Kitchn Love Letters

I’m a Former Pastry Chef and This Mini Version of the Always Pan Is My Go-To for Everyday Cooking — Here’s Why

published Sep 12, 2022
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Our Place Mini Always Pan
Credit: Our Place

Some food-related internet crazes are not worth falling for, like the watermelon-mustard challenge (Lizzo, why did you do this to us?) or the tortilla slap challenge. Then, there are some that are, without a doubt, worth giving a go — think The Pink Stuff (IYKYK) and the Stanley Quencher. And one of the absolutely irresistible products that the world wide web has brought into our lives: the Always Pan from Our Place.

We at Kitchn have had a serious crush on the Always Pan (in its OG form and in cast iron) and all of its uber-handy add-on gadgets for years now. Not only does the internet-famous pan show off some seriously stunning looks, it also does a stellar job with nonstick cooking. Thus, when those innovative geniuses at Our Place released a mini version of the must-have pan, I didn’t hesitate to get it — my Always Pan needed a little buddy.

The Mini is just 8.5″ in diameter (vs. 10″), making it perfect for everyday tasks like frying eggs or making a WFH stir-fry for lunch without having to worry about excess space in the pan or any unnecessary dishwashing. It’s truly the perfect size for an entree portion for one or two, but is also useful for cheffin’ up family-style sides and veggies.

While the pan’s dimensions are what set it apart from its larger sibling, the Mini has the same standout features as the original. It’s multifunctional (it sears, steams, sautés, braises… you name it), nonstick (yet free of any PFOAs, PTFEs, PFAs, and other toxic chemicals), lightweight (but still handles heat like a heavy hitter), and compatible with all types of stovetops. And let’s not forget its unparalleled good looks.

Credit: Stella Totino

With a monotone exterior and versatile grey ceramic interior, there’s no doubt that the pan’s charming curves, cutouts, and silhouette are the pinnacle of top-notch cookware design. But what makes the essential a never-leave-the-stovetop kind of pan is the variety of color options. I snagged the Mini in the same shade as my Always Pan (Spice) because I’m matchy-matchy like that, but you can totally opt for a contrasting hue if that’s more your style.

Bottom line: I think you’ll find that the Mini Always Pan is the cookware you’ll reach for first for nearly any stovetop task. And at $30 cheaper than the larger version, it’s a no-brainer in my book.