For the past two years, Our Place's Always Pan has taken the cooking world by storm. It touts an Instagram-friendly look (peep those pastel colorways), a modular design (wait, the wooden nests atop the handle?!) and a design that's meant to do eight things in one (OK, this is a bit of a stretch). The biggest barrier to entry for the pan, however, is its $145 price tag. So it was about time that someone knocked off the Always Pan, and the culprit isn't who you'd think.
Aldi, a German-owned supermarket chain popular for its discounted prices, released a $25 dupe of the Always Pan. The name? The Awesome Pan. The pan is part of Aldi's cookware line called Crofton, which features highly affordable pots and pans.
Aldi's take on the Always Pan is a dead ringer for the original — the lid is practically identical, and it boasts a similar design from the handle to the shape of the pan itself. Like the Always Pan, the Awesome Pan is 10 inches in diameter and features an aluminum body with a non-stick surface that's free of PFOA or PTFE, two common harmful chemicals found in some non-stick coatings. But that's where the similarities end.
The Awesome Pan lacks the nesting steamer basket that comes included with the Always Pan, as well as the beechwood spoon that utilizes the Always Pan's handle as a spoon rest. The Awesome Pan also lacks pour spouts, which come on either side of the Always Pan. However, if you don't need those missing accoutrements and features, you can save $120 by going for the knockoff.
If you want to give the Awesome Pan a try, look out for it at an Aldi location near you. We haven't had a chance to try it out, but for $25 we doubt it'd be the worst pan you can buy.