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Claire - Chef's Cookware

Why choose a copper pan?

25th April 2007 20:44
Copper is an excellent, traditional cookware material because it conducts heat so well. The copper layer heats up very quickly and very evenly. And whats more, it cools down again very quickly so it is very responsive.

Professional chefs prefer copper pans for a particular style of French cooking that needs such quick conducting pans. Such responsiveness, would be great for all sorts of cooking in fact, but copper comes with some disadvantages that make it, in practice, a rare kind of cookware these days.

Although copper is absolutely beautiful to look at, it does take quite a lot of care to keep it looking good. Get your polishing cloths out!

Copper is also quite a soft metal and so the heavier the gauge you can get the better. It is often combined with another metal because it reacts to food acid. In the past - and still so with some pans - it was lined with tin which would need relining periodically. Most domestic copper pans today are lined with stainless steel that last a lifetime.

Copper is also expensive which means that copper pans are still a minority buy, even though they have had a bit of a comeback in recent years with the Mauviel Cuprinox range.

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