Having the best cookware set will hardly change anything for you, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other qualities you should be looking for in your future pots and pans. Today, chefs around the world have come to a unanimous conclusion that copper is the best material when it comes to cooking. Its qualities and advantages surpass any other material in the industry by a long shot and its longevity is truly remarkable. In fact, remarkable enough, that if you treat your cookware set well over the years, you will be able to pass it on to the next generation. Of course there are copper sets sold just for decorative purposes, but we are here to find out how to select the best copper cookware set, how to take care of it, and which ones are the best in their classes on the market now.
Copper Cookware Set Buyer’s Guide
Before we get to our copper cookware reviews, we want to give you a few advices on what to keep your eyes open for when buying your new set. Here are the main characteristics of copper pans and pots:
Let’s take a more in-depth look at each one of them, now.
There are two traditional finishes in the world of copper cookware. They are the “smooth” and “hammered”. In the past times, hammered sets were considered the top of the top in terms of materials used and overall quality. Nowadays, there are industrial methods of copying the handmade technique, therefore the value of the hammered sets has slightly decreased. Still, they look gorgeous and authentic.
That being said, your choice here is narrowed down to what your eyes would prefer. Smooth finishes are more common in the higher price ranges nowadays, although almost every brand has their sets in both smooth and hammered appearances. In terms of performance, this doesn’t affect any aspect of your cooking.
Now that the looks of the cookware are out of the way, let’s move on the characteristics which actually affect your cooking experience.
In general terms, the thicker the wall the better. When getting your new cookware set, make sure you check all the parts of that set. By “check” we mean to see what their weight is, and how thick the copper in them actually is. Some brands have a bad name for having copper which is around 1,5mm thin (or even less), which is nothing compared to some brands which have their thickness at around 2,5mm. Basically, aim for 2mm or above, and yes the thickness is always measured in millimeters in the case of copper cookware. If you want, you can use a millimeter to inch converter.
Pro Tip: Avoid rolled edged pots and pans. If their walls are thin enough to roll, all they will be good for is decorating your kitchen wall.
In general, the thinner wall will conduct heat faster, but will also lose that same heat in a much more speedy manner. In cooking, temperature sustainability is paramount to a good dish, and this is what thick walls assure you.
There is, of course, the question of weight here (as well as how solid the utensil is). A pot should be solid, but at the same time, not too heavy, same goes for the two-handled casserole. The frying pan, on the other hand, should be lightweight. The thicker the copper wall, the heavier the pan is, so you need to get the right combination between these two.
There are three main variations in which you can get your copper cookware:
- With Tin Lining
- With Stainless Steel Lining
Before we get into the bare ones we will first discuss the differences between both linings.
Tin lining is great as it is far cheaper than stainless steel and is generally a better material when it comes to heat conductivity. In terms of durability and longevity, though, it falls short compared to the stainless steel lining. The pans with the steel lining tend to live longer and require less maintenance.
Another thing, which we also covered in our article on whether copper is safe to cook with, is that the tin and aluminum linings tend to leach toxic substances after a few years of usage (if not properly maintained, of course). This is why we think that stainless steel is the way to go here, and your kids will be thankful for that choice, when you handle them your cooking set in 20 years, basically as brand new.
The Bare Copper Kind
Bare Copper is perhaps the most pricey choice which you can make, but at the same time it is the most inadequate out of all options. That is because copper, when in contact with higher acidic foods and liquids, can react in an unpleasant way, leaching minerals from its structure. Then, what you will get is more copper in your body than you want, which leads to dangerous effects on almost all of your body systems.
Nevertheless, this kind is the most gorgeous looking one, so if you are looking for some professional grade decoration for your small restaurant, this is a great choice.
Now, let’s take a moment to discuss some of the qualities of the most important cookware item in your kitchen.
The Copper Pot – The King Of The Kitchen
The pot is the most universal kitchen utensil, and copper pots are the best pots on the market, period. This is why you need to pay special attention to the type of pot included in your set. Here is what a good copper pot must be like:
- It must be made out of pure copper.
- Should have a good thickness (from 1.5mm to 3mm) depending on the type of pan you want. Frying pans are usually thinner.
- Good lining, no matter if it is tin or steel.
- You must insist on checking for a certification that the tin lining is made by traditional methods such as the flame or blotter methods.
- Must have a good riveting.
- Has a good and detailed user manual.
The Shape Of The Pot
The two main pot shapes are cylindrical and convex. The cylinder shape is the best for stirring and has amazing content to space ratio. Also, it is super easy to clean.
The convex shape, on the other hand, looks better and performs better in long cooking sessions and procedures (braising for example).
The Height Of The Pot
You should consider the height depending on what type of meals you cook. The more material (food) you cook at once, the higher the pot should be. The height also affects the cooking method, with an example of that being the reduction cooking method done using a casserole with a conical shape.
The Curvature Of The Pot
There are different curvatures used for different pots. The one of the saute pan is a quarter of a full circle, while the curvature of frying pans tends to be less than that. All in all, this property of the pot affects heat absorption.
The Handles Of The Pot
This characteristic won’t affect the overall cooking quality, but more people tend to go for a single, longer handle. That, combined with additional, smaller one for support in case of heavier dishes, is the perfect pot for most people. The two-handled classic has the advantage of being stored more easily, though.
One last thing we want to cover before giving you our top picks…
How To Take Care Of Your Copper Cookware Set
Polishing copper products is entirely up to you, but cleaning them is a must if you want them to live longer. Here are a few methods which we think work the best in various situations:
- Water and Elbow Grease. Soak your pots and pans in moderately hot water and keep them like that for a while. After that dry them up and add a finish with the grease.
- Using Salt and Lime/Lemon Juice. You can squeeze some lemon juice and mix it up with salt before pouring this into the dirty pans. After that, wait for a few minutes and scrub them well. The salt/lemon compound will remove any dirt or burnt areas.
- Using Baking Soda. If you got large amounts of grease left on your pots and pans this is a great way to deal with it. The grease will clump up from the baking soda and you will be able to remove it easier.
- Using Vinegar. Vinegar cuts wonderfully through stains. You can make your own cleaning (all-purpose) solution with vinegar, citrus peels and water.
Last but not least, you can use tomatoes. The acid in them does magic with copper utensils. Cover whatever you wanna clean with mashed tomatoes and let it stay like that for a few minutes and then wash it off with soap and water. Ketchup does the same job pretty much.
The Absolute Best Copper Cookware Set Out There
This is an example of a copper cooking set that has everything an elite chef needs. On top of all its features it is extremely good looking and the company gives you a full lifetime warranty, which can only mean one thing. Yes, you guessed it right – everything here is solid quality (with just one exception, but we will get into that later).
The set includes a full suite of high-end copper utensils. Those are:
- A 1.9; 2.7; 3.2; and 6.4 quart saucepans with lids
- 10 inch skillet
The copper used throughout all the set is 2.5mm wide and the lining is stainless steel (18/10). The handles on the saucepans are from polished bronze and have steel rivets. The combined convenience of this set with its French perfectionism will provide you with solid cooking companions for the rest of your life.
With this set you can do everything from mixing the stir-fries, through sautéing the vegetables, to scrambling eggs. You can use it both for your daily meals or for professional cooking in restaurant kitchens.
Cleaning it up is easy, as well, due to the top-quality stainless steel coating on it. There are a few downsides to it all, though, so let’s get with the advantages and disadvantages of owning this set.
- Beautiful looking
- Best in class cooking performance
- 90% pure copper construction with 10% stainless steel lining
- Lifetime warranty
- Extremely Durable
- Coating prevents sticking
- Money can’t buy a better copper cookware set
- Isn’t by everyone’s pocket
- The handles made from bronze tend to heat quickly on high temps
- Some customers have issues with the lids seeming cheaply made (we think they are perfectly adequate)
Final Words On The Mauviel M’heritage M250B Copper Cookware Set
If you really want the greatest cooking set out there, this is the right choice. There aren’t many competitors in this price range, and even if there were, it wouldn’t matter, as the Mauviel M250B is everything you need. With its 2.5mm thick copper construction, and its bronze handles, you will have the best possible materials anywhere you look. This will take your cooking to the next level and will make your kitchen look like a professional 5 star cooking place.
Best Non-Stick Copper Cookware
When it comes to non-stick sets, this one truly beats every other out there. Not only because it includes lots of cool stuff in it, but because it has a price-tag to which everything else seems weirdly expensive. This set of five pieces from the American brand is perfect for you if you want a copper cookware set which will have more than just one purpose. It has a deep pan which can be used for:
- Rice Cooking
- As a Steamer
- Baking Dish
There is also a more shallow frying pan in this set which is one of the best copper non-stick pans out there too. The rest of the set includes a glass lid, a deep-frying basket, and a pack of utensils.
The greatest benefit with this set is that your cooking will require far less oil now, since the coatings here are non-stick. In fact, we tried using it with normal amounts of oil and the food literally slipped out of the pan with the slightest of movements. This is great news for your kitchen and for your health.
A potential downside is that the pans are squared in shape which means that they won’t cover circular hobs well enough but the copper’s ability to conduct heat and get to the right temperature quickly compensates well enough for that. Your coatings here will be PTFE and PFOA free.
Cleaning this set will be a breeze as with any other proper copper set. Just a few wipes and it will be ready to cook again. The deeper pan can be used in ovens too.
- Amazing price to value ratio
- Best non-stick coating out there
- Lots of additional utensils included
- Can be used for multiple purposes
- Can be easily cleaned
- Dishwasher safe
- PTFE and PFOA free
- The pans are squared in shape (won’t work efficiently with circular hobs)
- Limited (short) warranty period
Final Words On The Copper Chef Non-Stick Square Pan Kit
This is the perfect set for someone who is looking for something not so flashy but ever so practical. It gets the job done and will save you a lot of time as it is easy to clean due to the non-stick coating it has. The materials are solid and it will surely last you ages if you take care of it properly.
Top Rated Full Copper Set
This is perhaps the best full set of copper cookware. There are 10-piece and 13-piece variations, but the most sold one is the 10-piece one. Having tons of practical features, this set is designed for the simple and classic-loving minds out there. It maintains the traditional cookware appearance, but in a style of its own, creating a gorgeous look for the potential buyer. Having this set will put you one step in front of all those people with boring rose-golden looking copper sets. It has a futuristic and complex look, but without too many exquisite touches to it.
If you look at it and wonder where all the copper is, we got the answer for you. It is in the middle of a tri-ply aluminum/stainless steel/copper sandwich. The core is a heavy-gauge aluminum which ensures amazing heat distribution and conductivity and better overall cooking control.
Heat and moisture will be kept inside your pans due to the stainless steel covers that come with each of the elements of this set. This will lead to less cooking time and richer flavors of your meals.
- The elegant style cannot be denied here
- The Tri-Ply Copper/Aluminum/Stainless steel sandwich technology ensures great cooking control and amazing pan properties
- Keeps the flavors where they belong – in your dish
- Stainless steel Lids
- The inner coating doesn’t prevent sticking well
- The bottoms can be scratched easily
Final Words On The Calphalon Tri-Ply Copper 10 Piece Set
This set is an ideal choice for anyone looking for pans with great cooking control and flavor containment. The bottoms of the pans in this set can be quite sensitive to scratches, but this is exactly the reason why you should be more careful with your set. Taking care of it will also ensure that it will stay by your side for quite some time.
Most Highly Rated Copper Pan
Copper Chef 10 Inch Round Pan With Glass Lid
There isn’t much to say about this pan. Even though it is one of the cheapest, it is still one of the most highly rated ones out there. Honestly, it sells like hot bread, and for a reason. Things are simple here. You got a nice, round 10 inch pan which has a ceramic non-stick coating which allows for better cooking and cleaning. You can forget about oiling your pan here, as the coating will do the magic for you.
Furthermore this pan looks great and is insanely cheap. It is also safe to use in a dishwasher and is resistant to up to 800 degrees. There is a stainless steel induction plate in the middle which allows for even and fast cooking.
There are no PFOA or PTFE materials used here.
- Good looking
- Safe to be used in dishwashers
- Non-stick coating
- Heats up evenly and fast
- Glass lid included
- Materials used in it aren’t premium
Final Words On The Copper Chef 10 Inch Pan
If you are looking for a cheap, good value for money pan which is also good looking and durable, this is the right choice for you. It will cook whatever you throw in it and the non-stick coating will make your life easier.
Best Overall Brand
We will have to go with Mauviel here, especially their M’heritage Line, as our top set choice was. These guys make copper cookware for well over 200 years now and the craftsmanship reflects in the quality of their products. The M’Heritage line is consisted of gorgeously crafted utensils and is one of the most highly heat sensitive lines of copper cooking products out there.
Their overall characteristics consist of a 2.5mm thick copper outer layer, a stainless steel lining, and extended bronze (or cast iron) handles.
Their complete sets cost a kidney, but it really brings joy to any ambitious cook. If you want only some of the pieces of their complete sets, we recommend buying them individually, as it will be cheaper and you can get the best possible item for each job of yours.
We chose this brand not only because we love all their products but because the people who have complained of them can be counted with the fingers of your hand. It is a highly praised brand both from household cooks and professional top-rated restaurant chefs.
Most Popular Low Cost Set
This is a unique looking copper cookware set which you will proudly display in your kitchen and will cook with delight in it. It has a traditional look, but that is combined with some modern lines.
In the set you will get getting:
- 1.5 QT Saucepan (7 by 3 inches)
- 4 QT Saucepan (9 by 3.75 inches)
- 8.5 QT Dutch oven (10 by 7 inches)
- Frying Pan which is 9.5 by 2 inches
The thing with this set, though, is that it isn’t made from pure copper. The body’s main material is cast aluminum and only the coating is copper (and ceramic). The handles are stainless steel and the whole set has zero PTFE or PFOA substances used in it.
Each of the four elements heats up rapidly and evenly, while having a decent non-stick feel to its surface. The frying pan is perfect for pancakes (trust us on this one). In the instructions manual, you can read that the whole set is dishwasher-safe, but if we were you, we’d rather hand-wash it, just in case.
Apart from being compatible with all stovetops (even induction), the set is oven safe too. If your coating is ceramic, worry not, as the bottoms of the whole set have a coating which won’t scratch your ceramic surface.
- Easy on your wallet
- Looks great
- Handles well in all circumstances
- Good non-stick coating
- Utensils aren’t really heavy
- All the elements of the set come with their own lids
- You might have issues if you put any part of this set in a dishwasher
- Isn’t made from pure copper
- Quite sensitive to scratches
Final Words On The Concord Ceramic Coated Copper Cookware Set
This copper cooking set is the budget king, honestly. It can do everything the more expensive sets can at a fraction of their price. The only downside to your experience will be knowing that just a slight portion of the materials is pure copper here, hence the price. This will also increase the time the whole set needs to heat up and/or to control the temperature at which you cook. Other than that, it looks great and gets the job done. For this money, it’s a steal.
Looking for the best copper cookware set can be exhausting, especially since there are so many things to consider. Knowing what to look for when buying copper utensils is crucial to making the right purchase. Whether you want the best possible cooking set or simply a nice well-rounder, our article has the answer for you.