What You Need to Know about Copper Cookware

What You Need to Know about Copper Cookware

Copper is one of the oldest metals used for cookware. It has the advantage of being the most favorable metal for heat conduction and is up to 10 times more so than stainless steel or glass. Heating times should, therefore, be reduced when using copper cookware. Heat above medium temperature is rarely required.

However, copper is soft and scratches easily. It is also essential that copper pans be lined with another metal, such as tin, stainless steel or nickel. This in itself is problematic, because all but stainless are not very durable and must frequently be repaired professionally. Tin can melt over 450 degrees, Fahrenheit, so even if overheated only a few times, it can become compromised.

Copper cookware may become tarnished from acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, and can leach into foods, creating an unpleasant taste, and can even cause illness when it does so. Good quality cookware will use a process that bonds or laminates copper to stainless steel or other metals, preventing this from occurring. Others will utilize the copper as a core element layered between other metals.

Copper cookware does not need to be shiny but does look great when polished and cleaned properly with just a little effort. The cookware experts do not recommend putting your copper in the dishwasher. You will want to take special care of it because it is not cheap by any means. Would you believe it is even possible to pay $500 for a frying pan?

Most often we associate the color of copper with a bright, shiny satin finish. However, there is copper cookware that has a ‘brushed’ texture. It appears this would be much easier to keep looking like new and would require less polishing. There are heavy duty designs as well, usually in the large stockpot size. You would want the set to match, whichever design you choose.

If any cookware could be designated as the most ‘gourmet’ cookware, it would have to be said of copper cookware. In spite of all of the things that must be taken into consideration, it is still the choice of gourmet chefs all over the world. It certainly looks the nicest when maintained, especially when hung on hooks or displayed on racks for a nice homey atmosphere in the kitchen.