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Baking is the intersection of art and science, but anyone who bakes knows that quality equipment also helps, especially when few home cooks have convection ovens to optimize heat circulation. This means that pans that conduct heat better result in a tastier (and more successful) finished product.
Anodized aluminum, stainless steel, and borosilicate glass have long been bakeware standards. However, the folks behind Caraway cookware put forth a new option, ceramic-coated aluminum.
I tested Caraway’s Half Bakeware Set, which includes two baking sheets, one muffin pan, one 9-by-13-inch pan, and a fabric-covered storage container to corral the set in your cabinet. Caraway also offers these pans in its Complete Bakeware Set. So, check out what I found and see if the price tag works for your kitchen.
What is Caraway?
Founded in 2018, Caraway cookware began as a line of pans that are non-stick by way of a ceramic coating. Their bakeware line launched in the fall of 2021 and the company also sells a linen collection of aprons, tea towels, and everything you need to get their pans out of the oven.
What we like about Caraway bakeware
My apartment’s conventional oven is so persnickety and old that I refer to it as my Easy Bake Oven. Its hot spots and unpredictable temperature swings mean there is no room for error when it comes to my choice of bakeware. Aside from being lovely to look at, could these Caraway pans stand up to real use? Of the recipes I tested, they all came out as well as they do in my go-to pans.
Lasagna and a large batch of apple butter baked off strong in the 9-by-13-inch rectangular pan. I typically use a thick glass casserole pan to caramelize apple butter. The glass conducts heat slower than aluminum, creating deep flavor and allowing me to occasionally forget about stirring each hour as I go about my day. However, the batch in Caraway’s pan retained a similar flavor with minimal helicoptering.
In fact, I was able to doze through the end of my yoga podcast without the batch becoming pockmarked by burnt sugar. And my clean-up worries were all for naught. I thought between the apple puree and the lasagna’s hot cheese that something would adhere to the non-stick surface, but both recipes released and washed up easily.
Similarly, financiers flew out the muffin pan evenly browned despite my oven’s best efforts. A batch of vegan muffins (always a wildcard in terms of consistent texture) rose well. I baked off cookies on Caraway’s sheet pan alongside my own stainless steel stalwart and any difference between the two was imperceptible.
Achingly rich scones also emerged from the oven ready to greet the day. No pan discoloration thus far—a delicious invitation to all enthusiastic bakers—and the guide instructs that any browning on the ceramic surface can be cleaned with a little baking soda and vinegar.
What we don’t like
The hefty price tag
The pans work well, but not necessarily any better than the pans I own at a fraction of the price. The coordinated colors and inclusion of a storage container are nice-to-haves, but not necessities worth the increased price.
The delicate surface
If you have a penchant for using your oven as pan storage in its off hours, Caraway recommends against putting empty bakeware in the oven. In fact, they even advise not stacking the bakeware (hence the included organizer) or only doing so with a towel or trivet between them.
Caraway pans are also not recommended to go in the dishwasher, and the company advises against using metal utensils on the pans to preserve the ceramic coating.
Should you buy the Caraway Bakeware Set?
Yes, if you don’t mind spending for style
Do you need to spend $245 to purchase two baking sheets, a muffin tin, and a 9-by-13 pan of quality? Of course not. This sleek set is meant to serve home cooks whose kitchens double as a statement piece. It doesn’t mean they are not curious epicureans, rather that they prefer to coordinate their baking projects in functional style.
If this is you, purchase Caraway’s bakeware secure in the knowledge that you will be set to adventure down any baking path under 550°F. However, should your pocketbook or cabinet space be limited, there are many budget-friendly and long-lasting alternatives.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.