James Stanbury

See other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury

The colourful Lakeland Ceramica four-piece nesting pan set looks irresistible, but make sure you read our expert's verdict before splashing out

Overview

Why not treat yourself to some new kitchenware for your caravan this year? It's surprising what a difference it makes when you have just the right cooking pots and pans nesting neatly in your caravan galley locker. 

Take a look at your current touring kit. Is the kitchen full of a hotchpotch of mismatched and frankly tired pots and pans? For just a small outlay of cash you can transform your galley kitchen with a few key items, making it  fit for any caravan chef.

We've been testing a wide range of camping cookware sets on the Practical Caravan test bench, to find out which are the best sets to buy. We looked at value for money, including the number of items you get in each pan set. We checked their sizes to see if they'd fit on a typical caravan hob. Small and medium-sized saucepans are the best, but when it came to frying pans we realised we needed a reasonable size to cater for a family fry-up.

One of the main reasons to upgrade your cookware sets is that you can get items that nest together neatly and make the most of your caravan's storage space. Some sets have folding, or detachable, handles, which makes them more versatile both in use and in storage.

We looked for cooking pots with handles you can grip securely and easily, and we favoured those with insulated handles for both the pan and lid. We liked the sets that provided a lid for each and every pan, instead of expecting you to share one lid between two cooking pots. And we do like those with plastic lids, which you can use to store food in the fridge once the pan has cooled. 

One drawback of camping saucepans can be that some are made of thin metal, which leads to food burning onto the pan very easily. These cool down quickly as well. Pans with thicker stainless steel or aluminium walls retain heat for a while after you've switched off the hob.

Another factor we considered is that we like to put our saucepans in a dishwasher to give them a good wash after each holiday.

We've tested a wide range of caravan-friendly kitchenware, including the Coleman eight-piece enamelled cook set, costing £40, the Kampa Feast set of four at £33.99, the Outwell Gastro cook set M, at £35.99 and the Quest three-piece saucepan set at £15, the Lakeland Ceramica four-piece nesting pan set, which costs £94.99, and the Tefal Ingenio 13-piece set, costing £149.99.

In this review we'll focus on the Lakeland Ceramica four-piece nesting pan set, which costs £94.99.

With their thick walls and pastel colours, this ceramic-coated set of four could easily pass as a touring alternative to cast-iron Le Creusets. And the lack of integral handles makes these pots perfectly suited to oven usage, serving-dish duty, or just keeping leftovers fresh in the fridge, thanks to two clip-on plastic lids for the larger pots.

But the set has some annoying drawbacks. First of all, the clip-on handles — though incredibly secure — do not always let go easily. Moreover, while the pots’ thick walls potentially allow plenty of heat retention, for keeping drained vegetables warm, the lack of heatproof lids rather spoils that advantage.

Technical specs

Pan materialsCeramic-coated cast aluminium
Dishwasher-proofYes
Freezer safeYes
Saucepan with pouring lip16cm
Casserole with lid20cm
Sauté pan with lid24cm
Frying pan28cm
Detachable Bakelite handles2
Plastic clip-on lids2

Verdict

The fact that there are no heatproof lids for the Lakeland Ceramica four-piece nesting pan set means that your meal will cook more slowly on the caravan hob, use more of your precious gas, and cool down very quickly the minute you turn down the hob. This would be a bit annoying for those who enjoy eating al-fresco or in the cool of an awning. Sadly, the attractive Lakeland Ceramica set gets a lukewarm two-star rating from us.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Clip-on handles mean the pots can go in the oven
  • It's a colourful set that would look good in any van
  • This set nests well and fits neatly in the caravan galley locker
  • Plastic lids mean leftovers can go in the fridge

Cons

  • Food takes longer to cook, with no lids
  • Handles aren't easy to clip on and off
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