If we learned anything in the year of...all this, it's that we'll take the little things wherever we can get 'em. And my little thing, reader, is the Always Pan.
I'm willing to bet that you’ve seen it in Instagram ads and on your trendy friend's stovetop. But if you’re still wondering whether you should spring for *thee* Always Pan—a gorgeous, modular pan by direct-to-consumer kitchenware brand Our Place—my answer is a simple "duh." This 8-in-1 miracle pan is a must for any at-home cook’s mise-en-place. In fact, I’ve purchased three in the past six months because, well...I’m f*cking obsessed.
Let me tell you a story: At the beginning of the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, I decided to crash with my family to avoid being alone in a Very Tiny New York Apartment™. But by June, home was now my childhood bedroom...again. As others who’ve shared this reality will tell you, adjusting to life back at Mom and Dad’s isn't a cakewalk. So I decided to treat myself to something that was fully mine in my old-new home. A kitchen tool. Being the proud owner of...a pink pan (while my brother and sister had both just purchased their own homes ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) had instantly made my 2020 significantly better. Everyone wants what I have. *flips hair*
Sure, it’s a bit of a splurge—but you’ll actually end up saving. Hear me out. The do-it-all kitchen tool has replaced, like…*counts fingers* six of my pans, their lids, a colander, and a spoon rest. Tally up the cost of all that cookware, and you’re looking at a number well over the Always Pan’s $145 sticker price. You’re welcome.
When the pan arrived, I was taken aback by just how beautiful—and sturdy!—it was. The striking color instantly activated my basic-bitch millennial instincts. Next thing I knew, my phone was out and I was snapping all of my new bb’s best angles (gimme a break, it’s my job!!). I mean, I know they didn’t design this pan with Instagram in mind, but damn, does it look good on the feed.
Better yet, the pan looks immaculate on my stove, and down-right heavenly with a pound of freshly cooked noodles and lip-smacking sauce sitting inside. The meal that finally made all of this (this being 2020) worth it, was The Pasta Queen's lemon cream spaghetti. (Pasta Queen! If you are reading this, TI ADORO!) If you know me, this should come as no surprise—I'm very loud about the fact that 1) I am Italian and 2) will eat pasta for every meal. There was something so inherently sensual about the sizzling garlic, fragrant lemon, and velvety cream melding together in the chic pan. I garnished the pasta with some fresh lobster meat, and as soon as I snapped the perfect 'gram (as seen above), I shoved a heap of spaghetti in my mouth, straight out of the pan. It's all about the pan.
Now, as someone who used to work for a product review site, I’ve learned (for better or for worse) to research the sh*t out of a big-ticket purchase before smashing the "add to cart" button. I assume that’s why you’re here so lemme help you out with a good ole pro-con list:
You'll save so much space by throwing out approximately 17 now-useless pots and pans
It’s f*cking gorge
I am inspired to cook every damn day
It's non-stick and SO easy to clean
The packaging is environmentally friendly
Our Place company is owned and operated by a woman of color
Manufacturing transparency is at the forefront of their mission
There's a SPOON REST
It gives my leftover noodles LIFE
The color options are drool-worthy
The $145 price tag is a bit steep
The pan could be deeper
It can’t go in the oven (Sorry, one-pan chicken enthusiasts)
The steamer basket is slightly difficult to use
It's literally always sold out
But, let's be honest, these cons are CLEARLY not dealbreakers for me.
While you mull over whether or not you should invest in this pan (you should), I'm leaving this with a direct plea to the brilliant, badass co-founder of Our Place, Shiza Shahid—please, please make a bigger version of the Always Pan so I can make giant meals for friends and family once it’s safe to dine together again. *Sigh* We all know the kitchen is the heart of any home—so for now I'll settle with buying multiple pans in every single color.
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