Always Pan Review: Is It Worth It?

Showing what's included with the Always Pan

Whenever a shiny new promise of kitchen minimalism is dangled in front of me, I’m tempted to take the bait. Such was the case with the Always Pan by Our Place, which is a nontoxic, nonstick pan boasting multiple cooking functions. It also happens to be incredibly beautiful, making it total kitchen eye candy. We decided to give it a spin, and today we’re sharing our full review.

Who: Our Place is an LA-based company making cookware and dinnerware with the mission of helping people connect over home cooking.

What: The Always Pan is designed to replace 8 traditional pieces of cookware: a fry pan, sauté pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, nonstick pan, spatula, and spoon rest. It allows you to braise, sear, steam, strain, sauce, fry, boil, serve, and store.

How: Our Place invests in ethical factories that provide supportive environments and compensation to their teams. They make products with thoughtful and responsible materials as often as possible.

Cost: $145 USD

Selling points

  • Exclusive high-performance ceramic nonstick surface
  • No PFOAs or PTFEs
  • Replaces 8 pieces of cookware
  • 2 easy-pour spouts
  • Custom steamer basket and colander
  • “Stay cool” lid and pan handle
  • Beechwood spatula and built-in spoon rest
  • Modular lid to release and trap steam

Note: This review is not sponsored. We purchased the Always Pan, did not contact the company about doing so, and reviewed it an unbiased manner. We do, however, have an affiliate link that provides a small commission when used for purchase.

Always pan and lid for our review

We purchased the Always Pan in August 2020 and have been using it almost every day to put it to the test.

Is it too soon to say we’re totally in love? We have zero complaints so far. Though it was an investment, the Always Pan seems to be high quality, deliver on its promises, and is extremely versatile in the kitchen. It’s not perfect (it’s not oven safe) but the list of pros far outweighs the cons.

Pros

  • It’s beautifully designed and comes in many colors (we have our eyes on the lilac shade next)
  • It’s lightweight (4 lbs. including the lid)
  • It’s SO easy to clean (and dishwasher safethough we recommend hand washing)
  • It really is nonstick
  • It heats quickly and evenly
  • It doesn’t require much (or any) oil when cooking (great for those cooking with less or no oil)
  • It’s well designed with a custom steam basket and nesting spatula
  • The company is doing its best to do business ethically and sustainably

Cons

  • It’s expensive — $145 USD (but considering it’s multi-functional, it does save money if replacing other cookware)
  • It’s not oven-safe (cast iron still has a leg up here)
  • It’s not deep enough to boil a substantial amount of ingredients in my opinion

Is The Always Pan Safe?

One of the main questions I received when sharing I’d purchased the Always Pan was “Is it safe?” According to all the information available on their website and information they provided when contacted directly, I would say yes.

The Always Pan features an “exclusive non-toxic, nonstick ceramic coating made without potentially toxic materials like PFOAs, PTFEs, other PFAs, lead, cadmium, toxic metals, and nanoparticals.”

Also from the company:

“Our product is free of lead and heavy metals both for the interior and exterior of the Always Pan. We’re working on some testing that will be available on our site for all our customers (new and old!) to be as transparent as possible.”

Showing the steamer basket in the Always Pan

As far as cooking goes, it’s kind of a dream. We love the steamer basket that allows for a sizable quantity of ingredients.

And the handles on the sides make it easy to lift out once done cooking. (Note: Always be careful when handling a hot pan.)

Steaming broccoli in the Always Pan

It also sautés incredibly well and requires very little to no oil thanks to the nonstick surface. I’ve tested it with oil, a light amount of oil, no oil, and water for sautéing and each worked well.

This is one of my favorite features as it means I can cook with little to no oil but not sacrifice on flavor or texture.

Sautéing vegetables in the Always Pan

The ultimate test? Frying an egg. It cooks eggs beautifully and is totally nonstick.

Cooking an egg in the Always Pan

It even passed “the swirl test” once the egg was cooked (it easily swirls around the pan).

Showing how easily an egg slides off the Always Pan

We also love the depth of the pan, which allows for sautéing and stir frying a sizable portion of ingredients without spillage.

Cooking spaghetti squash in the Always Pan

And when adding a sauce, there’s no sticking in sight (one of my main complaints with cast iron and especially stainless steel).

Pouring cashew sauce over spaghetti squash in the Always Pan

Can we also talk about aesthetics? It’s incredibly beautiful and the color range is stunning. We have the color “spice,” but also eyed “lavender.” “Sage” is also a stunner. And minimalists will delight in the colors “char” and “steam.”

The pan is also great for serving as it’s lightweight and even looks pretty when plopped down on the table for serving.

Cooking spaghetti squash pasta in the Always Pan

Perhaps the best part about the Always Pan? CLEANING. It’s SO easy to clean.

Food and stains rinse away almost entirely with water alone and the rest comes away easily with a soft sponge in seconds (literally).

Using a soapy sponge to clean the Always Pan

While it’s technically dishwasher safe, the dishwasher is inevitably tough on cookware, so I’d recommend sticking to hand washing to preserve the non-stick longterm.

Drying the Always Pan with a dish towel

More Thoughts

Several readers reached out to us and either praised the pan as the ultimate kitchen companion or said the nonstick coating wore off in a matter of weeks. We were skeptical, but so far we’re on the side of “ultimate kitchen companion.”

So far I haven’t noticed any abnormal wear or damage despite daily use. Perhaps the nonstick coating wore off over time because:

  1. It’s not intended to be used over high heat for sustained periods of time
  2. It likely wears best when hand washed
  3. It should not be used with metal cooking tools (like spatulas or whisks) or cleaned with abrasive sponges (like steel wool).

If it’s well cared for, I think it will hold up quite well. Will it last forever? We’ll see. I’ll add any updates here as I have them. But so far, we’re quite impressed.

Always Pan in spice color

Do We Recommend The Always Pan?

100% yes. It surprised me with how quickly it’s become our go-to pan.

My favorite features are that it’s incredibly lightweight, actually nonstick (and nontoxic), heats quickly, cooks evenly, allows for oil-free and reduced-oil cooking, and cleans so easily. Did I mention it’s beautiful?


Tell us: Have you tried the Always Pan? What has your experience been? Do you have other questions about the Always Pan? Leave your comments below!

Note: This review is not sponsored. We purchased the Always Pan, did not contact the company about doing so, and reviewed it an unbiased manner. We do, however, have an affiliate link that provides a small commission when used for purchase.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. KM says

    As an FYI, I got my Always pan last year and also loved it. For a while. But the non-stick coating has been increasingly worn away and in the last few weeks, everything sticks. Even oil doesn’t fix this since the pan bottom is a bit domed so the oil runs to the sides. Very frustrating. I really think people are better off buying a ceramic braising pan or an All-Clad for the price.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing! We’re still going strong with ours (6 months), but will continue posting updates!

  2. SGC says

    Why wouldn’t someone want to purchase a STAUB pan? They run for close to the same price. Does just as well and transfers in the oven.

  3. Elizabeth says

    Hi! I’ve been trying to cook with no oil in my Always Pan, and I have found the food to be sticking. Do you have any recommendations for how to cook with no oil in this pan and not stick?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Elizabeth, have you tried adding a little bit of water? That works well for sautéing. If you haven’t seen this guide on cooking with less oil, we think you might find it helpful.

  4. Taylor says

    I was lured in as well! I got the sage color which is beautiful. So far I really like it and it is very non-stick–only complaint is that I like to make a large quantity of food to have leftovers for 2 and I wish it was a little bigger. But still glad I got it and it’s perfect for smaller portions.

  5. Roger Cole says

    What is the diameter of the part in contact with the stove? I have an LG induction range and the small burner (6.5″ diameter markings) is too close to the edge of the stove, making the Always Pan sit well off center. The pan would sit on the middle size burner (8″ diameter) fine, but is it too large to work properly?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      It’s a patented nonstick, nontoxic coating. You can learn more about it on the company’s website!

  6. Claire M says

    Thanks for the great review! LA based but made in China… it’s one of my sticking points, but the factory seems ok. Just hard to justify the similar price compared to Le Creuset or All-Clad but for cheaper aluminum/materials in general. It is pretty though. Sadly, outside the US, the shipping is really a killer :(

  7. Fran Perreault says

    Hi there. Thank you for the review. I have searched and have yet to find what the core of this pan is made of. What is the nonstick coating sitting on? Is it aluminum? Thank you :)

  8. Ryan Patterson says

    Thanks for the thorough review. I get easily lured in by aesthetics so this was helpful to know the performance of the pan lives up to the design. The color choices may ruin the singular nature of the pan, since I want them all, lol.

  9. Adrienne Johnson says

    Can anyone vouch for how long the nonstick capability lasts? I’ve heard that it’s anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months with this pan. I do tend to buy nonstick ceramic pans every few years. For the price, I’d like it to last for a while!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Adrienne, as I mentioned in another comment it is quite a durable nonstick! we’ve had it for 4 months so far and use it almost daily with no signs of wear. But perhaps others who’ve had it longer can chime in!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Louis, we bought this product and are simply sharing our unbiased (unsponsored) review. And we receive a very small affiliate payment if our link is used, which we openly disclose.

  10. guest says

    not worth it. it is basically a ceramic pan that is deep- which I have bought a flat wok style pan at TJ MAXX for $14-20 and it works very well and it is ceramic non stick. That is a $120 savings!! I also see similar pans at Grocery Outlet and Aliexpress- as we know they are all made in China anyways- the large price tag is simply MARKETING. TJ Maxx had an array of nice colors and ‘brands’. The one i bought was “Natural Elements” it was $20 and is about 13 inches wide and 4 inches deep/ ceramic non stick. The same Natural Elements pan on their own website is $100 but at TJ Maxx it was $20. cheers

  11. Elizabeth Brand says

    Hi! I just bought the Always Pan, and I’m so excited to try it (and it was also $30 off today, which was a bonus). I am wondering what spatula you use with this pan, particularly when cooking eggs. What brand is the blue one you are using in the photo above? I haven’t been able to find a spatula I love, and I trust your opinion on cookware! Thank you!

  12. Cassie says

    I bought the pan a few months ago and am completely in love. I got it in black and regret not getting it in green so may pick up another one, and get another foodie friend one as a birthday gift. I also 100% recommend!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

        Adrienne, I can say ours is still very nonstick at 4 months in! Will report back here if there are any other updates.

      • Tony says

        Ours stopped being non-stick after 6 months. It’s great while it lasted. Then everything started to stick. At this point we have to add so much oil that it’s essentially a deep fryer.

        Their customer service is not helpful either. The response is that the Always pan can only handle up to medium heat. If the user ever turns on high heat on the stovetop, then all bets are off.

        I’d steer clear away from the Always pan unless you’re OK with replacing it every 6 months.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          Interesting! We’ve had ours for ~6 months now and it’s still going strong. Will report back if we encounter any similar issues.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Marilaur, here’s what it says in the FAQs on the Our Place website: “Our Always Pan was designed to be compatible with all stovetops! Ideally, the ring on your stovetop is aligned with the center (4.5 to 6 inch diameter) of the pan to ensure a solid magnetic connection. Typically that means using the smallest burner if you’ve got an induction stove!”

  13. Lorena says

    I’ve been thinking of purchasing this pan for some time but the idea that is a non-stick pan ends up turning me away, as great as it seems. However, if the company does in fact release the results of their testing in regards to it being non-toxic and show proof, I will definitely buy one. Thank you for your detailed review!

  14. Jasmine says

    Hi,

    Thanks for this incredibly detailed review! I just have a question about steaming: Is the pan deep enough that when you use the steaming basket, the food will not touch the boiling water?

    I really want to get something that steams (not boils!) food (such as dumplings) but I’m worried that the pan is too shallow.

  15. Adriane Winge says

    I’ve had my eye on this pan for a few months now so this review has definitely solidified my decision to purchase so thank you!

    Also, would you share the recipe or link to the spaghetti squash recipe shown in your photos.

    Cheers!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you found it helpful, Adriane! Recipe for the squash is coming soon =) Stay tuned!

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