Caraway Cookware Reviews: for people who care about the looks

Caraway is a direct to consumer online cookware brand that was founded in 2018. Their entire lineup is fashioned like a capsule collection of interchangeable pieces made of the same materials in muted, millennial colors that appeal to a social media savvy cook.

When the founder, Jordan Nathan, left a Teflon pan on his stove for 45 minutes accidentally, it released toxic fumes into his home that made him feel dizzy. He realized that there must be a nontoxic alternative to the convenience of nonstick, and developed Caraway’s signature ceramic coating.

Materials and Features

The base of the pan is a stainless steel plate for induction compatibility, and the body of the cookware is heavy-gauge aluminum core. The real star however is their mineral based ceramic coating, which is free of PFTE (Teflon), PFOA and PFA.

All of Caraway’s cookware is:

  •       Free of PFTE, PFOAs and PFAs
  •       Safe on all cooktops including induction
  •       Oven safe up to 550F, but not broiler safe

Cleaning and Care

  •       Handwash only, wait until cool
  •       Cook over low-medium heat to avoid wearing down coating
  •       No pointy or metal utensils
  •       Can chip on certain stovetops
  •       Use only liquid oils and butter, no sprays

Environmental Impact

Caraway products arrive in minimalist boxes made from recycled cardboard and no plastic bags. They also use 100% biodegradable cork trivets to keep the items from scratching during shipping, and use only low impact print dyes on boxes. While it is environmentally sound, the unboxing experience was a little disappointing compared to the care and detail put into MadeIn’s unboxing. 

The manufacture of the ceramic coating releases 60% less CO2 than regular nonstick coating manufacturing.

Because ceramic is free of the chemicals found in Teflon nonstick products, it is also easier to recycle and puts less chemicals back into the earth- and your food as you cook. The ceramic is made from quartz and clay minerals, which are naturally occurring materials.

Caraway also donates or recycles any used cookware that is returned to them, so the cookware can have a second life before ever making it to a landfill.

Caraway also only manufactures its products in facilities that meet the standards for Fair Trade, BSCI and SMETA.  They are made in China and India, so there is some environmental impact from shipping in addition to production, though less because it is never distributed to retailers.

Appearance

All of Caraway’s cookware is designed to mix and match with a soft palette of muted colors. They have give to choose from, including Cream, Gray, Perracotta (a pinkish terracotta), Sage (a gray green), and Navy. You can order each piece in a different color or have a matching set.

The shape of the cookware is minimalist, rounded and sleek, looking like it is straight out of a modern Scandinavian kitchen. Apparently this design is inspired by the rounded shape of the caraway seed, the company’s namesake.

All of the handles are hollowed mirror polished stainless steel to keep them as cool as possible for stovetop cooking, and all handles are attached with sturdy rivets.

Returns, Shipping and Extras

Caraway has a decent return policy that is catered to the online customer, encouraging you to try them out without risk because of their 30 day trial period. You have 30 days to test out your cookware and can return it for free if you change your mind.

Shipping is free over $90, which means even if you buy a single cookware piece you qualify for free shipping. They also sell a limited selection of linens and kitchen accessories at affordable prices and fit the color scheme of the cookware.

If you order the entire cookware set, you save $100 compared to buying pieces individually, but they must all be one color. When you order the set it comes with some bonus storage items like a magnetic pan rack and a canvas lid holder.  We were surprised by the plastic quality of the magnetic pan rack. While it works well, it feels cheaper than what was expected based on the photos.

Caraway pan reviews

1. Caraway Fry Pan

The frying pan is where Caraway’s nonstick coating really gets to shine. A perfect breakfast hero for eggs, pancakes, crepes and pretty good for sausage and bacon.

It is a great option if you want something nonstick, ethical and with a lower environmental impact. The set is great if you want a matching cookware set that is beautiful and functional, but the features are not varied enough between items to make it a versatile set.

  • Slick ceramic coating free of PFTE, PFOAs and PFAs
  • Safe on all cooktops but induction works poorly
  • Oven safe up to 550F, but not broiler safe
  • Handwash only

This fry pan has a decent 10.5 inch diameter cooking surface with sloped edges. This size and shape is great for cooking eggs for a family as you can fit 4 at a time comfortably. You could also fry a couple chops or saute a pound of veggies easily. Some reviews claimed it was hard to get a good sear on meats because of the slippery nonstick coating.

Measurements:

  •   Diameter: 10.5 inches
  •   Volume: 2.7 qt
  •   Weight: 2.8 lbs

Ease of Use

The ceramic coating is quite slick with just a minimal amount of butter or oil, and some reviewers claimed that they rarely need to use oil at all.

Cleanup is a breeze, simply wait until cool and wash in soapy water with a soft cloth. If something does get stuck from cooking at too high heat, simmer some water in the pan to release the stuck on food.

Performance & Durability

The pan heats up quickly on and evenly on a gas stove thanks to the stainless steel plate and heavy gauge aluminum. 

We ran into a problem when testing on induction, however. It took forever to heat, even on the highest setting, rendering this pan unusable on induction stovetops despite claims. 

The nonstick coating is pretty durable with the proper utensils, very few reviews commented on the interior coating scratching or chipping. However, a lot of reviews claimed the exterior enamel coating chips off relatively easily especially on gas burning stoves. It can stain quite easily too, especially on a gas stove or with a lighter color option like Cream or Sage.

Its worth noting that since Caraway as a company was only founded in 2018, long term durability is to be determined.

Value

This pan is under $100 and is quite a reasonable price for its heft and size. You could get a less expensive ceramic nonstick from GreenPan, but the quality varies depending on the line you choose. What’s nice about Caraway vs GreenPan is the sleek look and environmental, ethical practices during manufacturing.

2. Caraway Saute Pan

This saucepan has nice tall sides to accommodate stirring and large batches of sauces, pastas, stirfries or braising meats. What is unique is that the edges are slightly curved rather than a tight corner like many saute pans, meaning it is easier to scrape out every drop of sauce or jus.

The well sealed lid also makes it good for steaming veggies or potstickers.

Measurements:

  •   Diameter: 11.8 inches
  •   Volume: 4.5 qt
  •   Weight: 6.8 lbs with lid

Ease of Use

Saute pans are ideal for cooking things in sauce and the shape accommodates lots of options well. The nonstick is super slippery, which means even roux based sauces like gravy and bechamel will release easily from the pan.

It is heavy but maneuverable, though the handle does get hot if grabbed too close to the cooking surface.

Performance & Durability

While many reviewers loved the shape and size, many commented that this one seemed extra prone to chipping. This is likely due to its flatter surface area, so there is more contact with the stove than the frying pan’s sloped sides.

Again because Caraway isn’t broiler compatible, you don’t get to use the saute pan to its full potential for finishing dishes.

Value

Considering the size and stovetop versatility, it is a great deal. An All Clad D3 saucepan of the same dimensions will cost at least $100 more, though this saucepan has lower heat tolerance than clad stainless competitors.

3. Caraway Sauce Pan

This saucepan is a perfect size for a box of macaroni or a few servings of soup, or boiling a pot of water for eggs or a couple servings of pasta. It comes with a tight fitting lid, so you can trap heat and moisture in your meals.

Measurements:

  •   Diameter: 8 inches
  •   Volume: 3 qt
  •   Weight: 4 lbs with lid

Ease of Use

Boiling water and reheating liquids is done quickly and at a nice low heat. The nonstick is nice for thicker soups and stews, though an extra detail that isn’t necessary for a lot of liquid recipes.

It can be tricky to pour since there is no pouring lip, so spillage can occur easily.

Performance & Durability

Water boils quite fast thanks to the stainless steel plate and the quick heat conduction. The heat retention is good, not cooling down too fast once the stove is turned off.

The bottom is prone to chipping on certain stovetops, and if you wanted to whisk anything you must use a silicone coated whisk.

Value

It’s okay. It is better value if you’re looking for a set or need to do a lot of temperature sensitive cooking like chocolate or candy, but if you just need to boil water or reheat soups there are less expensive options from many brands.

4. Caraway Dutch Oven

This dutch oven is much lighter than cast iron competitors, and really looks beautiful enough to keep on the stove. It is a large enough size to accommodate a roast for a family of 4, and nice and deep.

The lid can actually fit the frying pan too, so if you have the set feel free to use this lid to use your pan for steaming and locking in moisture.

Measurements:

  •   Diameter: 10.5 inches
  •   Volume: 6.5 qt
  •   Weight: 6.2 lbs with lid

Ease of Use

These Dutch ovens are admittedly much easier to clean than a conventional dutch oven if you aren’t comfortable with the seasoning process.

Many reviewers not ed that it was almost impossible to get a good sear on meats and regretted that they couldn’t broil their roasts to finish them with a nice crispy crust.

Performance & Durability

Slick and slipper nonstick isn’t particularly necessary for dutch ovens, as you usually use them to get a brown, crispy crust or to stew something for a long amount of time.

These longer high heat bakes have made a few reviewers disappointed as their dutch ovens have changed color a bit or stained.

Value

Not worth it. Dutch ovens really shine when they can be used at high temperatures for breadmaking or long periods in the oven for braising and stewing. While the nonstick is great for easy cleanup and it is lighter than cast iron dutch ovens, you lose a lot of the searing, browning and high heat tolerance that make dutch ovens such a versatile and essential piece of cookware. You can get a Lodge dutch oven at a similar price point but get a crispy sear and broil anything you need. Sometimes you can even find a 4 qt Staub on sale at a similar price point.

Final Thoughts on Caraway

Caraway is intelligent in their design and ethical in their values. It is great to find cookware that is sustainable, and they have been very smart to market this line to millennials through online only purchasing, eco friendliness and modern, instagrammable colors.

It will be interesting to see if they expand their product lines beyond their one nonstick coating. While their practices are admirable and their cookware beautiful, not all of the cookware can be used to its full advantage because of heat limitations from the nonstick. If they have more items made from different materials but keep their manufacturing processes, this brand will really be one to watch.

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