You can find a direct-to-consumer, aesthetically pleasing, millennial-friendly version of pretty much any product. Away made luggage chic, Casper made mattresses cool and Brooklinen had us all buying sheets. Whether these products are better than their less sans-serif-y, traditional counterparts is always a gamble. (Buying directly from an Instagram ad comes with risks, no?)
All that to say, we recently tested the millennial version of non-stick pots and pans, Caraway Cookware. It’s easy on the eyes, an Internet fave and comes in a rainbow of Insta-ready hues. But is it worth a spot on the throne—er, your stovetop? Here’s our honest review.
What sets Caraway cookware apart from other non-stick competitors?
One of Caraway’s biggest selling points is that it’s a non-toxic version of the non-stick skillets and saucepans you’re used to cooking with. (One tagline the brand uses is “cookware without the chemicals.”) What does that mean, exactly? Long story short, a chemical called Teflon (also known as PTFE or polytetrafluoroethylene) used to be the gold-standard for non-stick pans. But then the FDA discovered that when overheated, it can leech toxic chemicals into your food, and it was slowly phased out.
Instead, Caraway uses a ceramic coating to achieve a slick surface. That’s good for a few reasons: Aside from being healthier than Teflon, it also releases less carbon dioxide as it heats up, making it more eco-friendly than older non-stick offerings. It also won’t begin to break down until it reaches temps of about 800°F. (Caraway claims it can safely reach 550°F.)
TBH, we take “clean” marketing with a grain of salt, but since we’ve tried other ceramic-coated cookware in the past, we were curious how Caraway would hold up with use over time.
How is Caraway cookware sold?
You can buy Caraway cookware individually or as a set, which includes a 10.5-inch skillet, a 3-quart saucepan, a 4.5-quart sauté pan and a 6.5-quart Dutch oven, as well as two recycled cork trivets, four modular magnetic pan racks and a canvas lid holder (more on those later). The prices range from $95 to $395 for the whole shebang. We received a sample of the full set in the navy color.
The cookware arrived in a large recycled cardboard box. Seriously, it was gigantic—but it also contained no plastic baggies, Styrofoam or packing peanuts, hurrah!
How does Caraway perform in the kitchen? Here’s what we loved.
Non-stick cookware often favors function over form, but Caraway really is as gorgeous as it is functional. The lids are interchangeable and have a flat shape that tucks easily into the canvas holder. They look sleek instead of clunky and are comfortable to hold. The gray non-stick surface makes it easy to judge caramelization (handy for tasks like browning butter) but also doesn’t hold onto stains. We followed the non-stick rules, using only wooden and silicone utensils, and based on our tests, the coating seemed durable. We didn’t notice any obvious hot spots and the surface heated up quickly and evenly, thanks to the cookware’s aluminum core.
Another major plus? The stainless steel handles and enameled outer surface make Caraway oven-safe. That means you can go from searing to roasting with no meltdowns. (We’ve tried other Insta-famous cookware, and let’s just say sparks flew—literally.) Everything is stovetop agnostic, so you can cook on gas, electric and induction stoves.
We know you’re wondering about the non-stickiness of this non-stick cookware, and yes, it’s slick. We never fully believe the brands that claim, “you can cook with no oil!” (you can’t do that), but Caraway is slippery enough to fry eggs, fillets of fish and delicate crab cakes with a touch less oil than we’d use with stainless steel or cast iron. It’s also super easy to wipe clean.
The included pan and lid storage solutions were a nice touch, too—we made room in our cabinets for the magnetic racks and marveled at the organization levels. (The canvas lid holder was a bit too large for our tiny NYC cabinet doors, but we made it work.)
Are there any drawbacks to Caraway cookware?
We’ve tried a lot of pots and pans in our kitchen, and we can honestly say Caraway is a solid choice if you’re in the market for non-stick cookware, especially if appearances are a major concern. But at nearly $400 for the set, it’s not the most budget-friendly option on the market.
Our only other qualm is that we wish Caraway offered another smaller skillet. We loved the size of the sauté pan (it’s ideal for roasting a whole chicken over a bed of potatoes) and the smaller saucepan and Dutch oven, but longed for an itty-bitty skillet to fry a single egg. What can we say? We love mini.
All in all, Caraway delivers in the kitchen and on the Instagram feed, and if cost isn’t an issue, you can add to cart with confidence.
The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what's worth the spend—and what's total hype. Learn more about our process here.
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