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Nov 8, 2008 11:20 AM

french copper pots and pans

i do alot of cooking at home. my favorite melas are mostly meditteranean, italian, spanish, french,etc. years ago, istarted collecting mauviel copper potsand pans made in France. the dumb purist that i am amassed a restos' inventory of copper cookware with tin linigs. what a mistake ishould have stuck to copper with the newer stainless steel linings. somuch less work to keep them clean. i often wonder if there really is much difference in the over-all cooking performance of the two different type of pans?

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  1. Like you, I've got an embarrassing excess of copper cookware, most of it Mauviel, and all of it with tin linings. I've used stainless-lined copper and can't say I've noticed much of a difference, if any, in the performance. It's really the much-thicker copper part that's doing the work. I like the tin because I'm a bit of a traditionalist, and it doesn't hurt that it's substantially less expensive. Karl S, who posts here often and has much kitchen wisdom to contribute, once recommended buying stainless-lined copper and inheriting the tin. I can only agree, except in my case I'm afraid I didn't choose my parents wisely enough for the "inherit" part.

    I assume your comment about keeping them clean refers to the interior, as the copper on the outside is the same regardless of the lining. If so, I'm not sure why you care - tin is going to stain with use, even if perfectly clean otherwise, and there's nothing (within reason, I guess) you can do about it. I just think of it as proof that my copper actually gets used, though I'll admit copper makes great kitchen decoration as well.

    1. No, not much difference. The stainless linings used are much thinner than a fresh coat of tin, which narrows the thermal differences. Plus, since copper is meant to spread the heat, having the stainless 'barrier' layer gives the heat more chance to spread before encountering your food, so less hotspots.

      If your tin lining ever wears out, look into getting the piece silver plated inside.

      1. From everything I can tell, tin linings are an absolute labor of love and mindfulness...I don't mind, but others may (!)

        1. Hi Paul,
          For the past 40 years I have cooked with tinned copper and love it . I have a friend in Normandy that finds me some old lovely pots and pans. I never worry about the tin just nice heavy wall copper. We have a large sailing ketch that I did much of the copper pipes and love jewery making. So if there is blackish tin or copper showing ; sand it , steel bush and flux and retin the areas required. Put some clay around the top edge to keep the tin off the sides.
          An hour later from the engine room and 2 glasses of wine. A beautiful new tin lining ready for cooking dinner. I would be glad to help with more details for retinning.
          With stainless lining I would have to though it away if the copper pokes through.
          All the best,

          1. Paul & Flyfish (and anyone else):

            I just found this older thread, but if you two or anyone else has any embarrassment or regret over owning forte tinned Mauviel copperware, I'll be happy to take it off your hands. Oh, and if anyone thinks their 3mm+ copper is too thick/heavy, well you just let me get rid of it for you, too, OK? Just trying to help out's all.