Food

Is This the End of Instagram Cookware?

Just a few months after the pandemic sent Americans indoors, Mia Graber received a lidded nonstick skillet the color of spruce pine needles, complete with a steamer basket and a wooden spatula on the handle, as a gift from her husband.

“I was immediately like, ‘Oh, this is the pan I had been seeing all over Instagram,’” said Ms. Graber, 33, who was understandably excited. It was the Always Pan from Our Place, which, at the time, cost $145 and promised to “do the work of eight pieces of traditional cookware.”

To Ms. Graber’s disappointment, it did not. Fried eggs stuck to the nonstick surface, the pan couldn’t be put in the oven, and over time the interior ceramic coating began to chip away. Soon, she reached for it only when she needed to steam something, and it began to gather dust.

So last month, Mr. Graber listed the pan on Facebook Marketplace for $50. After a few inquiries fizzled, Ms. Graber, a communications manager in Mill Valley, Calif., dropped it off at her local Goodwill.

Ms. Graber’s Always Pan is one of a flurry of once-hot, direct-to-consumer (D.T.C.) cookware products popping up on digital secondhand marketplaces or in Buy Nothing communities — or being tossed entirely.

Our Place’s Always Pan is a nonstick skillet that comes with a steamer basket and a spatula. Despite its name, some consumers found using it for a range of cooking tasks to be difficult.Credit…Lesley Stockton

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