insert, two removable handles
Dishwasher safe: yes
Ovenproof: 260 degrees (handle should be removed)
Guarantee: 2 years
Suitable for induction hobs: no
Matching pans available: saucepans, steamers, grill pans, straining lids, woks and more

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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 goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

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