It’s fun to cook up a feast for friends and family during caravan holidays, and all that fresh air is guaranteed to give everyone a healthy appetite. The only drawbacks for most of us is that the caravan cooker and hob is smaller than a domestic one – and all those odd pots and pans in our caravan cupboards are a bit bulky to use.

Space is tight in most caravans, so it’s very important to put only essential items that really work in the lockers. So, why not invest in a set of new saucepans and frying pans that are actually designed for caravans?

We’ve been testing plenty of camping cookware sets at Practical Caravan recently, to find out which to recommend to readers. Here’s how we went about it. First of all, we counted up the number of pieces in each set, because we’re always keen to make sure we find the best value for money. Sizes mattered very much, because we want to be able to fit three or four pans at a time on a typical caravan hob. That’s why we like sets with small and medium-sized saucepans  – and a medium-sized frying pan so that when the mood takes us we can make a full English breakfast – the ideal start to an active day outdoors.

Nesting instincts are a big plus when it comes to cookware sets, and in fact most caravan accessories. To make the most of any caravan locker, it’s ideal if the pots and pans have detachable handles, or ones that fold inwards for storage.

We need comfortable handles on the pans, to make sure we don’t drop them in the confined space of the caravan. Insulated handles for the pan and lid are absolutely essential.

A few cookware kits skimp by offering one pan lid between two, which didn’t impress us much. On the other hand, saucepans with detachable handles and plastic lids are very handy, because once your food has cooled, you can store any leftovers in the fridge.

Thin metal pans might be lightweight, but if they’re too thin they conduct heat so fast that the food tends to burn. And when it’s cooked, the food cools down quickly. We prefer pans with sides made of thicker stainless steel or aluminium.

Freezer-friendly pans are a bonus. It’s great to be able to cook a meal, freeze it, then set off with it on a long journey. When you arrive on site, you can concentrate on getting set up, knowing that all you have to do is heat up that food when you’re ready.

Pans that can cope with being deep-cleansed in a dishwasher between holidays also get bonus points from us. 

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, and the Lakeland Ceramica four-piece nesting pan set, which costs £94.99.

In this review we’ll shine our spotlight on the most expensive set in our test, the Tefal Ingenio 13-piece set, costing £149.99.

Tefal’s take on compact cookware consists of two detachable handles, fold-flat glass lids and six pans that nest so neatly that the stacked set is just 20cm high and 30cm in diameter at its widest point. That’s despite containing 16cm and 20cm saucepans, a 24cm sauté pan, a 26cm wok and two frying pans.

The clip-on handles work flawlessly and the pans, minus handles, are good for oven use, serving and even storage (two fridge lids are provided for the smaller pans). Unlike Lakeland’s Ceramica set, no special technique is needed to remove these handles. Just press the two side buttons, and the grip immediately pings open.

The butterfly style lid handles are another ingenious idea. Lightly sprung to stay at 45 degrees, they easily push fully together allowing you maximum grip when carrying. But they also flatten right down, for easy storage, even with just the weight of another lid on top of them.  

Tefal’s Thermo-Spot technology, Intensium non-stick coating and 10-year guarantee more than justify the premium price.