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A question about a copper frying pan

I'm tempted to buy this pan. I saw it online at what looks to be a very good price (Bourgeat 11" pan, $132). What I'm trying to understand is what advantage this would have over a similarly-sized All-Clad piece I own.

My understanding of copper cookware is that it offers even heat, and that, in the case of this pan, the heat would also go up the sides of the pan. But if I'm frying or sauteing, why is it important to have the heat up the sides of the pan. Isn't the bottom surface where the cooking actually takes place? That's where the carmelization takes place. That's the part where the deglazing happens.

I'm also concerned about the weight of this pan. My All-Clad piece has a handle opposite the regular handle so I can use both hands to move it.

I think I'm talking myself out of this Borgeat piece. Can someone offer me some clarity and educate me on the advantages and best uses of copper cookware?

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  1. You are going to get a lot of contradicting responses here. Really the answer is always "it depends". The speed of heating up the pan, temperature holding, and uniform temperature on the cooking surface will depend on the amount (ie thickness of metal used for a same sized pan) and type of metal used (copper v aluminum).

    Read this thread here: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?s... for a great primer on cookware (skip to the part on "thermal properties")

    1. Heat "up the sides" really offers a more even cooking surface all-around. Your All-Clad pan has aluminum clad all the way up the sides of the pan just like the copper. That's where the "All" comes from in the name. Copper, aside from even heating offers fast temperature response. Flame on, hot - flame off, cools faster. For that reason it's often used in candy making and things of the sort.

      If you have an All-Clad already there's really no specific need to buy copper unless you just want it. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice thing to have, but it's not a necessity. The Bourgeat pans (I think you're probably referring to Tuesday Morning here?) also have a tin lining on the inside. That requires a little extra care because it can melt (yes, melt) and can scratch off with the use of metal utensils.

      2 Replies
      1. re: HaagenDazs

        It's actually copper lined with stainless. http://www.trulythefinest.com/prodLis... The price seems almost "too good to be true." But I know someone who just bought a copper Bourgeat casserole from this website, also at a remarkably low price, and it seems to be the same piece being sold elsewhere for almost double the price.

        1. re: CindyJ

          Well there ya go - nevermind! I could have been a separate company I'm thinking of, who knows. Anyway, stainless won't melt!

      2. If you like the looks pf it, and
        have the money, I'd say buy it. But
        don't expect it to make your food
        taste any better.

        I had an All-Clad fry pan that I
        scrapped. It took sandpaper to clean
        the inside walls. I have a copper-and-
        stainless pan that I rarely use. It's heavy
        and awkward to clean. My main pans
        now are Wear-Ever aluminum. They
        work as well as copper and are
        considerably easier to handle.

        5 Replies
        1. re: mpalmer6c

          I ditto that response. Have a few cast irons handed down from grandma, had a couple of nice pans 2 all clad from a gift and one emeril I have . I cooked at this ladys house this week for a dinner party. She had only the best and insisted I use hers. They were top of the line. I didn't like one of them. I guess it is all personal taste.

          I personally have said a million times, it make make it easier, but it is the cook, not the pots and pans. I still stand by that.

          1. re: mpalmer6c

            Sandpaper is not required to clean any pots and pans and I'm sure that nearly everyone here who has purchased and used All-Clad or a similar product has NEVER needed to use sandpaper to "clean" pans. It is not a recommended cleaning utensil...

            1. re: HaagenDazs

              My apologies ... I had to blogs open this was for cleaning a very old cast iron pan, I am not sure how they got mixed up. I did have some internet issues the last 2 days and had somethings go and I probably copied and pasted and they got mixed. Sorry, I understand that.

              I have used a very fine almost steel wool on a very badly worn and rusted cast iron and then reconditioned. This was not meant for this thread. Sorry. My mistake for not catching.

              Blame it on the meds rather stupidity... flu and a few cold meds. And I hope no other miss posts. I did have issues with the internet cutting in and out and reposts. Sorry about that.

                1. re: chuckl

                  Thanks! just the winter flu, sucks actually, on the mend. thx u

          2. I'm NOT going to buy that pan after all. I'm looking at the angle of the handle and I think I'd have a difficult time handling this pan. I'm short, and my cooktop height is a standard height, which makes it about 3-4" higher than I'd like it to be. I've talked myself out of THAT piece, but now there's another that I'm considering. It's the saute brazier. But I think I'll take Cary's advice and read through the egullet forums, first.

            1 Reply
            1. re: CindyJ

              Cindy, I think you nailed it. If the pan doesnt work well for you ergonomically, it's not a good purchase whatever the price.

            2. Cindy,

              Replaced all the stainless “Clad” cookware I owned (except an All-Clad grill pan (a gift from my wife), with Falk stainless lined copper cookware when I retired.

              Copper cookware out performs aluminum, stainless and the multi-ply “Clad” cookware when it comes to heating, adjusting to changes in burner setting and holding heat when adding food to the pot or pan.

              About a month ago I used the All-Clad grill pan to cook pork chops, needed a hotter burner and it took nearly twice as long to cook two pork chops then it would have in a copper pan.

              The down side, copper is heavier (per cubic inch) than cast iron, an 8 2.3mm copper frying pan weighs around 4 lbs, an 8” Cast Iron Skillet weighs about 3 lbs. The bigger the pot or pan...

              2 Replies
              1. re: Demented

                Was your All-Clad grill copper core or aluminum?

                1. re: Demented

                  Do you ever regret getting rid of your All-Clad?

                2. This pan will not only heat up faster than any stainless steel pan, but most importantly -- it will cool down much more quickly. If you have ever experienced a pan getting too hot, and you had to move it off the burner, this pan is far less likely to actually result in burned food.

                  I would look for a pan with helper handles. Copper is actually heavier than some cast iron pieces. Take a look at Falk.

                  1. If you like the look and the feel, I would get it. It will perform better than most alternatives and it is significantly less that anything I can provide of equal or better quality. Be sure it is the better line of Bourgeat and is lined with stainless steel.

                    Every kitchen should have at least one good copper piece.

                    Your Smart Kitchen

                    1. Thanks to all! I always learn so much from the folks who answer my questions here. I realize now, for so many different reasons (the weight of the pan being one important one) that the pan I was originally considering is all wrong for me. The one I'm likely to buy as my entry into the world of copper pots is the 11" Saute Brazier I've pictured here. I looked at the Falk website (thanks, RGC). Their products are beautiful! But the comparable pan is $125 more than Bourgeat, and that's without the lid. I'm under the impression that the Bourgeat Alliance Series, lined with stainless steel, is pretty fine quality. For $253 (including lid) this seems like a pretty good deal.

                      I'm assuming that these pans can safely go into the oven. Is that right?

                      57 Replies
                      1. re: CindyJ

                        I put my Mauviel copper saute in the oven almost as often as I use it on the stove. It's a great small vessel for roasting vegetables and small roasts and, obviously, can go on the stove for a nice pan sauce too.

                        A word of advice: if you fall in love with the bright polished look of copper, you will be driven INSANE by these pans. My own copper piece that I received on Christmas is already an absolute mess and I love it. Copper seems to react to everything and anything that touches it, which means that any little particle on the surface - water, oil, sauce, whatever - leaves its own semi-permanent mark on the surface which needs to be polished away. Therefore after only a few uses, your copper will be much darker, uneven, with a non-uniform patina of varying shades, sizes, and shapes of stains.

                        Fall in love with the look of well-used copper and you'll reduce your stress. These are vessels for cooking, not for admiring from afar while they hang on a rack! Let 'em get dirty and dark and ugly looking.

                        1. re: Zedeff

                          I don't know about better cooking/heating qualities of copper - all I know is that I am absolutely in love with the various Mauviel copper pieces that I have bought over the years. I love look and feel of them, the way they cook, and tthat hey clean up so easily. I just soak them with hot water and soap, and they clean quicker and easier than my All-Clad. They have to be dried right away. They not only make me feel like a pro when I am cooking, but hanging up - they become 'wall art'.

                          I guess I should mention that I LOVE to polish copper, brass, and silver, so all of my pans shine like new. I hate housework, but love to wash dishes (not dry them) and polish metal.

                          Nuts, maybe, but I find polishing to be very relaxing, and I get instant gratification looking at them shine.

                          As said above, if you can afford copper and don't mind polishing or the look of well used copper - go for it. My brand of choice is Mauviel for oven and stove top. Yes they are tres expensive .........

                          1. re: Canthespam


                            What polish do you prefer for your copper and silver?

                            1. re: sarge

                              Sarge - For years, I've used Wright's copper cleaner and also their silver cleaner. I only use the silver cleaner on trays, silverware etc.. For silver jewelry I use Haggerty. I have been very satisfied with the Wright's, no scratches on the copper. Some supermarkets carry in, so I buy two jars when I see it.

                              1. re: Canthespam

                                I have 3 copper pieces, Wrights is great!

                        2. re: CindyJ

                          Hey Cindy,

                          Yes, it is safe to use stainless lined copper in the oven.

                          The questions once you start getting copper cookware are; do I polish it after every use? or now and then when it starts looking dull? Or should I forgo polishing all together and let it develop a rich red patina?

                          I've gone with the latter.

                          The finish on Falk cookware was a selling points for me, I've found the brushed finish is easier to maintain than the highly polished finish of Bourgeat and Mauviel.

                          1. re: CindyJ

                            copper performs wonderfully in the oven. It's heavy, though

                            1. re: chuckl

                              So is my LeCreuset French oven, which I absolutely adore, even if I sometimes have to ask for help removing it from the oven!

                              1. re: CindyJ

                                Cindy, one of those things filled up is a handful, but what comes out after a few hours in the oven is pure bliss

                                1. re: chuckl

                                  Oh, I know. I'm just crazy about my LC French oven and stockpot. I love everything about these two pieces -- even the fact that when full, they're sometimes too heavy, for me to lift. I could go on and on about this love affair I have with these two pots, but people reading this might think I'm nutzo.

                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                    I totally agree with you Cindy, I love my LC French ovens. I use the a large one, maybe 6-7 qts. to make soup. I too, often need help in carrying it - but never in eating the contents. Right now I have Sante Fe Chicken in my 2 qt. LC - recipe from the Glorious One-Pot Meal book. Soooo easy to clean.

                                    1. re: Canthespam

                                      Cindy, any updates on your friend who bought from here? I keep drooling over the sauce pans, but want to make sure the sight is legit.

                                      Also, there are some bourgeat pieces on ebay that are going right now for great prices - it is just a little premature for me to pull the trigger.

                                      1. re: polarflint

                                        I'll get a report and let you know.

                                        1. re: polarflint

                                          I'm told that these pieces are the real deal, and the prices are just as they're listed on the website. There's no logical explanation for the variation in prices. Is it possible that distributors can set their own prices and trulythefinest.com has chosen to price their products below the competition? Whatever -- I've decided to jump onto the copper bandwagon and I just ordered my first piece.

                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                            With the prices being that good, I guess the question is what to get next? I ordered the 9.5 flared saute. What else is too good to pass up on?

                                            I still have my eye on the Falk starter. I think this is what crackheads feel like.

                                            1. re: polarflint

                                              I know what you mean. I haven't even received my first piece and already I'm using what may be convoluted logic to justify the purchase of another piece or two. Telling myself that I'll be able to use fewer pots and pans -- consolidate uses, take up less drawer/cabinet space -- and how much my kids will appreciate a "gift" of my old stuff (yeah, right!).

                                              Do you have a good source for purchasing Falk? It's so much more $$$ than the Bourgeat.

                                              1. re: CindyJ

                                                No good source, just the falk website. The 1.5 quart saucier first time buy is the only thing I was even considering. A nice brushed copper saucier would be great friends with a 9.5 inch flared saute pan right? They are pretty and I want.

                                                In all seriousness, after the 9.5 flared saute what should be next on the wish list?

                                                1. re: polarflint

                                                  I suppose that would depend on the kind of cooking you do. I just ordered the 11" (8.5 quart) casserole with lid for $272. I can use it for soups, chili, pasta sauce, and much more.

                                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                                    whew that's going to be a heavy pan. I was just looking at mauveil stuff at WS and SLT today. I could barely lift the big saute pan, but some of those fry pans sure were nice.

                                                    1. re: polarflint

                                                      Yes, I thought about that, but it's not nearly as heavy as my big LC Dutch oven. And the weight was what turned me away from the large (11") saute pan I'd been considering. I just didn't think I could lift it, and the Bourgeat saute pan has no "helper" handle.

                                                      1. re: CindyJ

                                                        So my visit to WS was more frustrating than informative. The folks there were nice, but knew very little about the pans they were selling. This was the actual conversation:

                                                        SP: The brushed SS is the best!
                                                        Me: What are the specs on the aluminum content?
                                                        SP: It has layers!
                                                        me: sigh.

                                                        From what I can tell, the brushed SS is 5 ply with ss/alum/ss/alum/ss. They are dishwasher safe (I don't care) and look pretty for your friends.

                                                        What is more interesting/disturbing is the LTD2 line - available only at WS at this point. Same looks as ltd, but with some nice additions to the handle. The issue is that the WS website says its 5 ply construction and is now dishwasher safe. Also, it is now 290 for the 3 qt saute pan, instead of 240 or 180 for MC2 at SLT. It kind of bothers me that All Clad would mess with a great (but expensive pan) to make it dishwasher safe. Plus I am not sure what the specs are on the 5 ply.

                                                        Adding to all this is that Macy's website no longer seems to be carrying all the ltd pieces - perhaps they are discontinuing? I am doing this all for a wedding registry so that is affecting what stores I am looking at. Also, SLT has the MC2 but does not carry ltd. Bloomingdales and other places still seem to have ltd, but for about 250.

                                                        Since I am not buying, but need to keep in mind what people would buy as gifts, what should I go for? I was leaning towards LTD for saute, fry and perhaps a sauce pan, but would certainly be happy with MC2. Also looking at Demeyere Atlantis 2.8 q saute pan since the difference in price has been narrowed by what WS/blooms are charging for ltd/2.

                                                        While I have been obsessing in trying to figure out the "best" pan, at the end of the day I think I will be happy and cook about the same no matter what I get. The better thing to do, and what I am planning to do, is to take classes to strengthen my technique. Of course, I am still looking forward to that intoxicating shine and heft of my bourgeat flared saute.

                                                        1. re: polarflint

                                                          This is funny... WS doesn't know their own merchandise? LTD2 is different than the LTD at Sur La Table and other stores as it is dishwasher safe (changed their anodization somehow...) and has a layer of magnetized SS in the middle (thus 5 layers -- Ano-Aluminum, Aluminum, Mag-SS, Aluminum, SS). If you're not planning on getting induction, don't worry about LTD2, and go with normal LTD (it's my personal favorite of the All-Clad lines).

                                                          Sur La Table carries LTD -- it's just online, not in stores. MC2 is a great line, if you don't mind your cookware not staying pretty -- more functional than SS (thicker aluminum), w/o the cost of the anodization process. Demeyere is a whole different animal -- better than AC but much more expensive

                                                          1. re: mateo21

                                                            Thanks for the help Mateo. Seeing the ltd2 at WS, then not seeing ltd online at macys or in the shop at SLT made me all worried that ltd was being phased out.

                                                            I would be curious to know how much the ss layer and the new anodization process affect the evenness and capacity of the heat. I am just a little suspicious of WS making "improvements' or producing lines that are mostly for looks (brushed ss, copper core, coprchef, ltd2)

                                                      2. re: polarflint

                                                        Certain brands like Mauviel offer copper cookware lines that differ in thickness. Julia Child was always an advocate of copper and warned folks to avoid the thinner versions (typically with the brass handles instead of cast iron). She referred to those as being "for tourists." Pans that are 2.5mm thick are considered the professional grade. (Unfortunately that makes them heavier.) I bring this point up because the WS line (made by Mauviel) was the thin type last time I checked a few years ago.

                                                        1. re: a priori

                                                          Bourgeat's "Alliance Series" copper cookware, according to their specs, is 2.5mm (1/8") thick. And it's lined with 18/10 stainless steel.

                                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                                            I am, too, considering ordering Bourgeat fry pan (11") and the price mentioned here is very attractive. Also, I have my heart set on Mauviel's Copper/SSlined Wok (12") or so. That is the cutest piece of cookware I have ever seen, and I have seen many.

                                                            However, I can only find Mauviel Wok with Brass handles. Does this mean that it is the "touristy" kind? Does anyone have an experience with Mauviel Wok? I would really appreciate if someone could explain if it is one of those thinner ones, or is it a respectable piece of cookware?
                                                            Thanks in advance!

                                                            1. re: cookiekakie

                                                              If you've been looking at the prices on Trulythefinest.com, you should probably revisit that website. About a week ago they raised their prices on a number of copper pieces. It looks like they may still be in the process of figuring out what the prices ought to be because if you compare prices of some pieces with and without lids, the lids turn out to cost $200+.

                                                              1. re: CindyJ

                                                                Well my 9.5 flared saute came in the mail with no problems. Slight discrepancy in the shipping costs, but I am working on that and nothing too large to be of concern. The pan looks great and performed fantastically in some initial tests - have been too busy at work to cook for real.

                                                                The pricing is just bizarre. The piece that I bought for 180 is now 400 or something. But there are others, the fry pans for example, that are the same price as an all clad ltd. So if you get the cash and the price matches up I would jump on it.

                                                              2. re: cookiekakie

                                                                Hi,you should checkout Lara Copper Cookware from Tasmania Australia, all hand made copper with tin lining sold online at very reasonable prices, Just google the name to get their website address. I have now got 4 of their pieces and i lovem.

                                                              3. re: CindyJ

                                                                Are you a representative of Bourgeat in any way, form, or fashion? Please give full disclosure.

                                                                1. re: krbtv

                                                                  Nah, 36 pages of active topics, language used don't fit in with that. Borgeat is as respected as Le Creuset it seems, so it's not out of the ordinary.

                                                                  1. re: krbtv

                                                                    *LAUGH* No way!!!!! What makes you ask, krbtv?

                                                                    (Whew! Am I under investigation here, or what?)

                                                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                                                      No. It just seemed like you keep pushing Bourgeat. I must admit, it is beautiful copper although I'm a little disappointed in the customer service at TTF but the price was really cheap. Has anyone tried the Tramontina 12" 18/10 TriPly-Clad Stainless Steel Saute Pan from Walmart for $39? The reviews on it are really good. http://www.walmart.com/catalog/allRev...

                                                                      1. re: krbtv

                                                                        I have nothing but copper cookware in my kitchen, it's all Falk from copper pans dot com. Bourgeat, is good cookware at a fair price.

                                                                        Anyone who pushes buying at WallyWorld (walmart) in my opinion does not give a crap about anything other than saving a buck.

                                                                        1. re: Demented

                                                                          Now now, not everyone can afford $200+ for one pan. It's a luxury, not a neccessity.

                                                                          1. re: Soop

                                                                            I agree with you, Soop. And, based on my admittedly limited experience, I can honestly say that even if I could afford for all of my cookware to be copper, I wouldn't choose copper for every pot and pan.

                                                                          2. re: Demented

                                                                            Do you have any problems frying in your copper fry or saute pan? Cast iron seems to work better for me when frying. I think so???

                                                                          3. re: krbtv

                                                                            I wasn't "pushing" Bourgeat at all. The point I was trying to make was that the Bourgeat prices on that one particular website seemed to be waaaaay lower than the same pieces anywhere else. Now they've all been bumped up, and are more in line with the competition. I'm glad I was able to get the two pieces I did get. They're now more than double the price I paid. This is my first time cooking with copper, and it's a whole different experience. The learning curve factors in not only the capabilities of the pot, but also the capabilities of the various burners on my cooktop, particularly at the lower heat settings.

                                                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                                                              Do you like cooking with your copper? I love my sauciere and 5.5 quart casserole pot - I used them the most. I wish I had another sauciere instead of the sauce pan. I'm not too excited about the frying pan - I guess I just need to learn how to fry on it. Also, I haven't tried my Bourgeat fry pan yet - just the Falk fry pan.

                                                                              1. re: krbtv

                                                                                I'm really tempted by the 3.0 qt saucier. I'm guessing it's deep enough to use as a saucepan too?

                                                                                1. re: krbtv

                                                                                  I've used the 11" brazier several times now. I really do love it and I know I'm going to get a lot of use out of it. I've used it for sauteing and for making pasta sauce, and it's a great size for both. I'm still learning about what heat settings I need to use with this cookware. I was a little surprised that the lowest heat setting on my cooktop (a "simmer" setting) wasn't hot enough to actually keep the sauce simmering. However, once I got the sauce to a simmer, even though the heat source was concentrated in a small spot in the center of the pan, the simmering was even throughout the contents of the pot. I'm impressed!

                                                                                  The other piece -- the flared saute pan -- I've only used once. It's really more like a small saucepan, and that's the purpose I had intended for it. As long as I don't need to move the pan around, it's fine. But even such a small pan is heavy for me, and for that reason, I wouldn't consider getting any piece larger than that one if it didn't have a helper handle (which the Bourgeat pieces do not have). The brazier is like a smaller casserole, with two side handles, so I can lift it. BTW, I can hardly believe that that brazier is now selling for $424; I paid $272 for it!

                                                                                  I'm curious, what, exactly, is the "saucier"?

                                                                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                    It's like a really round-bottomed shallow saucepan. It seems multi-purpose

                                                                                    1. re: Soop

                                                                                      Is that Bourgeat or Falk? It sounds a little like my flared saute pan.

                                                                                      1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                        Falk. does look like it (could be it) but I want this: http://www.falkculinair.be/en/tryme.htm

                                                                2. re: polarflint

                                                                  About Falk:
                                                                  I grab for my 1.5 quart sauciere and 5.5 quart casserole more than any other pan. You should definitely buy the try me 1.5 quart sauciere piece.

                                                                  There is also a 5 piece set for about 775. The changes I would make are to replace the 7 inche 2.5 quart sauce pan with the 2.0 qt sauciere. And replace the 9.5 inch saute pan with the 3.0 qt sauciere. This means your 9.5 inch lid will work on the 3 qt sauciere and 5.5 qt casserole. Your 7 inch lid will work on the 1.5 qt try me piece. In case you don't buy the try me piece then you'd need the 8 inch lid for the 2 qt sauciere.

                                                                  I know this all sound confusing. Basically, you'd be keeping the 5.5 qt casserole and replacing everything else with a sauciere. If you decide to stick with their standard set then I would really recommend swapping the sauce pan with the sauciere.

                                                                  I don't know what it is about the sauciere, but it's the most natural to hold and work with. If I ever decided to abandon my copper, the saucier is the one pot I would keep. The 5.5 quart casserole is a great size for making larger pots of food like Mashed Potatoes…

                                              2. re: CindyJ

                                                All-Clad has a 4 quart stainless steel saute & simmer pan that frys golden brown chicken and creates a good fond. It's exclusively at Williams Sonoma. Right now it's going for about $129 with the lid.

                                                1. re: CindyJ

                                                  Do you like your Brazier? Was it worth the money?

                                                  1. re: krbtv

                                                    I absolutely LOVE the brazier, and yes, it was worth every penny. It's a great size for braising and sauteing, and also for making sauces (like pasta sauce). Importantly, the weight of the pan is manageable for me too.

                                                    Having said that, I will never, ever, EVER do business again with Trulythefinest.com. They are totally unresponsive, not only to me, but to American Express, too. I had ordered a second pan (a saucepan) along with two lids before their prices were hiked waaaaay up. The pan arrived but the lids were never shipped, and I couldn't get a response from customer service. Fortunately, I had AmEx on my side, and after a month, they credited my account for the lids and the entire shipping cost.

                                                    I'm content, at least for now, with the two copper pans I have. I don't know if I'll want or need more in the future. I think copper is a specialized cooking material, perfect for some applications, unnecessary for may others.

                                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                                      Someone said copper was unnecessary for putting stuff in the oven. I'm assuming you use yours in the oven.

                                                      I recently bought a Le Creuset and I'm thinking about getting a copper brazier. Actually I would buy Falks 4.5 quart low casserole or 4.5 quart saute pan with a lid to do my brazing with. I haven't been able to find anything that cooks as good as my copper.

                                                      Have you had any problems keeping your copper clean? If the price was low enough I would probably still buy from TTF but the price would really have to be low.

                                                      1. re: krbtv

                                                        I've done one braise in my copper brazier, and that was on the stovetop. I would agree with others that copper offers no advantages in the oven. In fact, I'd be more likely to use my LC French oven for an oven braise.

                                                        As for keeping the copper clean, my copper gets stored in drawers, so I'm not so concerned about how it looks. It has darkened a bit from cooking, but that really doesn't bother me. I'll polish it when I'm in the mood.

                                                        From what I can see, TTF has now raised their prices on copperware so now they're in line with everyone else out there. The thing about TTF is that they don't communicate with you. You get an automatically generated order confirmation and then nothing else. The first pot I ordered from them, which I never got and I'm glad I didn't, was an 11" casserole for $272. That copper casserole, without the lid, is now priced at $506.67 on their website! Although that order was placed nearly 3 months ago, when I check the status of my order on their website, it STILL shows up as an open order, even though I emailed and phoned to tell them to cancel it. There's no such thing as customer service there; I don't know if anyone really works there because a live human being NEVER answers the phone.

                                                        BTW, just to give you an idea of how they've hiked their prices, I paid $204 for the 11" brazier; it's now priced at $506.67 without the lid. And I paid $185 for my 9.5" flared saucepan, which is now priced at $353 without the lid. Oh, and I ended up buying Bourgeat stainless steel lids from another website for those two pots. No need to spend the extra $$$ on copper lids.

                                                        1. re: krbtv

                                                          krbtv, you have a LeCreuset Dutch Oven, one of the best braising vessels out there. If you like copper, certainly get some copper, but it won't do a better job than what you already have. As many have said here, copper is at its best when you need very precise control over temperature (think delicate stovetop applications, not braising). I would highly recommend the eGullet guide "Understanding Stovetop Cookware" as a way to learn about the advantages of different kinds of materials:


                                                          1. re: danwalk

                                                            My Le Creuset gets a hot spot in the center when I sear the meat on the stove. It's OK in the oven. If copper really won't do anything for me then I won't waiste my money on it. I thought you got your brazier for use in the oven.

                                                            1. re: krbtv

                                                              I have a 24cm Le Creuset dutch oven (around 4-5 qts) and a 32cm Mauviel hammered copper tin-lined rondeau (a bit over 10 qts), and they're both excellent, but my sense is that the copper is better for browning meat before braising, while the Le Creuset has a tighter fitting heavier lid for its size, which sometimes makes things go a bit faster. I use them both for stovetop braising and oven braising, and for other purposes occasionally like sauteeing lots of onions or boiling water for bagels. It's worth noting that a hammered copper tin-lined rondeau in that size is heavier than the stainless lined version--3.5mm vs. 2.5mm.

                                                              Sometimes, if I don't need the large pot, I'll brown the meat in a heavy copper saute pan and transfer it to the Le Creuset pot, which is perhaps the best of both options. Usually the 24cm pot isn't large enough to brown all the meat that I would braise in it in one batch anyway, so I would have to brown it and transfer it temporarily to a tray and put it back in the pot, so browning in a separate pan doesn't create more dishes to wash, and I can still deglaze the pan to get the fond into the braising pot.

                                                              1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                                Now it's all making sense to me. I used to start browning in a cast iron pot but didn't like how it was cooking so I quickly transferred my food to a copper casserole and just put the copper casserole in the oven. Because I was using that approach it seemed useless to have a cast iron Dutch Oven.

                                                                Looks like the trick is to brown with copper then bake/braise in cast iron. I'm still wondering if I wasted my money buying enameled cast iron when regular cast iron is so much cheaper. I guess the only way to tell is to put something in the oven with regular cast iron and see if I can tell the difference in taste.

                                                                How much did your Mauviel rondeau costs?

                                                                Thanks Cindy,

                                                                1. re: krbtv

                                                                  The Mauviel rondeau I have is the 12.5" tin lined, and I think I paid under $300 with lid. Zabar's was selling off their tin-lined Mauviel copperware that had been sitting in stock for years at really good prices, and I got a couple of nice deals that way. I don't think they have any more in stock, but you could call them and ask.

                                                                  If I were looking to buy a new one, I would compare prices at buycoppercookware.com, Bridge, and ordering directly from Dehillerin in Paris. Dehillerin usually has the best price, but you might get killed on the shipping--still it's worth inquiring. Bridge isn't carrying these pieces so much anymore, so you may have to make a special order, but I suspect they will have the best price from any US source these days. buycoppercookware.com usually seems to have things in stock and has fairly good prices, compared to other places I've looked on the net, but significantly more than the price from Dehillerin.

                                                                  1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                                    What I really want is something that is good on the stove for browning and to be able to stick it directly in the oven. I thought I was getting that with Le Creuset but not exactly because of the hot spot.

                                                                    I considered buying an 11 inch copper saute pan with a lid so I could brown the meat on the stove then place it in the oven. Of course if the copper does nothing for me in the oven then that is a waste of money.

                                                                    I love the size of the Le Creuset, 6.75 quarts wide round (looks like a low casserole.)

                                                                    1. re: krbtv

                                                                      In the Bourgeat line, the 11" saute pan is virtually the same pan as the 11" brazier. They both hold 5.25 quarts; the difference is in the handle(s). I chose the brazier because I was afraid that, without a helper handle, the saute pan would be too heavy and awkward for me to lift. It was a smart choice for me. The weight of the cookware is also the reason I'm glad that the first copper pot I ordered (the 11" 8.5 quart casserole) never arrived. I'd have a difficult time lifting it empty. If it was filled with soup or stock, there's no way I could have managed to move it.

                                                  2. Hi CindyJ and polarflint,
                                                    Thanks for alerting me! I did get the fry pan for $132.00. I was determined to hold them to every word on their site. Bourgeat cookware was advertised as "free shipping" but the checkout process added an extra $12.00 or so to my order. I emailed them and called up 2-3 times to see if they could take that off. Finally, I gave up because I began to worry that prices would shoot up during my penny wise phase. Anyway. Finally the pan seems to be on its way.

                                                    Also, even though the fry pan does have a tall handle, some other saute pans, etc have quite decent handles. In fact I noticed an interesting similarity between these tall handles and some of the handles on Falk on their site.

                                                    All in all, I am really looking forward to my shipment. Did yours arrive? How are you enjoying it? I also would like to get an everyday pan in copper/SS. So far, I have found au gratin pans from Mauviel and Falk but the big ones are oval and do not have lids. A shallow pans with angled edges would be a great addition to cook everyday meal. Anyone know of a good circular one that can be covered?

                                                    Also, my reference check and/or search for a great wok for a great price continues on....I am ready to spend money on good copper cookware, but in this economy do expect a lot more for my $$. After all not many are in the market ....therefore plan to deal cautiously.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: cookiekakie

                                                      I've been finding customer service at trulythefinest.com to be difficult to reach. The phone number goes into voice mail, and they're very slow at responding to email. But I did receive an email from them this morning, saying they're checking on my order, which was placed just days before the prices were hiked, and trying to get a tracking number from the manufacturer. I never saw anything about free shipping on the Bourgeat. But even with the shipping costs, the prices were well worth it.

                                                      1. re: CindyJ

                                                        I ran into the same problem with customer service at TTF. I did receive my 11" fry pan. I also have an 11" Falk fry pan. I like the brushed finish on the falk better but both pans are nice. I have images of both at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3719...

                                                      2. re: cookiekakie

                                                        I finally received one of the two pieces of Bourgeat copper cookware I ordered. That's the 11" saute pan/brazier. It's BEEEEAUTIFUL! But I have no idea what's going on with the other piece I ordered, the 11" Casserole w/lid. When I ordered it, the price was $272, and I received a confirmation. But if you look at the website today, you'll see that the price for that same piece is now $579.99! My guess is that I'll never receive that casserole -- at least, not at the original price.

                                                        1. re: cookiekakie

                                                          I got mine and l liiiiike. Made a meal the other night and was enjoying the responsiveness. Have had the same trouble with the "free" shipping, but can't complain that much. The price fluctuations are weird so keep us informed.

                                                          The 9.5 inch is great so far. I pan fried two large chicken breasts in it the other night and then made a sauce with the brown bits. Good size and I think I will be using it quite a lot. I am not too concerned about keeping it pretty, just shiny enough to make my friends jealous. I just wish the pan could give me more time to cook and bring all the produce from home in CA out here to DC. Now that would be one hell of a pan.

                                                        2. Cindy,
                                                          Is your All-Clad stainless steel, Copper Core, .....?

                                                          10 Replies
                                                          1. re: krbtv

                                                            I own one piece of All-Clad and it's stainless.

                                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                                              Between the copper and the All-Clad stainless, is there a noticeable difference in how they cook?

                                                              1. re: krbtv

                                                                The difference is most noticeable when I'm making a sauce on a very low simmer. The copper is much easier to control. Also, I'm very impressed with the evenness of the heat throughout the cooking surface with the copper.

                                                                1. re: CindyJ

                                                                  Have you looked at this http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navi... from Sams Club? It's a 12 quart Aluminum Brazier Pot w/ Lid for $43. My concern would be cooking with aluminum - I'd be afraid of it getting in my food. Too bad they don't list dimensions of this on the web.

                                                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                                                    If I brown the meat with my copper fry pan then is there really a need for a Le Creuset French oven? Wouldn't a crock pot do the same thing? I thought the advantage of this mammoth pan was that I could brown then put in the oven. Truthfully, I can brown but I get a hot spot in the pan.

                                                                    1. re: krbtv

                                                                      Have you ever tried using a heat diffuser on top of your cooking element?

                                                                      1. re: CindyJ

                                                                        No. I don't know what that is. I have the electric coils on my stove.

                                                                        I broke down and bought the Falk 4.5 quart 11 inch low casserole. It's the same as a saute pan (possibly brazier too) but without the handle.

                                                                        1. re: krbtv

                                                                          Some cooktop manufacturers sell these as accessories to diffuse the heat. They're also sometimes known as "simmer plates." http://www.shopping.com/xPO-Dacor_Dac...

                                                                          When I had my glass cooktop, I had someone cut for me a thick (maybe 1/4"), 11" square aluminum plate that I placed over the burner when I used certain pots that didn't spread heat evenly.

                                                                          Your new Falk piece sounds a little like my Bourgeat brazier. Mine holds a little over 5 qts. and has two side handles. Enjoy!

                                                                    2. re: CindyJ

                                                                      Pasting my post originally here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/615965#

                                                                      I've used every type of pan out there, Just plain physics, tin lined copper is the most efficient, thus the most responsive to application of heat, and to any changes in heat. Actually, the most reactive metal to heat is SILVER, then copper, Gold is actually less. Heat conductivity is measured in units with letter label of 'k'; Silver is 4.29, copper is 4.01, gold is 3.17, aluminum is 2.3, iron is way down there at 0.8 There's a zillion recipes for steel using a dozen elements, a typical conductivity for steel would be just under 2.0 I have several copper pieces lined with sterling silver and very much enjoy using them. Tin melts at 450 F, making that temp the upper limit for tin-lined copper. One CAN in fact use metal utensils with tin lined copper, just respectfully. Tin is NOT reactive to food ingredients, including acidic recipes -- unless you're cooking with full strength nitric acid -- so tin only needs re-lining if you somehow scrape it off through mis-use, or irresponsibly apply scorching heat to a dry pan. I have copper-tin pans 100+ years old with original tin intact. Just plain facts.

                                                                      1. re: fatcat55jc

                                                                        Actually... the units measured for conductivity are not k, that's the label for thermal conductivity. The unit with which this is measured is W/(m.K). And tin is well known for its reactiveness with acids...