copper cookware pros and cons

When it comes to choosing the right cookware for your kitchen, there are a lot of factors to consider. But if you’re looking for the best possible cooking experience, copper may be the way to go.

Copper cookware is praised by chefs and home cooks alike for its even heat distribution and superior cooking performance.

But there are also some drawbacks to using copper pots and pans, so before you make your final decision, let’s take a closer look at both the pros and cons of using copper cookware.

What is copper cookware?

copper cookware storage

Copper cookware has been around for centuries and is still one of the most popular types of cookware today.

Copper pots and pans were a staple of Colonial America and are still popular in modern French cuisine.

When cooking with metals, heat conductivity is the main draw. With copper, the cookware heats quickly and evenly, which means that you never have to deal with hotspots burning your food.

It's revered by professional chefs and experienced home cooks for its even heat distribution and quick heating properties.

Copper pots and pans are a significant investment, but they're well worth the price if you're serious about cooking.

Pros of copper cookware

Copper cookware has several pros that make it a desirable choice for any kitchen. Here are some of the pros of using copper cookware:

An excellent conductor of heat

copper pot placed on gas stove

As we all know, different materials conduct heat differently. Some materials, like cast iron, can hold heat, but it can be challenging to regulate the temperature.

Other materials, like aluminum, don't conduct heat very well, so food can quickly burn.

Copper cookware is an excellent conductor of heat because it quickly warms up and distributes heat evenly.

This means that you can easily control the temperature, and there are no hot or cold spots. Plus, copper cools down quickly when you take it off the stovetop.

Hygienic And Antibacterial

The benefits of copper cookware are not just limited to preventing food contamination. Copper is also a naturally antibacterial material, which means that it can help to protect you from harmful bacteria.

Many hospitals use copper door handles and other surfaces to prevent the spread of germs. This is because germs and bacteria can't survive on copper for very long.

Water pipes are often made from copper to protect our drinking water from harmful bacteria. Even the dairy industry makes use of this versatile metal.

amazing aesthetics

copper cookware placed on table

Copper cookware is becoming increasingly popular, and for a good reason – it looks fantastic! The shiny bronze color is eye-catching and beautiful, and it doesn’t require any extra polish. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone, whether you’re a master chef or not.

Additionally, copper cookware is available in various unique designs and colors, adding a touch of personality to your cooking area.

Highly Durable

Copper is a very durable metal. It doesn't rust or tarnish like other metals, and it has a long lifespan.

That's why it's used in so many industries for products that need to last a long time - from electrical wiring in homes to cookware.

Most companies also polish the outside and line the interior with tin, stainless steel, or nickel to ensure that copper cookware lasts long.

Related post: Copper Chef Cookware Sets Review

Rust Resistance

the fancy Copper cookware sitting on the kitchen table

Copper is a metal that is known for its rust resistance features. This means that it does not corrode or rust as easily as other metals, such as steel.

This is a big advantage for copper cookware, as it means that it is less likely to stain or rust over time and will stay looking new for longer.

Another advantage of copper cookware is that it has a firm coating free from defects. This undercoating may have occurred on the primary substrate.

Copper cookware is in line with stainless steel, nickel, and tin, making a rust-resistant layer.

Cons of copper cookware

Copper cookware is often seen as a luxurious option for cooking, as it is not as common as other materials like aluminum or steel. However, copper has a few drawbacks:

High Maintenance

cleaning a copper pan

Copper cookware is high maintenance and requires a lot of attention to keep it looking good. If you don't hand wash it and dry it properly, you will have discoloration and spotting.

Additionally, any moisture left on the pan can cause the copper to tarnish, leading to the patina’s development.

Patina is a greenish-blue film that coats the surface of copper and is not desirable as it can contaminate food. To maintain the shine and appearance of copper cookware, it needs to be polished regularly with the right products.

Reactive To Acidic Food

Reactive to acidic food is not a problem limited to copper cookware. Any metallic cookware can have this problem.

When acidic foods are cooked in an unlined copper pot or pan, they can leave a metallic taste in your food. Not only is this unpleasant, but it could also mean that your food is slightly toxic.

For this reason, copper cookware is usually coated with a non-reactive metal like stainless steel or aluminum on the cooking surface. This way, the acids in the food will not cause a reaction with the metal of the cookware.

Can’t Withstand High Temperatures

making fried eggs in pan

Copper cookware is not the best choice for cooking with high heat temperatures.

The intense heat can damage the cookware's color, and it will no longer look brand new.

Remember that this cookware heats up quickly, so you'll need to have all of your ingredients ready to go before starting to cook.

Not Dishwasher-Safe

The copper cookware is not dishwasher safe, which can be a downside. The high temperatures and harsh chemicals in a dishwasher can remove the polishing and lacquer applied to the copper.

This means you have to clean it by hand and dry it properly after washing. It might be inconvenient, but it will last much longer if you take care of the cookware.

How Do You Keep Copper Pots Shiny?

A copper pot is like an individual piece of art––something that you can pass down in the family for generations. The color darkens as it's used and enables pots and pans with less copper to approximate their seasoned counterparts' neutral reactions to foods.

Here are some helpful tips and tricks for keeping your copper pot and pan sets sparkling.

  • Salt and lemon: Sprinkle some salt over half a lemon as a mild abrasive for removing soot and other dark spots. Clean with water, then dry with a clean cloth.
  • Lemon and baking soda paste: Mix equal amounts of lemon juice with baking soda. Rub the paste on the copper with a soft cloth. Then, rinse and dry it. 
  • White vinegar: Take a soft cloth and soak it in white vinegar. Use it to scrub the surface. Keep switching to a clean spot on the cloth, and you will soon be able to see your reflection.

Why is copper cookware so expensive?

Copper cookware is expensive for several reasons.

It is pricier as a raw material since copper is more expensive than aluminum, steel, and cast iron. 

Additionally, copper cookware is not a high-demand item, which is more expensive than traditional pots and pans.

Lastly, copper cookware offers many benefits that other cookware materials do not, such as even heat distribution and superior heat conductivity.

Thus, even though it may be more expensive than other types of cookware, copper is still an excellent investment.

Sean Bennett
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