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

Are you shopping for a versatile all-purpose pan but can’t decide between HexClad and the Our Place Always Pan?

HexClad claims to offer the durability of stainless steel and the convenience of non-stick, while Our Place markets its Always Pan as a 10-in-1 cookware system that does it all.

I tested both pans thoroughly, and while some of these claims are true, many are either false or exaggerated. 

In this comparison, you’ll learn the truth about HexClad and the Our Place Always Pan. I explain how they differ in materials, design, performance, price, and more. 


Use the links below to navigate the comparison:


Key Takeaways

In a hurry? Here’s a quick summary of the key differences between HexClad and the Our Place Always Pan. 

HexClad pan and Our Place Always Pan with lid half on
HexClad (left) and Our Place Always Pan (right)

Base Material: HexClad pans are made of durable 3-ply stainless steel, while the Always Pan has an aluminum base that is more prone to warping and denting.

Cooking Surface: HexClad features a unique hybrid cooking surface with laser-etched steel hexagons protecting the non-stick coating. The Always Pan has a less durable ceramic non-stick surface.

Exterior Finish and Colors: HexClad has a black non-stick exterior with thin steel hexagons, while the Always Pan comes in several colorful options with a textured finish.

Handles: HexClad’s handles are riveted and rounded and can rotate unexpectedly if your hand is wet or greasy. Always Pan handles are screwed on, squared, and designed to hold the wooden spatula that comes with the pan.

Weight and Shape: The Always Pan is heavier than HexClad due to its thicker walls (4.2 mm vs. 3 mm), taller sides, and helper handle.

Accessories: The Always Pan comes with a lid, steamer basket, and wooden spatula, while HexClad offers just a tempered glass lid.

Cooking Performance: I tested both for over a year, and HexClad performs better, with longer-lasting non-stick properties and superior searing. The Always Pan’s non-stick coating wore down quickly, and its slick surface didn’t allow for a good sear.

Heat Conduction and Retention: Based on my controlled tests, HexClad conducts and retains heat slightly better than the Always Pan.

Oven-Safe Temperature: HexClad is oven-safe up to 500°F, while the updated Always Pan 2.0 is safe up to 450°F (enameled cast iron version is oven-safe up to 500°F).

Metal Utensils: HexClad’s steel hexagons protect the non-stick coating, making it metal utensil-safe. The Always Pan’s ceramic coating can easily scratch, so metal utensils are not recommended.

Price: HexClad costs about 5-10% more than the Always Pan, but both are expensive within their respective categories (hybrid and ceramic non-stick).

Should You Buy HexClad or the Our Place Always Pan?

HexClad lasts longer, performs better, and lives up to its marketing claims more than the Always Pan. Our Place does a good job marketing the Always Pan as a “do it all” cookware system, but it’s really just a saute pan with tall sides, a wood spatula, and a steamer basket. Based on my testing, the Always Pan is not worth the high price, especially considering its short-lived non-stick properties.

If you’re deciding between the two, go with HexClad. It’s available on HexClad.com and Amazon. If you’re still interested in the Always Pan, you can read more reviews on Amazon.

Comparison Chart

HexCladOur Place Always Pan
Base Construction3-ply stainless steelAluminum or cast iron
Cooking SurfaceHybrid stainless steel and non-stick Ceramic non-stick or enameled cast iron
Oven-Safe TemperatureUp to 500°FAlways Pan 2.0 is safe up to 450°F; enameled cast iron cookware is safe up to 500°F
Induction-Compatible YesAll cookware is induction-compatible
Dishwasher SafeYesNo
Color and Finish OptionsBlack/steel8 colors
Riveted HandlesYesNo
Handle DesignRoundedSquared
Where It’s Made Made in ChinaMade in China, Thailand, and Mexico
Company HistoryFounded in 2016Founded in 2019
Price $$$$ (HexClad.com)$$$ (Amazon)
Main BenefitMore durable than traditional non-stick pansColorful exterior; rivetless handles
Main DownsideExpensive; requires oil and butter to prevent eggs from stickingExpensive; non-stick coating wears down quickly

Difference 1: Base Material

HexClad pans are 3 mm thick and made of 3-ply fully clad stainless steel. The three bonded layers are: a magnetic 18/10 steel bottom layer for induction compatibility, a middle aluminum layer for efficient heat conduction, and a top 18/10 stainless steel layer. 

Bottom and sides of HexClad cookware
Bottom and sides of HexClad cookware

This type of construction is also used by premium cookware brands like All-Clad, Made In, and Demeyere. It offers an ideal balance between durability and heat distribution.

The Our Place Always Pan is 4.2 mm thick and made of 100% recycled aluminum. Since aluminum is not magnetic, and pans must be magnetic to work on an induction cooktop, Our Place bonds a steel plate to the bottom. 

Our Place Always Pan exterior
Our Place Always Pan exterior

While aluminum is a good heat conductor, HexClad’s fully-clad stainless steel construction is more durable and resistant to warping or denting than the Always Pan’s aluminum base.

Difference 2: Cooking Surface

One of the most significant differences between HexClad and the Our Place Always Pan is their cooking surfaces. 

Always Pan and HexClad pan
Always Pan (top) and HexClad pan (bottom)

HexClad features a unique hybrid design with laser-etched steel hexagons extending up the sides and a steel band around the rim. 

HexClad hybrid cooking surface
HexClad hybrid cooking surface

The steel hexagons are slightly raised, so when you drag togs or a spatula across the surface, the utensil only touches the steel, not the non-stick coating. Because of this, HexClad pans last significantly longer than typical non-stick pans. 

The Always Pan has a more traditional smooth ceramic non-stick coating on its cooking surface, which they call Thermakind. This coating is made from natural sand-derived silicon, giving it a slick, glossy appearance. 

Our Place Always Pan cooking surface
Our Place Always Pan cooking surface

The main benefit of this material is that it doesn’t contain substances like PFOA, PFAS, PTFE, lead, or cadmium. And unlike PTFE-coated non-stick pans (such as HexClad), ceramic cookware does not release harmful fumes when overheated.

The main downside of ceramic non-stick coatings is that they don’t last long. The non-stick properties can deteriorate quickly, sometimes within the first six months of use.

Difference 3: Exterior Finish and Colors

HexClad extends the stainless steel and non-stick hybrid pattern from the interior to the exterior. The exterior’s non-stick coating makes it easier to remove stains from sauce and oil that spill over the sides. 

HexClad pan bottom
HexClad pan bottom

However, one Prudent Reviews reader informed me that the raised steel hexagons on the bottom of her pan scratched her glass cooktop. Here’s the email she sent me (she gave me permission to published it):

“I discovered that sliding the HexClad pan on my flat cooktop was putting scratches on the cooktop surface — much deeper and more noticeable than the typically very light scratches from most other pans. I examined my pan for any obvious burrs on the bottom, and there were none. But I noticed you can see and feel the shiny hex pattern on the outside bottom pan surface. So it must be that etched metal on the bottom that is cutting into and scratching the cooktop!”

I’ve been using HexClad for years, and this has never happened to me. However, I searched thousands of reviews and found a few other HexClad customers complaining about it. The chances of it happening are slim, but it’s still a risk to consider. 

The Our Place Always Pan features a textured exterior that resembles enameled cast iron despite being made of coated aluminum. This bumpy surface adds a rustic charm to the pan’s appearance.

Our Place Always Pan exterior texture
Our Place Always Pan exterior texture

Our Place offers several different color choices for the Always Pan, ranging from soft pastels like lavender and blue salt to vibrant hues such as rosa (a bright red/pink) and azul (a striking blue).

Difference 4: Handles

Another major difference between HexClad and the Our Place Always Pan is their handles.

Our Place Always Pan and HexClad handles
Our Place Always Pan (top) and HexClad (bottom)

HexClad’s handles are short, round, and connected to the pan with two rivets. Although the handles are comfortable, their rounded shape causes them to rotate if your hand is greasy or wet or if you’re using a towel or pot holder. 

HexClad cookware handle
HexClad cookware handle

Instead of rivets, Always Pan handles are screwed onto the pan’s body. This rivetless design makes the cooking surface easier to clean since rivets often collect oil and grime.

Our Place Always Pan interior
Our Place Always Pan rivetless interior

However, the handle can be removed with an Allen wrench, and removable handles are more likely to loosen over time.

Our Place screwed on handle
Our Place screwed on handle

Another unique feature of Always Pan handles is their squared shape, which is quite unusual for a pan handle. This boxy design serves a specific purpose: it allows the included wooden spoon to rest flat on the handle. 

While this is a clever design element, it takes some time to get used to, and I’m not a big fan of it. The edges dig into your hand and the grip doesn’t feel natural.

Difference 5: Weight and Shape

HexClad and the Our Place Always Pan have notable differences in shape and weight. 

The 10-inch HexClad fry pan weighs approximately 2.5 pounds, while the 10-inch Always Pan is slightly heavier at 2.7 pounds. 

This difference can be attributed to two main factors: the thickness of the pans and their overall design.

The Always Pan has a thicker construction. Its walls are 4.2 mm thick, while HexClad pans are 3 mm thick. 

Thickness of Our Place Always Pan
Thickness of Our Place Always Pan
Thickness of HexClad pan walls 3 mm
Thickness of HexClad pan walls 3 mm

Also, the Always Pan is designed to be an all-purpose pan rather than a traditional frying pan. As a result, it features taller, more vertical sides to accommodate various cooking tasks. The sides of the Always Pan are 2.75 inches tall, whereas HexClad’s are only 1.75 inches tall.

Measuring the height of the Our Place Always Pan and a HexClad fry pan
Our Place Always Pan (left) and HexClad (right)

The helper handle is another design element that adds to the Always Pan’s weight.

Our Place Always Pan
Our Place Always Pan

This extra handle provides better control and stability when moving the pan, especially when it’s full. HexClad does not have a helper handle, which helps keep its overall weight down.

Difference 6: Accessories

HexClad keeps it simple: you can purchase the pan with or without a tempered glass lid.

The Our Place Always Pan comes with accessories designed to maximize the pan’s versatility and convenience. The package includes a domed-shaped lid, a steamer basket that doubles as a colander, and a Beechwood Spatula that rests securely on the pan’s handle.

Our Place Always Pan accessories
Our Place Always Pan accessories

While the steamer basket and spatula are nice to have, Our Place markets these additions as a major benefit. In reality, they don’t add much value to the product. You can buy both items cheaply online or at any home goods store.

Difference 7: Cooking Performance

I’ve been testing HexClad for several years, and the Our Place Always pan for over a year. While both have strengths and weaknesses, HexClad is the clear winner in the performance category. 

Searing salmon in a HexClad pan
Searing salmon in a HexClad pan

Both brands perform well initially. The Always Pan’s smooth ceramic non-stick surface easily releases eggs and other delicate foods. As long as the surface is well-greased, HexClad releases food with no sticking.

Egg not sticking to a greased HexClad pan
Egg not sticking to a greased HexClad pan

However, the Always Pan’s ceramic coating began to wear down after just a few months. As it degraded, I had to use more and more oil and butter to prevent sticking. This decline in non-stick performance is a common issue with ceramic coatings, and the Always Pan is no exception.

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

HexClad’s non-stick performance remained much more consistent over time. The stainless steel hexagons protect the non-stick valleys, making the surface more durable and scratch-resistant. Even after a year of use, there was no noticeable change in HexClad’s non-stick properties.

HexClad is also much better when it comes to searing. The raised stainless steel hexagons keep oil in the center of the pan and provide a textured surface that grips food, allowing for better searing and browning.

Cooking chicken thighs in a HexClad pan
Cooking chicken thighs in a HexClad pan

The Always Pan’s slick surface doesn’t grip the food enough and oil tends to slide to the corners. It’s not the best pan for salmon, steak, burger, and any other foods that benefit from a nice crispy sear.

Another aspect I don’t like about the Always Pan is the steamer basket. The metal legs are short, so you can only put a small amount of water in the pan. If you add too much, you’ll boil the food instead of steam it. But if you put too little, the water burns off quickly before fully cooking the food. Additionally, the feet on the steamer basket can scratch the non-stick coating.

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

One advantage of the Always Pan is its squared handles, which are less likely to rotate in your hand. In my experience with HexClad, there were several instances when washing the pan or sliding food onto a plate, the rounded handle twisted unexpectedly, which can be a bit frustrating.

Difference 8: Heat Conduction and Retention

To compare the heat conduction and retention properties of the Our Place Always Pan and HexClad, I conducted the same two tests I perform on every cookware brand I review.

For the first test, which measures heat conduction (how fast and evenly the pan heats), I poured two cups of cold (55°F) water into each pan and placed them on the stove on high heat.

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

The water in the HexClad pan started bubbling after one minute and 40 seconds and reached a full boil after two minutes and 30 seconds.

The Our Place Always Pan heated slightly slower, with the water beginning to bubble after two minutes and two seconds and boiling after two minutes and 48 seconds.

Both pans had uniform bubbles across the cooking surface, indicating even heat distribution.

Here’s how both pans stack up against the broader cookware industry:

PanTime to First BubblesTime to Boil
Farberware1 minute and 2 seconds1 minute and 29 seconds
All-Clad G5 fry pan1 minute and 17 seconds2 minutes and 4 seconds
All-Clad Copper Core fry pan1 minute and 21 seconds2 minutes and 18 seconds
Henckels HXagon fry pan1 minute and 36 seconds2 minutes and 19 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
Cooksy fry pan1 minute and 47 seconds2 minutes and 35 seconds
Rachael Ray fry pan1 minute and 47 seconds2 minutes and 36 seconds
Viking fry pan1 minute and 42 seconds2 minutes and 39 seconds
Calphalon fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 40 seconds
Sardel fry pan1 minute and 41 seconds2 minutes and 46 seconds
Pioneer Woman fry pan2 minutes and 2 seconds2 minutes 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
Ninja NeverStick Pan2 minutes and 7 seconds2 minutes and 49 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 D3 fry pan1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
All-Clad HA1 fry pan2 minutes and 12 seconds2 minutes and 58 seconds
All-Clad NS Pro fry pan2 minutes and 9 seconds3 minutes and 3 seconds
All-Clad D5 fry pan1 minutes and 58 seconds3 minutes and 4 seconds
Goldilocks fry pan2 minutes and 17 seconds3 minutes and 5 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 minute and 59 seconds3 minutes and 15 seconds
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan2 minutes and 11 seconds3 minutes and 25 seconds
Xtrema fry pan3 minutes and 41 seconds6 minutes and 7 seconds

For the second test, which measures heat retention (how well the pan maintains heat), I removed both pans from the heat as soon as the water began boiling and set them aside to cool.

To compare their heat retention capabilities, I measured the water temperature in both pans at the five and 10-minute marks.

After five minutes, the water in the HexClad pan was 120.7°F, while the water in the Always Pan was 118.0°F.

HexClad heat retention after 5 minutes
HexClad heat retention 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 HexClad pan cooled to 102.4°F, and the water in the Always Pan was 96.7°F.

HexClad heat retention after 10 minutes
HexClad heat retention 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

Here are the full results from all the brands I’ve reviewed:

PanTemperature After 5 MinutesTemperature After 10 Minutes
Xtrema fry pan142°F113°F
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
Ninja NeverStick Pan130.5°F104.8°F
Misen fry pan118.6°F103.4°F
Zwilling fry pan121.1°F103.0°F
Rachael Ray fry pan126.3°F102.7°F
Goldilocks fry pan122.0°F102.5°F
HexClad fry pan120.7°F102.4°F
Circulon fry pan133.3°F102.0°F
Tramontina fry pan118.5°F101.3°F
Cooksy fry pan117.9°F101.2°F
Calphalon fry pan112.8°F101.1°F
All-Clad D3 skillet111.6°F100.9°F
Ballarini fry pan120°F99.9°F
Heritage Steel120.1°F98.2°F
All-Clad HA1 fry pan117.9°F98.1°F
Hestan fry pan114.4°F98.0°F
Sardel fry pan114.0°F97.8°F
All-Clad NS Pro fry pan116.0°F97.3°F
All-Clad D5 fry pan112.7°F97.3°F
Henckels HXagon fry pan113.5°F96.7°F
Our Place Always Pan118.0°F96.7°F
Demeyere Industry fry pan115.2°F96.6°F
All-Clad G5 fry pan115.3°F96.6°F
Caraway fry pan116.6°F96.4°F
Anolon X pan114.1°F96.0°F
Viking fry pan106.6°F95.9°F
All-Clad Copper Core fry pan117.7°F95.5°F
Farberware fry pan112.0°F95.4°F
GreenLife fry pan119.0°F95.0°F
Gotham Steel fry pan113.0°F95.0°F
Anolon Advanced fry pan112.7°F90.9°F
Pioneer Woman fry pan104.3°F90.9°F
T-fal fry pan108.7°F88.0°F

These results suggest that the HexClad pan has slightly better heat conduction and retention properties than the Our Place Always Pan. However, both pans fall within the average range compared to other cookware brands in the industry.

Difference 9: Oven-Safe Temperature

HexClad cookware is oven-safe up to 500°F.

The original Always Pan that hit the market in 2019 was not oven-safe at all. However, Our Place addressed this limitation with the launch of the Always Pan 2.0 in April 2023. This updated version features steel handles and is oven-safe up to 450°F.

Our Place also offers an enameled cast iron version of the Always Pan, which is oven-safe up to 500°F without the lid.

Difference 10: Cleaning

Our Place clearly states that the Always Pan is not dishwasher safe and recommends hand washing the pan once it has fully cooled. 

HexClad advertises its pans as dishwasher safe on its product pages. However, the help documentation on its website provides a different recommendation: “While our cookware is dishwasher safe, we recommend hand washing with a sponge and hot, soapy water to protect the longevity of our products.” 

They further explain that using a dishwasher may leave pots and pans looking dull or black over time, and phosphate-free detergents can etch or pockmark the surface of the metal.

Regardless of what each brand says, I always recommend hand washing any cookware with a coating to preserve the coating’s integrity and extend the product’s lifespan.

Difference 11: Metal Utensils

The Our Place Always Pan is not metal utensil safe. Hard utensils like metal spatulas or tongs can easily scratch and damage the delicate ceramic surface.

HexClad’s unique hybrid cooking surface, which features raised stainless steel hexagons protecting the non-stick coating below, makes it one of the few non-stick pans that is metal utensil safe.

HexClad metal utensil safe
HexClad metal utensil safe

The steel peaks act as a barrier, preventing metal utensils from directly contacting and potentially damaging the non-stick valleys.

Difference 12: Price

HexClad is generally about 5-10% more expensive than the Our Place Always Pan. However, it’s important to note that both brands are expensive within their respective categories.

Our Place’s Always Pan is priced significantly higher than most ceramic non-stick brands (ex., GreenPan and GreenLife). This premium pricing is primarily due to the pan’s included accessories, such as the steamer basket and wooden spatula, and the company’s claims that the pan can “do it all.” 

Similarly, HexClad is the most expensive hybrid cookware available. You can get pans with similar materials for significantly less; Henckels Hexagon and Cooksy are two examples.

Compare the current prices of HexClad and the Our Place Always Pan at the links below:

Bottom Line: Should You Buy HexClad or Our Place Always Pan?

If you’re looking for a versatile, high-performing pan that can handle a wide range of cooking tasks, HexClad is the clear winner. Its hybrid design produces excellent searing, browning, and easy food release. It’s also metal utensil-safe and can handle higher heat in the oven.

The Our Place Always Pan may seem appealing with its multi-purpose design. But, in reality, it’s a non-stick sauté pan with a steamer basket and wooden spatula. Since the ceramic non-stick coating doesn’t last long, it’s not worth paying a premium just for accessories that you could buy separately for a nominal amount.

Bottom line — both brands do an excellent job marketing their cookware, but HexClad lasts longer, performs better, and lives up to the hype more than the Our Place Always Pan. 

Read more reviews and compare the current prices of both brands 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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