Are you shopping for cookware but can’t decide between Caraway and All-Clad?
All-Clad is one of the most established brands in the cookware industry, focusing on quality materials, tradition, and consistency.
Caraway is a fast-growing startup focused on environmentally-friendly non-stick cookware.
In this comparison of Caraway vs. All-Clad, you’ll learn how their cookware differs in materials, performance, design, price, and more.
By the end, you’ll know the differences and similarities between these two brands and have all the facts to decide which one is best for your needs.
Use the links below to navigate this comparison:
- Introducing Caraway
- Introducing All-Clad
- Materials and Construction
- Heat Conduction Test
- Heat Retention Test
- FAQs About Caraway and All-Clad
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy Caraway or All-Clad?
Caraway is a direct-to-consumer cookware startup based in New York City. Founded in 2018 by Jordan Nathan, Caraway is focused on providing environmentally conscious cookware without sacrificing quality.
The idea for the company was inspired by an accident in the founder’s kitchen. Nathan overheated a non-stick pan and felt sick after breathing the fumes, which led him to learn about the dangers of Teflon-coated cookware.
Although Teflon is used in most cookware manufactured in the United States, it can produce unhealthy fumes if heated to extremely high temperatures.
By selling cookware coated in ceramic instead of Teflon, Caraway addressed this problem.
It isn’t the first company to offer Teflon-free non-stick cookware, but Caraway is gaining traction due to its modern design and partnerships with social media influencers to get the word out.
Caraway started as a direct-to-consumer company, selling exclusively on CarawayHome.com, but it recently expanded into retail. Today, you can buy Caraway cookware at stores like Crate and Barrel, West Elm, and Target.
Since 2018, Caraway has grown from an idea to a widely popular brand known for its quality and green initiatives.
While Caraway is considered a startup, All-Clad has been a big player in the cookware industry for a long time.
Founded in 1971 by John Ulam, All-Clad has been an innovative company from the start. It began as a bonded metal manufacturer for things like minted coins. The transition to cookware happened by accident when Ulam made himself a personal pan out of the company’s materials.
At that moment, Ulam realized that bonding durable materials (steel) with conductive metals (aluminum) yielded superior cookware.
Since then, All-Clad has built its reputation as the leader in fully-clad stainless steel cookware. It’s not only used in millions of homes globally, but it’s a favorite among professional chefs, too.
However, despite All-Clad’s incredible growth, the company has never compromised quality. Its cookware is still manufactured in the US with locally sourced materials. The pans are manufactured using high-quality ISO 9000 certified type 304 stainless steel.
All-Clad is a company with deep roots in the cooking industry. When you buy a piece of All-Clad equipment, you know you are getting the quality the company has built its reputation upon.
Materials and Construction
Caraway and All-Clad take opposite approaches when it comes to materials and construction.
While Caraway has focused its entire brand identity around non-stick ceramic pans, All-Clad is best known for stainless steel cookware.
Caraway pans are made of aluminum coated on the interior and exterior with a mineral-based ceramic non-stick coating.
A steel plate is bonded to the bottom of each pan, increasing durability and making the cookware induction-compatible.
Caraway, and other brands like GreenPan, claim that ceramic pans are better for the environment than PTFE-coated (Teflon) non-stick pans, with up to 60% lower CO2 emissions. With Caraway, you don’t have to worry about toxic fumes.
However, the primary disadvantage of ceramic cookware is that the non-stick coating wears down much quicker than Teflon pans. Food also tends to stick to ceramic-coated surfaces more so than Teflon (check out the complete list of pros and cons of ceramic non-stick cookware in this guide).
Once the ceramic coating has worn through or chipped, it is unsafe to use. That means you will need to replace Caraway pans more often than typical non-stick brands, which could end up being worse for the environment than traditional non-stick pans.
None of those concerns apply to All-Clad. Stainless steel can last a lifetime if well cared for and doesn’t release toxins at high temperatures.
All-Clad pans are manufactured by bonding an exterior and interior layer of type 304 stainless steel with a core of more conductive metals, like graphite, copper, or aluminum.
These metals have higher thermal conductivity than stainless steel, so they heat up faster. Graphite has the highest level of conductivity, followed by copper, then aluminum. Layering the metals allows for a better heating performance without compromising the strength of the cookware.
All-Clad offers multiple stainless steel collections, categorized by their material composition. The collections, along with their respective materials and number of layers, are listed in the table below.
|All-Clad Stainless Steel Collection||Number of Layers||Core Material|
|D3||3||One layer of aluminum|
|D5||5||Two layers of aluminum, one layer of steel|
|Copper Core||5||Two layers of aluminum, one layer of copper|
|G5||4||Two layers of aluminum with a graphite disc bonded into the core of the base|
The HA1 and Essentials collections are made with hard-anodized aluminum, which is aluminum that is hardened via an electrolytic process. This type of aluminum is much stronger than the standard aluminum that is in Caraway pans.
All-Clad’s HA1 pans also have a stainless steel base plate, which further strengthens the pan and allows for induction cooking. Lastly, these pans are coated with three layers of a PFOA-free non-stick material.
All-Clad’s FusionTec pans feature the company’s signature steel construction with a ceramic coating. These pans are similar to Caraway’s but made with more rigid metal.
Overall, All-Clad’s pans are built with stronger materials and a more complex production process. While Caraway cookware will yield great results, it will most likely need to be replaced within three years.
Even All-Clad’s non-stick pans should last up to five years, and its stainless steel cookware can last decades. But keep in mind, how long your pans last depends on how much you use them and how well you take care of them.
Heat Conduction Test
Heat conduction is one of the most important characteristics of quality cookware. You want pots and pans that heat up fast and distribute heat evenly.
To find out how Caraway and All-Clad compare in this category, I conducted a simple test.
I poured precisely three cups of cold water into the Caraway 10-inch fry pan and All-Clad D3 10-inch fry pan. I placed both pans on equal-sized burners and turned the heat to the highest setting.
My goal was to observe which pan boiled the water faster and how evenly each pan distributed the heat.
The water in the Caraway pan came to a boil at the four-minute and seven-second mark. The All-Clad pan took much longer, bringing the water to a boil after five minutes and thirty-nine seconds.
I’m not surprised by these results because Caraway cookware is primarily made up of aluminum, whereas All-Clad has a steel interior and exterior with an aluminum core layer. And, as I mentioned in the previous section, aluminum has much higher thermal conductivity than steel.
Both pans displayed completely even heat distribution, as indicated by the uniform bubbling across the cooking surfaces.
Heat Retention Test
Another important factor to look for in cookware is heat retention.
Pots and pans that hold heat well tend to deliver more consistent results because the temperature remains consistent throughout the cooking process, even as you add cold ingredients.
Cast iron skillets are known as having the best heat retention because their walls are so thick. It’s why steaks and burgers cook so well on cast iron — the cooking surface remains hot when you put cold meat on it.
I conducted another simple test to understand how All-Clad and Caraway’s heat retention stack up.
After boiling the water as part of my heat conduction test, I took both pans off the burners at the same time and placed them on the counter. After five minutes, and again after ten minutes, I took the temperature of the water.
After the five-minute mark, the water in the All-Clad pan measured 134.7°F.
At that same time, the water in the Caraway pan measured 127.5°F.
After ten minutes, the water in the All-Clad pan measured 111.1°F.
The water in the Caraway pan measured 108.6°F.
Although the difference in water temperature was minimal, it’s worth noting that the All-Clad pan retains heat better than Caraway.
Bottom line — All-Clad and Caraway pans both distribute heat evenly, but Caraway heats up faster, and All-Clad has superior heat retention.
So, if you’re looking for a pan for quick meals or often get impatient waiting for water to boil, Caraway may be the better option. But if you want cookware that holds its heat, which is necessary for consistency, especially when cooking meats, All-Clad is the way to go.
Because the companies were founded in different eras, it should be no surprise that they’ve taken very different design approaches.
Caraway has opted for a hip, modern design aesthetic. It offers five trendy colors: cream, gray, perracotta, sage, and navy. The colored coating also serves a utilitarian purpose, as it protects the interior and exterior of the pan.
Caraway handles are stainless steel, which matches the base plate and nicely reflects the colors of the coating. The interior coating is grey, which serves as a neutral background so you can see what you are cooking.
The resulting visual aesthetic is modern with a minimalist approach.
For practicality’s sake, Caraway pans have exceptionally comfortable handles, so the pans are well balanced and easy to maneuver. Also, the edges of the pan are cut straight, with no curves or bevels, which helps contain ingredients and prevent spills.
Overall, Caraway’s design aesthetic is meant to brighten up your kitchen without compromising functionality.
In contrast to Caraway’s colorful design is the classic sleekness offered by All-Clad. These pans would look right at home in any residential or commercial kitchen.
The D3 collection features a sleek polished stainless steel finish.
The D5 collection boasts a brushed (matte) finish that won’t show smudges or fingerprints.
Select pans from the D3 collection are also available with a three-ply PTFE non-stick coating.
The Copper Core collection looks very similar to the D series but features a thin ring of copper near the bottom of the pan, a nod to its copper middle layer. That adds an elegant flair to an otherwise simple design.
The Essentials and HA1 collections look like standard non-stick pans, with black interiors and exteriors, and stainless steel handles.
If you are looking for visual flair from All-Clad, then the FusionTec line is your best bet. This cookware has a similar aesthetic to Caraway’s ceramic pans and is available in three exterior colors: onyx, platinum, and rose quartz. These pieces feature unique black interiors with stainless steel lids and handles.
In terms of practicality, the biggest drawback to All-Clad pans is their handles. Their distinctive cup shapes aren’t the most comfortable to hold.
However, the shape of All-Clad’s handles allows for a firm grip, even when rotating or pouring from a full, heavy pot or pan.
In contrast, Caraway’s rounded handles are comfortable, but they can rotate in your hand when tilting the pan, creating a dangerous situation if you’re pouring hot liquids and aren’t careful.
Another notable difference is that the front half (closest to the pan) of Caraway’s handles gets very hot. You have to make sure there are at least three inches of handle between your hand and the pan; otherwise, you risk getting burned.
Fortunately, Caraway is well aware of this and added a small bump on the underside to warn you to keep your hands away. Still, you need to be careful.
All-Clad handles stay cool, except for the inch closest to the pan.
Caraway only offers a one-year limited warranty, covering manufacturer defects. It does not cover any damage to the cooking surface or exterior or damage caused by misuse.
I’ve noticed that if you slide a Caraway pan across stove grates, the exterior that’s not protected by the steel plate easily chips. Unfortunately, you can’t get your money back if this happens.
All-Clad’s limited lifetime warranty covers manufacturer defects as well, but the limited lifetime warranty offers protection for a much longer period.
Caraway and All-Clad are both high-end cookware brands. Both are significant investments, especially if you buy a complete set.
To compare current prices between All-Clad and Caraway, check out their current offerings at the links below:
FAQs About Caraway and All-Clad
Below are the most frequently asked questions about Caraway and All-Clad cookware.
No. While non-stick pans have historically used a chemical called PFOA to make its coating, which is linked to health and environmental concerns, All-Clad non-stick pans now use a much safer PFOA-free coating. In fact, all non-stick pans made after 2013 are PFOA-free.
The only concern with All-Clad is that its non-stick coating can release fumes when heated over 500°F. However, the effects of breathing these fumes have been proven to be minimal, and symptoms resolve within a day.
Furthermore, stainless steel releases no harmful chemicals when cooking, so you don’t need to worry at all when cooking with All-Clad’s most popular collections.
No. Caraway’s ceramic coating will last between 2-3 years, while All-Clad’s triple-coated non-stick coating will last between 3-5 years.
Caraway cookware is not dishwasher safe. Instead, gently wash it by hand.
All-Clad cookware can survive the dishwasher, but if you want it to last, hand-wash with a nylon scrubbing pad.
All-Clad stainless steel cookware is oven-safe and broiler-safe up to 600°F (315°C). All-Clad non-stick cookware is oven-safe as well, for up to 500°F (260°C), but it’s not broiler-safe.
Caraway cookware is oven safe up to 550°F (285°C), but not broiler-safe.
Yes, both Caraway and All-Clad have steel bottoms and are induction compatible.
Caraway’s ceramic non-stick cooking surface provides excellent food release at first. But over time, it breaks down, and you’ll notice eggs and other delicate food starting to stick. Unfortunately, that is the case with all ceramic non-stick cookware.
All-Clad’s PTFE-coated non-stick cookware (HA and Essentials) does an excellent job preventing food from sticking, even after several years.
However, All-Clad stainless steel cookware is notorious for sticking. Once you learn the proper techniques for cooking with stainless steel, you can minimize the issue.
All-Clad has multiple manufacturing facilities. The D3, D5, Copper Core, and G5 collections are made in Pennsylvania; the HA1 and Essentials collections are made in China, and the FusionTec line is made in Germany.
Caraway cookware is manufactured at ethical facilities in China and India.
Caraway offers a 30-day hassle-free return policy. They reserve the right to charge a 15% restocking fee. All-Clad offers a 45-day return policy, but the cookware must be unused and in the original packaging.
For All-Clad stainless steel cookware, you can use wooden or metal utensils.
For Caraway and All-Clad non-stick pans, stick to wooden or plastic utensils. Metal utensils can scratch non-stick surfaces.
Bottom Line: Should You Buy Caraway or All-Clad?
Caraway and All-Clad both manufacture top-of-the-line cookware, but their offerings are very different.
While Caraway has quickly built an environmentally conscious company with ethical manufacturing standards, All-Clad boasts decades of proven results.
So which cookware should you buy?
Before I give you my recommendation, let’s recap the differences:
- Caraway is a startup founded in 2018 with one limited cookware collection. All-Clad is a well-established leader in the industry with a decades-long track record and several unique collections.
- Caraway is made with aluminum and is coated in ceramic non-stick coating. All-Clad is best known for its fully-clad stainless steel cookware but also offers pots and pans with a hard-anodized aluminum base and triple-layer non-stick coating.
- All-Clad’s non-stick coating will last significantly longer than the ceramic material Caraway utilizes.
- All-Clad and Caraway’s pans both distribute heat evenly, but Caraway heats up faster while All-Clad retains the heat longer.
- Caraway is bright, fun, and modern and comes in a range of colors. All-Clad is sleek, classy, and high-end.
- Caraway comes with a one-year warranty, while All-Clad stands by its cookware with a lifetime warranty.
- Both brands are expensive, but All-Clad offers a range of prices across its collections.
The bottom line is that you should choose the cookware that best serves your needs. If you are looking for cookware that looks good enough to be left on your stove all the time, then you should look into Caraway. However, for the best results and superior durability, I recommend All-Clad.
All-Clad pans are sturdier and manufactured with better materials and processes. The non-stick and ceramic-coated pans will last longer than Caraway’s, and All-Clad stainless steel cookware can last a lifetime.
Also, once you adapt to cooking with stainless steel, the results are remarkable.
- Caraway Cookware: An In-Depth Review (With Pictures)
- GreenPan vs. Caraway: Which Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Is Better?
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- Caraway vs. Le Creuset: Which Cookware Is Better?
- Is All-Clad Cookware Worth the High Price? (In-Depth Review)
- Which All-Clad Cookware Collection Is the Best for You? (Buyer’s Guide)
- 5 High-Quality Alternatives to All-Clad Cookware