What is the Best Copper Cookware?
We’ve looked at a variety of options for quality copper pots and pans, but in the end, when you purchase the Calphalon Tri-Ply Copper 10 Piece Set, you are getting the best copper cookware at a very reasonable price, along with its reliable lifetime warranty.
Of course, if you are shopping for a chef’s sugar pan, the Mauviel M’Passion Copper Sugar Saucepan with Copper Handle simply can’t be beaten.
Quick Comparison: 5 Best Copper Cookware
|1|| Lagostina Q554SA64 Martellata Tri-ply Hammered Stainless Steel |
Copper Oven Safe Cookware Set
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|2||Cuisinart Tri-Ply Copper |
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|3|| Calphalon T10 Tri-Ply |
Copper 10 Piece Set
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|4|| Mauviel M’Passion Copper 1.9-Quart |
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|5|| New DEMMEX Hammered Copper Saucepan |
with Lid & Helper Handle
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Benefits of Copper Cookware
Copper cookware has perfect heat conductivity. It cooks through even heat distribution leading to better overall cooking and less of a chance of burning dinner. If there are any temperature or heat sensitive recipes you would like to try, using copper cookware is the best way to do so.
Copper stores heat well. Unlike with some cookware, meals cooked in copper will generally retain heat leaving dinner warm for longer. Its ability to store heat means that copper uses less energy which saves the owner money.
Copper has a very rapid response to heat. This means that it cooks faster than other materials, such as stainless steel. However, it also responds to the heat being turned down almost immediately. This gives the cook extreme temperature control.
Copper cookware is very beautiful when it is cared for. Since it is attractive, this type of cookware can be used to serve from at the table cutting down on extra steps in the kitchen.
Copper cookware is durable and long-lasting. The weight and thickness make the cookware stand against the test of time yet the pots are light enough that the cook can still lift it with one hand.
Copper is harmful to bacteria making it a hygienic and antibacterial cooking tool. Copper cookware kills more microbes during cooking than any other cookware reducing the risk of food borne illnesses.
Thanks to copper’s ability to adhere to any material it is lined with, it is very resistant to corrosion, keeping your pots cleaner and giving them a longer life.
Drawbacks of Copper Cookware
Copper is highly reactive with foods meaning that over time, eating directly from copper cookware can be dangerous. Manufacturers are lining this cookware with tin or stainless steel to make them safer.
Copper can lose its luster over time. The owner will need to polish the cookware often to keep it shiny.
Copper cookware is not dishwasher safe. It must be both washed and dried by hand to keep it in good condition and free from spots.
Copper cookware is actually one of the most expensive types of cookware so it is an investment.
How to Choose the Best Copper Cookware?
Before you buy, keep these quick tips in mind while shopping for the very best copper cookware:
If you opt for a familiar quality brand like Calphalon, Cuisinart and even the European Lagostina, you are likely to get a good set of pans.
Beware one-off brands with no reputation.
Purchasing a set of copper cookware is an investment, not a quick solution to fill up your kid’s first apartment.
Expect to spend between $300 to $800 for a set that will last a lifetime–not just a few years.
Features for Durability
Look for triple-layer construction, riveted handles, and stainless steel lids. Lifetime warranties should also be included with your purchase.
When you opt for copper cookware, you will be hand washing your pans.
Detergents will discolor the interior and exterior of your pans, but won’t harm its ability to perform.
copper cookware are not designed to work with induction cooktops.
Even if the product page says it is, it probably isn’t.
What Are The Top Features of the Best Copper Cookware?
- A quality copper set of pans will feature a triple-layer of metal, with a copper exterior, an aluminum insulating layer, and a stainless steel or aluminum cooking surface.
- Your pans should not be overly heavy or thick as the bottom layer of copper is crucial for proper heat transference. An extra heavy layer of stainless will only hinder the performance of the pan.
- It is entirely your choice whether you prefer a hammered or smooth exterior. The hammered exterior on most modern copper cookware sets is purely ornamental. It can require more labor to maintain its attractive appearance.
- Flat bottomed pans allow ceramic-top stoves to work well with your copper set.
Types of Copper Cookware
As many benefits as cooking with copper may have, it is not without its problems. The biggest of these problems is the danger it can pose to your health if not properly made and maintained.
If copper cookware is not lined with another type of material, it can let off toxic fumes causing sickness, and in extreme cases even death.
Due to the health risks involved in cooking with copper, most manufacturers have begun making their products with more than just copper.
- Copper Clad- Copper is generally sandwiched in between two layers of steel. This allows for the copper to work well with fumes trapped in between the steel layers.
- Copper Ceramic– These cookware sets are made primarily from ceramic that is infused with copper. This combination is great for heat distribution and cleaning.
- Copper Bottoms and Copper Core– With both of these options, the cookware is made mostly of aluminum or steel with only a portion made of copper.
Related: Copper Chef Pan Reviews
Is Copper Cookware Safe for Your Health?
Most modern copper cookware sets feature triple-layer technology which adds a protective layer of stainless steel or aluminum for the cooking surface.
This prevents any copper from leaching into your food and protecting the health of your family. If you use an unlined copper pan, it is possible for the mineral to seep into your food, especially if preparing highly acidic dishes like tomato sauces.
Nevertheless, if food is immediately removed from the pan after cooking, a negligible amount of copper may be introduced to the dish which should pose no threat to your health.
5 Best Copper Cookware Reviews
We’ve compiled the best copper cookware reviews to help you find the set that meets your budget.
This attractive set of copper cookware features a hammered exterior for that old-world charm while providing fast and even heating to your food.
It is the best copper cookware set for preparing fine dishes on the stovetop and finishing them in the oven using temps up to 500F.
You will find a full collection of pans including a 7-inch and 9-inch frying pan, along with a 2-quart, 3-quart, and 6-quart pot ready to help you prepare almost any kind of dish.
The 10-inch saute pan with its high sides is perfect for searing meats with a polished stainless steel interior. All of the pans come with stainless steel lids that seal in moisture and heat.
The hammered exterior should be maintained using a soft cloth and copper cleaner to remove oxidation a few times a year.
However, the patina of a well-used copper cookware never interferes with its performance in the kitchen.
Triple-layer construction offers even heating and rugged durability. The manufacturer sends these pans to your home with a limited lifetime warranty, so you know you are investing in a quality set. It’s is truly one of the best copper sets in appearance.
- Beautiful hammered exterior
- Oven-safe up to 500F
- Lifetime warranty
- Not recommended for the dishwasher
- Overly heavy construction makes it awkward to move pans about the kitchen
- Pay a premium for the exterior–not the performance
Cuisinart is well-known for producing quality kitchen accessories at a more affordable price, and this set of the best copper cookware is no exception to that rule.
This set comes with a polished copper finish, that blends well with the most contemporary decor.
You are only receiving 8 pieces in this set, instead of 10, but that basically boils down to losing one pan.
There is a 2 1/2-quart and 4-quart saucepan, 2 frying pans, and the saute pan. Like its competitor, they can pop into the oven up to 500F and the handles stay cool to the touch when cooking on the stovetop.
Cuisinart features its Heat Surround Technology which helps to dissipate heat up the sides of the pan for more even and thorough cooking when working sauces and stews. This set can be used on gas, electric, and glass-top stoves, but doesn’t work with induction.
Care should be taken to avoid scratching the exterior of the pans, as the polished finish will show each and every defect. However, users report that for the price this set of copper cookware performs exceptionally well.
- More affordable price point
- Polished exterior works well with modern kitchen decor
- Provides even quick and even heating up the sides of the pans
- Made in China
- These are not non-stick pans–you will be cooking with oil
- Metal utensils will scratch the cooking surface
Calphalon has built itself quite the reputation for quality cookware over the years and this set offers their iconic shapes and stay-cool handles that are probably part of your kitchen. This is the best copper cookware when looking for value and variety in one convenient collection.
You will receive the usual collection of pans including two sizes of frying pans, two sauces pans, the large 6-quart pot and a saute pan.
They are able to transfer from the cooking top to the oven, but only up to 450F, so no broiling under any conditions.
The exterior is brushed copper, which complements the brushed appearance of the interior stainless cooking surface. They are not specifically designed as showpieces, but rather workhorses for your home and look the part.
All that being said, users have reported that this set has a lighter and thinner construction compared to Calphalon sets manufactured more than 10 years ago.
The lids are reported as feeling flimsy. However, the company still stands by their product with a full lifetime warranty, so if you have had success with Calphalon in the past, you have nothing to lose.
In the end, when you don’t want to spend a fortune and still get a great set of pots, this is the best bang for your buck.
- Great price for the number of pans
- Calphalon has a sterling reputation for producing quality pans
- No worries about losing the polish on the exterior
- Lids and handles feel thin
- Only oven safe up to 450F
- Must be hand washed
Now, if you are hunting for a quality copper pan to heat sugar in for your candy-making endeavors, you have come to the right place.
This Mauviel small 1.9-quart pan might cost a pretty penny, but it comes with the backing of centuries of cooking technology behind it.
Its thin construction conducts heat nearly instantly to the contents of the copper pan, melting sugar and reaching the boiling point no in time at all.
When you remove it from the burner, your mixture will rapidly cool ready to attain the exact consistency you need for caramel and other soft sweets. All this absolutely makes this the best copper cookware for candy making.
You would be purchasing this pan because you need professional tools for your candy shop or hard-core hobby. The conical copper handle is riveted to the pot, ready to stand up to years of abuse.
It offers a comfortable grip so you are able to better control the pour of your mixture into molds for cooling. It was designed and manufactured in France, the home of fine pastries and desserts.
- Great for boiling sugar for candy making
- Unlined copper provides near instant heat and rapid cooling
- Conical handle allows for more control when pouring
- Expensive-this is a fine instrument, not a soup pot
- Should not be used for cooking vegetables or sauces
- Easily dented
If you are shopping for a more traditional copper cookware, like the ones used in gourmet kitchens in the early 20th century, this DEMMEX saucepan just might meet your needs.
This is manufactured without triple-layering technology, instead of relying on the tried and true methods of lining the cooking surface with tin.
It features a handsomely hammered copper exterior with polished handle.
The handle is not heat resistant and the pan should not be used in the oven. While the product is described as lead-free, that applies only to the pot itself.
There is no guarantee what is in the handle or lid and since it is manufactured overseas, reliable information can be difficult to come by. Users report it is a quality pan that provides even heating and cooking.
This product is the best copper cookware for displaying your pretty pans, but perhaps not for daily cooking.
- Beautiful hammered exterior
- Traditional tin lining for rapid heating and cooling
- Quality construction
- No guarantees on if it is a lead-free product
- Single pan for a high price
- Handle gets hot while cooking
What Can You Cook in Copper Pots?
Copper cookware is best suited for most stovetop applications. Temperature sensitive sauces, eggs, fresh vegetables, and fish respond exceptionally well when cooked in copper.
If you are a baker, an unlined copper pan cannot be beaten for boiling sugar, as it will rapidly allow the temperature in the pot to rise to speed the process of liquefying sugar.
An unlined copper pan should not be used for day to day cooking.
How Does Copper Make Cooking Easier?
Copper is very good at conducting heat quickly and evenly. It also cools off much faster than other metals when removed from the heat.
Aluminum offers good heat transference but does not react with the speed that copper does.
Copper is a very soft metal and if you purchase a set of copper cookware with no additional lining of stainless steel, tin, or aluminum the pots can become deformed under even normal use.
Aluminum is one of the strongest metals making those pots nearly impossible to dent.
On the other hand,
your copper pots can be beaten back into shape and continue to perform just like new. You will never get the dent out of an aluminum pan.
Copper Cookware vs Ceramic Cookware
Copper cookware is excellent for cooking vegetables, eggs, and even steaks on your stovetop as you are able to adjust the temperature in the pot almost instantly. Ceramic is designed to hold heat over a long period of time, making it the perfect option for baking dishes and slow-cookers.
A ceramic sauce pot will scratch over time and lose all of its non-stick characteristics. It can also shatter when dropped.
Ceramic is heavy, while your copper cookware will be much lighter.
There is a place and time for an elegant ceramic baking dish, but when considering a cookware set, copper will win out every time.
Copper Cookware VS Stainless Steel
Copper and stainless steel cookware are both popular options for cooks so how do you know which one to pick? As they both have ups and downs, it really depends on what you need. Following is a comparison of the two:
- Does not bend, chip or break easily
- Is dishwasher safe
- Holds up against heavy wear and tear
- Is non-reactive to foods
- Is the cheaper option
- Low maintenance
- Provides uneven cooking that can lead to hotspots and burned-on food
- Is prone to rust
- Lacks the luster of copper
- Provides even cooking
- Is rust and corrosion resistant
- Is hygienic and antibacterial
- Stores heat well
- High maintenance
- Reactive to foods
- Is the more expensive option
- May dent easily
- Must be washed and dried by hand
The decision between the two is a personal one. Before deciding you should ask yourself questions such as:
- How much time am I willing to spend caring for these pots and pans?
- How important is it that they be dishwasher safe?
- How often am I willing to replace them?
- Do I cook temperature sensitive foods like sauces and candies?
Answering these questions should help you decide between stainless steel and copper cookware.
Copper Cookware VS Non-Stick
Let’s look at how nonstick pots and pans stand up against copper. We have previously discussed the pros and cons of copper cookware, but let’s reiterate to keep the comparison fresh:
- Is more hygienic
- Retains heat well
- Is durable when cared for properly
- Saves on energy usage
- Is more expensive
- Requires a lot of upkeep
- Is not dishwasher safe
- Is easier to clean
- Is cheaper
- Is lightweight
- Is mostly durable
- The nonstick surface may release toxic fumes while cooking
- May scratch or chip easily leaving some coating in your food
- Does not retain heat well so food quickly cools
Though nonstick may be more affordable and easier to care for, you should consider the health risks. The toxic fumes released may harm pets or humans so it may be worth the extra money and effort to upgrade to lined copper cookware.
How to Cook in Copper Cookware Successfully?
You can cook pretty much anything in copper, but to do so, you should know how to use it correctly.
First, understand that cooking will be sped up so it is best to have everything out and prepared before turning on the pan. Have all chopping and slicing done first and have all ingredients within reach. Second, you should never preheat a copper pot.
As the copper heats so well, it will heat the lining off of your pan if there is nothing in it. At the very least, have it oiled before putting it to any heat.
While we are on the subject of that lining, try not to use any metal utensils while cooking on copper to prevent scratching the lining. Remember, this lining keeps you from cooking copper you’re your food.
Next, many people suggest cooking at half the temperature you normally would. For instance, if you normally cook pancakes on medium heat, start on low heat.
You will likely get the same results though you may need to adjust temperatures a bit to find the perfect one.
Lastly, avoid searing any meat in your copper cookware as searing temperatures are high enough to melt the lining off of the pan.
How To Clean The Inside Of Copper Cookware?
After use, wash your copper cookware with liquid dish soap and warm water. For food that does not want to come off easily, put soapy water in the pot and simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes. This will loosen any stuck on food.
If you choose copper cookware that is unlined with another type of material on the inside, you must keep the inside clean and shiny between washes. If not, verdigris may transfer to your food and have health consequences.
There are two ways to remove this verdigris from the inside of your pan. You may either clean it with a vinegar and salt solution or sprinkle salt on a cut lemon and rub the pot or pan with it.
Be careful, though, as copper may scratch easily. Do not scrub with a scouring pad or the tough side of a sponge.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our best copper cookware reviews and the buying guide and will find the right cookware set for your budget and needs. Share your thoughts about these products in the comments below or with your friends on social media.
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