Hands up who among us hasn’t dreaded going into the cupboard where you keep your pans? Nobody? Didn’t think so. Yep, most of us are squeezed into small flats right now, where drawer real estate is at a premium, meaning we’re often playing Jenga with pots and pans. It’s often a real headache, quite literally.
The solution? Small space hacks and decluttering those non-essential items that take up space without ever getting used – starting with big chunky cookware and old, gross frying pans (seriously, throw away your warped cookware – your future self will thank you) and replacing it with multipurpose pieces that’ll take up less space while doing more.
Fortunately, US brand Our Place has just launched its Insta-famous Always Pan in the UK, and it claims to do the job of eight pieces of kitchenware in one. It’s generated some serious buzz across the pond, selling out 10 times over and, at one point, racking up a 50,000-strong waiting list. Whoa.
If you’re wondering how a pan has managed to go viral, we’ll fill you in. It’s gained its mega following thanks to a number of cool details. Number one, users say the non-stick is highly effective. Two, it comes with a few handy extras to help you multitask more easily and three – it’s really pretty, coming in a choice of six Pinterest-perfect shades.
Unfortunately, like our beloved Le Creuset casserole, it is spenny at £140. But is it worth the hype? We gave the Always Pan a whirl at home to see if it’s worth the cash.
Our Place Always Pan review
Out of the box you get the pan itself, with a lid, a metal steamer and a wooden spatula which, ingeniously, slots onto a built-in spoon rest on the handle. This made cooking up my spag bol SO much less messy. It worked perfectly on my induction hob, too, which isn’t always the case, so that was some immediate brownie points.
First impressions were that it felt solid without being untowardly heavy; a bonus when you’re attempting to wield hot pans around. This is likely due to being made from aluminium rather than cast iron. It’s very chic and minimal-looking, with a Scandi-esque finish (which is probably why Instagram loves it) but unfortunately, we didn’t manage to get our hands on one of the pretty pastel options so we can’t attest to their vibrancy. We tried the Smoke shade, which is a deep grey with a greenish tinge – it’s a good neutral and should go with most kitchen schemes.
Upon use, the non-stick was immediately a real bonus. I used it five times for this review and at no point was anything burnt on after use – not even when I scrambled some eggs. Sizewise, I comfortably made five portions of spaghetti in the pan, but it was very full by the time I served. If you’re having a large dinner party, you might need to switch to your big casserole dish, but for a normal weeknight dinner or meal prep for lunch for the week ahead, it’s perfectly roomy.
Obviously, it’s easy to clean and it heats up nicely, if a little slowly. Once it’s hot, the heat is easy to control, which is great. The handle is comfy and easy to wield and there’s a pouring lip on both sides to help avoid spills.
I gave the steamer a try when cooking some veggies and it worked like a charm. Broccoli was well cooked with some bite and the flavours stayed fresh. There’s also a bamboo steamer that fits the pan available for purchase separately.
As far as the way the pan looks and functions, I have no complaints. I LOVE the spoon rest – that really is handy feature that helped me avoid loads of mess. But will it replace all your cookware? Erm, to an extent. If you’re a mega fan of whipping up a one-pan dish, then sure. But if you want to boil pasta while making a sauce simultaneously, you’re gonna need at least one other pan.
The fact that the steamer fits inside (and can be used as a drainer, in a pinch) is a small space-dweller’s dream though. All in all, then, I wouldn’t recommend throwing out all of your existing pans but I would recommend investing in an Always Pan if you’re looking for a really versatile, easy to clean and effective piece of cookware that’ll tackle most culinary tasks while also looking fab on your open shelving (and your Insta).
You can pick up one of these pans from Our Place’s new UK website. You might want to act fast to avoid big waiting lists – you’ve been warned!
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