My favorite cookware is Mauviel Professional Copper Cookware. This cookware, from legendary French cookware maker Mauviel, has stainless steel interiors and has a commercial weight of 2.5 mm thick copper. I love the cast-iron handles of this particular series.
Other pieces in Mauviel that I love cooking with is their double boiler and the potato steamer.
Good sources for copper cookware are Williams-Sonoma and The French Copper Studio. The French Copper Studio, www.frenchcopperstudio.com offers a re-tinning service, which is great if you find lovely antique copper cookware that is in need of re-tinning.
I love my small collection of vintage copper and tin cake molds, which were essential equipment in every well-stocked nineteenth century European kitchen. Motley Collection has a wonderful assortment.
I also love to use my oval copper fish poacher. This antique example is available from Four & Twenty Blackbirds Kitchen Antiques.
I feel that copper cookware, especially the old, gives a kitchen a feeling of warmth and certainly a European feel. Most cooking schools that I have attended, both in Europe and in the United States, are stocked with well used and loved copper cookware.
I think that copper has been the preferred choice of most professional chefs and amateur cooks for generations because copper pots and pans have the best transfer of heat of any cookware product, not to mention they are so aesthetically pleasing! Copper with a thickness of 2.5 millimeters, heats evenly so there are no hot spots when you are cooking. The traditional and time-honored lining is tin, mainly because it is almost as good a conductor of heat as copper. High heat will cause the tin to eventually wear away and when this happens, the pans must be re-tinned in order to be safe for cooking. If the stainless steel is cored with aluminum, it is a very good alternative to a tin lining.
Helpful tips for cooking in copper:
- The most important thing to remember when cooking with 2.5 copper is not to use too much heat!!
- Never be without “Barkeeper’s Friend” or Mauviel copper cleaner. (For exterior use).
- Never heat a copper pot or pan when it is empty, never use steel wool on the inside , and never put your copper cookware in the dishwasher!
- Always use low to moderate heat and use wooden utensils.
- Most importantly USE your beautiful cookware, which gives the cook great pleasure and the cookware a great patina!