Who is Our Place?
In 2018, Shiza Shahid and Amir Tehrani founded Our Place, a company that combines their passions for cookware and educational initiatives. Their belief that education and inclusiveness can start in the kitchen led to the creation of this company, which aims to promote unity and tastier food worldwide.
Initially, the company's factories were located only in China and Thailand, but they have since expanded to other emerging markets. This decision was made because these markets have been producing these products for thousands of years and are experts in their craft. Our Place seeks to meet these artisanal makers where they are, promoting inclusivity and diversity.
Our Place commitment to inclusivity is further demonstrated by their donation of over 200,000 meals to underserved markets through their partnership with Feeding America during the pandemic in 2020. Additionally, the company is actively seeking partners who are willing to reuse or recycle their lightly used cookware returns, setting them apart from other cookware manufacturers.
- Works on all cooking surfaces (induction included)
- Exceedingly lightweight (only 3 pounds!)
- Really fast clean up
- Solid and sturdy handle
- Comes with fantastic accessories
- Free shipping
- Good returns policy
- Certainly a pricier pan
- Pan is a bit small for some larger meals
- Not oven safe
- Can’t cook on higher temperatures
Our Place Always Pan Testing & Performance
As an experienced home chef, I am constantly seeking ways to simplify my cooking process and minimize the number of dishes to clean afterwards. Therefore, when I discovered the Our Place Always Pan, which claims to replace 8 different pieces of cookware, I was intrigued.
I placed my order on a Friday, and to my surprise, the package arrived at my doorstep by Tuesday. However, I must admit that I was taken aback by the excessive amount of packaging that accompanied this product, particularly the steamer basket and the pan.
Fortunately, all the packaging materials were made of environmentally-friendly materials such as cardboard, paper, and biodegradable bags. Nevertheless, it seemed that a more efficient packaging approach could have been employed.
The Our Place Always Pan is not just an ordinary pan; it also includes several additional features:
- A nesting beechwood spatula with an integrated spoon rest
- A stainless steel steamer basket
- A modular lid that can be opened and closed to release steam
- Convenient pour spouts
- A spruce wooden steamer (which we had to purchase separately, although they occasionally offer promotions where it is given for free with a purchase)
After unpacking everything and giving it a quick wash with soap and water, we were ready to start cooking.
Always Pan Cooking Tests
We conducted a thorough evaluation of the Always Pan and its accompanying accessories during our routine family dinners. Our initial experiment involved browning ground chicken, which proceeded without any complications.
To ensure the pan's longevity, we adhered to the brand's recommendation of setting the heat to medium, which also serves as the maximum heat level. Surprisingly, even with the relatively low burner temperature, the pan reached an optimal temperature. The consistent cooking temperature impressed me, and as anticipated, the non-stick ceramic coating enhanced the cooking experience by preventing any food from adhering to the surface.
Afterwards, I prepared a delectable rice dish in the pan, which performed exceptionally. The pan possesses ample depth to effortlessly boil, simmer, and cook the rice without encountering any complications. The accompanying pan exhibits robustness, impeccable design, and user-friendly features. Moreover, it effectively retains steam when necessary, while also providing the option to release steam by simply adjusting a section of the lid.
After conducting the test, we opted to experiment with preparing a quesadilla for lunch one afternoon. Our objective for this particular dish was to achieve a crispy, brown exterior on the tortilla while ensuring that the cheese and meat inside melted perfectly.
Similar to our previous cooking experiences, the Always Pan handled this task effortlessly. We were pleased to discover that the crisping process was remarkably even and consistent. However, it did require slightly more time to cook due to the recommended lower heat settings for this pan. Nevertheless, considering its performance, it would be difficult to find much to complain about.
The ability to cook a wide range of food types is a significant advantage of the Always Pan, in my opinion. This versatility contributes to making its price point more reasonable.
Furthermore, the clean-up process was exceptionally quick and easy. This can be attributed largely to the ceramic coating. In essence, all that was required was a small amount of soap and a swift wipe down with a sponge, and we were finished.
Even cleaning the exterior of the pan proved to be effortless. I accidentally splattered some grease on the side of the pan, which I initially believed might stain the coarser surface. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it did not leave any marks.
On a related matter, it is important to ensure proper alignment of an induction cooktop, if applicable, with the appropriate sized burner. Although the pan may seem suitable for a larger burner ring, the actual metal portion that comes into contact with the induction burner is smaller. Consequently, it will only function effectively on medium-sized induction burners on my stove.
Regarding the wooden spatula, I greatly appreciated its design feature of resting on the handle, with the food end extending over the pan. This clever arrangement eliminates the need to create a mess on the countertop while stirring.
Bamboo Steamer - Char Siu Bao Buns
The wooden steam basket was the latest product we tested. Being unfamiliar with this type of steamer, I decided to try one of its renowned recipes, the Char Siu Bao Buns.
I made two attempts at preparing this dish, with a week's gap between them. Inspired by the haunting Pixer short film of the same title, I embarked on the journey of creating my own bao children. The initial endeavor resulted in bao that were edible but visually unappealing, solely due to my lack of expertise in dough-making. To be honest, the process of steaming the raw bao buns was remarkably effortless, especially after the challenges faced in shaping them.
During both attempts, the paper liners provided with the steamer started to curl, which was the only minor issue I faced. However, the long chopsticks provided with the steamer helped me to get them back into place. Apart from this, the cooking process was very smooth. I had to refill the water in the bottom of the pan for the later batches, but it reached steaming temperature again very quickly. Although I was a little worried about the white layer of mineral deposits left in the pan after steaming all that water, it washed out with virtually no effort.
There is little else to add except that I felt an immense sense of pride in successfully preparing this traditional dish, which I had always believed to be beyond the capabilities of an inexperienced cook like myself. I even momentarily halted our team's significant discussion on Slack to proudly exclaim, "observe my culinary creation!" while sporting a wide smile.
Nevertheless, I do ponder the durability of this particular type of basket in the long run. It appears that subjecting wood to prolonged exposure to heat and steam may not yield favorable results. However, after utilizing it twice, there are currently no indications of any damage or deterioration.
In the end, our experience with this pan and its accompanying components was truly delightful, and it has since become a fundamental piece of cookware in our kitchen. However, it would be even more ideal if there were a slightly larger alternative available, as the current 10” diameter pan is a tad smaller than what we typically use for our everyday meals.
Is Our Place Always Pan Good Quality?
Our Place Always Pan, originally developed in Los Angeles, is now manufactured in a female-owned and operated factory in China. The brand's decision to choose this specific facility was based on its reputation for high-quality craftsmanship and ethical practices. Our Place conducted extensive research, visiting a total of 15 factories before selecting this one.
To ensure the quality of the product and the well-being of employees, the brand conducts regular site visits and various audits, including BSCI, ISO, SA8000, and Sedex. However, it is unclear which specific audits are performed at this particular plant. While the brand's efforts towards transparency are commendable, more clarity would be appreciated.
Despite the somewhat unclear nature of this aspect, it is evident that the product they have developed is of exceptional quality. The utilization of cast aluminum for the outer shell ensures a lighter weight, facilitating faster heating and promoting uniform cooking. Furthermore, the interior is crafted with a non-toxic and environmentally-friendly ceramic coating. This coating, which is silicon based, is free from any harmful substances, thereby guaranteeing a safe and healthy cooking experience.
- GenX Chemicals
- PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid)
- PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene)
- Toxic Metals
The brand asserts that this particular coating has received FDA approval and is presently regarded as the most secure non-stick coating available. In the realm of cookware, these factors are of utmost significance in terms of functionality, efficiency, excellence, and durability.
Is Our Place Always Pan Worth It?
While the Our Place Always Pan does come with a much higher price tag than most regular pans, there are some justified reasons for this. This pan replaces 8 different products, including:
- Fry Pan
- Non-stick Pan
- Saute Pan
- Spoon Rest
The cost of the 8 distinct items alone would likely exceed the $145 price tag, provided they are of high quality. The company's commitment to producing quality products with stringent quality control measures inspires trust in the brand. Additionally, their unwavering support for their products, guaranteeing a satisfactory solution for any customer dissatisfaction, is a reassuring factor.
Our Place Coupons & Discounts
To stay informed about new collections and exclusive offers, consider subscribing to the Our Place email list. Upon signing up, you will receive a discount code for your initial purchase as well.