You may wonder what it is about this type of cookware. You probably know that along with its popularity it also carries a hefty price tag. Is it worth buying?
Here we discuss all necessary facts about cookware. You can decide whether it’s worth putting on your wish list.
What to Know About Copper Cookware.
These facts will help you make an informed decision.
Yes copper cookware is worth the expense. These facts explain why it has a positive effect on your cooking:
Copper cookware improves your cooking abilities because the pots and pans distribute heat well. You won’t have spots along the base with excessive high or low temperatures. Your food will cook evenly. This conductivity feature also means cooking time is shorter.
Copper is relatively light. Your cookware will be easy to lift and handle.
Copper is easy to clean.
Copper looks stunning. You can use pots as serving dishes if you want. If not in use it adds to the aesthetic value of your kitchen.
Copper does have a down side too. You must keep these features in mind to ensure you enjoy and use your copper cookware optimally;
Copper is a soft metal. It can scratch easily. This feature limits the ways you can clean it. Don’t use harsh chemicals or hard scrubbing tools. This can leave marks. If the pan is lined with other metals this may remove the necessary layers.
Copper can dent easily. Use it with care so it always presents well.
Stainless steel linings may serve you well for long. Unfortunately tin linings must be reapplied every few years. For your safety you must take your cookware for maintenance every 15 years.
Copper can’t be used on induction stoves.
Copper’s look can deteriorate over time. Your ingredients may affect the color of the metal. This requires a lot of cleaning and polishing to keep your cookware looking amazing.
Is it Safe?
Why do we talk about safety features when mentioning tin linings?
Yes you can use your copper cookware for almost any recipe and cooking process if it’s lined. These linings are essential for safe cooking. Copper cookware without linings restrict your range of possible activities.
Copper reacts to certain substances. This can result in toxic substances. Acid causes copper to tarnish. This means metal can find its way into the food you cook.
This is very dangerous. Those who consume the food may struggle with:
If you decide to use copper items without linings never cook acidic recipes.
Copper cookware requires unique cleaning methods. You have to guard against:
Scratching the surfaces
Causing chemical reactions
For these reasons you must use less abrasive cleaning equipment.
Don’t apply too much force so you can prevent deep scratches and damage.
Proper maintenance requires relining the cookware as mentioned above.
Why is Copper Cookware so Expensive?
As mentioned copper cookware is quite expensive. This shouldn’t motivate you to try making your own utensils. You need the right copper and manufacturing processes to get safe cooking equipment.
Pure Copper Process:
Part of the challenge in manufacturing copper cookware is obtaining pure copper. Copper is extracted through a process of electrolysis. It’s time consuming and requires many resources such as energy. This all influences the final product price.
Many copper cookware items require an additional layer. These linings can be tin or stainless steel. This enables you to use the items for more cooking activities. Using copper without these layers means you can’t cook acidic substances. The addition of more materials increases the final price.
Copper cookware items are only manufactured in certain countries. If you’re buying it you’re probably covering some expensive import costs too.
Not all copper cookware items are made in huge factories. The smaller companies have to ask higher prices to cover their costs.
The moment an item becomes popular you know its price can rise. This is what happens to copper. Thanks to the many ways they enhance cooking copper items became coveted kitchen utensils. With a high demand and limited resources you’ll have to pay a little extra to make your wish come true of owning these beautiful products.
Are there enough reasons that count in copper cookware’s favor? Will you put it on your shopping list? The benefits play a role in both novice and experienced cooks’ kitchens. These pots and pans may be the items that launch your cooking into a next level.
There are no finer cooking vessels than copper pots and pans.
Beautiful to look upon, a vision of both form and function that hearkens back to Old World kitchens, sets of copper cookware are not only highly prized but also ideal for preparing any style of cuisine.
In addition to its versatility and general usefulness for preparing food, copper cookware also looks significantly more appealing when displayed prominently in your kitchen, adding a touch of Old World class.
Here is everything you need to know about purchasing your own best copper cookware without breaking the bank.
Built to exacting specifications with the highest possible quality materials, this cookware is beyond superb.
Here is what makes Matfer’s cookware a modern marvel. and one of the best copper cookware set on the market.
Lining: Stainless Steel
Thickness of the Copper: 2.5mm
Core Material: Stainless Steel
Set Number Pieces: 8
wHAT I LOVE
What is Less-Than-Loveable
Design and function must go hand in hand with every piece of cookware in your kitchen, and Matfer’s Bourgeat set definitely meets that criteria.
The cast iron handles counter balance elegantly with the weight of each pot and pan, and the 2.5mm copper outer layer is in the sweet spot for balanced cooking performance with quality of build.
The satin finish of the exterior also makes these some of the best looking copper pots and pans money can buy, and they are exceptionally easy to clean as well.
There really isn’t much to fault in this particular set.
The core beneath the lining is stainless steel as opposed to lightweight aluminum (which provides superior heat conduction and promotes even thermal distribution), and the cast iron fixtures and handles definitely add to the overall weight of each item in the set, but you really can’t say much else that isn’t overwhelmingly positive about Matfer’s 8 piece cookware set.
2.5mm copper outer layer
Satin smooth finish
Stainless steel core and interior lining
Counter-balanced cast iron handles
Extra strong cast iron rivets
8 piece set with lids
Cast-iron fittings and furnishings add significant weight to each piece
Core material is stainless steel as opposed to aluminum, which adds weight and does not provide the same thermal conduction.
Let’s take a look at all there is to love about this beautiful hammered finish cookware set .
Thickness of the Copper: 2mm
Core Material: Double-layered tin
Set Number Pieces: 7
wHAT I LOVE
What is Less-Than-Loveable
The chief advantage that this cookware set has over others is that the lining is a double layer of tin, with a tin core between the 2mm of copper and the interior lining.
This ensures absolutely flawless heat distribution and response to changes in externally applied heat, making temperature control of your cooking precise and allowing your cookware’s exterior to cool quickly after use for easier service and cleaning.
Best of all, the tin interior lining is a naturally non-stick surface, and the double-layering increases the longevity of your cookware so that it will provide many years of excellentservice without needing to be refinished by a metalworker to restore that lining.
The worst thing I can say about these pots and pans is that the bronze fixtures and fittings do need to be cleaned regularly and properly with a metal polish, and the exterior finish may require polishing from time to time in order to retain its brilliance.
Beyond this basic maintenance though, they are extremely functional and durable.
2mm exterior copper lining
Double Layered tin interior lining
Gorgeous hand hammered finish
Tin core for ideal heat transmission and uniform heat distribution
Artisanal sculptured bronze handles on all pots, pans,and lids
Bronze fixtures and furnishings require occasional polishing with a metal paste to maintain their appearance and prevent tarnishing
Exterior finish requires polishing to maintain its brilliance
The satin-like finish of the exterior is a gorgeous addition to any home kitchen, and the lighter weight of this cookware set makes it far easier to maneuver and use than traditional designs.
Here’s what there is to love about this cookware set.
Lining: Stainless Steel
Thickness of the Copper: 1.5mm
Core Material: Aluminum
Set Number Pieces: 8
wHAT I LOVE
What is Less-Than-Loveable
The triple layered design allows for exceptional heat distribution and temperature responsiveness, making these pots and pans ideal for precision cooking.
Much of the efficiency that this cookware set is owed to the copper outer layer and aluminum core that are sandwiched together with the stainless steel lining, providing superior temperature control and heating/cooling times thanks to the excellent thermal conduction of both the outer layer and the core.
Thinner layers of copper even in combination with aluminum do not provide the same experience or overall efficiency of real sets.
They definitely come close to that level of performance in many cases, but they just aren’t quite as efficient as non-triple ply alternatives.
Additionally, the stainless steel lids are not lined with copper or aluminum, making them less thermally efficient than the pans themselves.
Smooth copper outer layer-Triple ply design for increased efficiency and preventing “hot spots”
Stay-cool stainless steel hardware and handles
Stainless steel interior layer and lids
Three ply design uses less copper and an aluminum core to attempt to achieve the thermal conduction and efficiency of traditional copper cookware. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really measure up.
Lids are stainless steel with no copper or aluminum lining.
By sandwiching copper, aluminum, and stainless steel into three layers, they are able to provide the superior heat distribution and temperature control of traditional copper cookware without the heftier price tag.
Take a look at what there is to love about this cookware set .
Lining: Stainless steel
Thickness of the Copper: 1.5mm
Finish: Brushed Copper Finish
Core Material: Aluminium
Set Number Pieces: 10
wHAT I LOVE
What is Less-Than-Loveable
The Tri-Ply layering of these pots and pan definitely gives them a distinctively higher responsiveness than all stainless steel or aluminum non-stick cookware, and they are far lighter and easier to maintain than many comparable copper cookware sets.
Handles are cool touch stainless steel for easier handling, and the lids are stainless steel for lighter weight and superior durability.
The thickness of the copper is inferior to just about every copper cookware set, though this is more than likely a conscious engineering/design choice to lower the cost of the set overall without sacrificing the efficiency and versatility of a copper-lined cookware set.
The aluminum core between the copper and the stainless steel lining is obviously in place to help maintain thermal responsiveness and even heat distribution even since it is almost as good a conductor as copper and significantly less expensive.
A thicker copper layer, while more expensive, would definitely be an improvement in overall design and value, though.
Triple layer design to ensure optimum thermal efficiency and heat distribution.
Brushed copper finish minimizes scratching and wear
Stainless steel lining with stainless steel lids
Aluminum core for superior heat distribution and thermal efficiency without adding weight
Tri-Ply design contains a thinner copper layer that is compensated for by the aluminum core layer below the stainless steel.
It still has excellent responsiveness and weighs significantly less than traditional copper cookware, but overall it cannot deliver the performance of a 2.5mm copper cookware set.
The ceramic non-stick coating is truly marvelous to use and a breeze to clean.
It is also highly durable and certified non-toxic.
The aluminum core combined with the copper coating on the exterior gives this cookware set superior thermal efficiency at an exceptional price, and all of the lids are tempered glass to allow you to keep a close eye on your cooking when the cover is on.
Fixtures are stainless steel and stay cool even while cooking.
Best of all though, all pots and pans in this set are both oven and dishwasher safe.
In all honesty, there is a very thin layer of copper applied to this cookware set .
The aluminum core takes up most of the thickness of the layers, and the real selling point should be the non-stick lining and tempered glass lids.
If you like the look of a copper finish but aren’t concerned with the overall quality of build, then this is probably the set for you.
There are two kinds of cookware that any chef who truly cares for their art always keeps in their kitchen: a cast iron skillet and a full set of copper set.
While cast-iron is still considered to be the ultimate cooking surface in terms of even heat distribution,
it is only useful for specific applications where extremely high heat (in excess of 500 degrees Fahrenheit) is needed for searing or blackening specific kinds of foods.
Additionally, cast iron is significantly heavier and requires far longer to change temperature once it has been either cooled or heated.
That’s where copper cookware comes in.
Whether you are simmering savory soups and stews, frying or sauteing meat or vegetables, or delicious sauces from scratch, copper cookware is the ultimate choice for the discriminating profession or amateur chef.
Due to the exceptional heat conduction of copper, cookware lined with copper heats and cools quickly, making it extremely responsive to changes in temperature on gas or electric stoves.
There are numerous recipes and preparations that require the ability to maintain an exact temperature range in order for the dish to come out the way it is meant to consistently (such as beef sous vide).
The higher responsiveness of copper means less wait time while your pots and pans get up to temperature for cooking, which makes for a cooler kitchen and less overall energy usage as well.
Copper pots are perfect to made creams or sauces
Furthermore, also maintains an even heat distribution that is very nearly as efficient as cast iron.
This means no “hot spots” will form in your cookware, requiring you to shift your food around to where the temperature is higher in order for them to cook at an even rate.
All in all, copper cookware really does offer the best of all worlds when it comes to cooking dishes to exacting standards without having to worry about your equipment failing to match your skills.
What to look in a copper cookware?
When buying your own cookware, there are a few important features you want to consider.
After all, just as with any consumer product, not every copper cookware set is built like the others, and there are specific features and specifications you may want to take into account before purchasing the best copper cookware set for you.
Bear in mind that specific features do not have to add significant expense to the price of a set, and just because a set carries a heftier price tag does not necessarily mean it is of the best quality or possesses the features you are looking for either.
That being said, here are the particular qualities you want to closely scrutinize when shopping for your own cookware set.
A good general rule for evaluating the quality of a copper cooking pot or pan is how thick the layer of copper is that encases that pot or pan.
Too thick, and you risk a loss in the temperature responsiveness that makes a copper cookware so invaluable in the kitchen.
Too thin, and the manufacturer has clearly cut corners, and so the thermal efficiency is likely to be substandard.
Most professional chefs look for pots and pans with copper linings with an 1/8th of an inch thick copper lining, as any thicker or thinner and you lose the maximum efficiency of the copper lining.
Others look to the slightly thinner 2.5mm linings as their “sweet spot”, and swear by their superior overall performance to the 1/8th of an inch lining pots and pans.
Either thickness is an excellent option, and the difference largely comes down to performance on electric versus gas ranges.
The difference is largely academic in terms of statistical degrees of difference in performance anyway, most chefs start cooking with one or the other and develop a preference for that specific copper thickness from the formative years of their training as a chef anyway.
Smooth or Hammered:
Prior to the advent of modern manufacturing techniques, these cookware was judged by the appearance of the lining more than the actual materials used in construction.
Hammered finish copper cookware was highly prized, and the hand finished look of the lining was a maker’s mark of quality that assured anyone who looked at it that it was truly the work of a master craftsman.
All you had to do was look at how even and consistent the hammer marks on the outer lining of the pan were in order to determine the quality of the pan itself.
Smooth copper linings were cast or stamped, and were believed to be of lesser quality.
The reality is that in the 21st century, the appearance of the finish has little to no bearing on the craftsmanship of cookware, as both smooth and hammered finish was entirely made by machines.
Which finish you choose is largely a matter of aesthetic preference anymore.
Those who value function over aesthetics generally choose the smooth finish since it is just as efficient and effective as the hammered finish cookware.
Chefs and amateurs alike generally choose the hammered finish due to its Old World rustic appeal out of their own personal preference.
After all,, it’s not as if buying hammered finish copper cookware unlocks some hidden secret of cooking that can only be revealed by cooking with a hammered finish pot or pan.
There are two options that are popular when it comes to the lining of copper cookware: tin and stainless steel.
There are copper pots and pans that are unlined, but they are seldom used for actual cooking since they can expose people to harmful levels of copper in their food should they react to the acidity of a particular dish or ingredients.
Both tin and stainless steel have their benefits and drawbacks, but here’s the rundown:
This is the older of the two linings used in these type of cookware, and it has long been the material of choice due to its naturally non-stick nature and its similar conductivity to copper for both heating and dissipating heat.
The primary drawback with tin though is that over time it tends to wear thin over time.
Proper use and maintenance can forestall this, but eventually a qualified metalworker will need to reline your copper cookware.
The good news is that this typically only needs to be done every 15-30 years, so it’s nothing to fret over in the meantime.
Stainless Steel Lining:
As the more durable of the two linings, stainless steel also possesses excellent conductivity and heat distribution similar to copper.
However, stainless steel is not naturally non-stick, and even though it will not wear thin like a tin lining, you may find yourself investing a little extra work cleaning anything burned into the stainless steel.
Pros and Cons :
Like most cookware sets, copper has its own share of pros and cons.
On the positive end of the spectrum, it heats quickly and evenly and responds more quickly to changes in temperature at the heat source.
On the other hand though, tin-lined copper cookware wears thin more rapidly than traditional nonstick and stainless steel cookware, and copper requires more upkeep in terms of maintenance to keep it looking its best in the long haul.
The benefits, in the opinion of most chefs at any rate, far outweigh the difficulties given the consistently exceptional performance of copper.
It possesses the thickest copper layer with a durable stainless steel lining that will last for years while remaining easy to clean.
It is also the best built set thanks to its cast iron furnishings, fixtures, and hardware, and it is also much easier to keep the exterior finish in excellent condition with just a little regular polishing.
If you are in the market for a high quality copper cookware set, the Matfer Bourgeat is clearly the best value versus cost choice for the discriminating professional or serious home gourmet.