I am the love child of Mark Zuckerberg’s capitalist fantasies and baffling yet oddly effective algorithms. I’m that sucker, the one who scrolls through Instagram, captivated by something colorful/gaudy/bright/life-changing. Scandinavian desk stackers? Check. Wool slippers with removable insoles? Oh yes. A vanity that somehow doubles as a workstation? Just ask AmEx. So when the Insta-famous Always ceramic pan popped up in my feed, I was a sitting duck. It was almost too easy. But I got the thing, oh yes I did, and dammit, it’s pretty dope.
You can use this handsome pan to steam, roast, saute, fry, and boil anything you want.
I live in New York and my kitchen is as spacious as an airplane bathroom. Because of limited storage space, I don’t have the luxury of investing in specific pans for saucing, steaming, frying, or roasting. That’s where the Always pan shines. The brand brags that it replaces eight “traditional pieces of cookware.” Being a wary, cynical journalist, I was leery of that claim. After all, the Instant Pot said it too did everything but your laundry and I could barely eke out decent chili in it.
But the Always pan works. So far, I’ve used it to make all the following: chili, pasta sauce, roast chicken, scrambled eggs, quesadillas, and fried flounder. I’m not inventive. My kid has a limited palate. Sue me. Point is, everything I’ve cooked in the pan — and I do mean everything — comes out perfect. The fish is flaky and crispy. The chicken, juicy and golden. The chili? Still eating it, on day three.
Now, the mundane details that make this pan what it is: The interior has a ceramic coating made without bad things like PFOAs and PTFEs. The body is made of aluminum for even heat distribution. The pan itself weighs roughly three pounds, it has a modular lid, and multiple pour spouts. This means you use the pan to boil pasta, you drain the pasta, you add the sauce, heat it up, and dinner is done. It works as a frying pan, a sauté pan, a saucier, and a steamer (because it comes with a steamer basket). Oh, and it has a built-in spoon rest..Because otherwise, you get pasta sauce or olive oil everywhere and it’s a bitch to clean up. And speaking of clean up: The pan is dishwasher-safe, but it’s incredibly quick and easy to clean by hand.
While looks are certainly not everything, I appreciate the aesthetics of it. Here’s the thing about having a small kitchen: You want whatever gear you buy to look good, because you’re starting at it all day every day, and it’s sitting out. The Always pan is, dare I say it, easy on the eyes. Versatility and looks all in one package? I’m sold.
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