Caraway Home vs. Hexclad Cookware: Which is Better for Your Kitchen?

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Written by Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

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Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Sustainability Expert

Leigh Matthews is a sustainability expert and long time vegan. Her work on solar policy has been published in Canada's National Observer.

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While Hexclad is likely more durable, there’s no comparison between Caraway Home and Hexclad cookware when it comes forever chemicals. One is made with toxic materials and one isn’t. Here’s a head to head of Caraway vs. Hexclad.

Hexclad is a popular cookware brand with a lot of marketing heft. It’s more widely available than Caraway Home cookware, which is a smaller brand, beloved of influencers. Readers have written in asking our take on Hexclad, which is why the brand has been mentioned on our site as of late.

Both companies make non-stick cookware. However, while Caraway Home’s cookware is entirely free of PTFE (Teflon), Hexclad cookware is PTFE non-stick. 

It might take a while to work that out though, given the company’s marketing as Hexclad tries to sell itself as an upgraded and non-toxic version of standard non-stick PTFE pots and pans.

Let’s dig into the differences between Hexclad and Caraway Home.

Head to head: Caraway vs. Hexclad

Caraway HomeHexclad
MaterialsAluminum core, stainless steel base for induction compatibilityAluminum core, stainless steel above and below, PTFE surface with diamond dust
HandlesStainless steel, stay-coolStainless steel, stay-cool
Helper handlesYesSome designs
Non-stick coatingSol-gel process ceramic PTFE with stainless steel lattice 
LidsCoated aluminumGlass and stainless steel
Third-party testing availableYesNo
Free fromPFOA, PTFE, other PFAS, hard anodization (and potentially toxic manufacturing byproducts)No claims made
Leach testing resultsNo lead, cadmium, titanium, or other heavy metal leachingNot available
Made inChina – likely in BSCI / SMETA certified factoriesChina
Oven safeYes, to 550 FYes, to 500 F (but I wouldn’t risk it, personally)
Induction compatibleYesYes
Dishwasher safeNoYes
Color options11 for  main cookware collectionOne
Price for 8-inch fry pan$90$140-$160
Warranty1-year warranty for major damage to the body, handles, lids or functional impairment Lifetime warranty (but not for the non-stick surface)
PackagingSmart and sustainableUnknown
Sustainability initiativesUses recycled materials and sustainable packaging, offers help finding recycling optionsNone known

What’s the same

Both Caraway Home and Hexclad offer non-stick cookware that’s technically oven-safe and induction compatible in a range of sizes. Both types of cookware are made in China.

That’s about where the similarities end though.

What’s different

Pan construction

Caraway Home cookware comprises ceramic coated aluminum with a steel base for induction compatibility

Hexclad cookware comprises an aluminum core sandwiched between layers of stainless steel with a PTFE non-stick coating and stainless steel lattice over top. This type of construction makes the Hexclad pans heftier and arguably more robust than Caraway Home cookware.

So, if you tend to bang your pots and pans about, and only have room to stack pans on top of each other, Hexclad can look attractive. 

That said, Caraway Home offers smart storage solutions that minimize cupboard room requirements while protecting the pans. And if you follow use guidelines for Caraway Home, meaning no metal utensils, temperature shocks, or cleaning with the dishwasher or steel wool, it should last a long time.

Non-stick surface

The Hexclad lattice overlay means that these pans don’t have a smooth surface, unlike the Caraway Home cookware. The honeycomb pattern of the Hexclad pans holds oil and juices to help stop food sticking, but it’s not great for frying eggs, fish, or other delicate items. Many customers complain about this non-stick cookware not actually being non-stick, with a good chance you’ll lose the sear or fond of many foods when you scrape them off the pan.

As long as you use a bit of oil with Caraway Home cookware, you can easily fry eggs, fish, medium soft tofu, and other more delicate foods and then flip these into a pan without losing any of the flavor.

Induction stovetop compatibility

Caraway Home cookware is designed to work with induction stovetops. Note, though, that the company has found some induction cooktops can be finicky and may not recognize its pots and pans. 

For best performance, your induction cooktop will need an 8-inch and a 6-inch burner for the Caraway cookware (5.5-inch Sauce Pan, 6-inch Fry Pan, 6.5-inch Dutch Oven, and 8-inch Sauté Pan) to work.

Hexclad pans are also induction compatible thanks to the stainless steel construction and magnetized base. The stainless steel lattice will also heat up on induction, so be careful to heat on low and increase the temperature if necessary.

Oven temperature

All Caraway Home cookware is oven safe to 550 F. Hexclad says its cookware is oven safe to 500 F but I would not recommend using these pans in the oven. 

At temperatures approaching 500 F, PTFE begins to break down. This can release toxic fumes and degrade the non-stick coating. Even reaching this temperature once can wreck a pan and mean it releases fumes every time you use it after. 

It’s all too easy to reach 500 F when cooking. Even getting a sear on a steak on the stovetop can mean cooking with a pan that’s well over 500 F. 

Durability

Caraway Home cookware is not dishwasher safe and you definitely don’t want to use metal utensils or scourers on the ceramic surface. Once the surface is chipped or scratched to any significant degree, you’re at risk of exposing yourself to aluminum. This is a big drawback of Caraway Home cookware, and why we wish the company made 3-ply stainless steel cookware instead.

In contrast, Hexclad is dishwasher safe and is more robust overall, thanks to its 3-ply construction. You can also use metal utensils and (so the brand says) steel wool with Hexclad pans. It’s still best to avoid using pointy metal implements, though, as these can scratch the PTFE underneath the stainless steel lattice.

Note, too, that Hexclad pans won’t fare well if you heat them beyond 500 F. Like Caraway Home cookware, the durability of the so-called indestructable Hexclad pans also rests on proper use.

Sustainability

Hexclad pots and pans are made with toxic forever chemicals. This presents safety concerns during manufacturing, use, and disposal. You can’t easily recycle these pans and they’re much less durable than cast iron, stainless steel, and carbon steel, though arguably more durable than Caraway’s pans, which aren’t 3-ply.

Overall, Hexclad is not a sustainable or non-toxic cookware option.

Caraway Home cookware is made with some recycled materials and can be recycled at end-of-life. Because the company doesn’t use PTFE or other forever chemicals, nor any hard anodized aluminum, there are fewer manufacturing concerns or safety concerns during use or at end of life.

Neither Caraway Home nor Hexclad have any significant sustainability initiatives. However, Caraway Home uses entirely reusable and recyclable packaging and helps customers find a recycling depot or donation center for old cookware.

Hexclad and sustainability

Hexclad doesn’t even mention sustainability on the company website, and appears not to care about making its production processes or final products green.

Third-party testing availability

Caraway Home offers access to its third-party test reports for all of its cookware. This goes beyond just leach testing and includes tests for the presence of PTFE, lead and cadmium in the actual surface coating material. It passes all tests admirably.

Hexclad offers no such third-party testing and certainly wouldn’t pass tests for the presence of PTFE as the pans are made with PTFE and whatever chemicals are used to apply the coating.

Final thoughts on Caraway vs. Hexclad

The choice between Caraway Home and Hexclad is clear: One is toxic and one isn’t.

Sure, Hexclad pans may fare better under more vigorous use and are dishwasher safe, but the risk of overheating those pans is too great for them to earn a place in my kitchen. Even if you are very careful with how you use the pans, the production of PTFE non-stick coatings remains toxic during manufacturing and troublesome at end-of-life.

If you’re looking for a PTFE pan, Hexclad is a good option. But chances are you’re here because you’re trying to keep toxic chemicals out of your kitchen.

In which case, Caraway Home is a top choice for cookware, though I much prefer Alva (see our review), which is currently our top pick for non-toxic, non-stick cookware thanks to its robust construction that performs much better all round.

Caraway Cookware

Leaf Score

Highlights: Non-toxic, non-stick, LeafScore tried and tested cookware. Works with induction, gas, and electric stovetops, is oven-safe, easy to clean, and very easy on the eyes – available in nearly a dozen color options!

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