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Question about copper cookware.

victoriashe Dec 2, 2008 03:24 PM

Just ordered my first copper pan -- a stainless steel-lined splayed saute pan from Mauviel. Having never cooked in copper before, I've been doing a little studying on the internet. I read that you should never heat an empty copper pan. Is this correct? Doesn't sound right to me -- putting food in a cold pan.... With my stainless steel, I heat the pan even before adding oil. Should I not do that with copper?



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    chuckl RE: victoriashe Dec 2, 2008 03:48 PM

    you can heat it, I do it all the time. Keep in mind that copper is a very efficient conductor of heat, so it won't take long for it to get hot. Once it's hot add some oil, or butter and you're good to go. Congrats on your purchase, what are you planning for your first trial dish?

    4 Replies
    1. re: chuckl
      victoriashe RE: chuckl Dec 2, 2008 04:09 PM

      Thank you! That makes sense -- just preheat it for a very short while.

      Have not yet decided the first thing I will cook in it (my head is swimming with possibilities). It's a 3.1-quart. I'm happy to take suggestions.... :-)

      Thanks again, Chuck.

      1. re: victoriashe
        chuckl RE: victoriashe Dec 3, 2008 07:35 AM

        I might start with something simple, like sauteeing some chicken breasts or thighs, or some pork chops to get a feel for how your pan performs. I like to sear on both sides first, then lower the heat a bit to let it cook through, you can build up a nice frond and deglaze with a little wine. Cook some rice and voila, you have a meal with a nice sauce.

        1. re: chuckl
          victoriashe RE: chuckl Dec 3, 2008 11:36 AM

          Pork chops! Oh yes! With some sauteed apples, maybe...

          Thanks for the suggestion!

          1. re: victoriashe
            chuckl RE: victoriashe Dec 3, 2008 11:45 AM

            Perfect, let me know how it comes out.

    2. ScubaSteve RE: victoriashe Dec 2, 2008 05:57 PM

      if it's stainless steel then you can fire it up. if it was a traditional copper pan which would be lined with tin you should not heat them to such a high degree as it would melt the tin lining.

      6 Replies
      1. re: ScubaSteve
        chuckl RE: ScubaSteve Dec 3, 2008 07:36 AM

        just out of curiosity, Steve, and not relevant to Victoria's question since hers has a stainless lining, but at what point does the heat of the burner affect the tin lining?

        1. re: chuckl
          mateo21 RE: chuckl Dec 3, 2008 08:35 AM

          I believe Tin has a melting point of around 450*F, which is pretty low for a metal.

          1. re: mateo21
            ScubaSteve RE: mateo21 Dec 3, 2008 08:47 AM

            you're pretty close, but it can vary as much as 50 degrees depending on the type of tin.

            1. re: ScubaSteve
              FlyFish RE: ScubaSteve Dec 3, 2008 12:00 PM

              Tin is an element, so there's only one "type" of tin, which melts at just about exactly 450 F. Are you referring to alloys of tin? If so, they would presumably have different melting points, but to the best of my knowledge the lining in copper pans is pure tin.

              1. re: FlyFish
                ScubaSteve RE: FlyFish Dec 3, 2008 12:05 PM

                if it is pure tin then you are correct. the trouble is that many manufacturers do not use a tin that has been so purely refined. so while still being called tin the impurities will alter the melting point.

        2. re: ScubaSteve
          victoriashe RE: ScubaSteve Dec 3, 2008 11:37 AM

          Okay. Good to know. Thank you, Steve.

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