This review of the Carote cookware was spawned by a random search one day, and seeing ‘Carote cookware review’ as a suggested search. Never hearing of the brand, it send me down a rabbit hole of finding out all about Carote cookware, if it is any good, and of course, writing this review.
Carote Cookware Review Quick Summary
Carote cookware is granite-ceramic coated aluminum cookware with a stainless steel induction plate, and Bakelite handles. They are supposed to be compatible with all cook tops, including electric, gas, induction, and glass, though induction seems problematic for them.
What Makes Carote Pans Non-Stick?
There are a lot of coatings you can put on a pan to make it non-stick. Most cheap pans use some version of silicone, which is not good as they will be leaching toxic materials into your food whenever you use them. Other companies, seeking to avoid the chemicals have tried a variety of ceramic-type coatings to achieve a durable, super smooth non-stick coating on their cookware.
Carote uses a granite material to coat their pans, that they source from northern Europe, which is crazy to me since I’m sure they have granite at home. They claim that their five layers of this material is what gives their pans a scratch resistant non-stick surface. That being said, you should still never use metal utensils on your non-stick pans.
Carote Induction Pan Problems
While the product descriptions for Carote pans all claim that they are induction friendly, one reviewer said that they would describe them more as “induction acquainted”. The issue seems to be that there isn’t enough material in the pans to really generate the heat one would expect.
In addition to this, many people complain that the pans make weird noises on induction cooktops. This is likely from the dissimilar metals heating at different rates.
Carote Handle Issues Problems
The Carote pans all have these cool wood-looking handles that aren’t actually wood. They are a material called Bakelite, which was one of the first plastics used commercially.
The downside to Bakelite is that it is brittle and cracks, particularly if you get it too hot. I suspect this is part of the reason that so many people complain about handles falling off.
In looking through reviews, I saw a lot of pictures of people with broken handles, and gas stoves in the background. Gas stoves put out a lot of heat and if they are turned too high, a lot of that heat goes around the pan and hits the handle.
My suspicion is that this is one of the two main causes of handle breakage on Carote pans. The other is that Bakelite is brittle and doesn’t stand up to being banged around.
My suspicion is that these pans are either getting overheated and cracking, causing the handles to fall off, or they are being mishandled during shipment and are developing cracks that cause the pans to fail under use.
It is pretty clear that Carote has a quality control issue from the number of people that report cookware showing up with cracked handles or dented lids.
Don't Wash Your Carote Pans In The Dishwasher
Some people complain of a gray powder on their pans, or of the finish coming off. My suspicion is that many of these people are washing their pans in the dishwasher. The cleaners in a dishwasher will oxidize the aluminum, leaving a gray residue on the pans.
Cleaning these or any other non-stick pans, needs to be done gently, and without the use of any abrasive cleaners or tools. Even soft scrubbing pads can leave small scratches in the surface that will make food stick.
A Better Option To Carote Pans
If you are looking for a durable, non-stick frying pan that will hold up to daily use, I’d suggest a quality induction-friendly Teflon coated pan or a cast iron pan.
A good teflon pan like a 12 inch T-fal frying pan has a super slick surface that will keep your eggs from sticking for a very long time. Most Teflon pans are now free of harmful chemicals and as safe to use as the Carote pans.
Of course, I’m a big fan of cast iron frying pans. They are extremely durable, and if you treat them well, will last your lifetime. Additionally, if you use them properly, cast iron pans are virtually non-stick and easy to clean up.
I particularly like cast iron pans with milled bottoms like this 12″ cast iron pan from Backcountry. Use this with some oil and it will be very non-stick.