We Tried the New Version of the Best-Selling Always Pan
Our Place's Always Pan 2.0 addresses the pitfalls of the original and comes in many of the same popular colors.
Tested by Laura Denby for Food Network Kitchen
In 2019, Our Place launched a pan that was so chic, so stylish and so multifunctional that it took the culinary world by storm. Everyone from chefs to celebrities had the viral pan splashed across their Instagram feeds in a slew of muted, modern colors, and the pan became so popular that it even sold out 30 times. As a professional chef and food writer I review kitchen products for a living, and I can’t remember another kitchen item that became so coveted so quickly.
However, despite all of its unrivaled chicness, the original Always Pan, which we originally reviewed in 2020, had some notable faults. It wasn’t oven-safe, and the nonstick coating seemed to lose its slickness over time. After three years, the folks at Our Place have re-engineered the pan in hopes of delivering improved functionality, more convenience and overall better performance. The Always Pan 2.0 launched in April 2023, and we decided to take it for a test drive. Here’s how it differs from the original.
Like the original Always Pan, the Always Pan 2.0 is a multifunctional piece of cookware that takes the place of multiple pieces of cooking equipment. This pan can saute and sear like a regular frying pan, but thanks to the high sides — it’s almost three inches deep — it can braise, fry or boil, too. One of the major downfalls of the original pan is that it wasn’t oven-safe — meaning you couldn’t whip up a quick frittata or finish off a filet of salmon in the oven after searing it on the stovetop. That lack of functionality really impacted the pan’s overall versatility, so I was happy to see that the re-engineered pan is now safe to use in the oven up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. To test it out, I baked a chocolate tahini skillet cookie in the pan. I was thrilled to see that the sides of the cookie were crispy and the center was tender and moist. Even moreso, I was delighted to see that each piece of cookie easily slid out of the pan and nothing stuck to the surface.
New (and Improved) Nonstick Surface
Although the original Always Pan was touted as a nonstick option, the nonstick coating didn’t stand up to the competition. In fact, I found that the coating on the original pan got worse and worse over time (which isn’t uncommon) and I often found that eggs, chicken skin and cheese would crust on to the pan, becoming impossible to get off no matter how much I soaked and scrubbed. Thankfully, the team at Our Place has upgraded the new pan with a better ceramic nonstick coating that’s free of potentially toxic substances like PFOAs, PTFEs and PFAs. The new coating is considerably more slick than the original, and I had no trouble with food sticking throughout the testing process. In fact, I didn’t use any cooking oil while scrambling eggs, baking cookies or searing chicken thighs, and everything I tested came out of the pan easily without leaving anything stuck to the surface. Throughout my testing I found the nonstick surface of the Always Pan 2.0 to be totally slick, with even, thorough heating capabilities in all corners of the pan.
Same Ideal Size
In addition to its improved functionality, I love how this pan — like the original Always Pan — is the perfect size for a variety of tasks. At 10.5 inches wide, it’s large enough to roast a chicken but is still compact enough to store easily in a drawer or pantry. The deep sides allow for increased versatility, so you can steam and braise as efficiently as you can saute and sear. This pan is compatible with all cooktops, so you can use it on gas, electric or induction stoves. Lastly, it’s made with 100% post-consumer recycled aluminum and without potentially harmful toxins.
The Bottom Line: It's an improvement.
Overall, I’m pleased to see that this upgrade pan improves upon the original pan’s major drawbacks. The ability to use it in the oven greatly increases its functionality, and the nonstick coating is considerably more functional. This pan has the same stylish look and feel as the original, with a few important upgrades that make it a more functional piece of cooking equipment. Be sure to wash it by hand, avoid metal utensils and scouring brushes.