If you’re looking at buying some new pans for your kitchen, you may have come across copper pans and seen that they are said to outperform most on the market.
You may have also seen the price tag that comes with these pans and be wondering whether they are worth it or not. Well, today, we’re looking at copper pans and throwing out hat into the ring of opinions as to whether these pans are worth it or not.
A lot of copper pans on the market today are lined with a different metal so that there is no coppery taste to your food. It also allows you to cook anything in your copper pans.
Acidic foods can react with copper and corrode it, so there are certain foods you can’t cook in a traditional pan.
Most copper pans nowadays have a stainless-steel lining. Traditionally, this lining was made from tin. This is where the tales come from about not heating a copper pan up without anything in it. Tin has an extremely low melting point, so the tin lining would melt if you did this.
Bi-Metal Copper Pans
Nowadays, when we think of copper pans, they are typically lined with something. The exception is if you’re looking at specialised copper pans for certain cooking jobs—more on this cookware in a bit.
Lined copper pans will usually have a piece of thin stainless steel in the interior. Some are even sandwiched with stainless steel inside, aluminium in the middle and then a very thin sheet of copper on the outside.
Some also have an additional aluminium base to ensure they work on induction hobs.
Many pans on the market are made using this sandwich technique. Manufacturers can take advantage of the properties of each of the metals, giving us a better saucepan as a result.
However, the reason that copper pans are loved is because of the incredible conductivity of copper.
If you only have a very thin sheet of copper, you are also relying on the other metals for their conductive powers. Which, granted, stainless steel does conduct heat fairly well, but nowhere near as well as copper.
In the case of these pots and pans that have different metals sandwiched together, you’d be hard-pressed to notice a difference in how quickly they heat up. The copper will get hot quickly, but you’ll still need to wait for the stainless-steel layers to heat up.
These pans do have a great look and do perform really well, but they are just a very good saucepan; they wouldn’t be considered a traditional copper pan.
Traditional Copper Pans
We’re including tin-coated copper pans in this section because they are much more traditional than the sandwiched metal pans above. Plus, tin-coated copper pans respond very well to heat, just as well as a raw copper pan.
Traditional copper pans do heat up incredibly fast, but you have so much control over the heat with these pans.
Copper is a wonderful conductor of heat, but it cannot hold heat in for very long at all. So, remove the pan from the hob, and it will cool down fast. Turn the heat down; the pan will respond pretty much instantly.
For this reason, copper pans have been used in chocolate and sweet making for hundreds of years. Bakers also use copper pans for certain delicate cooking tasks, as do professional chefs. They are ideal for very sensitive cooking. Sauces made from cream, for example.
Traditional copper pans are a fantastic choice if you want to start making chocolate at home or want to make a lot of delicate sauces or something.
However, this cookware is somewhat limited in what it can do and should only be reserved for sensitive and delicate dishes.
Are Copper Pans Worth It?
Copper pans come with a heavy price, and if the ones you’re looking at seem to be a reasonable price, chances are they are the sandwich construction we mentioned earlier, and you likely won’t notice much difference between these and the pans you already have.
They will be great saucepans, but they won’t be the specialised pan for certain tasks you may be looking for.
Copper pans are fantastic for very delicate cooking tasks. If you are an avid baker or confectionist, then a traditional copper pan will help you achieve a lot.
If you’re just looking for some everyday cookware, copper pans aren’t ideal unless you go for the lined version and are willing to pay a good amount for them.
If you like the look of copper pans but aren’t too worried about the conductive cooking power of copper, then the sandwiched copper pans we mentioned earlier will do you fine. But even this cookware comes at a premium price.
We hope this look at copper pans has been helpful. To find out more about copper cookware, please explore Chef’s Pick further. We have all of the best cookware available in the UK right here.
Scott is a writer and a passionate home chef. His passion for cooking began when he was 10 years old. Scott has been writing professionally for over five years now and loves to combine his passion for cooking with his day job.