There are a lot of cool things out there that make us wonder — do they really work? In our I Tried It series, we set out to use them in the real world and have determined that, in fact, they really do.
On trial: Caraway cookware, specifically the Sauté Pan
The tester: Erica Murphy, who wants her cookware to match her apartment
When I started shopping for my first set of pots and pans after college, I was convinced that I wanted a copper set. I had lots of other copper accents in my kitchen and hoped for everything to match. Little did I know that copper is insanely expensive and really hard to clean, so eventually, I nixed that idea and searched for something that looked like copper instead.
But the problem was that there were virtually no options that were somewhat affordable and available in a color other than black. So when DTC-cookware brands that focused on both function and aesthetic started popping up, my inner 22-year-old self was so excited.
Enter Caraway, a cookware brand that uses well-designed, nontoxic ceramic to craft their products. They believe that cookware should be "easy-to-use, easy on your food, and easy on the eyes," and that you don’t have to be an expert chef to have pretty pots and pans. In a market that is starting to get crowded, it’s Caraway’s materials that differentiate the brand from others in the space.
Founder and CEO Jordan Nathan told Modern Retail that the brand "exists to create kitchen products that are safe for people to use." All products are made without chemicals, including Teflon, which some claim is unsafe to consume.
So how does Caraway's ceramic cookware actually hold up when cooking? I got to test out the Sauté Pan and was pleasantly surprised at how "nonstick" the pan truly is. I cooked eggs, meatballs, chicken sausage, stir-fry, and this pan handled it all.
For cleanup, I followed the instructions and let the pan cool fully before washing, then rinsed it under water with a little soap and all the grime wiped right off with my sponge. If I'm being honest, it was a pretty magical experience, since my older sauté pan requires lots of soaking and scrubbing, and it still never feels like it’s fully clean.
Sometimes it's the little touches that make a product truly incredible, and Caraway's Sauté Pan has two of these. First, the lid has a tiny hole in it to let steam out, so I don't have to worry about any pressure building up in the pan when it's simmering. Second, the handle of the pan is designed with a little notch to keep you from burning your hand. Just don't touch the handle past that notch, and you'll be in the clear.
The only downside of the pan is its weight, which is just under 7 pounds with the lid on. I feel like I have to use two hands to carry it around, and this does make holding it in the sink a little difficult. But it shows that this pan is sturdy, and it feels like it will last me for years.
Closing Argument: Caraway has succeeded in making cookware that's both functional, easy to use, and attractive. All their cookware looks modern and sleek and comes in five different colors (none of which are black). My pan proudly sits in my kitchen for all to see, making my 22-year-old self very proud.
The Sauté Pan retails for $135, or you can opt for their nine-piece set for $395, which includes the sauté pan, a Dutch oven, a sauce pan (all with lids), and a fry pan, as well as a storage rack and lid holder. For reference, Calphalon's 11-piece set retails for $400.
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