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Lightweight copper pans


SparrowsFall
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Hi All:

For my daughter's 16th birthday, I want to buy her a 10" copper fry pan. Stainless inside.

What I really want, though, is a *light* one, that she can flip with. (She's only 5'2", 110 lbs.)

The obsession these days is with thick and heavy, to avoid burning and give even heat distribution. But this pan's for things like quick-frying shrimp or sausage or zucchini or fried eggs or foie, not simmering sauce. She's quite competent to keep those things from burning in the few minutes they take.

Especially if the pan's light enough that she can give it a shake or a flip!

So, any advice on *lightweight* copper-out(/alum disk?)/stainless-in pans? Tin-lined would be okay too. What matters to me is: lightweight, the beauty of copper, plus a good smooth flip curve to the thing.

Thanks!

Steve

"Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon." --Dalai Lama

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The obsession these days is with thick and heavy, to avoid burning and give even heat distribution. But this pan's for things like quick-frying shrimp or sausage or zucchini or fried eggs or foie, not simmering sauce. She's quite competent to keep those things from burning in the few minutes they take.

Bad idea. You can saute beautifully in a copper pan but it has to be heavy. The only light copper pan I've seen is an antique that I have hanging on my wall for decoration only.

There's a reason for the "obsession" with thick and heavy, it's because it works well.

You'd be better off getting a stainless pan - or one of my favs is Swiss Diamond non stick, great for eggs especially.

*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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I agree with others here - heavy is heavy for a reason. Light pans tend to be pretty useless - they burn easily precisely because they are so light. I would suggest, especially for a 16-year-old, something decent and inexpensive, like a calphalon non-stick or stainless pan. I wouldn't fool around with copper at all.

"A culture's appetite always springs from its poor" - John Thorne

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Yep. I'll have to add my voice to the chorus here: there's no reason to buy lightweight copper. And, really, the only copper light enough to make a difference is not actually designed for cooking (Mauviel's Table Service line). If you just like the looks of copper, you can always get All-Clad's Cop-R-Chef line, which is an aluminum core with stainless cladding on the inside and a thin copper cladding on the outside. In my opinion, however, you'd just be buying the maintenance hassle of copper with the performance characteristics of aluminum.

If you want to get your daughter a lightweight ten-inch frypan she can flip, and if strength is an issue, you're better off going with stainless clad aluminum. Keep in mind, however, that a fully loaded frypan is going to be heavy no matter what metals are used in its construction. Also, with a ten- to twelve-inch frypan, there's no reason she should expect to be able to flip a full pan one-handed.

I'd recommend taking her to a well-stocked cookware store, letting her try a variety of frypans to see which one is the most comfortable for her.

Another consideration: if you want a pan for quick-frying, there are other choices. You could get a heavy-gauge carbon steel frypan. Cheap, light and great for quick-frying. Or, also great for quick-frying and with the added functionality that it can be used to do quick braises or prepare quick pasta sauces that are then cooked together with the not-quite-done pasta at the end, you could get her a disk-bottom design sauté pan. One advantage of the sauté pan design, is that she won't have to lift and flip the pan to move the ingredients around -- the reason the pan has straight sides is to that the cook can simply shake it back and forth on the stove to bounce the ingredients off the sides and back into the pan. This would allow her to have the thermal benefits of a heavier pan, but without worrying about arm strength.

--

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Sigh. You people are right of course. I just really *want* there to be a nice light pan that performs well.

If all I wanted was performance, of course, I just get her one of those $20/$30 steel pans that all my favorite restaurants use by the stackful. (Mine is the first one I reach for, almost every time.) I don't really understand the cookware fetish thing.

But the copper has some family-history resonance (I only reveal the details to close friends), and she (like me) won't really care whether it's shiny except once a year (or decade) maybe. And it's something she'll treasure and delight in, take with her to college, such like that. Steel just doesn't cut it for sweet sixteen.

So I went with CI's best value choice, the Gourmet Standard 10" (copper, alum, stainless), $60 with free shipping.

http://www.cookwareessentials.com/asp/show...id=FR75-GST1102

Thanks for the input!

Steve

Edited by SparrowsFall (log)

"Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon." --Dalai Lama

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