When you first bought your caravan, did you fit it out with all-new touring kit? We suspect not. Most people have quite an assortment of kitchenware at home, so they simply round up the second-best items and put them in the caravan. Job done – but is it?

When you get to the campsite and start cooking you quickly discover the flaws in those old pots and pans. The non-stick coating has vanished in patches, perhaps, or the pans are too heavy and bulky for the caravan hob. Worst of all, the random sizes just won’t stack together neatly in your caravan kitchen locker. 

Save yourself from aggravation – just splash out a modest amount on new kitchenware designed especially for caravans. If your kit is a pleasure to use, you’ll save money, because you’ll be more likely to cook, instead of ordering fish and chips and takeaways!

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. To find out, we first counted how many pieces you get in each set. Than we looked at their suitability for caravan galleys. Small and medium-sized saucepans are the best to go for, since anything larger will take up more than its fair share of space on a caravan hob. Giant frying pans are a particular problem, but on the other hand tiny frying pans will drive you mad if you like a fry-up for the family.

Storage space is always at a premium in a caravan kitchen, so we were especially pleased when we found pan sets that nest together neatly, especially if the handles fold away. While we’re on the subject of handles, we find that some camping saucepan sets have bare metal handles, which could prove painful. The better ones have insulated handles, which feel good in the hand and allow for a secure grip.

Pan lids also need insulated handles in our view, and we’ve been surprised to see that some camping cookware sets give one lid for two pans, which we’re not keen on.

Bonus marks went to pans with clip-on lids, because that means any leftovers can be popped in the fridge once they’ve cooled down.

In use, we found that if the camping saucepans are made of thin metal, they conduct the heat too well, leading to burnt food. We prefer thicker walls, in either stainless steel or aluminium. It’s another bonus if the pans can be popped in a dishwasher after each holiday for a thorough deep-clean.

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, 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.

At first glance this may be the least exciting set in the group, but it gets so much right. For instance, the three pans are perfectly sized for compact caravan hobs at 16cm, 18cm, and 20cm diameters.

Despite relatively thick walls, their aluminium construction means the whole lot weighs in at just 1.6kg.

The pans are also a pleasure to use. The glass lids all have decent handles that are easily grabbed and won’t burn your fingers.

While the pans’ handles don’t fold or come off, the pans nest reasonably well; as a result, the set of three doesn’t take up a vast amount of cupboard space.