The Copper Craze

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Joined Feb 28, 2017
I really would like any opinion regarding 'copper' cookware.  I grew up in the Ozark Mtn. Highlands, and my Granny had a Lodge cast iron skillet.  She used it for everything, and I can never think of a time when any of her cooking came out burnt, sticking, or otherwise bad.  I use a Lodge skillet, some stainless steel, and occasionally, a coated skillet.  My Pappi saw the ads for these 'cooper' cookware and thinks that they are great.  However, just like my handed down, real steel knives, I would not be so easily changed.  I thank you for any suggestions.
 

norcalbaker59

Banned
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Joined Feb 16, 2017
Copper is expensive
Copper is high maintenance

I have a copper braiser that has turned into a very expensive hanging kitchen decoration, It's too much effort to keep it polished.

Yes, copper conducts heat extremely well. But most commercial kitchens aren't even stocked with copper cookware because it's expensive and its high maintenance. Heavy gauge aluminum (yes, that cheap looking stuff) is what most commercial kitchens buy and use. Go into a restaurant supply store and you won't see copper pots, all-clad, or enameled cast iron.

Stainless steel and cast iron are pretty much the standard in most home kitchens.

Your Lodge skillet, if seasoned well is worth more than any copper pot any day.

If your Lodge is the one your grandmother used, all I can say is lucky, lucky cook!

I had to purchase new cast iron after the moving company mysteriously failed to deliver all my cast iron cookware. I'm still trying to get a good season on my Lodge skillet. I have one small stubborn spot in the middle that is resisting my efforts. The only spot where an omelette sticks:(
 
4,474
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Joined Aug 4, 2000
........Copper is high maintenance

I have a copper braiser that has turned into a very expensive hanging kitchen decoration, It's too much effort to keep it polished...............
Beeeeee Essssssssss!  I never polish my copper and really like the greenish-blue patina it has acquired over the years of use and many chefs feel the same; they don't bother with polishing their copper.
 
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Joined Feb 25, 2017
Just to confirm that we are indeed talking about true Copper here, like Mauviel, deBuyer, Bourgeat, Baumalu, or whatever brand you like & not the copper-colored stuff "as seen on TV" where they are I guess copper-colored titanium metal or copper-color ceramic coatings?

Real copper, especially the tin-lined are real old school tools. And they are cool in my opinion, heat quickly, respond quickly, tin surface needs to be protected but is sort of non-stick & I don't see a reason to worry about the shine of the outside of a lovingly used pan. The stainless lined are less maintenance and care, but you give up some of the efficient and responsive heating in the exchange. Still "real copper" though. Handle material, I like the look of the older school cast iron, I'll be honest, but bronze and stainless are also out there and not a big deal breaker for anyone who is looking into some pans. 

The "copper chef" or whatever the brand is of copper-tone non-stick ceramic stuff isn't the same thing at all. 
 
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Joined Feb 25, 2017
ah, cool. thanks for clearing that up, what I meant of course too. 

Not sure if that is what the OP meant. I'd never run across ads for those "good brands", but then I don't subscribe to more than a couple of magazines any more, no newspapers, and I'm not exactly in a metro market where I might see that carried by a local retailer either. those are the good ones, "real copper" as I mentioned. Have seen far far too many ads for the "Copper Chef" or whatever TV-brand stuff and many places selling it. Just like the "Green pan" stuff before it, and so on and so on going back to the Ginsu (that's the first big TV brand kitchen thing I remember).

Not to totally discount the point made above about most commercial settings using cheap but efficient Aluminum & much of the home market being Stainless or Cast Iron, which I would say is a likely true observation, I have seen exceptions to this 'rule'. If he's intrigued by the real copper, maybe he should check out a simple piece? (Or if he's suggesting you try it, maybe you should?) ... my personal take on it is this --

yeah, in commercial settings they are common. and I even have a couple of pieces myself. I can sometimes "taste" (or even worse, "see") the Aluminum pans' use like that, so when I cook, I always have something that won't do that like the anodized sort (calphalon commercial was my go-to for years), or stainless. cast iron? yeah. love it. for some things. and I think the enameled stuff also has a place (really like those dutch ovens for stove-top/oven use). same deal with my (not all All-)Clad pans, gain some of the efficient heating from the copper or aluminum in the sandwich and still have an easy/non-reactive surface. same with the copper... I think they are really fun to cook with, very responsive to small changes of the knob and uniform across the cooking surface. but they take some extra care. but really, good pans do, not just copper ones. you have to tend to your black steel and cast iron too. even the cheap durable aluminum ones can discolor and get pitted if you abuse them. 

hopefully we've helped you with your question, OP.
 
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