Edit 02/05/2017, a year and a half later: the detachable handles for the pans are now beginning to deteriorate and will soon need replacing.
I’ve made some new friends in the kitchen over the past month or two. We were a little nervous of each other at first, but we’re fast becoming thick as thieves.
I’ve always known that Tefal are undoubtedly the way to go for non-stick frying pans, but the ingenio set is actually beginning to change the way I cook – for the better, of course.
I umm’d and ahh’d over how best to tackle this review. Should I condense it and leave things out to make for easy reading, or cover all the bases I want to talk about and take the hit of being potentially long winded? I chose the latter, presuming that if you clicked on this post in the first place, you’re genuinely interested in this set of pans.
I’ll give you the pictures first to ease you in.
What actually is Tefal ingenio?
The ingenio cookware is a genius range from Tefal that makes for easier storage, less dish washing (more on that later), zero pan-sticking and easy cleaning.
The 13 piece set that I’m reviewing today includes saucepans, frying pans, a sautepan, a wok, glass lids for use while cooking and plastic lids for fridge storage, and two removable handles that clip on to each pan. It retails at around £144 (depending on where you purchase it) and you can find retailers on their website.
Have I actually been cooking with them?
Religiously. The rubbish frying pan I had prior to unboxing this home cook’s dream is history, and the two Tefal pans (one 22cm and one 28cm) are now tucked into the “stuff that gets used most often” cupboard (see dungeon-like picture above) and taken out almost every day.
The other pans are stored in their box over by the washing machine (still a part of the kitchen, #smallhouseproblems) but used 2-3 times a week at the very least. I’m particularly fond of them for things like pasta sauces, the depth of them means that I can slosh things about without making a mess of the cooker. Bonus.
Is the non-stick quality of Tefal overhyped?
Not even a little bit, my friends. Cooking with these pans completely removes the fear of food sticking. It’s amazing. Scrambled egg, porridge, other usually residue-leaving foods, they all come clean out in one swipe.
This also means that there are never, ever tough washing up duties where these pans are concerned. A quick (gentle) scrub and they’re squeaky clean and ready to use again.
What makes these superior to bog standard frying pan/saucepan sets?
Their versatility. Because the handles are detachable, you can literally take these babies from the hob, to the oven, to the table, to the fridge. Something I’ve never done before checking these out, it’s blown my cooking potential wide open and I can’t wait to keep experimenting.
What are my favourite memories of my blossoming relationship with the ingenio set so far?
- That time I totally screwed up the flipping of my omelette and thought I was going to be in an absolute mess, but I wasn’t because the frying pan was actual proper non-stick.
- That time I wanted to do that really cool thing where the rice on the bottom of a pan goes all brown and crispy, and it worked first time because the pan was actual proper non-stick.
- That time I was making veggie burgers that weren’t quite the right consistency (my bad) but nothing disastrous happened because the pan was actual proper non-stick.
You get the idea, right?
Are there any downsides?
One, sort of. The fact that the set only contains two detachable handles means that you can only use two of these pans at once – which, if you’re making a big old feast or something, isn’t quite ideal. You can order new handles online though, so it’s not a huge inconvenience.
Are they a worthy investment?
It’s a big question, £144 is a lot of money. As a Christmas present to somebody who’s just moved into their first home, or a student who likes to cook but just doesn’t have the resources in their crappy shared house kitchen, I think this would be rather perfect.
If you don’t want to throw yourself straight in at the big set, I really recommend investing in one Tefal frying pan to test the waters because in my eyes, they’re utterly perfect.
Tefal very, very kindly sent me the ingenio set for review, all opinions are of course my own.