Saucepans How we test saucepans

Icing sugar test

How Which? tests saucepans

We run 50 tests and measurements on saucepans so we can recommend the Best Buy saucepans that will give you years of faithful service. Our tests cover performance, ease of use and durability. Find out which are the best saucepans in our full saucepans review.

Saucepan performance

Performance was the most important aspect of our saucepan tests - there's no point having a beautiful pan if it doesn't cook evenly or takes forever to heat up. We recorded the time taken for heat to spread out across the base - looking out for hot spots (see right) of patchy heating that might burn food.

We also measured the time taken to boil a pan of water and looked at whether cooked food stays warm. Each performance test was conducted on both gas and electric hobs.

Testing ease of use

Ease of use was the second most important factor in our overall test results - a good pan shouldn't mean great cooking is a chore. We looked at the pan's stability on the hob and assessed its weight and balance to make sure it won't topple over.

Our experts judged whether the handle's comfortable to grip and whether it - or the lid - gets too hot during cooking. A sauce should pour easily from the pan and the surface shouldn't be difficult to clean.

Durability test

Durability tests

Durability was also an important consideration in our tests - we want you to know how each pan would cope in your kitchen when you get it home. We tested non-stick coatings to see whether they'd scratch off after the odd stir with a fork, and looked at how well uncoated surfaces resist scratches.

The pans were filled with water and dropped onto concrete to see whether an accidental slip would put them out of action, and a corrosion test looked for weak spots on the surface. If dishwasher safe, we ploughed each pan through 25 cycles - changing its position after each run - to see whether surfaces go dull after 65°C washes (see right).