Pots

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Which are comfortable to hold and easy to pour from?

Our test includes 20cm saucepans, all suitable for induction cooktops. We tested how long each pot took to boil one litre of water, how comfortable they are to hold and pour from without dripping, how hot the handles and lid knobs became during cooking, and how easy they were to clean.

From our test

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What to look for – induction cookware

  • Induction-suitable pots and pans have a ferrous metal base, which means a magnet will stick to it.

  • An induction pot or pan should be the same size as the element it sits on. Will it fit easily in your sink for cleaning?

  • A heavy base helps with heat distribution and evenness of cooking. Stainless steel is strong, hard and non-corrosive but it doesn’t conduct heat well – so it’s often combined with aluminium in multi-layered bases (the aluminium is better at conducting and dispersing heat). Cast iron gives a very even heat at low settings but its thick and heavy base takes longer to heat up and cool down than other cookware.

  • Check the weight. If it’s heavy when it’s empty, it will be a strain on your wrist when it’s full.

  • The handle should stay cool to the touch and have a non-slip grip. Stainless-steel handles can get dangerously hot.

  • A pot that has a rim with a curved edge or a lip reduces the chances of the contents dripping on to the bench or table when you pour.

  • A glass lid lets you keep an eye on what’s cooking without lifting the lid (which wastes heat). You can also see when your pot’s about to boil over. However, a glass lid can accumulate grime and be fiddly to clean.

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Tips for care and use

  • While some saucepans are dishwasher safe, a dishwasher’s detergent can be too harsh, especially for non-stick surfaces. It’s better to hand wash in warm soapy water and use a soft sponge for cleaning. Never wash a hot non-stick pan in cold water; this can damage the non-stick surface and may cause the base of the pan to buckle.

  • To get the most out of your saucepan only use wooden or silicon utensils. Even though some manufacturers claim using metal utensils is OK, using or wooden or silicon ones will prevent scratching and extend the life of your pan.

  • Add salt to boiling water only, as adding salt to cold water can cause pitting of the base.

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Food preparation

We’ve tested a range of small kitchen appliances, including food processors, rice cookers and breadmakers, as well as kitchen tools like knives.

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