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Caraway vs. All-Clad: Which Cookware Is Better?

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

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.

Caraway cookware in-depth review

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.

Introducing All-Clad

While Caraway is considered a startup, All-Clad has been a big player in the cookware industry for a long time.

All-Clad stainless steel cookware made in the USA

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.

Caraway cookware ceramic cooking surface
Caraway cookware ceramic cooking surface

A steel plate is bonded to the bottom of each pan, increasing durability and making the cookware induction-compatible.

Caraway aluminum base with steel induction plate
Caraway aluminum base with steel induction plate

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.

All-Clad D5 Cookware Bonded Layers
All-Clad D5 Cookware Bonded Layers

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 CollectionNumber of LayersCore Material
D33One layer of aluminum
D55Two layers of aluminum, one layer of steel
Copper Core5Two layers of aluminum, one layer of copper
G54Two layers of aluminum with a graphite disc bonded into the core of the base

While All-Clad is primarily known for its stainless steel pans, the company also offers non-stick options. The non-stick collections are the HA1, Essentials, and FusionTec.

All-Clad HA1 triple-layer non-stick coating
All-Clad HA1 triple-layer non-stick coating

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 Non-Stick Steel Base
All-Clad Non-Stick Steel Base

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.

Caraway versus All-Clad_Heat Conduction Test

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.

Caraway versus All-Clad_All-Clad Heat Retention Results After 5 Minutes
All-Clad Heat Retention Results After 5 Minutes

At that same time, the water in the Caraway pan measured 127.5°F.

Caraway versus All-Clad_Caraway Heat Retention Results After 5 Minutes
Caraway Heat Retention Results After 5 Minutes

After ten minutes, the water in the All-Clad pan measured 111.1°F.

Caraway versus All-Clad_All-Clad Heat Retention Results After 10 Minutes
All-Clad Heat Retention Results After 10 Minutes

The water in the Caraway pan measured 108.6°F.

Caraway versus All-Clad_Caraway Heat Retention Results After 10 Minutes
Caraway Heat Retention Results After 10 Minutes

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.

Design

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 cookware design
Caraway cookware design

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.

Caraway cookware handle
Caraway cookware handle

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.

All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Cookware Set
All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Cookware Set

The D5 collection boasts a brushed (matte) finish that won’t show smudges or fingerprints.

All-Clad D3 vs. D5 Flared Rims
Polished (left), brushed (right)

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.

All-Clad Copper Core Design
All-Clad Copper Core Design

The Essentials and HA1 collections look like standard non-stick pans, with black interiors and exteriors, and stainless steel handles.

All-Clad E785SC64 Ha1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Dishwasher Safe PFOA Free Cookware Set, 10-Piece, Black

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.

All-Clad D3 handles
All-Clad D3 handles

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.

Caraway cookware handle gets hot
Caraway handle gets hot

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.

Warranty

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. 

Caraway cookware exterior chip

All-Clad’s limited lifetime warranty covers manufacturer defects as well, but the limited lifetime warranty offers protection for a much longer period. 

Price

Caraway and All-Clad are both high-end cookware brands. Both are significant investments, especially if you buy a complete set.

Since All-Clad has more collections available, it features a more extensive range of prices. The Essentials collection is the cheapest, and the Copper Core is the most expensive.

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.

Are Caraway pans healthier than All-Clad?

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.

Does Caraway’s ceramic non-stick coating last as long as All-Clad’s PTFE-based non-stick coating?

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.

Is Caraway or All-Clad cookware dishwasher-safe?

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.

What are the oven-safe temperatures of Caraway and All-Clad cookware?

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.

Is Caraway or All-Clad cookware induction-compatible?

Yes, both Caraway and All-Clad have steel bottoms and are induction compatible.

Does food stick to Caraway and All-Clad?

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.

Where do Caraway and All-Clad manufacture their cookware?

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.

What are Caraway and All-Clad’s return policies?

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.

What utensils can I use with Caraway and All-Clad?

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.

Where can you buy Caraway and All-Clad cookware?

You can buy Caraway online from its website, as well as Target, Crate and Barrel, and West Elm.

You can find All-Clad cookware on its website, Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, and several other retailers.

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.

If you have decided Caraway pans are better for you, then check them out on CarawayHome. If you are ready to make an investment in All-Clad cookware, see what’s available on Amazon.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He’s been studying consumer buying behavior for over a decade and has managed marketing campaigns for over a dozen Fortune 500 brands. When he’s not testing the latest home products, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn or via email.

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