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The Perfect Pot comes with strong eco-credentials, an impressive non-stick coating and great aesthetics. But does this pot live up to the hype?
A deep, multipurpose casserole dish is something that every cook – whatever their skill level – should have in their arsenal. They’re versatile and effortlessly go from hob to oven to table, making them a practical choice whilst also saving on the washing up.
Our Place (the brand behind the Perfect Pot) hit the market running with their highly Instagrammable and eco-forward Always Pan and the Perfect Pot is their latest offering. It comes ready prepared with everything you’d want from a casserole dish; it’s deep, can be used on the hob and in the oven, and it has a ceramic, non-toxic, non-stick coating. It comes with the same impressive eco-credentials as the Always Pan, but how did the Perfect Pot compare to our best casserole dishes?
Our reviews experts test hundreds of products a year to bring you impartial buyer’s advice on what’s really worth your money. Read more about how we test products. For more pan reviews, head over to our reviews section for everything from buying the best frying pans, best skillet pans, best saute pans and best pan sets to the best paella pans and woks.
Like the previously tested Always Pan, the packaging is entirely plastic-free. Cardboard circles keep the interior of the pot protected from knocks from the weighty roasting rack. The beechwood spoon comes in a bag that is both biodegradable and compostable. There’s also a useful natural sponge and a small booklet containing care instructions.
True to form with Our Place products, the Perfect Pot is a multi-purpose piece of kit that aims to replace eight different cooking tools by having the following functions:
• Dutch oven
• Roasting rack
• Spoon rest
This means you can make a whole host of dishes. Stews are of course a must, so why not try our easy caponata stew or easy sausage casserole. Use the roasting/steaming rack to make Chinese steamed bass with cabbage or even steamed bao buns. The inside of the pot is pretty roomy, making it ideal for these beer-braised short ribs.
We put the Perfect Pot through its pace by testing its performance against all of its claims as well as cooking two classic recipes: beef and vegetable casserole and one pot chicken with chorizo and new potatoes, which employed the roasting rack.
In a classic casserole dish, you can boil, crisp, bake, braise, roast, serve and store, so we’d be hard-pressed to call the Perfect Pot any more multifunctional than this. But the Perfect Pot is competitively priced and is significantly lighter than dishes from the likes of Le Creuset and Staub.
Currently, the Perfect Pot is available in five attractive colours and, given the extensive range of shades the Always Pan is available in, we expect that more will be added to the Perfect Pot.
We loved all the nifty additions, such as the roasting rack and nesting spoon. We were particular fans of the modular lid that allows you to let steam out or seal it in, depending on how the lid is aligned. Additionally, the side of the pot has a pouring lip that, when used in tandem with the steam grate in the lid, allows you to strain larger ingredients like pasta without needing anything extra such as a colander. The beechwood spoon is solid and generously sized. When not in use, it balances comfortably on the handle, keeping your worktop tidy.
The interior coating is chemical-free and non-stick. It’s free from PFOAs, PTFEs, PFAs and other nasties you don’t want to transmit into your food. The non-stick coating is impressive. We slow cooked BBC Good Food’s beef and vegetable casserole and, where we’d usually expect to see some baked-on bits of food inside a pan, every element slipped out with ease: no soaking or hard scrubbing required.
The Perfect Pot has a generous 5.2L capacity. We cooked our one-pot chicken with chorizo and new potatoes in the pot and it comfortably fit a 1.5kg chicken in. For this dish, we used the roasting rack and put the potatoes and chorizo on the base of the pan with the rack on top. We did feel that the legs of the rack were a little short as we were only able to fit a single layer of potatoes underneath, meaning the chicken to potato ratio was a little off. But, the overall dish was beautifully cooked; the chicken was soft and moist and the potatoes and chorizo were buttery and fragrant. Our beef casserole made five portions, but we felt there was enough space in the pot for six, making the Perfect Pot the ideal size for families.
The Perfect Pot is suitable for all hob types: ceramic, gas, electric and induction.
Clean up was incredibly easy. Despite baking our test dishes for a couple of hours, the contents just slid out of the pan, and any bits that remained needed nothing more than a quick wipe to remove them.
Like the Always Pan, the Perfect Pot isn’t dishwasher safe. But, given how impressive the non-stick coating is, dishwashing would seem excessive.
The Perfect Pot weighs just 2kg when empty and we still found it pretty lightweight when full. On the surface of it, this doesn’t seem like much of an issue, but sometimes lightweight isn’t necessarily a good thing; there’s something to be said about the reassuring weight of Le Creuset, Staub and other brand’s casserole dishes. With this pot, we found it tended to slip on the hob when we were stirring. Plus, any light bumps knocked the pot out of place.
Our only other gripe about the Perfect Pot is that the handles get very hot. When cooking on the hob, the small lug handles either side of the pan heat up quickly, so remember to use something to protect your hands whenever you reach for the pot.
If you’re in the market for a casserole dish, but aren’t enamoured by hefty cast iron offerings, the Perfect Pot is a good option. It’s well-priced too, coming in at just £140, compared to Le Creuset and Staub pots of the same capacity, which can go for almost double the price. The impressive non-stick surface was a real winner with us, keeping mess and clean up to a minimum.
Whilst we don’t feel that this pot is anymore multi-functional than other casserole dishes, it does come with practical and well-designed elements, like the modular lid, roasting rack and spoon, that do away with the need for lots of kitchen accessories and simply make cooking easier.
Many of us make sustainable choices when it comes to our food, but Our Place asks us to extend that to the products we use to cook with: as we should. The Perfect Pot’s ethical chain of production and toxic-free coating make this pot one giant leap in the right direction. We hope to see other brands follow suit.
Additional: roasting rack, pouring spout, lid, nesting beechwood spoon
Materials: sturdy aluminium body
Weight: 2kg body
Oven-safe: yes 215C
Lid: modular lid for releasing steam or locking heat in
Hob compatible: all cooktops
Non-stick coating: ceramic non-stick coating
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