I’ve been testing and trying nontoxic cookware for the past 7 years. It’s been a journey that’s been filled with ups and downs, highs and lows, tears of sadness and only recently…tears of joy. It’s been a long time coming but y’all, I think I finally found my nontoxic, NONSTICK cookware match made in heaven: Caraway Cookware.
By: Lisa Fennessy
IN THIS POST:
- Meet Caraway
- Why choose Caraway?
- What is Caraway cookware made from?
- Does Caraway cookware work?
- My personal Caraway Cookware review
- Should you invest in Caraway cookware?
- Caraway cookware pros and cons
- Caraway shopping guide
- Caraway FAQ
Every popular brand has a unique origin story (have you read TNK’s?), and Caraway Cookware is no exception. In 2017, Jordan Nathan, founder of Caraway, accidentally left his Teflon® frying pan on the stove. Forty-five minutes later, his kitchen was in fumes and he felt nauseous. A call to poison control revealed that the noxious fumes and his symptoms were likely caused by the Polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE coating on his nonstick pan—it’s actually called PTFE poisoning.
Um, gross, right?
But sometimes it takes an extreme experience to propel you to make a change. And Jordan’s change was kind of epic—he decided the cookware industry needed a massive revamp.
Jordan, who previously worked in finance, spent a year researching and developing the perfect cookware materials and design, and ultimately settled on a ceramic nonstick coating that was free of forever chemicals like PFAS and potentially toxic Teflon® (aka PTFE).
After a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $1 million in 30 days, Jordan dropped Caraway’s chic, trendy and (more importantly) safer cookware in November 2019.
And the world was never the same. Or was it?
That’s what I’m breaking down today. Is Caraway actually safer than other nonstick coated pans? Does their nonstick ceramic coating work? And does it actually hold up over time? All those questions answered in my Caraway Cookware review—just keep reading.
Why choose Caraway?
Choosing Caraway means choosing pots and pans that are not made with things like polytetrafluoroethylene (like Teflon®) and forever chemicals (like PFAS). Caraway says it also means:
🌎Choosing cookware that releases up to 60% less CO2 into the environment compared to traditional nonstick coatings.
💪Supporting BSCI and SMETA certified manufacturing partners where employees are safe, paid fairly, given benefits and work regulated hours.
📦Sustainable packing as all orders are free of single-use plastics, shipped in packaging made from recycled cardboard and include biodegradable cork trivets as a gift with purchase.
♻️Having the option via their zip code locator to responsibly recycle your Caraway at a location near you when you are done with it.
RELATED: I’m using “plastic” baggies again—learn why the compostable sandwich bags from HoldOn are a lifeline.
What is Caraway cookware made from?
When I reached out to Caraway to inquire what their cookware is made from they responded, “Our cookware is made with an aluminum core and [has] stainless steel bases and handles. The interior is made with a non-stick coating free of lead, cadmium, PTFE, PFOA and other harmful chemicals. The non-stick is a sol-gel processed fine ceramic coating material formed from a low curing temperature.”
This sounded good to me, but when I first shared about this line on social media, one reader sent me this post saying there is lead and several other heavy metals in the Caraway pans. So, naturally, I reached back out to Caraway for a response and this is what they said:
Thank you for sharing your concerns with me regarding our products.
As a brand, we stand firm in our products and believe in the safety of our nonstick coatings. We have conducted thorough testing through accredited third-party agencies, including but not limited to SGS S.A and NSL Analytical. In addition, we regularly review the authenticity of claims made where appropriate. Although these tests were performed by third parties and we cannot guarantee accuracy of third-party findings, we stand firm by their results and conclusions.
It’s important to note—our tests are only performed on our nonstick coating and not on the cookware materials itself, as the interior surface and coating is the only food-contact area, therefore components such as the handles or bases may yield different and unrelated results. It is our belief that these tests being performed by parties unrelated to Caraway have tested the handle, base and/or other non-food contact areas of the products.
We are very transparent with all claims we make, and we stand firm in confirming that our nonstick coating is created without many of the common toxins and metal traces found in traditional non-stick cookware in the market.
Please see the links to our test reports below conducted on our nonstick coatings:
- California Prop 65 leaching tests for heavy metals
- LFGB test report for PFOA, PFOS, and extractable metals
- FDA leaching tests for lead and cadmium
- NSL Analytical PTFE detection test
At this time, we can only speak to these shared above, as we can confirm the validity of these tests through the aforementioned third-party agencies. However, we constantly research and explore various avenues pertaining to product safety for both new and existing products.
Let me know if you have any questions. If you would like to share the test with the reader, you’re more than welcome to do it.
Between you and me, I am very impressed with this response and I really love that Caraway shared their tests with us. It’s the due diligence, the unbiased third-party testing and the transparency that does it for me.
RELATED: How does TNK decide which products to test? We abide by these guidelines.
Does Caraway cookware work?
Let me just cut to the chase and scream it from the rooftops: CARAWAY COOKWARE IS SO GOOD! No B.S., this is the best nonstick cookware line I’ve ever tried—and I’m talking out of all the pans I’ve tried, both Teflon® coated and not!
I also want to add Caraway is not the only brand of cookware that is offering ceramic-coated nontoxic options. I know because I’ve tried others. Others have worked well too, but Caraway is in a league of its own because it’s MORE nonstick than the others. It just is. Others have started out just as nonstick, but then get less nonstick as they wear.
Speaking of wear, I’ve been using this line for about 6 months now and I can say for sure, the nonstick factor is mindblowing. NOTHING sticks to it! I am frying, scrambling, frittata-ing eggs like I’m James freggin’ Beard over here and my kids are loving it and I’m not scraping pans and I’m using less butter and for someone who cooks 95% of our breakfasts at home, my life is JUST BETTER!
The other thing is, these pans look as good as they did on day one. And let me tell you, I BEAT UP this fry pan. Not only do I use it daily, but I also put it in the dishwasher and it’s just chilling on my pots and pans rack like, “Is that the best you can do?” NBD.
I’m obsessed. Here’s what I own…
My personal Caraway Cookware review
Fry Pan | $95
If you are going to try one thing from this line, get this. I personally use this every day and I can’t imagine life without it. I have the larger one and I can easily scramble a dozen eggs or fry up to 4 eggs at the same time—which is great considering I scramble 6 eggs minimum for my 9 and 11 year old boys daily.
That being said, I mostly use it for eggs and pancakes. If I want to cook a burger, brown a cut of beef or make chicken parm, I’ll use my cast iron pan. I like the sear on a cast iron better for things like that (and that’s pretty normal—nonstick cookware isn’t really made to create that crisp sear, so I’m not expecting Caraway to defy that law).
The only other thing I want to point out is the Caraway Fry Pan conducts heat so quickly that it burns butter and oil way faster than any of my other pans. I’m okay using it for eggs but if it’s anything that needs longer heat like quesadillas or grilled cheeses, I have to keep a close eye on it because I don’t like cooking in burnt butter.
Lastly, I mentioned I do put this in the dishwasher daily, BUT that’s only because I am wicked lazy. (Also, because I have a strict no hand washing dishes policy, lol.) But anyway! Caraway recommends hand washing these pans and to be fair, a dash of dish soap and two swipes around with a soft brush (don’t use anything metal, from a metal spatula to a stainless steel scrubber on nonstick pans) is all it takes. SO EASY. I mean, LOOK at how these eggs slide around easily!!
👍This pan is a 9.9 out of 10!
Large Baking Sheet | $55
I use this several times a week for chicken nuggets, roasting veggies, baking tots, cooking bacon or making cookies. It’s super versatile and I love it for so many reasons.
First, nothing sticks to it. NOTHING! So then you don’t need to use any extra parchment paper to make sure nothing sticks to it.
It’s super easy to clean—again because nothing sticks to it.
It’s a great size (big enough that I can fit an entire pack of bacon on it, but small enough that I can fit it in my dishwasher).
And what I love about it most is that it conducts heat so well that when I roast broccoli or brussels or heat up some hash browns, I really get that nice, crispy browning from the heat of the pan.
I would say the only con is that after using this several times a week over the last 6 months, it doesn’t look brand new anymore (like my fry pan). It just has some of those cooking marks that you can never get off.
12-Cup Muffin Pan | $50
No more digging into the muffin tin and only getting out a half of a muffin. The Caraway muffin pan is just as nonstick as the rest of the line and muffins come popping up out of that thing faster than your teenager can pop the collar on his Izod for middle school picture day.
But the best thing about this pan is you will never curse again due to not having enough or ANY muffin tin liners when you go to pour batter into your muffin pan. Hook your future muffin-slinging self up, sister, and get on this one stat.
Tea Kettle | $195
Talk about the cutest tea kettle. Love this stubby chic design and the cream color goes so perfectly with my kitchen. This heats water up in a jiff and is easy to pour without getting burned.
I would say my only con is that the cream colored tea kettle got tarnished from sitting on top of my gas stove and getting exposed to the gas burners. By day two, one side of the tea kettle had black marks that ran up the side and I can’t wipe them off.
Food Storage Set | $245
This is a HEFTY set of ceramic-coated glass containers are as beautiful as they are useful. I’ve found them incredibly easy to wash, and they do keep odors inside, which is one of the stated perks. Plus, they make my fridge and cabinets look like I had my kitchen organized by The Home Edit.
I love that they’re oven, microwave, dishwasher and fridge-safe, making it easy to transition between food storage and food prep, without the use of plastic.
My only con is that they can be really hard to open—that suction technology is strong, and I am sort of waiting for the day my hand slips and sends one container crashing to the floor. I’ll keep you posted.
Should you invest in Caraway cookware?
If you need me to justify this purchase for you, it’s YES YES YES. 100% real deal, this cookware line has literally changed my life. And I’m just over here left wanting more like, can someone send me the food storage containers, STAT?! Those are SO CUTE.
But let’s not get carried away. If you want to try this line, you are probably not buying one of everything. (Unless you are Elon Musk and if you are, hey what’s up.)
To all the rest of us who budget, my advice is to skip the sets. There are always things in a set you really don’t need and it’s just a way to get you to spend more. My personal recommendation is go with a few staples you know you will use the most. If you are only going to try one thing make it be the Large Fry Pan. But if you want to start with a couple staples, and if you were me, it would be:
Those are the pans I use the most in my house, so I could purchase feeling sure it was a good investment.
Caraway cookware pros and cons
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Durable (as in I’ve owned the frypan for 6 months and it still looks new)
- Can put it in the dishwasher (although Caraway recommends handwashing)
- EASY PEASY to clean
- Comes in cute colors
- Food DOES NOT stick to it
- Don’t need extra paper like parchment or muffin liners to stop food from sticking
- Naturally stain resistant
- Can use on any type of stovetop
- Handles do not get hot
- You can use in the oven up to 550°F
- Lighter colors can tarnish
- Pricy, especially if you want more than one
- Can’t use metal utensils with them
- Best with low heat only
- Not the best option for searing meats
Caraway shopping guide
ALL the Caraway products we recommend in this post.
Caraway is committed to creating nontoxic cookware that is free from forever chemicals and Teflon®, which resonates with today’s consumers who want more sustainable and healthier options when purchasing products for their homes. They also work insanely well and they are pretty to look at. Read more here.
With proper care, Caraway pans will stay in good condition for years. Mine have lasted for 6 months and still look good as new. Read more here.
I would recommend choosing 2-3 pans you know you will use and investing in those before investing in a baking or cooking set. This way you will get the pans you will actually use as opposed to a curated set of cookware that includes pans you may not actually use. Learn more here.
Have you tried Caraway Cookware? What pans are your favorite?
TNK Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TNK uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TNK stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.
MelanieMarch 17, 2023
If you haven’t heard of Tamara Rubin (independent advocate for consumer goods safety), I’d be curious to hear what you think of her article about her XRF testing of Caraway products (they test positive for six toxic metals): https://tamararubin.com/2021/08/caraway-cookware-without-the-chemicals-tested-positive-for-20-metals-including-lead-mercury-cobalt-antimony-when-tested-with-xrf-technology/
Lisa FennessyApril 17, 2023
Hi Melanie! I’ve included the brand’s response to Tamara’s testing in this post. Scroll back up to see ; ) Lisa