Homeowners are always a tad bit skeptical when it comes to investing in cookware made from copper. These sets are known to be expensive and daunting to maintain. However, if these are your major reservations for not owning a copper cookware set yet then worry no more.
These sets often spice up every kitchen décor with their perfect functionality and aesthetics blending. As for the price and maintenance, I have rounded up 8 of the best copper cookware that appeals to both ends of the spending pyramid.
Also, there is a section highlighting the best practices for maintaining your spectacular cooking pieces. Throughout this article, I will also be sharing with you copper cookware buying tips, how to take care of your pieces, and the benefits and drawbacks amassed from owning one.
8 Best Copper Cookware 2018
This ten piece Tristar Products offers you a practical option to your search for a copper cookware set. For your wide array of cooking needs, you need a versatile cooking set that also looks great in the kitchen. The pieces are made from copper with a coating of Cerami Tech. this coating gives the frying pans a non-stick cooking surface.
This coating eliminates the need for using grease, butter, or oil when cooking to keep the food from sticking onto the interior. Since little to no food sticks, cleaning the mess after you are done cooking becomes a straightforward affair. Note that it is only the frying pans that are made from copper and not the rest of the pieces.
With this cooking set, you can prepare almost all your favorite meals on any cooktop surface. Be it an induction, ceramic, glass, electric, or gas, you should be good to go after making a purchase. Their flat bottom makes the use of these cooking surfaces possible. For those with ovens, you can as well transfer the pans in there as they remain heat resistant up to 8500 F.
This high-quality copper cookware actually features a 5-layer construction. There is a double layer of polished ceramic as the outer top layer, followed by a non-stick base layer coated with ceramic. The third layer is an aluminum core to provide an excellent heat conductivity and distribution medium.
Fourthly, the outside exterior layer comprises of a high-temperature resistant coating. Lastly, an induction base has a stainless steel layer for heat retention as well as quick heating. Another excellent feature is the versatility of the pans. They perform 6 cooking functions, all in a single product. Despite their excellent performance, it requires lots of effort to prevent food from sticking.
- Excellent heat conductivity
- Multi-purpose pans
- With care, it remains non-stick
- Withstands regular use
- Handles remain heat resistant even in the oven
- Ergonomic, sure grip metal handles
- Dishwasher safe
- Usable over multiple cooktops
- Eco-friendly construction
- See-through glass lids
- Bonus cookbook and cutlery
- Food still sticks to the surface
- Bottom bows
- Reported stovetop explosion with the set
Instead of buying several cookware pieces that you may end up not using, Copper Chef offers you another way of solving your cooking needs. This is their 9.5” square-shaped frying pan for almost any type of cooking. Made from copper and a ceramic coating that withstands the test of time, you can broil fish, make desserts, bacon, scramble eggs, bake chicken and prepare omelets among others.
This frying pan comes with its tempered glass lid. Such a type of lid has temperature restrictions to prevent it from shattering while making the process of checking up on your food such an easy task.
Unlike ordinary fry pans that are round, this particular one is square-shaped. As a result, it creates more cooking space than is available in the other contemporary designs.
The pan has a high rate of heat conductivity and retention for the reason that it has an induction plate at the bottom. This plate is made from stainless steel thus evenly distributes the heat from the source to the rest of the pan. The end result is a perfectly browned steak, pancake, omelet, and fish. Since the pan is dishwasher safe, cleaning afterward is hassle-free.
Together with the lid, this cooking set does not oxidize or get tarnished when exposed to too much heat. Therefore, it remains eco-friendly as it does not contain any traces of PFOA and PTFE. Hence, you shouldn’t worry about these chemicals leaching into your food. A non-stick interior demands that you use non-metallic utensils such as silicone, wood, bamboo, or plastic.
Sturdy handles on the 9.5 inches pan let you transport it, even at full load. It is metallic and may become hot, so be cautious when holding onto it. The skillet endures oven temperatures as high as 8500 F. You shouldn’t use it with the lid at this temperature (use only up to 5000 F).
For a pan touted as non-stick, I don’t like how food sticks on it either for the first time or after a while.
- Excellent heat retention
- Very affordable
- Versatile pan
- No cluttering of the kitchen with unused pieces
- Works on an induction cooktop
- Comfortable handles
- High heat resistant glass lid
- Even cooking with no heat spots
- No toxic substances that could leach into your food
- Generously sized pan
- Riveted handle provides a secure way of holding a pan full of food
- Loses its non-stick coating
- Only a single piece is in the package
- Food at the corners tend not to cook on certain burners
The 10-inches BulbHead square-shaped pan does not come solo. It is accompanied by a number of other pieces to make the pan even more useful. First of all, the pan is made from ceramic that is infused with copper. The result is an internal pan surface that is both non-stick and resistant to accidental scratching. That being said, if used recklessly, it would still get damaged.
Essentially, this pan is engineered to take care of most (probably all) of your cookware needs in a single frying pan. It remains safe in the oven, provided the temperature is not in excess of 5000 F. Consequently, you can utilize this frying pan in an oven or let the food cool under the broiler. At that temperature, ensure the lid is not on it.
A height of 4 inches guarantees that food does not splatter around as you cook. Consequently, you can conveniently prepare sauces or deep fry your preferred foods. Also, there are about 8 other ways to utilize this pan. It can roast, deep fry, braise, steam, fry, sauté, bake, and broil. When cooking, the helper handle comes in handy, especially for moving or emptying the full pan.
Thanks to a non-stick coating, all the hassle of scrubbing and scraping involved in cleaning is eradicated. In case you want to do a simple light cooking job, just use a cloth to wipe the surface. Although this frying pan is indicated to be dishwasher safe, the coating degrades at a faster rate. Hand washing it with non-abrasive cleaners and warm water is recommended.
At the high cooking temperatures, you should have a piece of mind knowing that the non-stick coating is non-toxic. In case the coating flakes, it wouldn’t be a bother since there are no hazardous PFOAs and PTFEs. Despite rave reviews, there are still notable complaints about the bottom that doesn’t sit flat on glass stovetops and the poor finishing of the outer coating.
- Scratch resistant
- Handy helper handle
- Nothing sticks provided its well-seasoned
- No splattering of soup
- Easy to empty because of the corners
- Dishwasher safe
- Non-toxic ceramic coating
- Compatible with a variety of utensils
- Recipe guide included
- Glass lid vented for crispy foods
- Other pieces improve the performances of the frying pan
- Poor finish that leaches paint on some cooktops
- Food ends up sticking to the frying pan
- Some products have a warped bottom that does not sit flat
For an additional number of pieces in a cookware above the normal 5 pieces, the bulkhead 10824 might be an answer. With this, you get additional cooking pots as well as a steamer, and not just extra lids. The red copper outer finish given to these pots adds an extra deftness to their appeal. They provide a visual appeal to your kitchen cookware setup.
Construction is done from a copper material infused with ceramic to give the pieces a desired glossy appearance. Additionally, the inner high-tech ceramic coating results in a non-stick and scratch resistant inner cooking surface. This set contains the essentials you need to kick start your cutlery collection. Seasoned chefs and novice cooks would still find them easy to use.
With the 10 pieces, it is no problem to fry eggs, sauté veggies, simmer food, prepare hollandaise sauces, heavy sauces, boil foods, steam your fresh veggies, and cook stocks in the stock pot. Tempered glass lids retain moisture inside while the vent on them releases the moisture intermittently for the most appropriate cooking levels.
A thin aluminum layer forms part of the ceramic-copper bonding. The highly conductive aluminum is responsible for the uniform and quick heat transfer property of this cooking set. Heat spots that result in uncooked food portions are thus averted. Since this set is made from copper, it is not a pure non-stick.
You have to follow the prescribed seasoning procedures so that the cooked food slides off the pans and stock pots. And to optimize their performances on a regular basis, the seasoning has to be frequent. The pots and pans stay oven safe up to 5000 F. While it is indicated that the warranty is a lifetime, when any of the pieces get damaged, replacement is never forthcoming.
- Exhaustive pieces in the set
- Looks great
- Saves on cleaning time
- Doesn’t require cooking spray or extra oil
- Riveted handles do not get loose
- Oven-proof pans
- Stays scratch-free provided no metallic utensil is used on them
- great packaging for a gift
- Sturdy enough for daily use
- Not dishwasher safe
- Warranty complaints are taken back and forth
- Still ends up chipping and scratching
The SHINEURI copper cookware set comes in a variety of cooking utensils to meet your recipe demands. It is a set that is convenient for cooking, roasting, steaming, stewing, as well as frying. As multi-purpose pans and stockpots that are varisized, preparing these recipes shouldn’t be a problem. While these may not take off all of your recipes, the set does allow you to cook a vast majority.
The effectiveness of the set is down to the materials from which the pieces are made from. Stainless steel, copper, and aluminum metals are blended together to create a heat efficient cookware. Aluminum acts as the heat distributor, stainless steel handles which are riveted onto the walls of the pots and pans add to the integrity, while copper gives it a glossy appearance.
Whereas the tempered glass lids are oven-safe up to 3500 F, the rest of the pieces can remain in the oven until it reaches 5500 F. And since the handles are stainless steel, you do not have to worry about them melting at such extreme temperatures. The glass lids have vents and looped handles also made from stainless steel. This construction makes it easy to peep and check the progress of the cooking food.
For cooking enthusiasts looking for non-stick copper cookware, this option is a viable choice. On the inside is a ceramic coating that restrains foodstuffs from sticking onto the surface. In this way, you spend less on butter and oil that you would have used to preheat the utensils in order to lessen your cleaning work thereafter.
A stainless steel layer infused into the bottom of each piece acts as a medium to facilitate induction cooking. Other options include ceramics, electrical, and gas heating appliances. Do not use any metallic meshed scrubbers on this set as it scrapes the ceramic coating and the polished interior and exterior respectively.
- Have induction compatible bottoms
- Steamer included in the package
- Lightweight for fast heating
- Even heating
- Holds up for years
- Easy to clean
- Short learning curve for beginner
- Great value for the money
- Affordable if you consider the number of pieces included
- Shouldn’t be used with any metallic scrapers
- Requires an amount of food inside for detection by an induction top
- Requires extreme precautions to retain the nonstick coating
Concord cookware is among the most popular cooking set brands currently available. This set combines affordability, high-quality construction and popularity. A deep design in all the elements accommodates more food per cooking session. Likewise, the food neither splatters around the rims nor spills over when you have a little bit too much in a pot.
Also, the pieces have a heavy-duty construction. From the moment I held one of the pots, I could feel how weighted they are. This feature is great for heat retention that’s a necessity especially when searing meat. That’s not all, the typical brown copper with smooth finish results in a beautiful set of cookware.
High-grade ceramic combined with copper creates a healthy combination that’s also eco-friendly. The copper portion makes the pieces heat up at a fast rate while also evenly distributing the beat up to the rims. Since it picks of heat fast, you have to take full control of the temperatures otherwise the food might end up burnt.
High-quality stainless steel coating on the helper handles reduces their tendency to heat up. All in all, you still have to use a mitten as the handles do get hot at times. The set is highly versatile when it comes to cooktop options you are able to use. Induction, gas, electric, and ceramic stovetops can all be used.
While on the subject of ease of use, the specially designed rims make it easy to transfer contents from a pot to a pan and vice versa. Moreover, the resulting mess after cooking is easy to sparkle. However, you have to be careful not to scratch the thin copper coating. Even tapping on the pot with a spoon is enough to result in a scratch.
- Oven safe
- Low maintenance requirements
- Cleaning is a breeze
- Smooth, polished finish
- No need for additional oils and sprays
- No heat spots
- Heavy making it ideal for simmering
- Induction compatible
- Sturdy, classy stainless steel handles
- Easy to transfer contents
- Prone to scratches
- Coating peels off after a couple of uses
The Cuisinart CTP-11AM is among the most luxurious copper cookware. If you want to spend a little more to get a good quality tri-ply cookware set with 11 pieces, then here is an option you may consider. The price might be a turn off for some chefs, but trust me, the durability and quality of construction delivered would be worth the money spent on them.
The professional-grade 3-layer construction optimizes the performance of the cookware set. As a result of the copper, stainless steel, and aluminum composition, the set is highly conductive. This means that heat should be regulated between low and medium, or else you run the risk of burning the cooking foodstuff.
The same care should also be extended to when cooking over gas stovetops. Tune the heat such that the flames only heat the bottom and not the side. Any flames on the sides discolor the elements as much as it leads to wastage of energy as the flames on the side do not work. If the heating proves difficult to tame, then a flame tamer could be a problem solver.
Copper exterior works in both ways. It heats up fast, but then also cools down the pieces in a very short time for a precise temperature control. In place of a nonstick interior, this cookware has stainless steel. A care routine is outlined by the manufacturer that does not involve scouring with metal pads. Soak in warm water and then use a sponge to clean the inner surface.
Cleaning the pieces in a dishwasher is not recommended. The stainless steel lids can, however, be cleaned there. While it is oven safe up to 5000 F, the contoured handles will get hot. Exercise precautions when handling. In as much as I like this set, I feel that it takes lots of efforts to maintain. Loosening food that sticks in the cooking surfaces can also be a discouraging task.
- Full range set
- Super-fast heating up
- Luxurious look for kitchen beautification
- Handle stays cool unless in the oven
- High temperature resistant stainless steel interior
- Tight sealing lids
- Effective heat surround technology
- Cools down quickly
- Retains the polished finish for a while
- Perfect pot sizing
- Even cooking
- Heavy duty
- Care instructions clearly outlined
- Stringent maintenance requirement
- Stains with Ease
- Discolors after a while
The Calphalon T10 is a 3-ply copper cookware that combines three materials commonly used for cookware. Individually, copper, aluminum, and stainless steel have an array of flaws. But when fused into a single product, each individual drawback is masked by the other. The design is such that stainless steel is in the interior, aluminum in the core, and copper on the exterior.
The 3-ply construction makes the pieces more manageable in terms of heating. Gracefully curved, the bonded materials each serve a specific purpose. Both brushed copper outer surface and middle aluminum core makes for superior conductivity. On the other hand, the inner stainless steel is highly polished for an inert cooking surface that doesn’t react with foods.
Even when cooking acidic foods, the satin-finished interior remains shiny without discoloring. Similarly, flared rims make it easier to empty the pieces. This feature is great when avoiding having to deal with food messes as well as keeping you safe from hot spills or splatters. Moreover, a tight seal is also created between the rims and the stainless steel covers.
Curved, streamlined cast stainless steel handles stay cool, even when the rest of the cookware heats up. Their lightweight and ergonomic nature adds to the comfort levels of the cookware set. Steel rivets are used to fix the handle in place instead of having screws that get loose after a while.
Because of the 3-ply bonded construction, the stainless steel that’s magnetic is on the inside. Consequently, the cookware can be used on an induction cooktop. In addition, other options such as halogen, glass, electric, and gas are viable. Chefs should also note that the pieces should not be stacked on top of one another as it might end up scratching their inner polished surfaces.
- Lifetime warranty
- Stay-cool handles
- Non-reactive interior
- Prepares just about any meal
- Requires only low to medium heat setting
- Tight sealing lids
- Maintains the luster when the right washing routine is followed
- No flaking to worry about
- Excellent durability
- Might not need any butter when properly pre-heated
- Great looking polished surfaces
- Dishwasher ruins its quality
- Lids create a kind of vacuum that’s hard to open
Benefits and Drawbacks of Copper Cookware
Perhaps you are still undecided over whether to buy a copper cookware or not. The truth is that this cookware has lots of reasons why you should choose them over other kitchen sets. At the same time, there are a couple of drawbacks associated with owning a copper cookware set.
To give you a bit of perspective, I will discuss both sides of being the proud owner of a new set of copper utensils.
Benefits of Copper Cookware
1. Looks Attractive
One of the striking features of a copper cookware is their great looks. The brown copper color undeniably looks great when hanging from your kitchen rack. Also, you are able to swap these sets from the stove top to the serving table.
2. Exemplary Heat Conduction
Very few cookware materials conduct heat better than copper. They are so quick to react to the cooktop temperature, thus allowing you to perfect your browning techniques. Searing, sautéing, frying, and searing are also possible.
3. Superb Heat Distribution
Conducting heat is one thing, but distributing it throughout the cookware is another feature altogether. Heat spots become none of your worries hence alleviating the concerns over uncooked portions of food while other portions are over-cooked.
As a cook, I meticulously consider how heavy my cookware is when using it. Copper is a relatively heavy material hence allowing the pieces to sit securely on a cooktop. The good thing about copper is that the weight is balanced such that it’s neither too heavy to lift nor too light for detection by certain stovetops.
5. Copper Has Anti-Bacterial Properties
The good news about copper cookware is that it helps combat bacteria present in your foods. Such bacteria include salmonella and E. coli that causes food poisoning.
6. Copper Aids Your Digestion
Traces of copper that finds its way into your food helps combat digestive constipation or gastrointestinal issues. Also, thanks to a detoxification capability, copper reduces the acidity levels in the food being cooked.
7. Helps You Lose Weight
Having your food or drinks infused with copper fastens the breakdown of fatty cells. It is these cells that are responsible for the increase in body fats. Thus, when reduced, your body weight lowers to manageable levels.
Drawbacks of Copper Cookware
Some of the advantages of copper cookware such as quick heating and even heat distribution come at a cost, quite literally. Let’s take a look at some of these.
1. A Steep Learning Curve
If you are making a switch from non-stick cooking pans, learning how to properly use a copper cookware will take you some time. First, you cannot preheat a copper cookware when empty. You then have to figure out how much butter, oil, and the right temperature needed to ensure the foods don’t stick onto the cookware.
Copper is also thicker and this means that foods requiring low heat to cook take longer to get ready. At the same time, since it heats up pretty fast, you need to have all your ingredients ready on the go.
2. Needs to be Hand-Washed and Dried
Part of the drawbacks is the extra amount of care a copper cookware needs. Handwashing and a subsequent drying is a must if you want to retain the same appearance of your set. To prevent them from tarnishing, corroding, and developing a patina (grey-green/blue-green film), hand washing is recommended.
No dishwashing please, even when recommended by the manufacturer. After you have washed them, dry the pieces immediately to prevent corrosion and accelerated tarnishing as the water drips from the elements.
3. Routine Polishing is a Must
I think some of you have had a not so great experience with having to polish silver tableware. The pain and the smell are not very pleasing. Your copper cookware requires the same amount of detail to remain shiny, as you love it.
Depending on the lining on the cookware, this polishing may not be required. It is the unlined products that need more attention so that foreign minerals are not introduced into the food.
4. May not Work on an Induction Stovetop
An induction stovetop requires a magnetic cookware so that the electromagnetic fields can vibrate to generate heat via molecular friction. Unless the cookware has a stainless steel bottom, then you might want to hold onto your interest in copper cookware just yet.
5. Susceptible to Scratching
Copper is a naturally soft material. The cookware thus becomes feeble, more so when it’s made from pure copper. Copper is also prone to denting.
How to Pick the Best Copper Cookware
1. Cookware Thickness
The copper cookware with the highest quality has to meet certain thickness criteria if it is supposed to work its magic for you. Up to a certain limit, a thick cookware yields better cooking results than a thin one.
What this means is that you should give preference to a thickness of over 2 mm and above. All in all, the best choice for durability is a 2.5mm thick cookware. It would have efficient heating and cooling capabilities while being likely to be compatible with all stovetops bar induction.
Above 3mm, the efficiency of the cookware reduces as it takes too long for the pieces to heat or cool down after cooking.
Every consumer has their own preferences when it comes to choosing a copper cookware. To this regard, copper pots and pans feature a hammered or a smooth finish, which is in a way related to the quality of the item.
Nowadays, it is common to find both hammered and polished surfaces combined so as to make it easier for you to make a choice. Because of a great deal of craftsmanship involved in making a hammered finish, they are pricier than a smooth finish but are less popular.
3. Cookware Liner
Copper is a reactive metal and would definitely react with the foods being cooked, more so if it’s acidic. To mitigate these flaws, most of the cookware is lined with other metals. Basically, there are 3 different configurations to choose from which are bare copper, stainless steel, and tin.
- Bare Copper
This is the least expensive option and the least desirable as well. Highly acidic foods such as tomato sauces react with the copper layer, thereby leaching too much copper into the food. As you all know, when in excess, copper is harmful to the body.
However, you can still opt for the unlined option if you want the superior conductivity. What you should do is buying an individual piece, and not a whole set of unlined copper.
- Stainless Steel
Of the 3 options, stainless steel is the most popular lining. It does not rust, scratch, dent, or tarnish with ease. Also, stainless steel requires no specialized cleaning and is usable at high temperatures. On the negative side, it’s nonstick which requires seasoning, too much salt cause pitting and is likely to separate from the copper layer if used at a high temperature.
Here is a less common option for the copper lining. Tin offers a surface that’s smooth, nonstick, and requires no seasoning, unlike stainless steel. Just like copper, tin is an effective heat conductor to enable browning. On the downside, tin requires regular re-application of the tin layer. It cannot also withstand temperatures above 4500 F and is easily scratched.
4. Type of Copper Cookware
Generally, apart from pure copper, there are 4 different types of copper cookware to opt for: Copper clad, copper ceramic, copper bottom disk and copper core.
- Copper Clad
If you have seen any copper cookware with a “tri-ply” suffix or prefix in its name, then that is a copper clad cooking pot or pan. What it means is that three metal layers are bonded together across the bottom and sides of the pieces.
Often, it is an aluminum layer sandwiched between inner stainless steel and an outer copper coating. Alternatively, any other material configuration can be used. This design yields the best heat transfer, retention, and distribution.
- Copper Ceramic
These types either use an infusion of copper and ceramic, or bond the two. Alternatively, the ceramic is applied as a coating inside the pans and pots to give it a nonstick property. Enamel is the most commonly used ceramic to offer protection to the copper layer.
- Copper Bottoms
Instead of having the copper layer throughout the bottom and side of the pieces in the cookware set, it is only used at the bottom. A copper disk is fitted at the bottom of the set elements to evenly distribute heat during cooking. It is a popular type among copper cookware that can be used for induction cooking.
- Copper Core
A typical copper core pan has an encapsulated disk with bonded materials at the bottom only and not along the sides. This disk usually takes the design of the cladded copper, except that the disk is only at the bottom.
The popular combination includes copper, aluminum, and stainless steel to make the cookware induction compatible.
5. How Many Pieces?
This goes for all the cookware sets. Determining the number of pieces is one key consideration you have to make. The more the pieces, the money you’ll have to pay for the set. A limit exists beyond which you won’t need all the pieces, particularly if most of them are lids and utensils.
A number of pieces can range from 1 to 16. When choosing between how many you need, factor in the number of people you usually prepare meals for. The sizes and capacity of the pieces is also critical. In a typical medium-sized set, there should be a couple of skillets, saucepans, and stockpots.
6. Handles and Lids
The handles on these pieces of cookware are made from cast iron, brass, or stainless steel. For those with a love for heavy items, stainless steel or cast-iron handles are the best. Due to the smooth nature of the former, getting a good grip may be hard.
Also, both types should be usable in an oven. For those with a preference for light cookware, 2mm and below, a brass handle should be enough. Just watch out for discoloration and handles getting hot after a while.
How to Clean Copper Pots and Pans
A copper cookware is a high maintenance kitchen addition. It requires tender loving and care if it’s supposed to last you for long with the same kind of appearance you bought it with. Cleaning is, therefore, a huge part of the process.
- Routinely polish the surfaces of the pots using a high durability metal cleaner. Similarly, a homemade technique that works is the use of lemon dipped in salt then used to rub on the surface of the pot. Then use warm water to rinse the pot, and then finally drying it.
- Do not soak the cooking pots and pans overnight whether it is tin, stainless steel or bare-lined. Wash off the food residue immediately after you have finished cooking.
- Don’t use the dishwasher for cleaning of a copper Hand-wash the items then use a cloth to dry the dripping water immediately.
- Use the lemon and salt technique or vinegar to remove copper stains that develop on the surface.
All your kitchen accessories require that you do a proper due diligence research before buying them. This step ensures longevity, effectiveness, and how the items perform in the kitchen. One such accessory is a copper cookware.
Due to the soft nature of copper, these sets need proper care if you and your customers are to enjoy the meals you prepare in them. Plus, proper care would make them last for ages, which then gives a good return on the investment.
For the best copper cookware in 2018, I think the Calphalon T10 Tri-Ply copper cookware set comes out on top. The 3-ply construction makes for an unrivaled heat conductivity, retention, distribution, ease of care, and kitchen aesthetics.