Caraway cookware reviews: for people who care about the looks and easy of use

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Caraway 7-piece set

The Caraway full cookware set is a gorgeous collection of ethically produced pots and pans. The ceramic coated set will equip you to tackle most cooking tasks without contaminating your food.

Though Caraway’s cookware isn’t the most robust on the market, and their claims that it’s induction-compatible is a little misleading, this collection is still a decent option for the modern chef, thanks to a healthy discount over the individual pots and pans.

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, accidentally left a Teflon pan on a hot stove for 45 minutes, it released toxic fumes into his home that made him feel dizzy. Following the incident, he set about producing a range of non-toxic cookware that retained the convenience of non-stick pots and pans, and Caraway’s signature ceramic coating was born.

Materials and Features

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

All of Caraway’s cookware is:

  • Free of PTFE, PFOAs, and PFAs
  • Compatible with all cooktops, including induction
  • Oven safe up to 550F, but not broiler safe

Cleaning and Care

  • Handwash once cookware is cool
  • Cook over low-medium heat to maintain coating integrity
  • Use only soft utensils
  • Avoid heavy contact with stoves and cookers
  • 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 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 Made In’s unboxing

The manufacturing process of the ceramic coating releases approximately 60% less CO2 than traditional nonstick coating manufacturing.

Because ceramic is free of the chemicals found in Teflon nonstick products, it is also easier to recycle and releases fewer chemicals back into the environment, not to mention your food as you cook. The ceramic is made from quartz and clay minerals, which are naturally occurring materials.

Caraway donates or recycles any returned products to give the cookware a new lease of life, reducing waste in the process.

Caraway also only manufactures its products in facilities that meet Fair Trade, BSCI, and SMETA standards. They are made in China and India, so there is some environmental impact from shipping and 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, 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 cookware’s shape is minimalist, rounded, and sleek, looking like it is straight out of a modern Scandinavian kitchen. 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 returns policy catered to the online customer, encouraging you to try them out, risk-free thanks to their 30 day trial period. You have 30 days to test out your cookware and return it for free if you change your mind.

Shipping is free when you spend over $90 (most items cost over $90). Caraway sells a limited selection of linens and kitchen accessories at affordable prices that match the cookware’s color scheme.

Ordering the full cookware set, will save you $100 compared to buying pieces individually, but they must all be one color. Each set comes with some bonus storage items like a magnetic pan rack and a canvas lid holder. While the storage is decent, it doesn’t match the quality of the cookware and feels a little cheap.

Caraway pan reviews

1. Caraway Fry Pan

Caraway’s nonstick coating is most impressive in their frying pan. A perfect breakfast hero for eggs, pancakes, crepes, and pretty good for sausage and bacon.

It is an excellent option if you want something nonstick, ethical, and has 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 PTFE, 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 are great for cooking eggs for a family as you can fit four at a time comfortably. You can fry a couple of chops or saute a pound of veggies with relative ease. 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 pan 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 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. Even on the highest setting, it took forever to heat, 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, many reviews claim 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.

It’s worth noting that as Caraway was only founded in 2018, the long-term durability of their products is yet 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, stir fries, 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.

The well-sealed lid also makes it ideal 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 more liquid-based foods, and the shape accommodates lots of options well. The nonstick is super slippery, so 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, this pan is great value for money. An All-Clad D3 saute pan 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, a batch of soup, boiling a pot of water, or a couple of servings of pasta. It comes with a tight-fitting lid to help 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 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 rapid heat conduction. The heat retention is good, not cooling down too quickly once the stove is turned off.

The bottom is prone to chipping on certain stovetops, and if you want to whisk anything, you must use a silicone-coated whisk or risk damaging your cookware.

Value

It’s okay. Value is improved if you’re looking for a set or need to do a lot of temperature-sensitive cooking like chocolate or candy. There are better options if you only need cookware to need to boil water or reheat soups.

4. Caraway Dutch Oven

This dutch oven is much lighter than cast iron competitors and looks beautiful enough to have on display rather than hiding it away in a cupboard. It is a large enough size to accommodate a roast for a family of four.

The lid can 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

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

Many reviewers noted 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

A slick and slippery nonstick isn’t particularly necessary for dutch ovens, as you usually use them to get a brown, crispy crust or to stew something for an extended amount of time.

These longer high heat bakes have caused a number of Dutch ovens to discolor and stain which has left some reviewers disappointed. 

Value

We don’t consider the Caraway Dutch oven good value for money. Dutch ovens shine when used at high temperatures for making bread or braising and stewing. While the nonstick is great for easy cleanup and lighter than cast iron dutch ovens, you lose a lot of the searing, browning, and high heat tolerance capabilities that make dutch ovens such a versatile and essential piece of cookware. You can get a Lodge dutch oven at a similar price point, which can produce a crispy sear and broil anything you need. Sometimes you can even find a 4-quart Staub on sale at a similar price point.

Final Thoughts on Caraway

Caraway are intelligent in their design and ethical in their values. It is great to see a company producing sustainable cookware. They have used smart marketing strategies to entice millennials with online-only purchasing, eco-friendly processes, 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 Caraway can expand their range to include cookware made from different materials, this company will be one to keep an eye on.

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