For essentially a space saving pan system, I don't know why I was still amazed that the box the set came in was so small. Inside there were a whopping six pans and two sets of lids. I felt like Mary Poppins pulling out pan after pan!
NOTE: I apologise for my kitchen. We still haven't go around to scoping the design and think Mr GF is going to do one of his custom builds on it with lots of concrete worktops and clean lines. I can only imagine the previous owners wore beige a lot or were forced at gunpoint to have matching faux beech tops and units with turquoise tiles. I think I would have taken the bullet.
I was quite excited about this new Ingenio range from Tefal as my non stick pan from this brand has been the only one to stand the test of time. I have a large high-sided pan (a wok/pan hybrid) but use it for everything. And despite the abuse over a good seven years, it's as good and shiny as new.
The Ingenio range answers the issue that many of us have in storing pan sets, transferring them to the oven and stacking in dishwashers. They have created a space saving idea of detachable handles (two came with the set) and allowing all of the pans to be used in the oven and placed in the fridge for food storage with the supplied plastic lids.
I was immediately impressed by the weight. Nothing says quality more in a pan. They felt solid and the heavy base ensured even cooking. The non-stick coating had the box-fresh silkiness you would expect and yes, I had no trouble turning food with little or no fat.
So, here are the design features:
- Feels very solid and secure to the pan
- Easy to use with one click
- Clicks with a very reassuring noise
- I did have concerns about handle damaging the non-stick coating
- Storage is so much easier with the pans stacked one inside another without the handle (my pan drawer before and after, shown above)
- No handles mean it is less cumbersome when using all the burners on the hob
- Lids store flat as the butterfly style handles flatten
- So much more dishwasher friendly as you can realistically fit the pans and lids in
- Saucepans and frying pans can be placed in the oven without the handles
- You can get the food out of the oven with a guaranteed cold handle!
- If you serve direct to the table, the handle-less look is a nicer
- You can use metal on the non stick coating (no whisks or knives)
- You don't have the food build up around the handle rivets that is difficult to clean
- The Thermo-Spot lets you know when the pan has reached optimal cooking temperature
- The surface is so easy to clean, I've actually used the larger pans to roast meat and potatoes or do bakes in the oven. I dare say it would also make for a decent cake tin too.
- Although clever, I'm not a fan of the look of the lids. Glass lids have never appealed to me for some reason and the rubber around the glass doesn't look secure, although turns out it is.
- I did find myself getting annoyed when I needed to move the pan quickly and had to hunt out a handle.
I've been using this set solidly for over a month now, putting my regular pans into storage. I have very few negative comments really, they have been very nice to cook with and I thought I would miss my stainless steel set but so far haven't looked back! The only pan I really do need is my huge pasta pot for a crowd.
All the food I've fried, boiled, stewed and roasted has cooked well and they are particularly good for use in the oven, far better than my enamel trays which I have to spend an age scrubbing afterward.
I really wish I had these years ago as my first flat was tiny. The kitchen was in a little nook and storage was very minimal (like, two cuboards!) and these pans would have been an absolute lifesaver. But even now with a bit more space (not much - this is Brighton) these really appeal to the neat freak in me. I love how they stack!
I will be updating this review in 6 months or so. If I'm honest, the handle gripper scratching the non-stick coating continues to worry me so will be interesting to see how these hold up and if there is any damage.
I was sent the Tefal Ingenio pan set for review. Opinions, as always, are my own.