My Honest Review of Those Caraway Pans You’ve Seen on Instagram
While iconic brands like Le Creuset and Staub are beloved for their colorful bakeware, Caraway, a direct-to-consumer brand, has been taking over the cookware space with pots and pans in gorgeous colors and clean silhouettes. In fact, Caraway’s cookware is so pretty and so photography-friendly that you’ve probably seen it all over Instagram — either in ads or your friends’ posts.
Of course, you can’t (read: shouldn’t!) buy everything you see on social media, so we put the brand to the test. I’ve been using Caraway’s signature pans for more than three years, and they’re still just as non-stick as they were on day one.
Should You Buy Caraway Cookware?
After three years of testing our editors are still impressed with the performance of their Caraway pans. Here are their favorite features.
- The ceramic coating makes an excellent nonstick surface that’s even “a dream for tofu.”
- Thanks to the nonstick surface, cleanup is “ridiculously easy.”
- The aluminum and stainless steel bottoms ensure even heat distribution.
- The pans have nice depth for holding a lot of ingredients.
- The pans are lightweight and easy to handle.
- They’re compatible with induction, gas, and electric cooktops; they’re even oven-safe up to 650 degrees F.
- The set is well curated; editors found themselves using all of the pieces.
- And, of course, the stylish colorways and shaping have great appeal.
There are lower-priced ceramic cookware sets on the market; however, we feel the quality of this brand justifies the price. The one drawback is true of all nonstick pans: they don’t brown or sear very well at all. For that, you’ll want to keep using your stainless steel or cast iron pans.
What’s So Great About Caraway?
When Caraway debuted in fall 2019, the brand made a splash with cookware in fun colors and with clean lines — and also for its tagline: “Non-Toxic Cookware Made Modern.” It purported to offer a better kind of cookware both for cooks and the environment because the pots and pans are coated in ceramic enamel rather than Teflon or another harmful “forever chemical” to achieve a nonstick surface.
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An Honest Review of Caraway Cookware
Caraway isn’t the only ceramic-coated cookware on the market — far from it. But it’s definitely one of the more popular brands that I’ve seen recently, especially on social media. Ceramic coatings are quite slippery and nonstick at first, they can get stickier over time. Trying out multiple pieces of cookware for various dishes would best represent the brand, so I chose to test the best-selling Cookware Set.
It’s Worth Getting a Set
We’ve never loved the idea of buying cookware sets because there are usually too many pieces we never use, but Caraway’s was well-curated and I found myself using each item regularly. Economically, for those with space, it also makes the most sense to buy a set.
The set comes in a bunch of fun colors and the brand is always coming out with limited edition and exclusive shades. The Copper Collection features copper hardware and three new limited-edition cookware shades. Shopping Director Jada Wong has it in the Midnight shade. The Iconics Collection features four Millennial-forward shades and gold hardware. That said, you can’t go wrong with Perracotta, the brand’s signature pink-forward terracotta color.
With Caraway’s Cookware Set, you’ll get the following:
- Deep 10.5-inch frying pan
- Slightly smaller 4.5-quart sauté pan
- 3-quart saucepan
- 6.5-quart Dutch oven
- 3 low-profile lids
This set comes with a few useful extras, too, including a canvas lid holder with rivets so you can hang it on the back of a cabinet door or wall, and a magnetic rack so you can store the pans in a drawer or on your kitchen counter.
The set arrived in a slim cardboard box, and each piece was nestled into slots within the cardboard, so there was no need for a bunch of Styrofoam or plastic to keep them from banging around. It was nice to be able to just recycle one box and not cringe at wasteful packaging.
Super-Slippery Nonstick Surface
The first thing I cooked was a fried egg in the smaller sauté pan (which is actually generously sized). I was immediately impressed by the super-slippery nonstick ceramic surface. I then spent the next few weeks cooking omelets, scrambled eggs, more fried eggs, and even dosas. I used very little oil and everything just slipped right out with no sticking.
I turned to the larger pan for sautéing all sorts of veggies for dinner — mushrooms, asparagus, green beans, and more. The veggies got great color and nothing stuck, and I came to love that the pan is deep enough to hold a ton of ingredients. This larger pan is also a dream for tofu.
I’ve cooked small batches of rice in the saucepan with no sticking, and I’ve used the Dutch oven to make a really thick bean soup. Even when I forgot to stir the dense soup, the beans never stuck to the bottom. And because the pans are so nonstick, cleanup has been ridiculously easy.
The pans are made of aluminum with stainless steel bottoms and handles, so they have really even heat distribution. I didn’t experience any hot spots, and the foods cooked very evenly. The light gray (and subtly sparkly) interior makes it easy to see how things are progressing during cooking.
The one caveat (and this is true for all nonstick pans): I get a deeper color when searing meats and veggies in a cast iron, carbon steel, or traditional stainless steel skillet. The nonstick ceramic coating doesn’t encourage a dark crust and as a result, you get very little fond. For dishes where I really want those browned bits sticking to the pan so I can deglaze and get a rich sauce, I’ll use my other pans. But for everything else? Caraway.
These pans have been a joy to cook with these last few years — they’re lightweight; responsive to temperature changes; truly nonstick; compatible with induction, gas, and electric cooktops; oven-safe to 650 degrees; and they heat evenly. Of course, they look great, too.
I haven’t noticed any big issues with durability. The ceramic nonstick coating is still going strong, though I’m careful not to use metal utensils and I always wash pieces by hand. I’ve noticed some dark discoloration on the outside of the larger skillet at the bottom, but you have to really look for it to see anything. All in all? I’m beyond pleased with my Caraway set and will keep reaching for these pieces for years to come.
What Else Does Caraway Sell?
For small spaces or those cooking for one, the Minis Duo, which we reviewed here, is a smart investment. The three-piece set includes an 8-inch fry pan and a 7-inch sauce pan with the same slick coating and fun colors we’ve come to expect from Caraway. There’s also a roasting pan (part of the Squareware collection) that’s perfect for the upcoming holidays, as well as a new stainless steel set that we’re in the middle of testing — stay tuned for our review!
The brand also recently launched cutting boards and utensil sets, the latter of which we’re also testing at the moment. To round out the rest of the kitchen, tea drinkers would love the Whistling Tea Kettle, which has a generous 2-quart capacity. When we reviewed the kettle, we were impressed by how quickly and quietly it worked, and how absolutely lovely and relaxing it was to put on a pot of tea before bed.
For more, we’ve got a full list of editor-favorites here to inspire your next shopping spree.
Buy: Caraway 7-Piece Cookware Set, $395 (originally $545)
Have you tried Caraway? Do you have nonstick cookware you love?