Discover The Best Copper Cookware
Copper has been praised as the ultimate culinary metal since the dawn of history. Copper cookware always compares favorably to other types of cookware. Some chefs couldn’t imagine beating egg whites in anything other than an unlined copper bowl or making a sauce without a copper pan.
Why copper is so important for cookware? It has some unique physical and chemical features: durability, hygienic and corrosion-resistant, which are valuable for culinary material but not the crucial one. The Exceptional Heat Conductivity is the most secret of copper.
Supreme Heat Conductivity
We all know that copper works well as an electric conductor. But what makes it the perfect cookware material is the excellent heat conductivity. In this respect Copper is about ten times of glass, almost twice that of aluminum and even twenty times better than stainless steel.
The Precise Control of Cooking
That superior heat conductivity of copper guarantees the most even distribution of heat from bottom to upper sides of cookware made of it. The heat will evenly spread over the cookware and dispense accurately as you want. So it cooks quickly and locks most water inside the food, which is the most important factor for the delicious taste of your juicy recipe.
Also they cool down fast when removed from the heat. The cook has much greater control of temperature and minimizes the danger of scorching. That is why copper cookware are the tools of choice among so many serious chefs.
Henri Boubee, the former chef of Windows on the World restaurant in New York City, had ever claimed that “Copper cookware heats uniformly, holds the heat best, and it cooks the quickest”. That opinion is now still prevalent among numerous famous cooks.
As a result of good conductivity the efficiency is high with copper cookware, it is possible to cook with less energy which is beneficial for environmental protection.
Other Physical and Chemical Features
Besides this copper also has excellent plasticity or to say malleability, it can be easily modified to the shape needed even without help of modern machine. In fact some luxurious hammered copper cookware win a lot of reputation for their traditional delicate workmanship.
For chemical respect, it is slightly acidic and may react some substances within foods. That is thought to be some reason why egg whites beat within an unlined copper bowl produce a significantly higher volume than that is done within other metal container.
In some cases, unlined copper is desirable, for instance in the preparation of meringues and foams. Copper pots are expensive, require re-tinning and, when made with thick copper plates, are heavy. With modern metallurgical techniques, such as cladding, copper can be incorporated into the construction of cookware, often as an enclosed heat spreading disk.
Copper is considered poisonous by someone, while others cherish it for curing arthritis. Many myths and mystique around copper make thing more complicated. In fact copper naturally exists in human bodies, various food sources and earth’s crust. In most circumstance copper is perfectly safe for human.
Modern science reveals that copper cookware also has an antibacterial effect. Microorganisms such as germs and bacteria cannot survive on a copper surface. That is the reason why water pipes and door handles in hospitals are often constructed of copper. As a consequence, the transmission of germs can be prevented.
But unlined copper can react with acidic foods, which can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. That copper toxicity was discovered though research of cooking with old unlined copper pots.
You do not have to worry about this. The only two available utensils made of traditionally unlined copper in this country are jam pans and bowls which are for caramelizing sugar and beating egg whites respectively. They have specialized shapes and styles, you might not make a mistake easily. All other modern copper cookware are lining with tin, nickel or stainless steel.
For normal cooking demands, we need lined copper pans, because copper can react with acidic food and seep into food during cooking and then cause copper toxicity mentioned above. Taking over dose of copper would be poisonous to human body.
Besides from that copper is a soft metal that is highly vulnerable to scratches and dents(Hammered copper cookware can resist scratching at a certain level but not completely it is an inherent feature see hammered copper cookware).
Lining is an efficient way to overcome these annoying faults by placing an inert substance between the copper and the food. The metal employed for lining is important — some conduct heat better than others. Many metal including silver have been tried in history for lining copper cookware, but only two practical matter are readily available: Tin and Stainless Steel. Sometimes nickel is regarded as an alternative to tin in someway.
Main lining metal and their characteristics
Tin is almost the good conductor as copper. They cooperate well with each other. So tin is honored lining material with long tradition for copper. But as a low-melting soft metal tin is also vulnerable to scratch and may eventually wear away with time. When this happens cookware may have hot spots, a small section of the pan gets super hot and creates scorching. You need to have your copper pan relined to recover the glowing style.
Tin plating may turn into more or less grey over time. This discoloration is normal and poses no threat to your health.
Stainless steel is becoming an increasingly popular lining material for copper because it neither melts nor scratches like tin. Stainless steel maybe not the best conductor, but it has strength, durability and easy cleaning. So stainless lining is the most common way we encounter presently.
Nickel lining copper is a recent development that has received favorable reviews from various experts. It is nearly as good as tin in heat distribution and does not need relining frequently.
*Unique Unlined copper cookware*
Unlined copper cookware has its unique market. All unlined copper utensils should be used only for specific purposes. Basically these cookware are in two forms unlined copper jam pan and unlined copper bowl. Copper pan is just what you need to make delicious jams and jellies. Unlined bowl is for beating egg whites.
Copper Cookware items can be categorized on characteristics and functionality. As the old traditional cooking device source copper cookware covers the whole product line of this category. From the basic daily skillet to specialize fish poacher. In fact, that range is more diverse than imagination for copper cookware has a long history worldwide.
Skillet – This most important cookware item for everyday cooking. Choose the right size copper skillet according to your household. Some non-stick copper skillets are perfect quick cookware for egg-eaters.
Dutch oven: One of the fundamental elements in the basic cookware range. Copper Dutch oven has supremely even heat that is ideal for slow-cooking meats and vegetables such as potatoes, as well as simmering savory.
Sauté Pan: For searing and sautéing meats, vegetables, and chicken, pick a stainless-steel sauté pan. This pan will prove to be your most versatile. Not only can you sear anything to a golden brown but you will also be able to make a quick sauce with pan drippings.
Stockpot – This is a cookware that will meet all your boiling needs from preparing stock to boiling pasta. That it is a good inexpensive buying option severs multiple purposes at once.
These are essential part for a complete cookware set over 10 pieces, and of course they are something commonly used. After getting the basic items you might add some specific elements of your requirements to build personalized copper cookware set. Some of the items that you may consider are
This table is not complete so it contains just a few items that can be included in your cookware set, and there are numerous other options that are also available.
Solid copper cookware have elegant attractive appearance and they definitely stand out in a kitchen when you expose them or use them as decoration. Copper pots are greatly valued by the cook, shined and displayed as prized possessions.
You should be aware of the fact that copper has its own unique features and limitations. Pay attention to these tips I list below before getting copper cookware
Your purpose and budget
Top quality copper cooking utensils come with high value so they are costly compare with stainless steel cookware. Superior set come with a price tag ranging from $300 to over $1,000. One single copper Dutch Oven may cost 3 hundred bucks. Copper cookware is not something cheap so do some work to obtain the right one.
You must make sure what you want for copper cookware. Searching for a wedding gift then a complete cookware set contain all basic essential cookware types will perform its work. Or maybe you are a senior cook want to update from some separated skillet or pot then that suits you as well.
For someone wants to experience the wonderful heat feature of copper products getting a copper pot for every occasion is too rushed. The reasonable step I recommend is to find out which one or 2 pots have been most continuously used in your kitchen, get those in copper to start. And trust me once you have this cookware you have no ability to resist the lure to update your collection to a 1o or 12 piece set.
Copper cookware is also an investment that can offer a lifetime of service that is definitely worth the money
Weight and Thickness
High gauge copper pan can generally deliver better and more uniform heating to the food than a lighter one. The optimal thickness of high quality copper cookware to highest heat conduction is 2.5mm. This is something simple to judge a good solid copper cookware.
This is the paradoxical feature of copper cookware for nice copper cooking ware is heavier than normal cookware, not suitable for weak wrists. If you have that kind of worry solid copper making cookware maybe not the best choice. Copper Core Cladding or hard-anodized ones might be a nice place to star with, they usually come with a lighter weight and high performance conductivity.
Copper cooking surfaces are usually lined with tin, nickel, or stainless steel. Tin or nickel linings are not very durable, and therefore should be recoated if these surfaces wear thru to the copper on the inside of the pan. However, tin melts at about 450°F, avoid damage that accidental overheating might cause.
Top quality cookware may use a manufacturing process that bonds or laminates copper to stainless steel or other metals. Others utilize a core of solid copper sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel to distribute heat uniformly.
Some stainless steel coating with a thin copper layer on the bottom, in terms of conductivity that is better than pure steel but cannot compete with solid copper for the heft of copper it has is too little to hold sufficient heat.
Reputation and Customer feedback
As mentioned above French copper cookware, has a long history and always been considered with top quality. French continues to be the main source for high value copper cookware. Portuguese, Canada, Germany, Chile, England and China are other countries capable of high caliber, heavy gauge copper cookware. It’s the thickness and lining of copper that determine its capability, not the nationality. Customer feedbacks are always the good reliable source to judge a fine copper cookware.