Is Caraway Ceramic Cookware Worth the Investment?
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We love the look of Caraway's gorgeous, ceramic cookware (hello, Instagram-ready dishes), but how do these pots and pans perform in the kitchen? We tried 'em and can give you the scoop!
For serious home cooks, choosing the right cookware can be a challenging decision. You want the set you choose to be versatile enough to take you from quick, weeknight dinners to relaxed weekend brunches and everywhere in between. The right set should also be durable, suitable with your cooking style and long-lasting. That’s a tall order!
After doing some research, I decided to retire my aluminum set and upgrade to ceramic cookware. Specifically, I gave these gorgeous pans from Caraway a try.
What Is Ceramic Cookware?
Ceramic cookware is metal cookware that’s been finished in a ceramic coating. This coating is what makes these pans stand apart from their stainless steel, aluminum and other nonstick cousins. The ceramic finish on these pans is free of PTFE and PFO (commonly called Teflon) as well as heavy metals. The mineral coating on ceramic pans is naturally slick so your foods won’t stick.
This coating also helps distribute heat evenly across the cooking surface, so you can be sure that your food cooks evenly whether it’s in the center of the pan or at the edges.
Why Caraway Cookware?
Part of what made Caraway’s set so appealing to me was that the company offered a streamlined set of cookware: a Dutch oven, a saute pan, a saucepan and a frying pan with corresponding lids. While I’m a serious cook—I cook nearly every day—I don’t have a large kitchen. Paring down my cookware to these essentials was pretty attractive.
To keep the cookware organized, Caraway includes a pot rack and storage solution for your lids. Everything stores on a single shelf in less than 17 inches of space. That can provide more breathing room in the cupboards or just some more space for some pretty Bundt pans.
Also, Caraway’s cookware line is oven safe up to 550ºF, meaning that the pans can easily go from cooktop (you can use it on electric, gas or induction burners) right into the oven to finish off a dish. That high heat rating definitely gives me some peace of mind since most other nonstick cookware is only safe to about 400ºF or so.
And how could I forget a major appeal of this brand in particular: the colors. Yes, performance comes first, but if I can find a terrific product and it’s gorgeous, I’m sold. Caraway offers its cookware in sage green, navy, cream, pale gray, marigold and a pink tone called Perracotta. You can also buy a luxe set in black or white.
How We Tested Caraway Cookware
Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home
I got my first two pieces from Caraway in July 2020. Opening up my new cookware, I decided to put it right to work making dinner for the evening. Using a bounty of fresh veggies from the garden, I put together a quick curry with a side of coconut rice.
Even with the best nonstick pans, rice—particularly sticky coconut rice—has a tendency to cling to the pan. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rewashed my old saucepan after finding rice residue on the bottom (an embarrassing amount). But after letting this ceramic pan cool, I washed it with warm sudsy water and let it dry. Much to my surprise and delight, it was spotless. As for the curry packed with turmeric, a spice that has a tendency to stain hands and dishtowels, the leftovers slid right out of the pan into a container for lunch—no yellow stains to be found.
Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home
Later in the week, I whipped up some pork and ginger lettuce cups. The large saute pan heated quickly (way faster than my cast-iron skillet) and evenly to brown up the pork. The pan easily accommodates a double batch of this fresh and easy dinner—maybe even a triple batch if I had a lot of mouths to feed.
I’ll admit that after munching on these all evening, I was worried about washing away the hoisin sauce that so often likes to linger in pans. Just like the other dishes I made, cleaning these ceramic pans was a breeze.
I’ve had the complete Caraway cookware set since December 2020, and cooking with them has been a real joy. They perform well, clean up easily and look beautiful on the table. The one thing I have learned, however, is cooking on high heat will lower the pans’ nonstick factor. I learned this the hard way when my husband cranked up the stove with the small skillet one too many times, and it’s definitely lost some of its nonstick power. Minding the heat is especially important when boiling water for pasta. Patience is a virtue!
Still, I love my Caraway cookware. Having pots and pans that double as serveware is a big plus for me—fewer dishes to wash!
A few things to think about before you decide to buy yourself a set of pretty ceramic cookware:
- High quality ceramic cookware built for life
- Non-toxic (PTFE- and PFO-free)
- Set includes four pieces and lids
- Includes cookware storage
- Multiple, beautiful colors available
- Doubles as a stovetop decoration
- Cooking on high heat will lower the nonstick factor
- Metal utensils will scratch ceramic surface
- Not dishwasher-safe
More Ceramic Considerations
- Hand washing is recommended: Keep this cookware out of the dishwasher so it lasts for a long time. The good news here is that the nonstick effect of ceramic cookware makes it a breeze to clean up. While you’re at it, skip the abrasive scrubbers. A sponge or dishcloth will do the trick.
- Let it cool down: While it can be tempting to toss a hot pan right into the sink after dinner, it’s best to let ceramic cookware cool down before dousing it in the sink. Sudden shifts in temperature can impact the durability of any cookware—not just ceramic. It’s the same reason you should be careful with extreme temperatures and your Pyrex dishes.
What Other Reviewers Had to Say
Read through Caraway cookware reviews and you’ll quickly find other happy home chefs who’ve fallen in love with the collection:
“I bought the Perracota color and it’s SO pretty!” writes Kimberly T., a verified Caraway reviewer. “I was pretty nervous about cooking with them, but it has been pretty effortless. You have to cook on low to medium heat and I was worried that it would take forever to cook stuff, but that hasn’t been the case. I LOVE this cookware—and so does my hubby! We are looking at getting the bakeware as well
Jennifer L. adds, “I’ve tried many other pots and pans in my life. This set will be my last. I recently bought the black and the gold and it was worth every penny. I’ve used it every day since and have not been disappointed. I love it so much I actually bought a second set.”
When it comes to ceramic cookware, Caraway is the creme de la creme. Similar to the beloved Green Pan, it’s free of toxic chemicals common with ceramic cookware, like PTFE and PFO (commonly called Teflon), as well as heavy metals. It’s similar to leading ceramic and nonstick cookware brands, like the Our Place Pan, in the sense that cooking on high heat isn’t recommended. That’s the one caveat with ceramic cookware—it won’t be your best friend for searing. Leave that to your cast-iron skillet.
Again, I’ve been cooking with Caraway for two years. As my primary cookware (I cook five to six days per week), these pans see some serious action. The dinners I originally tested with the pans are two of my favorites, but I’ve made countless other recipes, as well.
Overall, I like how Caraway encourages me to ditch the bulky 15-piece set of cookware. I’ve learned a lot in my two years of cooking with Caraway. My biggest piece of advice is to mind the temperature (steer clear of high heat!).
Sure, washing dishes by hand is a chore many prefer to skip, but the extra effort is worth the performance to me in this case. Right now, I’m looking forward to all the great dinners I’ll be making and how gorgeous they’ll look served up in these pink pans. All I need is Caraway bakeware to complete my collection.
Where to Buy Caraway Cookware
If you’re in the market for new cookware, Caraway is worth the investment. These pots and pans perform exceptionally well: They heat quickly, distribute heat evenly, are versatile (hello, stovetop-to-oven cooking) and easy to clean. Those are major considerations when shopping for a new set.
The Caraway cookware set goes for $395 (or $595 for the black and white hues). Pick it up from the Caraway website, Bed Bath and Beyond, Amazon or Nordstrom. Considering that the individual pieces go for over $100 each, the bundle is the way to go. Or, pick your favorite piece now and work your way towards all four pieces. Trust me, you won’t have to buy another fry pan or sauce pan again!
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