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Samoth

Advice on first copper pan purchases

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Hi everyone - my first post here :)

I've been having a loooong read of Sam Kinsey's excellent kitchen cookware tutorial, and a good search through the archives, and I can't find anything that quite answers my query so here goes. Apologies if I've just not searched thoroughly enough.

I'm thinking of buying my first copper pans - I currently have a mixed collection of aluminium disk bottomed stainless steel straight sided saucepans, stockpots and conventional saute pans, various brands and pretty thick bottoms, that I'm quite happy with. I also have some some Meyer Anolon non-stick lined, anodized aluminium pans that I'm less happy with - I've had them for some time now and the non-stick is giving out.

So I'm figuring on replacing these, and being somewhat better off than during my last lot of saucepan purchasing, then buying a few select copper pans to fill the gaps in my existing collection seems like a good idea. Turns out that getting Falk Culinaire in the UK is nigh on impossible, but Falk will sell direct themselves which at least seems less perverse than ordering saucepans imported from Europe into the USA back to Europe again :)

Inspired by the stuff I've read, what I'm figuring on getting is a large 11 inch curved sauteuse evasee, as it seems like a great all purpose pan. I'm also thinking that one or two straight sided sauteuse evasee in smaller sizes would be useful for reductions and the like, although I'm not sure if I want smaller straight sided ones, or smaller curve sided ones, or both.

Basically my question is, what kind of sizes and shapes are liable to be most useful to me for sauces and reductions, assuming the 11 inch curved sauteuse evasee is a given? I'm thinking something more medium to small sized, 1-2 quarts 6-8 inches?

Any advice would be gratefully received

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I have two straight sided Mauviel cuprinox saucepans.

One is 14cm (5.5 inches), the other is 18 cm (7.1 inches).

They are unbelievably good for reducing sauces and all other cooking activities requiring a saucepan.

While they don't come with a lid, you can easily improvise one when you need to cover then by using a plate.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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If I could have one copper pan it would be my 1.5 liter evasée (flared saucepan). It's one of the 2.5mm Mauviel Cuprinox pans ... Bourgeat and Falk make equivalents.

This is the most versatile pan I've used for serious saucemaking, including reduced cream sauces and emulsified egg sauces. For this kind of use the fast response and even heat of copper puts a big smile on my face.

I have a few other copper pans, but they could more happily be replaced by aluminum.

For lids you can get aluminum or stainless commercial ones for cheap at the restaurant supply store.


Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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If I could have one copper pan it would be my 1.5 liter evasée (flared saucepan). It's one of the 2.5mm Mauviel Cuprinox pans .

Thanks, that's really helpful, and just the kinda thing I wanted to know. Mauviel are much easier to find here in the UK, but they don't do a really big curved evasée like the one I was thinking of, which is why I was looking at Falk for that.

I wasn't sure what kinda size would work for the straight sided ones, so your answer helps a lot!

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I've got a 13 piece set from Ruffoni. I like them a lot but If I were to replace them, I'd go with a stainless steel lining. The handles are a bit narrow making it hard to pour the bigger ones with one hand. And nobody really needs copper lids. The 3 quart saute pan gets the most use.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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...what I'm figuring on getting is a large 11 inch curved sauteuse evasee, as it seems like a great all purpose pan....

Basically my question is, what kind of sizes and shapes are liable to be most useful to me for sauces and reductions, assuming the 11 inch curved sauteuse evasee is a given?  I'm thinking something more medium to small sized, 1-2 quarts 6-8 inches?

Any advice would be gratefully received

We have two of the Falk Belgium "bombée" pans, the little 1.5 quart one sold as a "try me" by the American distributor, and the 3 quart 9.5 inch one.

I really like them both, but if I was doing it again I'd be tempted to go for the "Mijoteuse" version [two loop handles, same pan shape] of the large pan, and would definitely do so if buying the 11 inch version. An easier fit in the oven for one thing. Before dropping the money, I'd recommend loading up one of your existing pans to simulate the weight, and wave the result around for a while before deciding.

Dry, the 3 quart pan is an honest 5.75 lbs. The 4.5 must be about 8lbs dry.

cheers

Derek

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Hi everyone - my first post here :)

I've been having a loooong read of Sam Kinsey's excellent kitchen cookware tutorial, and a good search through the archives, and I can't find anything that quite answers my query so here goes.  Apologies if I've just not searched thoroughly enough.

I'm thinking of buying my first copper pans - I currently have a mixed collection of aluminium disk bottomed stainless steel straight sided saucepans, stockpots and conventional saute pans, various brands and pretty thick bottoms, that I'm quite happy with.  I also have some some Meyer Anolon non-stick lined, anodized aluminium pans that I'm less happy with - I've had them for some time now and the non-stick is giving out.

So I'm figuring on replacing these, and being somewhat better off than during my last lot of saucepan purchasing, then buying a few select copper pans to fill the gaps in my existing collection seems like a good idea.  Turns out that getting Falk Culinaire in the UK is nigh on impossible, but Falk will sell direct themselves which at least seems less perverse than ordering saucepans imported from Europe into the USA back to Europe again :)

Inspired by the stuff I've read, what I'm figuring on getting is a large 11 inch curved sauteuse evasee, as it seems like a great all purpose pan.  I'm also thinking that one or two straight sided sauteuse evasee in smaller sizes would be useful for reductions and the like, although I'm not sure if I want smaller straight sided ones, or smaller curve sided ones, or both.

Basically my question is, what kind of sizes and shapes are liable to be most useful to me for sauces and reductions, assuming the 11 inch curved sauteuse evasee is a given?  I'm thinking something more medium to small sized, 1-2 quarts 6-8 inches?

Any advice would be gratefully received

There are 2 "classes" of copper, commercial (2.5 mm thick) and "home cooking" (2.0 mm.) I have a copper paella pan and it is only 2.0 mm which makes for some uneven heating. As such, I would recommend that you purchase the 2.5 mm (of whichever cookware you choose) for the quality that you expect with copper cookware.


Tom Gengo

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I decided to get a Falk 2.5 quart saucepan as my first. I use saucepans quite a bit; copper's advantages are supposed to shine through with saucemaking; and most importantly, I needed another smaller saucepan anyway. Copper's substantially heavier than stainless, so I didn't want to try something too big as my first one, either.

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I have a set of just about everything Falk makes or made at one time. there simply is no better copper cookware.

"Basically my question is, what kind of sizes and shapes are liable to be most useful to me for sauces and reductions, assuming the 11 inch curved sauteuse evasee is a given? I'm thinking something more medium to small sized, 1-2 quarts 6-8 inches"

My advice for sauces and reductions is ot get the biggest you can afford as you can always put less in a pan but you can't put more than its capacity.

One caveat, Falk is heavy in the larger pieces so if weight is a problem than you have a decision to make. Falk should be able to supply the weight of an individual piece.

I would also advise the Falk lids as they are as industructable as thier pots/pans. They will fit similar pans of the same diameter so you don't need a new one with every pot.-Dick

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You write that you are in the UK but don't say where. I have several friends who live in the UK and when they want to purchase copper ware they go to France and most of them stick to the Mauviel or Bourget commercial stuff 2.5 mm with the stainless lining.

They are in the southern half of England so the trip is not all that onerous for them and they also buy wines and other supplies while there.

I have two pieces of the Falk but most of my copper ware is Bourget and I have been using copper most of my life and some of my old pieces were inherited. They needed retinning every few years so when Bourget introduced the stainless lined pieces, I began buying them although I still use my big tin-lined stockpots as the lining in them has lasted well because it doesn't take the utensil beating of fry and sauce pans.

Do not get pieces with brass handles. Get the ones with iron handles or if available, stainless steel as these do not conduct heat as rapidly.

One of the handiest pieces that I use all the time is the 3.8 qt "casserole" shown here in the Mauviel cuprinox line

As I can use it on the stovetop and then put it right into the oven. I often use it for braising as the lid fits snugly.

I haven't done a detailed search, but you can find this often at a very good discount. I mention it as one of my Brit friends got one in France a few months ago for 178. euros. I think that is an excellent buy.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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. . . . Do not get pieces with brass handles.  Get the ones with iron handles or if available, stainless steel as these do not conduct heat as rapidly.

You're right, of course, but at the risk of sounding superficial -- copper and brass look so good together! Those fat yellow rivets and golden rough-cast handles set against a light copper patina . . . oh, ya.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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You write that you are in the UK but don't say where.  I have several friends who live in the UK and when they want to purchase copper ware they go to France and most of them stick to the Mauviel or Bourget commercial stuff 2.5 mm with the stainless lining. 

I'm in the far southwest of the UK - so it's not an impossible trip, but I'm not liable to be able to get over to France any time in the near future due to work commitments - so it's mail order/the internet for stuff I can't find locally.

Mauviel don't appear to make the sauteuse evasee in 2.5mm copper, only in their 2mm line, which is why I was looking at Falk. Bourgeat do, but they're also surprisingly hard to find directly in the UK, although a local store has other Bourgeat copper pans and may be able to order me the others.

Everyone's advice here has been very useful, I'm definitely going to go and try some of the ones in the local store out for size/weight and make my mind up then whether to order something direct from Falk or not.

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My advice for sauces and reductions is ot get the biggest you can afford as you can always put less in a pan but you can't put more than its capacity.

If you make small amounts of sauce, this isn't necessarily a good strategy. Trying to reduce, say, a cup of sauce down to half a cup is okay in a 1-qt. saucepan, but really difficult in a 2- or 3-qt. saucepan -- there's so much surface area you the reduction is virtually impossible to control and you can easily end up with a light coating of syrup in the bottom of a pan instead of a sauce. I have a .75-qt Bourgeat saucepan that's idea for just enough sauce for one or two people. Much better than my 2-qt. Mauviel.

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I was given the Mauviel "5 Piece" set as a gift a long time ago. I put 5-piece in sneer quotes because they count the lids. There are actually only three pans: a fry pan (slope-sided; no lid); a saute pan (straight-sided, lid) and a sauce pan (lid).

All are small. I don't know the actual dimensions off the top of my head. But they are small. The sauce pan in particular is useful only for reducing.

The other two are smaller than I would like, but they really do perform. They heat VERY evenly, with no hot or cold spots and cook quickly. Some recipes can (for me) only work on those pans. The problem is, cooking for more than two, I run out of room. I don't want to crowd the pan for obvious reasons. So I either have to use both or reach for All-Clad.

I am sort of tempted to get more, but have not done it yet.

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Trying to reduce, say, a cup of sauce down to half a cup is okay in a 1-qt. saucepan, but really difficult in a 2- or 3-qt. saucepan -- there's so much surface area you the reduction is virtually impossible to control and you can easily end up with a light coating of syrup in the bottom of a pan instead of a sauce. I have a .75-qt Bourgeat saucepan that's idea for just enough sauce for one or two people. Much better than my 2-qt. Mauviel.

Agreed. For actual saucemaking, small saucepans are generally more useful than large ones. Depending on the sauce, a quart will be anywhere from 8 to 16 servings, so 3qt. and larger pans are more useful for other things (unless you're running a restaurant and making non-integral sauces in advance of service).

One of the advantages of a slope sided pan is that it works more easily with a range of sauce volumes (especially helpful when you're making reductions). The ratio of volume to exposed surface area stays closer to constant than with a straight sided pan. So when the volume gets low, you don't deal with the sauce evaporating at out of control speeds.


Notes from the underbelly

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Hi guys, I am planning an investment in a copper Mauviel pan. I managed to chance upon this website which give copper pans at pretty good prices - http://www.doublehappiness.com.sg/merchants_olgift.asp?merid=220. I am slightly confused by the difference between a sauteing and a frying pan. I would like to use the pan mainly for browning meat, cooking vegetables and frying fish. It is going to be a replacement for my current non-stick pan because I am pretty worried about the effects of high heat on the Teflon coating. Which one - frying or sauteing pan should I be looking at?

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A frying pan has curved sides and a sauté pan has higher, straight ones.

I generally prefer the curved sided pans for sautéing, while others don't. I like straight sided saute pans for braises and fricasees and other dishes where you'll be dealing with a high volume of sauce.

I assume you're looking at 11 or 12 inch pans. With smaller sizes the advantage of heavy copper over a lighter aluminum or clad pan are minor.

If you've never used a straight sided saute pan, you might want to try one out before investing in an expensive copper one. And you might find that an aluminum disk bottom or clad pan performs more than well enough for this task.


Notes from the underbelly

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Hi guys, I am planning an investment in a copper Mauviel pan. I managed to chance upon this website which give copper pans at pretty good prices - http://www.doublehappiness.com.sg/merchants_olgift.asp?merid=220.

Beware of sites like this. I would not call these very good prices. From looking at them, most likely they are either "Table Service" Mauviel pans (1.8 mm thickness) or 2.0 mm thick tin-lined pans. You don't want either one of those.


--

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Falk, http://www.falkculinair.com/ ,makes the best copper cookware.

I have a complete set. Michael Harp is easy to work with. Most Falk is 2.5mm which is the minimum copper thickness you want for cooking, all the rest is presentation stuff.

Falk is Stainless Steel lined. They unfortunetaly don't have fish poachers or turbo tierra's which are tin lined and you have to get them from Mauviel. I ordered a turbo tierra(Mauviel) but the tinning was badly done and i sent it back, they are very expensive.-Dick

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