Nigella Lawson is nothing less than a whiz in the kitchen and a household name synonymous with the festive period, especially following the release of her Amsterdam Christmas Special over the holidays.
Aside from our surprise of seeing the cook whip out a red COSORI air fryer during the much-anticipated special, something else that caught our eye is that the cookbook author and TV chef swapped out her usual go-to Le Creuset pan with the on-the-rise, cult Our Place Always Pan.
Well, if Nigella's now got you in a frantic toss-up between which one you ought to opt for, we've tried and tested both here at Ideal Home and can help you navigate the choice between the two cult pans.
Le Creuset vs Our Place
As far as best cast iron cookware and pans for induction hobs go, there are no brands that quite make the rankings like Le Creuset and as of recently, Our Place. Not only are they some of the most aesthetically pleasing in the kitchen, but are also some of the most celebrity-endorsed cookware. Unsurprisingly, Nigella Lawson included.
But, which one should you go for?
Deep enough to roast a chicken yet shallow enough to flip an egg, the Always Pan is the gold standard for versatility in the kitchen, doing the job of ten pieces of traditional cookware. The Always Pan is also oven-safe up to 230 degrees Celcius.
Still crafted in France, these pans are the height of luxury, but also unbelievably practical. The large flat shape and shallow sides make it perfect for browning meat and vegetables, simmering casseroles, stir-frying and baking.
'I have the new Always Pan 2.0 and Le Creuset's Cast Iron Shallow Casserole,' begins our Ecommerce Editor, Molly Cleary. 'I love them both – my Always Pan was my go-to for over a year and I think it's a great budget alternative if you can't quite stretch to Le Creuset. It looks pretty, I love the colour range, and it's a great size. It even comes with useful accessories.'
Ideal Home's Assistant Editor, Thea Babington-Stitt continues, 'My favourite thing about my Always Pan is, rather helpfully, exactly what it was made for – multifunctionality.'
'I regularly use it to steam veg, then pour out the steaming water and use the pan to cook some protein. This way it's easy to cook a whole meal with minimal fuss and washing up,' she continues.
Even our Deputy Digital Editor, Rebecca Knight, adds that the Our Place Always Pan is 'much lighter than Le Creuset pans and are a dream to clean'.
However, Rebecca does note that while she loves her Always Pan, it can be prone to discolouration. 'I've had the original in 'Spice/Pink' for almost two years now and have noticed that the colour is coming off in places and the handle is discolouring slightly.'
This leads us swiftly to our pros for Le Creuset...
Essentially speaking, with good care and maintenance, Le Creuset cookware can last you several decades all the way through to generations. Rebecca remarks, 'My Mum has had her Le Creuset for 30 years and the colour is still intact.'
Not only that, but it truly can be the only pan you'll ever need. 'I used my Always Pan for so long because I was really scared to use my Le Creuset at first as it's so expensive,' begins Molly.
'But, Le Creuset's home economist told me it was the only pan I'd ever need to use. At first, I was seriously sceptical (I thought you only needed to use cast iron for stews, etc) but now I've started using it, I don't use anything else.'
'It's so easy to clean and has a magical effect that means it improves whatever you're cooking – and you can actually use it for everything (even for stir-fries or for baking, I made a banoffee pie base in it). It is a game-changer and will last for so many years if you can afford it!'
We think it's also definitely worth mentioning that while Nigella did opt for an Always Pan (or two) as a new addition to her Christmas cooking roster, she didn't ditch her Le Creuset completely as it still certainly made a worthy cameo in the programme.
However, it's also worth noting that with Le Creuset, you can expect to pay a pretty high premium right off the bat as well as ensure you account for the fairly hefty weight of these pans. Therefore, at the end of the day, the choice lies with you once you've considered costs and your own cooking habits.
Needless to say, irrespective of whichever you choose, both Le Creuset and Our Place have been given the big thumbs up from Nigella Lawson – which is enough reason in itself for us. However, we've got the feeling that Le Creuset will not be leaving Nigella's cooking arsenal anytime soon.
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Jullia Joson is Ideal Home’s Junior Writer. She’s always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham in 2022. Previously, she was an Intern Editor for ArchDaily. Now focused on news stories, Jullia can be found down the TikTok and Pinterest rabbit hole scrolling through any new and upcoming trends, hacks, and home inspiration.
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