New saucepans – the miraculous French Ingenio set

It’s not often I really wax lyrical when it comes to kitchen equipment (alright, the prep-a-lot and the silicone saucepan lid are exceptions to this). Mostly it’s a case of finding the best among a good range from various different manufacturers.

But recently I have had to buy a new set of saucepans… and I am in love. I agree wholeheartedly with the Gallic manufacturers, Tefal, when they claim that their offering is “ingénieux”.

And this time, the Saucy Dressings’ chief taster, famously laconic, is only slightly circumspect. His comment, with, slightly reluctant, respect and awe being “I think the French have really cracked it this time”.


best saucepans in the world
The whole set takes up hardly any space.


Why am I so impressed? Well, as a cynical marketing professional, I first notice that the benefits really are real benefits. You get:


  • The pans take up a lot less space in your kitchen


  • Significantly reduced, easier washing up


  • Good for the figure and the health – you need to use much less oil in your cooking


  • A variety of other design improvements over most types of saucepans


best saucepans in the world
The pans fit into each other


Why? And How?

Less space

This is a set of:

  • 1 x 22cm frying pan
  • 1 x 28cm frying pan
  • 1 x 26cm stir fry pan
  • 1 x 24cm ‘sauté’ pan with lid
  • 1 x 16cm saucepan with lid, and a plastic top for the fridge
  • 1 x 20cm saucepan with lid, and a plastic top for the fridge

They all fit into each other, plus the handles come off, plus the handles of the lids flatten, so the lids stack neatly together. Instead of those unsightly pyramids of saucepans with gather dust in the corners of kitchens, there is half a deep pan drawer taken up with these.

In addition to the above I think you would need a large saucepan for pasta and a small, copper pouring pan for sauces and milk.


Significantly reduced, easier washing up

Food just slides off this super-non-stick surface. Because the handles come off, the pans are easy to get into any washing up bowl or small sink.

Also, because the handles come off, you can fry, then, instead of decanting into an ovenproof dish to continue cooking in the oven, you just move direct from hob to oven, using the same pot.
The handles flatten down.


Good for the figure and the health

Again, because the non-stick surface is so effective, you really don’t need to use so much oil for frying.


A variety of other design improvements

  • The glass lids are surrounded with protective plastic so they don’t chip
  • The glass lids have a hole to allow steam to escape, so liquids contained in the pot below don’t overflow
  • The bottoms of the saucepans have very good all-over conductivity
  • I’m a little less convinced by the Thermo-spot technology… the idea is that the design on the red spot turns solid when the pan is ready for the food…. but different foods, onions, steak for example require different heats…


Still, a set to die for. Available in the UK from John Lewis.


best saucepans in the world
Less convinced by the thermo-spot technology…



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