Welcome to The Esquire Endorsement. Heavily researched. Thoroughly vetted. These picks are the best way to spend your hard-earned cash.
You probably know how to cook by now. That’s good. It’s likely been a journey. You might not have started with the right skill set, or any knowledge of how to use ingredients, or the correct tools to do it well. Well, unfortunately, I couldn’t be there to fix the first two problems, but I do have a sick trick for the last one. The folks over at Our Place—the brand, not my home—have a pan that’s quite plainly everything you need from a pan. What that means is that the Always pan is literally a pan for always. It can do almost anything within reason for a pan, and look damn good, too.
It has many, many uses.
I’m usually tentative to trust things dubbed “all in one,” and “always” has the same sentiment. But here’s a pan that actually follows through on its name. The Always pan itself is deeper than a standard pan, allowing me to use it as a pot, but shallow enough that I can still use it to easily cook steak or chicken. It has a slight pour spout built into the side, saving me from the usual grease burn hellscape of dumping excess liquid. Our Place also includes a steamer basket (which can also be a strainer), and if you’ve never steamed frozen vegetables or dumplings, it’s a game changer. Most notably, the handle comes with a wooden spoontula (also my vampire name) secured by a small peg, which I honestly can’t talk enough about. Whenever I’m cooking, my tool is right there on the handle, not resting on the heat and not dirtying up my counter with juices. This pan has worked for 95 percent of my meals, and yes, I do a meal box, so I’m not making the same thing every night.
It’s actually non-stick.
“Non-stick” is the “like new” of pans. It could mean anything. Everything is non-stick right away, but how long does that ever last? I’ve been using my Always pan for about six months, and it’s still very much non-stick. Now, I’m not a genius chef; I’ve burned a lot of pan sauces and other real sticky things in it. They don’t stick. And the cleaning is so fast. Our Place gives you a special little sponge for light residence, but to be honest, water does the trick every time. If you were less anal than me, you really wouldn’t even have to use soap.
I’m an asshole when it comes to product design. If it’s not pretty and cool looking, then you can buzz right off. Luckily, this pan is absolutely stunning. It’s made out of a cast aluminum that gives it a really nice, hearty texture. Beyond that, the paint colors are wonderful. There’s a “charcoal” that’s just different enough from boring black, a “smoke” that’s a really nice off-white, a “sage” that’s a deep forest green, and a “spice” that’s a light clay pink—each adds a lot of personality to the pan. In fact, I leave mine on my stove top all the time. Now, some may say that’s because I don’t have cabinet space, and those people are half right; I could have cabinet space if I really tried. But the pan looks like a decoration for my stove top. Our Place’s entire kitchen catalog is filled with design that could bring a tear to my eye.
Photography and prop styling by Allie Holloway
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