I couldn’t believe it when I found a non-stick pan that used NO Teflon and was completely non-reactive/non-toxic. But could it cook eggs? I’d been disappointed before, but Caraway delivered…Here’s my full review of the Caraway Non-stick Ceramic Pan…
I’m a busy mom. You know what that means?
It means I need tools that are quick, easy to use, easy to clean…and non-toxic too.
Is that too much to ask???
For years I’ve used cast iron and it’s awesome…except sometimes when it comes to eggs. Get all my tips for cleaning and maintaining cast iron here.
Three months ago, Caraway sent me one of their ceramic pans to try out. This is non-toxic, doesn’t leach and it’s non-stick. I shared about it on Instagram and right away people said, “Hmm, I’ll be interested to see how that lasts.”
Can’t see the video? Watch my Caraway pan review here on YouTube.
Are Non-Stick Pans Safe?
It was completely overwhelming to me when I discovered that Teflon was a hazardous substance way back at the beginning of my health journey.
I literally had a kitchen full of non-stick pans!
Even the pots we got for our wedding had a non-stick surface. I used them every. single. day.
It took lots of yard sale/thrift store finds and I asked for a few nice pieces of safer cookware for birthdays/Christmas to eventually phase out the non-stick from my kitchen.
I have a whole post about Teflon and non-stick surfaces here if you want to read more, but here are some quick (and updated) notes:
- Teflon used to be made from PFOA which was removed from cookware because it was found to be toxic.
- Non-stick coatings are now made with either “Gen X chemicals” or perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS)
- Animal studies have linked Gen X chemicals to liver problems and PFBS to thyroid and kidney problems.1
- There is no regulation on the use of these chemicals in cooking pans and other products…until they’re proven to be harmful that is. (Just like what happened with PFOAs.) eyeroll
- When scratches get in the non-stick surface, the material beneath is exposed, usually aluminum. Plus, little bits of Teflon could get directly into your food.
In other words, Teflon used to be toxic…and it’s still darn questionable and most likely toxic under a different wolf’s clothing. (Typical.)
While PFOA has been removed from non-stick coatings, it’s still found in our water supply and our blood. That’s right, most people in the US have these chemicals in their bloodstream.
They’re referred to as “forever chemicals” because they never break down once they’re out in the environment.2
I’m comforted by the fact that I have a powerful Berkey filter to get forever chemicals out of my water supply.
I don’t know about you, but that’s certainly enough to make me want to switch over to healthy non-stick pans!
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Are Caraway Ceramic Pans Non-Toxic?
When we seek out non-toxic materials, we want to look for items that:
- Don’t leach into our food
- Don’t off-gas when heated
- Ideally have a track record, research-proven, that doesn’t show carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, or other questionable negative health effects
We know that Teflon and its cousins are heavy on the “questionable” side of the equation, so how does ceramic, specifically Caraway’s coating, measure up?
Caraway pans are made with a mineral-based coating that won’t leach toxic materials, and the high-quality ceramic-coated aluminum cookware is free of PTFE, lead, cadmium, and other toxic materials that can make their way into your food.
The manufacturing process produces up to 60% less CO2 compared to traditional non-stick coatings, so it’s better for the earth AND your family.
Caraway pans are also shipped in recycled cardboard with zero plastic bags, low impact print dyes, and 100% biodegradable cork trivets. I love that they’re committed to the environment in their packaging as well!
Caraway Ceramic Pan Review
I’m sure what you’re all wondering is does the caraway pan pass the egg test!?!?
Can’t see the video? Watch me put my Caraway pan to the test here on YouTube.
Here are the pros and cons I’ve noticed after using the Caraway pan for three months:
Caraway Pan Pros:
- The Caraway pan cooks eggs really smoothly, just like a traditional Teflon coated pan.
- The finish has held up really well. It won’t ever peel away and get shreds of coating in your food. yuck
- Here’s the big one for me: it is so fast to clean! I really need a bit of that in my life!
- It’s sturdy, but not too heavy like cast iron can be.
- It’s easy for everyone to use, and there’s a much smaller learning curve than cast iron. My kids can use it no problem!
- You can’t use tomato-based sauces in cast iron, but that’s not a problem here!
- The Caraway pan is not cheap, but it’s less expensive than most enameled cast iron or other ceramic pans like Xtrema.
Speaking of Xtrema pans, here’s my review of that brand. It’s also a ceramic pan, but there is NO CONTEST for cooking or cleanup.
The Xtrema was extremely hard to clean and while cooking it allowed food to stick and caused food to slide towards the exterior rim because of its shape. Caraway is better in all ways!
Caraway Pan Cons:
- You do have to use only plastic utensils. (I like my spoonula.)
- You have to be careful not to put anything else metal in it. We’ve already found one big scratch in our pan, wahhhhhhhhh! Nobody knows where it came from, but I’m guessing we set something in the pan while it was in the sink waiting to be washed. 🙁
Updated Review After 6 More Months of Heavy Use
A helpful commenter asked for an update after another 6 months.
We still really love it and use it pretty much daily, especially for eggs. It’s gotten a little bit harder to clean, but it’s still the best I’ve experienced and so much easier than my cast iron, although I love my cast iron griddle for FRIED eggs. Scrambled is another beast!
I wasn’t sure if I was just getting fussy, or we were cooking differently, but looking at these pictures tells me I’m probably not imagining things! It is getting a bit less “magically” nonstick.
We’ve been in the midst of a “4-week kitchen remodel” for the last 10 weeks (arg!) which means cooking in our basement a lot. We used to rely on our cast iron griddle for many tasks, but now the Caraway on an electric burner has taken over. I’ve noticed that when I try to heat just a sausage or two, something that really shouldn’t require additional fat, the brown marks on the pan are VERY difficult to remove, and that feels like such a bummer!
Another helpful reader just sent me something today that just about sent me into a depression spiral, feeling like everything is greenwashed and nothing is safe. I’ve disagreed with Tamara before, but I’d like to see Caraway answer about this post finding lead, antimony, and titanium in the cooking surface of the pan. 🙁 Is it possible that stuff is there but doesn’t react or leach? I don’t know enough about material safety to fully understand, but I am frustrated.
On the other hand, we just had a hair tissue mineral analysis done on one family member, and it didn’t show any of those metals. I throw up my hands in disgust!
For our family, because it’s more important that we are able to eat healthy food without absolutely going insane or spending 10 minutes washing one pan, we’re still using the Caraway.
In fact, we puffy-heart love it for the basement because there’s no running water down there, and as long as no one pulls the sausage-browning-the-surface trick and simply cooks eggs, I can use a single paper towel, wipe out the pan, and cook the next day’s breakfast. It’s a sanity saver I’m proud to use!
Bottom Line on the Caraway Healthy Non-Stick Pan
I’m a huge fan! This pan is my baby for making eggs, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to finally have a non-stick pan that doesn’t make me nervous, after more than 10 years!