There are few things that have reached the same internet ubiquity as advertisements for Our Place’s Always Pan. The matte-finished cookware is like free novelty canvas totes or bright-colored exercise dresses in New York City during a heatwave: everywhere. People have very strong opinions and aren’t above a hot take, ourselves included. So when Our Place announced the pan’s successor, the Perfect Pot, I was curious whether this new addition could live up to the brand’s hype, so I snagged one for myself to try. Here’s everything you need to know.
What Is The Our Place Perfect Pot?
The Perfect Pot claims to replace 8 pieces of cookware: stockpot, dutch oven, saucepot, roasting rack, steamer, strainer, braiser, and spoon rest. But if you had to summarize it, it’s essentially a cross between a standard metal stock pot and an enameled cast iron dutch oven. The interior features the same ceramic non-stick coating as the Always pan, and the cast aluminum construction makes it surprisingly light compared to traditional cast iron dutch ovens. The biggest difference between the Always Pan and the Perfect Pot (other than their shapes) is the fact that you put the latter in the oven, which is crucial for roasting or low-maintenance braising.
The lid is described as “self basting,” meaning it has ridges that allow aromatic steam to slowly drip back down into the pot, creating a moist environment that’s perfect for braising meat until tender. As with the Always Pan, the Perfect Pot also comes with a few accessories to increase the versatility of the cookware. The included wooden spoon has grooves that allow it to balance on top of the pot’s handles, and a roasting pan can be used to help increase airflow in the oven or be used as a steamer.
How Do You Use It?
As the name suggests, the Perfect Pot is ideal for making one-pot meals like stews, soups or pastas. The non-stick surface is great for browning garlic and proteins before letting flavors and ingredients hang out in a sauce or stew base.
The Pot also comes with a convenient roasting and steaming rack, which I’ve used to roast golden, garlic-infused heads of cauliflower and a small, herb and butter laden chicken. Smaller features, like the vented lid and easy-to-pour spout were surprisingly helpful and convenient to use as well — I didn’t have to take the extra step (or cleaning) needed with a colander. The high walls of the pot are great for shallow or deep frying without making a huge mess all over your stovetop. Most recently, I gently simmered some rice and veggies in the pot, then scooped it all out before pan frying some tofu in a tiny bit of oil. You don’t need to clean it in between cooking the various parts of your dish and everything came out perfect: the rice was soft and the tofu was crispy.
How Do You Not Use It?
Our Place writes on their site that the Perfect Pot is oven safe up to 425° F, which is too low if you plan on baking or quickly roasting with high heat consistently. Will the pot’s ceramic non-stick coating completely disintegrate if you bake a single sourdough boule? No, but you should still try to amend or avoid recipes that call for long periods of broiling or high-powered roasting to avoid ruining your cookware.
How Do You Care For The Our Place Perfect Pot?
The Perfect Pot isn’t delicate by any means, but you do have to exercise some care to prolong its life. The nonstick coating doesn’t vibe well with high heat, so stick to lower temps on your stovetop. And even though the nonstick properties are fun to test out sans oil, a small splash of fat (like avocado oil, EVOO, or ghee) will help preserve the pan’s slippery feel for many, many meals to come.
As for cleaning up, putting your pot in the dishwasher is a lot like hitting up your ex after a few too many drinks at happy hour: it should be avoided at all costs. Thankfully, hand-washing is pretty easy. Even foods that are notoriously hard to scrub, like melted cheese, lifted off with soap, water and a regular ol’ sponge. Our Place also recommends that you let the pot completely cool before submerging it, since dramatic temperature changes can damage the nonstick surface.
So… Should You Get One?
If you’re looking for a versatile piece of cookware that also looks great, the Perfect Pot does live up to its promise of being sleek and convenient to use. It’s best for people who want to throw together a great meal quickly without too much fuss — you can easily upgrade simple recipes by roasting or steaming ingredients with the rack, or you can slowly braise proteins on the stove all day for a low effort WFH meal that’ll also leave you with plenty of leftovers.
While I was initially skeptical of the pot’s cast aluminum material, it’s significantly lighter than my enameled cast iron cookware, so it’s also great for someone who wants the aesthetic of a Le Creuset or Staub dutchie, but wants to avoid a “Kevin’s Famous Chili” level tragedy lugging their dish to its destination. But if you’re a more dedicated baker, it’s worth saving up for the heavy duty dutchie that can handle higher intensity heat.
Ultimately, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked cooking with the Perfect Pot — it may even be better than its older, more notorious Always Pan sibling.
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Some Helpful Accessories
While Our Place claims that the Perfect Pot replaces 8 pieces of cookware, you shouldn’t completely swear off other kitchen tools. These are a few other items that will make cooking with your new pot even easier.
Hot Pots Require Chic Pot Holders
The Perfect Pot’s handles will get hot, whether you’re cooking on your stovetop or roasting ingredients in the oven. These are my favorite pot holders that have helped me transport a roast chicken to my hungry, impatient guests.
A Gentle Cleaning Solution
If your pot sees some tougher messes or stains after longer periods of use, you can use a classic combination of white vinegar and baking soda to let science do all the hard work for you. It’s also just handy to have for other household cleaning tasks, since the combo is gentle and effective to use just about anywhere in your kitchen.
The Scratch-Free Flipper
The Perfect Pot comes with a wooden spoon that conveniently nests right on the handle or side of the pot, but the spoon is less ideal for flipping proteins like fish or large slabs of tofu. This silicone spatula gets the job done, but is still soft enough to protect the pot’s nonstick surface from scratches or damage.
For Ingredients You Can't Scoop
As we approach peak cozy weather, I’m most excited to tend to homemade broths or stews. These soft-tipped tongs are a bit more efficient than the included wooden spoon for tasks like fishing out stock bones or searing short ribs pre-braise. It’s also a solid choice for firmly grabbing slippery fried items in piping hot oil.