If you have the same serious love for cooking as I do, then you will get to a stage where you will be searching for decent cookware. My copper pots are my favorite go-to-do-anything pans, and I just love them! There are a few things to learn so you can choose a quality set among the myriads, and I’ve chosen five I would consider myself if I were going that road again.
- Mauviel M’heritage M250B 9-piece 2.5mm Copper Cookware Set with Bronze Handles
- Amoretti Brothers
- Matfer 915901 8 Piece Bourgeat Copper Cookware Set
- Lagostina Martellata 10-Piece Copper Cookware Set
Why Choose Copper Cookware?
The two best heat conducting metals are iron and copper, and both are excellent for cooking. Iron can store heat and retains it well, but is slow to heat up and slow to cool down.
Copper has the highest heat conductivity and heats up twice as fast as other metals, but it also cools down quickly. This is an advantage while you are cooking, but not great if you want to put the pot on the table for serving. You may need a warming pad for that.
You will always have a few favorite pots that do a specific job well and work in with your unique style, but I also appreciate having a set of all round good cooking pans that I know I can rely on.
The thing I love about copper is its apparent sensitivity giving you much more control over the cooking process, allowing you to depend more on your intuition and judgment. This takes some time to learn, but the learning curve will make you a more skilled cook sooner as you learn to manage the heating and cooling processes of cooking with copper pans.
Copper lasts a long time, and if you buy right the first time and maintain it well, chances are you won’t have to replace your copper pans for at least a decade.
Copper is excellent at conducting heat and maintains an even temperature through the surface. It doesn’t scratch or corrode easily and can stand up to sudden changes in temperature, making it the best choice for recipes that require precise temperatures.
And let’s not forget how amazing copper cookware looks! It is certainly an impressive stove to table option.
How to Choose Copper Cookware.
There’s nothing more stunning that a set of shiny copper pots hanging from a kitchen ceiling. Copper pots make a statement about the cook. They show she has taken care to use the best equipment, and you can rest assured the cooking results will show.
But not all “copper” is copper, and there are a few things worth knowing to make sure you get the best cookware for your investment.
Thickness of the copper layer
The number one rule for discerning the quality of copper cookware is the thickness of the copper layer. It should be no less than 1.5mm to be considered advantageous for cooking.
Anything less is merely cosmetic and will not give you the advantages for which copper is known. The best quality copper cookware will have a 2-2.5mm layer of copper.
Because copper heats quickly and has excellent thermal conductivity, you will use less gas or electricity by using a lower hotplate setting, saving energy waiting for the pan to come to temperature.
Because heat is distributed evenly in copper pots, avoiding hot spots, it is less likely that food will stick.
What kind of lining is best?
The next thing to look for is what the copper is lined with. The best and most durable lining is silver, but that is out of most home cooks’ budget! The most common linings are stainless-steel and tin.
Stainless-steel is far inferior to copper for thermal conductivity and may somewhat compromise the effectiveness of the copper. This is something to consider when working out value for money. Stainless-steel is tough, dependable and long lasting, and doesn’t react with anything, so is still a good choice if you need low maintenance cookware.
Tin, although softer and not as hard wearing as stainless-steel, has long been a favorite lining for copper and many cooks vouch for the superior taste it produces in food over stainless steel.
Tin will wear over time, but should still give the home cook at least a decade of excellent use. Re-tinning the lining may be necessary eventually, but unlikely. Because tin wears down, it will leach into your food, which is a good thing – we need trace elements of tin in our bodies, just as we do iron from iron pots. Tin also needs to be cared for, so it doesn’t rust.
Try to find a valuable informational Youtube video about the topic.
Cooking with Stainless Steel Copper Pots vs Tin Lined Copper Pots
The Improv Chef – What pans are best to cook with
How Should I Care for My Copper Cookware?
Taking care of your cookware ensures consistent results with your cooking. Copper does tarnish and will need to be scrubbed and polished to keep its shine, though I kind of like the rustic look, at least for a little while!
I clean my pots a couple of times a year using a copper cleaner and scouring pad which takes a lot of the work out. Though lemon juice and salt also does a good job.
Generally speaking, you should avoid washing copper pots in a dishwasher, which can dull the surface. Washing by hand will ensure the surfaces are kept to an optimum. Check the manufacturer’s care instructions to make sure.
Copper pots do not need to be pre-heated as they heat up very quickly.
Do I Need to Use Special Utensils?
If you have chosen pots with a tin lining, this will need to be seasoned, so it doesn’t rust. Because it is soft, you should not use metal utensils as they scratch the tin adding to the wear, and you don’t want to allow for rust to enter through scratches.
If you want to go all out and set yourself up, then a complete cookware set will get you up and running. Due to the touchiness of copper cookware, it is helpful to have all your cooking gear the same, so you don’t have to switch your mindset to each pot’s abilities.
Every cook soon learns how helpful it is to be able to time everything well and consistent cooking depends on you knowing how each piece will perform. Having all your pots of the same material and quality is the key to being well organized and producing good results.
The 2.5mm thick copper layer on these pots gives optimum heat conductivity, and the 18/10 stainless-steel inner makes for easy cleaning and durability. Mauviel offers a lifetime warranty on all their pots and pans.
Suitable for all stove types including induction
Made in France by long established company
Individual items available to purchase separately
Set may be too large for some
Bronze handles heat up
The first thing I will say about Amoretti Brothers copper pots is that a lot of thought and care has gone into their very French design. But more importantly, they tick all the boxes for quality copper cookware.
The gorgeous beaten copper design, bronze handles, and filigree knobs will look stunning on your table, but more importantly, you will want to know the specs, right?
The 2mm copper base has a double layer of tin lining which has been applied by hand and will give the pans a longer life than a single layer. Tin is also an excellent heat conductor, so these two combined make a very good cooking surface, though you will need to factor in that both copper and tin need caring for to keep them in good condition. The hand-crafted bronze handles are both strong and elegant.
Specifically states 2mm thick copper
Unique and stylish design
Double layer of tin
Extra care needed for both copper and tin
No lid for frying pan
Reputed to be the best on the market, this commercial grade cookware set certainly has all the specifications quality demands. As such, it will probably last you a long time.
A 2.5mm layer of copper coupled with stainless steel inner gives excellent performance along with easy cleaning. The non-drip edge allowing for easy pouring and preventing dripping down the sides of the pan shows thoughtful design.
This set of four modern designed pots includes a 9 1/2 inch casserole with lid, a 7 1/8 sauce pan with lid, a 9 1/2 flared saute pan with lid, and an 11 inch brazier with lid all of which you are sure to use regularly, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you ended up just sticking to these for all your cooking requirements.
The cast iron handles with extra strong rivets complement the red copper very nicely and the tight fitting lids will ensure moisture retention which is important when cooking rice.
For the money, a serious cook might want more pots than this, but it is still a good basic set. If you’re a home cook wanting to take your culinary skills up a few notches, this set will certainly go a long way in getting you there.
It may be too expensive for the home cook
It may not have enough pieces in the set for some people.
4. Lagostina Martellata Hammered Copper 18/10 Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set, 10-Piece, Copper
If your budget is tight, but you still want quality cookware that gives you all the beauty of copper, the Lagostina 10 piece set is a good choice. It includes all the copper pots you could want to cook up an elaborate meal all at an affordable price.
It is basically of stainless-steel construction with a copper exterior increasing the capability of the stainless-steel, which in theory will perform better than plain stainless-steel cookware. The Try-ply base is copper with an aluminum core and stainless-steel inner lining providing good even heat distribution, which is important to get good results for your cooking.
The classic beaten copper surface will look great on your table which will save on washing dishes by not having to use another serving dish. Beauty, durability and good performance are all bundled here in this set.
Classic beaten copper surface
Oven and broiler safe
Safe to 500o F
The tri-ply base does not state the thickness of copper.
Not dishwasher safe
If you are looking for individual copper pots that will do the job and look great, then Kuprum copper pans may just be the answer. Kuprum pots have a copper thickness of 1.5mm with a tin lining, making the most of the copper’s heating ability.
The tin lining adds to the rustic look of these pots and means better tasting food. However, you will need to consider the little extra care required in maintaining them. As long as the tin surface is properly cared for it will serve you very well.
Individual pieces make it easy for anyone to start their collection. Hand-made in Turkey, the stylish design with a lighter color hand beaten copper surface is very appealing. There are lots of interesting matching pieces that other brands do not offer such as an Eggs Benedict pan, Turkish coffee pots and even a Watering Can which will make your collection building fun and add interest to your kitchen decor!
Other lovely pieces to match
Copper 1.5mm thickness
Not suitable for induction cook top
Not dishwasher safe
It’s a tough choice, and I’m hard pressed between Mauviel and the Amoretti Brothers, but when it comes right down to it, if I were willing to spend over a grand on cookware, I’d go with Mauviel. Because I’m a serious cook and know from experience the excellent results quality cookware produces, the specs win over every time for me.
Although I love the quaint French design of Amoretti Brothers cookware and appreciate the double tin lining, I’d choose the Mauviel for its thicker copper layer.
I do like the heating capabilities of tin, but I feel Mauviel’s generous copper layer neutralizes any reduction that may be caused by the stainless-steel inner. I also like to spend more time cooking than cleaning, and minimizing that aspect is high on my list!
Why Mauviel over Matfer Bougeat? Only the fact that the Mauviel set includes more pans for the price than Matfer Bougeat and that’s important when I’m using a few pots in one recipe such as my Xiangyang Beef Noodles.