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I test kitchen products, and Our Place's Perfect Pot is my desert island cooking tool

Our Place might have won the hearts of home cooks for its multi-use, aesthetically pleasing Always Pan, but as someone who tests and writes about kitchen products on the daily, I'd like to make a case for the equally gorgeous, and arguably more versatile, Perfect Pot. This nonstick, stove-to-oven stunner is really like having eight tools in one and weighs so much less than a cast iron Dutch oven — so if you're short on space (and arm strength), it'll be a very welcome addition to your cooking arsenal. Hungry for more info? Keep scrolling for my full Our Place Perfect Pot review:

This 4.5-pound wonder makes lifting hearty meals out of the oven sooo much easier. 

$123 at Our Place

I'll admit, what first attracted me to the Perfect Pot was its chic, minimalist design. It resembles your standard soup pot insofar as it has a lid and two handles, but its matte exterior and dreamy color options set it apart from the rest. In short, this is one piece of cookware you'll want displayed on your stovetop at all times.

Author photo of the Our Place Perfect Pot on the stove
Could you even imagine hiding this beauty away in a cabinet? Also, the folks over at Our Place are geniuses for including a built-in spoon rest. (Photo: Britt Ross/Yahoo)

That said, the prettiest pieces aren't always the most useful, and when it comes to kitchenware, you want it to deliver delicious results — no one likes wasting food! Having used cast iron Dutch ovens prior to trying out the Perfect Pot, I was curious to see how well its ceramic nonstick coating (which thankfully happens to be free of PTFEs, PFOAs, PFAs, lead and cadmium) would perform. I was also eager to see if it really could excel at all eight tasks the retailer claimed it could, which include boiling, baking, frying, roasting, braising, straining, serving and storing.

I opted for a bright green hue, which has sadly been discontinued, though there are still 10 other beautiful neutrals and brights to choose from. My pot came with a lid, wooden spoon and roasting rack/steamer insert, the latter of which is also included with the Cielo and Tierra color options.

Since receiving the Perfect Pot, I've made everything from stews and braises to steamed vegetables, baked pastas and even fried doughnuts! You could also use it for baking bread or cooking rice — the limit does not exist. It can conveniently go from stove to oven (it's safe up to 450 degrees), and its aluminum construction means it heats up in no time. Most importantly, no matter what I'm making in it, I find that the heat is consistent, which results in evenly cooked food. As far as serving goes, you'll most definitely hear oohs and ahhs from dinner guests once this aesthetically pleasing pot hits the table, and if you have a lot of leftovers, you can keep them stored right inside and just cover with the lid.

Author photo of a rice dish, doughnuts and pasta made in the Perfect Pot
Just a few of the things I've made in my Perfect Pot — can you tell I like carbs? (Photo: Britt Ross/Yahoo)

Whenever I use this 5.5-quart workhorse, I'm always appreciative of the small yet super handy details Our Place thought to include. For instance, the wooden spoon it comes with has little ridges on the back that allow it to rest perfectly on one of the handles, so you won't dirty your counters. The domed lid can also be rotated depending on the setting you want: completely closed to retain moisture or vented to let steam escape. Plus, it has a built-in strainer for when you want to pour pasta water out but keep your noodles in.

Another plus? The nonstick interior is truly a gift from the cleaning gods. It's so slick that even caked-on residue from sticky bakes and roasts just slides right off with hardly any effort. Is it as effective at browning as cast iron? Not quite, but it does an admirable job, and at one third the weight of traditional Dutch ovens, this five-foot-tall weakling will take it! One thing my Dutch oven has that I wish the Perfect Pot had is a light colored interior, as I find it makes it easier to see when things like garlic are on the brink of burning — but as long as you keep a close watch, you should be just fine.

While I think the Perfect Pot makes cooking (and cleaning) a breeze, there are a few particulars you'll want to keep in mind for longevity's sake. For starters, you should keep your heat at medium-low and never heat the pot when it's empty. Use your cast iron skillet, not this, for achieving a nice sear on your steak! And you'll want to stick to oils, not aerosol sprays, and clean by hand rather than putting it in the dishwasher.

steamed broccoli/seared fish
With the Perfect Pot, I'm able to perfectly steam broccoli and get some nice browning on salmon. And don't worry; that sticky residue in the second photo took under a minute to clean. (Photo: Britt Ross/Yahoo)

With over 7,700 reviews (and an impressive 4.8-star rating), the Perfect Pot has a strong fanbase who are as obsessed with it as I am.

"I love this pot. It's big enough for a large roast or big pot of bolognese sauce," shared a happy home cook. "It's light enough to handle easily. It cleans up like a dream ... it's displayed proudly on top of my cooktop, even when not in use."

"This is easily the best pot that I have ever owned," raved another fan. "It's durable and lightweight. The even heating and nonstick are the best!"

"I love this pan. I am a bit concerned for my Le Crueset Dutch oven, as I might never use it again!" confessed a convert. "Thank you for making this top-notch pan for home chefs!"

A gorgeous, functional piece of cookware for a fraction of the cost of Le Creuset? Yes, chef!

$123 at Our Place

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.