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Copper - a primer for a potential user

HalifaxJ | Nov 30, 201112:23 PM


I've been cooking seriously for 5 years now. I typically cook french cuisine, but like to keep it simple; steaks with pan sauces, roasts, braised meals, etc.

When I first got into cooking, I kept reading about Stainless Steel cookware and eventually bought an All-Clad fry pan and a small sauce pot. About a year ago my mother gave me her cast iron pan which I believe was passed down to her from her mother. Needless to say I was immediately taken with the piece and have learned how to season and maintain it. I love to sear meat in cast iron. It's just amazing.

What I've learned is that no amount of reading information will teach you when to use which material. For example, I've had some experiences burning sauces in cast iron as it retains its heat (recently solved this by making veal demi ice cubes). So I now tend to use Stainless if I'm making a delicate sauce. This being said, I find it still takes a while to control the heat to my liking.

So I'm looking to acquire a copper pan. I understand that it is a great heat conductor, However, when reading the forums it gets confusing. What is copper good for? Can I sear a steak and then make a pan sauce? Can I brown/sear at medium heat like I do in my SS? If I get tin lined interior, can I do the same?

I guess what I'm asking is what are the best uses for a copper core pan, and not whether it is better than anything else. Assume that I already have both SS lined and Tin lined copper.


P.S. I'm not adverse to maintenance as I use carbon steel knives - I love my Sabatiers more than anything else.

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