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Caraway vs. Our Place (Always Pan): Which Cookware Is Better?

Are you shopping for cookware but can’t decide between Caraway and Our Place?

Caraway is known for its bright colors and modern design, while the Our Place Always Pan is marketed as a 10-in-1 system that does the job of an entire cookware set.

But are either of these brands worth buying? What are the main differences?

In this comparison of Caraway vs. Our Place, you’ll learn how their cookware differs in performance, design, materials, price, and more.

Key Takeaways

If you only have a minute, here’s a quick overview of the differences between Caraway and Our Place. Read the full article for side-by-side pictures, test results, and a detailed analysis.

Product Offerings: Caraway offers two cookware collections: ceramic non-stick and stainless steel. Our Place is focused on multi-purpose pans and has two styles of cookware: the Always Pan and the Perfect Pot. In addition to ceramic non-stick, Our Place offers enameled cast iron pans.

Colors: Caraway has more color choices than Our Place.

Interior: The interior cooking surface of Caraway cookware is light gray, while Our Place uses a dark gray interior.

Oven Safety: Caraway cookware is oven-safe up to 550°F, including the lid. The original Always Pan (ceramic non-stick version) is not oven-safe. Always Pan 2.0 is oven-safe up to 450°F, and the enameled cast iron Always Pan is safe in an oven up to 500°F without the lid.

Handles: Caraway handles are rounded and riveted to the pans. Our Place handles are plastic, boxy, and rivetless.

Heat Conduction: Based on my tests, Caraway pans heat faster than Our Place. Both brands heat evenly.

Price: Our Place costs more but is marketed as an all-in-one cooking solution. Caraway is a better value if you compare similar products.

Should You Buy Caraway or Our Place?

The Always Pan tries to do too much but doesn’t excel at any one cooking task. It’s too small for big meals and too big for small jobs. For the best results, invest in a basic set of essential pans like a frying pan, sauté pan, saucepan, and stock pot. Caraway offers more versatility and better construction than the Always Pan. However, I still recommend cookware from Made In, All-Clad, Scanpan, or Lodge over it. Caraway and Our Place don’t make “forever cookware”; the ceramic non-stick coating will eventually wear down, and you’ll need to replace it.

Read more reviews and compare the current prices of Caraway and Our Place at the links below:


Use the links below to navigate the review:


Comparison Chart

Here’s a quick comparison of Caraway vs. Our Place.

CarawayOur Place
Product OfferingsCeramic non-stick and stainless steelTwo cookware offerings: Ceramic non-stick and enameled cast iron
Base ConstructionAluminumAluminum or cast iron
Cooking SurfaceCeramic non-stickCeramic non-stick or enameled cast iron
Oven-Safe TemperatureUp to 550°FAlways Pan 2.0 is safe up to 450°F; enameled cast iron cookware is safe up to 500°F without the lid
Induction-CompatibleAll cookware is induction-compatibleAll cookware is induction-compatible
Color Options13 colors9 colors
Riveted HandlesYesNo
Handle DesignRoundedSquared
Where It’s Made Made in ChinaMade in China, Thailand, and Mexico
Company HistoryFounded in 2018Founded in 2019
Price$$$ (CarawayHome.com)$$-$$$ (Amazon)
Main BenefitColorful exterior; oven-safe up to 550°F; less expensiveComes with a steamer basket and wooden spoon; rivetless handles
Main DownsideExterior coating flakes off; non-stick coating wears down quicklyNot oven-safe; expensive; non-stick coating wears down quickly

Difference 1: Product Offerings

One of the main differences between Caraway and Our Place is their product lineups.

Caraway’s main offering is its ceramic non-stick cookware collection, which includes a frying pan, saute pan, saucepan, and Dutch oven. You can buy each piece individually or buy all four as a set.

Caraway frying pan
Caraway frying pan

In 2023, Caraway launched a new fully-clad stainless cookware collection to complement its ceramic non-stick pans.

Caraway stainless steel cookware set
Caraway stainless steel cookware set

These stainless steel pans have the same shape and design as Caraway’s ceramic cookware but feature a triple-layer aluminum core sandwiched between two exterior layers of stainless steel.

Caraway stainless steel skillet exterior
Caraway stainless steel skillet exterior

The aluminum core allows for quick, even heating, while the stainless steel provides durability and allows for induction cooking.

Our Place offers two core cookware products:

  • The Always Pan is marketed as a10-in-1 all-purpose pan that can perform nearly all cooking functions (braise, sear, steam, strain, saute, fry, boil, serve, and store). It’s essentially a deep saute pan with a wooden spoon and a steamer basket. There’s an aluminum non-stick version of this pan and an enameled cast iron version.
Our Place Always Pan
Our Place Always Pan
  • The Perfect Pot is a larger vessel (5.5-quart) with a wooden spoon, pasta strainer, and roasting rack. This pot also comes in aluminum non-stick or enameled cast iron.

Caraway’s approach is much more traditional. They sell several different pots and pans, and each serves a purpose. Our Place wants you to buy one pan and use it for everything.

Our Place Alway Pan with wooden utensil
Our Place Alway Pan with wooden utensil

Although the idea of only needing one pan is appealing, especially if you live in a small apartment and don’t have the space for a complete set, it’s not practical for most home cooks. I’ll get more into the reasons why in a minute.

Besides cookware, Caraway offers bakeware, tea kettles, food storage sets, and linens, such as oven mitts and aprons.

Our Place’s primary offering is the ceramic non-stick Always Pan, but they also have ovenware, knives, and a variety of cookware and kitchen accessories, including steaming baskets, cutting boards, and food storage containers.

Difference 2: Finish and Colors

Caraway cookware features a high-gloss exterior, while Our Place’s Always Pan has a matte finish.

Caraway and Our Place exteriors
Caraway (left) and Our Place (right)

If you look closely, you’ll see the subtle texture of Our Place’s exterior. The bumpy surface is coated aluminum but looks like enameled cast iron.

Our Place bumpy exterior texture
Our Place bumpy exterior texture

Caraway offers 13 color choices in shades like sage, cream, and peracotta. The shades are mainly neutral or soft pastels. The brand frequently adds colors and occasionally offers limited edition color options.

Our Place offers nine color choices. The colors are pastels, like lavender or blue salt, or bright colors, like firecracker (bright red) or azul (bright blue).

Difference 3: Handles

Caraway handles are either polished stainless steel or gold-toned steel. They’re riveted to the pan’s body, which ensures they’ll never loosen or detach.

Caraway versus Our Place handles
Caraway (top), Our Place (bottom)

They have rounded sides, which make them comfortable to hold, but I’ve noticed my hand slipping when tilting the pan (especially when my hand is wet or greasy).

Caraway cookware handle
Caraway cookware handle

Our Place handles are not riveted. Instead, they’re screwed onto the pan’s body. Although the rivetless design makes it easier to clean (rivets tend to collect oil), you can remove the handle with an Allen wrench, and removable handles like these are prone to loosening over time.

Our Place screwed on handle
Our Place screwed-on handle

Unlike Caraway and most other cookware brands, Our Place handles are not steel. Instead, they’re made of synthetic plastic. They feature a rubbery grippy texture and are noticeably light.

Update: The latest version of the Always Pan (Always Pan 2.0) has steel handles. The design is the same.

Our Place handles are squared, which is highly unusual. Although, this boxy shape is necessary so that the wooden spoon can rest flat on top.

Our Place handles
Our Place handles

Difference 4: Thickness and Weight

Both brands are relatively thick. The walls of the Always pan are 4.2 mm thick, and Caraway is 3.8 mm.

Thickness of Our Place Always Pan
Thickness of Our Place Always Pan
Thickness of Caraway pans
Thickness of Caraway pans

Usually, pans with thicker walls are heavier, but that’s not the case here.

I weighed the 10-inch Caraway fry pan and the Always Pan (also 10 inches), and both weighed 2.7 pounds.

Weight of Caraway 10 inch fry pan
Weight of Caraway Pan
Weight of Our Place Always Pan
Weight of Our Place Always Pan

I was surprised to see these results because the Always Pan has thicker walls and taller sides. Also, both pans are made of aluminum. The only explanation is that the Always Pan’s handles are made of a lighter material.

Although lighter cookware is easier to maneuver, it’s usually less durable and more likely to warp. I haven’t noticed warping with either brand, but it’s worth noting.

Difference 5: Cooking Performance

Like I do with every cookware brand I review, I put Caraway and the Our Place Always Pan to the test.

Cooking ground beef in a Caraway and Our Place pans
Cooking ground beef in a Caraway and Our Place pans

I used both to cook eggs, pancakes, vegetables, ground beef, steak, fish, pasta, and many other dishes. I cooked with both pans for several months (Caraway for over two years) to understand how they perform over time.

Cooking kale in the Our Place Always Pan
Cooking kale in the Our Place Always Pan

The truth is, they perform about the same. Both heat up fast and evenly, and the initial non-stick properties are excellent. For the first few months, eggs slid around like a hockey puck, and flakey fish released easily with zero sticking.

Cooking a grilled ham and cheese with Caraway pan
Cooking a grilled ham and cheese with Caraway pan

Unfortunately, that level of performance only holds up for a short time. At around the one-year mark, the ceramic non-stick coating on both pans begins to falter. The surface on Caraway and Our Place pans scratches fairly easily, and as those scratches accumulate, the non-stick performance declines.

Food sticking to a Caraway pan that has been used for two years

After about a year and a half, both pans were almost unusable. The main benefits of ceramic non-stick pans are food release and easy cleaning, and once the non-stick properties begin to fade, you lose those benefits.

While testing both brands, I noticed Caraway’s handles are much more comfortable, but the part closest to the pan gets extremely hot.

Our Place handles stay cooler since they’re plastic and aren’t riveted directly to the base. That said, the small section jetting out from the base where the handle is screwed into and the stem of the lid handle gets extremely hot.

Part of Always Pan handle that gets hot
Part of the Always Pan handle that gets hot
Part of Always Pan lid knob that gets hot
Part of the Always Pan lid knob that gets hot

I’m not a fan of Our Place’s all-in-one style pan. It certainly saves space and helps you declutter your kitchen, but the notion that one pan can replace an entire set is simply not true.

The Always Pan is 10.5 inches in diameter and has a 2.6-quart capacity, which might work for one or two people but not for a family of three or more. Unless you cook one-pot meals, you’ll need more than one pan.

Another aspect I don’t like about the Always Pan is the steamer basket. The metal legs (which can scratch the non-stick coating) are short.

Short legs on Our Place Always Pan steamer basket
Short legs on Our Place Always Pan steamer basket

This design is necessary to fit the pan, but short legs mean you can only put in a small amount of water. If you add too much water, you’ll boil instead of steam, but if you put too little, it burns off quickly before fully cooking the food.

It’s better to steam in a larger pot with tall side walls using a steamer basket with longer legs.

On top of all that, the original Our Place Always pan isn’t oven-safe. For a pan that touts itself as the ultimate all-purpose system, it has several limitations.

Update: The latest version of the Always Pan (Always Pan 2.0) has steel handles and is oven-safe up to 450°F.

Difference 6: Heat Conduction and Retention

I conduct the same two tests with every cookware brand I review. The first test measures heat conduction (how fast and evenly it heats), and the second measures heat retention (how well it maintains heat).

For the first test, I poured two cups of cold (55°F) water into each pan and put them on the stove on high.

The water in the Caraway pan started bubbling after one minute and 53 seconds and came to a full boil after two minutes and 26 seconds.

The Our Place pan heated slower but wasn’t far behind Caraway. The water in the Always Pan started bubbling after two minutes and two seconds and boiled after two minutes and 48 seconds.

Water boiling in the Our Place Always Pan
Water boiling in the Our Place Always Pan

The bubbles in both pans were uniform across the cooking surface, indicating even heat distribution.

Here’s how Caraway and Our Place stack up against the rest of the cookware industry.

PanTime to First BubblesTime to Boil
Farberware1 minute and 2 seconds1 minute and 29 seconds
Made In stainless steel fry pan1 minute and 40 seconds2 minutes and 21 seconds
Anolon X pan1 minute and 35 seconds2 minutes and 22 seconds
Misen fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 25 seconds
Caraway1 minute and 53 seconds2 minutes and 26 seconds
Anolon Advanced fry pan1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 27 seconds
HexClad fry pan1 minute and 40 seconds2 minutes and 30 seconds
Made In non-stick fry pan1 minute and 53 seconds2 minutes and 31 seconds
Zwilling fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 31 seconds
T-fal fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Gotham Steel fry pan1 minute and 58 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Rachael Ray fry pan1 minute and 47 seconds2 minutes and 36 seconds
Viking fry pan1 minute and 42 seconds2 minute and 39 seconds
Calphalon fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 40 seconds
Pioneer Woman fry pan2 minute and 2 seconds2 minute and 46 seconds
Hestan fry pan1 minute and 52 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
GreenLife pan2 minutes and 11 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
Our Place Always Pan2 minutes and 2 seconds2 minutes and 48 seconds
Tramontina fry pan1 minute and 53 seconds2 minutes and 52 seconds
Circulon fry pan2 minutes and 7 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
All-Clad skillet1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
Demeyere Industry fry pan2 minutes and 3 seconds3 minutes and 10 seconds
Ballarini fry pan2 minutes and 15 seconds3 minutes and 12 seconds
Heritage Steel fry pan1 minutes and 59 seconds3 minutes and 15 seconds
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan2 minutes and 11 seconds3 minutes and 25 seconds

For the second test, I removed both pans from the heat as soon as the water began boiling and set them aside to cool.

I measured the water temperature in both pans at the five and 10-minute marks to see which retained heat better.

After five minutes, the water in the Caraway pan was 116.6°F, and the water in the Always Pan was 118.0°F.

Caraway heat retention test results after 5 minutes
Caraway heat retention test results after 5 minutes
Our Place Always Pan heat retention test results after 5 minutes
Our Place Always Pan heat retention test results after 5 minutes

After ten minutes, the water in the Caraway pan was 96.4°F, and the water in the Always Pan was 96.7°F.

Caraway heat retention test results after 10 minutes
Caraway heat retention test results after 10 minutes
Our Place Always Pan heat retention test results after 10 minutes
Our Place Always Pan heat retention test results after 10 minutes

As you can see in the results below, both brands’ heat retention is average.

PanTemperature After 5 MinutesTemperature After 10 Minutes
Made In stainless steel fry pan121.1°F106.6°F
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan122.0°F106.3°F
Made In non-stick fry pan120.2°F105.8°F
Misen fry pan118.6°F103.4°F
Zwilling fry pan121.1°F103.0°F
Rachael Ray fry pan126.3°F102.7°F
HexClad fry pan120.7°F102.4°F
Circulon fry pan133.3°F102.0°F
Tramontina fry pan118.5°F101.3°F
Calphalon fry pan112.8°F101.1°F
All-Clad skillet111.6°F100.9°F
Ballarini fry pan120°F99.9°F
Heritage Steel120.1°F98.2°F
Hestan fry pan114°F98°F
Demeyere Industry fry pan115.2°F96.6°F
Our Place Always Pan118.0°F96.7°F
Caraway fry pan116.6°F96.4°F
Anolon X pan114.1°F96.0°F
Viking fry pan106.6°F95.9°F
Farberware fry pan112.0°F95.4°F
GreenLife fry pan119.0°F95.0°F
Gotham Steel fry pan113.0°F95.0°F
Anolon fry pan112.7°F90.9°F
Pioneer Woman fry pan104.3°F90.9°F
T-fal fry pan108.7°F88.0°F

Difference 7: Oven Safety

Caraway cookware is oven safe up to 550°F (including the lid), which gives you flexibility in the types of meals you can make.

The original Always Pan (ceramic non-stick) is not oven safe, which is surprising considering it’s marketed as a pan to replace the need for multiple pots and pans. In that way, it’s limiting, especially if you have a meal that requires a cooktop-to-oven transfer.

Perhaps that explains the launch of the enameled cast iron version of the Always Pan, which is oven-safe to 500°F without the lid. 

Update: The latest version of the Always Pan (Always Pan 2.0) has steel handles and is oven-safe up to 450°F.

Difference 8: Price

Caraway and Our Place are both more expensive than most ceramic non-stick brands. For example, some GreenPan collections cost half as much as Caraway or Our Place.

The price difference between Caraway and Our Place varies by product, but, in general, Caraway is less expensive and a better value.

Caraway and Our Place Always Pan interiors
Caraway (left) and Our Place Always Pan (right)

For example, Caraway’s 4.5-quart saute pan costs the same as Our Place’s 2.6-quart Always Pan, and Caraway’s 6.5-quart Dutch oven costs less than Our Place’s 5.5-quart Perfect Pot.

You could argue that you get more with Our Place because each pan comes with a wooden spoon and a steamer basket, but those items are cheap — you could buy them at any home goods store for a nominal amount.

Compare the current prices of both brands at the links below.

Difference 9: Downsides

Before you buy Caraway or Our Place, you need to understand their downsides.

Caraway Downsides

Food sticks after limited use – Although the food release is excellent initially, ceramic non-stick quickly loses its non-stick properties. It just doesn’t hold up long-term. The more you use it, the more its non-stick qualities diminish.

Damages easily – Even with extra care, the interior and the exterior can scratch pretty easily, and the paint flakes off over time. I noticed scratches on the pan I tested after only a few uses. These blemishes take away from its initial stunning appearance.

Paint chipping off Caraway pan
Paint chipping off Caraway pan

Straight sides – The straight pan walls make it hard to slide food out of the frying pan. Since Caraway pans don’t have flared rims, you need to tilt the pan at a higher angle to transfer eggs to a plate, and pan juices often drip down the sides and burn into the exterior.

Not broiler safe – Caraway ceramic non-stick pans are oven-safe but not broiler-safe (the stainless steel pans are broiler-safe). So if you plan to use your broiler, you’ll need to keep another pan handy.

Our Place Downsides

Limited lifetime of ceramic non-stick – Like Caraway, the ceramic non-stick doesn’t last long. Thankfully, Our Place offers a 100-day trial, so you can return it for a refund if you are not pleased.

Exterior staining – The exterior stains easily, and the stains are difficult to remove, even with regular cleaning.

Requires low heat –  Our Place recommends low heat for its ceramic non-stick pans. These pans are not ideal for high-heat cooking like searing and stir-frying.

Helper handle gets hot – Because the helper handle is part of the cookware body as opposed to a riveted or welded handle made of a different material, it conducts heat and gets very hot. The bottom part of the stem on the lid knob gets extremely hot, too. If you aren’t wearing an oven mitt or using heat-safe grips, it’s a burn hazard.

Cheap feel – Our Place pans are relatively thick but feel lightweight and cheap. The handle is plastic, and the lid is extremely thin and light. When you hold these pans, they don’t feel like cookware that will last forever.

What Others Say About Caraway and Our Place

The Spruce Eats named the Caraway cookware set best overall in its recent list of the best ceramic cookware. Reviewers liked the color choices and storage solution for the pans and lids. They were also impressed with the pan’s heat performance.

However, they also noted that it was expensive and high-maintenance as it requires handwashing, and you can’t use any tools with sharp edges because they will scratch the cookware.

Glamour included Caraway and Our Place cooking sets in its picks for the best cookware sets for home chefs.

Glamour named Caraway’s set the best overall. Reviewers pointed out its choice of colors, cooking versatility, and high oven-safe temperature.

Glamour reviewers chose Our Place’s Home Cook Duo (Always Pan and Perfect Pot) as the most versatile. While they did not claim it to be the longest-lasting option, they liked its versatility, style, and the convenience of a built-in spoon rest.

The New York Times Wirecutter published a scathing review of the Our Place Always Pan, saying it’s not worth the hype. The reviewer criticized the boxy, uncomfortable handle, poor non-stick properties over time, and exaggerated claims of being able to replace several pans.

Good Housekeeping chose Caraway as the best stylish ceramic cookware in a list of best ceramic cookware sets. Product testers from the Good Housekeeping Institute thought the lids were nice-looking and functional, but they got very hot and collected a lot of condensation. They liked the food release of the cooking surface and the steam vent in the lid.

Food & Wine included Caraway and Our Place in its list of the best non-toxic cookware.

Food & Wine reviewers called Caraway the best set, noting its excellent food release, choice of colors, and easy cleanup. They liked that you can use Caraway cookware on any stove but did not like how easy it is to scratch the non-stick coating.

Reviewers named Our Place’s Always Pan the best all-in-one pan. They called it an “easy solution for small kitchens” because it replaces eight cookware pieces. However, they found its food release was lacking.

Bottom Line: Should You Buy Caraway or Our Place?

Now that you know the differences between Caraway and Our Place, which ceramic non-stick brand is best for you?

The Our Place Always Pan is designed for multiple uses, but it doesn’t do any one thing particularly well. It requires low heat, so you can’t sear or brown foods. It’s not big enough for large meals and is unnecessarily large for small cooking tasks, like frying an egg.

I would not recommend buying an all-in-one pan like the Always Pan for most home cooks. Instead, invest in a small set of essentials (fry pan, saute pan, saucepan/saucier, stock pot). Multiple pots and pans will take up more room, but you’ll need more than one pan to cook an entire meal.

With Caraway, you get a broad choice of colors, a sturdy steel handle, and a sleek design. It won’t last forever, but at least you can cook on high heat, and it’s safe to use in the oven. If you’re set on buying one of these two brands, go with Caraway.

That said, I recommend several other brands ahead of Caraway, including Made In, All-Clad, Scanpan, and Lodge. Read my guide to the best cookware brands to learn more.

Read more reviews and check the current prices of Caraway and Our Place at the links below:

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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