Founded by Shiza Shahid, co-founder and former CEO of the Malala Fund, and run by a diverse team of extraordinary people, Our Place is making easy-going cookware for everyone from chefs to complete novices. Over in the states, the brand has garnered a cult-like following and loyal fans with their now iconic pastel colour palette and exceedingly good products. Their star product, the Always pan, has sold out over 10 times and at one point had a 50,000-person strong waiting list.
At first sight, the pan seems like a piece curated for Instagram aesthetics—every detail bears design in mind.
Painted in a soft, lavender color, the cast aluminium pan with ceramic non-stick coating comes with a domed lid, an acacia wooden spatula with spoon rest, and a nesting metal steamer basket. It’s a hybrid of sorts—it’s deeper than a frying pan but flatter than a wok.
To test its abilities, place this pan through the kitchen tasks that you typically throw at your sauté pan, wok, frying pan, and Dutch oven. From deep frying chicken wings and searing thick cuts of meat to roasting peanuts and stir frying a vegetable medley over high heat, we evaluated its performance in cooking speed, heat retention and distribution, and ease of use. We also steamed dumplings, blanched vegetables, scrambled eggs, and cooked pasta using the accessories provided.
Further, we looked at how easy it was to clean and store this pan, as many of us live in small apartments or share apartments with others.
Having tested the Always Pan and enjoyed it, we were pleased if not somewhat baffled to hear about the pan’s new colourful cousin, the Perfect Pot. After all, the Always Pan was supposed to replace so many things it seemed a little odd that a new product, titled ‘perfect’ was going to be better. Just like the Always Pan, the Perfect Pot aims to replace up to eight kitchen implements, including your “stockpot, Dutch oven, saucepot, roasting rack, steamer, strainer, braiser, and spoon rest.” At £140, the Perfect Pot is on the pricier side of things, so you’ll need to weigh up whether you will maximise this pot’s functionality, or simply use it to fulfil one need. If it’s the latter there are cheaper pieces on that market but, if it’s the former, this pot is well worth it’s price tag.
Aesthetically, the pot looks wonderful and is available in a range of colours, so whether you prefer pastels or lean towards neutrals, there will be a pot to suit. Inside the box, you’ll find a beechwood spoon crafted to sit neatly along the pot’s handles, a rack made for steaming and roasting that nestles inside in the pot when in use or for storage and, of course, the pot itself.
The first surprising thing about the Perfect Pot is just how much it resembles the Always Pan. On the inside, it has a similar non-stick coating that makes cooking very easy, while the exterior has the same pebbled finish coated in bright glaze that looks attractive sitting atop a stove.
The Always Pan and Perfect Pot perfectly complement each other. The second surprising thing about the Perfect Pot? Just how incredibly lightweight it actually is. If you use your Dutch oven regularly for baking bread, you’re familiar with the struggle of handling a piping hot, heavy cast iron pot. In comparison, the Perfect Pot weighs just 4.3 pounds and is very easy to handle even at high temperatures. This brings me to my next point.
According to the brand, yes, the Perfect Pot is great for bread baking. To put that claim to the test, we used it to bake a no-knead loaf of bread. The only hitch? Most recipes call for 450 degrees Fahrenheit as the perfect temperature, while the Perfect Pot is oven safe only up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. This meant, that we had to adjust cooking times to try to get a rise and brown crust.
We ended up leaving my bread in for longer than 30 minutes (almost 50 minutes), and the end result looked great in the pot. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to actually eat the bread (or even take a picture) because we accidentally dropped the hot loaf on our icky kitchen floor and it ended up getting completely deflated.
While I didn’t have enough time to bake another loaf of bread, I did do a ton of cooking in the Perfect Pot. From soups to curries to rice dishes, the pot was incredibly convenient and easy to use. First off, the non-stick coating is just so slick that absolutely nothing sticks to the surface. Secondly, it all comes down to the ergonomic design. For instance, the pot is thoughtfully designed with a spout, so if you clamp the lid on, you can easily pour your dinner leftovers (mess-free!) into a storage container. Plus, the modular lid (it lets off steam when you want, and locks it in when you don’t) also has a built-in strainer that’s easy to use, while also saving you the hassle of washing another piece of equipment.
The Bottom Line
Should you get it? If you have a pricey Dutch oven on your wishlist, but are hesitant simply because of the hefty weight and care required to regularly season the pot, then Our Place Perfect Pot, is a practical, convenient and relatively affordable alternative. It’s easy to use, requires no extra care and looks pretty darn good in your kitchen or on your dinner table. It’s also free of chemicals like lead, cadmium, toxic metals and nanoparticles so you don’t have to worry about any nasties getting into your meals. Keep in mind that the size is generous and about the same as a 5-quart Dutch oven.