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HexClad vs. Caraway Cookware: 9 Key Differences

Are you shopping for cookware but need help deciding between HexClad and Caraway?

HexClad offers a unique stainless steel/non-stick hybrid design, while Caraway claims to be the colorful and healthier version of traditional non-stick.

So, which cookware is better? What factors should you consider?

In this comparison of HexClad vs. Caraway, I’ll give you an up-close look at the pros and cons of both brands. You’ll learn how they differ in materials, design, cooking performance, price, and more.

Use the links below to navigate the comparison:

HexClad vs. Caraway: Comparison Chart

Here’s a quick side-by-side comparison of HexClad vs. Caraway.

Base Construction3-ply stainless steelAluminum
Cooking SurfaceHybrid of stainless steel and PTFE non-stickCeramic non-stick
Oven-Safe TemperatureUp to 500°FUp to 550°F
Induction Compatible?YesYes
Broiler Safe?NoNo
DesignDistinct hexagonal patternCookware comes in 10 colors
Where It’s MadeChina China and India
Company HistoryIntroduced in the U.S. in 2016Founded in 2018
Price$$$$ (HexClad.com, Amazon)$$$ (CarawayHome.com, Amazon)
Top Reasons to BuyVersatility (from searing steak to flipping eggs)Food doesn’t stick, modern and colorful design, simple shopping experience (one collection)
Top Reasons to NOT BuyPrice: Costs as much as premium stainless steel or copper cookware.Non-stick properties start to fade after 1 to 3 years. Prone to chipping.

Difference 1: Design

One of the most significant differences between HexClad and Caraway is their design.

HexClad has a unique look with raised stainless steel hexagons and black non-stick material on the cooking surface.

HexClad 12 Inch Frying Pan Design
HexClad 12 Inch Frying Pan
HexClad cookware hexagonal pattern
HexClad cookware hexagonal pattern

The hexagonal pattern continues on the exterior, but there’s also a polished steel ring around the rim.

HexClad cookware exterior

These hexagons serve a unique purpose, which I’ll cover in a minute.

HexClad cookware exterior sides

HexClad cookware also has polished steel handles, tempered glass lids, and flared rims that make it easy to move food from pan to plate.

HexClad cookware tempered glass lid
HexClad cookware tempered glass lid
HexClad cookware handle

Overall, HexClad’s design is modern, sleek, and functional.

The design of Caraway is centered on color. The interior is light gray, but the exterior comes in several colors, including cream, perracotta (a mix of pink and terracotta), gray, marigold, sage, navy, black, and white. Caraway introduces new colors regularly, so expect the options to expand even more.

Caraway cookware in-depth review
Caraway fry pan

The edges of the cookware are straight, which helps to contain ingredients but limits the ease of sliding food from the pan to the plate.

Caraway cookware design
Caraway cookware design

Caraway handles are either stainless steel or gold-colored with rivets. The shiny metals create a nice contrast with the colored exterior.

Caraway cookware handle
Caraway cookware handle

The inside of Caraway cookware has a smooth, shiny gray ceramic coating and its lids match the cookware base, with sleek curved handles for an overall modern look.

Difference 2: Base Construction

Another key difference is how HexClad and Caraway pots and pans are constructed.

HexClad’s base is 3-ply fully-clad steel. The exterior is magnetic steel, which makes the cookware induction-compatible, the core layer is aluminum, which conducts heat well, and the top layer is stainless steel.

HexClad 3-ply base
HexClad 3-ply base

This type of base construction is similar to what premium cookware brands like All-Clad and Made In use. It’s durable, warp-resistant, and heats evenly.

Caraway’s base construction is much simpler. Each pot and pan is made of an aluminum base with a steel plate on the bottom to make the cookware induction-compatible.

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

The main difference between HexClad and Caraway’s construction is its durability. HexClad’s 3-ply steel base is less likely to dent or warp than the aluminum in Caraway cookware.

Also, Caraway doesn’t work as efficiently on induction since the steel plate they bond to the bottom only covers a small portion of the exterior. Some customers claim it doesn’t work on induction at all.

Difference 3: Cooking Surface

HexClad has a unique cooking surface consisting of a hexagon pattern of stainless steel peaks and non-stick valleys. The non-stick portions are PTFE (Teflon).

HexClad cookware interior

One of the challenges with traditional non-stick cookware is that spatulas and other cooking utensils can scratch the non-stick coating. When this happens, the coating degrades, food starts to stick, and you need to replace the pan.

HexClad claims to solve that problem. The raised steel hexagons protect the recessed non-stick material. So when you slide a spatula across the surface, it’s less likely to contact the non-stick coating.

Because of this design, HexClad is labeled metal utensil-safe. In videos and advertisements, HexClad’s founder shows how you can use a hand mixer or even a pizza cutter on the pan without causing damage.

Caraway’s cooking surface is coated in a smooth mineral-based non-stick coating. They claim this material, first used in the early 2000s, is safer for you and the environment than PTFE/Teflon, but those claims are no longer valid.

Caraway cookware ceramic cooking surface
Caraway cookware ceramic cooking surface

The downside of the ceramic coating is that it wears down more quickly than PTFE, so you’ll need to replace Caraway pans more frequently than other brands.

Scratched ceramic non-stick pan
Scratched Caraway pan

Overall, HexClad’s cooking surface is built for longevity, while Caraway uses a material that provides excellent food release initially but begins to break down after a couple of years.

Difference 4: Cooking Performance

I’ve been testing HexClad and Caraway for over two years, and both have strengths and weaknesses in the kitchen.

Caraway heats up fast and evenly, and initially, food doesn’t stick to the surface. Like most non-stick cookware, it’s great for eggs, fish, and other delicate foods prone to sticking.

Cooking a grilled ham and cheese with Caraway pan

The handle is rounded and comfortable, and the straight sides prevent splattering and make it easy to flip eggs and pancakes.

There are two notable downsides to Caraway. First, it’s not the best cookware for searing meat. Because the cooking surface is so slick, food slides around too much to get a proper sear. Caraway would not be the first (or second) brand I’d reach for if I was cooking a steak.

Second, the non-stick coating begins to wear down after about a year. The more I used the pan, the more I noticed scratches and eggs starting.

HexClad’s greatest strengths are also the cause of its weaknesses. Let me explain. HexClad calls itself “hybrid” cookware (non-stick/stainless steel). And that’s true; when you cook with HexClad, the food contacts both steel and PTFE (Teflon).

They claim the steel protects the non-stick coating and aids in searing, while the non-stick coating prevents sticking. While I found that to be true, I also noticed that it doesn’t excel in either area.

In other words, you get a better sear with a stainless steel pan and better food release with a non-stick pan. With HexClad, you have to treat it like stainless steel pans (cook on low-medium heat and grease the surface with oil or butter), or food will stick.

Food sticking to HexClad
Food sticking to HexClad

But once you get used to cooking with HexClad, it’s highly versatile. Here’s a piece of salmon I seared in a HexClad pan.

Searing salmon in a HexClad pan
Searing salmon in a HexClad pan

And here are chicken thighs I browned before finishing in the oven:

Cooking chicken thighs in a HexClad pan
Cooking chicken thighs in a HexClad pan

Overall, HexClad is more versatile, but Caraway releases food better and is easier to clean.

Difference 5: Heat Conduction and Retention

I conducted a simple test to determine which brand conducts heat faster and retains heat better.

I poured two cups of room-temperature water into a HexClad pan and another two cups into a Caraway pan. After placing both pans on the same-sized burners, I turned the heat to the highest setting.

HexClad heat conduction test

It took 2 minutes and 26 seconds to boil water in the Caraway Cookware pan, while the HexClad pan took 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Bubbles were evenly dispersed in both pans, which indicates uniform heat distribution.

I conduct this test with all cookware brands I review. Here’s how Caraway and HexClad stack up against the rest of the market.

PanTime to First BubblesTime to Boil
Made In fry pan1 minute and 40 seconds2 minutes and 21 seconds
Misen fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 25 seconds
Caraway fry pan1 minute and 53 seconds2 minutes and 26 seconds
Anolon fry pan1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 27 seconds
HexClad fry pan1 minute and 40 seconds2 minutes and 30 seconds
Zwilling fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 31 seconds
T-fal fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Gotham Steel fry pan1 minute and 58 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Rachael Ray fry pan1 minute and 47 seconds2 minutes and 36 seconds
Viking fry pan1 minute and 42 seconds2 minute and 39 seconds
Calphalon fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 40 seconds
Pioneer Woman fry pan2 minute and 2 seconds2 minute and 46 seconds
Hestan fry pan1 minute and 52 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
GreenLife pan2 minutes and 11 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
Tramontina fry pan1 minutes and 53 seconds2 minutes and 52 seconds
Circulon fry pan2 minutes and 7 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
All-Clad skillet1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
Demeyere Industry fry pan2 minutes and 3 seconds3 minutes and 10 seconds
Ballarini fry pan2 minutes and 15 seconds3 minutes and 12 seconds
Heritage Steel fry pan1 minutes and 59 seconds3 minutes and 15 seconds
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan2 minutes and 11 seconds3 minutes and 25 seconds

After the water began boiling, I took both pans off the burners and set them on the counter to cool.

After 5 minutes, the water in the Caraway pan was 114.1°F, and the water in the HexClad pan was 120.7°F.

After 10 minutes, the water in the Caraway pan was 97.5°F, and the water in the HexClad pan was 102.4°F.

As you’ll see in the results below, HexClad’s heat retention scores are in the top third of the market, while Caraway ranks in the lower half. These results are not surprising since HexClad is made of 3-ply steel, and Caraway’s base is made of thinner aluminum.

PanTemperature After 5 MinutesTemperature After 10 Minutes
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan122.0°F106.3°F
Made In fry pan121.1°F106.6°F
Misen fry pan118.6°F103.4°F
Zwilling fry pan121.1°F103.0°F
Rachael Ray fry pan126.3°F102.7°F
HexClad fry pan120.7°F102.4°F
Circulon fry pan133.3°F102.0°F
Tramontina fry pan118.5°F101.3°F
Demeyere Industry fry pan115.2°F96.6°F
Calphalon fry pan112.8°F101.1°F
All-Clad skillet111.6°F100.9°F
Ballarini fry pan120°F99.9°F
Heritage Steel120.1°F98.2°F
Hestan fry pan114°F98°F
Caraway fry pan114.1°F97.5°F
Viking fry pan106.6°F95.9°F
GreenLife fry pan119°F95°F
Gotham Steel fry pan113°F95°F
Anolon fry pan112.7°F90.9°F
Pioneer Woman fry pan104.3°F90.9°F
T-fal fry pan108.7°F88.0°F

Difference 6: Product Offerings

HexClad and Caraway both offer one type of cookware. Neither brand has multiple collections with unique designs like All-Clad, Calphalon, and other more established brands.

However, both brands produce other product lines.

HexClad makes knives and other kitchen tools, such as cutting boards, Bistecca plates, and mixing bowls.

Besides pots and pans, Caraway makes a bakeware line, food storage sets, a tea kettle, and various linens, such as pot holders and aprons.

Difference 7: Company History

HexClad and Caraway are both relatively new cookware brands. HexClad hit the market in 2017, and Caraway launched in 2018.

You can buy HexClad on HexClad.com, Amazon, and a few other stores, such as Walmart, Costco, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

In 2022, they hired Gordan Ramsay to be their spokesman. You’ll see him promoting HexClad on TV, online, and within his cookbooks and cooking courses.

Jordan Nathan founded Caraway in 2018 with the goal of producing more environmentally friendly and healthy cookware in the pieces home cooks need — the frying pan, sauté pan, saucepan, and Dutch oven.

Caraway began as a direct-to-consumer company selling exclusively on CarawayHome.com, but it’s now available on Amazon and at Crate and Barrel and West Elm stores.

Difference 8: Price

HexClad is more expensive than Caraway. It’s priced similarly to a premium stainless steel brand, but since the non-stick portion of its coating will eventually wear down, the total cost of ownership is much higher.

Caraway is less expensive than HexClad, but it’s on the pricier end for non-stick cookware.

The table below compares the current prices between the two brands. Click the prices to learn more about each item on Amazon.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Difference 9: Downsides

HexClad and Caraway have a few downsides you should know before buying.  

HexClad Downsides

Price: HexClad is priced like stainless steel but doesn’t hold up as well. Its non-stick coating not only limits versatility but also wears away.

Limited lifetime: The PTFE non-stick coating on HexClad limits the life of the pans to just a few years, while non-coated stainless steel pans can last a lifetime.

Not non-stick: HexClad claims to perform as well as other non-stick brands. However, food sticks to the cooking surface if you don’t use the proper techniques and grease the surface well.

Not broiler safe: the PTFE coating on HexClad cookware means you can’t safely use it under a broiler.

Caraway Downsides

Food sticks: Caraway’s ceramic non-stick coating doesn’t hold up. It’s great at first but quickly loses its non-stick properties after limited use.

Damages easily: Caraway cookware scratches easily on the pans’ inside and exterior. As a result, it doesn’t maintain its attractive look for long.

Paint chipping off Caraway pan
Paint chipping off Caraway pan
Caraway cookware exterior damage

Straight sides: The straight sides on the pans make it challenging to slide food in and out of the pan.

Not broiler safe: Like HexClad, you can’t put Caraway cookware under the broiler because of the non-stick coating.

Handles get hot: Caraway handles are relatively short and get hot when cooking on the stove for more than ten minutes.

What Others Are Saying About HexClad and Caraway

To get a broader perspective on these two brands, let’s see how they ranked according to other independent outlets.

The Wall Street Journal named HexClad the best non-stick cookware set. They praised its comfortable handles, non-stick release, and the fact that its metal utensil was safe. They acknowledged that seasoning with oil is necessary to prevent sticking.

Caraway didn’t win any accolades but was mentioned in the article for its “rainbow of color options” and sleek appearance. They also said the handles get hot (which I noticed during my testing).

CNN Underscored named HexClad the best restaurant-quality non-stick pan. The reviewer praised its quality construction, even heating, and unique pattern of raised steel hexagons. They highlighted that the pan didn’t change colors or burn when overheated (like most stainless steel pans).

Glamour magazine named Caraway the best overall cookware set, thanks to its “photogenic colors” and slippery surface that’s easy to clean.

The Spruce also awarded Caraway the title of best overall set. Again, the primary praise was centered around its colors and modern design (not its performance).

Bottom Line: Should You Buy HexClad or Caraway?

HexClad and Caraway are both newcomers in the cookware industry, but that’s where their similarities end.

Caraway’s main draw is its bold, bright colors and clean, modern design. Caraway does a better job preventing food from sticking than HexClad, but it won’t last as long, and it’s not ideal for searing.

Like all ceramic non-stick pans, Caraway will lose its non-stick properties after six months to a year, and soon after that, you’ll need a new pan.

HexClad has a unique hybrid design but its attempts to be both non-stick and stainless steel fall short.

Plus, it’s priced the same as premium stainless steel, but when the non-stick portion of the pan starts to flake (and it will eventually), you’ll need to replace it.

Bottom Line — HexClad is a decent option if you’re intrigued by the hybrid technology and want to consolidate the number of pans in your kitchen. Go with Caraway if food release is your main priority.

Neither brand is my top recommendation. Instead, invest your money in a quality stainless steel pan, like All-Clad D3, Made In Stainless Clad, or Demeyere, and a Teflon-coated non-stick pan, like Scanpan, All-Clad HA1, or Made In Non-Stick

These stainless steel pans will last forever and perform better at searing and browning. The Teflon-coated non-stick pans won’t last forever, but they’re more durable and provide better food release than ceramic.

Learn more about HexClad in my in-depth review, or check the current prices on Amazon and HexClad.com.

You can find more information about Caraway in my review (or video review) and on CarawayHome.com and Amazon.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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