Every home cook has their go-to, favourite pan. It’s the one you turn to for everything from the perfect crispy fried egg to a fully loaded stir-fry. And for me, up until recently, that was the Our Place Always Pan. But with the arrival of Ninja’s Foodi PossiblePan in Canada – a product that boldly claims to do everything the Always Pan can do and more (including go in the oven!), I decided to put it to the test to see how it compares. Would it be possible for Ninja’s new pan to really outperform my beloved Always Pan? Read on to find out.
The Ninja Foodi PossiblePan claims that it can replace replace 12 different cooking tools (stainless steel fry pan, nonstick fry pan, sauté pan, skillet, saucier, saucepan, steamer, strainer, spatula, cast iron skillet, roasting pan and baking dish) while delivering 14 cooking options. Made of forged aluminum that warms up fast and retains heat evenly, it can hold up to 4 quarts and is stovetop, dishwasher and oven safe, up to 500°F and accommodates all cook types such as gas, induction and electric. Featuring Ninja’s NeverStick technology, it offers a 10-year guarantee warranty that it won’t stick, chip or flake. Similar to the Our Place Always Pan, it comes with an integrated utensil (AKA a spatula) that stores on the lid, along with a stainless steel steamer/strainer basket and 11-inch glass lid. It’s currently available in Canada in two colours (sea salt grey and cherry tart), but considering that more colours are available internationally, more colours are likely to come down the Canadian pipeline soon.
Truthfully, this is the most non-stick pan I’ve ever used (and that’s saying something!). The NeverStick technology is no joke – even after two months of use, everything from eggs to chicken to thick sauces slide right off this pan with ease. I barely even need to scrub it when washing – food literally slides off with a rinse. I certainly can’t say the same for my Always Pan, which has torn many over-easy fried eggs and crispy salmon skins in its time, and its non-stick coating has severely deteriorated since purchasing.
While the Ninja Foodi Pan and Our Place Always Pan may not look that difference in size at first glance (they’re 11-inches and 10-inches in diameter, respectively), their capacity is vastly different, with the PossiblePan holding 4 quarts and the Always Pan holding 2.6 quarts. And what a difference those 1.4 quarts make! Most meals I cook are for 4-6 portions, and I often found myself over-crowding the Always Pan to the point of overflowing. With the PossiblePan, that’s simply not an issue. It holds my big quantites of fried rice and mac and cheese with ease, and even offers extra room for stirring and tossing.
There are a lot of features to this pan that just make sense. Starting with the glass lid: While I appreciate the pretty domed lid of the Always Pan, it’s opaque nature means you can’t always see what’s going on in your pan. Having a glass lid is an intensely helpful feature – if you’re sautéing veggies you can see how done they are, if you’re steaming mussels you can see if they’ve opened, the list goes on. The PossiblePan also offers two spouts on either side with different sizes – a helpful feature for pouring off sauce and oil. (the Always Pan also has two spouts, but they’re the same size).
The inside of the PossiblePan features the black, sparkly NeverStick coating, while the Always Pan has a light grey non-stick ceramic interior. After accidentally burning some crispy chow mein in my Always Pan, the inside has been slightly blackened ever since, no matter how hard I’ve scrubbed. To put the PossiblePan to the test, I made the same recipe and let some of the noodles burn – not only did the noodles not stick to the pan after burning, they didn’t even stain it at all.
There’s no getting around it – the PossiblePan pan isn’t as pretty as the Always Pan. While I typically left the Always Pan on my stovetop as a kitchen focal point, I tuck this pan away in my cupboards after use. The limited colours they currently offer in Canada are muted tones – a stark contrast to the bright and pretty colours Our Place offers. While deeply practical, this pan just doesn’t offer the same Instagram-friendly appeal.
The heavy duty PossiblePan comes with a weight to match – it weighs in at five pounds, almost double the Always Pan’s three pounds. When you’re just frying an egg or some veggies, this is less of an issue, but if you’re whipping up a big batch of bolognese or saucy curry goat, the pan’s weight makes it more difficult to move from stove to counter or oven.
This pan is an absolute work horse, and it’s become the one I reach to most often for weeknight dinners because it can do just about everything and it’s easy to clean. Its slightly lower price point at $160 compared to the Always Pan at $195 – while not necessarily a major factor, is worth considering too. If you tend to cook smaller meals for one or two and your kitchen aesthetic is a priority for you, the Always Pan could still be your best bet. But if, like me, you’re on a daily mission to get dinner on the table as quickly and cleanly as possible, it’s hard to beat the PossiblePan for its sheer practicality and versatility.