I’m answering all of your questions in my Our Place Pan review!
By now, I’m sure you’ve noticed that my Our Place Always Pan is truly always being used in my home. To say I’m a fan is a huge understatement – in fact, I actually had this review on my editorial calendar even before they reached out to me for a sponsored collaboration. So if you’re wondering if I squealed when I got that email… why yes, yes I did!
I’ll dive into all of your frequently asked questions later in this post, but the main one I usually get is: Is it really worth the hype? And for me, the answer is yes. As you guys know, a large part of my job involves cooking, and this has made my life much easier. First of all, it’s gorgeous. No need to hide it in a drawer or transfer your food to a serving dish before bringing it to the dining room table. Second, it has a great nonstick coating that makes cleaning a breeze. It’s also actually non-toxic, unlike a lot of pots and pans that claim to be safe… but really aren’t. And if all of that wasn’t enough, the founder is so inspiring and this is exactly the kind of small business we all want to support.
Our Place Pan Review
About Our Place
Before we dive into the pan, I just want to take a second to talk about Our Place as a company first! While their gorgeous aesthetics were the first thing to catch my eye, I knew I needed to make a purchase once I read about Shiza Shahid, Our Place co-founder, in this Domino article. Shiza is an immigrant from Pakistan, the co-founder of the Malala Fund, and a women’s rights advocate. Now she runs a team (largely made up of women, immigrants, and first-generation employees) that focuses on beautiful, safe, and effective cookware – all made with a commitment to ethical labor and responsible materials. They also strongly believe in celebrating diversity and inclusion by showing different ways we all prepare food and gather around our tables. How beautiful is that?
What Is The Always Pan?
Their idea for the Always Pan came about when Shiza was living in a small New York studio, and the goal was to create a pan that could do it all while also being safe to use and beautiful enough to leave on the counter. In fact, it was designed to replace 8 traditional pieces of cookware: frying pan, saute pans, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula, and spoon rest. In other words, this ONE pan allows you to braise, sear, steam, strain, saute, fry, boil, and even serve.
Each Always Pan comes with:
- the non-toxic ceramic pan (that has a stay-cool handle and 2 easy pour spouts)
- a steamer basket/colander that nestles right into the pan
- a beechwood spatula that sits on the built in spoon rest
- a modular domed lid to trap and release steam
- a sponge for cleaning
It only comes in one size (10″ diameter/2.6qt capacity), but you can choose between 6 different colors. I have the lavender and blue salt and both are swoon-worthy! It’s also worth noting that their exclusive non-toxic nonstick ceramic coating is a step above the majority of other nonstick options out there. It is made without any potentially toxic materials like PFOAs, PTFEs, other PFAs, lead, cadmium, toxic metals, and nanoparticals. And no, that is not a given with all nonstick coookware.
How to Clean The Always Pan
Technically, they say that it is dishwasher safe… but I wouldn’t put mine in the dishwasher. Not because I don’t trust them, but just because it is SO EASY to clean. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve soaked pots and pans for hours before attempting to scrub them after recipe testing – but those days are long gone. Even when I make something sticky like this tofu, or a vodka sauce with cream, cheese, and pasta, it still takes less than a minute to wipe this pan clean. All you need is some soapy water and a soft (non abrasive) sponge. That’s it.
That being said, it might get harder to clean over time if you don’t properly take care of it – so please keep that in mind! They recommend avoiding very high heats, use oils with a high smokepoint (like extra virgin olive oil, refined coconut oil, avocado oil, etc), and avoid using any metal kitchen tools that could scratch the coating. I mostly use the wooden spatula that comes with the pan! Also, if your pan is very hot, wait for it to cool down before washing. This is such a simple step, but it’s super important.
Pros and Cons of The Always Pan
Replaces Other Cookware
When Adam and I were packing up our old apartment, we decided to Marie Kondo our kitchen a little bit. After parting with every pan that was scratched, we were left with my old ceramic pan that I need to replace every year, my dutch oven, and a nonstick saute pan that is definitely not 100% non toxic. I was going to add a new set, or at least a few new non stick pans or stainless steel pans to our registry, but I kept holding off because we just didn’t want to overwhelm our kitchen storage. Now, with 2 Always Pans, there is no need for any more cookware right now, besides one other pan that can withstand high heat. Honestly, I didn’t realize how nice it is to not have overcrowded drawers filled with cookware we don’t use!
Along that same note, it replaces the need for a bunch of other pans, because it’s SO versatile! You can use it to saute or steam veggies, simmer a pasta sauce, make scrambled eggs – you name it. I use it for pretty much all of my recipes now, with the exception of when I make a big soup, I need to transfer something from the stove to the oven, or I want something at a really high heat. That’s about it.
It’s actually non-toxic
As I mentioned above, they use an exclusive non-toxic nonstick ceramic coating that is made without any potentially toxic materials like PFOAs, PTFEs, other PFAs, lead, cadmium, toxic metals, and nanoparticals. This is a HUGE pro in my eyes.
Easy to Clean
When you have to cook a bunch of times throughout the workday, cleaning gets very old. But you can literally clean this pan in less than a minute – even if you made a sticky sauce or used a bunch of cheese. No soaking, no tough scrubbing. All you need is warm soapy water and a soft sponge, and you’re done. It’s so painless!!! Such a huge game changer for me.
Pretty enough to leave out/serve
In addition to being easy to cook with, easy to clean up, and made by an awesome company… it’s also SO PRETTY. We leave ours out on our stove all the time, and you can definitely take it right from the stovetop to your dinner table, even if you have guests over. No extra serving dishes necessary? Yes please!
I know that $145 might seem a little steep for a pan. A lot of you asked how to justify the price, and I get it! Especially if you already have a bunch of cookware and/or you don’t cook that much. That being said, if you cook even somewhat regularly, you care about having non-toxic cookware that’s easy to clean, and/or you’re short on space, I personally think it’s worth it.
Avoid High Heat
This one has become more of a con for me over time – but even still, it wouldn’t deter me from buying the pan. The sturdy aluminum body of the pan heats up really fast and really evenly… so even though they tell you to avoid high heat, you can still gradually heat this pan for most dishes. We got this pan from our registry for when we want to crank the heat and get a good sear – and the combination of those two options are really all we need.
It’s not oven safe
You can’t transfer this pan from the stove to the oven… and that is a bit of a bummer. That being said, I tend to use my big dutch oven for those types of recipes anyway, so this hasn’t been a major con for me.
Frequently Asked Questions
How heavy is it?
It’s only 3lb! Super light.
Is it REALLY non toxic? A lot of pans claim they are but aren’t truly non toxic.
YES! As I mentioned above, it’s made without any potentially toxic materials like PFOAs, PTFEs, other PFAs, lead, cadmium, toxic metals, and nanoparticals.
Are they dishwasher safe?
Technically yes – but because it’s so easy to clean, I wouldn’t.
Is the cleanup as easy as they say it is?
YES. IT’S AMAZING.
Are you able get the same char as with a cast iron?
I am going to say no here, just because you can crank up the heat higher with a cast iron than you should with this in order to protect the nonstick coating. That being said, I’m still able to crisp up chicken and tofu! But no, it’s not the same as a cast iron char or sear.
Can you use high heat?
For pretty much all nonstick pans, it is recommend to cook on low and medium instead of cranking the heat up super high. This helps the nonstick coating last longer, so don’t ignore this. That being said, their heavy gauge cast aluminum bottom of the pan conducts and holds heat really well, so it gets pretty hot on medium, and the heat is really evenly distributed.
Does the handle get super hot when cooking?
No! It has a “stay cool” handle, so that you can touch that without burning yourself while cooking.
How to justify the price?
In a quick recap: Sure, there are less expensive pans out there, but not all of them are truly non-stick and truly non-toxic. A lot of them don’t offer the same even heat distribution or ridiculously easy cleanup either. And lastly, most are NOT this pretty 😉
My Honest Review of the Always Pan
After reading this whole post, I’m sure you can tell that my honest review includes the fact that I LOVE IT. I have so much respect for this company and for the thought that went into this product. And on a personal note, it’s made my job so much easier! No more fighting with my pans as ingredients stick while cooking or furiously scrubbing after dinner. The fact that it looks great in photos is a big plus for me, too.
If you already have a whole collection of high quality pans, do you need this? Maybe not. But if you cook regularly, you hate doing dishes, and you are short on space… YES, it is worth the hype! Without a doubt.
Also, before I let you go, I just want to mention their glasses and plates really quickly because they are also beautiful. The glasses are sustainably made from recycled glass and natural sand, without any artificial dyes or colors. Instead, they use elements from the earth… how cool is that?! As for the plates, they are sustainably made from recycled and virgin porcelain ceramic, and hand painted. They are even prettier in person, and I really love that you can stack them for easy storage.
This quick tofu recipe:
- Press a block of extra firm tofu in a press, or just between 2 plates to get the excess moisture out.
- Cut them into bite sized pieces and coat in corn starch.
- Add avocado oil to your Always Pan and turn the heat to medium.
- Add the coated pieces of tofu to the oil. Cook for a few minutes without touching them, then flip them over to cook the other side. You’re going for a light golden brown color on the exterior.
- While the 2nd side cooks, whisk together 2 tbsp of soy sauce, 2 tbsp of hoisin sauce, and a few squirts of sriracha.
- Pour that sauce into the pan and stir to coat.
- Cook for a few more minutes so the sauce can get a little sticky and cling to the tofu.
- I like this over rice with some broccoli, but it’s also great with a few handfuls of shredded kale for a light lunch!
This post was sponsored by Our Place, but (as always!) all opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that make Lake Shore Lady possible!