We Cooked, Scorched & Beat up the New Mini Always Pan & Perfect Pot—Here’s How They Held Up
- Value: 15/20
- Functionality: 18/20
- Quality: 17/20
- Aesthetics: 20/20
- Ease of Cleanup: 20/20
I’ve seen the hype. I’ve heard the skepticism. Now, I needed to try it firsthand. I’m talking about the Always Pan and Perfect Pot, the ceramic-coated cookware from Our Place that’s designed to replace several kitchen gadgets (sweet music to all minimalists’ ears) but has become even more renowned for its aesthetics. The brand’s latest release—a mini version of the famous pot and pan—promises to take up less coveted cabinet space while saving you a little dough. After getting my hands on the pair, I decided to stress-test them, cooking a variety of dishes for a month straight to see how the two held up.
First, a Mini Vs. Full-Size Comparison
How the Mini Always Pan Compares to the Full-Size Always Pan:
While the mini will save you $30 (it’s $115, whereas the original Always Pan costs $145), it can hold 54 percent less food. The mini is advertised as a great pan for cooking eggs and sides—two things it does remarkably well—but its 1.2-quart capacity makes it hard to cook more than an entrée for one person at a time.
Just like the full-size Always Pan, the mini is designed to help you sauté, fry, boil, strain, steam, braise and sear with the single piece of cookware, and it has a handy notch for holding the included beechwood spatula when you’re not using it.
How the Mini Perfect Pot Compares to the Full-Size One:
You’ll save $40 by snagging the Mini Perfect Pot, though at $125, it’s still pricey for a pot. However, it shines for how easy it is to clean (no marinara stains, even after leaving leftovers in it overnight), its heft and its built-in spout and strainer. The integrated spoon rest is a nice touch, and it boiled water quickly, thanks to its aluminum body and smaller size. (It has a 2.5-quart capacity, compared to the 5.5-quart size of the original.)
In fact, at 2.5 quarts, it’s still big enough to prep most entrees for my family of three, and I never felt like I needed the larger pot for my day-to-day cooking.
The Pros of the Mini Pot & Pan:
- The nonstick coating makes cleanup—even baked-on grease we left in the pan/pot overnight—a breeze (seriously, it’s so easy to wipe clean)
- Its small size is great for apartments and cramped cabinets
- Available in six chic, matte colorways (though not as many as the full-size pot/pan)
- The Perfect Pot’s strainer eliminates the need for a colander; ditto for the steamer
- The handles get hot to the touch while cooking
- The edge of the pot and pan get scorched easily, discoloring the ceramic exterior
- The beechwood spoon/spatula requires extra care to ensure it doesn’t feel rough after the first wash
- Their capacity is too small for groups of 3 or more
Minor discoloration on the bottom of the Perfect Pot after one month's use (Photo: Candace Davison)
I’d recommend the Mini Perfect Pot to any cook—it’s a great size pot to keep on hand to boil water quickly for pastas and make soups or sides—but when it comes to the pans, I’d suggest families of three or more spend the extra $30 for the full-size Always Pan.
If you routinely cook for one and you’re short on space, the mini pan may be right for you. Even then, I found one-pan meals were tricky to pull off in the 8.5-inch pan.