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French Copper Pots = lined with TIN or STEEL?

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I've heard that it's pointless to line a copper pot with stainless as it just takes away it's heat conductivity, and that although it's more pernsnickty to use tin is the better choice. People are a fan of stainless because it's easier to clean and use (doesn't need re-tinning ever, etc) but that it doesn't really bring out the best in a copper pan.


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  1. There are three, somewhat unrelated issues involved in answering your question. First is the question of even heat diffusion, i.e. lateral transfer of heat from the point where it's applied to the rest of the pan, so you don't get hot spots. That is largely a function of the primary material the pan is made of (copper) and the thickness of the copper. The lining really doesn't matter. Second is responsiveness, the ability of the pan to heat up and cool off quickly as the heat source is adjusted. That's a function of which metal is contributing the bulk of the thermal mass, which again is the copper - the mass of the lining is minor. Finally, there's the issue of heat transfer vertically through the pan and into the food, which is probably less important than the first two. Here, the lining material does matter and tin does have a better coefficient of thermal transfer than stainless, but one of the terms in the heat transfer equation is the distance that the heat has to travel through the material. Because the lining is so thin, the difference between tin and stainless, while real, is minimal and probably can't be noticed in practice. All of my few dozen copper pieces are tin-lined because I'm an unapologetic traditionalist, but if I were interested solely in maintenance-free cooking I'd opt for stainless, no question.

    10 Replies
    1. re: FlyFish

      ^^Thank you for your thoughtful response. May I ask how long you've had your tin-lined copper cookware and if you've had it re-tinned yet? I know not to used tin-lined for searing and such (I'd use my Griswold for that), mainly to sauté in - if it were used correctly how long would tin-lined copper cookware last before it would need a re-tinning? I prefer the look of the tinned if preformance isn't a huge factor.

      1. re: beauxgoris

        I don't know about FlyFish (a few DOZEN?!?) but I have three pieces of tin lined copper. The oldest piece is about 20 years old. It is a really large skillet. On average it gets used about weekly, (often in the oven) -- lining shows very little wear -- maybe it'll need a reline by whoever inherits it.

        I have a medium-large (3qt?) windsor pan than get used a bit less, it has a slightly more "used" interior, but still ought to be good for a decade or more.

        Finally I have a stock pot. During the cooler months it gets used probably 6-8 times a month, the warmer months far less. It looks like new, though it is over a decade old.

        Mind you these were bought new and are quality pans, really built to commercial use standards. I suspect that in a commercial kitchen even these might need to be retinned annually, but I don't cook out of these exclusively. They are hammered copper, very HEAVY, almost to the point of being unwieldy, but when I am making something for a crowd (or showing off) I do use them. They are handwashed and stored well...

        The tinned lined hammered stuff looks wonderful. I think there is a wee bit of performance edge, but that may just be shear density. I have multi-ply pans with copper cores surrounded by SS and they work very very well too. They don't make nearly as impressive a visual, though they are a lot more forgiving of less than perfect care...

        1. re: beauxgoris

          Sorry for not getting back to you sooner - I was away for the weekend, and as it turns out renov8r has already told you just about exactly the same thing I would have. Given even modest care, the tin linings on good-quality copper (most of my pieces are Mauviel) are not nearly as fragile as some would have you believe. My oldest pieces are 20+ years old and have been in steady, but certainly not daily, use. I haven't had to have any retinned yet, but there are a couple that are just about ready for it.

        2. re: FlyFish

          Can I just say, one cook to another, that was an amazing amount of information. I really appreciate it. I worked with a set of copper pans for the first time this Fall, when I was teaching in France and I fell head over heels for them. fayefood.com

          1. re: FlyFish

            stainless steel sticks! i don't have as much of a problem with that when i use my heavy french copper- not sure if that is tin or nickel lined. it is maybe 35 years old and just got to where the lining has worn off in spots.

            1. re: FlyFish

              Tin is also inert and will not react with foods,unlike stainless, of chrome and nickel origin, one can become concerned when heat is applied ? Further, when the stainless steel cladding separates
              from the copper due to uneven/unequal amounts of heat ,the pan is ruined Can,t be repaired. Tin on the other hand can be relined to cook another day.
              copper cookware with tin lining is tradition, don,t apologize . copper cookware has been serving us well for the last several centuries. Other cookware materials can,t say that.

              In this disposable world we live in, how many products that we spend money for are functional,
              ever wearing ,long lasting ,consistently do what there supposed to do day in and day out,look good ,energy efficient and bring a smile to our face?

              We tin in Brooklyn everyday both new and old. The copper with stainless , we send back with apologies and regrets.

              cook on!

              1. re: jherkes

                I would not say that tin is inert, rather it is not poisonous to humans. Tin reacts to oxygen resulting in the darkening of tin lined pots. I have seen more than a few that have required retinning due to someone trying to make the interior shiny..

                1. re: jherkes

                  I would not say tin is inert either. My mother told me when I was a kid that tin will react with acid foods cooked in it, so she never cooked tomatoes or made vinegar reductions in her heavy-duty hammered copper/tin pots. My chemistry teacher in high school also told me the same thing when I had his class junior year, as did my brother the metallurgist. Tin is also softer than steel, which is why it won't take quite the same kind of abuse. You'll remove some of the metal easily of you have to scrub a tin pot hard.

                  1. re: laguna_greg

                    I don't think cooking acid foods in tin lined copper is dangerous. I was just making the point that is not inert, just does not form poisons when mixed with food. It does react with some elements.

                    If tin lined pots posed a danger, I a dead and do not know it. It is about all I have used for 30 years.

                    1. re: Bigjim68

                      Jim, you are not dead. I have not even met you and I can attest that you, indeed, are alive. I was agreeing with you in an interesting way.


              2. Tin is more conductive, so it'll get the heat from the flame to your food 'faster' and more efficiently than stainless steel *of the same thickness*.

                As mentioned above, since stainless doesn't conduct as well as tin, the heat will spread through the copper more evenly before making its way to the food, which is one of the main reasons one buys copper. It's much easier to control the heat in a stainless lined pan.

                Overall, because stainless linings are generally much thinner than tin linings, there is very little difference in actual use. Tin conducts heat about 4 times as well as stainless (although still only one-sixth as well as copper), but is also usually applied in a layer two to three times as thick as a stainless layer. End result is heat transfer to the food that's only marginally better, with the tradeoff of a more concentrated hotspot.

                Personally, I prefer stainless because it doesn't require special treatment. The first time your wife/husband/child overheats a pot you'll appreciate stainless. Being able to use a green scrubbie is a bonus, too.

                That much said, tin would still be preferable in thinner pans used for boiling, especially stockpots. Otherwise, it really doesn't make as much of a difference as you may have been led to believe.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ThreeGigs

                  I have to agree on stainless - especially if you do not have total control of your kitchen and others may harm it unknowingly. One of my favorite pots is a copper Mauviel that I use daily to boil eggs. The water boils in record time - faster than any other cookware I've experienced - a testament to heat conduction for sure. I have been tempted often to buy a tin-lined pan...convenience and worry-free upkeep makes me happy I stayed with the stainless. Mine has the heavy handles - commercial grade and my only complaint is in the rusting...anyone know how to avoid this?

                  1. re: ellequint

                    Hi, ellequint:

                    Most cooks just wipe on a bit of cooking oil. If you want to get fancy, you can resort to an old blacksmith trick: heat and then wipe or brush a coat of carnauba wax on the iron.


                2. Get the stainless; inherit the tin.

                  1. You have to re-tin every so often since tin is softer, which is expensive and a pain in the ass.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: takadi

                      ^^^Doesn't depend on how you treat it? I'd be interested to hear how many times a decade pans need re-tinning from someone that's used theirs for a while.

                      1. re: beauxgoris

                        I have a set of stainless lined pans by Falk and they are great pans, with some reservations. They are Heavy. They state in the instructions not to use salt in your cooking because it wears away the lining. Try cooking without salt some time. Does not work. Once the stainless goes (if it goes) that is it. You have to chuck them away. Handles are 19th century style cast iron. They tend to rust a little which is no big deal, the major problem being that they get very hot when cooking. Potholders are essential, unless you have VERY calloused hands. This is a pain in the neck. I have had them for a year and am not unhappy, but wish they could of used a lighter/less conductive metal for the handles. Oh yeah...they are also expensive as hell. Maybe buy one or two first.

                        1. re: mythomane

                          Every piece of stainless steel cookware I own came with a tag saying not to expose the pan to salt. It hardly "wears away" linings so you should use salt as you normally would and don't lose sleep over it. Don't add salt exclusively to an otherwise empty pan; if adding salt to a liquid, heat the liquid first, then stir in the salt rather than letting salt sit in the bottom until dissolved by boiling. Don't leave large amounts of salt in an otherwise empty pan and you're fine!

                          If you don't want to use salt at all, then get rid of that pan; is it really worth using a pan that prevents you from cooking things to your best capabilities? What's the point?

                          1. re: Zedeff

                            I've had one ss lined copper saucepan (Mauviel) for going on 15 years and salt notwithstanding, it's in fine shape. It might not be as responsive tin, I wouldn't know, but it's a great pot. IMHO, iron handles are presumably longer lasting and while not quite as pretty to look at, not a big issue. I don't think the handle on mine has ever gotten hot enough to be seriously uncomfortable, but I guess it depends how long you usually leave it over heat.

                            As to the salt thing, I think the biggest thing to avoid is a lot of salt + moisture. It's probably unecessary, but if I'm adding salt to water, I do stir it around so it doesn't just sit on the bottom while it comes to a boil or whatever...

                          2. re: mythomane

                            FYI about the salt thing, read my post in this thread:


                            1. re: ThreeGigs

                              Thanks, I don't have a regular habit of adding after/before boiling and pitting hasn't been a problem with any of my (now rather aging SS pots, in general), but it's worth knowing about.

                            2. re: mythomane

                              I think the salt pitting thing is mostly cosmetic anyway. Stainless cookware makers warn about it, because they don't want you to try and return the pot later when it's "damaged" in this way.

                              1. re: will47

                                My Falk instructions don't say not to use salt, and they certainly don't say it will "wear away" the stainless. Virtually nothing will wear away .2mm of stainless steel.

                                What they do say is to avoid adding salt until liquid has come to a boil, the same good advice that applies to every stainless pan. And, as will47 says, if salt pits do develop they are more of a cosmetic effect than anything that affects the function of the pan.

                                I find the cast iron handles stay significantly cooler than bronze handles (as on the Mauviel line made for Williams-Sonoma). The champion of coolness, both in terms of temperature and looks, is the long, curved cast stainless handle on Mauviel's Cuprinox Style line [now discontinued in 2mm copper, sadly].

                            3. re: beauxgoris

                              I might qualify. I have used mostly tin lined copper for 30 years. In a home kitchen, assuming no one uses metal in the pots, and everyday usage, I send about one out every couple of years. Mine do not get abused.

                              Care is simple. Stay away from BKF and the green scrubbies on the tin. Only wooden or plastic utensils. I use Wrights for the outside as it is cheap and available where I live. Overnight soaking with a little soap will generally clean the interior is it gets too bad. Do not try to keep the tin shiny.. I will admit to using salt as a cleaner if the interior has been abused. You can keep them spotless, never clean the outside, or somewhere in between. I am an in between guy.

                          3. At last count there were 18 copper pots and pans in our professional home kitchen. Some new, others dating back to the '60s (Paris). All three hand-hammered stock pots are tin lined and have held up well. They will never need retinning. So, if cheaper, buy tin lined stock pots. The 9" tin-lined sautuese has been retired after one retinning and in need of another. Two tin lined sauce pots are less used for the same reason. Over the last 25 years, we've retined three pans, the sautuese and one sauce pot at about $75 each and one huge handled high top at $90. I will have to retin the high top again in a year or so since I can't be without it. So, I'm one with Karl S: "buy stainless inherit tin." To that end, I have found the Bourgeat stainless lined copper pans to be the best on the planet. Not surprisingly, they're also the most expensive.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: GeezerGourmet

                              I'm sorry for being nosy, but how many people are you cooking for? I just can't imagine needing 18 copper pots in a home kitchen. Or do you collect copper for pleasure rather than constant daily use?

                              1. re: Gooseberry

                                Just as Julia Childs says you can make do with three knives, so too with pots and pans. Or in the workshop, why buy power tools when a hammer, hand saw and brace and bit will do? It's all about the job and tools: Can a whole salmon fillet be sauteed in a 9" frying pan? Sure. It will hang over the sides a bit if not first cut in half to fit the pan. Can it be done better, with less trauma to the fish resulting in a better presentation, if prepared in a 14" oval frying pan designed for the job?. Yah! And more fun too.
                                And so on, for flared and straight sided pans, big and small stock pots, evasees with one handle, casseroles with two. Or maybe the chef wants to present a dish in the pan it was made in...chicken pot pies in individual copper ramekins, for example. Awesome! Go overboard a little for pleasure and display: sure--that too (see photo);.

                                1. re: GeezerGourmet

                                  GeezerG, that's the most superb answer to that question I've ever heard.

                                  1. re: GeezerGourmet

                                    Thanks for the detailed reply, geezergourmet. While I might not be at your stage yet, I certainly don't have three pots either (your post prompted me to count: 3 frying pans, 1 stock pot, 2 saucepans, 1 pasta pot, 6 LC-type enamel cast iron pots/dishes)! Maybe one day when I have space and money, I'll go your route. For now, I'm planning on buying my first entry-level copper pan (SS-lined), so the copper bug may very well bite!

                                    1. re: GeezerGourmet

                                      Did forget to emphasize that they are really beautiful pans. Nice whites there, geezer!

                                2. Ther are 2 more options that you don't mention. I have some Spring Bro's heavy commercial copper pans that are nickel lined and there is essentially no wear, despite heavy use for nearly 20 years. I ahve also used, but can't claim ownership (although I do covet some) a silver-lined saute pan, that is even more responsive than tin lined. Silver is just about as conductive as the copper, but I don't know about the wear resistance.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: chazzerking

                                    These are all great replies. I'm leaning towards tin I think. I'm a traditionalist I guess.

                                    1. re: chazzerking

                                      Chazzerking, I've inherited a Spring copper fish poacher and I have been looking all over the net for info on it, which search actually led me to you! It's vintage, it's very possibly from their commercial line. The lining looks like silver to me, tarnishes like silver, but I don't know what nickel lined looks like, and the Spring website mentions a silver alloy (silinox, I think). I am hoping you can help me to identify the pot. The markings are simply "SPRING" (over a crest of maybe a springbok??) Below that is "MADE IN SWITZERLAND" and below that is "IV", and I am going to *try* to attach a photo soon

                                      Thanks for reading this and any help you can give me!

                                      1. re: Goodnight Gracie

                                        i have a copper / silver lined casserole that i cannot find any info on. it has a paper with it that says it was made by Christian Wagner in West Germany. it also says the company, Wagner, was founded in 1524. the pot has a mark on it that indicates the amount of silver that the interior is lined with.
                                        i can't find anything online about this company.
                                        anyone know?
                                        it is a lovely pot and i would love to know more about it. oh- i got it at an antique store for i think 40 bucks? it looked new, except for a small heat mark on the underside.
                                        thanks in advance for any knowledge-

                                        1. re: jackie57

                                          Hi, jackie57:

                                          I would love to see this pan. Please post photos? If it was made in "West Germany", that means 20th C., but it still might be very good quality. Most makers only lined their very best in silver.

                                          You might want to also check out oldcopper.org. If Vin Calcut doesn't have a photo of the Wagner mark, I know he'd appreciate having one for his compilation.

                                          Most importantly, how does it cook? Do you have any information on advantages/disadvantages of silver over tin linings?


                                    2. Wow, this thread has impressively well-written (detailed and articulate) posts!

                                      I've been curious about copper cookware for some time but haven't been able to justify the cost. Someone has posted for sale a small copper stock pot on my local Craigslist that is absolutely stunning, especially because it is hand-hammered, has a tin interior and riveted cast brass handles. The pot is 10.5' high by 7' wide and the seller is asking $200 for it. I'd like to buy it but am uncertain this is a good value.

                                      May I ask two questions of my own? Does the tin interior discolour? Also, where would one get pots re-tinned?


                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: DishyDiva

                                        Ack, where to start?
                                        For your first copper piece, a stock pot isn't something I'd recommend. You generally want copper because its high conductivity means it spreads heat more evenly than other materials, meaning a small flame on a gas burner won't cause a spot of burnt food in the pan directly above it. That property is not of much use on stockpots which are generally used for thin liquids that can convect the heat away.

                                        As for value, NOT ALL COPPER COOKWARE IS CREATED EQUALLY. In general, you want your copper to be 2 millimeters thick, or thicker. A stockpot of the size you describe should weigh about 8 or 9 pounds. Always ask how heavy a piece is, or how thick the copper is. In general, avoid Tagus and Copral brands, or anything made in Portugal. Also avoid any copper pieces with a 'rolled' edge. If the copper is thin enough to roll, it's too thin to cook well with. In general, the higher end copper cookware pieces are made with cast-iron handles, not brass. That said, a thin copper pot *is* good for boiling water, as the conductivity of the copper, plus the thinness yields great efficiency in getting heat from an electric element or gas flame into the water.

                                        Now, if that $200 copper pot (seems like a pasta pot, as it's taller than it is wide) is heavier than 8 lbs., or 2.5mm thick or thicker, you may have found yourself a bargain.

                                        As for retinning... there are many places where you can mail your pot to be retinned. Measure your pot down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side (in inches). Multiply by 4, and that's the usual cost (in dollars) for retinning. Your stockpot above would cost:
                                        10.5 + 10.5 + 7 = 28 inches, times 4 = $112 for retinning.
                                        Just use Google to search for retinning copper cookware. Yes, the tin lining will discolor and dull over time as the tin wears away.

                                        If you're really interested in trying out copper cookware, I suggest you look for a saucepan (or sauteuse) or saute pan as your first piece. I personally recommend against tin-lined, unless you're only boiling water. Good luck, and be careful about getting bitten with the copper cookware bug, as you've seen it can get pretty expensive!

                                        1. re: ThreeGigs

                                          Hi all,
                                          Since this seems to be the place for copper questions I thought I'd get your opinion on a set of copper pots I bought at an estate sale. At the time I thought it was too good to be true and perhaps it was. I got 7 pieces and 4 lids for $140. The previous owner was a family friend and known as a great cook so I assumed they were good quality and the low price was due to the need to sell. Some of the pots are marked Copral and some are don't have a makers mark but also have a rolled lip. They have been well used so that two or three of the pots will need to be re-tinned. I wonder if they worked well for her or if she just figured it was good enough. So my main question is, is there any point in keeping them and using the pieces with the intact tin or should I just try to sell them on ebay as a decorative set or something so that I could buy a better brand?

                                          1. re: lacodaeast

                                            Copral is...not so good. Thin copper from Portugal with thin tin linings.
                                            Copper for a pan should be thick enough that not only shouldn't you have to roll the lip to make it sturdy, it should be too thick to roll in the first place.

                                            Put it this way. If you think you could put a 'ding' or dent in the copper, it's essentially junk (unless it's just for boiling water on a gas stove).

                                            Go here:

                                            Look at the weights of the pans they have listed, and compare to yours.

                                            1. re: ThreeGigs

                                              Yes, do go there to see... Falk pans with rolled rims! LOL

                                        2. re: DishyDiva

                                          FYI, I think I found your pot on Craigslist. It looks like a Mauviel soup station pot in the Cuprinox line, with a lid from a lower-end line. If so, it's a great deal at $195... if you have a use for a copper soup pot, that is :-).

                                          1. re: ThreeGigs

                                            ThreeGigs, thank you SO much for taking the time to answer at length my queries and going so far as to search for the pot on Craigslist for me.

                                            The pot I'm considering is indeed listed at $195 (I don't know why I thought it was $200).

                                            It didn't occur to me to ask how heavy the pot is but I defintely will ask. I am in the market for a stock pot anyway and this one fits the bill in terms of size. Also, it's attractive enough for storing/displaying in plain view -- a necessity as I have absolutely no more cupboard space.

                                            I can see how one can go bankrupt building a collection of copper cookware but I don't aspire to matching that of GeezerGourmet's! Given what I've read, 2 or 3 pieces is within my budget and should serve me well. As per your advice, I will get a sauteuse but since -- as you point out, the Craigslist stock pot seems to be a good deal, I will start with this piece.

                                            Wow, this has been truly educational. Cheers! :-)

                                        3. I own a couple of very nice stainless steel lined copper pieces and love them! I have the extra heavy commercial grade 2.5mm copper with the cast iron handles. The 2mm or thinner copper cookware usually come with bronze (or is it brass?) handles.

                                          The only difference between stainless steel and tin is, you have to eventually replace the tin lining, and you can't accidentally overheat a tin lining or you will ruin it.

                                          Yes, purists will use tin lined copper. But if you are like me and like to use tremendous amounts of heat when I saute and cook in general, the stainless steel lined copper will be foolproof to use.

                                          It is a personal preference, but I prefer the stainless lining.

                                          And, no I don't bother keeping the outside of my copper pots and pans bright and shiny. I want people to know I use my cookware, and I think unpolished copper looks just as good.

                                          11 Replies
                                          1. re: Fatbuddy

                                            I've always heard that copper pans were much less conductive with SS lining. Is that true or false?

                                            1. re: beauxgoris

                                              Thermal conductivity in k (W/m·K) of
                                              copper: 401
                                              tin: 66
                                              Stainless steel: 16 to 18 (300 series average)

                                              So, tin conducts heat about 4 times as well.


                                              The typical lining of stainless in a copper pan is .008 inches, or about 0.2 millimeters. Tin is typically quoted at 0.5 millimeters, but your mileage may vary as the lining wears, due to variances in hand wiping, etc.

                                              So, tin conducts 4 times as well, but is 2 1/2 times as thick. So the words "much less conductive" fail to apply in my book, as the heat *does* make its way into the food in the pan lined with stainless, it just 'spreads sideways' more than it would with a tin lining, and THAT'S A GOOD THING in my book.

                                              Oh, as long as we're at it.
                                              Conductivity of nickel: 91
                                              Conductivity of silver: 429

                                              If you *really* care about conductivity in your copper pans, you'd have them silver or nickel plated. You can still find silver lined copper cookware, or have yours plated instead of retinned.

                                              1. re: ThreeGigs

                                                Excellent post, and I agree completely. Another factor concerning conductivity is that you can be more comfortable turning the heat up under a stainless lining than under a tin one, as Fatbuddy alluded to above. As I mentioned in my earlier post, all my copper is tin-lined because I'm a traditionalist, but stainless really is more practical and doesn't hurt the performance at all.

                                                1. re: FlyFish

                                                  I'm new at copper pots and pans. I bought 2 at a yard sale the other day and absolutely love the way they cook.

                                                  I am wondering how in the world to tell the weight (thus the conductivity) of the product when it's listed in a catalog . . . at a very nice sale price I must add! I'm thinking I'll have to go to the actual store to get a closer-more-informed look.

                                                  1. re: anoelchick

                                                    wait I'm confused, are you trying to price your yardsale pots - or just buy more of the same?

                                                    1. re: beauxgoris

                                                      I am actually just trying to learn more about copper pans, so that when I buy them, I will know more about what I'm doing. That is why I found this site.

                                                      The copper pans I found at a yard sale are heavier and marked "Made in Portugal" while the ones I bought from the catalog are lighter and sadly marked "Made in China." I have a feeling that although I like these bright and shiny new additions to my kitchen that they're not as special as I had hoped.

                                                      I've not tried them yet though--maybe they'll still prove themselves worthy :)

                                                      1. re: anoelchick

                                                        Made in Portugal?

                                                        You sir, have yet to encounter 'heavy' copper.
                                                        Go to a Willams Sonoma or Sur la Table, or anywhere that sells Mauviel near you. Then you'll know what truly heavy copper cookware feels like.

                                                        Or, get the Falk 'try me' piece.

                                                        1. re: ThreeGigs

                                                          ThreeGigs, I will do what you've suggested. I'm not a sir though--I'm a woman. ;)

                                                        2. re: anoelchick

                                                          As ThreeGigs correctly points out, copper made in China, Portugal, or Italy is rarely (actually, never, in my experience) equal to the truly high-quality lines such as the French Mauviel or Bourgeat and the Belgian Falk. The difference is in the thickness of the copper. If you have access to a caliper, you can measure the thickness directly - 2.0 mm is typically considered an absolute minimum thickness for "heavy" copper and really 2.5 mm is a more standard lower limit. I have a number of pieces that are 3.5 mm thick, which is the maximum thickness I've ever seen. Lesser lines, and even the "presentation" series manufactured by Mauviel, tend to be in the 1.0 to 1.25-mm range.

                                                          If you'd like to check the thickness of the pieces you have (and don't have access to a good caliper), compare them to the thickness of a standard CD, which is 1.25-mm. My guess is they'll be roughly the same, or a bit less. For comparison, real quality heavy copper will be the equivalent of 2 to 3 CDs thick.

                                                  2. re: ThreeGigs

                                                    Turns out if you run the numbers (I actually found data for thermal conductivity at elevated temps) the tin lined pot has a theoretical heat flux that is 1.55X higher than the stainless steel which is not a trivial difference 124,000 vs. 80,000 W/m^2*K). The implication is that you can heat about 50% faster in a tin lined pot than in a stainless steel pot. I'm going to see if I can run an experiment with a thermocouple to measure temp rise in both styles of pans if I can find ones with comparable copper wall thicknesses. God, what a geek - 10 years in college and 20 in the kitchen...I personally like a couple pieces of each as there are benefits to each.

                                                    1. re: WoodFire

                                                      The factor of 1.55 would only apply if the tin and stainless linings are the same thickness (see ThreeGigs post above). I've never actually measured the thickness of tin vs. stainless, but if the 2.5:1 ratio he/she cites is correct, then the stainless-lined pan should transfer heat faster (assuming all other factors, including thickness of the copper, to be equal). Please post your results when/if you get around to conducting your experiment.

                                              2. I guess I am somewhere in the middle, with about a dozen pieces of copper, most of which get used pretty regularly. Most are very heavy Mauviel. Two pieces have SS lining, a small sauce pan and a roasting pan. The SS seems to stick a little more than the tin and perhaps to be a little less responsive, but both are fantastic. I got the SS in those two pans because they both get a lot of use with Delbor whisks which would chisel away tin in nothing flat. I do vastly prefer the cast iron handles, I like they way they look and they are way more comfortable and solid to grip than those pretty but generally thinner brass ones. Also a word on lids...obviously just about anything works (I use a cookie sheet on my 12" skillet!), but if you are getting pans with matching kids, the old fashioned French style ones with pigtail handles are fabulous. They don't fit so tight that the create stovetop sputter and they are very easy to use for draining things.

                                                Collecting copper pans (I also have some cast iron, an SS stock pot, and some black steel) can lead you to some cool places. I fell in love with the way pomme vapeurs looked and had an opportunity to snag one with a subsidy from a gift certificate. I love it and use it all the time. It is almost black inside, probably from asparagus and broccoli, but it does a great job and is just so darned charming!

                                                Check the thread on re-tinning if you go that way. Re-tinning can take what seems like forever, and some jobs are better than others.

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: tim irvine

                                                  It's funny. I need more pots and pans like shall I say it . . . like I need another hole in my head. I hated to resort to that trite ole saying but it communicates. I have digested this excellent information. Eventhough I don't need more pots and pans, I may need one or two very nice copper ones.

                                                  And eventhough my newest additions aren't the finest of the lot, they did do a wonderful job today. The whole of the early Thanksgiving get together celebrated here was prepared in those "Made in China" copper additions. I am pleased with the outcome of the food, and that is what it boils down to. :)

                                                  1. re: anoelchick

                                                    Hi all,
                                                    Since this seems to be the place for copper questions I thought I'd get your opinion on a set of copper pots I bought at an estate sale. At the time I thought it was too good to be true and perhaps it was. I got 7 pieces and 4 lids for $140. The previous owner was a family friend and known as a great cook so I assumed they were good quality and the low price was due to the need to sell. Some of the pots are marked Copral and some are don't have a makers mark but also have a rolled lip. They have been well used so that two or three of the pots will need to be re-tinned. I wonder if they worked well for her or if she just figured it was good enough. So my main question is, is there any point in keeping them and using the pieces with the intact tin or should I just try to sell them on ebay as a decorative set or something so that I could buy a better brand?

                                                  2. re: tim irvine

                                                    Tim - are the "pigtail" handles the ones that are flat (no lip) and have a long flat handle coming off? They look like lollipops sort of... if you I have a ton of those and LOVE them - but they're so hard to find now.

                                                    1. re: beauxgoris

                                                      I'm not Tim, but from his description I'm assuming that's what he's talking about. I have a bunch of them as well - the biggest a 30 cm beauty that I bought from Fantes - and I agree they're great. They were pretty generally available and then several years ago they just vanished from the market. Most of the ones I've seen, and all the ones I have, are flat, but I recall they had some at Bridge a number of years ago that had the lip on the edge so that they'd really only fit one size pan.

                                                      1. re: FlyFish

                                                        I wonder if Fantes still has any? May warrent a phone call from me to check it out I totally agree - all of the sudden a few years ago they totally disappeared. They're wonderful to use and look beautiful hanging on the kitchen as well. The first time I saw them was on Julia Child's PBS cooking show years ago. I assume she purchased all of hers when she lived in France.

                                                        1. re: beauxgoris

                                                          Well I've googled and ebayed, meaning I've been checking out French Mauviel, Bourgeat, and Belgian Falk. The most outstanding pot I found was a tall and slim, hammered stock pot by Mauviel that an owner was letting go for $300.00. The owner assured the to-be purchaser that it had been kept in a store room for decades and did not contain one nick or dent. It was beautiful and sold, but I was tempted by its unique shape and hammered beauty. Thank you all for posting outstanding information!

                                                          If I find the site of the stock pot can I upload the site/picture?

                                                  3. Here is a place that still has such lids (or at least advertises they do!):


                                                    I never think to ask people what they have that is not advertised on their websites, but the larger, more eclectic places, like Fantes or Dehillerin, will inevitably have a ton of neat stuff that is not shown on their site.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: tim irvine

                                                      ^^Very cool. Yup those are the ones I love. Thanks for the link!!

                                                      1. re: tim irvine

                                                        I think Ruffoni still makes lids like that. Or at least I've seen Ruffoni that looked new with that style lid.

                                                      2. When I bought mine, I researched the tin/steel issue and went with the Mauviel stainless steel.
                                                        I also decided to spend a little more for the professional series with the SSteel handles as well, much
                                                        better that the brass. The handles stay cool to the touch. At first I kept mine shinny, but now I don't bother, I use them so often. Only problem is that the larger skillet can get very heavy to lift when full.
                                                        But I do love cooking with them.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: winencheesepa

                                                          Have to say I thoroughly enjoyed reading this thread, which is my introduction to chowhound.com too. I am getting through my 'iron' phase, to the great relief of my wife who has had to suffer through my discarding all of the non slick coated cookware three-four years ago, and doing a detox thing (it really has made a huge difference btw). But am now learning about copper and, well, ok, I am a bit slow in this. Came to it later in life out of necessity... but wanted to say that in researching, this has been a most excellent thread. Have my first copper skillet arriving soon...

                                                        2. Great thread!
                                                          I'm looking for a retinning source in Europe, I live between Switzerland and Italy and have several pots that need to be retinned (about 60 to be honest). Does anyone have a source in northern Italy or south-eastern France?

                                                          Just for fun... here are a few of my pots.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: swiss_chef

                                                            If you have a heat source , and a tin supplier , you can do these yourself. Guys on my blacksmithing site do it themselves by dropping a chunk of pure tin into the cup, pot, whatever, and heating it up till it melts. Once the tin has melted, carefully swirl it around till it covers the insides. The inside has to be totally clean, and I would have to recheck to see if they used a flux to aid in adhesion. There is a video out there of a German craftsman making a copper kettle from start to finish, including tinning.

                                                            1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                                                              What kind of flux would we use for this? Is there a brand or type? Or just ordinary flux from hardware store like soft rosin in the little jars used for radio soldering? hmmm. I have one pan could use this.

                                                              1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                I will have to check with my forum friends who have done this before, and get back with you. You may also try just a Google search for - how to re-tin a copper pot, and see what comes up.

                                                                I need to look this up myself, as I have some copper that I want to make a cup out of.

                                                          2. I have no idea for a tinning source in Europe, but I would wager Dehillerin (Paris) knows of one. Also, as regards the tin versus stainless lining debate, I don't notice a difference in conductivity, but I do notice a difference in how much they stick. Stainless steel sticks more, IMHO.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: tim irvine

                                                              ^^^Interesting. I wonder why that is?

                                                              1. re: beauxgoris

                                                                Stainless is generally the "stickiest" metal, both as a combination of its metallurgy and (mostly) manufacturing processes. A metal's stickiness is basically a measure of how pitted or rough the surface is. As the number of nooks and crannies in the surface increases, you allow more proteins to creep into those nooks during cooking and change due to the heat (just think of eggs). This is where we get our cooking techniques from; you first heat a dry pan to swell the metal and close off some gaps, then you add oil to bridge the gaps and hopefully cook proteins before they can fill those nooks and stick.

                                                                Look at the lining of any of your stainless cookware; it has a brushed finish, usually with a visible texture of concentric rings. Tin lined pans on the other hand are smooth and glossy. Tin is basically applied to copper pans by heating a glob of tin in the pan until it is molten and swirling the pan to coat; in fact, you can see a video of this on the Williams Sonoma website when looking at their copper Mauviel pans. This process produces a smooth finish because the metal is liquid, so you have less nooks, and thus less sticking.

                                                                A sticky pan can be hand though, mostly for pan sauces when you want to encourage that sticking of foods.

                                                                1. re: Zedeff

                                                                  Thanks. Questions answered with facts that I now realize I knew intuitively! I agree it can be handy. I absolutely LOVE my stainless lined roasting pan for the gravies it makes. Plus I can get in there and work with impunity using a metal Delbor whisk and not worry about any consequences!

                                                                  1. re: Zedeff

                                                                    Hi Zedeff,
                                                                    You are correct but there is more to it. The adhesive forces exist even at molecular level not just physical structural level. In other words, stainless steel, or glass, or ceramic, Tin, etc. polished to the exact same level will have varying adhesive coefficient.

                                                                    Another important point is structural roughness may actually make the same material less sticky under certain circumstances!
                                                                    kind regards
                                                                    Dee F Padamadan

                                                              2. along the lines of tin or steel lining: I'm looking to have my collection of coppers electroplated with nickle/high crome nickle. Have been tinning my coppers for decades but my tinner passed away a few years ago and my copper lining is getting spotty and turning black, (not a healthy state for a tin lining). I must say that the cost of tinning has gotten out of hand so I figured I'd bite the bullet/$$$ and invest in a new type of lining.

                                                                Not thrilled about stainless as a lining: not as heat reactive as tin or silver....kinda like driving a ferrari with the emergency brake on. My nickle lined sauce and saute pans have lasted for decades w/o any signs of giving up their surface. My question is....I've been reading about possible health problems w/nickle exposure thru food....any thoughts on that?

                                                                one last note: these pans are used on a vulcan restaurant stove, (not the made for home use things) that puts out major btu's....it can chew up and spit out tin linings like there's no tomorrow...some of my heavy use sautees are retinned every year....and yes, I do have a full cadre of french steel, griswold casts and the dreaded alunimum work horses.

                                                                thanks and welcome your comments

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: sabatier

                                                                  I've used Atlantic Retinning since they were in Manhattan, and once after they moved out to NJ. I gather from your profile that you're in NYC, so they're the closest, but he does get backed up sometimes.

                                                                  I've heard positive things about this company in Ohio--


                                                                  In response to the original question--I generally prefer tin lining, because it's more responsive and slicker than stainless, and with normal home use only seems to require retinning every 15 years or so (I have some pieces that have been in my family for around 30 years now), but stainless lining is handy for higher temperatures. I have a stainless lined evasee that I've used occasionally for deep frying. I've also got one Mauviel nonstick frypan, which is a useful thing. Before buying it around eight years ago I made sure that it was possible to have it recoated, but so far it hasn't needed it.

                                                                  1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                                    I'm jumping in here about a year later, but please check my post (with photos) of the terrible job metal coating company in Lima, Ohio did of retinning on my pan. They also changed (increased) the shipping price on me after I had already sent them my pan... I will NEVER have another pan retinned by them. I have to be even more careful than usual with this lining now, as it is bumpy lumpy & scratchy. This is an excellent thread, so I felt it was important to interject my first hand experience.

                                                                  2. re: sabatier

                                                                    Hi Sabatier,
                                                                    Some Welders and others whose work may have exposed them to Nickel vapour is likely to have been "sensitised" to this this metal. But anyone who has used stainless steel is already exposed to Nickel as all stainless steel pans and cutlery contain copious amounts of the metal. Naturally, I am inclined to believe that anyone not allergic to ordinary stainless steel spoons will also be fine with nickel lined copper. Wikipaedia claims that 1/10 women in uk are allergic to Nickel. I dont believe this. It is possible.

                                                                    Tin is interesting because it is a metal that has absolutely nothing to do with human biology. Therefore there is no such thing as Tin toxicology as far as I know. In fact it is safe to even eat Tin if you can it seems!!
                                                                    regards Dee F Padamadan

                                                                  3. I have read this whole string and found it delightful. It is informative and has answered a lot of my own wonders about tin vs. stainless for a lining. I just discovered a posting about tin that might be of use to some in deciding what kind of lining to choose.

                                                                    For my own tastes, I might have erred on the side of stainless because I *could* throw it in the dishwasher, use steel wool on it, I love to cook on a hot flame, my husband does a lot of cooking and he's not as careful, etc. The one quality about tin that I have read that makes it maybe trump the stainless is that food sticks to it less. (maybe that would mitigate the need for steel wool?) Then I had come across some nickel-lined copper pots online and wondered what that was all about so I googled it and found that nickel is maybe not so healthy. Nickel is also used in a stainless steel alloy. Tin, on the other hand, like silver, is an essential nutrient that's actually good for you. Below is a link with a nice long article that says a lot about tin. So, if you're looking at health as a factor and you can stand to wash by hand, retin occasionally, use a delicate kind of whisk and keep the flame low enough, tin might be the choice for you. :)

                                                                    By the way, I have read mixed reviews on Atlantic Retinning, and I have read on the Fantes website that they do retinning. Personally I'd trust Fantes.

                                                                    By the way I was actually looking for possible health hazards of tin when I found this article on some health benefits.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: soohum

                                                                      ^^^Interesting. Thanks for posting.

                                                                      1. re: soohum

                                                                        Nickel is an essential micro-nutrient as well as Tin. High levels of either are not good for you, just like high levels of, well, just about anything! Also you never put any copper pan in the dishwasher -- it will not come out pretty, lined with Tin or SS, it doesn't matter. And lastly, do you really use steel-wool on your SS pots? That's going to put a lot of small scratches on the finish possibly (if you do it enough) wearing it down or just making your food stick more by vastly increasing the surface area of your pan.

                                                                      2. Maybe someone can help me: I just purchased a vintage set of copper saucepans, made in Montreal, Canada, off of Ebay. Now, I KNOW they're not super-wonderful, thick French copper--that will have to wait till the kids are out of college--but I'm concerned as to the lining of this *fairly* nice--it appears--set. They were obviously used to cook in, but the seller was not the original owner. He listed in his copy that these pans were "lined with aluminum" but I Googled and Googled and took a chance that he was wrong, and got seven pans for aproximately $100, BECAUSE of what I hope was his mistake.

                                                                        Has *anyone* ever heard of copper saucepans being lined with aluminum? I'm thinking, instead, that the lining must be nickel, instead of the usual tin, and that's why he was confused. It appears that there are Canadian made copper pans that are nickel lined, but I do not know how to ascertain for sure if this is what I have.

                                                                        I mean, I'm gonna feel like a $100 IDIOT if I bought pans that will react with most of the sauces I plan to cook in them, and may increase the risk of Alzeheimers, to boot.

                                                                        Somebody please reassure me. ;-) Thanks!

                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Beckyleach

                                                                          I don't think there is any traditional copperware lined with aluminum. There is a period before the technique for bonding stainless steel to copper was perfected when you can find nickel lined copperware. I have one or two pieces that I think are nickel lined. They have a duller interior finish than most of my tin lined copper.

                                                                          On the other hand there could be aluminum cookware that has a decorative copper layer on the outside, I suppose.

                                                                          The alleged link between aluminum and Alzheimers has been disproven for several years now. Most restaurant food is prepared in aluminum cookware, even acidic sauces.

                                                                          1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                                            Thank you for your response. I have a link to pictures of the pots--they don't look new nor especially decorative--but they aren't particularly heavy, either... Confusing. I don't know how long these pics will remain up, as they're from Ebay, but I cannot copy them. Sorry.


                                                                            1. re: Beckyleach

                                                                              That kind of dull finish with patches of dark oxidation around the edges of one or two of the pots looks like nickel to me. 1.5mm is the typical thickness of thinner copperware and is too thin to be aluminum with a copper skin.

                                                                              1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                                                Sounds good to me. Well, that'll give me something to play with while I wait for my family to start gifting me with Mauviel (since the All-Clad is pretty much full up ;-).

                                                                                1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                                                  I am a newbie to copper, but made a big leap (at least in $$) by purchasing several pieces. The two most significant and most expensive (!) are a 6 Gallon 12"x12" 2.5mm thick (minimum, it may be thicker but I don't have a caliper in mm just inches) stock pot (yes, almost too heavy to lift even when empty) with the mark "Guillard Paris" and a casserole, with the same marking and thickness, that measures 10"h x 12"w. I also purchased several misc pieces, a copper bowl, a collander, a caramel pan, a very small sauce pan, etc.,. The lot was purchased for $350 at an estate sale. My questions are as follows:
                                                                                  1. Does anyone know anything about Guillard. I have not seen this line mentioned in any threads"

                                                                                  2. Although no copper is showing through the tin lining, there are blackish areas on the bottom of the pans. I have cleaned them well and am now wondering if the black areas are a problem that will require me to re-tin the pots even though there is no visible copper.

                                                                                  3. If I wanted to resell the overly heavy stock pot, what would be a fair price (assuming it does not need re-tinning)?

                                                                                  1. re: coppernovice

                                                                                    Mauviel only started stamping their pots with their own brand relatively recently. Before then, they were stamped "Made in France" sometimes with a chef's toque, and sometimes with the name of the retailer.

                                                                                    Additionally, you may find a hand engraved number, typically four digits, if the item has been retinned by Atlantic Retinning, though I've used them, and sometimes they might only engrave one item in an order. I suppose other retinning services may do the same.

                                                                                    Guillard may be a manufacturer or they may be a retailer. Look at other Mauviel pots and you may be able to tell if it's the same design. Mauviel stock pots usually have bronze handles. The best ones are hammered and can be quite thick--sometimes as much as 3.5 or 4mm for the larger pots. Some older sizes have been discontinued, like 10" and 12", and have been replaced with metric sizes, though they are often sold in the U.S. by approximate measurements in inches (9.5", 11", 12.5").

                                                                                    Mauviel professional long-handled pieces like frypans, saute pans, and saucepans, have heavy cast iron handles usually. On newer versions the handle is offset a bit further from the rim of the pan to accommodate newer style lids. On older pans, the handle comes very close to the rim, and current style lids will not fit, so you need to find another lid that works or an older style flat lid with a long cast iron handle. Cuisinart makes a universal lid with an off center handle and a cutout for the handle of the pan that works.

                                                                                    Darkening of the tin lining is not a problem. I recommend just not worrying about it. If copper is showing through, then it needs to be retinned.

                                                                                    The price of the stock pot will depend on what you can find out about who made it, the condition, the construction, and how heavy it really is. Regarding construction, some collectors are interested in pots with visible dovetail seams, while people who want to cook with them may be wary of dovetailed pots. Find out what you can, take good photos, measure the thickness with a calipers or at least weigh it, and put it on eBay, and the market will decide. If it's the real deal and that shows in your photos and your description, you can sell it for about what you paid for the set, maybe a bit more.

                                                                                    1. re: coppernovice

                                                                                      Hi Coppernovice,

                                                                                      I am interested in buying your Guillard pots. I think you will be please with my offers, and I anticipate we can come to an agreement on terms.

                                                                                      Please email me at quddus@gmail.com if you are interested in them.


                                                                              2. re: Beckyleach

                                                                                I have bad news (although it's just my opinion).
                                                                                Those pans appear to be aluminum pans with a copper plating on the outside. Faux copper, as it were. Similar to some Revereware lines, or All-Clad's Copr Chef series.

                                                                                When you buy copper on eBay, ALWAYS look at the rivets, as they can give you a huge clue. Copper rivets usually mean a tin lining, silver-colored rivets are either stainless (meaning a stainless lining) or aluminum (meaning an aluminum pot that's been electroplated).

                                                                                Granted, I may be wrong, and you'll be able to tell if you simply take a bit of sandpaper to the top edge of one of the pots. If you only see a thin line of copper and a much thicker silver-colored wall on the inside, they're probably aluminum.

                                                                                1. re: Beckyleach

                                                                                  Did your pans have a small logo on the bottom of them? There was a manufacturer based in Monteral called Coventry Copper that made a nickel lined group of pans. They were heavy and had brass handles with no rivets.

                                                                                2. This is one of the most informative threads I've read here.

                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: E_M

                                                                                    I second that!! Highly educational discussion.

                                                                                    Does anyone have an opinion about Baumalu (made in Alsace) 2-mm-thick hammered tin-lined cookware with cast iron handles? There are several vendors on E-Bay selling sets of them.

                                                                                    1. re: ApartmentDweller

                                                                                      I see the sales on Baumalu as well, and I've always wondered about it, so I hope someone can jump in here and educate both of us. I have a few Mauviel pieces in the 2-mm thick line that's was discontinued some time back, and they cook just as well as the thicker (2.5 to 3.5-mm thickness) pieces that I have.

                                                                                      1. re: FlyFish

                                                                                        This is the Baumalu site (they also sell on E-bay at slightly higher prices; one set I looked at was $3 more on E-bay, so we are talking minimal differerence):


                                                                                        Someone on another forum mentioned PLACEMENT OF THE HANDLES. They said they preferred the handles to be riveted up higher on the side of the pot rather than lower, closer to the heat source.

                                                                                        Taking another look at the Baumalus, it appears that the handle placement varies, at least with the three pieces pictured here. Hmmmm..... Makes me wonder. The more expensive pieces that I've been looking at seem to have handle/rivets up higher rather than lower.

                                                                                      2. re: ApartmentDweller

                                                                                        Does anyone know how THICK the TIN layer should be?

                                                                                        According to this review, the 0.5-mm tin layer on these Baumalus wore down rather quickly, but the author admits that he may have been a little rough on the lining.


                                                                                        Any comments about how thick the tin should be?

                                                                                        1. re: ApartmentDweller

                                                                                          Here is some UNhammered Baumalu cookware.

                                                                                          Are the weights listed in concordance with what you guys recommend?


                                                                                          1. re: ApartmentDweller


                                                                                            These are heavy pans, so they will distribute the heat nicely. For some reasons, that looks more like a saucepan than a saute pan. I guess I always imagine a saute pan to be much flatter. You know, like a frying pan. Anyway, why are you getting a copper cookware? Copper does distribute heat better than aluminum, but not by tons. Copper also get tarnished easily which means you have to clean it often if you like that copper shiny look.

                                                                                            Anyway, $99 for one copper cookware is a good deal. So which one are you considering? The pot or the pan?

                                                                                            Please also keep in mind, that copper cookware will not work on an induction cooktop if you ever consider that.

                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                              Hi Chemical,

                                                                                              Yeah, I'm aware of the high maintenance and the limitations. But I have an allergy to nickel so need to minimize my exposure to stainless, and my saucepans need replacing so I am going tin-lined copper.

                                                                                              Right now I am agonizing over hammered look versus flat finish. The former would go better with my casual decor (I live relatively near the southern border and have a lot of hammered Mexican pieces), but the latter would afford more options. Unfortunately it doesn't appear that Baumalu makes stockpots or bain maries, two pieces that I *must* have in copper, so I may just go with the smooth finish. Decisions, decisions...

                                                                                            2. re: ApartmentDweller

                                                                                              I have two iron-handled tin-lined copper sautoirs that are approximately the size of the one in the ebay listing for Baumalu.

                                                                                              The first is 9.5" X 3" X 3-mm thick; it weights 6 lbs, 2oz. The second is 8.75" X 2.5" X 2.75" thick and weighs 5 lbs, 1 oz. Based on that, and allowing for likely differences in the size and shape of the iron handle, (and without getting into the mathematics to calculate how many cubic whatevers of copper we're talking about), I'd say the Baumalu sautoir (9" X 3" X 2.0-mm; 5 lbs, 7 oz) is pretty much where it should be weight-wise.

                                                                                              As I've mentioned elsewhere in this thread, I have a few pieces of 2.0-mm thick copper in a couple different shapes, and they all cook just fine.

                                                                                              1. re: FlyFish

                                                                                                Hi FlyFish,

                                                                                                I appreciate your taking the time to post those dimensions.

                                                                                                Thus far everything that I've read about Baumalu pieces (including on other cooking forums) has been positive, so I don't think one can go wrong there.

                                                                                                Thanks again!!

                                                                                            3. re: ApartmentDweller

                                                                                              I've never given a great deal of thought to the thickness of the tin, but based on various scratches and other insults I've given my tin-lined copper over the years, which inadvertently revealed the thickness of the tin, 0.5-mm actually seems quite thick to me.

                                                                                              ETA: Not sure why this ended up where it did - it was intended to be a response to ApartmentDweller's question (a few posts above) about the thickness of tin linings.

                                                                                              1. re: FlyFish

                                                                                                0.5 is THICK?!! Good!!!

                                                                                                Thank you!!!

                                                                                        2. Two other sources for retinning:



                                                                                          I've used East Coast, they're in Rhode Island, and I'd use them again; nice people and they do good work.

                                                                                          And I've heard the same about Rocky Mountain Retinning.

                                                                                          One advantage to retinning is that you might end up with a bit more tin than your pan had originally, since some new pans are factory electroplated rather than hand wiped.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: VaFrank

                                                                                            Rocky mountain also sells a reasonably priced, 3mm thick set of four sauce pots for $260, or $340 with lids.


                                                                                          2. I am reading this thread as it appears I am not the only one weighing stainless versus tin lining on copper issue. Seems tin wins for tradition with some non stick benefit while stainless might be for real world use--by that I mean someone other than the purchaser/owner of the pot uses it. There apparently are a lot of dumb wives and husbands that will ruin a tin lined pot through abuse and misuse. So being a traditionalist and a do it yourselfer with some copper plumbing coupled with bullet molding experience, my question is--Has anyone tried retinning their own pots? The materials are cheap and the process straight forward.

                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: dmach


                                                                                              Retinning copper cookware is a rather more involved process than sweating some copper tubing. First, you have to melt out the old tin, then superclean the copper -- a dilute solution of sulfuric acid and an abrasive such as pumice are often used for this -- then apply some flux, then heat the pan to 250C or so, melt in some new tin and then wipe it around evenly with a rag that has some flux on it. Not rocket science, perhaps, but don't expect great results without a fair amount of trial and error. Tinsmithing is considered a skilled trade, after all.

                                                                                              But, hey, go for it; if you don't like how it looks you can always start over, and if you're reasonably handy and not afraid of heat and molten metal (do this outdoors unless you have a blacksmith shop!), there's no reason you couldn't eventually get pretty adept at it. Maybe there's a sideline business in there for you.

                                                                                              1. re: VaFrank

                                                                                                Thanks VaFrank. I think I will experiment with some worn out pieces I see on Ebay for $10. If it is a total failure, I will have some cool hanging targets for those cast (tin/lead) bullets. I do have a concern in that my girlfriend cooks everthing at welding temperatures and the tin will flow out of the pan with the eggs. (She's cute though).

                                                                                                1. re: dmach


                                                                                                  I like th part that you said your girlfriend cooks at welding temperature so the melted tin will come out with the eggs, and then you quickly follow up with "She is cute though". To be honest, I have to agree with you. A cute girlfriend will make everything alright.

                                                                                                  1. re: dmach

                                                                                                    Definitely keep the cute girlfriend, but store the good cookware in the closet until a) you break up with her, or b) you're still together but you've brought her to a better understanding of tools and materials.

                                                                                                    I'm an optimist so I'm hoping for b); this can be a win/win.

                                                                                                    1. re: VaFrank

                                                                                                      Thanks for the support and advice. Working on b). Though it does remind me of the incident when she used my Stiletto titanium head framing hammer ($$$) for a pickaxe. She's cute, but that hammer was beautiful.

                                                                                                  2. re: VaFrank

                                                                                                    Also, a material called "whiting" (I'm not exactly sure what this is) is applied to the outside of the cookware to prevent tin from adhering to the outside.

                                                                                                    When I've seen pots being retinned, the worker was holding a large tin ingot and applying it to the fluxed and heated inside of the pot.

                                                                                                2. Hi, new user here and I arrived at this post quite by accident, but after reading through ALL of the replies to your original post, I don't think I saw one mention of the very specific reason I own and use tinned copper pans and that is precisely because the tin "seasons" much like cast iron does and it essentially becomes a non stick surface. I don't boil water in copper pans, for heaven's sake, alum and ss work fine for that, but when it comes to low heat sauteing, NOTHING compares to tinned copper IMHO. Of course, my tinned copper never sees a metal utensil nor soapy water. I've got an 8" crepe pan, bought in France in 1969, no name, but it is due for tinning and will be going to Rocky Mountain soon. I hope they do a good job, as that pan was the reason for each of my kids' getting chased around the kitchen more than once. Grandkids are getting those lessons now as they learn proper care for quality cookware.

                                                                                                  1. We've got a large collection of copper cookware. Some old, some new. All together we have maybe 30 pieces of it. Most of it is tinned. We use them as needed, keep the outside cleaned and polished three or four times a year, and when the tin lining gets a little spotty, we send it out for re-tinning. The cost ranges from 30 to 90 dollars per pot and includes the lid if they need it. While not cheap, we usually on do three or four pieces every year or so. If you are willing to put up with cleaning copper, then the cost of a re-tin job is negligible and if you're careful, you'll only need to do it once every ten years or so per pot. The other thing is we've found lots of copper at yard sales and garage sales, and bought hand-hammered heavy french pots (like Williams Sonoma used to sell for $500 and up per pot!) and got them for ten or twenty dollars (sometimes less) and then send those out for relining. The places we send them to (listed below) knock out the dents, straighten the lids, and generally refurbish them to like new condition as part of their service. They even replace rivets on handles if needed! WELL worth the money. To see a $10 garage sale find come back looking like a $1200 dollar pot is AMAZING. I've got a few pieces of copper lined with stainless steel. No maintenance, but they are NOT the same. If you're a serious cook, use the real stuff and bite the bullet on relining it every few years. You'll ultimately be glad you did. These things are nearly indestructible and can be passed on to future generations if you want to. Given the cost of new ones - if you can buy them at any price today - it's worth taking care of the existing ones!

                                                                                                    1. Is it safe to put a tin-lined copper pot in the broiler? From what I've heard, tin melts at 460 degrees F and the broiler is about 500-550 F... but does the pan actually reach that temp?

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: jenniferking99

                                                                                                        I had this exact question. I wanted to use a copper au gratin pan to broil whole fish, but am worried about 1) salt 2) citrus 3) high heat of the broiler. Anybody know if using copper, lined with tin in the broiler is okay?

                                                                                                        1. re: bsouthwi

                                                                                                          Salt and citrus are okay with tin lined copper, presuming you can't see any copper through the lining. High heat close to the broiler isn't a good idea, however. Better to use a different pan. The whole pan probably won't reach that temperature, but you might get a little tin melting around the rim close to the fire.

                                                                                                          One thing to bear in mind is that tin melting isn't the end of the world. If you overheat a pan, the tin will pool around the perimeter usually. It will make the bottom less smooth and maybe a bit harder to clean, and the pan will need retinning sooner, but you can still use the pan.

                                                                                                        2. re: jenniferking99

                                                                                                          I would avoid direct exposure at those heats to areas that do not contain a liquid. Just like a paper cup with water in it, there is some protection when there is liquid. The only time I have ever had a tin-lined pan bubble a little, was when I left it unattended and the liquid boiled off; I still use the sauce pan, but it is a little ugly....it reminds me to not leave my copper unattended. Most people who rave about Stainless, haven't used tin. Unlike most household items, a good set of copper pans can last a lifetime. I have never seen tin wear without very heavy use, and the re-tinning just means that you cook enough.

                                                                                                        3. Just thought I might add my experience. My copper pots and pans are 110 years old French copper and bought them about 40 years ago. I cook on them every day. I always use the just right heat ; as low as possible. Bamboo tools and for the past 15 years silicon. They have never been re tinned. I also never leave a pan on the heat except for a few second before the food goes in.
                                                                                                          Hope this helps,

                                                                                                          1. Silver lined copper pans and teapots were quite common in Europe at one time. Flea markets are full of copper teapots that are silver lined. Turkey and the mid eastern countries make millions of copper teapots and pans also.

                                                                                                            I have noted most of the discussion on many forums not just this one centers around which metal is the best conductor. The pan itself is part of the nutrition. Copper itself is essential for forming blood protein and too much is made of covering small spots of copper lining. If you cooked with unlined copper daily for years, drank tea from the teapots daily, I suppose you could get what they call Wison's disease. I don't worry about it I drink from a copper beer mug, cook with unlined copper and use copper teapots.

                                                                                                            The only metal recommended for infants is cast iron. The iron supplement is great for them. Most people are seriously deficient in iron and copper as well as brass silver and other minerals. You need them all.

                                                                                                            What you do not need is the nickel from stainless steel, aluminum, teflon and other poisons used in making modern cookware. It is a serious indictment of the American educational system that almost nobody understands this. Parakeets placed next to teflon have died from the fumes only. If they are not doing it already some of the teflon will be nano particle which many scientists feel can affect DNA.

                                                                                                            When you absorb too much aluminum it too is linked to alzheimers so I would have to say conductivity is the least of things I worry about when cooking. Silver is one of the best conductors along with copper. It also works that way in the human body as it is an electrical vehicle and also needs to transfer heat and electromagnetism.

                                                                                                            Without getting into ayurvedic medicine or disciplines of yoga I will just say many of these things are known to other cultures but many parts of the west remain blissfully unaware of such topics. People are not falling over dead in the east due to heavy use of copper in cookware.

                                                                                                            The royal families of Europe are quite known to dine using silver utensils. Prince Charles is said to have so much of the metal in his body most doctors will diagnose him with heavy metal poisoning. It is just my personal opinion but it seems to be something the ordinary rank and file should not trouble themselves with and continue cook with teflon and provide income to big pharma and the medical industry. If you are healthy you are no good to them.

                                                                                                            Aluminum itself is used extensively at present and we see dramatic increases in autism. It is used in vacinations as well as thimersol mercury. There are two groups in America that do not experience autism, the Amish and the Muslims and they do not receive vaccinations. So I would think one would be concerned using aluminum cookware and things coated with teflon.

                                                                                                            Bronze is another great metal for cooking but is extremely costly. It contains, copper, brass and a touch of gold at times in the better metals. I did bump into a 10 inch pan at a flea market, it was cast as one piece and very thick like cast iron. When the gentleman indicated he wanted $80.00 for it I almost broke my wrist reaching for the wallet. I suspect it is worth hundreds of dollars if you could even find one. It is probably made in China.

                                                                                                            Copper incidentally becomes even more of a conductor when mixed with tin and it has the same effect in the human body. It is very good for you, so how a pot conducts heat is not near as important to me as the food value of the pot itself. Electric impulses need to be transferred in the body, up the spine and into the brain. Aluminum, nickel and teflon won't do this for you.

                                                                                                            The Mauviel pots and some of the fancy stuff lined with stainless steel are worthless to me. You may as well buy a cheap stainless pot in my opinion if your only concern is the pot transferring heat to the food.

                                                                                                            I might add that copper and silver inside the cells fight infection. There is no known virus or bacteria that can thrive in the presence of silver, copper also is very good in this respect, hence the popularity of colloidal silver in fighting infections. Many hospitals now actually use silver gauze on burn victims. The early settlers placed silver and copper coins in drinking water to keep it pure as they rode west in the wagons. We have come along way from this type common knowledge in my opinion.

                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: mineralhead

                                                                                                              To add to your comments:
                                                                                                              A few years ago I had a pharmaceutical company produce trial medications for specifically detoxifying heavy metal poisoning from the body. Each group targeted just one metal type. I personally tried these on myself over several years. Aluminum, Nickel, Cadmium, Lead, Arsenic, Copper, Mercury, etc. After my tests I stopped using all aluminum cookware or anything that would add aluminum to my diet. The medication eliminated anxiety and delivered a relative peaceful state of mind. I take a dose now every 3 weeks to remove aluminum accumulations that enter my body through the food chain. Acid rain makes the aluminum oxide in soil water soluble so that food plants can absorb that aluminum. The FDA has been notified by a research doctor who has tracked aluminum poisoning of the general population, but what can they do? Nothing.
                                                                                                              I eliminated Stainless Steel cookware, tableware, everything I could after I tested the Nickel medication. The next day after every dose, my IQ of intelligence increased dramatically. It is scary how much Nickel poisoning affects your mental ability. When I switched to Le Creuset porcelain pots food suddenly tasted "Clean", Fresh. Stainless Steel tastes metallic with the 18% Nickel concentration that is typical. Nickel IS Poisonous. I use Sterling Silver and Titanium Flatware. Even Silver Plated flatware is fairly safe compared to Stainless Steel. A Stainless spoon in your mouth has an awful metallic taste when you stop using it compared to Titanium(inert) and Sterling (90% silver/10% copper).. Guess why tin lined copper pots seem to yield wonderful food TASTE? Tin is nearly inert on the galvanic corrosion table. Titanium, Silver, Gold, Platinum are fully safe and non-reactive. Cathodic metals with a positive charge typically destroy bacteria which is why silverware has protected wealthy families for centuries. http://www.thelenchannel.com/1galv.php

                                                                                                              1. re: jw20000

                                                                                                                Interesting about tin. I know it makes better finish on fried or sauteed foods. I use it too, because of the sticking is just right. Too little and you get no gravy, too much and you get chucks of food and burnt bits. Tin-lined copper is just right.


                                                                                                              2. re: mineralhead

                                                                                                                copper, hmm thinking about making some rods to insert into a roasting chicken to cook the insides better, wondered if it's safe, or what.

                                                                                                                silver can kill germs outside the body, but not much when gets inside, unfortunately. there's a new silver "silver sol" which is actually ag404, and seems to stay active inside the body. would like more people to test that, but it has improved cd4 for 7 of 7 patients in an hiv study.

                                                                                                                aluminum was de-coupled from Alzheimer's, the disease attracts the aluminum not other way around. What has been linked is herpes simplex 1 with Alzheimer's..definite.

                                                                                                                1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                  I really don't know if bare copper would be safe with Chicken. It is not recommended for all foods which is why copper pans are lined. The best way around this is to just buy some sterling silver butter knives and stick them into the chicken. Silver has a higher heat conductivity than copper. The sterling knives are available from antique stores and ebay. Forget the stainless bladed sterling dinner knives. You can hold a stainless rod and torch the end to 1500 degrees without getting burned. In metal working, we liken stainless steel to an insulator.

                                                                                                                  1. re: jw20000

                                                                                                                    yes, I found a note somewhere that a professor contends that copper is ok so long as it does not form verdegris (corrosion) that green stuff. Sugar is heated in copper, and then spun, also egg whites are whipped in copper. I even have a jam bowl made of unlined copper, which seems to me taking a chance on the acid in the fruit, but they are still used. One French lady I studied cooking with had several ancient copper baking dishes with a lot of the tin rubbed off, and she said as long as no tomato sauce or acidic dishes are prepared in it, it's fine. Hmph.

                                                                                                                2. re: mineralhead

                                                                                                                  There is a small, artisanal atelier in Villedieu les Poeles, France that still handcrafts copper cookware, uses cast iron handles and lines the pots with silver. It's a bit more expensive than Mauviel's tin and stainless steel lined pots, but so worth it. Silver is the best conductor of heat, and it's perfectly married with copper for the most wonderful, consistent cooking results.

                                                                                                                  1. re: AuntieMame58

                                                                                                                    Hi. But silver is also a slightly reactive metal and not as good as tin in a biological sense. Silver is a bactericide and a fungicide. So food may last longer in a silver lined pot! I have been told that prolonged exposure to silver in diet can be absorbed by the body and can get deposited in the skin.which then turns your skin blue.

                                                                                                                    Does anybody have info on whether Silver ions can migrate into the food in sufficient numbers? thanks

                                                                                                                    1. re: SomersetDee

                                                                                                                      Hi Dee,

                                                                                                                      I believe that any metals held in ionic suspension can "migrate" through water, if one can say it that way. If I'm not mistaken, silver ions are toxic over a certain limit as well, just like most metals.

                                                                                                                      1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                        Hi Laguna_Greg
                                                                                                                        Yes. In Uk and England Silver based food colouring is allowed whereas in the US I believe it is not. Silver is mostly harmless and somewhat beneficial even. But I would not cook with it everyday personally. I think tin is the best metal to cook in. Second best is the stainless steel which contains a cocktail of metals (also harmless) iron, chromium, Manganese and Nickel - sometimes Molybdenium too. ..Vanadium is present in cutlery but not in heated pots) Prolonged intake of silver ions causes a skin condition called Argyria (maybe wrong spelling) basically it turns the person into a metallic grey colour. But I am just trying to say that the best (safest) is tin :) kind regards Dee

                                                                                                                        1. re: SomersetDee

                                                                                                                          Actually, silver is in certain food ingredients. Many of us sport silver cavity fillings. Silver is prevalent in the decorative dessert genre of cooking. It's not banned.

                                                                                                                          1. re: AuntieMame58

                                                                                                                            HI Auntie,

                                                                                                                            The "silver" in your fillings actually has very little silver. Dentists call it "amalgam" and more than 50% of it is mercury. The rest is tin, copper and silver powders used to stabilize and harden the mercury. However, the entire compound can break down over time, as anybody who's had these things in their mouths a while knows. It's not chemically inert the way ceramic or acrylic composite fillings are. Those don't react with anything!

                                                                                                                            Last I heard, decorative silver and gold ornamental candies for cakes and pastries had indeed been banned by the FDA. Or at least that's what a local pastry chef told me about a year ago.

                                                                                                                      2. re: SomersetDee

                                                                                                                        The instance of silver affecting the skin is EXTREMELY rare - This was documented in the seminal Dartmouth study on metals. It's far more dangerous to your health to cook with teflon, or with high amounts of salt or sugar. Most prescriptions we take have more risks that you can shake a stick at. Moreover, it is not banned by the FDA, the way copper is required (other than for jam basins and sugar pots) to line copper cookware. Even copper is not fatal if your tin lining has worn unless you are cooking virtually every day in it. Then, the issue is there is too much copper intake for the body on a regular basis. A lot of folks think it's super dangerous - toxic - but only if used regularly. As I read all the posts to this blog, it's important to recognize that everyone's preferences vary with regard to what what they cook with. And in the end, that's basically what it comes down to. I think silver and tin are the best way to go, but others obviously feel differently, which is fine by me. Happy Cooking!

                                                                                                                  2. very good thread. lots of information.
                                                                                                                    I have several baumalu pots and pans, cooked on them for about 2y. well, it was at first with electric stove (it was the last of it, bought dsl re-branded professional gas range, now things are a lot better, I can cook on my copper, never going to electric range again unless it is a porto-induction cook top :)). I found one thing so, electric stove was capable of bending my copper baumalu, well was thankful I was able to return-replace the pot and I did replace my stove 2-3 weeks after that.

                                                                                                                    Have a question. I came across 3 paul revere copper pots, that appear to be new paul revere limited edition copper made at Oneonta AL plant.
                                                                                                                    the reference does not exactly say if it is stainless steel lined copper or copper clad (not interested :)).
                                                                                                                    Does anyone have anything to say about them? the seller stated it is 2mm copper.
                                                                                                                    Has also some culinox copper pans (swiss?), stainless lined.
                                                                                                                    does anyone has any experience with them?
                                                                                                                    handles are brass (I know, indication of more of a table top maybe, but in 2mm copper should be ok).
                                                                                                                    thanks for the replies in advance

                                                                                                                    1. Falk Copper Casserole 5.5 qt on Ebay.


                                                                                                                      1. FWIW, always used tinned pans, never had need of retinning. All were French and used and one needing tinning was done by Batchelier at Clignancourt in Paris when l bought it. Still shiny and perfect.

                                                                                                                        1. Here is what "Cooking for Engineers" has posted about cookware materials.
                                                                                                                          (Scroll down a bit to get to copper.) It seems pretty clear that copper lined with tin is a good thing!

                                                                                                                          1. After reading all the threads on this post and going back and forth, I finally decided to order a 8.5 inch tin-lined Mauviel fry pan from http://www.buycoppercookware.com/inde... . I went back and forth between that and the 8 inch stainless steel copper fry pan from Falk. What finally pushed me over the edge to the tin Mauviel were the various comments on this thread that tin seems a little more non-stick.

                                                                                                                            I want the pan primarily for eggs in the morning. A couple of years ago when I threw out all my non-stick after all the brouhaha about possible health hazards of non-stick, I tried making eggs in a stainless steel skillet and clean-up was such a nightmare that I just stopped making eggs for breakfast. (Did briefly try a Le Creuset cast iron fry pan for morning eggs, but I'm just not thrilled with that pan).

                                                                                                                            I'm really hoping that the Mauviel tin-lined will be the ideal vehicle for my morning eggs. Will report back when it arrives, although not owning any other copper other than the Falk "Try Me" saucière which I recently acquired and haven't yet used other than to reheat foods, I have no real basis of comparison between tin-lined and stainless lined copper.

                                                                                                                            18 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                              Hi, omoto:

                                                                                                                              I think you've made a good choice. Just be cautious about preheating the pan before adding your cooking fat--it's not hard to spike the temp in an empty pan and melt a little tin.

                                                                                                                              Just for sh#ts and giggles, why don't you A-B the stickiness of the Mauviel with the Falk by frying single eggs and report on that? The saucier should work for that, and then you have a realtime basis for comparison.



                                                                                                                              1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                I was in the same quandary for awhile.... having discarded the nonstick nightmares many years ago, how to make an egg without the sticky-ness. What surface should I get, use? What do others do.

                                                                                                                                Circling my own brain drain, I tried a couple of items that promoted nonsticky egg-ease experiences. None worked. Until I finally came around to a too simple solution.

                                                                                                                                I'd replaced many of the nonstick nightmares with cast iron. Took awhile to learn how to care for them which involved the less is more cleaning of the surfaces, reseasoning but less fussy about clean and more fussy about sheen surfaces.

                                                                                                                                We now an 8" cast iron skillet that must be 30 years old. With its beautiful patina built up over time. Plenty of lip to make eggs over easy or omelettes or whatever. And used only for eggs. Couple that with coconut oil or coconut butter, mixed with real grassfed butter, brought to a medium high heat so when the eggs hits the pond of oil it instantly cooks itself a coating. And not just a tablespoon or two oil. Enough for a small pond. Learning not to skimp was the ticket, and the higher heat to start off with but the instant the eggs hit the surface, I dial back the heat which is just the right amount of time to cool just enough to slow the process, just enough.

                                                                                                                                Perfection. Coconut oil as the mainstay, enough so small ducks could land in it like a lake... that's the ticket. And an old as the hills cast iron skillet that you could play shuffle board on. Why it took this long to figure out, beats me. Advertising I guess.

                                                                                                                                Now when it comes to sauteing or similar needs, copper all the way. But I will take Ma and Pa's black kettle over pristine almost any day. Making an egg doesn't have to be complicated for us any more. And coconut oil the last couple of years, top shelf...

                                                                                                                                1. re: drhiii

                                                                                                                                  Very interesting. I hate my 9 inch Le Creuset enameled cast iron - just don't like it and it is too big for two eggs. I'm more enamored with my old Griswold, but it is only 5 1/2 inches, which is too small for 2 eggs (one egg is okay).

                                                                                                                                  Question about the coconut oil -- does it actually taste of coconuts? I have a dim memory of trying to cook eggs with coconut oil a couple of years ago and hating the taste that it imparted (I hate the taste of coconut by the way). I just ordered some duck fat from Williams Sonoma http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc... to test that as an egg cooking medium. But some days I'm counting calories and just don't want to use copious amounts of fat with my eggs. I've learned to be less fat-phobic than in the days when low-fat cooking was all the rage, but still there is a difference between a little fat to impart flavor and non-sticking and copious amounts.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                    Hmmm, cooking with coconut oil, at least what we have been using, does not taste like, coconuts. Maybe it does and I just don't notice it, but I don't think so. My wife was the one I thought for sure would poo poo the idea of using more coconut oil since we are all a product of our childhood yes? Even me.

                                                                                                                                    But she loves it. Here is what we use, the organic version. I liked it so much, I purchased 2 gallons of it.


                                                                                                                                    It does not product a coconutty flavor. Simply a bright, fresh, lightness and it seems to bring flavors out more. At least that's what I perceive. Mebbe it is because some of the time we do add a tbl spoon of say, real butter. But even without, can say it is pretty darned good. It took us awhile to land on this, after quite awhile ago discarding the canola, peanut, vegetable oil horrors of the past. Caused me to start making popcorn with coconut oil... SOO much better flavored, and light.

                                                                                                                                    I admit to having turned into a cast iron coconut oil snob, but I also know what we like. And it has been pretty darned satisfying around here after years of, well, I don't know what we were thinking.

                                                                                                                                    And ya, I would think the 9" pan would be too large, and 5 1/2 too small. This 8" cast iron puppy we have is just right. With the coconut oil, it makes everything light and flavourful. And I have a range of pots and pans that go from small to big family chili monster days. And real chili (my wife is Spanish) with real hand picked from the fields everything. Yeah, I'm a snob about some of this stuff. Am mainly happy that the missus adopted these cast irons as the mainstays, with copper and enamel things in support.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: drhiii

                                                                                                                                      My only reservation about using coconut oil are the alleged health benefits, which I think are dubious. It's a highly saturated oil. Manufacturers have been using it for decades in packaged foods because it won't go rancid easily, unlike unsaturated fats.

                                                                                                                                      Do we really need to be adding more saturated fats to our already overly sat fat diets? Just sayin'...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                        Real unrefined cold pressed Coconut oil has a shelf life of only 7 days. It is highly oxidative and can have slightly longer shelf life if kept in very airtight containers, but not enough for commercial viability. All coconut oils available in shops are either heat treated or slightly fractionated. Refined coconut oils and fractionated coconut oils can have very very lengthy shelf life. Fractionated coconut oil is a fraction of the whole oil. So it will never have the benefit of very fresh oil. In fact it can have a lot of harmful effects. regards

                                                                                                                                2. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                  I use 10" Mauviel fry pan tin lined copper that is 1.5mm thick. I heat it carefully to only about 225 degrees F or so, and use clarified butter. I try not to allow bubbles forming under the eggs as that means they are turning harder or rubbery. Slowly does it for me. If temp is just right, the eggs float a bit on the butter. If too hot bubbles start up, and if too cool then all the butter rises over top of the eggs and they can stick. I want them without any browning at all, and just done, not turned rubbery, just past the custard point but before the rubber point. That's my ideal egg.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                    Hi bobluhrs,

                                                                                                                                    To my way of thinking, you have decribed it very nicely. Accurate and succinct. I especially would like to echo the detail of using clarified butter. I'm not even sure why it seems to work better than butter itself, but it does.

                                                                                                                                    For scrambled eggs, a buttered double boiler is a dream come true if you like them soft like I do.

                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the great post!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: alarash

                                                                                                                                      Alarash - Interesting idea. I never thought of making scrambled eggs in a buttered double boiler - I love them soft just as you do. The only double boiler that I have is the small Mauviel 1 3/4 quart with ceramic insert. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc... Wonder if that would work or if it is too small and/or ceramic won't work?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                        Look at you, fancy pants!

                                                                                                                                        I am lower tech than that, using a medium sized mixing bowl over a sauce pan with boiling water.


                                                                                                                                        But let me know if the ceramic works!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: alarash

                                                                                                                                          Great video! Thanks. Was that milk or cream poured in at the end and is that necessary?

                                                                                                                                          I will try the Mauviel double boiler and report back. It was one of those things I bought and used once or twice to melt chocolate. It would be nice to have an every day use for it, so I don't have to feel that it was a complete and total waste of time (although you never know when you might need to melt some chocolate).

                                                                                                                                          1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                            please do post your results! I am curious because i've always wanted to know if the ceramic version could work with eggs, too.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                      I like this description. Will see if I can modify what we do. The similarity is I also do not heat to the bubbling stage. Just short of it.

                                                                                                                                      My wife likes her eggs the way you describe. I like mine a little more done, slightly browned. Which is why she comes and preps her after I've let the pan calm down.

                                                                                                                                      Your way bobluhrs is better methinks.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                        Bobluhrs, it sounds like you make eggs just the way I like them with no browning. Do you use store bought clarified butter? (I just don't see myself clarifying my own butter in my spare time). I take it that the duck fat I just bought is not going to work the same way? Nor oil? How much clarified butter for the pan? And how will I know when my gas burner is at 225 degrees? It sounds tricky -- not too hot and not too cool.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                          Clarified butter is readily found in any middle eastern or indian market, often called GHEE. More and more I see it in supermarkets in the ethnic/international section.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: alarash

                                                                                                                                            Ghee is actually a kind of clarified browned butter. There are a number of ways to make straight up clarified butter; choose your poison.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                            I just take butter melt it slowly (not too fast or it will alter the butter) and put into a tall container so the solids go to bottom. Then, cool to room temp and refrigerate. If the container is tapered it's easy to remove the chunk of clarified butter on top and remove the white liquid at the bottom, which are milk solids and unwanted for the egg cooking.

                                                                                                                                            There are two ways to cook the eggs using this butter. The first is much like a crepe, where I let it set a bit then flip it so both sides are done. It sits mostly on the first side, then once flipped the eggs must be removed pretty quick, almost instantly, as they will set up fast. A shiny finish is a good indicator that I have it right. It's hard to do this with more than ONE egg in the pan at a time, so sometimes I do them small batches. The key with this "crepe" style is to keep them thin in the pan. Having 2 or more eggs can mean too thick and the process won't work the magic it is capable of. Practice with ONE egg till you get the magical results. Butter and egg is a flavor king, so add nothing.

                                                                                                                                            A second way is to mix the eggs constantly in a controlled heat pan so you get a stubbly finish, the eggs come out like puffy mounds. To do that I will put some small chunks of the clarified butter in with the egg as well as the pan. This helps assure less sticking.
                                                                                                                                            These are classic "scrambled eggs" like you see in the books. Escoffier said when he made them for a friend of his, he peeled a clove of garlic and took a sharp knife and stuck it on the end. He used this to mix the scrambled eggs, imparting a very slight fillip that she loved. It does work.

                                                                                                                                            But I still prefer the "crepe" style of cooking the scrambled eggs, even though it is more skilled. The things to avoid are browning, large bubbles while cooking (will result in hard finish) sticking, and uncooked areas. To avoid browing, keep heat low. To avoid bubbles heat needs to be lower to where the eggs sit in pan flat, no puffing up underneath. You can tell by the sound, there should be none or very little "crying" when the egg hits the pan. If it makes sound then stops, it could be ok, but if sound continues you have too high heat. Finish the egg, taste it and start over. If the egg makes no sound and sits there it could be good. But if it takes too long to get ready it could stick. The key is steam on top. If you see that after a few seconds it's good. Steam but no sound is just right. When the steam reduces a bit, it's time to turn that part of the eggs away from the pan and let other parts cook. The other parts will go VERY quick only a second or two, three at most, never five. I know this is all sort of a pain, but it's worth it and it becomes second-nature once you have done it a few dozen times.

                                                                                                                                            To season, I have a pepper shaker set to VERY FINE, and it contains white pepper corns. A little of this goes in to the raw eggs. Salt only goes on AFTER cooking. Salt can cause browning, so I don't use it until served.

                                                                                                                                            It just takes some time and follow the heat signals. To get the pan just right, at around 225 I use a timer and a laser temp sensor gun. They came down from around $100 to much less these days. They are very handy to have around. This is the main use of it, for the egg pan. I struggled with this for years, spoiling many eggs. When you get them right, it is a unique dish, with only eggs, butter, pepper and salt. But the flavor is about tops in cooking. Hope you enjoy the result of this work, it's one of the hardest things to do right in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                            The best pan for my taste, by far and away, is the 10 inch copper and tin skillet by Mauviel with the brass handle. I also have the thicker one with iron handle. It is 2" copper but is not quite as good. It tends to impart too much heat too fast and the egg comes out a bit tougher. The thinner 1.5" copper transfers heat at just the right rate for this egg project. My heat source is induction cooktop. I use the Max Burton Interface Disk on the cooktop to transfer the induction heat to the copper, since copper is not induction-compatible. This is a very fast way to cook, and the heating takes only 1-2 minutes on high, turn off heat and pan is ready.

                                                                                                                                            When scrambling, I use a fork and go pretty slowly so as not to add air to them. Air is an insulator and can lead to tougher surface when cooked. Once combined to uniform color, I tap the top with the fork to help any air rise to surface. Some foam on top is ok but I don't want any inside the liquid. Some instructions say "beat eggs till foamy" but that never worked well for me, they always burn or get tough. Egg whites can toughen up into pie toppings when beaten hard, and they toughen for scrambled eggs to a slight degree also.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                          Hi Omoto,

                                                                                                                                          I've heard many people complain about SS pans and sticky, messy eggs. I never have that problem, and I think stainless is a great material to cook with. If you do it correctly, the eggs slide right out of the pan much better than they ever would with a Teflon-lined one. It requires no seasoning and can be soaked without rusting until any residue just floats off.

                                                                                                                                          In terms of eggs, you have to put in enough fat to coat the interior of the pan and also leave a thin, pooling layer in the bottom. I use a high grade olive oil and just splash it in. Then you have to get the pan hot enough without making the oil smoke. Third, you have to expect that the more stuff you saute in the pan before you add the eggs, the more likely they will be to stick to the bottom. For example, mushrooms are much more lipophilic than green onions, so they'll penetrate the oil film and allow the eggs to flow through and adhere to the bottom of the pan more easily. So leave those out for the time being.

                                                                                                                                          I cook scrambled eggs almost every morning for myself and anybody else in the house who wants them. I often use a cheap SS saute pan I bought at the local high-end grocery store for about $40 bucks because it's big enough for a lot of eggs. I sometimes cook as many as 8 eggs at once in the pan and, if I've done the prep right, they slide right out of the pan onto the plate every time, leaving no residue in the pan.

                                                                                                                                          I also have a SS lined copper omelete pan that's smaller and cooks like a dream.

                                                                                                                                        3. Thanks to all who contributed here. If not for this post, I would have never thought of buying copper lined with steel. I absolutely love my new Mauviel tin lined copper frying pan.

                                                                                                                                          I haven't tried an omelet yet, but I have been making shashouka (eggs poached in chopped tomatoes) with no oil and nothing sticks! It's a joy. And I didn't have to season it and reseason it like cast iron and then baby it and make sure it doesn't rust. I just dump it into the sink after cooking and let it sit with water. When I'm done eating, I take a plastic scrubbie for about 20 seconds and it's clean. I also don't worry about drying it scrupulously - a quick swish with a dish towel and I hang it and I'm done.

                                                                                                                                          Once you have discovered tin-lined copper, there is no going back.

                                                                                                                                          By the way, anyone knows who makes tin-lined copper other than Mauviel and the place in Brooklyn? I'm happy with the Mauviel, but just wondering what all the alternatives are.

                                                                                                                                          37 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                            Hi, omotosando:

                                                                                                                                            Glad you're enjoying your pan.

                                                                                                                                            Ruffoni, Baumalu, Mazzetti and others still make tin-lined. If you don't yet have saucepans, you should look at the 4-pan new set offered by Rocky Mountain Retinning. 2.8 (not 3) mm, with lids for, I think $340 TOTAL. I have this set and it is first-rate.


                                                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                              On the Rocky Mountain website I only see the 3 mm sauce pans, not 2.8. I'm very tempted, although I have no idea where I would store 4 saucepans.

                                                                                                                                              I'm trying to banish kitchen clutter. Having jettisoned a lot of superfluous stuff, I'm finding that I'm cooking more because I'm better organized and can actually find my pots and pans without an excavation.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                Hi, omoto:

                                                                                                                                                Those are the pans I was referring to. I just wanted you to know that mine miked out at 2.8mm, rather than 3. The difference is less than 2 sheets of copy paper. Compare with Falk, Mauviel etc bimetals, which are even .5mm thinner copper than RMR's.


                                                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                  I am so tempted with the Rocky Mountain saucepans because the only saucepans I have are two old All Clad which I hate, but I have to ask what do you do with four saucepans? Do you actually use all four? I rarely use saucepans at all, so four just seems a little extreme. Still, the price is very tempting. A single Falk 2.5 saucepan with lid would set me back $325, so four saucepans with lids for $340 sounds fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                  By the way, I'm wondering if I care about tin versus stainless steel in a saucepan since I think I'm less likely to make anything in a saucepan that I would care about non stick qualities. Do you find the tin to be a great advantage in a saucepan?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                    Hi, omotosando:

                                                                                                                                                    I do actually use all four. However, I use the two largest sizes a lot more than the two smallest. If you ever get into making actual sauces, glaces, etc. that require a lot of reduction, this range is pretty good, because you transfer to ever-smaller sizes as the sauce reduces.

                                                                                                                                                    If I were Emperor, I'd have the four include one larger and omit the smallest. But this is the best deal anywhere on NEW thick pans of this quality--by far, and I look every day.

                                                                                                                                                    As to your last question, I don't have any SS-lined copper (except one small gratin), but all I know about cooking and copper tells me there would be little if any advantage in tin. The only advantage IMO would be indirect, in the sense that thicker copper is better and no one offers SS-lined that has copper thicker than 2.3mm. On the other hand, SS-lined saucepans are impervious to metal utensils like whisks for a long time. I use birch whisks, but there are silicone and rubber-coated whisks, too.

                                                                                                                                                    Finally, while I'm happy you find tin so non-stick, to me one of its cardinal virtues is that it is *not* non-stick, but rather the ideal balance of low-stick and good-stick--it sticks less than SS yet still creates excellent fond.


                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                      Hi omotosando,

                                                                                                                                                      I agree that having a set of tin lined copper sauce pans is a bit overkill if one does not make reductions. I rarely make a sauce requiring a set of sauce pans, so my set gets little use. I tend to use a tin lined copper saute to pan fry proteins and veggies, then make a pan sauce from the fond and call it done.

                                                                                                                                                      My sauce pans, even though I love them, collect dust.

                                                                                                                                                      If you think, however, that buying a set of sauce pans will encourage you to make complicated sauces, it may be a good idea.

                                                                                                                                                      Best wishes,


                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alarash

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the good advice. I have neither the time nor the inclination to make complicated sauces. For me a saucepan is to boil an egg, make oatmeal or reheat takeout soup. And now that I think of it, I can pretty much do that in either my small copper Falk Try Me sauciere or in my larger Demeyre stainless sauciere.

                                                                                                                                                        I think my next purchase will be a 11 or 12 inch copper fry pan or a sauté pan. I am perfecting my shashouka recipe and the 8 inch Mauviel fry plan feels a little crowded for more than 1 egg. I like the eggs poached where they an spread out at will.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                        I finally called Rocky Mountain to order the saucepans. Unfortunately, he has no more lids.

                                                                                                                                                        I decided to order them anyway. I wonder if I will be able to find lids anywhere? But if not, there is always the tin foil method.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                          Hi, omotosando:

                                                                                                                                                          Well, at least you got the pans. Congrats, you won't find a bargain like that again.

                                                                                                                                                          As for lids, if I were you I would just buy two of the "lollypop" style flat disk lids with long handles, one ideal for the biggest of the 4, the other ideal for the next-to-smallest. No biggie to shift the lids down one size when you need, and the lollypops can be handy and classy for turning food out on for transfer and serving. Be prepared to outbid the kitchen decorator crowd wanting that "French Kitchen" look.


                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                            The only place that seems to sell the French lollipops is French Copper Studio, and to say they are expensive is an understatement.

                                                                                                                                                            That being said, do I understand correctly that if you buy the non-fitted copper lids, they are sort of universal lids and will work with any similar size pan even if not an exact fit? http://www.frenchcopperstudio.com/set...

                                                                                                                                                            Because I doubt I will be able to find lids that are exact fits.

                                                                                                                                                            By the way, Rocky Mountain told me there will be a delay in getting my pans because the handles need to be fitted and I'm not sure, but perhaps they also need to be tinned.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                              Hi, omotosando:

                                                                                                                                                              New? Yes, bring money. But you can pick up nice vintage lids on eBay in the $50 range. I have another source for vintage lids as well, but they are completely reconditioned and freshly tinned, and therefore tend to be spendy. She might even have fitted lids for you if you must have that kind.

                                                                                                                                                              Yes, lollypops cover a range of sizes, from "barely fits" down to "falls off".

                                                                                                                                                              Peter is usually very fast with tinning. I think I had my pans 3-4 days after I ordered (but I was in Denver at the time).


                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                Peter said it would take awhile because he has to put handles on the pans.

                                                                                                                                                                P.S. At some point, I would like to know about your other source for lids because I will eventually get lids for the Rocky Mountain pans after they arrive.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                                  Hi, omotosando:

                                                                                                                                                                  Remember this later--you asked. Giving this website to anyone who likes copperware is like giving a junkie his first mainline hit., Do not blame me...


                                                                                                                                                                  Ginger is the owner's name, a very nice, *extremely* knowledgeable lady. Though lids are not listed on her amazing site, the last time I spoke with her, she had 175 (!) vintage lids that she has available for sale. Fair warning: you may pay more for two of Ginger's lids than you have for Peter's pans.


                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                    I finally got my Rocky Mountain pans. Peter was supposed to call me last year when they were ready, but he never did and I forgot about it. I finally contacted him recently and he shipped out the pans. I love them -- they are so beautiful that it makes me want to find uses for them. And the copper is so thick.

                                                                                                                                                                    Now on to finding lids for the pans.

                                                                                                                                                                    Also, I recently bought a "Lamalle" tin-lined copper oval fish pan on Ebay and was very disappointed. I had thought Lamalle was serious cookware (he was apparently a Frenchman who was importing copper cookware in the '60's and '70's), but the pan is so light that it cannot possibly be more than 1.5" thick. The tin was also in poor condition, so I sent it off to Rocky Mountain for retinning, so it was not any bargain when factoring in the retinning. I still thought I would keep it and give it a try for cooking when it comes back from Rocky Mountain.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                                      Hi, omotosando: "...I recently bought a "Lamalle" tin-lined copper oval fish pan on Ebay and was very disappointed. I had thought Lamalle was serious cookware..."

                                                                                                                                                                      Well, all I can say is: This is a learning experience. Just as Mauviel makes and sells "table service". i.e., thin, pans, so did Lamalle import them. And so did Gaillard--that was *my* learning experience. And so on (Jacquotot), and so on (Bazaar 666), etc. BUT, they all sold extra fort grade pans as well, so you have to check the weights. My best Pommes Anna is a Lamalle and is very thick.

                                                                                                                                                                      Oval fish pans are usually thin, for reasons yet unexplained. I have looked for years for an iron-handled oval poele in fort or extra fort, and have yet to find one.

                                                                                                                                                                      But I am happy you like your pans from Peter. They are an astounding bargain, even without covers. Peter even puts facets on the rivet heads! He is also extremely prompt and good at customer service, so I am surprised that it took long to handle your pans.

                                                                                                                                                                      If you want covers, I would contact Peter again, and ask if he is also out of the cover *handles*. If not, I would buy the set, because any competent metalworker could make the copper covers--but making the castings to *fit* the covers would be an expensive bitch.


                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                        It's so strange -- I can't imagine why anyone would want a "table service" fish fry pan. I hope it ends up working for the purpose of actually cooking fish, not serving fish. It's also on the smallish side, so it will fit on one burner, but also won't fit a very large fish. And it has a kind of cheapish steel handle.

                                                                                                                                                                        I don't think I will be buying any more pans on Ebay. The seller listed it as "very nice, very gently used condition" and the condition of the tin lining was not apparent in the photo. The seller and I have a different opinion on what is very nice condition -- the copper itself was okay, but not the lining.

                                                                                                                                                                        When I contacted Peter last year, he said he had pans left, but that all the covers were gone. I guess I could ask him again about covers, but I would doubt he has any. When I contacted him last year, he said he had pans, but it would take awhile for him to add the handles and he would contact me for payment when they were finished and then I guess he just forgot about me. I'm glad I recontacted him recently because he promptly sent out a set of pans.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                                          Hi, omotosando:

                                                                                                                                                                          Just to be clear, my recommendation was to see if Peter has the *handles* for the lids. These would be harder than the lids themselves to reconstruct. But if you scrounge dillegently, you should have little trouble finding used lids that will fit. *Matching* lids at a decent price is another story..

                                                                                                                                                                          I buy mostly on eBay, and have gotten some fine bargains there. But I have spent a LOT of time learning to recognize signs of better quality. I still get burned occasionally, but I usually just resell what displeases me. IME, ther are nearly as many misdescribed gems as there are zonkers.

                                                                                                                                                                          Enjoy your new pans!


                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                            I've asked Peter about the cast iron handles. I don't believe he has any left. He still has a few pans.

                                                                                                                                                                            Peter sometimes answers the phone from his cell while on the road. Like many of us, it is easy to forget the call by the time you get back to the shop. It is best to follow up the call with an email.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bigjim68

                                                                                                                                                                              That answers that. Thanks, Jim.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                Hi, If anyone can help me.. I was wondering if they had a website (Rocky Mountain). I just wanted to have a look at the pans. The ones I managed to find are all to do with grills etc and not handmade copper pots! Thanks in advance.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: SomersetDee


                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bigjim68

                                                                                                                                                                                    very cool link from Rocky Mountain re-tinning...

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bigjim68

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks Bigjim for the link. The pans look so tempting.. absolutely fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SomersetDee

                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi, Dee:

                                                                                                                                                                                        Peter's already run out of lids, and a year ago he had only 20 sets of pans left. He doesn't make them, so when they're gone, they're gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I was lucky to get a full set and I really like them. The handles are a bit shorter than most other lines, but in these sizes, I think that's best. They are more like 2.8mm than a full 3. The planisher used a smaller hammer (many more blows, and more difficult than Mauviel's large, overlapping technique), and even carefully did the bottom corner. The tin has really held up--on one pan through boiling dry 3 times.


                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Kaleo,
                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes I have gone back to the website and looked a few times at the pans :) Especially the way the light pattern reflects off around the pan in that photo shows how carefully it is hammered. Well I am tempted to buy them I admit, even if shipping to UK probably is a hassle.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Kind regards

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Kaleo, I found lollipop lids on eBay for all but one one of the Rocky Mountain pans . It was actually the woman from http://www.4and20kitchenantiques.com who kindly alerted me to fact that these particular lids were being offered on eBay. They were shipped from France and fit the Rocky Mountain pans exactly.

                                                                                                                                                                                I may send the lids off to Rocky Mountain for polishing -- I know it's silly since I could do it myself -- but I would rather leave it the professionals. One perhaps silly question, I can't tell what the lids are lined with. All I can see is that the copper shows through a tiny bit on some of them. Does that mean the lids are tin-lined? Should I bother getting the lids retinned?

                                                                                                                                                                                By the way, I sent my Lamalle oval fish pan that I bought on eBay off to Rocky Mountain for retinning and polishing and it came back looking beautiful. Now i just have to cook up some fish in it and see how the pan does performance wise.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi, omotosando:

                                                                                                                                                                                  Ginger at 4and20 is very helpful and extremely knowledgeable, so I'm not surprised it worked out well for you. Good job.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Without seeing your covers, it's difficult to tell the lining. But it's a very high probability that they're tinned. Can you see anything that looks like wipe marks, or sworls? I ask because about the only other things that would be worn through are nickel and silver, and those are electroplated to the metal, and so tend to look very smooth.

                                                                                                                                                                                  If all you're seeing is a tiny bit of exposed copper, I wouldn't go to the expense. Unless you're planning on serving food from them, they're not going to be in contact with what you're cooking. OTOH, with Peter's (and most others') pricing formula, covers aren't very expensive--you'd be paying the rate ($5 or $8, etc.) only times the diameter, but not the height.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Enjoy your fish pan. Do not scrimp on the fat in the pan; there is something about fish skin browning at the margin with the bare floor of the pan--it builds up a lot of heat right at the margin.


                                                                                                                                                      3. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                        I also have the 4 Rocky Mountain Sauce Pans, and I love them. At $340, they really are a steal. You would pay twice that for a set of three Falk saucepans, and you can't get two new Mauviel tin-lined pans for this price.

                                                                                                                                                        In case it's not clear, the copper pan are of older French manufacture, but I have no idea where they handles came from. Peter shines the pans and lids up and attaches the handles when you place the order. The pans are hammered, so the actual thickness is variable. For example, my second largest pan is my thickest, and my largest pan is my thinnest. I haven't put a micrometer to them, but my guess is that mine vary within the 2.5mm and 3mm window. The primary difference between these and new Mauviel pans is that the Mauviel pans will have a higher finish quality. The RMR pans will have a little slag left in the handle loops, and maybe a few little dings (genuinely little, but still there) around the rim (under the tin). In short, the RMR pans feel more rustic. If you want display pieces to fit into a modern home, pass on the RMR and get Mauviel or other, but if you want cooking pieces, you get all the quality you need with the RMR pans.

                                                                                                                                                        Another thing to note, is that the volume measurements on the RMR website are wrong. I am honestly not sure where they came from, but I took my four pans, filled each to the brim with water, put the lid on each (thereby expelling a little water displaced by the lid) and poured the remaining water into a measuring bowl, and here are my results (oddly, these were my exact results):
                                                                                                                                                        #1 = 0.75 Qt (3 cups)
                                                                                                                                                        #2 = 1.00 Qt (4 cups)
                                                                                                                                                        #3 = 1.50 Qt (6 cups)
                                                                                                                                                        #4 = 2.00 Qt (8 cups)

                                                                                                                                                        The smallest makes a perfect butter warmer, or for a single serving of oats. The larger two get most of my use, for general water boiling, daily oatmeal, and reheating. I like having tin for saucepans, because I find that sauces, oats, and milk all stick less and burn less that in stainless (comparing only to my Falk saucier). If you wouldn't use all four, you could offer one or two up for sale here or elsewhere, and I bet you'd recoup a nice amount of your initial outlay.

                                                                                                                                                        I hope this helps!


                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jljohn

                                                                                                                                                          Hi, jljohn:

                                                                                                                                                          This is a really good review of the RMR pans overall. I have to quibble a little on the finish/polish issue--mine were first rate, right down to the facets Peter puts on the rivet heads. Yes, the handle castings are left semi-rough, but after using this set for almost two years in tandem with Mauviel, I've come to dislike the latter's smoothness and turn-iness. The RMR handles' surface texture, shortness and angle seem perfect for me. The short handles also make oven use more realistic. Finally, I think the offset "lollypop" handles on Peter's lids are far superior to the loop handles everyone else uses (unless you use Alton Brown's wine cork trick).

                                                                                                                                                          A year ago, Peter told me he only had 20 or so sets left. Frankly, I considered buying ALL of the sets and reselling them, but didn't buy any more. IF he's only got a few left now, I could understand how your set might have some superficial dings. But Peter will move mountains to makethings right--he made a special trip to my hotel just to replace a lid that had the *tiniest* little wobble to it. N.B. to omotosando:

                                                                                                                                                          Unlike my friend alarash and like jljohn, I use my saucepans for a lot more than reduced sauces; they are my most-used pieces, in fact.


                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                            Wow, that's good to know about Peter. Mine actually had a several little dings around the edges, a very slight inward roll on one pan lip, one sharp spot of tin on an interior rivet, and one of the lids has to go on with the handle at a 90 degree angle relative to the pan's handle if it is not to wobble. It's all stuff I would prefer not to see, but I just figured it was all due to being among the last sets available, and for the price, it wasn't so much that I needed to make an issue.

                                                                                                                                                            These small issues aside, I agree with you about the handles. I much prefer them to the falk and mauviel handles. They are short, which I think is a major asset; they come almost straight out the side, which I love, and they have some texture, which make them much easier to grip. On a related side note: I had several occasions when I grabbed my first falk 3 qt saucier with a hot-pad right up against the side of the pan, and because of the way the handle comes off the pan at such a vertical angle, it slipped through the hotpad a couple of inches, sloshing stuff everywhere. I actually replaced it with a two-handled version ("stewpan"), which I think is a much better handle arrangement.

                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the info Kaleo,


                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jljohn

                                                                                                                                                              I just want to add to my previous post. I decided to talk to Peter about the couple of, admittedly small, issues I mentioned above, and he immediately asked me to send them to him to make right. I have had real/serious problems with other cookware manufacturers on several occasions in the past, and I've had to fight to get things made right. Not so with Peter--he jumped at the chance to make a few minor things right. It doesn't get any better than that!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jljohn

                                                                                                                                                                Hi, jljohn:

                                                                                                                                                                Great to hear. That's the Peter I know.

                                                                                                                                                                I had my one abused pan of Peter's retinned in New Orleans last week, and the tinner was in awe of the quality. He also said that pans of that quality are much easier to tin once and get it right the first time than are lesser pans.


                                                                                                                                                    2. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                      Yay. Another convert! Now wherever your travels may take you a mysterious force will pull you into every store that might conceivably have any copper cook ware and you will develop a cyborg like ability to find that little pomme vapeur or Bain Marie tucked away behind a bunch of new SS stuff that will become transparent to you. You will obsess over each find and buy things you'd never dreamed of, but you will use each and every piece regularly. Congratulations!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tim irvine

                                                                                                                                                        So I'm not the only one....

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alarash

                                                                                                                                                          No indeed!

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                        Stumbled her by mis, no , by fortune. Thus I am new here and loving all this rich advice.....I had to join because I so want to try and prepare SHASHOUKA.......would you share the recipe and directions...........This sounds absolutely amazing.

                                                                                                                                                        Thank you

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                          Have you tried half a teaspoon of Spanish Pimento in your Shashouska? :)

                                                                                                                                                        2. Well I finally tried an omelet this morning in my tin-lined Mauviel. I used the method described by Thomas Keller of the French Laundry in this week's Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

                                                                                                                                                          Basically, Keller says that when he first learned to cook the method he learned for an omelet was a very hot pan, but he now believes an omelet should be cooked slowly over very low heat. Sounded perfect for a tin-lined pan.

                                                                                                                                                          The recipe called for 1 1/2 tsp of canola oil and 1/2 tbl of butter and a non-stick pan. I used 1 tbl duck fat. I don't know if it was the duck fat, or not enough duck fat or the fact that I didn't use a non-stick pan, but the omelet stuck, although not as horribly as my eggs usually stick on stainless steel or cast iron. I guess if you want perfectly non-stick you need to use a non-stick pan, as Keller suggests. On the bright side, the sticked bits came off the tin-lined pan without major scrubbing unlike the cleaning ordeal I have faced when I have made omelets in stainless steel or cast iron.

                                                                                                                                                          31 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                            Yes, when cooks learn to make omelets they learn the methods used in restaurants. As a breakfast cook you have to pump out a lot of omelets in a short time. Hence, high heat and fast manipulation of the eggs.

                                                                                                                                                            Speaking of high heat, can you use high heat on a tin lined copper pan as long as you have liquid or food in it?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Seitan

                                                                                                                                                              Hi, Seitan:

                                                                                                                                                              Yes, generally, if the pan is sized correctly for the food. Not much danger with liquid contents, but I would not try to brown a small piece of fish in a very large pan on very high heat.


                                                                                                                                                            2. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                              when sticking happens to me it is because the pan is too cool. the egg is heavier than the oil/butter/whatever, so unless there's a bit of heat to "float" it, it will sink and stick. If it's too hot, then the egg will sit on the oil all right, but will also form large bubbles and get tough on the bottom. I find it necessary to use a laser thermometer gun to get the pan around 225 to be in right temp range on a tin-lined pan. In addition, my heat source being induction, I can set it and time it then turn off the heat. Aside from those things, using clarified butter (melted and the solids settled out) works best for me.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                I will have to try clarified butter. I just don't see myself buying a laser thermometer gun.

                                                                                                                                                                Yesterday morning I attempted scrambled eggs in my tin-lined copper. Trying to skimp on calories, I only used 1 teaspoon of duck fat for two eggs in a 8.5 inch pan at low heat. The eggs came out tasty, but I got a lot of sticking. I wonder if you just can't get away with 1 tsp of fat (calories be damned)?

                                                                                                                                                                Also, is there any issue with leaving the copper pan to soak in the sink all day? It needed soaking in warm water to release the stuck eggs and I would be more enthusiastic about making eggs in the morning if I could just leave the pan in the sink and deal with it when I got home from work.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                                  If you have a cast iron handle, leaving that in water is an obvious problem. I wouldn't leave the copper in contact with other, unknown stuff in the sink. Depending what else is in the sink, I'd be concerned about getting corrosion. I would just fill the pan up with water, let it sit on the counter, and you'll be fine. The old-school recommendations I've seen for cleaning tin lined pots is to soak and sponge them out, and if there is still sticky bits, fill them with hot water and let them sit over night.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                                    I have not tried duck fat, sounds good, but I can vouch for clarified butter used with eggs. The pan can soak in water for days without issues. I never try to remove the tarnish on the inside of the pan, just the food. I sometimes polish the outside since shiny outside means less heat loss. You can judge the temperature by experience if no thermometer, maybe try a dropper of water see how fast it bubbles, etc. you can do it.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                                      Hi, omoto:

                                                                                                                                                                      I am coming around to the view that all pans (with the partial exception of PTFE) benefit from a little "seasoning", and lose a step when used unseasoned. What passes for "seasoning" and how to do it will vary from material to material, of course. In my silver-lined frypan, there was a world of difference, especially with eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                      You don't want to melt your tin lining seasoning the pan like you would cast iron. What you might try is setting your oven to 400 (and verify that is the actual temperature), preheat your pan, and then wipe it with a very thin layer of your oil or fat, and turn the oven off after an hour to let the pan cool. Wipe out, and repeat 2-3 times. I predict you will be happy with the results. A light wipe with oil after every use will not hurt, either.

                                                                                                                                                                      I think 1 tsp. of duck fat sounds about right for an 8" pan, and I concur that it's probably best not to completely immerse the pan for any length of time. Just fill it and let it soak.


                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                        Good to know that you think 1 tsp of fat is enough -- I was afraid that I was going to have to use 1 tablespoon in order to get more non-stick and that is a lot of extra calories.

                                                                                                                                                                        I really don't want to coat my copper pans. One reason I loathe cast iron (and am thrilled to be rid of it now that I have bought tin-lined copper) is that I hate the whole ritual of wiping down with oil.

                                                                                                                                                                        Except for an omelet and perhaps some other dishes where you are going to have a mess if you have sticking, I have decided that sticking is not a tragedy if it cleans up easily. After all, scrambled eggs taste the same, even if you lose a few bits to sticking. I'm glad to hear that I can pour warm water into my copper pan and leave it sitting on the counter to be cleaned out when I get around to it. (Another thing I hate about cast iron is that you cannot leave it lying around filled with water).

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                                          That's a good attitude. I'm not suggesting a thick, built-up crud like on CI. Just try a light wipe with oil while the pan is still warm from washing. See if that doesn't help.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                                            Interesting. I have learned to love the ritual of maintaining my cast iron. Just something I have become accustomed to... and also ironically... I leave my cast irons in water all the time but that's because I finally became consumed with seasoning all of my cast iron. Now I have wonderfully functioning cast iron where it takes very little oils or fats to make anything including eggs any style, and leaving them in water is no problem since they are seasoned so well. I have tin lined copper too which I also love. I just take all the care and prep with these implements as ritual.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                            I have my first copper sauce pan, haven't used it, and am scared like a modern first mother with a new baby.

                                                                                                                                                                            Some rapid fire questions:

                                                                                                                                                                            Upthread someone asked about broiling temps. Ours are too high, hence early use of salamanders?

                                                                                                                                                                            I gather from your post that 400 deg is OK. For a long time? From a cold start? What's the max, for what time, say to to brown a chicken--450 for 10 min?

                                                                                                                                                                            Does using a smallish copper rondeau/fait tout make sense? I'm guessing 5 quarts, and can be used stovetop, which is where I normally would (it's a major pain in the neck to clear out all the little pots and lids).

                                                                                                                                                                            I also am nervous about judging tin quality by eye, when I eBay hunt.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rbraham

                                                                                                                                                                              Expensive new SS lined evasse: tonight for first time: come to Papa; let's you and me find out how to maneuver a Maltaise. Heavy as a bitch, bt when I saw egg curdles like distant thunderclouds, I dug the instant heat-be-gone elevate the pan move.

                                                                                                                                                                              Other news: large sauté. Can't remember what I cooked, but had a little trouble getting the wedge of my wood wedgy thingy underneath the food, and the cutlet(?) was not so pretty.

                                                                                                                                                                              BUT, some asshole (ahem, Rob) must have scratched the tin down to the surface, and I now see a copper ringlet all around the inside.

                                                                                                                                                                              K said if the aggregate copper exposed is larger than a quarter--then what, _has_ to be retinned? My copper showing is, oh, a JFK dollar.

                                                                                                                                                                              I'm making breaded cutlets tonight. Will I kill my wife and myself?

                                                                                                                                                                              Need answer soon.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rbraham

                                                                                                                                                                                I'm making breaded cutlets tonight. Will I kill my wife and myself?

                                                                                                                                                                                No. Enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jljohn

                                                                                                                                                                                  But is repinning mandatory around now? I'm pissed, because I just paid $100 for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I found a good calculator--for these guys' prices--on retinning. I haven't done the measurement/math on RMR or the others:

                                                                                                                                                                                  BTW, the cutlets, with asparagus and Maltaise sauce (did I mention the Maltaise sauce before....?) were perfectissimo.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rbraham

                                                                                                                                                                                    First, I'd suggest that re-tinning is not necessary, if you are not going to cook acidic food and if you are going to use it enough that green tarnish doesn't build up on the exposed parts. However, if it were me, I'd send it out to get re-tinned (assuming I had the available cash.)

                                                                                                                                                                                    Second, I don't know anything about the re-tinner you linked to, but I would HIGHLY recommend sending your pan to either Peter at Rocky Mountain or Jim at East Coast. Peter will charge you $5 x the diameter + height, so a 10" x 3" saute will be $65. For shipping, he charges whatever you paid to send it to him (figure $15 ish for a heavy saute. Peter's work is top-notch, and his turnaround time is fantastic. I think he had my saute pan back to me within 48 hours of receiving it! Jim, at East Coast, charges $4 x the diameter + height + height, so a 10" x 3" saute will be $64. He charges $8 for return shipping. Jim's work is fantastic. He seems to care for each pan that he handles, but his turnaround is slower. He tries for two weeks, but I think it's really three or a little more. It's also worth noting that both of these guys will polish your pan beautifully for that price, and fix any little issues as well if you note them, like a bottom that's not flat or a rim that's out of round, etc. I would not look anywhere else, and if you search these forums, I think you'll find that the consensus among others is the same. Think of it this way. If you paid $100 for an old large thick copper saute, and you have to spend $80 to have it made like new, you are only in for half what your Bourgeat would have cost, and you probably have a better pan!

                                                                                                                                                                                    Lastly, what pans did you get (i.e. what are the new evasee and what's the saute), and how the heck did you scratch up the tin? Surely not with a wooden spatula!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rbraham

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi, Rob:

                                                                                                                                                                                      Relax. Also know that the taste threshold for copper is such that you are probably going to taste something "off" before you have problems. But if you have substantial exposed copper, just don't leave foods in the pan overnight or store foods in it. (And don't transport, boil and store milk in one completely bare pan that you feed an infant from exclusively for the duration of their nursery--ridiculous, I know, but some people are hung up on this, because of an epidemiological oddity in India)

                                                                                                                                                                                      I second RMR as a retinner, and many trusted sources are happy with Jim at East Coast (not to be confused with Atlantic). I've retinned with LJ Gonzalez in N'awlins, too, and can vouch for him.


                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: rbraham

                                                                                                                                                                                    Probably not. I assume one dead is ok? Copper reacts to acids not to oils and neutral foods. Don't cook tomato sauce in it, or anything with vinegar or citrus. Remember egg whites are whisked in plain copper, sugar is melted in plain copper, and none of the copper comes off on these foods. Heat can cause a black oxide on copper which is harmless. Green corrosion, usually called verdegris, is toxic, however, so removing that is wise. Tin is non-reactive, even to acidic foods. I think you would need tons of tomato sauce cooked in your pot to even begin to have any issues, and it's just not that likely. I took a class with a French chef who used tin lined copper cookware for baking potatoes au gratin and many other dishes. The cookware was quite old and had a great deal of the tin missing inside. The tin is not necessary except for acidic foods. Plain copper is more conductive than either tin or stainless lining. She explained that these old pans were better than any others, and she knew them to be safe. She knew the score and did not wish to ruin them by having them re-tinned. Just don't cook lemon pies or tomato sauces or any other acidic foods in them.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                      I now remember how I broke in this big sauteuse--my first use of copper _evah_--and it was for a ragu Bolognese. Meat and tomatoe and other stuff, but you know, meat and tomato.

                                                                                                                                                                                      To me it was just fine; am I playing with fire here? It's not "tons of tomato sauces," as you put it, but I do cook often with tomatos, which adds up to "ton," I guess, over time.



                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                        I. Herbert Scheinberg, M.D., (1920-2009) professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, was one of the nation’s experts on copper toxicity and Wilson’s disease, a genetic disorder causing the toxic accumulation of dietary copper in the liver, brain and other organs. According to one of the best articles I found, “The Importance of Copper Cookware for Cooking” from the site Retinning and Copper Care:

                                                                                                                                                                                        [Dr. Scheinberg] contends that unless the copper has oxidized extensively enough to produce the green-blue copper salts commonly known as "verdigris," and/or highly acidic foods are to be cooked in the pot [with scratched or worn lining], use of the vessel is not dangerous. If acidic foods come in contact with the copper, they'll dissolve and absorb the copper salts, which are toxic. If the salts are present, the pot should be scoured.
                                                                                                                                                                                        [He says ] "Yes, people can get gastrointestinal upsets. But contrary to popular belief it's not fatal."

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                          You know what happens during those "upsets," and it can ruin a fine dining experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'll pst a photo or two here tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, as usual,


                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rbraham

                                                                                                                                                                                            np, dead guests, even if related, can definitely affect the meal.
                                                                                                                                                                                            If having to choose, I'd tin the pots, but to hell with the fry-saute-baking-roasting pans. In other words the ones that get hotter--let them de-tin. It will just give a nicer finish to the food. The pots to hold sauces and cook at lower heat, they can be tinned. Stainless, to me, is too expensive and gives you nothing except maybe economic protection against your neanderthal side when you overheat pans. I have done it a few times, but the tin managed to survive leaving little beads all over the inside of the pan. It is more surface area, so now the pan is more efficient. Tinned copper pots and pans of 1.5mm and thicker, tinned or de-tinned, are a super-value today as they wane misunderstood. Even the non-stick ceramics, which are quite good, cannot give the same effect.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi, bobluhrs:

                                                                                                                                                                                            Where were you [and Prof. Scheinberg] when I needed you [in an earlier debate] when I was making the same point? But thanks for making this known.


                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                              My own take is that stainless lined copper skillets/saute pans do not come up to the quality results of tin-lined, even and especially if, older and less tinned. Copper can show through. This does assume you aren't frying green tomatoes or lemons, hot and sour soup, etc, and that the copper is kept free of verdigris (green stuff). For cook pots in which acids will reside, the tin is necessary and should be as perfect as possible, but a few scratches should not matter. The pot linings to me, should not be cleaned to the bare metal. I have a pot for oatmeal that has a nice tan coating from many uses on top of the tin. Normal soap and water with a brush is all that's needed to remove the particles and leave the coating. Bar keeper's friend is used on the outsides every few months as the deepening golden colors fade to brown. But insides are sacred. If they ever get encrusted, then ok, I can take them back to metal using Bar Keepers friend. Storage of food in copper is probably best avoidable, afterall there are so many alternates and you want your copper to use and to light up your otherwise dull kitchen, right? Hide your copper? Of course not!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Bob,

                                                                                                                                                                                                I've cooked a lot with both tin-lined and stainless-lined copper pots, and to be honest, I really didn't see the difference vis a vis performance. The one thing you can say for a stainless lining is that you can beat the hell out of it and it will just keep rolling right along as if nothing's happened. I'm usually pretty hard on all the kitchen untensils, so I like to work with stuff that will take my level of abuse. Tin won't do that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                And regardless of all the eclat de scandal, I think stainless has lot less issues of "stickiness" than tin, which you can't really scour too much anyway because it's so much softer etc..

                                                                                                                                                                                                Just sayin'...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                  we differ on that point, I've never been able to get decent scrambled eggs from stainless, but great ones, best I've had, from tin. I've done better with cast iron than with stainless but best with tin, in my style of cooking. I don't get great results with non-stick teflon, but with the newer ceramic non-sticks, it's quite good. tin still edges it out for me, so I keep doing my eggs on tin, and saute's on tin. so happens I have a lot of tin pots so it's just the way it is right now. but I gave away most of my stainless lined heavy copper as not to my liking due to wrong finishes and too severe sticking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Bob,

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the speedy reply. I've never had a problem getting a "non-stick" surface with a stainless pan. You just have to use enough oil, and get it hot enough so that the eggs forms a skin when they hit the pan. Mine slide right out of the pan way, way better than they ever did from a Teflon pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                      sure, in my case that would make an egg I am not looking for, as the type of finish I want is more like a soft gelatin, just barely coagulated but firm. The skinning makes eggs sort of rubbery to me. I see that this will work at higher temps but I never go over a starting temp for the pan surface of 225 F. Any bubbling under the egg indicates it is toughening up and will lose delicacy. A truly fried egg is as you describe and those are fine, too, but my type is a much more difficult effect to get short of using a non-stick pan, yet non-stick will ruin the subtle flavors. I had used non stick for many years figuring that was the best I could get, then along came copper-tin, and another jump in flavor resulted. Since then there have been other surfaces and I run out and try them all right away, including the latest really slick ceramic indestructible non-stick surface. It is far more conductive than the usual teflon, etc, so does give a closer effect to the copper-tin, but is still a bit short of the full effect in texture and flavors. Stainless used the way I work eggs fails due to sticking, even with spray and butter, etc. I've been over and over it. Just my egg style. thanks for the tips on high heat tech, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That has not been my experience at all. I get eggs sticking most of the time with stainless, even when I do everything "right" (hot pan, cold oil, pan not too hot or too cold, etc.).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have somewhat better luck with carbon steel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Either way, I do think that having the eggs at room temperature makes a big difference, and that may be one difference between people whose eggs stick and those whose eggs don't.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                              "Ruin them" by having them retinned?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rbraham

                                                                                                                                                                                                right, if you're not doing acidic foods the conductivity of the pot is all that matters, and the copper's fine. a very thin coat of tin would not hurt but thicker coatings aren't needed to my mind, and they slow down the browning. everyone will see it differently.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                                                    In my experience stainless steel lining in both Mauviel and Bourgeat is perfect and become more "non-stick" over time.

                                                                                                                                                                                    On a different note: I find that butter, lard and beef dripping offer such superior performance to vegetable fat like (olive oil etc).

                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Quality check:

                                                                                                                                                                                    I was informed by K that Villedieu was a town (God's, if its name is to be believed), and so everything marked "Villedieu" is not necessarily from the same manufacturer.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Now, I am guessing that applies to Vesoul. Metal works, Vesoul? (metal works in French). Any ideas?

                                                                                                                                                                                    Email me if you think they'r a special pisser.



                                                                                                                                                                                    1. The issue I have is high heat. I am cooking at 23, 000 BTU, If I leave my Tin lined mauviel a bit to long the tin looks kind of "odd". I am thinking of replacing it with a Falk due to the heat tolerance of the Stainless. Has anybody else noticed an issue with this?

                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: irodguy

                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi, irodguy:

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm not subjecting my tinned pans to 23K, and I don't see any reason to.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Please describe what you mean by "odd". I have one saute, a very fine one, that will occasionally *smear* tin when it gets too hot with too little food in it. But so far no copper has been exposed. I'm not quite sure what to attribute this to, but I'm theorizing that the last re-tin was over a substrate that was improperly prepared.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm curious... What are you cooking in tinned copper that would require a 23K hob?


                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                          I am doing a high heat sear on Lamb prior to a pan sauce. The dish came out perfect, but the pan looked a bit odd. Think I am going to switch to cast iron for this application.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: irodguy

                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi, irod:

                                                                                                                                                                                            Your change would be wise if you were expecting to preheat your tinned copper the way one would preheat cast iron before the flop. Whatever your hob's rating or setting, if you flop into the (sufficiently) oiled pan when the IR gun hits 425 or so, you shouldn't have much problem wit the sear or its fond. The only other thing to keep in mind is not to do it in a pan that is disproportionately large for the cut or joint.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Can you describe the "odd" look?


                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                              Kind of dark spots but not melted through or anything. Bartenders friend and a bunch of scrubbing an it looks okay.

                                                                                                                                                                                              While I do preheat, I don't do so much since 23K of gas flames gets the pan hot in minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: irodguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                Ok, thanks. IME, splotchy/spotty/mottled is to be expected. It all mottles together eventually--kinda like patina on a carbon-steel knife. You know it's the way it should be when it looks like a uniform dark zinc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Noooooooooo, don't BKF the tin! I don't want to start a barfight over the harshness of BKF vs other scouring powders but it *will* wear through your lining. Maybe not right away, but you would be shortening its service by doing that

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Anyone ever heard of (super secret transcription coming) dee, aitch, and em co. --I think from NY--cookware?

                                                                                                                                                                                        On the prowl,

                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rbraham

                                                                                                                                                                                          Duparquet, Huot & Moneuse. Ellie Moneuse was a later addition to the business. Probably the best-known and most highly regarded American copperware manufacturer. However, like most American makers, DH&M didn't use sheetstock thicker than 1/8". Very collectible.

                                                                                                                                                                                          If you want to understand how far we have *not* come in the last 100 years, take a look at the DH&M wares that were offered. http://digital.lib.usu.edu/cdm/compou...

                                                                                                                                                                                          I want one of the ranges.


                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                            "didn't use sheet stock thicker than 1/8.” That's a great number. It sounded like you were being sarcastic--or is it _up to_ 1/8”? Otherwise I'll pounce on this guy.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm not collecting pans, per se. I'm looking for good ones to make Campbell Soup in.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rbraham

                                                                                                                                                                                              DH&M is a good mark. They tend to be old, because I think the (last) Depression killed them, but I have never seen one with a loose handle, etc. Most of these were institutional and commercial pans, so they have typically been banged around and retinned a lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                              No disparagement meant on the thickness of 1/8", but that's the upper limit. And I'm *not* saying all the DH&M pans are that thick, either. More likely to be in the 2mm range.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rbraham

                                                                                                                                                                                                Just in case you run across one of these... Please let me know?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think that question passes beyond thread drift.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Are those ventilators?

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. There is so much rich information in so many of these posts. There is some additional information that may helpful. Copper pots are unrivaled cookware. There is a huge distinction between copper with tin lining vs copper with stainless lining. One of coppers many virtues is its even heat distribution. A tin or silver lining allows the copper to conduct its even heat performance best. Stainless actually blunts the conductivity of copper, although it is highly preferred by amateur cooks for its convenience. For the aficionados out there, the other beauty of copper that is lined with tin or silver is that the FOOD cooks evenly within the pan, requiring less attention and time to cook. For example, a copper pot with a stainless lining will conduct heat at the base of the pan at, say 180 degrees. But the heat at the top of the pan is cut in half, to about 90 degrees. With copper and silver, and lesser so with tin, it is the same temperature throughout the vessel, so it is 180 degrees on the bottom and 180 degrees along the sides and at the top. Without question, the finest cookware in the world is 2.5mm copper lined with silver. This is the Lamborghini of cookware. The heat output is astonishing. The cooking process is so alive and invigorating, and the food cooks in less time, at a lower flame, to ensure the moisture of the food is maintained. There is a line from France, fully hand-made, from the village that's made these pots since the 12th Century. It will be available in the States this fall. I will post again as soon as it hits our shores. The really cool thing about copper pots lined with silver is that you virtually have to learn to cook again - in a different but far more exciting way. As for the care, you will love cleaning and tending to these pots as lovingly as you do anything else that's an indispensable heirloom. The new copper and silver creams out today (Wright) make it utterly easy. And look for ones with cast iron handles, as they heat up less than bronze or brass. If you love being true to France's tradition of cooking, you will want your pots unvarnished. All that's required is that you dry them soon after washing. It's well worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                            17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AuntieMame58

                                                                                                                                                                                              silver ranks 247, copper 236, they are very close. Aluminum is 136, tin 38, and stainless steel, only 8. So, in a copper skillet tin plated you can heat it over 450 and wipe off most of the tin lining to get one close to the silver performance. If you can figure out how to remove all the tin, then you can fill the pan with electrolyte and silver plate it yourself. But seems kind of silly given that the copper is safe unless you are frying tomatoes, lemons, vinegar-laced stuff, whatever. Copper is right up there with silver so why not just buy the old thick de-tinned pans for frying? For soups, sauces, etc, then tin or silver linings make most sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                <silver ranks 247, copper 236, they are very close. Aluminum is 136, tin 38, and stainless steel, only 8.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                Mentioning heat conductivity without heat capacity is missing the point. When heat capacity is account for, aluminum is just as good as copper in reaching an uniform temperature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                <copper is safe>

                                                                                                                                                                                                No, cooking in copper is not a safe practice. Beside the known acute toxicity effects, it also contributes to chronic diseases.

                                                                                                                                                                                                "...We only occasionally found levels exceeding the EPA limit of 1.3 ppm, but about 20% of the time found levels exceeding the levels (0.12 ppm) causing AD type brain damage and loss of cognition in the AD model studies of Sparks and colleagues..."


                                                                                                                                                                                                "Copper can induce acute and chronic intoxications in humans. Copper in tap water has caused a series of severe systemic diseases in Germany in recent years (copper induced liver cirrhosis). Besides cirrhosis, another type of disease with predominantly gastrointestinal symptoms has occurred which likewise appeared to be induced by copper in tap water. - In a retrospective investigation we looked for additional indications and proof that chronic copper poisoning has been the cause of the observed gastrointestinal diseases. ..."


                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hui, Bob:

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You are more right than wrong on copper intake here, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  As has been pointed out here before, repeatedly, millions of Italians cook their polenta in unlined copper pots. Millions more all over the world use unlined mixing bowls, confectionary and preserve pans. Millions of Chinese, Turks, Persians and other East and West Asians have cooked in bare copper and brass for centuries, no millennia. There is no "French Chef's" disease of cirrhosis or dementia. Copper-induced liver cirrhosis is exceedingly rare, and as far as I know has never been associated with cooking non-acidic foods in copper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  What there *are* are some associations that have been discovered in some as-yet-unexplained pockets and populations of the world (e.g., in India Germany and Switzerland) with copper toxicity. And the study cited above seems to draw a conclusion similar to the initial (and wrong) conclusions suggesting dietary aluminum intake with AD. There are also a pair of highly-dubious animal (rabbit) studies that labor mightily to "discover" that copper water pipes are poisoning and dementing people. The genetic components of these associations have yet to be explored, but offer a rational explanation for the anomalies. See, Eur J Med Res. 1999 Jul 28;4(7):300-1. AS do the many other factors involved, such as copper IN the foods and ALREADY in the water supply..

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Where you and I part company on copper intake is that I think you obviously *can* get too much (especially considering the other sources--besides cookware--from which we get dietary copper). Unless one knows one's blood serum copper levels at all times (and who does?) cooking and storing everything in completely bare copper is probably not advisable. Bear in mind, though, that the EPA standard of 1.3ppm is based on a human actuarial LIFETIME of getting one's water from copper pipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  But here's the clincher: There is no serious dispute that most Americans (namely, including those tens of millions with copper pipes) are DEFICIENT in copper. It serves no point to explain the many reasons why copper is a *necessary* and essential part of human nutrition, or what studies show are the results of insufficient copper intake, except to note that neurons--and hence our brains--can't function without copper. Yes, you can get too much copper, but the take-away is the average American would be a smart bettor to wager that s/he is now getting too LITTLE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Finally, I must take minor issue with your statements about SS vs. tin linings. Yes, tin is more conductive (and much so) than SS, but both "blunt" conductivity to some degree. I just happen to believe that the degree of blunting in both cases is infinitessimally small. A 0.2mm layer of SS pressure bonded to 2.3mm of red copper is going to perform *conductivity-wise* nearly identical to the same 2.3mm of copper washed with the same 0.2mm thickness of tin. I defy anyone to prove anything resembling "uneven heat" using those parameters and identical pans. Now, when you get companies like All-Clad putting 0.41mm on either side of their (thin) copper layer, you can have a performance problem...


                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This entire string of comments is fascinating. It contains a lot of good information, and some mis-information. First, heat conductivity which is essential for cooking food evenly, efficiently and maintaining moisture. The fact is that the finest metal conductors of heat are 1) Gold, 2) Silver and 3) Copper. You should always prefer the 2.5mm copper pots to the 2mm ones, because their performance is noticingly better. While there is a lot of discussion about tin vs stainless steel, there are only a few mentions of silver. Copper pots lined with silver are considered the finest, but you hear less about them because of the expense. Silver lining is by no means an extravagance. It's like cooking with copper on steroids. It performs like a Maserati. These pots can be obtained in France. Tin is the next best lining for copper pots , but it has limitations. It melts at a 425 degree temperature, making it less suitable for high heat searing. As for cooking evenly, the beauty of copper lined with either silver or tin vs stainless steel is that they distribute heat to the food throughout the pot more evenly. You can cook on a lower temperature and literally walk away from your pot for hours. To characterize the difference, if you cook with 2.5mm copper lined with silver, the heat at the bottom of the pan is, let's say, 180 degrees. The heat at the tip of the pan, the sides of the pan and in the middle of the pan(and food) remains at 180 degrees throughout. Stainless linings are made for the convenience market, but it significantly blunts the heating properties of copper and makes for more decorative pots than it does for performance pots. With copper pots lined with stainless, the heat will be, let's say, 180 degrees on the bottom of the pot, but only 90 degrees at the top of the pot. So if you're after performance, Copper lined with silver is best, copper lined with tin is second best, and copper lined with stainless is good enough for the majority of people who cook, but not for those who cherish the cooking performance of a pot. Once you have cooked with 2.5mm copper lined with silver, I assure you, nothing else will do. But you have to be prepared to invest in these. They are pots for a lifetime and will be passed down, as the French always have, for generation and generations. For those who like beautiful pots that cook fairly well, and value convenience (care for copper and silver is more significant), then you should purchase the 2.5mm copper pot lined with stainless steel if you don't want to brave tin line pots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: AuntieMame58

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi, Auntie:

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Welcome to the thread. Where to begin?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Silver lining is by no means an extravagance... These pots can be obtained in France."

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'd appreciate learning where in France you can buy silver-lined pans that are not extravagantly priced. Lining pans in silver requires electroplating (unless you know a smith who does Sheffield plating), which cannot achieve the thickness of hand-wiped tin. Mazzetti is proud of its 15 µm silver linings, and I found a US plater who claims to be able to lay down 90 µm, but for the price of >$16 per inch (a 12x3" saute therefore costing >$240 to line). A micron being 1/1000 of a millimeter, a 15 µm lining is only 0.015 mm thick, so you're not getting a big conductivity enhancement. Conversely, a 0.1 mm wipe of tin is not a huge conductivity damper. Considering the thinness of plated silver, even though it is harder than tin at 2.5-3 Mohs, I'm not enthusiastic about paying that $240 every time those 15 µm wear through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'd also appreciate any data you have to support your characterization that there is a 0% bottom-to-rim heat differential in a Ag-lined copper pan and a 50% differential in a SS-lined one, all other things being equal. The former is not realistically possible, and I think the latter is a strong exaggeration. IMO, there will be some difference, but it will be a lot less than you characterize.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Do you have any silver-lined heavy copper? Do you know what its original Ag thickness was? How has it held up, and for how long? Have you had it re-lined? Have you compared it with any nickel-plated pans? Whatever knowledge you can share would be appreciated, because I am open to spending the $$ on a Ag reline of perhaps one pan.


                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                        wait a minute...."conductivity enhancement" not over plain copper, only over stainless or somewhat over tin. plain copper would be highest conductivity and all you need is to remember no acids, which is no problem if you are only frying or sauteeing, etc. You con't need great heat transfer for soup, just even heat over the pan. You do need heat transfer for searing well, so makes sense to strip the linings from fry / saute pans, leave it there for sauces, soups, etc. Adding silver to plain unlined copper reduces the conductivity since silver still has some heat resistance, and you are adding a finite amount of thickness in addition to what the copper has. So anything you put between your heat source and the food introduces more resistance, even if it's pure silver linings, heat still has to travel further in a solid that it would with the plain copper...make sense?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi, boblurs:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think you missed that silver has a (slightly) *better* conductivity than even pure copper. All I'm saying is that plating on 15 µm of silver isn't going to help much. It's done for other reasons (e.g., harder, high melting point, non-reactive, non-stick). But on the other hand it definitely won't *hurt* anywhere but the wallet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Personally, I think silver's conductivity advantage over copper is so slight that a monolithic pure silver or Sterling pan of 3mm would be practically indistinguishable from the same pan rendered in 3mm copper. Perhaps you could prove it in a materials science lab, but I seriously doubt you could show it in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think Auntie was contending that silver is a better liner because it does not blunt heat transfer like tin and SS, both of which have a much lower conductivity than Cu. While this is true as a matter of physics, I'm just not buying the difference being worth a lot given the thinness of the linings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have a 2mm tinned frypan and a 2mm silver-lined frypan. I honestly can't tell any difference between the performance of the two. But I would feel OK high pre-heat-searing in the latter (Ag not melting until 1763F) and not the former (Sn melting at 437F).


                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                            oh, no i get the slightly better conductivity. but ... the pan let's say is 2mm thick copper. you are adding to that thickness and so you will slow down the transfer, no matter what the substance is because you thicken the pan. thicker pans will spread out the heat more evenly but they always transfer more slowly than thinner pans, sorry if I did not make that clear as my reason. now...if you remove tin or stainless lining, and replaced it with silver, then yes, it will conduct better. but what do you gain? you don't need any linings for frying or sauteeing anything unless it's lemons or tomatoes...etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi, bobluhrs:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, adding 15 microns of thickness to 2mm is a TINY extra distance for the heat to travel (less than 1% of an already short distance).

                                                                                                                                                                                                              "[Y]ou don't need any linings for frying or sauteeing anything unless it's lemons or tomatoes...etc."

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't want to reignite the copper toxicity firestorm again, because I'm in general agreement with you that the hazard is drastically overhyped. HOWEVER, I don't think it is especially responsible to suggest that everything *but* citrus or tomatoes should be everyday cooked in bare copper. There are countless foods besides lemons and tomatoes that are acidic, and therefore will react to some degree with bare copper. See, http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/Fo... As you go down the list, remember that any food with a pH of less than 7 is acidic. You will be hard pressed to find anything resembling a culinarily-adequate list of foods that is neutral or base.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Other than perhaps an occasional high-heat sear of meat, I would not be routinely frying or sauteing in barenaked copper. I make preserves in it, but there the pH of sugar greatly moderates the high-acid fruit, and the copper assists with inverting the sucrose into glucose and fructose.


                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                fruits have high acid but the lists says sugar is rated 5.0-6.0, acidic also. Plus, you are applying heat in the process, no? if that does not make you ill, then I doubt sauteeing some onions or other mildly acid foods would, either. BTW, I have one of those fruit jam making all copper pans, and I only use that to keep green coffee beans in since it's big and very showy looking. All my pans have tin linings and where they are a bit roughed up it's a small area and so I plan to leave alone, since tin works well enough for me. The only thing I'd like is to be able to raise the heat a bit over 450, melting point of tin, or at least not worry I might go over that value. So silver inside a skillet or two might be nice thing to have. Not sure if I could plate silver over top of any tin (?) that way I could heat the pan, using some flux wipe out the tin, cool down and try plating with silver over the copper and some inevitable blotches of tin remaining on the copper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  here is a list of the reactivity of various metals, note that alum is far more active than copper, and that silver is only one metal below copper for reactivity. Silver is regarded as safer to consume, however, than is copper. Aluminum is used by every restaurant in the world to fry and saute things, probably to make tomato sauce too. bad idea, but I bet it goes on.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  H ( for comparison)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ranking the reactivity of Al ahead of Cu is somewhat misleading when it comes to leaching and possible health issues. Al passivates almost instantly to something that is *less* reactive and toxic, whereas copper oxidizes slowly and its salts get progressively *more* toxic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Your saute would be $231 + the tax.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      actually not that bad considering what it is. thanks for the calculations, maybe i will call them up? :) it could last a long time and be source of a lot of good cooking. Bob

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi, bob:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's not the single-day act of cooking acidic food in worn copper that is questionable IMO, but the *everyday* cooking and food storage in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, having one silver-, nickel-, or SS-lined skillet is nice for not having to worry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My understanding is that the tin needs to be stripped off in order to do a good job with the silverplate. But yes, you can do most of the stripping work yourself before shipping it out. The place that claims they can do 90 microns is Zapffe in Seattle. http://zapffesilversmiths.com/


                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks, I live only a few miles from them. My pan of choice is unfortunately a 11 inch by 3 inch high saute pan, it's huge and would probably cost a fortune!!! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi guys,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A few more cents to stir in the pot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1- The reason restaurants of all classes use aluminum pans is because they're cheap and very easy to fabricate. They are lousy to cook in. I hate them with a passion, and I will never use them again. I don't know why anybody would want them in their kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2- This nonsense about heat conductivity is a marketing scam used to sell aluminum-ply pans to the public. I asked my brother the metallurigst about this one day. I knew that copper was more conductive than steel, but people were saying that aluminum was more conductive than steel and made a better pan. Only the steel seemed to cook better than the aluminum. Why was that? After all, All-Clad was making a killing with try-ply bottoms in their pans. How come they didn't seem to cook as well as the others?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My brother explained to me that conductivity was not the only way to measure the properties of a metal. He said that, while aluminum may have greater conductivity than steel, it required considerably more energy to heat up aluminum than steel. In fact,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aluminum requires exactly TWICE the kcal/gram to raise the temperature 1 degree Centigrade as steel!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So gram for gram, steel only needs half the energy aluminum does in order to go up 1 degree. It actually makes a much better cooking material than aluminum, which actually acts like a HEAT DAMPER in a pot. But aluminum is a lot cheaper, so it saves on All-Clad's bottom line.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3- Those stainless-lined copper pans are much harder to fabricate than the other types, which is another reason for their expense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4- I've cooked alot with both tin-lined and stainless-lined copper, and I really don't see the difference in performance provided the linings aren't too thick. Except, mind you, that there are a few things you can't do in a tin-lined pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5- I'm sure that a silver-lined copper pan would be wonderful to cook in. But remember that silver is a soft metal that scratches easily, oxidizes easily, and is not chemically inert. Which I'm sure is why silver is not used to line pans very often. The expense is less of an issue as silver is still quite cheap even today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6- I have no idea why people prefer riveted handles. They are cheaper than spot welding to fabricate, but they can come loose and they trap food. Spot welded handles don't break off and can be designed so they're easier to keep clean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There! That's the end of my rant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've had pans where the spot welds fell off. Rivets are ok if they are big and strong ones, if they loosen a hammer can fix that. Trap food? it will be way over the germ killing temp whenever you use it. It's true that aluminum takes more energy to raise it per degree, but it also gives it back longer. Energy is conserved. Alum does not rust, and is lighter so bigger commercial pots are often made of it for practical purposes. I've read the aluminum from pots is lower than from deodorants and other sources so not a big concern even with acidic foods like tomato sauce. I get better results all around with copper due to the way foods behave inside it, for whatever reasons. Even with stainless, which is my least favorite lining, it is still more even heating, faster and the food seems to come out tasting better, even plain old canned soups taste better heated with copper....to me. Steel skillets such as those from France are a staple for commercial kitchens too, and will brown meat just fine. It's not as great to me as a Staub cast iron honeycomb, they are ceramic coated and give me the best browning on meats. Veggies and eggs come up best for me in tin-lined copper. You can get tin lined copper, even very solid thick pans for cheap, since the stainless lined copper is in demand right now. In the US it's been more or less discontinued, since the stores grew tired of people bringing back pans with melted linings. I was able to capitalize on the trend and buy them from Marshall's, TJMaxx, etc for very low prices brand new.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have a laser gun type thermometer, and it's interesting to note how the temp varies greatly across metal pots. Copper is the most even, also the quickest to take on and let go of heat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. When cooking with tin-lined pots, does the tin/copper prevent/reduce food burning on the bottom?
                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm not talking about total carbon of the entire dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    In my enamel (I think) pan, I was cooking up a ratatouille. It stirred it every fifteen minutes or so, and the mix was softening up nicely. I then promptly forgot about it, until I smelled food burning. Most of the stew was overcooked, of course, but still hot and moist. The bottom was burned to crap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Would tin have helped?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rbraham

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chances are tin would have melted at that heat. So, I guess the molten tin would allow you to remove the carbon more easily, but also the tin would come off. I don't think this is the effect you want. Tin's virtue is the right amount of sticking to get good amount of little bits for gravy. Stainless gives big chunks of stuff stuck hard to it. Non-stick provides little if anything to use for gravy. So tin still wins the gravy derby. But....you have to watch and regulate temperature to stay under 450 or it melts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh Jeez I kept it a tiny simmer. But a can forget things for a _long_ time...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rbraham

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 main things, the thickness of the bottom, but also the insulating qualities of the stew ingredients especially any starches like potatoes or carrots, these will tend to hold heat down so the bottom gets hotter than with circulating liquids. Stews are often oven-cooked en cassarole, etc. Even double boiling makes sense, or using a crockpot. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: rbraham

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey, Rob: "When cooking with tin-lined pots, does the tin/copper prevent/reduce food burning on the bottom?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The answer is that it depends on the heat and your inattention. If your ratatouille in ECI scorched because (a) there was a hot spot, (b) the duration of you being asleep at the switch was short, and (c) the heat was right, then yes copper would have helped (tin itself is irrelevant). However, if the heat was even, too high or you left it alone far too long, copper would likely NOT have helped much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you want to explore this, try caramelizing onions on the stovetop in the ECI pan and the tinned copper one. If your hob is the slightest bit uneven, even at the lowest heat settings, you will end up with hot/cold spots in the ECI, the only cure for which is to stir so constantly, the onions fall apart. The copper pan will fare much better. You you still have to show up to stir occasionally, but you're not chained to the stove.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I may disagree with bobluhrs about melting the tin. If you forgot about the dish *overnight*, or it otherwise cooked completely dry, perhaps. But as long as the pan's bottom has significant moist food in it, the tin should be OK after a long soak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pay Attention Now,

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, K, and Bob. A very droll post, K.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          BTW, on caramelizing onions in 10 minutes--ie, against the prevailing wisdom of a long time--see


                                                                                                                                                                                                          which is snarky but it makes its point.


                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. New here - and glad to find this thread. I just bought a set of copper cookware at a garage sale. Owner told me they were wedding presents about 18 years ago, they were used for several years but have been in a box for the last decade. It's a substantial set:
                                                                                                                                                                                                        6-1/2" sauce w/ lid
                                                                                                                                                                                                        8" sauce w/ lid
                                                                                                                                                                                                        9" sauce w/ lid
                                                                                                                                                                                                        10-1/4" and 5" deep sauce w/ lid
                                                                                                                                                                                                        9-1/2" and 3" deep w/ no lid
                                                                                                                                                                                                        12" saute
                                                                                                                                                                                                        10-1/2" x 7" oval saute
                                                                                                                                                                                                        14" x 9" oval saute
                                                                                                                                                                                                        14" x 9' double handle gratin

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The first six items seem to be 2.5 mm and the last three items are a little thinner, maybe 2 mm. All of them say "Williams Sonoma France" and "Made in France" stamped into them, except the smaller oval saute just says "Design Research" and "Made in France." All have brass handles riveted onto them. The set even came with the huge copper hanging bar and copper hooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The set has certainly been used and needs some cleaning and polishing. I see scratches on the interior but no copper showing through except on one or two of the handle rivets. I've looked at this and similatr threads and see some good information. My main questions are:
                                                                                                                                                                                                        What should I do to these to get them ready to cook in?
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Any special tips about the saute and gratin pans in terms of how high the heat, cooking olis, and how fook will stick to them?
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Who do you think made these for Williams Sonoma?
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Any special care or other advice to bring this dormant set of copper cookware into its full potenial?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Many thanks!
                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Path of 1000 Pies

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: thepathof1000pies

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi, thepath...:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "What should I do to these to get them ready to cook in?" If there are no green copper salts showing inside, simply wash and dry them. If you want, you can boil a T or 2T of baking soda in them, then lightly oil the interiors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Any special tips about the saute and gratin pans in terms of how high the heat, cooking olis, and how fook will stick to them?" Never heat them empty, but a little surface fat is enough for a short preheat. Pick a pan that fits the size of what you're cooking in it--3 mushrooms in an 11" saute is not the right size. High heat is fine as long as there is moist food or liquid inside, but generally try to keep the pan heat below 450F. Food will stick a little, but that's why the Good Lord gave us sauces. If you want to be fancy, get yourself a cheap IR thermogun until you learn to judge how much lower your hob settings are going to be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Who do you think made these for Williams Sonoma?" It was almost certainly Mauviel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Any special care or other advice to bring this dormant set of copper cookware into its full potenial?" Throw out all your metal utensils and serving pieces--just do it. Do not nest or stack them. Hand wash and dry them after each use. Buy a few premium-grade hotpads/side towels--that brass gets hot fast (Insert a wine cork or 2 into the lids' loop handles).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Have fun,

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: thepathof1000pies

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi thepathof1000pies;
                                                                                                                                                                                                            None of the handles are iron?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Just for curiosity, I boiled water in several copper pots of similar size hoping to learn the difference in time required to heat to 212 degrees. The results surprised me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The pots: 3 - 5.75 in pots. 3 cups water from same spigot, alternating from ome to the other pots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            A Cobra from Chile. 1.5 mm tin lined, brass handle
                                                                                                                                                                                                            A Dehellerin SS lined, 2.5 mm, CI handle lightly hammered. (I think this one was made by Mauviel.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            A pot from Peter at RMR. 3.0 hammered, CI handle

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pots were placed on gas burner and reversed with a second test.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Next test., 6.5 in pots

                                                                                                                                                                                                            A Paul Revere Signature brand copper clad SS pot, brass handle. 1.5 total thickness
                                                                                                                                                                                                            An early Williams Sonoma, tin lined, hammered pot, CI handle. 3.0 + thickness

                                                                                                                                                                                                            All the pots boiled water in the same time, to within seconds. The SS lined pots appeared to bubble earlier than the tin lined, but only from the bottom,. Tin pots tended to boil from all surfaces at the same time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            From this I would have to conclude that, at least for boiling water, there is no appreciable difference in the heat conductivity of various constructions. For sauces, etc, there IMO would tend to be less hot spots as the liquid boiled from all sides.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bigjim68

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The greater the surface area of heat at a given temperature touching the contents, the more even the temperature of the contents. If same surface area but different heat transfer over the area, there will be interruption in that process and temp will be uneven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Water is the least conductive substance in the mix, so there should be little difference in whatever metals are inbetween heat source and water, their rate of transfer is much higher than water, being far more dense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              So, it will matter for sauces since the temperature will be more even with less scorching at the bottom if you are reducing or otherwise heating beyond a low simmer. For saute, etc it will matter more the sticking qualities of the surface of the copper pan, in giving you good bits for gravy and a nice finish. There I feel that tin is better than copper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                also, the rate of steam from each pot may be different, some boiling from edges as well as top, so the cooking speed would be affected by that, also, despite the same time for the bottoms to all come to a boil. ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm getting into thermal engineering, something I know nothing about, however, since it takes the same amount of BTU's to boil water from a given point, and since all pots of similar size would lose heat from the water surface equally, I am led to the conclusion tat the same amount of heat is reaching the water, just from different directions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  None of the surfaces used were copper, I assume you mean the difference between tin and SS. I had always heard that Stainless acted more as an insulator, and tinned copper should therefore heat the contents faster. Such does not seem to be the case. From observance of the bubble pattern, it seems that the SS heated more from the bottom, the tin lined from both the bottom and the sides.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My conclusion: When boiling a liquid, it doesn't matter which pot I reach for. Time would nearly be the same. When working with a sauce, there should be less chance of burning as the sauce is heating from all surfaces equally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bigjim68

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    we are on same page i get the metals thing. stainless has less transfer rate than tin, but both have far higher rates than water, so makes sense the water itself is the main factor at the bottom of the pot. At sides you seem to see a higher temperature and bubbles there. So even if they both have equal bubbles at the bottom at the same instant, perhaps one of them is ahead in total heat absorbed by all the liquid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am not sure, but it seems water could boil and show lots of bubbles before it all reaches 212. it is a pretty slow conductor of heat. At some embarrassing point, I put water into an overheated pan and it boiled ferociously but quickly died down and was not even close to 212. that is dramatic and not the same, but it could be a part of the effect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Bigjim68

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for doing the experiments, you've inspired me to try a copper pot in making pasta instead of my usual stainless pasta pot! :) bob

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You guys are ignoring the fact that convection currents in water pretty much equalize the thickness differences. I suggest you run your test again, timing how long it takes to reach a true 212F on something less than the highest setting. It will still come down to a few seconds, but you may find that the thicker pan does better in that race. In fact, as you move up in size, depending on your hob's max output, you may find that ONLY thick copper can attain and hold 212F


                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Jim,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "From observance of the bubble pattern, it seems that the SS heated more from the bottom..."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To add to Kale's idea, you also need to control for some other variables, if you really want to go to the trouble. For example, surface texture can play a big role in boiling patterns because bubbles only form on scratches, not on a smotth surface. That's why you can't really say, based on your expirement, that tin-lined pans heat better from the sides than the stainless. They might just be more scratched up than the stainelss lining, or there could even be something else going on the you haven't thought of and can't control for. At any rate, it needs looking in to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the great and lively discussion, folks, and Have fun!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I didn't start out attempting an experiment other than being curious about which construction and material would heat food fastest. I do realize that there are many variables left unaccounted for. I had not thought about the bubbles only forming on scratches. The hand wiped surface I would guess would be far rougher than the stainless. Also, all copper is not created equal. Obviously some are alloys. There is a difference in hardness between the pots I got from Peter, and some recent professional quality Dehellerins I have. It did seem that some spots on the stainless lined produced more and quicker bubbles, which should indicate hot spots. Not so much on the tin lined.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've learned a lot from this thread. But in the end, when I reach for a pan to boil water for the french press, or make a sauce, generally I will reach for the tin lined copper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bigjim68

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              BigJ, I also did a small test using pasta in copper vs a stainless clad alum thickened bottom pot. I have induction, so copper requires an intermediate disc of iron-based material between the hob and the pot to transfer heat. The whole thing took longer to heat up than stainless with alum. Once heated it took very little to keep it boiling violently. The pasta took the same time to cook in both systems. So for boiling things the stainless with alum sandwich bottom would be best choice. That said, the tin-copper pot was extremely sensitive to heat, stopped boiling instantly when removed, returned to boil instantly when put back on heat. The pasta takes as long as it takes, partly from the fact it has to absorb water at a certain rate, no matter what the temp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As somebody said, there are too many variables in a home kitchen to arrive at any scientific conclusion. In your case, the CI disc needs to reach cooking temperature before any heat can be transferred to the pot, and thence to the water. Rehydrating the pasta probably requires some energy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Back to the original poster's question, after playing around a little and listening to other comments, I would have to say that whatever you feel is best for you is the right choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. What is "tin plated copper?" I've seen a few pans listed as such.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rbraham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi, Rob:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There are basically two ways to line a pan with tin--(1) melting and wiping; and (2) electroplating. The former is the traditional way, usually resulting in a thicker layer of tin, but it is largely an artisanal endeavor. The latter entails an external spay of resist and then a trip through a plating tank, so can be at least partially automated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Baumalu is a good example of a copper line that is plated.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Go Tin if it is for light use, and go with Stainless steel if you are going to have heavy usage with it. I prefer Tin, I look at re-tinning as a trophy, it is proof that I used my cookware enough to justify its cost it the first place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    32 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: copperguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I fully agree with Copper Man that tinning is a re-trophy application for copper cookware. Unless you are cooking at temperatures above 425 degrees F, tin is superbly reliable. There are two re-tinning places on the east coast, if you need them, and there's the Brooklyn Copper Cookware company - perhaps they re-tin as well. As for stainless steel, I disagree on that front. It actually blunts the heat conductivity of copper by as much as 50%. It takes so long to cook this way. If you're going to cook in copper (and one definitely should!), then tin or silver linings are the only way to go for serious cooking performance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AuntieMame58

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        :: It actually blunts the heat conductivity of copper by as much as 50%. ::

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So how does that work? Let's say that the pan is 2mm of copper, with a stainless lining of .22mm. [Estimate based on Mauviel marketing materials that describe the bimetal as "90% copper, 10% stainless".] How do you figure out how much slowing-down the stainless does? It seems implausible that such a relatively thin layer of stainless could make the heat take twice as long to reach the surface, i.e., reduce conductivity by half. But I'm open to trying to follow the math, or to following a link to an explanation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The best way to explain it is this: copper heats uniformly throughout the pot. If you have a saucepan with something you're cooking, and the pot is 180 degrees at the bottom, it should be the same on the sides, at the top and in the middle if it's lined in tin or silver. It's the reason one can walk away from what they're cooking in copper on low heat and let it take care of the cooking. If you line copper pots with stainless, then the pot is 180 degrees at the bottom, but about 90 degrees at the top, in the middle and up the sides. The best, most even conductor of heat is gold, followed by silver, followed by copper. Most of the best plumbing is with copper, but not with the other two noble metals because of expense. This position is best done by scientists, mind you, such as Harold McGhee, Food Scientist of The New York Times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AuntieMame58

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi, Auntie: "...copper heats uniformly throughout the pot."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No, it doesn't. It heats *more* uniformly (than any other metal except silver).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "The best, most even conductor of heat is gold..."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Again, no it isn't. Both silver and copper (235 and 223 Btu/(hr oF ft) respectively have greater thermal conductivity than gold (at 182). At a cooking temperature of 200F, gold is only half again as conductive as aluminum; at 400F, substantially less than that margin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The thermal conductivity of tin is not that great, either in absolute (36-39 Btu/(hr oF ft) or relative to copper (about 1/6th). Stainless steel ranges anywhere from 7-26 Btu/(hr oF ft) or around 1/10th depending on the alloy. So *both* tin and SS blunt the heat response of the copper substrate to some degree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The question is: To what difference in degree? Considering how thin both linings are relative to the typical copper foil thickness, I'm just not buying that there is an effective difference in heat applied to the pan's contents of 50% as you seem to claim.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I prefer tin, too, BTW, but mostly for other reasons.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think I see where the the 50% claim comes from, but it is misused in the comments above. It has nothing to do with the copper, so simply take that out of the equation. Since stainless has roughly half the conductivity of tin, If the tin layer and the stainless layer are of comparable thickness, the stainless layer blunts the conduction of heat across the lining by 50% when compared to tin. If my guess is correct, then the proper statement when speaking of the whole pan (not simply the linings) would be that for a pan made of 90% copper/10% lining, a pan with a stainless lining is about 95% as conductive as a tin-lined pan. Does this sound roughly correct?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jljohn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi, Jeremy:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Your conjecture comports better with my understanding and experience. It sounds about right, but we also need to remember that we seldom get to compare two otherwise identical pans whose only difference is the lining materials' composition (as opposed to foil thicknesses, sizes, shapes, lining thicknesses, surface treatments, etc., etc., being unequal).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The way the claim was expressed above made it sound like there will be *totally* even, floor-to-rim temperature with tinned copper, but a 50% downward temperature gradient with SS-lined copper. As you know, that's neither true nor that simple.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: ellabee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A figure of merit for copper is 231

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A figure of merit for stainless steel is 8.1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A figure of merit for steel (mild) is 32

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A figure of merit for aluminum is 136.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The units are BTU / H * ft * Degrees F.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For a given length of time copper will conduct almost twice as much heat as aluminum and 28 times as much as stainless steel (but only about 7 times as much as regular steel). This is why there are copper bottomed stainless steel pots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              These are all helpful articulations. All seem to agree on the main premise of my comment, which is that stainless steel lined copper pots are not great, uniform conductors of heat, and that tin is better. Having said this, with all the different information here, I am sending this to a Food Scientist to measure the heat efficacy, compare how the same food cooks in different pots and report back on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AuntieMame58

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would be interested in what an expert in food science would have to say.. My little experiment only led to more questions, no answers. I use both SS lined and tin lined. One question that I have is whether the temperature difference between the bottom, top, and sides of the liquid differ one from the other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bigjim68

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Assuming your copper is the same dimension for the two pans, the temperature difference between using tin vs stainless steel surface will be very minimal if none. The reason is that the copper has already done the work for spreading the heat from the source (flame) to the cooking surface. The contribution of the tin or the stainless steel in this regard is minimal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You will probably notice a larger difference in term of heat response.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bigjim68

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's precisely what I've asked of a renowned food scientist who publishes on food science. Will post once we know more from him. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Cooking to all! AM58

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: AuntieMame58

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi again, Auntie:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    No, sorry, we *don't* all agree that "stainless steel lined copper pots are not great, even conductors..." In fact, I don't know of anyone who believes thick bimetal pans, e.g., Falk, Bourgeat, Mauviel M250, even deBuyer Prima Matera, are not great and very evenly-conductive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The vast majority of what we experience concerning "evenness" depends on factors besides the 0.1-0.2mm of metal in contact with the food. And many of those factors have nothing to do with the pan itself. A large, flat monolithic SS pan on a solid surface hob is dead even across its bottom, while the same sized 3mm tinned copper pan over a small discrete hob will not be as even. A small poorly-conductive Windsor pan licked up its sides by gas flames will be more heat-even rim-to-bottom than is the same pan in a more conductive material sitting on a two-dimensional electric hob. Likewise any issues of flatness of the pan in a glasstop vs. gas comparison. There are many other examples.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Makers such as A-C, Demeyere, Mauvel and deBuyer are not fools with their clad designs, which lately include alternating layers of conductive and non-conductive metals. Yes, there is an factor of gimmickry in the concept, but there is also some sound theory, one element of which is that the muting effect of mid-layer(s) of steel plays a positive role.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I look forward to reading your food scientist's conclusions.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We will have to agree to disagree, but I admire your passion. We can agree that there are many ways to look at this, but the proper way to assert a test is by cooking in the same size vessels, on the same size burners, with the same kind of food prepared regularly. You seem to have a lot invested in this. Perhaps you're in the business. Either way, we will agree to disagree and continue this stimulating discussion once a qualified Food Scientist weighs in. Meanwhile, Happy Cooking and Happy Thanksgiving!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AuntieMame58

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That is what I did with my informal non scientific experiment in boiling water.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Much to my surprise, the times required to boil water on the same burners in pots of the same size but of different constructions were identical.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bigjim68

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I started with water too. I noticed a different roiling pattern with different pots. The real essence of performance lies in cooking with food, how the food is transformed by the cooking process. I am so eager to hear about this from the Food Scientist's perspective, as there are so many different points of view in the blogosphere. Of course, my personal favorite is copper lined with silver, which one can get in France and in Italy. That's the Maserati or Rolls Royce of it all, but I have only 2 pots. One fry pan and one saucepan. They're amazing and make cooking in anything else somewhat frustrating, depending on what I'm trying to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AuntieMame58

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have read that you have mentioned this a few times already -- about food scientist. With respect, food scientists do not study these things. Food science is more about foods, not cookware -- such as nutrients, safety, agriculture, engineering, development...etc. Asking a food scientist about cookware design, is as much as asking a doctor about car design. He may know, but it is not what he studied for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you are interested in cookware delivering even heating, you should look for an engineer especially a material science engineer or a physicists.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As for different pattern of water boiling from different pots, it can be due to heat evenness as you speculated, but there are so many other things. For example, it could simply be a crystal/bubble formation. For a 100% even heating surface, the bubble will form where it is best for crystallization. Try it. Place a needle in your boiling water, and very likely you will see the bubble will form around the needle -- despite the fact that the needle is cooler than the flat surface.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "With respect, food scientists do not study these things. Food science is more about foods, not cookware"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm afraid I must agree with Chemical on this one. What you're essentially doing, Mame, is asking a biochemist, who doesn't study metals, to describe their behavior thermically with food. We'd all do better to ask an engineer, or a metallurgist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HI Auntie,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "No, sorry, we *don't* all agree that "stainless steel lined copper pots are not great, even conductors..." "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry auntie, but I'm with Kaleo on this one. I think they're great to cook with, and you can beat the heck out of them more than any other pan lining.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: AuntieMame58

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm sorry, I also have to disagree with your premise here. I believe that the scientific data leads to a conclusion other than yours, and my personal experience also disagrees.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In fact, I'll say this. Cooking on thick, stainless-lined and tin-lined, copper pans, I'll offer this observation. While the scientific data tells me that there might be a slight difference in conductivity, I am not able to perceived it in use. On a gas burner with a flame diameter smaller than the bottom of the pan I don't have to shift food around for evenness in either my tin or stainless lines pans. Maybe, just maybe if I had a pair of 14" Saute's in tin and stainless, I'd be able to demonstrate a difference worth the distinction, but in most common contexts, my experience tells me that there is none.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In terms of responsiveness, I also know that there is a difference, and while I think I can perceive that difference, I can't be sure. For example, when I have something frying, sauteing, or searing in the pan, I think that I can perceive an ever-so-slight lag in sizzle when I spike the heat under my SS v. my tin pans, but, again, it's so small a difference, I can't be sure that its more than my imagination. And let's not forget that there could certainly be other factors impacting that response time than just the lining.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Finally, the only place were I can say that there is a difference worth noting is in the stickiness of the lining. I find that the stainless lining grabs the food a bit more than tin, and I prefer tin in this department.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Don't get me wrong, I have a preference for tin, but I think these grossly overstated and unsubstantiated comments regarding SS linings are unhelpful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jljohn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          < While the scientific data tells me that there might be a slight difference in conductivity, I am not able to perceived it in use>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The important thing to realize is to think scientifically. The stainless steel layer is added to top of the copper, not all the side. So the stainless steel layer affects the speed heat travels from bottom to top -- the heat response from the gas stove -- even then it may not be that great. However, the stainless steel layer has a much smaller effect and possible none for the heat traveling side to side, from the center to the edge. As such, the cooking surface evenness is not directly affected by it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An important point of using aluminum or copper in cladding is for these metals to spread the heat effectively in the horizontal (side to side). How effective can the cookware even out the heat spot, that depends on the aluminum or copper core. Adding another layer of metal (stainless steel or what not) cannot make it worse. It can only make it marginally better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Let's say you have a 3 mm aluminum core cookware. On top of it, you clad a new layer of thin 0.2 mm stainless steel. For an empty pan (approximation), the heating surface is not quiet as good as a 3.2 mm aluminum, because an additional of 0.2 mm aluminum is better than an additional of 0.2 stainless steel. However, the 3.0 mm aluminum plus 0.2 mm stainless steel is actually better than a 3.0 aluminum. The additional of stainless steel or any metal, only gives it more time and more space to even out the heat. It does not make it worse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            <The important thing to realize is to think scientifically.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I get it Chem, but that portion of my analysis is entire anecdotal, and I intended it that way. I think that AuntieMame58's conclusions are wrong, but she (or he) seems to want to place scientific authority in the hands of this food scientist instead of engaging the data here in the forum, so I decided to give an answer that speaks directly to experience, regardless of the reason for it. Not every answer is, or needs to be, as scientifically based one, and in the end it is our experience that is the final arbiter. After all, when we reach the end of the entire cookware discussion, we walk to the stove, place a pan on it, and cook. And I can say, without a doubt, that the best meals I've ever eaten were not prepared in tin-lined copper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jljohn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              <AuntieMame58's conclusions are wrong>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Her experience is her experience. So I am not in the place to doubt her. She could very well see bubble pattern very different for that from a stainless steel clad vs a tin lined pan. Or in fact, that her stainless steel clad pan has a less than even heating surface than her tin pan. I am not in that position to disagree with that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              All I can say is that her experience is not due to the fact that stainless steel cladding is inherently worse in term of even heating than tin lined. There could be other explanations. For example, as I have mentioned, the bubble pattern can be due to surface difference, and not temperature difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Will all those who are professionally blogging for a cookware company in this thread kindly identify themselves as that? The pattern suggests more than obsessiveness and passion, although foodies are know for this! This would be helpful. For me, I'm a copper cookware zealot. That's all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AuntieMame58

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                <who are professionally blogging for a cookware>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You mean getting paid by a cookware company. No, I do not work in the cookware industry. I doubt anyone would mistaken me for working for a cookware company. As for kaleo and jljohn, they both prefer tined copper cookware like you do, so I doubt they are blogging for stainless steel cladded cookware like All Clad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great! Happy Thanksgiving to all. Signing off. Auntie Mame

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: AuntieMame58


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My personal experience is that tin makes a better finish on the surface of fried foods, not necessarily faster than stainless. Tin gives a better fond for gravy-making in my experience than stainless which sticks too much food and burns a lot of the stuck bits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The conductivity of the metal might relate more to the spread across the bottom and up the sides of the pot than across the pot into the food. The transfer of heat is based on temperature differences. A flame at 1000 hits a pot at 400 and there's 600 degrees difference. But the 400 pot transfers to 200 degree food that is nowhere near as conductive as any metal at all. So it bottlenecks at the food not the metal. To me the copper with tin makes the difference in heating liquids faster and more evenly. In frying it makes a nicer tastier finish, and better gravy fond. It's drawback is time spent controlling the temperature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Bob,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Where did you get the figures for the "figure of merit"? I'm aware of the measurement for the thermoelectric effect (which are not measured in these units), and the charge-carrier diffusion effect which is also not measured in these units.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi, Greg:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here's a page on conductivity: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/the... The main site is quite useful for lots of things.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Kaleo, a very beautiful name!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the quick response. So you're saying that Bobs' figure of merit corresponds to this chart? The values for the "k" don't match up quite exactly. The figure of merit can be several other things as well, and I just wanted to make sure I understood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks again, and Happy T-Day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi, Greg:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There were several "figures of merit", which I took to be bob's shots at thermal conductivity. Maybe he meant something else. I just wanted to point out the resource, and the fact that some metals' conductivity varies by alloy, others by temperature. It's not as simple as bob makes it out for SS.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Aloha a me Hau'oli La Ho'omakika'i (Happy T-day),

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: bobluhrs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My goodness, there are so many incorrect ideas here. I am an engineer with a background in both heat transfer and water quality, so I'll try to clear up some basic issues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The main point of using materials with high heat conductivity is to distribute heat more uniformly over the cooking surface.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The main point of using heavier materials is to provide more thermal mass to retain heat longer and to again distribute heat more uniformly over the cooking surface (because there is more stored heat to redistribute if one part of the pan gets cooler).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There is an obvious trade-off between responsiveness and heat storage -- thinner pans will heat up and cool down more quickly, but are more prone to temperature variations. Conversely, more conductive materials will redistribute heat more quickly. For applications where you want to keep everything at a very constant temperature and you won't have high thermal variations, then mass is important. For example, heavy cast iron for low-and-slow cooking (personally I like Staub for this). For applications where you have greater thermal variations, as in most stove-top use, greater conductivity is better because it helps to keep the cooking surface much more uniform.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The real question on performance of these pans is how uniform your temperature will be in practice for real cooking tasks. Unfortunately that's difficult to answer in a general way. But my guess is that most people won't notice much difference between any good-quality pans. Any good conductive core material will help with heat distribution, and the interior lining is not going to be as important because it'll be much thinner than the core material. Actual performance probably has as much or more to do with construction methods, such as how the metals are joined, than with materials. I agree with some of the prior comments that all of the top-end manufacturers probably do a good job of this, as they have had plentiful opportunity to refine and test their designs. However, I am not aware of any rigorous testing of the relative heat distribution in various pans under various operational conditions. Presumably the manufacturers have this information, but don't share it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The second trade-off is in reactivity of the surface. The main advantage of stainless steel is durability and lack of reactivity. Tin is less durable and more reactive, thus the need for re-tinning. For people who use tin, you do know that you're going to end up eating a lot of the tin that you lose from your pans, right? The tin mainly gets lost in two ways -- into your food during cooking, or into the air or wash water during cleaning. Generally speaking, it is not a great idea to consume excess metals. I don't know of any specific concern with tin from these types of pans, but nonetheless as a basic principle you want to minimize the intake of metals from cooking. Some people up-thread mentioned that they would view silver-lined pans as the ultimate because of improved heat conduction. That is definitely not a good idea because there are health concerns with intake of silver.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So, for me, I only use stainless steel, cast iron (both plain and enameled), and environmental- and health-friendly nonstick cooking surfaces (I like Bialetti Aeternum for the latter). I am looking at getting a copper pan, but decided that I'd only get stainless-steel lined because the difference in cooking performance between steel and tin probably isn't that great and I'd rather go with the more durable and nonreactive lining.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: apack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                lots of good info thanks. I use the copper + tin because there's a difference in the finish on the food, tin being nicer at least so it seems to me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But for a lot of frying, I really like the Staub honeycomb saute/fry pans, they don't stick much, trap oil, and provide good fond for gravies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. Stainless steel linings are the advent of the "convenience" market and do not provide superior cooking results. Tin and silver are the best linings for copper cookware.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AuntieMame58

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Auntie,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You are certainly entitled to your opinion, and your preference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I, however, really like the performance and the non-stick aspect of stainless. Yes, I can get my morning eggs to slide right out of my cheap 100% stainless triple bottom fry pan most every time with no residue (and my stainless-lined copper ones too). I also like that it is completely non-reactive, unlike silver. It's also much harder than tin, silver or copper, so you can scrub the heck out of it and have it last forever. And as I pointed out earlier, the specific heat of stainless makes it a very efficient material to line pans with, comparable to other metals and superior to aluminum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm sure silver-lined copper is very nice to cook with. However, silver oxidizes very easily, even when exposed to air. I'm not sure I want silver tarnish flavoring my food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But you go right ahead. Be my guest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In that sense tin is the best lining as it is even more non-reactive (to the point of being biologically inert) and is less sticky than stainless steel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SomersetDee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              H Dee,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the quick reply.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sorry to contradict you, but tin is fairly reactive. As a matter of fact, the "stannous flouride" you find in toothpaste is made from tin and flourine. Most dentists will tell you that the "stannous" (read: tin) is responsible for more increased tooth strength in people than the flourine. The tin ions are absorbed transdermally, and bond even more readily with tooth enamel than flourine!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's also why most pot makers and cookbooks tell you not to cook acid foods in tin, as tin ions form in the heated acid cooking liquid and can affect the flavor of the food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not so with stainless steel, which is inert and doesn't bond with hardly anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As far as stainless steel being less sticky, I have not found that to be true at all. Quite the reverse, actually.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Greg,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for contradicting!! I am learning something everyday. That's very interesting info. Yes I do have friends with 0 cavities whereas I do have a couple. Humble toothpaste has contributed to health and longevity than most people realise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was coming more from the toxicity point of view.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Firstly) People seem scared of metals in general.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Secondly) People (including myself) dont have clear information on what is dangerous and what is harmless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rarely, some people are allergic to Nickel in diet (or even in jewellery) for such people using stainless steel becomes out of question. But other than this Nickel is not toxic. Same as penicillin is not toxic to someone who is not allergic to it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But my point is all metals involve in biological pathways as necessary trace elements. Chromium, Molybdenium, Selenium, and the list of metals required by human biological system is very long indeed. Somehow Stannum or Tin is not used by human biology as a trace element anywhere. This is why I am surprised about the info you gave about Stannous Fluoride. So then it means there may be instances where tin does enter biological pathways. I use unrefined sea-salt for everyday cooking. Sea salt is full of various reactive ions. It will be interesting to know if tin reacts with any of these ions. Most research I have done about tin says that tin-salts do not participate in any metabolic pathways. Therefore making it the safest metal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Whatever it is: it is important that we make new fresh conclusions regarding these things. What is "tradition" or what is done for hundreds of years does not automatically make something "right" or correct or even healthy. A good example is lead pipes and glasses. Pewter plates with lead impurities. One should not support Tin coated copper pans simply because it is tradition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                People said that Teflon is so non-reactive and now it turns out to be the worst thing to cook in. Similarly do we understand stainless steel especially - since ALL the metals in it (iron, chromium, nickel, zinc, manganese, molybdenium, etc.) are ALL important trace elements that INVOLVE in human metabolic pathways?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My theory is that a metal that does not participate and combine with any human proteins - metabolic pathway has to be the safest metal to use. What does everyone think?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My question to you Greg is this: If all your pots are stainless steel (as opposed to having enamelled cast iron, porcelain and earthenware, aluminium, tin, etc). Is this stainless steel the healthiest option? Can you say with conviction that a user may not be getting too many ions than what is needed? Souldn 't we be asking what is its effect on us?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kindest regards Dee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: SomersetDee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Dee,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To answer your question:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I can say with conviction that stainless steel is in fact chemically inert in regards to cooking, and is safe to use in a kitchen. SS is a fairly non-reactive alloy due to its strong resistance to oxidative corrosion. The compound does not produce ions when exposed to heat in conjunction with the mild acid and base compounds found in kitchens. The non-corrosive qualities of stainless steel have been known and studied for over 100 years now, so there's no argument about its anti-corrosive properties in the literature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, it is true that people can develop an allergic reaction to it. However it's exceptionally rare, and it does not occur because of a breakdown of the alloy into its constituent parts. Rather, it has to do with the patient developing an autoimmune response to any presence of the metal. If one is sensitized, all one has to do is touch a piece of SS and get an allergic reaction. No ions necessary!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's why they make kitchen, lab and surgical equipment equipment out of It. SS has a low specific heat, it can withstand all kinds of abuse, and not interact chemically with the surrounding environment under average conditions. I realize there's been a lot of urban legend about SS recently, but it's a myth. In comparison with carbon steel, the alloy does not rust which is why they call it stainless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now copper, tin and silver, on the other hand, are not inert and react easily with oxygen in the air, the acids in your food, and don't take abuse well as they are much, much softer metals. If you cook with them, just exercise a little care in how you use them and they'll be perfectly safe to use too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  At the other extreme, aluminum is a metal that should not be used in cooking at all. It is very soft, so it can easily be flaked off into one's food. It is easily subject to corrosive action of acids and highly alkaline compounds, so it can leave a residue in foods. And exposure to its ions have been linked to the onset of Alzheimer's and other maladies. Just avoid it altogether.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi, laguna_greg: "...aluminum is a metal that should not be used in cooking at all... And exposure to its ions have been linked to the onset of Alzheimer's and other maladies."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Apologies, but I cannot let these statements go unchallenged. The vast majority of restaurant, institutional and home cooking worldwide is done in aluminum wares. The former two are all subject to the full regulatory powers of government (the latter only slightly less so), yet I'm unaware of any prohibition of or restriction on aluminum cookware use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Depending on the alloy, aluminum can be up to 6 times harder than copper, and just as hard as nickel-silver or even mild steel. When anodized, it is substantially harder still.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Unless there is some very recent research of which I'm unaware, there is no causal link (or even a strong correlation) between Alzheimers' and aluminum, much less aluminum cookware. Early research merely found that diseased cells in the brains of A- and Parkinson's sufferers contained elevated levels of aluminum. I think the best one can do with this research is conclude that the diseased cells have an affinity for aluminum, and hang onto it, while healthy cells do not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think that the consensus of science at this point is that for individuals with healthy renal function (whose GI tracts absorb at most 0.3% of dietary aluminum, virtually all of which is quickly excreted), aluminum is of almost zero consequence. And considering that the amount of ingested aluminum attributable to cookware is tiny in comparison to other sources (e.g., drinking water and foodstuffs), we clearly have minuscule worries over aluminum pans.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Kale,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "I think that the consensus of science at this point is that for individuals with healthy renal function (whose GI tracts absorb at most 0.3% of dietary aluminum, virtually all of which is quickly excreted), aluminum is of almost zero consequence. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I certainly hope you're right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "The vast majority of restaurant, institutional and home cooking worldwide is done in aluminum wares. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, and most of those utensils are made from a very soft alloy, if any, and are lined with one non-stick coating or another...which presents other problems. I've yet to see anybody making an anodized aluminum stock pot. It's too expensive, and they know it won't sell! So they sell pots that you can dent by standing on them, or even bend with your hand. That's pretty soft.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Depending on the alloy, aluminum can be up to 6 times harder than copper, and just as hard as nickel-silver or even mild steel. When anodized, it is substantially harder still."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's all very true. However, I still would not want to use any of those alloys as a beaker to hold hydrochloric acid, even in the relatively mild concentrations you find in the human stomach. It pits easily in the presence of acid, especially the softer variety used in making cheap kitchen equipment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Early research merely found that diseased cells in the brains of A- and Parkinson's sufferers contained elevated levels of aluminum."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, that's all very true. And the regulatory agencies have not yet spoken, and may never.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And having said all of that, I don't think people should use aluminum to cook with. Aluminum has no function in the human metabolism, nor does it have a dietary source other than cookware. I don't think it's a good idea to knowingly ingest it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      At the very least, we can keep those aluminum ions out of the clutches of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's-prone cells.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ...and that's a bad thing because...(waiting)...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi, laguna-greg: "... nor does it have a dietary source other than cookware."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not so fast. While most *unprocessed* foods contain <5 micrograms/g of aluminum, processed foods contain a lot more, up to 95mg/day intake for certain food additives. And when you factor in aluminum in drinking water, the average American "natural" dietary intake is much higher. See, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14... which provides:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Thus most adults consume 1-10 mg aluminium daily from natural sources. Cooking in aluminium containers often results in statistically significant, but not practically important, increases in the aluminium content of foods."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The study concludes that Americans' median intake of aluminum from all sources is 24mg/day, which I submit is more than the the most furious whisker could abrade from an aluminum pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I do not fault those who eschew aluminum out of principle, on the theory that the science has not caught up with its use. I feel the same way when it comes to PTFE. But there is currently no scientific basis for alarm over aluminum cookware.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As for hard-anodized stockers, they are available. See, e.g., http://www.cooking.com/12-qt-commerci... or http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/bayo...


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well I appreciate the energy you are putting into this, even though I suspect that you really don't have a personal interest in promoting aluminum consumption yourself. Why you are actually defending aluminum is a bit beyond me, but suit yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "But there is currently no scientific basis for alarm over aluminum cookware."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Actually, the study results you yourself quoted in your first response supports a conservative approach to aluminum intake. Thank you for making my point for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "processed foods contain a lot more, up to 95mg/day intake for certain food additives... et cetera"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So, you AGREE with me when you say that foods processed in ALUMINUM equipment contain, well, more ALUMINUM ? You mean, it doesn't come only from the lights in the kitchen? Or the water?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's all I'm saying...thanks for proving my point...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "As for hard-anodized stockers, they are available...."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes they are. But I seriously doubt that Costco, or their contract providers, have any incentive to pay that kind of money for equipment to bake their bread or muffins in daily, or cook those roasted chickens they sell. Large-scale food manufacturers even less so. And remember, even anodized aluminum pits in the presence of acid. Who needs a whisk to flake it off when you've got vinegar or some other readily available solvent in the pot? Or a large Hobart or some other mechanical mixer to abrade the surface for you? After all, those mechanical mixers use whisks and blades made from stainless steel, which is harder than aluminum and scratches it easily. So does the whisk in your kitchen. I guess that explains where the "flakes" come from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Humans have absolutely no dietary need for aluminum. The food industry has been largely responsible for increasing human consumption of the metal over the last 80 years, as it saves them some money. To me, this is simply not defensible considering that the health effects of aluminum consumption are inconclusive, and possibly dubious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi, Greg:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LOL, no, I'm not advocating anyone supplementing their diet with aluminum, even the trace of a trace of a trace that makes it past the kidneys, or the even more infinitessimal amount fixed in the body by diseased cells. I just don't like getting smoke blown up my dress...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ""processed foods contain a lot more, up to 95mg/day intake for certain food additives... et cetera" So, you AGREE with me when you say that foods processed in ALUMINUM equipment contain, well, more ALUMINUM ?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No, we're in disagreement, if not misunderstanding. The 95 mg/day intake is attributed to *food additives*, not ground aluminum incidental to the processes. I just don't buy--because I find ZERO science supporting the hypothesis--that aluminum cookware has any practical significance for bodily uptake, let alone toxicity. Toothpastes and deodorants, though, may merit a closer look.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When you have data that demonstrate that the cookware or the food service industries are poisoning people with aluminum grit to save money, or that a home cook is doing the same with a whisk, I'd really like to see them. Likewise with pitting attributable to cooking acidic foods--I've been cooking in aluminum pans for a very long time, and the only experience I've ever had with pitting was due to salt crystal corrosion. Basically all cookware metals--even SS--will salt-pit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The 12Q Calphalon stocker I linked you to is not that expensive (<$100); it was merely one counterexample to your categorical statement that no such thing existed. If you are interested, you can get hard-anodized stockers elsewhere for a lot less. Is $39 for a 14Q too expensive? http://www.cookingandtableware.com/pr...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think what it boils down to [rimshot] is that I'm OK with aluminum cookware because there's no scientific evidence that it harms anyone. Whereas you find the absence of evidence is unreassuring or dubious.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Greg and Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Agreed ss-metal is a great human invention. I personally prefer ss and tin. However, are you are sure you/we have all the facts? I have to agree with Kaleo on many points too...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          * Hydrochloric acid DOES corrode stainless steel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          * Even ordinary sea salt with pit and corrode stainless steel badly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          *There are nearly a hundred metallurgic types of ss and only a few are advised for cooking with!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          *the other ss not suited for cooking have other uses (of course) in our modern world

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          *Aluminium is surprisingly not required by the human biology but it is NOT toxic. Scientists are still not certain if it is poor renal function/habits (for example some people dont drink water) and lack of other trace elements in diet that lead to presence of Aluminium in the brain of a patient with Alzheimer's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          *Scare inducing blanket statements are in general not a great approach :) For example do you know you can consume more aluminium than you get from cooking in aluminium pans for a year from ONE SINGLE DOSE OF ANTACID???!!! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (*People still think spinach is rich in iron. But the iron and calcium present in greens are in the form of Ferrous Oxalate which humans dont absorb. One small piece of meat (or better..liver) can provide the person with more absorbable iron.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          *There are very many possibilities. People with stomach ulcers who consume antacids may be in danger then!! It is suggested that people whose diet is low in Magnesium may cause the cells to substitute Aluminium which is usually more readily available through common drinking water etc. Since the cells in question are still experiencing deficiency of Magnesium (despite the presence of Aluminium) it is possible that these cells then degrade. Research is still ongoing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          * Aluminium is way too abundant. Human biology has been exposed to aluminium more than other metals. So it is evolutionarily streamlined. For example we evolved alongside bacteria and fungi. To make a blanket statement that bacteria is bad is a folly. Bacteria, even the ones that have nothing to do with us are good for us to come in contact with. Another example is most mammals cover themselves with Aluminium silicate (any nature video from the Seregeti Plains of Africa!) because it makes their skin healthy. That is how we learnt to atomise this clay in deodorant spray. Earliest pots were clay earthenware which is basically aluminium and silica. All stone ground flour and biscuits will have aluminium. It is there in our personal hygiene products. It is there in our water. In fact we walk on silica and aluminium (8% of Earth).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          * Even glass-bottled beers are sometimes stored initially in aluminium barrels :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          * Here is ONE scientific view: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajour...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          here is another on ss (just ONE other view) for a bone implant we simply dont have an alternative. ss is a godsend for our hospitals. http://www.ttl.fi/en/publications/Ele...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          one on chromium

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          *Oxygen which we need is also toxic to us! Back to metals: in fact it is the metals that are NEEDED by humans that are likely to cause toxicity (other than heavy metals or radioactive metals). Iron is an important dietary requirement, so because it participates in metabolism excess intake easily causes harm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          *this is why I am wondering about Stainless Steel and wary of worshipping it!!! Let us not forget, just a lifetime ago Radium was marketed as face creams and a health supplements.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          *We venerate 18/10 stainless steel. Yes I love my 18/10 ss coated copper as much as my tin coated copper cookware. All my cutlery is ss and some other bits and bobs which all come in contact with food. I stopped using salt grinder because the ss spring was corroding even though the rest of the salt mill was ceramic. (ironically you need aluminium even to make ceramic!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          *I am also a ss enthusiast. But the more I research.. the more I am convinced that tin is better especially for stockpots and acidic foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          *Contrary to what Greg says I find on researching that Molybdenum, Chromium, Nickel, Zinc, Manganese which are all present deliberately or as impurities in 18/8 ss and 18/10 ss (best ss) are all able to transfer into our food and then our body. But since ALL the metals above are important for human health.. everyone has assumed (for now) that we can let this be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          *I dont know if as a society we are being clever to collectively conclude very hastily that ss is the best surface for cooking in ? At the end of this discussion I am still not sure about ss!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks to Greg and Kaleo. am very glad that we are having this open discussion :) This is a topic I have been wondering about for a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          kindest regards

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        <aluminum is a metal that should not be used in cooking at all. It is very soft, so it can easily be flaked off into one's food. It is easily subject to corrosive action of acids and highly alkaline compounds, so it can leave a residue in foods. And exposure to its ions have been linked to the onset of Alzheimer's and other maladies. Just avoid it altogether.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        First of all, aluminum can be made very hard with great strength. Second, you rarely ever has to worry to about metal flaking into foods. It is about metal dissolves into foods. Finally, there is aluminum is not responsible for Alzheimer's. Since most restaurants use aluminum cookware as their workhorse, pretty much everyone has eaten foods from aluminum cookware.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Chemical,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "First of all, aluminum can be made very hard with great strength. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          See above.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Second, you rarely ever has to worry to about metal flaking into foods. It is about metal dissolves into foods."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's true. But either way, I would not want aluminum bits in the presence of the hydrochloric acid in my stomach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Finally, there is aluminum is not responsible for Alzheimer's."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Since we don't really know what causes this syndrome, other than that aluminum ions have been found bound to Alzheimer's- and Parkinson's-prone cells, we don't know that for sure yet either way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          " ...pretty much everyone has eaten foods from aluminum cookware."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I really don't see this as a good or desirable thing, and certainly not a vote of confidence. After all, we are seeing increasing rates of senescence in the population over the last 40 years. Why? Does diet have anything to do with it? Is it just better reporting and diagnosis? No on here can answer this question, so I'm sticking my "no-aluminum-pots-in-my kitchen" motto for the time being.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: SomersetDee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Dee,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yours- "So then it means there may be instances where tin does enter biological pathways."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, not really. The only place tin can enter into a metabolic pathway is when it is introduced into on in its ionic form. Such as a tin ion from your toothpaste, or dissolved in your food from a tin-lined pot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And it can only be sued by the body because tin mimics the bonding properties of fluorine in hydroxy-appetite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Since tin is not bound in colloidal suspension or easily digested compounds in our foods, it can only enter the body in the two ways I describe above.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. So far all the copper that I have bought is tin-lined other than the Falk "Try Me" piece that I bought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am thinking of buying a large copper skillet that I want to use primarily to make shahshuka -- a Middle Eastern dish were you saute garlic and spices and then simmer tomatoes for 10 to 20 minutes and then finish the dish off by poaching some eggs in the tomato mixture. I was wondering if I would be better served in buying a stainless lined skillet for this particular pan since I am primarily going to be using it for something acidic. Thoughts?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi, omotosando:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My thoughts are that tin-lined will be just fine. I don't buy the tin-goes-into-the-cooked-food theory. Yes, it is slightly reactive, and yes, Mauviel says the lining will last longer if you avoid acidic foods. And yes, tomatoes canned in true tinned cans can ultimately (i.e., in years' time) corrode from the inside out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But, the reality is the copper itself is substantially more reactive than tin, and LOTS of people regularly use tomato sauce, vinegar, and even dilute industrial acids to clean it. To credit these dire warnings about tin dissolving, you'd be better off believing the whole pan dissolves when it is cleaned!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've been cooking in tinned copper a long time now, and I've never (a) tasted tin; (b) had to retin because of cooking tomatoes or with wine; or (c) had any off colors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you ever check (which I did when challenged on this in another thread), *virtually all* foods are acidic. If you reseach it, you'll find only the rare neutral pH foodstuff, and almost no alkaline ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Considering your cooking for only 10-20 minutes, I think you're 100% fine. Frankly, the only reason I'd choose SS over tin would be if I felt I *must* use metal utensils or pre-heat the empty pan beyond 400F.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: omotosando

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Omotosando, I can't imagine any issues cooking tomatoes in tin for short time periods. I do prefer SS lining for pasta sauce or acidic foods that will simmer for long periods.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If I was buying more SS lined copper it wouldn't be Falk. The satin SS lining is a pain and gives off an odd odor (this does fade off after several uses) although I do like the Falk lids and the brushed copper.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Although I still prefer SS linings I believe Kaleo is spot on here in that the key to tin is to use it properly and with out metal utensils.