Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
May 5, 2008 04:41 AM

Re-tinning copper pans

Does anyone know how to re-tin copper pans?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I suspect the Mods will move this over to cookware, but as it's here now . . .

    There are several professional retinners across the country, many of whom have been discussed here at various times, so you may want to see if a Search will bring up some of those threads. Two retinners that come to mind are Atlantic Retinning in Newark and Rocky Mountain Retinning in Denver. Also, some shops that deal in copper cookware can arrange retinning (likely by sending them to one of the retinners mentioned) - two well-known ones are Bridge in NYC and Fantes in Philly. Google will find links to all of the above.

    As I recall, there was at one time - and maybe still - a home retinning kit on the market. I haven't tried it, but did see some comments that it didn't produce particularly good or long-lasting results. As you probably already know, retinning isn't cheap - as a ballpark, measure down the side, across the bottom, and up the other side of the pan in question and multiply the result (in inches) by $4 or so, with shipping extra. Ouch!

    6 Replies
    1. re: FlyFish

      Thanks for that; it is precisely the high cost of professional re-tinning that made me want to try it myself.

      1. re: FlyFish

        bridge doesn't do it anymore; they recommend one of the mail-in places.

        1. re: FlyFish

          Check out East Coast Tinning in Rhode Island too. I've had two of my copper pans done by them recently. Beautiful work! The cost is still in the $4 range tho.

            1. re: FlyFish

              you can buy the food grade tin online or if you live in San Francisco you can buy in person at

              it's messy and it takes a couple of hours and there is a learning curve involved - but you can do it and it costs about $13 in materials per pan including flux.

              In both methods, you have to clean pot and apply Flux to surface to be tinned.

              I have tried it two ways and I am not promoting either - like I said, it's messy.

              First way is to heat the pot too 260 plus degrees over a propane burner and apply tin rod which melts like solder into the pot and spread it around. Take a cloth soaked in Flux and wipe down the inside for finished look.

              Second method is to heat tin in seperate container and apply at once to heated copper pan with the flux inside. Afterwards, you need to polish the pans and lining.
              Tin drys fast. Best of luck. If you watch the Mauviel Video at the Williams Sonoma Website you can briefly see a tin smith applying the tin stick to the hot copper pan!

              If you live in San Francisco, in Berkeley re-tins pots but I have no experience with them.

              1. re: FlyFish

                Just had a few old copper gratin pans re-tinned by Jim at after discovering him via web search and reading a few reviews here...he knocked them out in less than a week and they look fantastic. Hadn't expected to see them cleaned up and polished in addition to the new tinning. Wow they look good in the kitchen.

              2. The original comment has been removed
                1. I've sent many pans and pots to Atlantic Retinning, and they do a fine job at what I think is a reasonable price. You can go to their website to determine the cost at They put on a thick layer of tin, and if you take care of your cookware by not overheating it and not using metal utensils it lasts for many years.

                  1. I echo the sentiment about the job Atlantic does, truly impeccable, but a year or so ago he got quite backed up. Do you know if things are moving along at a reasonable pace now (say less than a two months)?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: tim irvine

                      It's been a while since I've sent him anything, so I couldn't say. He does get backed up, because there aren't so many people offering this service, and I don't know how many people he has working for him. When they were in Manhattan, I visited the shop a couple of times, and there were piles and piles of copperware everywhere, and I got the impression it was just the owner and one assistant working there, and the assistant was doing much of the tinning, while the owner dealt with the business end of things.

                      It may be that at a certain time of year (I suspect before the Thanksgiving to Christmas holidays) he has a bigger backlog, so I'd ask if there's a particularly good time to send things for a quicker turnaround.

                      In any case, what they do is a full restoration. The pans come back tinned, cleaned and polished like new.

                      1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                        Atlantic retinning kept my pots for almost a year!!! They were very nice but,disorganized idiots! One of my pans is a little streaky and thin.
                        I would NEVER NEVER use them again.

                      2. i got some korean copper cookware at a yard sale. some tin is worn. is it worth re-tinning? is it dangerous to use worn tinned copper?

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: alkapal

                          If you can see a fair amount of copper (like about the area of a 1" circle or more), then the copper could interact with the food.

                          As to whether it's worth retinning--it depends on whether you like the cookware. Generally heavier copperware is worth retinning (2mm or thicker). This is the good stuff.

                          Lighter copper pans and pots (usually around 1.2-1.5mm) don't distribute heat as evenly as heavy copperware, but they still can be useful for dishes that don't require, say, a long saute at a very even temperature, and they can make nice serving pieces. So if you plan to use them and the lining is very worn, then they are worth retinning.

                          1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                            thank you! they are thin, but are nice cause the copper is so fast cf. with other cookware. have to price new copper cookware before i fork out the 4 bucks per inch! ;-) any brand of copper cookware you recommend?

                            1. re: alkapal

                              Mauviel and Bourgeat pro lines are generally the best and easiest to find of the heavier types. Mauviel also makes a lighter "tableware" line. The main thing is the thickness--2-3 mm is ideal.

                              I generally like tin lined copper, which reacts faster to changes in temperature than stainless clad copper, but it requires more maintenance and care (occasional retinning, wood and plastic utensils, and no temperatures over about 375 deg. F). Stainless is easy to clean, works with metal utensils, and can take high temperatures. I have a stainless pot with sloped sides, for instance, that's nice for frying at higher temperatures. There are also heavy duty non-stick pans, and there are companies that resurface them, if you're concerned about spending that much on a non-stick pan.

                              The best prices online are usually at--


                              But you can often find better deals at local shops, particularly if you like tin lined copper, because it's not as popular as stainless these days, at least in the U.S., and the stock doesn't move as quickly. I've gotten good deals on some nice pieces this way.

                              If heavy copperware is out of your budget, look at Sitram stainless with the copper disk on the bottom. This is really nice no-nonsense French commercial cookware, easy to maintain, and cooks very evenly.

                              1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                david, thank you so much for all your information.

                              2. re: alkapal

                                If you are looking at buying new pans checkout Lara copper cookware, all hand made in australia and sold online at very good prices. Just google the name and u will find their web address.

                            2. re: alkapal

                              Hi, my experience with Korean copper cookware is that it is lined with nickel, not tin, so not sure how you go fixing it.