What would you choose as your first piece of copper cookware?

I own a two quart saucepan and a 10 inch saute pan in copper, and may (just may) get the opportunity to buy another piece in copper soon. I don't have any necessities to fill but want to replace some regular stainless steel I have, but I can't purchase a fleet of cookware. Any recommendations on what you would choose to purchase in copper if you had the opportunity? Thanks for the help!

Rupal P
  • Posted by: Rupal P
  • December 5, 2012


Rupal P. December 8, 2012
Thanks to everyone for the recommendations. The sale was so fun! I ended up going for a saute pan with lid, a bain de marie, and a paella pan (which could double for me as a roating pan or to make Indian rice preparations and stir fries and it looked like a good workhorse pan for me). .. I was thinking about the gratin instead but since I have nice l cree creuset gratin pains I thought I should hold back on that one. Very excited to have an expanded copper collection.
jsdunbar December 6, 2012
It's good to hear about a copper pan 35 years old that's like new! I didn't give copper another thought after I was given a copper fish pan 40 years ago & the lining was gone in less than a year . I guess it was a really cheap one.
Midge December 5, 2012
I'll second (fourth?) the gratin dish. Love mine. Re linings, I'm happy with my tin-lined pieces. Brooklyn Copperware website sums up the science of tin and stainless: http://www.brooklyncoppercookware.com/aboutcopper.html#Lining
Rupal P. December 5, 2012
Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! I also found this nice chowhound post on copper: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/607976
LLStone December 5, 2012
1) A gratin pan. 2) A jelly pan. I have both, and love them. 3) a sauce pan.
Rupal P. December 5, 2012
Yes, as I was wielding both weighted pans at the last warehouse sale I thought that the 2.5mm was a bit too heavy so went with 1.5mm. .sounds like the compromise on thickness won't be too problematic! :)
bigpan December 5, 2012
Although the 2.5mm is thicker, now that I am older they are noticeably heavier!
bigpan December 5, 2012
Regardless of which you decide on, make sure you buy quality. Look at the edge of the pot or pan and note the thickness of the copper - the thicker the better. The inside should be stainless or nickel. Tin is bad.
Most pots come without lids, so don't be alarmed to pay extra for a lid.
My set, about 18pcs, is French hotel quality and so far I've used it daily for over 35 years and it is as good as the first day.
I would start with a sauté pan - something you will use almost daily. Expect to pay about 150-200 USD. Remember the key word...quality.
Rupal P. December 5, 2012
How do you tell quality for sure? The Mauviel cookware (1830 series) I have is 1.5mm thick and 90% copper 10% stainless steel (the 2.5mm thick pots are a bit too expensive for me). Fortunately I have a saute pan I love already (no lid, but I just use a regular stainless lid for it when needed) and a 2 quart saucepan with lid - so I am thinking of what to do next. I like my copperware a thousand times better than my nonstick cookware and my regular stainless steel - it heats fast and evenly and doesn't have the food sticking issues I have with the other stainless steel cookware I have.
Rupal P. December 5, 2012
Cool, thank you! I will look for these pans. I am thinking of springing for a giant lidded braising pan as a kitchen workhorse. Any thoughts there? I love how fast copper heats - which I imagine makes it very well suited to gratins.
Diana B. December 5, 2012
If you are a jam and jelly maker, a beautiful big confiture pan like this: http://www.mauvielusa.com/Copper-Jam-Pan-plu2193.36.html
Rupal P. December 5, 2012
Wow, great idea! Never thought of that - I hope they have it available at the sale I'm going to. (The Emile Henry warehouse sale is this weekend . . i'm all set to go - Mauviel cookware here I come!!)

Voted the Best Reply!

AntoniaJames December 5, 2012
A lovely gratin dish. So useful, as it goes on top of the stove, into the oven and under the broiler, and of course, out onto the table! It was the first piece of copper I received, as a very young woman; if I had to choose a favorite piece of cookware in my kitchen, this would be the one. It's beautiful, versatile and functional. What more could you want? Have fun! ;o)
Amanda H. December 5, 2012
Totally agree with AJ -- I have a copper gratin dish and love it.
Amanda H. December 5, 2012
Totally agree with AJ -- I have a copper gratin dish and love it.
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