Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Dec 2, 2008 03:24 PM

Question about copper cookware.

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?



  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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

      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

        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

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

          Thanks for the suggestion!

          1. re: victoriashe

            Perfect, let me know how it comes out.

    2. 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

        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

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

          1. re: mateo21

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

            1. re: ScubaSteve

              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

                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

          Okay. Good to know. Thank you, Steve.