Step into many high-end kitchens, and one of the first things you will notice is the gorgeous copper pots in racks hanging on the walls. It’s enough to make you want to become a world-class chef just to have the opportunity to prepare exquisite meals using them. Before you run to your nearest luxury kitchen store to pick up some Copper Chef copper pans of your own, keep in mind that an entire set could easily run you thousands of dollars, with a single pot well over $100. Just what is it that makes copper cookware a must-have for some of the world’s top chefs?
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE HEAT
Put any pot or pan on the stove or in the oven, and it’s sure to heat up – as long as you have properly set the temperature, of course. However, not all pans are made alike. The efficiency with which a pot or pan conducts and distributes heat depends on the material of which it is made. And when it comes to conductivity, copper wins first prize hands down. Because of the efficiency with which copper distributes the heat, even the most inexperienced cook can prepare foods with only the most minimal risk of hot spots and scorching. A copper pot responds to even the smallest adjustments in temperature, allowing you to prepare even the most delicate of jams or sauces without burning them. Copper is also ideal if you want to perfectly braise and brown foods. Items prepared in copper pots and pans also stay warm for longer because of the metal’s conductive properties.
Have you ever wondered why many surfaces such as doorknobs in hospitals are made of copper? The answer is that microbes cannot live on copper’s surface because it is toxic to them. At the same time, it has no poisonous potential for humans and is perfectly safe for us.
Some cookware, particularly pots made of cast-iron, are extremely heavy and unwieldy. They can be quite a challenge to lift safely. On the other hand, some aluminum items are so light that they can be inadvertently moved off the burner while you are stirring. Copper strikes just the right balance, neither too ponderous nor too skimpy. With copper, you can rest assured that it will stay put on your burners, yet you can easily lift the pot or pan with one hand when the need arises.
If you care for it well, the copper cookware that you buy today can be passed on to your children and down through the generations. Most copper cookware is lined with tin, ceramic or stainless steel to keep the metal from reacting with the foods you cook. Protect the lining of your pots and pans by doing the following:
- Avoid scouring.
- Don’t sear foods at high temperatures.
- Use silicone or wooden utensils. If your pots are lined with tin, metal utensils will wear away the surface.
- Polish regularly with a paste made of salt, flour and white vinegar or a professional copper polish.
- When you can see more than a quarter-sized bit of copper, it’s time to have your pot or pan retinned.
Following these guidelines can protect your investment and enable it to perform at peak levels whenever you prepare food.
Finally, a discussion of the benefits of copper cookware would not be complete without a nod to the unabashed stunning burnished beauty of well-tended copper pots and pans. Whether you are a world-class chef or the equivalent of a kitchen weekend warrior, possessing these superlative pots and pans will not only enhance the flavors of many of the foods you prepare but will also impress virtually anyone who walks into your kitchen. There is no doubt that a premium set of copper cookware such as Copper Chef copper pans will make a dent in your wallet. However, it’s an investment that you and anyone for whom you cook will be glad you made.