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In this comparison of Caraway vs. Le Creuset, you’ll learn how each brand’s cookware stacks up in terms of:
- And much more
So, if you’re shopping for cookware but can’t decide between Caraway and Le Creuset, keep reading.
Use the links below to navigate this comparison:
- Introducing Caraway
- Introducing Le Creuset
- Materials and Construction
- FAQs About Caraway and Le Creuset
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy Caraway or Le Creuset?
Caraway is a startup cookware company that CEO Jordan Nathan founded in 2018 in New York.
Despite Caraway’s recent beginnings, it has already gained recognition from trusted media outlets such as Good Housekeeping and CNET.
The idea came from an accident in the kitchen. Nathan accidentally left a Teflon non-stick pan on the burner for 45 minutes, which filled his apartment with fumes, leaving him light-headed.
In response, he created a safer alternative to non-stick cookware that’s both aesthetically striking and practical.
Caraway currently offers one type of cookware: ceramic non-stick. The core idea behind the brand is “quality cookware, without chemicals.”
Instead of PTFE, otherwise known as Teflon, this cookware uses eco-friendly ceramic. This non-toxic coating uses 60% less CO2 during production than traditional non-stick.
While Caraway only offers ceramic non-stick cookware, there is a handful of pieces to choose from, including dutch ovens and saucepans. Besides cookware, Caraway offers tea towels, oven mitts, pot holders, aprons, and tote bags.
Caraway started as a direct-to-consumer company. In other words, the only place you could buy its cookware was CarawayHome.com. However, in 2021 Caraway became available at Crate and Barrel, West Elm, and several other retailers.
Introducing Le Creuset
Le Creuset began in 1925 in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France. The brand is best known for its iconic enameled cast iron Dutch ovens, and they still produce each one in the French foundry where it all began.
Over the past 100 years, Le Creuset has become one of the most recognized and cherished cookware brands globally.
Le Creuset cookware is durable, versatile, beautiful, and performs in the kitchen.
Each Dutch oven takes 10 hours to make. With Le Creuset’s strict manufacturing rules, 30% of pieces are rejected.
Rejections can be due to tiny flaws, scratches, melted spots, or anything the quality control experts deem imperfect. But nothing is wasted — the materials are recycled and reused to make other products.
To produce a Le Creuset Dutch oven, first, molten iron is poured into molds. Each piece is cooled and smoothed by hand and machine. Then the cookware is sprayed with three layers of a glass enamel coating.
It requires fifteen craftspeople who inspect the piece, ensuring the high quality standards are met.
Although Le Creuset is best known for its Dutch ovens, the company also offers a wide variety of other cookware options, including stainless steel, non-stick, bakeware, glassware, and cutlery.
Materials and Construction
Let’s take a closer look at the types of cookware both brands offer and the materials used.
Le Creuset Materials
Le Creuset offers many options, including enameled cast iron, stoneware, non-stick, and much more. I’ll explain the benefits of each type and the materials used to create it.
Enameled Cast Iron (view on Amazon)
This is the material used in their classic Dutch ovens. It’s available in a variety of colors. In fact, it was the world’s first colorful cookware.
Enameled cast iron provides amazing heat retention, versatility, and durability. With proper care, it can last a lifetime.
Besides dutch ovens, enameled cast iron is also used for skillets, saucepans, and braisers.
Stoneware (view on Amazon)
Le Creuset’s stoneware collection is available in a variety of colors and designs. You can use this cookware for a range of recipes. It has incredible heat distribution and retention. It’s also dishwasher safe, so you can quickly clean up after making your meal.
You’ll find stoneware casserole dishes, pie dishes, mugs, serving platters, and much more.
Toughened Non-Stick Pro (view on Amazon)
This material (which is actually hard-anodized aluminum) is four times stronger than its previous non-stick. The surface is made of a textured triple-reinforced PFOA-free coating. It’s dishwasher, oven, and metal utensil-safe.
Keep in mind that Le Creuset uses PTFE (Teflon) for their non-stick collection. PTFE is safe, but it’s not technically organic or eco-friendly like the material Caraway uses. However, it is more durable.
Signature Stainless Steel (view on Amazon)
Le Creuset’s Signature Stainless Steel collection is made with a triple-layer construction from base to rim. Combined with the aluminum core, this cookware offers superior distribution.
The lightweight titanium-infused exterior resists scorching and corrosion. It also comes with capacity markings, a three-ring lid, and a pouring rim so you can enjoy mess-free serving.
Non-Stick Metal Bakeware (view on Amazon)
This is an excellent option for bakers because it’s PFOA-free yet still provides effortless food release and easy cleanup. The silicone grips make maneuvering it from the oven simple. The cookware is lightweight and durable.
Wide rims and silicone grips make it easy to transport your cakes, cookies, muffins, and loaves.
Silicone (view on Amazon)
This material is used for tools and accessories rather than cookware. It’s high quality and BPA-free. These culinary tools are perfect for everyday use and are long-lasting. You’ll find this material in utensils, bowls, and trivets.
The silicone resists stains, odors, and flavor absorption. Don’t worry about melting it either — it can handle heat up to 482°F. I recommend pairing this with non-stick cookware to avoid scratching and damage.
Caraway is completely focused on ceramic non-stick cookware. And, because of this, Caraway’s product offerings are limited compared to Le Creuset.
Caraway’s ceramic cookware is made with an aluminum body, which conducts heat quickly and evenly.
A stainless steel plate is bonded to the bottom, making it induction compatible.
The ceramic coating is free from PTFE, lead, cadmium, and other toxic materials that can make their way into your food.
Caraway’s ceramic coated cookware is a non-toxic, mineral-based, eco-friendly option. All you need is a little bit of butter or oil to ensure the non-stick qualities.
When shopping for Caraway, you’ll find a frying pan, saute pan, saucepan, and a Dutch oven. You can buy these items separately or as a set. Each item is available in five different colors: cream, gray, perocotta (mix of pink and terra cotta), sage, or navy.
Check out the full lineup on CarawayHome.com.
One thing Caraway and Le Creuset have in common is that their cookware is aesthetically pleasing and incredibly functional.
In this section, I’ll highlight some of the key design elements from each brand.
Le Creuset Design
Le Creuset offers a variety of colors, especially for their Dutch ovens. The colors are bold and rich and available in multiple finishes.
The most popular colors are black, silver, flame, cerise, volcanic, meringue, deep teal, and many more. Check out the full list of colors LeCrueset.com.
The frying pans are available in a variety of materials but don’t feature the bold color options. The materials include non-stick, stainless steel, plus one cast iron Cassadou.
As for the famous Dutch ovens, these come in a wide variety of designs and colors.
You’ll find circular dutch ovens, oval, oval with a grill lid pan, a chef’s oven, a Fleur Cocotte, a heart shape, and even a pumpkin-shaped Dutch oven.
While most Dutch ovens have one solid color, Le Creuset’s have a distinct gradient from light to dark.
The handles vary by cookware type. But, in all cases, they’re designed for comfort, function, and safety.
The Dutch oven handles are wide enough to easily fit your hand, plus an oven mitt or towel.
The fry pan handles are long, ergonomic, and designed to stay cool on the stovetop.
The lids also vary by cookware type. Dutch oven lids fit snug, locking in moisture, and have a removable knob in the center. Other cookware comes with either stainless steel or tempered glass lids.
Caraway cookware comes in natural tones and colors. You’ll find the essential items in five colors: sage, navy, perracotta (mix of pink and terra cotta), gray, and cream.
The pan’s exterior is ceramic coated with a stainless steel base, making it induction compatible. But be careful; the exterior can chip if it comes into contact with rough stove grates or if you stack it on top of other cookware.
The interior is smooth and shiny, which shows off its natural non-stick ability. The rims aren’t flared, so it’s easy to keep everything contained and avoid spills. The interior is gray, no matter what exterior color you choose.
Handles are made from hollow mirrored stainless steel to disperse heat. They are sleek but aren’t fingerprint resistant, so keep an eye out for smudges.
The handle is attached to the pan in a y-shape with two rivets. Note that close to the cooking surface, the handle can get quite hot. The small bump underneath serves as a warning to keep your hand back.
Lids are made from cast aluminum. The low profile mirrored stainless steel lid handle spans across the length of the lid.
The Dutch oven lid also fits the frying pan, so if you buy the set, you get four pieces and three lids. This saves space but can complicate things if you are using both pieces at once.
Besides that, they offer a sleek storage system, so you don’t have to stack your cookware the traditional way.
The magnetic pan rack stores your cookware sideways to minimize scratching and damage. You can put the rack on the countertop or in a cupboard. There is separate lid storage that you can hang on the wall or inside a cupboard door, keeping everything within arm’s reach.
Le Creuset has different warranty terms depending on the product. Most cookware has a limited lifetime warranty, but it’s important to read about specific products before purchasing.
If you want to use your warranty, you’ll need to submit a claim via the website.
Caraway offers a limited warranty, but it’s only available in the US. In general, Caraway will repair or replace any defective product for up to one year from the date of purchase.
The warranty does not cover deterioration of the non-stick coating — something that will inevitably happen over time. In general, non-stick coating tends to last between one and five years, depending on how well you care for it.
I recommend examining Caraway’s warranty page for all the terms and conditions.
Both brands are pricey because of the high-quality materials, construction, and unique designs.
However, Le Creuset is significantly more expensive than Caraway. Its high price is mainly due to its long track record, strict manufacturing standards, and iconic designs.
Plus, Le Creuset manufactures in France and Portugal, whereas Caraway manufactures in China and India.
Are you wondering if Le Creuset is worth the high price? Check out my in-depth review, where I explore this question in detail.
FAQs About Caraway and Le Creuset
Do you still have questions about Caraway and Le Creuset? Below are the most frequently asked questions about these two brands.
Where Is Caraway and Le Creuset Cookware Made?
Caraway cookware is made in China and India. Le Creuset is produced in France and Portugal.
What Are Caraway and Le Creuset’s Return Policies?
Caraway offers a 30-day free return and refund when you purchase from them directly. You must send back the product in its original packaging with all accessories within 45 days of submitting your return.
Le Creuset allows returns within 45 days of receipt. You may exchange the product for another item or get a refund.
Are Caraway and Le Creuset Oven-Safe?
Yes. Caraway’s cookware is oven safe up to 550°F. Most of Le Creuset’s cookware is oven safe up to 500°F, but some products have lower maximum temperatures. For example, the bakeware is oven safe up to 450°F.
Is Caraway and Le Creuset Dishwasher-Safe?
Caraway cookware should be washed by hand only.
Le Creuset’s products are all dishwasher-safe apart from their enamel on steel and bakeware collections. I don’t recommend using the dishwasher to clean their Dutch ovens or enameled cast iron cookware. I explain the best methods for cleaning enameled cast iron cookware in this step-by-step guide.
Is Caraway and Le Creuset Induction-Compatible?
Caraway’s cookware is all induction-compatible due to its stainless steel bonded base.
Le Creuset’s Dutch ovens, toughened non-stick, stainless steel, and enamel on steel collections are induction-compatible, while the stoneware and bakeware collections are not.
Where Can I Buy Caraway and Le Creuset Cookware?
What Utensils Can I Use With Caraway and Le Creuset Cookware?
With Caraway, stick with wooden, silicone, plastic, or nylon utensils. Rough or sharp metal utensils can damage the ceramic coating.
With Le Creuset, choose silicone, wooden, or nylon utensils on non-stick or porcelain enameled cookware. Anything goes for the other cookware, but I always recommend non-metal utensils to avoid any risks.
Bottom Line: Should You Buy Caraway or Le Creuset?
Now that you know all the important details about Caraway and Le Creuset, it’s time to decide which cookware is right for you.
Let’s recap the main differences between these two brands:
History: Le Creuset has been around for nearly 100 years, while Caraway is a start-up company launched in 2018. Therefore, Le Creuset boasts more culinary experience, but keep in mind that Caraway has already gained recognition from trusted reviewers and media outlets.
Product offerings: Caraway offers four ceramic non-stick cookware pieces. Le Creuset features dozens of options across multiple material types, including enameled cast iron, non-stick, stainless steel, and more.
Design: Both brands have beautiful cookware in a range of stunning colors. Caraway’s colors are more neutral, while Le Creuset highlights a bolder palate. Caraway also offers a magnetic rack and lid holder. Le Creuset boasts a wider range of designs, especially in their dutch oven collection.
Price: Both brands are expensive, but Caraway is more affordable.
In general, Caraway is a solid up-and-coming brand focused on ceramic non-stick. If you’re looking for a non-toxic, eco-friendly brand, this is a great option.
However, if you want more options, Le Creuset is the way to go. It’s a renowned brand with a proven track record dating back to 1925.
Best known for their iconic Dutch ovens, they also offer a wide variety of cookware, including fully-clad stainless steel, hard-anodized aluminum non-stick, and bakeware. If you’re looking for a complete cookware set from a time-tested brand, I recommend Le Creuset.
There are cheaper options on the market, but both Caraway and Le Creuset offer high-quality, well-designed, and durable cookware that’s definitely worth the investment.
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