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How we test cookware

We test saucepans and frypans in our kitchen lab to find out which ones will give you the best results.

turning on an induction cooktop with a saucepan

We all need to equip our kitchens with a range of versatile pots and pans so we can whip up delicious home-cooked meals. Here at CHOICE we test a range of saucepans and frypans in our kitchen lab so we can find the best cookware on the market. This is how we get our results.

Our expert testers

There's no doubt that our home economist Fiona Mair knows her way around a kitchen and has endless knowledge about kitchen appliances. With over 30 years' experience she's seen a lot of new technology enter the kitchen space, and knows how to put any appliance – big or small – through its paces to see if it's worthy of a spot in your kitchen.

How we choose what we test

With so much cookware on the market to choose from, what makes us choose one saucepan or frypan to test over another? As with most of our product testing, our aim is to test the most popular models on the market and what you're most likely to see in stores. In the case of cookware, we make sure all the products we test are compatible with induction cooktops.

We survey manufacturers to find out about their range of models, we check market sales information and we check for any member requests to test specific models. 

From this information we put together a final list that goes to our buyers. They then head out to the retailers and purchase each product, just as a regular consumer would, so we can be sure the products haven't been 'tweaked' in any way for better performance.

How we test cookware


We compare a range of saucepans and frypans by testing:

  • heating efficiency for saucepans by timing how quickly they heat 1 litre of water
  • evenness of cooking and sticking of food for saucepans by cooking scrambled eggs
  • evenness of heating for frypans by cooking pancakes.


For non-stick frypans we assess the durability and resilience of the non-stick surface by scrubbing a section of each pan 10,000 times. We use a mechanical scrubbing arm with a Scotch-Brite scourer attached and with a 10kg weight applied.

frypans undergoing a durability test in the CHOICE lab

The mechanical scrubbing arm we use to test the durability of the non-stick surface of frypans.

Ease of use

Our home economist assesses the ease of use of each saucepan and frypan by checking:

  • how well balanced the saucepan or frypan is
  • how comfortable the handles are to hold
  • steam control (for saucepans)
  • ease of pouring (for saucepans)
  • how easy they are to clean.

Test criteria explained

For saucepans, the CHOICE Expert Rating (the overall score that determines which products we recommend) is made up of:

  • performance (60%)
  • ease of use (40%).

For frypans, the CHOICE Expert Rating is made up of:

  • performance (50%)
  • surface durability (25%)
  • ease of use (25%).

Our test lab

We maintain a kitchen lab that is up to date with the latest reference machines and calibrated measurement tools for our testers to bring you the right results.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.