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The ultimate guide to buying pans

Looking after your pans

Look after your pans and they will provide you with years of service. They don’t need much maintenance, but to ensure your pans stand up to all your cooking can throw at them giving them a little TLC will ensure your investment lasts.

Which pan to use on different hobs

Your hob should play an important part in finding the best pan/pan range for you.

Some hobs are better suited to certain materials, and some will not perform at all unless you use a specific metal.

It’s also important to consider the appearance of your hob and kitchen décor when choosing cookware – if your cookware looks out of place when cooking, you’re less likely to want to use and look after it.

At a glance

Thick pans required, e.g. cast iron
Any pan can be used
Any pan can be used
Heavier pans are preferable, avoid pans with shiny, reflective bases
Solid state
Any pan can be used
Metal based pans required, such as stainless steel or cast iron

There are four main types of hob:

Range cookers
Range cooker
Fuelled by gas, oil, electric or solid fuel, range cookers create a high heat and require a heavy-duty pan to prevent warping, such as one made from cast iron.
Gas hob
Still a very popular choice due to its ‘instant on, instant off’ appeal, and suitable for cooking on with all pan types.
Electric hob
There’s a huge range of electric hobs out there, including ceramic, halogen and solid plate. Ceramic offers quick and even heating, solid plates are usually slower to warm up and down, and halogen has many a die-hard fan due its energy efficiency and effortless clean-up – all can be used with any pan material.
Induction hob
Induction compares very favourably with gas for its ‘instant on, instant off’ appeal, with the added attraction that the glass-covered hobs are easy to wipe clean. Induction also wastes virtually zero energy as all heat goes into the pan. As induction works by a magnetic conduction between the pan and the hob, pans need to have a stainless steel or cast iron base – non-magnetic pans will not work.

Looking for a set of pans?

A set of pans can provide you with the solid foundation your cookware collection needs. Containing the basic pans you’ll need to cook most dishes, you usually get a saving when you buy the full set, rather than purchasing each pan individually. And you can always add more specialist pans at your leisure.

My Kitchen Classic 5 Piece Set
My Kitchen Classic 5 Piece Set
Maybe you’ve been thinking of replacing your well-used pans, or perhaps you’ve been looking for a set that would...
5 stars out of 5 based on 7 review.
Meyer Circulon® Infinite Pans
Meyer Circulon® Infinite Pans
Non-stick hard anodised pots and pans, with tempered steel lids and stay-cool handles. Dishwasher safe.
From £19.99
4 stars out of 5 based on 13 reviews.
Stellar Eazi Store Pan Set
Stellar Eazi Store Pan Set
Set of 3 nesting saucepans fitting neatly inside one another.
4 stars out of 5 based on 7 reviews.
Lakeland 4-Piece Nesting Pan Set
Lakeland 4-Piece Nesting Pan Set
These four pans nest inside one another for storage, and come with two patented detachable Bakelite handles - just ...
4.5 stars out of 5 based on 12 reviews.

Caring for your pans

It’s true that a good set of pans should last for a very long time – a little maintenance here and there and there’ll last even longer! From checking on the best cleaning methods (hand wash or dishwasher?) to keeping a few points in mind, you’ll ensure you’ll get the maximum return from your investment.

  • Avoid metal utensils on non-stick cookware.
  • Avoid abrasive washing-up brushes or sponges.
  • Don’t put a hot pan into water – wait until it’s cool to prevent warping.
  • Use a soft surface in-between pans if stacking – our pan protectors are ideal.
  • Some pans (e.g. copper) require a specific cleaner – always read the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • A high heat can shorten the life of some non-stick pans.
  • The quality of some non-stick pans can degrade over time if used in the dishwasher, even if they are labelled dishwasher-safe.

How to season a non-stick pan

Non-stick pans are understandably popular these days, and pans that don’t come with a plastic coating require ‘seasoning’ or ‘curing’ to develop a non-stick layer of their own, such as some woks or cast iron skillets.

Seasoning is simple to do, takes only a little time, and will ensure your pan is as non-stick as a pan that comes ready-treated. Techniques differ, but the basic approach is as good as any! Coat the interior of the pan with a thin layer of oil and then heat until smoking. For best results allow to cool, wipe down the pan with kitchen roll and repeat the process two or three times.

Over time the pan will develop a much darker surface, which is a sure sign the pan has gained a non-stick surface. When cleaning a seasoned pan it’s best to wipe clean rather than scrubbing with soap and water, which may remove the non-stick coating.

Looking after the non-stick

Metal utensils are unkind to most non-stick surfaces, so to ensure your pan’s surface stays in tip top condition, it’s worth investing in the right tools to use with them.

Dual-Ended Spatula
Dual-Ended Spatula
Dual ended spatula made from heat resistant silicone.
3 stars out of 5 based on 7 review.
My Kitchen Silicone Utensil Trio
My Kitchen Silicone Utensil Trio
Made from heat-resistant, non stick-friendly nylon, with comfortable handles and great value too!
£3.49 each
E-Cloth® Washing Up Pad
E-Cloth® Washing Up Pad
E-cloth’s pad is fantastic for making short work of the washing-up. Double-sided to cope with the toughest of tasks...
Pot & Pan Scrapers
Pot & Pan Scrapers
4 non-scratch pot and pan scrapers.
4.5 stars out of 5 based on 9 reviews.

Quality counts…

Whatever you need, whether it’s a new set of pans or an individual piece, it’s an investment that deserves careful consideration.

Every Lakeland pan offers exceptional quality – far more than you would expect for the price. Ranges elsewhere on the market may be slightly cheaper, but won’t compare in terms of quality and longevity. Invest in a pan or range from Lakeland and you’ll see the difference straight away.

Accessories to get the most out of your pans

Turn a pan into a steamer, save on the washing up, prevent all those spits and spatters… we’ve loads of innovative ideas to give your pans extra versatility and care for your new cookware.

Original SimmerMat
Steel stove-top mat for even heat distribution under pots.
5 stars out of 5 based on 2 reviews.
Oxo Good Grips® Splatter Screen
Oxo Good Grips Splatter Screen
Stainless steel easy-clean splatter guard for pans, with folding handle.
4 stars out of 5 based on 2 reviews.
Pan Protectors
Pan Protectors
Set of 3 machine washable pads which when placed between pans prevent scratching.
5 stars out of 5 based on 13 reviews.
Fold-Out Trivet
Fold-Out Trivet
Keep our trivet by the cooker for hot pans and dishes from the oven, or fold out the heat-resistant sections to hold serving dishes at the dinner table.
5 stars out of 5 based on 2 reviews.