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Expert Shopper Kitchen

10 pans worth considering if you don't want to spend $100 on an Always Pan

Whether you have a kitchen with limited cabinet space or you don't like owning unnecessary items, the Always Pan is an appealing choice thanks to its multipurpose design. However, the $100-plus price tag puts many potential buyers off and has them searching for alternatives. 

With plenty of pans that are similar in essence, you can save money and space simultaneously. These pans are worth considering if you don't want to splurge on an Always Pan. 

In this article: Copper Chef Titan Fry Pan Set, Michelangelo Nonstick Wok with Lid and Cooksmart Nonstick Induction Copper Pan Set.

What is an Always Pan? 

The Always Pan is made by Our Place. It's touted as an eight-in-one piece of cookware, as it's said to replace a fry pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, nonstick pan, spatula and spoon rest. However, in reality, most people don't own all these items individually and are likely to have one pan they use as a skillet, saute pan and fry pan. 

Effectively, it's a deep skillet with a lid and a steamer insert. The depth makes it possible to use as a saucepan and a saucier, but the same could be said of any other deep skillet. It comes with a wooden spatula and has a handle that doubles as a spoon rest. 

It's often found discounted to around $100, but its full retail price is roughly $150, so it's quite an investment. 

What are the alternatives to an Always Pan?

Since they're fairly pricey, not everyone wants to fork out for an Always Pan. Luckily, there are other pans that do practically the same thing. 

Always Pans are effectively just deep skillets with lids and steamer inserts. As such, any skillet-steamer combo is a great replacement. However, if you already have a skillet you love, you may prefer a saucepan or stockpot with a steamer insert. There are also woks with steamer inserts that can achieve similar tasks to Always Pans. 

What to look for in a quality multipurpose pan

If you're looking for a multipurpose pan other than an Always Pan, here are some factors to consider. 

  • Heavy materials: Lightweight pans warp and don't last especially long. Look for those made from heavy-gauge metals that keep their shape longer and offer better value. 
  • Nonstick: The Always Pan has a nonstick coating, which is something you may want in another multipurpose pan. If so, look for a coating that's free from harmful substances, such as PFOAs and PTFEs. Ideally, the coating should be tough so it doesn't scratch or flake easily. 
  • Tight-fitting lid: A tight-fitting lid is a must if you want to use your pan as a steamer. It's also great for some other purposes, such as braising. 
  • Steamer insert: A steamer insert adds an extra layer of functionality to a pan. However, you can buy steamer inserts separately if you see a pan you love in every other way. 
  • Depth: The depth of the Always Pan means it doubles as a saucepan and is also good for frying and more. Make sure your chosen pan is deep enough to meet your needs. 

Best alternatives to an Always Pan

Copper Chef Titan Fry Pan Set

Not only does this set include a 9.5-inch fry pan with a steamer basket and a well-fitting lid, but a bonus 8-inch fry pan and a santoku knife. The pans have a nonstick coating and triple-ply construction so that they're durable and heat quickly. 

Sold by Amazon

Blue Diamond Four-Piece Cookware Set

This 11-inch saute pan is deep enough to use as a saucepan or even for deep frying and it comes with a lid, steamer plate and mesh skimmer. The diamond-infused ceramic nonstick coating is tough, conducts heat evenly and is free from PFAS, PFOA, lead and cadmium. 

Sold by Amazon

Avacraft Stainless Steel Steamer Cooking Pot Set

If you're looking for a saucepan with a steamer insert but aren't worrying about frying and sauteing, this is a great choice. It's made from quality stainless steel with a five-ply base that feels extremely sturdy and is unlikely to warp. 

Sold by Amazon

Michelangelo Nonstick Wok With Lid

The beauty of a wok is that it's great for frying and simmering or boiling, thanks to its depth, so it can double as a saucepan in many cases. This 12-inch wok comes with a steamer rack and a fryer basket to give you even more ways to use it. 

Sold by Amazon

Moss & Stone Copper Five-Piece Cookware Set

In this set, you receive a 9.5-inch square pan that works as a saute pan, fry pan or saucepan, plus a deep fry basket, a steamer plate, a lid and a safe gripper tool. The pan is coated with a durable and effective ceramic nonstick layer. 

Sold by Amazon

Kseroo Wok Pan Set

This quality carbon steel wok is deep with a flat bottom, making it extremely versatile for stir-frying, deep frying, sauteing, simmering and more. It also comes with a lid and a steamer insert. 

Sold by Amazon

Shineuri Nonstick Copper Wok and Stir Fry Pan With Lid

Measuring 12 inches across at its widest point and holding 5 quarts, this wok is great for stir frying, deep frying, simmering, sauteing and braising. It also comes with a spacious steamer insert. 

Sold by Amazon

Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless Steel 3-Quart Steamer Set

Consisting of a stainless steel saucepan, steamer insert and lid, this three-piece set is another ideal option for those who'll get more use from a saucepan than a skillet. It feels heavy and its lack of nonstick coating means it has a longer lifespan. 

Sold by Amazon

Cooksmart Nonstick Induction Copper Pan Set

The deep 12-inch wok is extremely versatile, thanks to the included lid, steamer insert and fry basket, plus you get an additional 12-inch fry pan. It has a durable nonstick coating and is oven-safe to 450 degrees. 

Sold by Amazon

Rockurwok 2.5-Quart Nonstick Saucepan with Steamer

If you're not looking for a skillet or fry pan, this set is a great choice, consisting of a saucepan, steamer basket, lid and spatula. It has a heavy three-ply construction that resists warping and a stay-cool handle. 

Sold by Amazon

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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