If you have never cooked with copper, perhaps this year you will decide to give it a try. First, of course, is the aesthetic value. Whether hammered copper or polished, gleaming pots and pans have a certain appeal and look stylish both when in use and when stored. Some chefs even choose to forgo plating their dishes and instead serve them directly to the table in copper vats. In addition to its visual value, copper has unique properties that make it ideal for cooking. As a metal, copper has the greatest electrical conductivity. This means it responds quickly to temperature changes, allowing you to heat and cool with precision. It also means you can usually use less heat because it heats more efficiently. Please note that for food safety, copper cookware must be lined (think: stainless steel, aluminum, etc.), so don’t go looking for 100% solid copper products. Another thing about cooking with copper is that the thicker it is, the more efficient and long-lasting it will be. (Therefore, the more expensive it will be.) Whether you are trained in the French culinary arts or you are new to the whole field of cooking, rest assured that there is something for you.
1.Mauviel Copper Tri-Ply M’3 S 7-Piece Cookware Set
This copper cookware set is so beautiful, you’ll just want to stare at it. Seriously: while it won’t magically transport you to the French countryside, cooking with it comes pretty close.
Made by France-based Mauviel, this cookware set is likely exactly what you imagine when you think of copper pots and pans, even if you don’t realize it. Made with a stainless steel interior, a heat-sensitive aluminum core and a copper exterior, it heats quickly and evenly on both gas and electric stovetops. The set includes a 10-inch skillet, a 2-quart pan with lid, a 3.5-quart sauté pan with lid and a 6.5-quart stew pan with lid.
According to some reviewers, while all copper takes time to clean, Mauviel’s feels particularly cumbersome. The manufacturer recommends washing your hands and then drying them immediately.
2.Hammered Copper 10-Piece Cookware Set
Lagostina Martellata makes beautifully crafted sets at a much better price than other copper cookware sets. But you won’t sacrifice much in quality by choosing a cheaper set: these copper pots and pans have the same stainless steel cooking surface as other Lagostina Martellata stainless steel cookware we’ve tested.
They excel at browning sirloin steaks and braising sauces. Unlike some other copper sets, the handles also stay cool while cooking.
3. Lagostina Martellata Tri-Ply Copper Cookware Set
Another top cookware brand, Lagostina, is known for creating quality products at affordable prices, and this cookware set is an example of that. Including two frying pans, two pans with lids, a stockpot and a frying pan with lid, this is a very comprehensive set.
At the lower end of the price range, these pans are quite similar to the other models on our list in many features, from heat conduction to cleaning and maintenance. Lagostina is known for its ergonomic design, which is reflected in its longer, thicker handles and supports that provide a more comfortable grip when handling pots and pans. They are a fraction of the price of similarly designed Viking sets, which makes them a win in our book. During testing, the frying pan cooked the fish perfectly without overcooking it, and the edges of the pan were high enough to prevent butter or sauce from splattering.
“This is the type of cookware that I feel comfortable using every day,” Alexandra says. “It’s durable and well thought out, but not quite pretty enough that I would worry about it breaking if I used metal in it instead of plastic.”
4.Williams Sonoma Thermo-Clad Copper Set
The Thermo-Clad set gives you the copper cookware experience at a lower cost than some other sets on the market. The 1.2 mm gauge copper is thick enough in appearance to impart the thermal efficiency of copper without adding significant weight. The stainless steel lid is dishwasher safe, but apply non-soaking detergent to hand wash.
While tinned copper is traditional and offers the best temperature control, stainless steel is a reliable choice for home cooks. Stainless steel does not unduly reduce the heating capacity of copper and provides a durable and non-reactive cooking surface.
Copper will develop a copper green color over time and can be polished or left alone as it will not negatively affect cooking performance. Williams Sonoma recommends using a copper polish or a combination of lemon and salt to clean copper.
5.Matfer Bourgeat Matfer Copper Cookware Set
The French family-owned company Matfer Bourgeat has over 200 years of experience in producing kitchenware for professional chefs around the world. Their American subsidiary was founded 30 years ago to meet the needs of American chefs.
Among Matfer’s various innovative products, the Matfer 8-piece copper cookware set is one of the best copper cookware sets on the market.
It has a thick red copper casing that is 2.5 mm thick. As a result, it provides better heat conduction and uniform distribution than most copper cookware. In addition, the surface can withstand high temperatures and is also easy to clean.
Turning to the inside, the red copper cookware set has a smooth stainless steel lining. The 18/10 steel construction is not only extremely durable, but also maintains a sleek polished look that complements the copper exterior.
In addition, the cookware includes cast iron handles with sturdy rivets to provide you with stability and security. The cool-touch handles provide a firm grip so you can carry your hot pans without tipping them over.
In addition, the 8-piece set includes a variety of sizes of pots you may need for your kitchen. You can cook sauces, sauté vegetables or roast meats in pans suitable for grilling and ovens.
To lock in moisture and flavor, the Matfer cookware set comes with four heavy-duty copper lids. In addition to fitting snugly over the pans, the sturdy lids include sturdy handles that help lift them easily.
What to Look For in Copper Cookware
The thickness of a copper stove has a significant effect on the speed and efficiency of its heating. Aim for about 2.5 to 3 mm. Thinner than 2 mm may result in slower and more uneven heating of the copper. In addition, thin copper cookware is more likely to warp and dent.
Copper cookware is usually lined with tin or stainless steel. Although stainless steel does not conduct heat well, it is more durable and easier to clean than tin. However, tin heats up faster than stainless steel, thus reducing the risk of “delamination” (separation of the liner from the copper). Tin is also non-reactive and relatively non-stick, but requires special maintenance due to its delicate nature. While unlined or bare copper cooking containers are rare, there are some designed for specific tasks, such as jam jars and mixing bowls for beating egg whites.
Copper cooking containers usually have a hammered or smooth finish. The type of finish you should choose depends on aesthetic tastes and what is available from each brand; it does not determine the quality of the cookware. Whereas hammered copper used to be used to strengthen the metal, today it is decorated by machine. Hammered copper cookware is usually high gloss, with smooth finishes available in matte or shiny versions.