I'm buying a copper pan. Would you recommend tin-lined or stainless steel-lined? cast iron handle or stainless steel handle?
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AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
Tin lined, stainless or solid brass handle. The best quality you can afford. Treat it well and you will give it to your grandchildren when they're setting up their own kitchens. ;o)
I'd go stainless because I'm lazy and wouldn't want to deal with the maintenance issues of tin. As I understand, when it comes to actually cooking, ie, heat transfer, there is little practical difference. Also, you can't really sear anything in a tin-lined pan.
hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.
I'd go stainless for inside and handle for the same reasons as the Fantastic Mr. Fox. I've had my set for 15 years, and it's still going strong!
Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.
I vote for stainless, but am agnostic on the handle choices -- either would be fine (though cast iron can get rusty). Have fun shopping -- you're going to love having a copper pan!
Copper novice here. I hope you don't mind if I add on a question....What is the allure of copper pans?
Copper is the metal for conduction..heat, or cold...heat, obviously in this case.
Quality copper pots and pans provide the best heat transfer (from burner to pan to food) and the most even heating as well (no hot spots).
Copper in not inert and will react with food (like acids) so the interior is typically lined with either tin or stainless steel. The allure of tin is that it is the "original" non-stick cooking material; however, it requires "special" care for it to not get scratched, overly worn, or bubbled (from too much heat). Tin-lined copper pans eventually (like after a decade or so of light to medium use) need to be re-tinned, i.e., have the tin lining redone.
I believe the only thing that is acceptable to cook in an unlined copper pot is sugar (generally for candy making purposes)
Copper core as good as all around copper?
There's a lot of useful info about copper pots here: http://www.brooklyncoppercookware.com/aboutcopper.html
This company was recommended by Merrill in one of the earliest foodpickle threads (one which I started, incidentally). Search "copper" in the foodpickle search box, above.
I stand by my preference for tin lining, even if it doesn't tolerate as much abuse as stainless steel. It's just a wonderful surface on which to work.
My copper saucepans and gratins, which are tin-lined, have not needed re-tinning, though I use them regularly and have for thirty years. I take good care of them, especially while using them over heat, treating them with the respect they deserve. My mother's are going strong after about fifty years. . . Just FYI . . . . ;o)
I just bought two and am just learning about copper can you tell me what brand you have? I cook a lot and want my family safe
MM, I am now in the stainless-lined camp, having received two such pans since this thread was started. I use them all the time and could not be more pleased.
I do love the look of my tin-lined gratins for serving (oven to table!), but I tend to use those only on special occasions these days.
The stainless lined that I have are both Sur La Table's own brand, made in France, and perfectly gorgeous. One -- a 2 quart saucepan with lid -- has brass hardware, which I prefer. Copper and brass are both metals that have been used for centuries, and especially once the brass develops a patina, they are handsome together. But the stainless is also nice.
It seems that SLT no longer carries a branded line. They sell Mauviel, which happens to be the manufacturer of the enormous preserves pan that I use for making jam, marmalade and berries canned in syrup. It's a wonderful pan, but not lined, so my experience may be of limited utility.
Have fun! Copper is beautiful to behold and lovely for cooking. ;o)
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
I'm on "team stainless" because it doesn't need to be periodically retinned. BTW even though copper has superb conductivity the tinning can actually melt. To keep it shiny pick up some Copper-Glo.
When acidic foods are cooked in unlined copper cookware, or in lined cookware where the lining has worn through, toxic amounts of copper can leech into the foods being cooked.. This effect is exacerbated if the copper has corroded, creating reactive salts. Many countries and states prohibit or restrict the sale of unlined copper cookware. http://wn.com/copper_toxicity
I would pick the tin lined one, and the reason why is beacuase to me stainless steel leaves some kind of flavour to the food while tin has not this problem. Also, the look is much better with tin. Try Mauviel or Amoretti Brothers copper cookware (www.amorettibrothers.com) which are the best I know
I have been using tin lined cookware for 12years and also import and sell the cookware ,and never has tin melted as stated by Pierino
The results of cooking with tin lined is in a different league flavourwise ,to st st as it is much slower to heat and when its at temperature will leave a cooking line on the pan akin to a burn line ,flavour suffers as well
Check out our website on line www.frenchcopperstudio.com
Point of interest I do tinning as well having been trained by the people who produce my beautiful copperware in France in the small village of Dufort
Im trying to say in the above that st st is much slower to heat and leaves a cooking line . Tinned however heats quickly, you need to lower temp to med to attain an even temp throughout and you get no cook line ,results in an awesome flavour even in potatoes. Hope thats clear and not as i said in my above answer which i pressed send before reading it through
I've come to copper cookware rather late in my culinary life. I wish I'd done it much sooner. You will love cooking with it! Regarding the lining, I tortured myself with the same question -- tin or stainless, stainless or tin?? But my culinary hero, Jacques Pepin, says get stainless. I got a couple of pieces that are tin lined and now wish I hadn't. I feel like I have to be more careful with the tin and as soon as you use it, it never looks as pretty again. As for the handle, like Amanda, I am an an agnostic.