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25 January 2023

Kmart saucepan: top of the pots

Consumer NZ testing has found, yet again, that splurging on a top-priced product does not guarantee better results than opting for a savvy budget buy.

The not-for-profit recently tested 13 saucepans and the results were astonishing. The two top-scoring pans had a whopping $246 price difference.

A budget buy from Kmart priced at $24 came out on top, narrowly beating a pricey offering by Essteele, at $270.

“Marketed as premium kitchenware, Essteele’s saucepan performed as expected,” said James le Page, Consumer test team leader.

“We gave it top marks for evenness of cooking and overall performance.

“A $24 Kmart saucepan matched the premium product’s overall performance and evenness of cooking score. However, the budget buy performed better in our water boiling speed and ease of use tests,” he said.

The $24 Kmart saucepan earned a total score of 90, while Essteele's saucepan came a close second, at 86. The score breakdown is available on Consumer’s product review page.

The watchdog’s independent testing focused on how well and evenly a pan cooks, whether food sticks, and how long it takes to boil a litre of water.

Consideration was also given to the balance and weight of each saucepan and how comfortable the handle is, including resistance to heat.

“We recommend both these pans,” le Page said. “But with a staggering price difference between products which both perform perfectly well, the Kmart saucepan may prove to be a popular purchase this summer.”

Consumer regularly tests products and services and recommends the ones it deems to be the best. Consumer members benefit from these independent test results, which over time have the potential to save them tidy sums.

“It’s not unusual for our testing to throw up some great-performing cheaper products,” le Page said.

“Throughout our testing, we are always mindful of sustainability. We only recommend cheaper products if we are confident they will last a reasonable length of time.

“In this instance, the $24 Kmart saucepan is made from stainless steel and has a durable handle – indicating not only that it will perform well, but it should also go the distance.”

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