Is it safe to cook in an old copper crepe pan?

I have a lot of Cop-R-Chef and would like to add a crepe pan. I'd like to get an older one, something with a little wear on it. However, I am confused about the safety of using older pans due to copper poisioning. There are great things on ebay but they are either too new (expensive) or have damage on the inside. How does this work?

  • Posted by: Astates
  • November 5, 2013


cookbookchick November 7, 2013
Aha! Thanks, ChefOno, I will keep that in mind.
ChefOno November 7, 2013

You take a hot pan and dunk it in cold water. The classic scenario involves a sink full of dishwater but running water works even better as the inside cools more quickly than the outside. The effect may not be obvious until you repeat the trick a number of times but eventually you end up with a warped pan.

ChefOno November 6, 2013

My personal opinion is you'd be better off, in the long run especially, with a stainless interior. "They just don't make them like they used to" because they don't have to anymore. Stainless is far superior to tin in every way except perhaps cost. If you want something that looks like it's 200 years old, Mauviel has your (stainless-lined) pan. Just be careful not to burn your hand on the brass handle.

That said, considering we're talking about crêpe pans, no a tin lining would not limit you. Butter sizzles +- 200F and will burn long before tin's melting point would become an issue. And remember that any pan can be wrecked by abuse. I'd bet more pans are damaged by overcooling than by too much heat.

cookbookchick November 7, 2013
I am curious, ChefOno, how does one overcool a pan?
Astates November 6, 2013
Is tinning going to limit my use of the pan? Im hearing that the tin can only heat to 450 before it melts. Perhaps I should stick with stainless, which I assume can be heated to a higher degree? Bear in mind that I am only learning to cook and don't really know how to calibrate heat any further than "Ok, the gas is turned to medium…"
cookbookchick November 7, 2013
If you are looking for a wonderful crepe pan, the De Buyer blue steel crepe pan made in France is ideal. It requires a little seasoning --!just follow the instructions -- and costs only about $25 bucks. Save your copper money for another type of pan.
CoppermillKitchen November 6, 2013
Actually an old copper crepe pan is perfectly safe to cook in as long as the tinning inside is not worn through. A re tinned crepe pan is even better. Once you retinn an old pan it should be good for years and the cost is worth the history of a 19th century pan. They just don't make them like they used to! I use mine all of the time,
ChefOno November 6, 2013

Older copper pans are lined with tin, which is perfectly safe, but requires ongoing maintenance unlike your All-Clad's stainless interior. If you really want an older pan, safety isn't something you need to worry about (although the cost of having it relined should be part of the calculation).

Astates November 6, 2013
Thank you so much for this advice-this worry has been keeping me from purchasing an older pan. Now I'm sure I will spend extra money and buy a new one. I really appreciate this answer.
Valentina S. November 5, 2013
I don't think you should cook in a worn copper pan. You shouldn't even cook in a worn aluminum pan - or in any other worn pan, let alone copper. Old copper pans make a wonderful kitchen decoration, but that is the only purpose they should serve. Now there are new technologies on copper pans, but even new ones need to be re-lined every now and then. It's not only copper that it's toxic, but all that's in the layers under it.

pleasepleaseplease never cook in a worn pan!
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