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Quality pots and pans

Hi everyone,

I thought here might be the best place to post this since there are so many excellent cooks on this board!

I've been cooking more and more from scratch so that my 15 month old an eat with us and with another on the way i would like to continue doing so for frugality! Only problem is I'm finding my (very cheap!) pans and pots are not really up to the job. The non stick is all scratched and chipped, the lids don't fit right, they're not heavy bottomed so not good for longer simmering etc

So it's my birthday coming up and I'd like to suggest to people who ask me what I want that they could get me a decent quality pot or pan so that eventually I have a new set of long lasting high quality pans. However still being a bit of a novice cook I don't know what to ask for or where to start looking! I'm thinking £15 to £20 a pan (or slightly more for hubby to buy!) so not going to get le creuset or similar for that money but does anyone have any recommendations? Tesco have an offer on Thomas cookware(?) or some nice looking copper bottomed pans, does anyone have any experience of these?

Thanks in advance!


  • Oliver14
    Oliver14 Posts: 5,878 Forumite
    I've always found you get what you pay for as regards pans. I have saved up over the years for Lecruset pans. Not cheap (your talkin £50 PLUS). Well worth it though IMO. I have managed to pick up some 2nd hand in Charity shops etc. I have literally bought one a year when I could afford it. (I only need 1 or 2 more to have enough) Meanwhile surviving with cheap ones. As cheap ones go I have found the ikea ones seem to last pretty well.
    'The More I know about people the Better I like my Dog'
    Samuel Clemens
  • yorkieorchid
    We bought a Circulon frying pan from a carboot sale for £1. Its the best frying pan ever! I can really recommend this brand, i think it is quite expensive but deffo worth it.
  • Emma_whitnash
    I bought my set from Debenhams in the sale (they have some great half price sales) about 5 years ago. Sorry don't know the make but they've been fab!
  • macma
    macma Posts: 911 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I have a few Le Crueset and they're great although very heavy even when empty.
    The bulk of my saucepans are from QVC they do their own range called cooks essentials and they're pretty good. The nonstick has a lifetime guarantee and I complained about a frypan (7yrs old :eek:)and they replaced it without quibble for a more expensive pan and they didn't even ask for the old one back:)
  • officeguru
    officeguru Posts: 725 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I just thought I would add my tuppence worth. I spend a fortune on Crueset pans and, for years, they were definitely worth it. However, I became ill and I found that I could no longer lift them. My son has now inherited them so they haven't gone to waste and they will last for generations... but the next best pans I ever bought was a stainless steel set from Costco. I have had them now for over 10 years and they have been great. Not too heavy and very well balanced. They have gold handles, which keep the handles cool so you are not burning your hands when lifting the pots off the cooker or holding the handle of the pans. The set came with 3 pots normal sized pots and then 2 large casserole type (one could have been used as a frying pan, but I prefer to use an non-stick) and a very large pot that I use at christmas time for large pots of soup. I wouldn't part with them now and they will see me until I am boxed... I think they still sell them and I think they are around the £70-£90 mark but excellent quality.. As well as gold handles, they have a gold around the top near the rim and also gold handles on the lids so, again, they keep cool....

  • freecycler2
    Firstly, some worn non-stick pans can be rescued by using Lakeland's Magic Non-stick Liner - 100cm for £9.49 can be cut to fit a few pans. Secondly, good quality pans can be found at T K Maxx for almost half price - a few weeks ago I found Circulon pans (lifetime guarantee), and Judge Vista (25 years guarantee) stainless steel heavy bottomed 3 litre pan with clear lid for £25. Lakeland also sell a fantastic Stoneline non-stick frypan for about £20 - should be more durable than Teflon and avoids the health concerns surrounding Teflon. If you're on a budget, Le Creuset will be out of the picture, but there is a cheaper brand called Chasseur which is just as good.
  • MrsAtobe
    MrsAtobe Posts: 1,404 Forumite
    edited 25 August 2011 at 8:18AM
    Freecycler2 beat me to it! I've just invested in some Circulon pans from T K Maxx, and they are brilliant! Another family member is really pleased with her Judge pans, and they've lasted her donkeys years.

    ETA I've I don't need quite as much heat under the Circulon pans as I did under my old Tefal non-stick, there were a few burnt offerings before I worked it out:D
    Good enough is good enough, and I am more than good enough!:j

    If all else fails, remember, keep calm and hug a spaniel!
  • davemorton
    davemorton Posts: 29,066 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Car Insurance Carver!
    I third TKMax. I bought a few pans there, I found the prestige ones quite nice.
    “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”
    Juvenal, The Sixteen Satires
  • Little_Miss_Penny_Less
    Thanks everyone, some good places to start there. I don't have a tkmaxx very close but next time I'm passing I'll check it out
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