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
- Difference 1: Design
- Difference 2: Base Construction
- Difference 3: Cooking Surface
- Difference 4: Cooking Performance
- Difference 5: Heat Conduction and Retention
- Difference 6: Product Offerings
- Difference 7: Company History
- Difference 8: Price
- Difference 9: Downsides
- What Others Are Saying About HexClad and Caraway
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy HexClad or Caraway?
Here’s a quick side-by-side comparison of HexClad vs. Caraway.
|Base Construction||3-ply stainless steel||Aluminum|
|Cooking Surface||Hybrid of stainless steel and PTFE non-stick||Ceramic non-stick|
|Oven-Safe Temperature||Up to 500°F||Up to 550°F|
|Design||Distinct hexagonal pattern||Cookware comes in 10 colors|
|Where It’s Made||China||China and India|
|Company History||Introduced in the U.S. in 2016||Founded in 2018|
|Price||$$$$ (HexClad.com, Amazon)||$$$ (CarawayHome.com, Amazon)|
|Top Reasons to Buy||Versatility (from searing steak to flipping eggs)||Food doesn’t stick, modern and colorful design, simple shopping experience (one collection)|
|Top Reasons to NOT Buy||Price: Costs as much as premium stainless steel or copper cookware.||Non-stick properties start to fade after 1 to 3 years. Prone to chipping.|
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.
The hexagonal pattern continues on the exterior, but there’s also a polished steel ring around the rim.
These hexagons serve a unique purpose, which I’ll cover in a minute.
HexClad cookware also has polished steel handles, tempered glass lids, and flared rims that make it easy to move food from pan to plate.
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.
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 handles are either stainless steel or gold-colored with rivets. The shiny metals create a nice contrast with the colored exterior.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been testing HexClad and Caraway for over two years, and both have strengths and weaknesses in the kitchen.
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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.
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.
Overall, HexClad is more versatile, but Caraway releases food better and is easier to clean.
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.
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.
|Pan||Time to First Bubbles||Time to Boil|
|Made In fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 21 seconds|
|Misen fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 25 seconds|
|Caraway fry pan||1 minute and 53 seconds||2 minutes and 26 seconds|
|Anolon fry pan||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 27 seconds|
|HexClad fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 30 seconds|
|Zwilling fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 31 seconds|
|T-fal fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 32 seconds|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||1 minute and 58 seconds||2 minutes and 32 seconds|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||1 minute and 47 seconds||2 minutes and 36 seconds|
|Viking fry pan||1 minute and 42 seconds||2 minute and 39 seconds|
|Calphalon fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 40 seconds|
|Pioneer Woman fry pan||2 minute and 2 seconds||2 minute and 46 seconds|
|Hestan fry pan||1 minute and 52 seconds||2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|GreenLife pan||2 minutes and 11 seconds||2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|Tramontina fry pan||1 minutes and 53 seconds||2 minutes and 52 seconds|
|Circulon fry pan||2 minutes and 7 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|All-Clad skillet||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|Demeyere Industry fry pan||2 minutes and 3 seconds||3 minutes and 10 seconds|
|Ballarini fry pan||2 minutes and 15 seconds||3 minutes and 12 seconds|
|Heritage Steel fry pan||1 minutes and 59 seconds||3 minutes and 15 seconds|
|Demeyere Atlantis fry pan||2 minutes and 11 seconds||3 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.
|Pan||Temperature After 5 Minutes||Temperature After 10 Minutes|
|Demeyere Atlantis fry pan||122.0°F||106.3°F|
|Made In fry pan||121.1°F||106.6°F|
|Misen fry pan||118.6°F||103.4°F|
|Zwilling fry pan||121.1°F||103.0°F|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||126.3°F||102.7°F|
|HexClad fry pan||120.7°F||102.4°F|
|Circulon fry pan||133.3°F||102.0°F|
|Tramontina fry pan||118.5°F||101.3°F|
|Demeyere Industry fry pan||115.2°F||96.6°F|
|Calphalon fry pan||112.8°F||101.1°F|
|Ballarini fry pan||120°F||99.9°F|
|Hestan fry pan||114°F||98°F|
|Caraway fry pan||114.1°F||97.5°F|
|Viking fry pan||106.6°F||95.9°F|
|GreenLife fry pan||119°F||95°F|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||113°F||95°F|
|Anolon fry pan||112.7°F||90.9°F|
|Pioneer Woman fry pan||104.3°F||90.9°F|
|T-fal fry pan||108.7°F||88.0°F|
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.
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.
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.
|HexClad 8-Inch Frying Pan||Amazon|
|HexClad 10-Inch Wok||Amazon|
|HexClad 12-Inch Griddle Non Stick Fry Pan||Amazon|
|HexClad 14-Inch Frying Pan||Amazon|
|HexClad 10-Quart Stock Pot||Amazon|
|HexClad 6-Piece Cookware Set||Amazon|
|HexClad 12-Piece Cookware Set||Amazon|
|HexClad 13-Piece Cookware Set||Amazon|
|Caraway 9-Inch Square Pan||Amazon|
|Caraway Mini 8-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|Caraway 10.5-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|Caraway 4.5-Quart Sauté Pan||Amazon|
|Caraway 3-Quart Saucepan||Amazon|
|Caraway 12-Piece Cookware Set||Amazon|
HexClad and Caraway have a few downsides you should know before buying.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
- HexClad Cookware Review: Is It Worth the Money?
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