We Put This Instafamous Cooking Pan to The Test
Our Place’s Always Pan is all over the internet, but is it actually good? We tried it for a year to find out.
I have to confess that most of my purchases are influenced by social media and this one is a prime example of that. After months of seeing the Our Place Always Pan pop up in my Instagram feed and YouTube ads, influencers raving about it, and multiple magazine features, I couldn’t resist my curiosity (and my love of pretty things) and decided to purchase it.
After using it now almost every day for over a year, I have a lot to say about it. Keep reading to find out what we think, and if it’s a worthwhile buy for you.
What it is: The Always Pan from Our Place is a large pan featuring a non-toxic, nonstick ceramic coating and promises to replace eight traditional pieces of cookware.
What it costs: $145
Why it’s great: Its design is incredibly attractive and it comes in eight different colors that look great in any kitchen. The nonstick coating works great and makes it easy to clean after every use.
What would make it even better: Although it is objectively beautiful to look at, there are a few elements that hinder functionality like its boxy handle (which makes it uncomfortable to grip) and its concave bottom that causes oils and sauces to pool at the edges.
Our Place Products
About the Brand
Founded by Shiza Shahid, Our Place was born out of the idea of making things simple and tidy in the kitchen. Living in a small New York City apartment and hosting dinner parties with friends, she wanted a single product to facilitate the different recipes they were creating— one that could ultimately replace multiple appliances. Enter the brand’s flagship product: the Always Pan, marketed as a replacement for eight traditional pieces of cookware that looks great in your kitchen. As Shahid said in an interview with Domino, she wanted to create a product “that was not too deep, so you can flip an egg, but not too shallow, so you could boil pasta,” and also have a place for your spoon to rest. All of these descriptions were exactly what attracted me, and convinced me to buy one.
The Always Pan measures 10 inches in diameter and is made with a nonstick ceramic-like coating that excludes potentially toxic materials like PFOAs, PTFEs, other PFAs, lead, cadmium, toxic metals, and nanoparticles. It comes with a lid, wooden spatula, and stainless steel steamer basket (which works great when straining your veggies and pasta). As its name suggests, it’s the pan that you’d likely always grab first while prepping any meal since it’s meant to be incredibly versatile. However, it’s only meant to be used only on the stovetop.
How to Use It
When it comes to cooking with it, it’s very straightforward. However, as with any nonstick ceramic pan, there are certain precautions you need to take to promote its longevity. Avoid using metal utensils since they destroy the nonstick coating. Like the spatula that comes with the pan, wooden ones are your best option. You also need to be incredibly careful about cooking with it on high heat since that can also damage the nonstick coating.
I’ve used the Always Pan almost every day for over a year and it still looks like new. However, realistically it doesn’t replace all other pans (unless you’re really into one-pot meals). I usually use a separate pot to cook rice or quinoa and the Always Pan to cook stews, steam veggies, make sauces, or for frying. Also, the nonstick coating on mine is still intact which makes it both easy to cook with and easy to clean. That said, I do not enjoy its boxy handle, which can make gripping it a bit cumbersome and awkward, and the fact that it has a concave bottom which allows for oils and sauces to annoyingly pool along the edges.
Even though my experience has been mostly positive so far, there are a lot of reviewers who discovered the nonstick coating on their Always Pan was completely gone after just a few months of use. If you usually cook with high heat, that will inevitably happen to any of your nonstick ceramic coated pans. For that reason, you may want to look into other options like a cast-iron pan, skillets, saucepans, Dutch ovens, or braisers. Still, if you’re a casual cook and don’t typically require a full set of pots and pans, then the Always Pan will definitely do the job (and look great doing it).