Copper Cookware For Old World Brilliance
Tin-lined copper cookware is the ne plus ultra of traditional French cuisine. Learn about quality brands such as Mauviel copper bottom-cookware.
Modern Trends. Today, copper cookware usually means cookware that has stainless steel on the cooking surface and copper on the outside. Stainless steel is a much more carefree surface than tin, for a variety of reasons; but it largely negates the benefits of the copper body.
Copper For Great Looks And Performance. Copper bottom cookware has always been popular for its appearance. Copper cookware sets requires some maintenance to keep that gleaming new look, but for a lot of people it's worth the effort. And with modern polishes, it really isn't that hard to keep it sparkling.
More about Copper Bottom Cookware Sets
Superb Heat Conduction. The design history of Mauviel copper cookware is based on an understanding that copper is one of the best conductors of heat among non-precious metals; it distributes heat better than aluminum; but of course it costs more, too. So aluminum has become the default metal for the heat-distribution layer of aluminum cookware. Aluminum is easier to maintain than copper, but not as attractive. You pays yer money and you takes yer choice.
Caution Towards Nickel. Copper bottom cookware pans have been lined with tin, nickel, and stainless steel. Straight nickel linings are not seen much any more. Some people have a severe reaction to nickel, even to the small amount released from stainless steel. You might find used copper that is nickel-lined, however.
Caution Towards Tin And Health Risks. Care should be taken with older tinned copper cookware. If the tin is worn through to the copper, the pan should be retinned, as copper can be toxic if acid foods are cooked in it. Retinning services are hard to find; be sure you do not go to an outfit in the electronics industry, as they use solders containing lead and are not set up for copper cookware.
Copper Bottom Pans. Copper is also used as a thin, decorative, largely non-functional outer layer for copper bottom cookware pans that have an aluminum heat distribution layer; and some pans have a copper disk in the base along with an aluminum one. At least one inexpensive line sold in supermarkets (Ekco) offers a choice of a thick aluminum disk or a much thinner copper disk, but not a combination; the relative thickness is based on cost equivalence, not thermal equivalence.
Great For Fluffy Egg Whites. An unlined copper bowl enables you to beat egg whites without the addition of cream of tartar. If you make lots of meringue and want to impress your friends, you should own one, along with a big wire whisk.