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Cooking without worry: care of tin in copper cookware


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Cooking without worry: care of tin in copper cookware

travisL | Jan 6, 2010 04:51 PM

Hi all,
My first post here.....
I've been researching copper cookware and its care because I came across a few copper pans at TJ Maxx. They are Baumalu pans, at least 2 mm thick, and are hand-tinned. I got a 2 quart and 5 quart pot for $60 total.
I'm no expert chef, but I did know copper pans were good, so I picked them up on a whim. The Baumalu pans seem to be positively reviewed on this site, but thats another story. This topic has been discussed before here, but I still have questions. I know tin melts around 450 degrees F. I know not to preheat these pans. I know not to use metal utensils. I know to keep the heat around or below medium. What I DO NOT know, is how to use them to their fullest advantages without worrying about damaging the tin. I'd like some solid advice on how to use these pans.

1. If boiling water, can I crank up the heat because the water is absorbing much of the energy? Or will the high heat still damage the pan? I've read about boiling water in a paper cup, so I don't need too many anecdotes on that....

2. Should I avoid tin lined saute pans? These pans are usually used in higher heat cooking, correct? For example, if I have a tin lined copper saute pan, and want to fry a chicken breast, will covering the bottom in oil and adding the chicken be enough to help prevent damage to the tin? Especially since I read here that the sides of pans like these will be almost just as hot as the bottom because of copper's excellent heat distribution.

3. Are electric coil stoves (ah, I hate them, but its all i have right now!) any more dangerous to the copper and tin than flame? Does anyone have general temperature guidelines for electric stoves? Low is about X degrees, Medium is about X degrees, and High is about X degrees? It takes quite some time to boil water in these copper pans on medium heat on my electric stove...

4. Am I over-analyzing and worrying too much? I want these pans to last, but also want to be able to use them for real!

Thanks in advance for your answers!

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