James Stanbury

See other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury

Read our expert's verdict on the neat little Vango one-person non-stick cook kit if you're thinking of upgrading your motorhome touring kit this year

Overview

When you think of motorhome road trips, what sounds spring to mind? Do you recall your favourite music marking out the miles, or might it be the somewhat less glamorous sound of pots and pans jumping around in your motorhome locker? Somehow, whatever you do to pack out the pans with tea towels and kitchen roll, they still like to do their own shake, rattle and roll on the road.

Maybe that's one good reason why specialist camping gear manufacturers have come up with neat little compact cookware sets. Light in weight, small in size and as versatile as you like, little saucepans and frying pans that stack together neatly have less chance of providing that three-hour tin-pan drum solo you may have been enjoying on your travels.

Making the most of your motorhome's payload is another important thing to consider – why lug hefty cast-off domestic pots and pans around when you could benefit from lightweight sets of cooking pots?  

We've been testing camping cookware sets, to find out which are the best pan sets for motorhomes.

We tested the Kampa Feast Non-Stick Eight-Person XL Cook Set at £33.99, the Kampa Chow at £23.99, The Outwell Feast cook set M at £34.20, the Lakeland My Kitchen five-piece pan set at £94.99, the Vango eight-person non-stick cook kit at £50, the Kampa Munch at £28.99, and the Vango one-person non-stick cook kit at £18.  

What makes an ideal set of pots and pans for motorhome touring? Great value for money is a given requirement, and we took the number of the pans and the quality of materials and design into consideration.

Given the choices available, we like to stick to medium-sized or small saucepans, since they're better at sharing the space on a typical motorhome hob. We liked strong and stable pans that aren't too heavy to lift when full of food. This is not the place for cast-iron cookware. When it comes to lids, we like there to be one for each pan, so that we can cook the food speedily, using less fuel, and then keep it hot on the side while we dish up.

Compact motorhome galley kitchens require pans with good nesting abilities, preferably with folding or detachable pan handles, which should of course be insulated and easy to grip. If we can use the saucepans in the oven for baking, so much the better. As a bonus, a few pans come with lids so you can pop any leftovers in the fridge.

In this review we'll focus on what is easily the most compact set here, the Vango one-person non-stick cook kit, at £18. This neat little set packs down to just 17cm diameter x 9cm high, even when in its drawstring carry bag. This is not bad considering that you get two saucepans, a frying pan and a plastic mug.

Predictably enough, the saucepans are small, at just 13cm and 14cm across, but they’re usable, which is more than can be said for the frying pan. At just 14cm in diameter, even a standard-length sausage will only fit bang down the middle.

We do have one minor niggle: it's hard to grip the lids' knobs without the ends of your fingers touching the, often hot, lid surface. 

Verdict

Although few motorcaravanners would rely solely on the Vango one-person non-stick cook kit, it is a great cheap way of supplementing an existing set with a couple of extra, very easily stored, compact pans. At just £18 for the set, this offers great value for money. We've awarded it a four-star rating.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Compact
  • Good value for money
  • Saucepans are the right sizes

Cons

  • Frying pan is too small
  • Pan handles get too hot
  • Pan lid knobs get too hot
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