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Copper Cookware: The Topic


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Some years ago, say 25, the was a small ad in the back pages of Gourmet, every month, offering a re-tinning kit for not much money (about $20.)

Does anyone remember this, or know the technique? I intended to send away for the kit, but never did...

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You should consider getting some of those little potholder "gloves" that are so you can leave them on the pot while cooking.  I have one which I don't use much as it's easier to grab a towel, but my son like it and uses it all the time.

Thanks for the suggestion! I actually have one, but I normally just grab a towel (and my handles DO get hot...I guess it might be a difference of cooking style, size of flame on your stove, etc.), but I was just mentioning my desire for stainless steel handles just as a wish for at least one of the copper manufacturers to make 2.5mm stainless handle copper cookware. Also, I definitely think handles are a consideration when purchasing cookware, and people tend to forget them sometimes....performance isn't everything!

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Some years ago, say 25, the was a small ad in the back pages of Gourmet, every month, offering a re-tinning kit for not much money (about $20.)

Does anyone remember this, or know the technique? I intended to send away for the kit, but never did...

I've seen re-tinning kits in a few of the Sur La Tables in my area....they come in a little plastic bag, typically near the copper pan section. I've never tried it though, but if you're interested in taking a look at it for yourself...

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You should consider getting some of those little potholder "gloves" that are so you can leave them on the pot while cooking.  I have one which I don't use much as it's easier to grab a towel, but my son like it and uses it all the time.

Thanks for the suggestion! I actually have one, but I normally just grab a towel (and my handles DO get hot...I guess it might be a difference of cooking style, size of flame on your stove, etc.), but I was just mentioning my desire for stainless steel handles just as a wish for at least one of the copper manufacturers to make 2.5mm stainless handle copper cookware. Also, I definitely think handles are a consideration when purchasing cookware, and people tend to forget them sometimes....performance isn't everything!

Heavy copper pots need a heavy solid metal handle to balance the pot and to provide strength when the pot is lifted because, well, heavy copper is heavy. Hollow stainless "stay cool" type handles such as those on All-Clad, Calphalon, etc. would tend to break over time due to metal fatigue. So, for heavy copper cookware it is solid metal or nothing. Believe me, you'd figure out you don't want an "All-Clad style" handle on heavy copper the minute you picked up a heavy, full pan and bent or broke off the handle.

I addressed this question (in a response to you, as it turns out :smile:) in the Q&A thread for my eGCI cookware class here. So interested parties can see more detailed information there.

There are two good reasons why copper pans do not typically have solid stainless steel handles. First and foremost, stainless is a lot more expensive to use. It adds something like forty-five to sixty dollars (US) to the price of the piece compared to iron. Think about that for a minute: instead of that eleven inch sauté pan costing $235 with an iron handle, it would cost almost three hundred bucks with a stainless steel handle. This is simply more than the majority of customers would pay to have a stainless handle. Mauviel tries to hide this cost by only offering a stainless handle on the 2.0 mm line. But if you compare the prices, you will see that a 2.0 mm stainless lined copper frypan costs more than the same frypan in 2.5 mm stainless lined copper with an iron handle. Given this cost, I don't see how a stainless handle would be a money maker.

Second, it is not the case that a stainless handle would not get hot, only that it would take longer than iron. And, once hot, a stainless handle would take longer to cool down. If you have a heavy copper sauté pan with a solid stainless handle on high heat for 30 minutes, or if you take a heavy copper frypan with a solid stainless handle out of the oven and put it on the counter, the handle is going to be plenty hot. The danger now is that you may think, "the handle is stainless so I can pick it up with my hands." I've done that, so take my word for it: If you are going to use heavy copper cookware, you are going to have solid metal handles. Get into the habit of using a towel on the handle when it gets hot.

--

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Some years ago, say 25, the was a small ad in the back pages of Gourmet, every month, offering a re-tinning kit for not much money (about $20.)

Does anyone remember this, or know the technique? I intended to send away for the kit, but never did...

Tin Lizzie!

I don't know if these kits are still sold (Julia Child mentions them here) - but I have 2 or 3 of them up on the laundry room shelf. I bought them in Zabar's maybe 15 years ago and never used them. Kit contains a square of tin and a bottle of acid flux. The package says

Copper pots need re-tinning? Voila!

Tin Lizzie

Tin Lizzie Copper Pot Re-Tinning Kit. A safe, easy, inexpensive, do-it-yourself way to re-tin worn copperware. Complete instructions and everything you need to re-tin a 9 inch pot bottom interior. Save $$$ ... trim and use to patch 4 or 5 mildly worn pots.

Aux Cuisines Inc

43 Saddle Ranch Lane

Hillsdale, New Jersey 07642

© 1976 Susan Lyon.

Reading the instruction sheet through the plastic bag -

You scour the inner bottom surface with a soap pad and dry it, dip a cotton ball into the acid flux and wipe it over the worn area, cut a small piece of tin to size and put it on the worn area, have a folded paper towel ready, heat the pan to high (tin begins to melt at 450) and watch your piece of tin begin to melt and disappear into the scratched part, (it won't stick to places that haven't had flux applied) - wipe over the area, move the excess tin to a side of the pan and pour it out onto a piece of tin foil (I think she means aluminum foil :) ) heat up the pan again until it melts again, smooth the excess, and allow the pan to cool naturally.

Oh, and don't cook the first subesquent couple of times with high heat.

I never tried the kits. I've long ago retired my old tinned stuff, which were table service pieces (given to me by my mom a really long time ago, when even those pieces were profoundly exotic and I was the only person I knew who had any copper cookware at all).

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I have stuff from everyone. What I have bought recently depended on who had the best price at the time; nothing more.

Falk: largest low casserole (like a saute pan with 2 loop handles) and a 9.5" frypan. I love the Falk pieces, except for the casserole lid, which is a huge disappointment. I'd never get another Falk lid again. Sorry. They're not brushed, and this lid needed a serious cleaning which was very hard to do given the exhortation *not* to use any scrubby thing on it.

I'd been eyeing a large casserole for about a decade, I swear, before I got it.

Mauviel: 3 quart curved saute. No lid, because the lid to my Mystery Saute pan (see below) fits it. Dunno if it's 2.0 or 2.5. Iron handle.

Bourgeat: 4.5 quart curved saute and lid, bought after the Falk or I wouldn't have bought the Falk lid. So why did I buy the Bourgeat lid? Because it was only $8 more and I figured I could use it if something happened to the Falk lid, which is highly likely. Oh, and a 3.75 qt saucepan. Iron handles.

Mystery Saute Pan. Ok, someone help me out here, because I've never been able to find out what happened to this company, aside from the fact that the corporation was dissolved in 2003, according to Canadian records on the Internet.

It's a 24 cm saute pan (3 qt) - 2.5 mm thick (yeah, I got out the callipers. but hey I can hardly lift the thing), stainless lined, but (1) with a brass handle that's (2) welded, not riveted on.

I bought it at least 21 years ago in a local kitchen store that's long since closed.

On the bottom is stamped a little logo of a beaming sun and "coventry coppers 1980 mntl, canada"

The lid says nothing.

I've periodically looked around for info ever since I first went on line, but aside from that statement of corporate dissolution I found this year, apparently I'm the only one in the universe who has one of these pans

:unsure:

Oh, I just remembered - my favorite, absolutely favorite, handy small saucepan (can o' soup size) is stainless lined ... with a stainless handle (Sam's comment below about stainless handles should give me a clue about how thick the copper is) that is stamped on the bottom "Norway."

Norway????

I guess this is really mystery pan #2.

Somehow I think it may have come from the first Ikea around these parts oh, maybe 20 years ago. :smile:

oh well, you take 'em where you find 'em.

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  • 2 weeks later...

sid,

i can't say enough about the falk culinair pans.

easy to care for, and they look beautiful,( and not in the overly-precious shiny way that demands constant salt/lemon scrubbing or polishing.)

they have a very thin layer of stainless, and a very generous guage of copper, thicker than most.

2 main french brands use a thicker layer of stainless and less copper, (which defeats the benefits of cooking in copper) and they use a type of metal glue to fuse the two together. under intense or uneven heat, they have a propensity to unlaminate in places...it looks as if the pan is slightly warped or blistered.

i went to the little factory in belgium to buy mine (i live in france) because it was a bit difficult to order them online. (french laws make it very difficult.)

it is easy to purchase online from the u.s. or u.k., and i believe germany.

...but i have to say, it was worth the drive...paul van achter will show you around and describe everything you would ever want to know about his pans. he is a true artisan, and cook.

i have 4 of his pans and i never use any others. i put all my other pans in the basement, save for two. [a very large stockpot because it's lighter than copper , and a wok because you want to develop that wok-hay seasoning.]

i could go on.

but i hope this helps.

tanya

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Oh, I just remembered - my favorite, absolutely favorite, handy small saucepan (can o' soup size) is stainless lined  ... with a stainless handle (Sam's comment below about stainless handles should give me a clue about how thick the copper is) that is stamped on the bottom "Norway."

Norway????

I guess this is really mystery pan #2.

Somehow I think it may have come from the first Ikea around these parts oh, maybe 20 years ago.  :smile:

oh well, you take 'em where you find 'em.

your mystery pan must be a "polaris"/"hackman",and they don't make copperware anymore. i've got a 24cm saute pan and a smallish rondeau from that manufacturer. they're 2mm copper + s.s., and though that is a bit flimsy compared to 2.5mm they're very decent pans. surely not ikea, as ikea is swedish, anyway :wink:

i, too, take 'em where i can find 'em. mostly salvation army and thrift shops. at least for the moment, mauviel 2.5mm remains a dream. :sad:

christianh@geol.ku.dk. just in case.

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ihave just begun to collect some very good copper pots. my husband compared the prices with the faulk in belgium and these came out cheaper. but they are HEAVY. i have bought them in paris from e.dehillerin at http://www.e-dehillerin.fr/ the site also has an english translation. this is the place where julia child bought her pots. when i went there it was filled with americans from california buying pots for their oversized viking stoves. the staff is sometimes helpful, but a bit harried. fortunately, our son lives in southern france and he buys me a pot every once in a while for a bday present. if anyone is in paris they should check this place out. lots and lots of innteresting kitchenware here. it isn't the easiest place to find as it is on a tiny street but close to les halles-at least we walked there!

great place to have fun, if you are a kitchen equipment addict....

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Oh, I just remembered - my favorite, absolutely favorite, handy small saucepan (can o' soup size) is stainless lined  ... with a stainless handle (Sam's comment below about stainless handles should give me a clue about how thick the copper is) that is stamped on the bottom "Norway."

Norway????

I guess this is really mystery pan #2.

Somehow I think it may have come from the first Ikea around these parts oh, maybe 20 years ago.  :smile:

oh well, you take 'em where you find 'em.

your mystery pan must be a "polaris"/"hackman",and they don't make copperware anymore. i've got a 24cm saute pan and a smallish rondeau from that manufacturer. they're 2mm copper + s.s., and though that is a bit flimsy compared to 2.5mm they're very decent pans. surely not ikea, as ikea is swedish, anyway :wink:

i, too, take 'em where i can find 'em. mostly salvation army and thrift shops. at least for the moment, mauviel 2.5mm remains a dream. :sad:

aha! Thank you!

I just looked at the Hoyang-Polaris website (no, I don't know how to do the special "o") and they look like the culprits to me. Well, they're Norwegian at least. :rolleyes:

I also suspect my little pan is 2.0 mm, since it is heavy for its size. I'd take a picture of it, but I just had new appliances installed yesterday *before* the new countertops and backsplash, and the current, um, ambience isn't anything I'd like to memorialize in a photo :smile:

Assuming I could even find my camera in this mess...

Good luck on your copper quest. It's amazing what ends up in thrift shops sometimes. Go figure.

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aliénor, E. Dehillerin can provide great deals but for people in the US it's only really worth it if they are able to bring it back to the US themselves. For example, Falk's eleven inch sauté pan sells in the US for $235. E. Dehillerin sells one for €113.88, which comes out to about $155 with today's credit card exchange rate. So far, so good. It's a savings of 80 dollars. But, you have to ship it over to the US and you have to pay tax. The cost of shipping a 4.08 kg pan from Paris to New York, plus tax, is more than 80 dollars.

--

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I remeber my first post on this thread said something to the effect of "copper..who needs copper". Well I have been bitten by the bug. I bought a few peices in thrift stores. I also picked up a calphalon copper sauce pan cheap. The dammed thing is made in china but has performed very well as my sugar pan. It is really nice to have a consistent thickness so your carmel doesn't get too dark along the sides of the pan. I still can't see spending $150 on one pan at this point. But I am in the "buy one when you find a bargain" crowd.

On a side note...

I had a gig the other night at a home. I walk into the kitchen and there sits a wolf six-top with flat-top and double oven. Cool. ....Untill I tried to get standard full baking sheets into it...or half pans into the smaller oven...or hotel pans to go in lengthwise, or deep half hotels to fit any of the racks without removing another. What a joke. The knob could possibly be the most over-engineered thing I have ever put my hands on.

Sure was nice looking though.

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I remeber my first post on this thread said something to the effect of "copper..who needs copper".  Well I have been bitten by the bug.  I bought a few peices in thrift stores.  I also picked up a calphalon copper sauce pan cheap.

Cool. What copper pieces did you get? The Calphalon, btw, is not "real" copper. It's a thin outer layer of copper, an internal core of aluminum, and an inner layer of stainless.

--

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aliénor, E. Dehillerin can provide great deals but for people in the US it's only really worth it if they are able to bring it back to the US themselves.  For example, Falk's eleven inch sauté pan sells in the US for $235.  E. Dehillerin sells one for €113.88, which comes out to about $155 with today's credit card exchange rate.  So far, so good.  It's a savings of 80 dollars.  But, you have to ship it over to the US and you have to pay tax.  The cost of shipping a 4.08 kg pan from Paris to New York, plus tax, is more than 80 dollars.

Sam,

Just wanted to point out that the price of our Saute Pan that you quoted is before any discounts. If your order size is $500, the price is only $188.

BTW, thank you for all you are doing to educate people about cookware.

Edited by mharpo (log)

Michael Harp

CopperPans.com

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  • 1 year later...

I am looking for testimonials from copper cookware users. I recently got a set from Italy called "Ruffoni Opera" and I am liking them a lot. Has anyone else used this line of cookware? How about the copper products from France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and the USA?

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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I'm not sure Ruffini is Professional or 2.5mm thick copper. Copper less than 2 mm is used for service, be sure of what you have before damaging it.

The best Professional copper cookware is Falk Culinair http://www.falkculinair.com . I have a complete set and it is great. It is literally indestructable and with the brushed finish i don't worry about polishing it. The only downside is that the larger pieces are heavy. -Dick

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I prefer the Bourgeat professional

and have a lot of it, some I have owned and used for many years, the oldest have tin linings but since stainless became available I began buying them.

Perhaps it isn't as easy to maintain as the brushed finish of the Falk, but I like the warmth of it. However that is simply personal preference.

Another vendor here.

And yet another. has the best price I have been able to find.

And Chef Ron Askew also offers a very useful set (all including lids!) at a significant discount.

Ron's copper set

scroll down a bit more than half-way on the page.

I like the fact that the lids for these pans fit them perfectly. I have been disappointed with another maker who sells the lids separately and when I ordered one piece and a few weeks later ordered the lid (I didn't realize the lids were sold separately when I ordered because the lid was pictured with the pot) I found the lid did not fit well, returned it and got another that had the same problem.

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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I like Bourgeat, as well. I'm not sure if it's the professional line we have, but the copper is plenty thick (key). We bought it from Professional Cutlery Direct, when they were still serious about cookware.

We have a Mauviel roasting pan, which people may tell you is overkill--the copper is unecessary for a roast. I don't care; it's beautiful. :wub: And works great for making pan sauces.

This summer, I bought a sauté pan at E. Dehillerin in Paris. Even with the dollar weak against the euro, it was a great buy. Not counting airfare. :raz:

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

You're my little potato, you're my little potato,

You're my little potato, they dug you up!

You come from underground!

-Malcolm Dalglish

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I like Bourgeat, as well. I'm not sure if it's the professional line we have, but the copper is plenty thick (key). We bought it from Professional Cutlery Direct, when they were still serious about cookware.

We have a Mauviel roasting pan, which people may tell you is overkill--the copper is unecessary for a roast. I don't care; it's beautiful.  :wub: And works great for making pan sauces.

This summer, I bought a sauté pan at E. Dehillerin in Paris. Even with the dollar weak against the euro, it was a great buy. Not counting airfare.  :raz:

I can understand the lure of copper pots from France. I have never visited but for some of my friends it is the Holy Grail. A friend who lives in Tehachapi and describes herself as a "ranch-gal", detoured to Paris during a trip to London just to buy one of the big, round-bottom jam pans and saved over a hundred bucks, even with shipping it home via DHL. She said she was watching a tape of an old PBS cooking show where the star visited a shop in Paris that had a huge selection of copper pots and pans. She made a note of the name of the store, got the phone number and called them only to be told they did not ship out of the country. When she planned her trip to London she allowed three days for shopping in Paris.

"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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This summer, I bought a sauté pan at E. Dehillerin in Paris. Even with the dollar weak against the euro, it was a great buy. Not counting airfare. :raz:

that store Rocks!!! It has everything one could need for a kitchen. In the basement i found a 70liter copper stockpot. Can't imagine what that would run someone!!!

Edited by andrewB (log)
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Zabar's has the 70 liter stockpot, with a gorgeous hammered exterior, for around $1,000. It's been there for years, and I suppose they really don't expect anyone to buy it. I watch it get darker and darker for about 6 months, and then someone shines it up and the cycle starts over.

If I had a whole ox to cook down for a tablespoon of glace de viand, and a big enough cooktop, I suppose I'd think about it for when I hit the lottery.

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  • 2 years later...

I've never used copper cookware. I'm considering buying some new/different pots and pans, and I'm wondering whether it's worth exploring copper. And if so, what should I look for?

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