Mysteriously enough, Our Place popped up one day in 2019 and became an instant cult favorite kitchenware brand for much of the internet. The company’s Always Pan is touted as the only thing you need in your forever home. Together with the Perfect Pot, it can apparently replace a 16-piece cookware set. Adding to the buzz, Our Place continually sells out of its beautiful colors. But is it worth the hype?
Our Place to your home
Founded by Shiza Shahid, a Pakistani immigrant woman, Our Place empowers people of color, highlighting the importance of cooking and food in different cultures. The company is largely run by immigrants and women who found their home in America, with women of color also leading manufacturers overseas. Our Place’s mission is to shine a light on the cultures often overlooked and erased in mainstream culinary circles. As such, Our Place’s pieces are simple and inclusive of diverse cooking techniques.
Eat your greens
Furthermore, Our Place is a carbon-neutral brand that prides itself on sustainable practices. The aluminum pan and pot contain a ceramic nonstick, nontoxic coating made partially of recycled materials. Additionally, the packaging is 100% plastic-free, fully recyclable, compostable and biodegradable. Included in the box is a natural, water-activated sponge. Our Place also donates to Feeding America, Immigrant Defenders Network and Equal Justice Initiative.
The original recipe for success
The Always Pan started it all. At $145, it claims to replace many items in your kitchen, including fry pans, sauté pans, steamers and skillets. It also comes with a stainless steel steamer basket and wooden spatula. A few tests showed that it could easily tackle one-pan recipes, and the handle doesn’t heat. The spatula rest on the handle is also a nice touch.
However, though the first use gave a satisfying egg glide like those on infomercials, a couple of weeks later cooking an egg caused it to stick to the pan. The Always Pan also cannot be put into the oven, and the steamer basket sits rather close to the bottom of the pan. Moreover, the low to medium heat recommendation makes it delicate, despite its rather hefty weight. When I attempted to grill frozen dumplings, they were unable to crisp and cooking steak took longer.
Stirring the pot
The Perfect Pot ($165) claims to replace a stockpot, Dutch oven, saucepot and braiser. With its five and a half quart size, it is large enough to feed four to eight people. It’s also lightweight for its size, with a roasting/steaming rack and wooden spoon. Steaming a whole chicken was easily accomplished and delicious.
Nevertheless, it is not as perfect as the name decrees. Although it supposedly replaces a Dutch oven, it is only oven safe up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. I accomplished baking a sourdough loaf, but the baking oil I sprayed inside stuck to the pot. With frequent oven use, the nonstick coating might be damaged faster. Also, the low to medium heat recommendation, once again, is an adjustment and causes longer cook times.
Our Place — chef’s kiss?
Overall, the Always Pan and Perfect Pot are more art than kitchen. They do what they say, however, it’s uncertain whether the longevity and durability amount to the price. If someone were to use these every day, I am not sure how long the nonstick coating will last or whether it will handle the heat, so to speak.
Despite the claims of replacing much of your kitchenware, it won’t replace what you already own. And if you are just starting your kitchen set, I feel like you will still buy more depending on your cooking needs. But if you have been eyeing these for a while, try them out and see if they fit you. Our Place has a 30-day trial period with free returns if you are unsatisfied.
Photography by Delaney Tran / Inhabitat
Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by Our Place. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own.