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Which Copper Pots are REALLY Worth the Additional Cost?

Yesterday I had my very first experience using copper cookware. I made a Bolognese sauce in a 5-qt. copper pan, and I'm happy to say that after a brief period of experimenting with the heat, I was able to get the sauce simmering evenly and beautifully throughout. I can absolutely recognize the advantage of copper for this purpose. I can also see how copper would be wonderful for sauteing. So now I'm wondering, if I'm going to get the most "bang for the buck," what other pieces of copper cookware should I get? And (aesthetics aside) which pieces just don't offer any advantage over, say, All-Clad?

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  1. You could watch the sale table at Williams-Sonoma and see if they put any of their Mauviel or Ruffoni on it.

    As unlikely as it seems, they did that last year and I got a stockpot, a saute pan, a Windsor pan and a saucier at half price. The staff said they were lacking boxes or tarnished but those are things I was willing to live with at those incredible prices. They all polished up beautifully and now have a warm patina. They also cook wonderfully!

    I also got a copper mixing bowl at Sur la Table from their sale table. It had a few minor scratches. Now that it's been well used, it has even more scratches. ;>

    Just this week I got an unlined French confiture pan for $30 at Home Goods. The copper is thin. If it doesn't work for boiling down fruit, it will make a lovely ice bucket for chilling glasses or something.

    Seriously! I'm 60 and I've wanted copper since I first cooked with it when I lived in France just out of college. I could never afford it and then one day it was there. Once I started looking around, I was finding it on a continuing basis.

    38 Replies
    1. re: rainey

      I'm not really asking so much WHERE should buy copper cookware, or what brand I should buy. What I'm asking is, given the advantages that good quality copper offers, which specific pots or pans best take advantage of those properties.

      1. re: CindyJ

        The pieces that I use most often are:
        high-sided skillets
        saucier, really, really reccomend this!!
        stock pots

        Things like a pasta pot-not really. Looks nice, but not necessary
        Baking vessals such as a gratin pan-no

        1. re: monavano

          The piece I just bought is an 11" (5.5 quart) saucier, which I can also use as a saute pan. It's quite heavy, and I can't imagine how I'd manage a copper stock pot. I'm also not clear about why a copper stock pot would be advantageous.

          1. re: CindyJ

            I meant sauce pots with a handle, not stock pots. And lids.

            1. re: CindyJ

              ohh cindyj, you went for the 11", cooool. I like my 9.5, but wonder if that extra 1.5 inch would be useful for a little more sear/saute space. The grass is always greener, or coppery, I guess.

              Making risotto in the 9.5 flared saucier tonight. Seared chicken breasts the other night. Great for cooking for two.

              I continue to fantasize about the 1.5 saucier from falk, bu I was caught gazing at a copper skillet by the fiance the other day and scolded harshly.

              1. re: polarflint

                Yes. I got the Bourgeat. And I think I got it for a pretty good price. It was only $204 (without the lid -- but that's another story).

                1. re: CindyJ

                  I noticed that the lid i got has an imperfection on the handle - the bolt looks like it was mis-hammered (or however they do it). Still, its a lid that works. And I am slightly jealous that you got an 11 inch for 20 bucks more.

                  But I have my entire life to freak out about copper.

                  1. re: polarflint

                    I'm going to buy the lid separately. I may buy the same lid in SS rather than copper to save $$$$.

              2. re: CindyJ

                What brand did you get? Oops, I see that you answered the question. Sorry but I'm not that good on blogs....still learning.

            2. re: CindyJ

              Saucier
              High-sided skillet
              Copper bowl (that doesn't go over the stove!)

              They cook like Ferrari's - very fast, a lot of control, and look great (also like Ferrari's, they're expensive and a pain to keep up)

              Buy very heavy pans and not the light presentation pieces.

              The all clad is for stock, soups, and things that need little attention or control.

              1. re: alwayscooking

                How do you use your copper bowl? Other than for beating egg whites, does a copper bowl offer an advantage?

                1. re: CindyJ

                  I use it whenever I am working with egg whites - for meringues or egg foams. Everything gets done by hand since I have no room for appliances and the copper seems to bring the white together faster and tighter. Stainless for everything else since it's only protein that's affected by copper. Most of my copper is used and comes from ebay.

              2. re: CindyJ

                FYI, Mauviel is marketed to individuals whereas Bourgeat is marketed to restaurants: I have some of both and they are the same gauge and quality but Bourgeat is usually a good deal cheaper. Try Previn, Inc. in Philadelphia (previninc.com).

                And copper sauté pans compare to nothing. On the other hand, get cast iron or black steel for frying pans. An 8 qt stock pot in copper is great for everything from stock to chili to marmalade to bœuf bourguignon.

                1. re: chokeartichoke

                  Can you deep fry with the 8 quart stock pot?

                2. re: CindyJ

                  "What I'm asking is, given the advantages that good quality copper offers, which specific pots or pans best take advantage of those properties."

                  Ah! The unlined copper bowl for whipping egg whites and the unlined pots for sugar/jam work. However, I love them all.

                  1. re: CindyJ

                    My favorites are small sauce pans and my saute pan. Especially the sauce pans for things that tend to burn quickly. You can remove them from the heat and they cool down really quickly before all is lost. There, the responsiveness of copper is useful. However, for most sauces and sautes, a good SS pan will do just fine. I think a stew pot or Dutch oven might also be a good choice. I cannot imagine why anyone would bother spending $$$$ on a copper stockpot, since the large amount of water used in making stock tends to regulate the temperature in lieu of the pan materials.

                    My advice is to look for stainless steel interiors and cast iron handles. Brass handles, often found at the WS stores in the form of Mauviel, get hot much more quickly (although, they all get hot) and you will get burned when cooking unless you remember to use a pot holder to lift lids. I have some Mauviel, which is beautiful, including some tin linings, but now that I am more experienced with copper, I can say that I prefer Falk because of the construction and the ss interior. It does not require any long term maintenance versus tin. You can find Mauviel with ss interiors and iron handles too, but you have to look carefully, I have heard that nickel linings are also sturdy and work well.

                    1. re: RGC1982

                      > I cannot imagine why anyone would bother spending on a copper stockpot. ~
                      Remove them from the heat and they cool down really quickly... the responsiveness of copper is useful <

                      Ever try to cool 2 gallons of stock quickly without setting off the temperature alarm in the refrigerator?

                      Move a copper stock pot from the cooktop to an ice and water bath, stir the stock and it will be cool in a matter of minutes.

                      1. re: Demented

                        *CHUCKLE* That assumes one can lift and carry a full copper stock pot to wherever the ice/water bath is. I'd need a kitchen crane. :)

                        1. re: CindyJ

                          LOL. The stockpot is 6lb with 2 gallons of stock/water it's 22 - 25.

                          1. re: Demented

                            Only 6 pounds empty? Must be a small stockpot.

                            1. re: CindyJ

                              Falk Copper Stock Pot - 8.5 qt.
                              Diameter: 9.5", Height: 7.25", Weight: ≈ 8.5lbs.

                              I don't know about Bourgeat or Mauviel.

                              1. re: krbtv

                                You're absolutely right.

                                It doesn't seem that heavy any more.

                        2. re: Demented

                          I guess I hadn't envisioned the need to cool a stock pot down that quickly. I use an ice water bath, and I am sure that aluminum or stainless steel stockpots work just fine, because they work fine for me. However, if you are in that much of a hurry -- I would imagine that you are right, and that is a good point. For me, we aren't really talking about the need for split second responsiveness, so it isn't necessary.

                          I am going to try a mini-test with my copper sauce pans to see if there really enough of a difference to be worth the extra money. at least for me.

                          1. re: RGC1982

                            RGC,

                            Cooling the stock as quick as possible has been something I've always thought about, getting it as quickly as possible below the temp at which pathogens multiply, but was never an issue with cookware, it took as long as it took.

                            I only noticed over the coarse of the last few batches of stock, how much faster the stock cools in a copper vessel than an aluminum/stainless clad pot.

                            My reasoning for buying copper cookware was not so pure... It took years to build my collection of “Clad” cookware, I always wanted copper cookware, I love the look of it.

                            When retiring last year I opted to take a major payout, over rolling the funds over into an IRA or other tax sheltered fund. Used the money for things the wife and I wanted/needed for our home. Hand built custom furniture, new appliances and replaced all of the stainless with copper cookware, that was the only thing I wanted.

                            After months of adjusting to cooking with copper, the learning curve, I started to notice, it took less time for pans to heat, less time for food to cook, and finally less time to cool a pot of stock. It was while paying the gas bill last month I saw how much our gas usage had dropped.

                            1. re: RGC1982

                              If you need to cool stock down quickly the proper way to do that is with a frozen tube you insert into the stock pot as well as setting the pot in an iced bain marie. They are just plastic, fill with water, cap and freeze. When you cool stock then you set one into the pot. I'm not sure I should publush what we call them in the big kitchen here. However IIR you can pick up small ones at GFS and they are easy to store if you have a dedicated freezer. Cream soups and sauces especially those with seafood need to be cooled ASAP.
                              My copper does heat faster as well. A difference on my gas bill? Unfortunatly not. Gas companies here have a minimum charge.

                              1. re: Fritter

                                Stopping the sink and filling it with ice and water is for all intent and purpose a bain marie/water bath. For that matter a double boiler could be called a bain marie.

                                The bain marie is handed down to use from alchemy and is used in chemistry to this day. The name itself translates to something like Mary's bath, so named for the female alchemists who invented it.

                                1. re: Demented

                                  Supposed to be named for Moses' sister, Miriam, the godmother of alchemists, at least Jewish ones.

                                2. re: Fritter

                                  One brand of ice paddle for cooling liquids is Rapi-Cool, but they tend to be a bit large for home kitchens. In a commercial kitchen, it may not even be possible to put a large kettle into an ice bath, so these are a necessity.

                                  What I use at home is a plastic bottle filled with frozen saltwater, in addition to setting the pot in a sink of ice cold water.

                                  If I put a pot with 12 quarts of stock in the fridge it may take hours to cool, which is obviously not desirable. With the frozen saltwater bottle and a sink of ice water, I can get it below room temperature in about 20 minutes.

                                  1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                    Exactly. It's pretty difficult to stick a steam kettle in a sink. (smirk)
                                    At work I usually wind up draining into 5 gallon buckets. However a 5 gallon bucket of cream stock will stay hot in the middle for several hours.
                                    I can't recall where I picked them up but at home I use flat blue heavy plastic containers that were designed to fill and freeze for an ice chest. Works like a charm.
                                    Here's a link to the larger ones if any one is interested;

                                    http://www.bigtray.com/productlist.as...

                                3. re: RGC1982

                                  What inspiration! I'm going to save a couple of 1-qt. milk containers and next time I make stock I'll fill them with water, freeze them and use them for cooling the stock.

                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                    It's slightly different, but I've heard of people butting stock in ice-cube trays too.

                                    And as an aside, if you put the 12 quarts of stock into 12 or 24 containers, they'd cool in the ice bath far, far quicker

                                    1. re: Soop

                                      That sounds like a lot of extra work. I'd rather cool, strain, de-fat and then containerize.

                                      1. re: Soop

                                        There are some products we pour into 2" hotel pans and then place on speed racks to cool when space is tight. It's a royal PITA and it creates extra work for the stewards. Putting 12 quarts of stock into 24 containers that can fit into an ice bath gets impractical very quick even in a large kitchen and really there's just no need with the rapid cool inserts.

                                        1. re: Fritter

                                          It's also only practical to put stock into smaller containers for storage after the last stage of reduction. If I make stock, I usually remove the large bones and pieces of vegetable with a skimmer, strain, cool, remove the chilled fat and usually render it for later use, add egg whites and shells, heat up again to clarify, strain through cheesecloth, reduce to desired consistency, cool again, and then scoop the gelatinous stock (consomme usually to save freezer space) into Ziploc bags and freeze flat for more efficient storage. If it's chicken stock, I'll usually strengthen it by poaching another chicken in the stock before cooling, removing the chilled fat and clarifying, and then I'll used the poached chicken in something like a pie or chicken salad, so the stock is going to be cooled and heated as a batch often more than once before the final freezing in smaller containers.

                                          1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                            Another option for home use is an immersion wort chiller.

                                             
                                  2. re: Demented

                                    If you are diligent about cooling stock quickly, the fact that your pot is copper isn't going to make that much difference - its the ice bath and, if you want to buy one, one of those plastic freezie-things designed for stock cooling that does the work. Transmissivity of copper doesn't add that much into the mix.. and if somehow resistance losses of the cooling metal did, just add some more ice.. not worth spending a few hundred bucks more for a copper stockpot.

                                    1. re: grant.cook

                                      I bought copper cookware when I retired because I have wanted it for years, but never wanted to spend the money.

                                      A copper pot cools faster than a clad pot in a water bath, period.

                                      1. re: Demented

                                        Sure, it does.... that's not the whole point - is it worth the money - do you want some young chef thinking if only they had that copper pot, they'd cook like Eric Ripert or John Besh? "Sorry, sonny, can't go to college, mom had to have that copper pot that some gear geek told her was necessary to get her chicken stock just perfect." What into an open kitchen or a restaurant supply house and see how much copper is lying around.

                                        Methinks this is a bit of the "gotta be the shoes" argument A stockpot just needs to cool somewhat quickly - it doesn't need some sort of precise temperature control like a saucier or skillet. If you are fanatical about getting stock down into the safe zone (in the what 2? 3? times a year you make stock), get rock salt into the ice bath and spend $30 on a Rapi-Kool paddle to drop into it.

                            2. I buy All Clad and couldn't be happier. Yes-maintaining the finish is there, but then again, I'm not into buffing and polishing constantly and like patina. The first time that I used them I was blown away by how much control I had over the heat, over burning, over sticking. Truly amazing.
                              I bought through Chef's Catalog a few years back when they were offering a terrific deal.
                              www.houndstoothgourmt.com

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: monavano

                                Unfortunatly All clad copper lined is nearly as much as Mauviel now. I'll take Mauviel any day for the minimal price difference. Mauviel also has a SS line for those who may not want the care of copper. I used to be an ardent fan of All-clad but their product along with Calphalon has really changed over the last few years.

                                http://www.mauviel.com/default.htm

                                1. re: monavano

                                  Honestly, I find my Mauviel easier to maintain than All-Clad. Copper cleans so much easier.

                                  1. re: monavano

                                    Not much copper in Cop R Chef. Less than 1/32nd of an inch. Bourgeat, Mauviel, and Falk have 2.5 mm which is aprox 1/8th inch. Mauviel also carries a line with lower amounts of copper (1.6 mm - 2.0 mm). Falk usually sells 2.5mm unless they tell you it's 2.0 mm.

                                    1. re: krbtv

                                      You know, CopRChef is a bit of a joke. A pile of BTUs get wasted getting through a layer of SS to reach a foil-thin layer of super-efficient copper, which zips the heat to yet another dense, inefficient layer of SS.

                                      The copper layer is a cheap gimmick, and a problem. The only reason I know anything about his is because my mom has a bunch of expensive CRC and it's delaminating - the SS and copper are separating. Two pots already, and it's not like she beats on it - she's 77 years old. An engineer friend explained that it can happen because copper and SS expand and contract at significantly different rates. Eventually they lose contact and become even less "thermally efficient" (to use the ad copy for CRC). In my mom's case, a pot actually warped, which prompted the investigation in the first place.

                                      I can't afford it yet, but eventually I plan on replacing as much as I can of my collection with tin-lined copper. I only have a few pieces now (Mauviel, DeBuyer and Lara) but they cook like nothing else I've ever used. I have more control than ever, have no trouble cleaning it (ketchup and salt), and the tin is practically non-stick compared to my remaining SS (somebody mentioned moving to plain steel or iron for high temperature searing, etc., and that sounds like a good idea to me. At least it can be seasoned. My All Clad SS fry pans are pretty much all-stick).

                                      The more I use copper, in fact, the more convinced I am that SS has very limited use in a good kitchen. I figure I know what Christmas gift to ask for until about 2020. :)

                                  2. Hello CindyJ,

                                    In general try to gather an assortment of various shapes/sizes.

                                    Also, best bang for buck for you would be based on what recipes you cook. Do you saute, stir-fry, reduce sauces, bake or sear meats?

                                    I would suggest a fry pan. I use fry pans for quick sauteing and pan- searing chicken etc. Since you already have a pot with higher edges, it might be worthwhile to look into a shallow pan.

                                    You can also use it for baking (not to mention omlettes) - though with a long handle not sure if you can fit it into the oven.

                                    If handles are a problem, try a brazier with shorter handles.

                                    BTW, if I may ask, how long did it take for the pan to arrive? I ordered mine from Trulythefinest (read up on another thread here) -- and after two weeks it has not yet left the wearhouse.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: cookiekakie

                                      I've come to the conclusion that there's something weird going on at TrulyTheFinest. Back on March 9, I ordered a large Bourgeat copper casserole with a lid (I was going to use the same lid for the brazier, which is why I ordered the brazier without the lid). I never received that order, and, sometime between March 9 and now, the price of that item increased by a whopping $300+. However, I ordered the brazier on March 15, and received it about a week later. I've sent emails and left voice messages about the earlier order, and they've all been ignored. Yesterday I canceled the order for the casserole; I have yet to receive a confirmation of the cancellation. I'm wondering -- did the piece you ordered recently go up in price on their web site? Have you tried to contact them? And if so, what happened?

                                      But here's a piece of information to tuck away for the future. I found a web site that sells the same Bourgeat cookware (as well many other brands) and it says that they'll meet or beat competitors' prices. I have every intention of ordering from them. That web site is: http://www.knifemerchant.com/products...

                                      I'll be interested in hearing if you ever get delivery of your order. And BTW, my brazier was delivered before I ever got a tracking number or a shipment confirmation. In fact, my credit card wasn't even charged until about 5 days after I received the item.

                                      1. re: CindyJ

                                        I ordered my Bourgeat from TruelyTheFinest on March 12, 2009 at 8:21 pm. I received the product on March 23, 2009. Now get this, I got a tracking notice on March 24, 2009; i.e. I received the tracking information after the package had already arrived.

                                        I believe the problem is with the Bourgeat company and not TrulyTheFinest (TTF). TTF does not carry inventory and has to rely on the company to make drop shipments. That's why TTF is so cheap.

                                        Possibly it's only a web based business and the owner has a full time job somewhere else. Of course I don't know this for sure. The main thing is that I did receive my order.

                                        1. re: krbtv

                                          I actually phoned the Bourgeat distributor in California. Turns out they never received my order from TrulyTheFinest. They gave me the names of a couple of other online companies they do business with, but of course their prices are all considerably higher that TTF. I also learned that ALL Bourgeat cookware is shipped from the Bourgeat distributor in Van Nuys, CA, regardless of where it's purchased. None of the online companies carry Bourgeat inventory.

                                          On the one piece (the 11" saute/brazier) that I did receive, I had exactly the same experience as you did with the tracking notice. The piece had already been delivered before I received the tracking information. And strangely enough, my credit card wasn't billed until a week or so after delivery.

                                          I'm curious to know, though about the piece you ordered -- did the price on their website change, or is it still the same as the price that was listed when you placed your order? I have a feeling that the reason they ignored my order was because the price was increased dramatically (about double), and they didn't want to honor the price on the original order.

                                          Which piece of Bourgeat did you get, by the way? And how would you say it compares to Falk?

                                          1. re: krbtv

                                            Oh, happy day! Yesterday I received delivery of a 9 1/2" flared saute pan I ordered from TTF before the price was hiked. It's really more of a saucepan than a saute pan, which is just what I was expecting. It's be-u-ti-ful! And it's about as large a single-handle copper pan as I can handle.

                                            This will probably be my last copper cookware purchase -- well, at least my last purchase of Bourgeat. Their saute pans and frying pans do not have helper handles, and they're too heavy for me to lift comfortably. I love the brazier, because it's got two side handles. I'm having fun learning how to cook with these. And I'm REALLY loving the 11" brazier.

                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                              Cindy,

                                              Good for you, happy it arrived.

                                              You mention the larger pieces are to heavy lift comfortably.

                                              Carpel tunnel and release surgery's, left my hands significantly weekend. When first starting to cook with copper cookware even a 2 ½ quart sauce pan took some effort when full, and pouring something out of the pot using the handle in one hand was a real challenge.

                                              I believe the increase in strength if owing to the daily use of the cookware.

                                              Noticed a few days ago, my grip strength has improved to the point I can handle all of the this cookware even full.

                                      2. Cindy,

                                        In my opinion, it's all worth the cost. My gas bill is half, may be a little less than half of what it was when using clad cookware.

                                        The only piece of All-Clad that remains in my kitchen is a grill pan that was a gift from my wife. Decided to use it to “grill” a couple of pork chops one night, that was it's last use.

                                        Put the pan over medium heat, let it get hot added the chops, 4 minutes on each side, they where nowhere near done. Needed to turn the heat up to medium-high and cook them for another 4 minutes per side. Twice the time it takes in the copper sauté I'd normally have used.

                                        It took me a while to get use to cooking with copper, it'd likely take longer to adjust back to clad.

                                        11 Replies
                                        1. re: Demented

                                          Interesting... I never stopped to consider the cost of gas usage. Are you saying that virtually ALL of your cookware is copper, and that compared to your pre-copper days, your gas bill is half? If so, that's pretty darned impressive!

                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                            That is impressive... Personally, I'd like one or two pieces, as I'd say it's good to have a range (non-stick, cast iron etc).

                                            But I can see that for example, heating soup, would be far more efficient in copper.

                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                              Replaced all the stainless clad about 5 - 7 months ago with Falk copper cookware.

                                              Paid the gas bill this morning after posting.

                                              Used 5 therms last month, march last year used 12, dropped from 0.41 daily average to 0.17 daily average. Don't have a gas heater so that doesn't factor in.

                                              1. re: Demented

                                                It will take a while, eventually the copper cookware will pay for itself.

                                                Combined the savings in gas to cook, electricity for cooling and time spent in the kitchen will all payoff.

                                                1. re: Demented

                                                  Except for the time spent cleaning them . . .

                                              2. re: CindyJ

                                                yes, this is one of those situations where "In God we trust.. all others provide data" - what other gas appliances are in your house (water heater?), and what's your gas bill in general? A gas bill that went from $7 a month to $3 a month isn't exactly that impressive..

                                                1. re: grant.cook

                                                  If you're asking *me* about my gas usage, my response isn't going to provide much "data." first of all, we have propane, and the tank is filled whenever the gas company thinks it needs to be, based on past usage. We have a propane fireplace, a propane grill that is hooked up to the tank, and a gas cooktop. I don't know how much gas we use or the price of the gas. Sorry. That's just not one of those things I look at closely. If I did, I'd also have to take into account a correlation of degree days with fireplace usage.

                                                  1. re: grant.cook

                                                    I have no idea how much or if I save any gas by using copper. We use gas only for cooking, and the minimum charge is for two therms, whether we use them or not, and our usage is usually between one and three therms on any given month, so for me this isn't a motivation, though it would be virtuous to conserve gas, even if it doesn't save any money.

                                                    I use copper for most things (but not everything), because I like the way it responds to heat and don't mind the extra maintenance.

                                                    1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                      Here in Socal, we pay for what we use. My gas bill has dropped by half or more per month.

                                                2. re: Demented

                                                  My electric range numbers is like this:
                                                  Lo, 1, 2, .....8, 9, Hi

                                                  Which of these numbers is considered medium heat?

                                                  1. re: Demented

                                                    Hey!

                                                    This post prompted me to look at my gas bills from when I started using copper, and sure enough they dropped slightly. Not half yet (because I still have a lot of much-less-efficient cookware), but now I'm going to keep an eye on it. Cool. Hadn't thought of that.

                                                  2. CindyJ,
                                                    I want to update about my oder. The very next day after my post, I got a reply from TTF about my order status. Yesterday, there was another email which included the tracking # and when I tracked it I found that the item was out for delivery :-)

                                                    It was as though someone read my complaint here and got in action!

                                                    It got delivered fine last night; though I have not started cooking with it. It is enormous pan and I am quite happy. I can use it for lots of other recipes apart from pancakes and omlettes.

                                                    Also one more thing I noticed is: I find the "redness" of Bourgeat copper a lot less red than Mauviel/WS line as seen in their stores. Any reason for that ? (It could be simply illusion because they might be using special lighting in the stores but regardless; I would like to know!)

                                                    Also, I would love to hear your experience about Knifemerchant. I intend to order more copper pans; except not sure which ones for now.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: cookiekakie

                                                      I'm glad you got your pan. I sent TTF an email canceling my order. Not surprisingly, I haven't heard back from them on that notice, either.

                                                      I did call KnifeMerchant. In general, they DO match competitors' prices, but when I referred them to the TrulyTheFinest price on one particular pot, the man I spoke with was pretty surprised and said there must be some mistake because there's no way those prices could be correct. And he wouldn't match that price. But then I asked him what his BEST price would be for that pot, and after a short wait he got back to me with a better price than the one on their web site. He actually split the difference between the two prices. Funny, I never before considered "negotiating" prices with online merchants, but that seemed like a natural question to ask, and I'm glad I did.

                                                      1. re: CindyJ

                                                        <tucking that info away for future use>

                                                    2. Cindy,
                                                      Also I forgot to mention that the price of my item has not gone up. However, the rest of my experience is similar to yours. I did send an email and vmail and they never got answered.

                                                      Also, in my earlier post I wrote "I got reply". Instead, I should have said "I got a status email". None of my sent emails got replied but their automated system seems to have sent me update when order proceeded or clock struck a certain timeline.

                                                      Hope this helps. Also, my credit card is not charged as of today, and until I see it charged, I am not using my pan. If I see any discrepancy between the price that my original purchase receipt carries and the price charged on my credit card, I will likely take it up as a legal matter since restocking fees can be 25% of the purchase price.

                                                      Hope this helps. I will post here if my experience turns out sour. So far, communication has left something to be desired but order shipped ok and item does seem genuine.

                                                      1. Hi, if you were interested in buying more copper cookware you should look at Lara copper cookware from Tasmania Australia, Its all handmade and tin lined and sold online at very reasonable prices. Ihave a 9" saute pan and a 10" shaker pan and i love them.

                                                        1. I own quite a few copper pieces of various shapes and sizes and weights. The most useful, if you're looking for one or two pieces, I would say are heavy (2.5mm) saute pans and fry pans for their even heat distribution when you need it most. Personally, I prefer tin lined, because it reacts more quickly than stainless, but I also have a stainless lined Windsor pan for higher temperatures as well as some stainless Sitram pans with heavy copper disks on the bottom.

                                                          Tin requires more care than stainless, but don't be intimidated by the prospect of retinning. Don't overheat the pans, and don't use metal utensils, and you only have to tin every 15 years or so with normal household use, and you can pass the pots on to your grandchildren. I usually use Atlantic Retinning (www.retinning.com), and you can see what it costs from their website.

                                                          For braising, there's nothing like a heavy copper rondeau for browning meat evenly and thoroughly and then braising in the same pan.

                                                          A copper stock pot is something of an extravagance, but I managed to find a heavy Mauviel hammered 13 quart stock pot at a good price, and it does hold a low simmer more steadily than other pots I've used. I use it to make stock about once a month.

                                                          I've also had a Mauviel nonstick copper fry pan for several years now, and it's a very useful thing. I did some research before making the investment to be sure that it was possible to recoat it, and indeed, there are companies that specialize in recoating nonstick cookware, so I know I can have that done when the time comes. Nonstick requires similar care to tin--low to moderate heat and no metal utensils, but it requires less oil, and the nonstick surface combined with the even heat distribution of copper makes a nice omelet pan.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                            I don't know if you are still there, but if you are...I can't find an M. nonstick copper fry pan anywhere. I only see the SS ones. Where did you find yours?

                                                            1. re: E_M

                                                              I bought mine at Zabar's. I just took a look around the net, and I wonder if they've discontinued them, since I haven't seen them from the usual sources like buycoppercookware.com and metrokitchen.com. Go to the Zabar's website to find their phone number and give them a call. The website doesn't show most of what they sell.

                                                            2. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                              Wow. Here's something to think about. Why would one have to re-line a non-stick pan? Where did the PFTE lining go? Into your food, maybe? Side of cancer, anyone?

                                                              I know. Rude. Sorry, but I feel strongly about the non-stick scam. Teflon was never intended to be cooked on, and I see a flaking non-stick pan a week out on the curb. Toxic junk, IMHO.

                                                              Tin's supposed to be inert (well, it can melt at 425+), but it does darken with time, so it's oxidizing (like iron). At least oxides of tin are a nutrient.

                                                              I'd really like to hear if anyone has ever gotten hold of a silver-lined copper vessel (saw an 11 in. copper/silver saute on Ebay for $600 once. *So* not in a teacher's price range). That's supposed to be the last word.

                                                              1. re: Maria G.

                                                                While there is some potential cancer risk to workers from manufacturing PTFE under unsafe conditions, and PTFE can be hazardous when heated to temperatures over 650F, there does not seem to be any significant danger to ingesting PTFE, which is used in surgical implants, surgical instruments, and sutures.

                                                                1. re: Maria G.

                                                                  Re: silver-lined copperware: try Cesare Mazzetti's flagship models at Bottega del Rame in Montepulciano. $$$$ to reline, beware!

                                                              2. I cook with both All Clad and copper. Until you win the lottery, my advice for the best pieces in copper are 1) a 4-5 qt french saute pan with a lid. This is going to be expensive, but it doubles as a fry pan and a dutch oven. 2) A 3 qt saucier. Perfect for risottos or a small batch a bechamelle(sic) for that homemade macaroni and cheese or other gratin. 3 qt is a perfect cover all bases size, not too large, not too small, and even heat and quick cooling are important for any kind of sauces you would cook in it, such as a demi-glace in its final stages of reduction, where a minutes too long on the heat could potentially ruin 2 days of work. and 3) an 8-12 quart copper stock pot IF you can find one for a good price. Some people may say a stock pot is the LAST piece you would want in copper, but I beg to differ. Not having to fiddle with your gas 100 times to ensure a perfect simmer for 3-12 hours, is priceless, plus, it holds heat well enough to not drop too far below a boil when you add a lot of veggies to blanch. You will hand it down to your children. And yes, it will be heavy, but all good cookware is.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: goldendawn7

                                                                  Based on your picks Sur la Table has a Professional series (2.5mm SS lined) set at a very good price right now.

                                                                  http://www.surlatable.com/product/coo...

                                                                  1. re: Fritter

                                                                    I'd go with Falks Copper Chefs set. It's beautiful and you don't have to worry about constantly cleaning it.

                                                                    http://www.copperpans.com/facochset.html

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Culinary Concepts International
                                                                    14611 Landis Lakes Dr, Louisville, KY

                                                                2. Cindy,
                                                                  I would recommend that you get the Falk “try me piece” which is a 1.5 quart Sauciére. The Sauciére can be use for sauce making and is very versatile. You should also get the Falk 11” Sauté. You will be able to use the Sautés pan for sautéing, frying, and as a small casserole.

                                                                  If you have money saved up, then you might consider the Falk 5 piece Chefs Set instead which includes a 2.5 qt sauce pan, a 5.5 qt casserole, a 9.5” saute pan, and two lids. Even if you get the Chefs Set I would still recommend the 1.5 qt try me saucier.

                                                                  In a nutshell, the two main pieces you should get are as follows:
                                                                  Falk 1.5 quart 2.5 mm saucier
                                                                  Falk 11” Sauté pan

                                                                  The lids are nice but are more for vanity purposes and do nothing for you.

                                                                  Falk has a brushed finish that is absolutely beautiful and not hard to keep up.
                                                                  Falk cookware can be found at www.copperpans.com

                                                                  1. I am begining to think that prices of cookware are seasonal like most other items. The last time I purchased my Calphalon pots/pans (both Anodized and Copper tri-ply which seem like poc now after getting Bourgeat) -- it was in Feb/Mar and I got as much as 50% off after applying retail prices to them. This was way back in 2003 (incidentally previous economic downturn), in LA area. Therefore, it makes sense to wait for an opportunity/time to make purchases of nonurgent items.

                                                                    This may explain why around mid-March TTF prices went up dramatically -- I guess the sale was over and prices simply went up to original listed prices.

                                                                    I would wait and watch again next year in Feb. After all one has to be patient if one wants good prices. In fact I have often thought of starting a "Recession Fund" -- during good economic times, and using it in bad economy to make purchases of quality items that become heavily discounted.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: cookiekakie

                                                                      I think you're right. But there's other things like the price of copper went up a lot about a year ago (an old 2p coin in the UK was worth 3p!)

                                                                    2. Just to get back to your question, which had nothing to do with where to buy or how much to pay, or which brand is prettier.

                                                                      I have 6 copper pots, all gifts, including a 10-inch saute, 3 sauce pans, a small cassarole and a mixing bowl. It all depends on what you cook, but I have a deep 3 or 4 qt sauce pan that is great for deep frying, and the mixing bowl is has no equal for mixing things cool and makes a great double boiler. And making sauce in any size copper pot is a breeze, as you have found. Copper is not so great for sauteing. Yes the heat is even, but you need to be careful not to let the pan get so hot the zinc melts, and you can't flip the ingredients like you can with copper or stainless. And if you stir instead of flip, you might as well use steel or aluminum or even cast iron.

                                                                      So I suggest you consider one or two smaller sauce pans, and if you make lots of merengues or whipped cream, a copper mixing bowl.

                                                                      1. I wanted to post about my pan#2 from TTF as well. This one, an 11" saute with flared edges. It arrived couple of days back.

                                                                        It is once again a beautiful piece; just one small nit: I noticed a "chip" off the edge of the pan, about 1mm in size. Very small compared to the pan size, and I know it will not affect the performance of the pan (nor food safety since it is on the rim) -- but, considering how much I pain for this beast, I must say I am disappointed!!

                                                                        I considered calling Bourgeat customer service to make fuss about it, and then decided to drop the idea because of above reasons and decided to stay put with it. But my confidence in Bourgeat is shaken as a result.

                                                                        I would seriously look into Falk in the future. Definitely drooling at their Try-me piece, esp looking at the price!!

                                                                        Also I noticed an interesting difference. When I measured my Calphalon 9" saute pan, the 9" diameter is measured from outside of the flared edge (s) on both ends. OTOH, for Bourgeat pans, 11" is measured as "inside" diameter, which is the real top diameter of the pans. :-)

                                                                        Anyways, if anyone here has had a bad experience with Falk customer service then I would like to hear about it before taking the plunge.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: cookiekakie

                                                                          I've had wonderful experience with Falk! I purchased their Try me piece sauciere, 5 piece chefs set I , and the 11" fry pan. Of all the pieces the sauciere and the 5.5 quart casserole pans are the ones I use the most. If you decide to buy the chefs set you might want to consider swapping out the sauce pan for another sauciere (will mean one of the pots will not have a lid).

                                                                          If I had it to do over again I would have bought another sauciere instead of the fry pan and I would have replaced the sauce pan with a sauciere.

                                                                        2. It depends on your cooking habits.. Don't get a copper pot for every occasion unless you have mega bucks to spend. If you find you use one or 2 pots continuously, get those in copper to start. The fact that copper heats faster is not a reason to buy a copper pot. The fact that copper heats more evenly than others is a reason to get copper. Copper pot sides heat almost evenly and as a result will cook things like stews better at lower temperatures. Most pots are tinned and the tin lining which comes with most pots wear very fast. Retinning costs $4 or $5 per inch measured at the sides and bottom so this is a little more expense associated with copper pots. The best of all worlds would be 25mm thick copper pots with a stainless steel lining. This allows you to cook at higher temperatures than tinned lined pots. If you are lucky, you may find a blemished pot at HomeGoods or TJ MaX at a fraction of the original cost. I picked up a casserole which had a slight dent in the lid which prevented it from closing tight.. A hammer and a small anvil did the trick and now the pot is perfect.
                                                                          Hope this helps in selecting a copper pot.

                                                                          1. Hi,Cindy:

                                                                            I't's hard to go wrong with the pan the French call the "Fait Tout" (cooks all) and the English call the "Windsor"-- a thick, splayed-wall saucepan that is very versatile. The larger upper diameter helps with faster reductions, utensils seem to work easier, and hey, frankly it looks sexy as...

                                                                            Also high on my list is a mid-size covered oval roaster, just large enough for a big chicken, turkey breast, duck or small roast. Small enough to use as a stovetop rondeau, compact enough for use as a braising pan, curvy enough for a nice presentation at table.

                                                                            Copper skillets intended for searing are the only pieces I know that aren't head and shoulders above Allclad. And for that, stick to good old black iron.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                              I ended up purchasing three pieces: an 11-inch, 8-quart casserole, an 11-inch saute pan/ brazier and a 4-quart flared saucepan. The first two I use all the time; the saucepan not so much. I've got LC oval and round French ovens that I love for roasting and braising, and wouldn't trade them for copper.

                                                                            2. I would go with Amoretti Brothers www.amorettibrothers.com, they are basically a small but very sophisticated brand and they do just amazing stuff. After I bought the first pan I cannot stop talking about them with my friends and show them around during my gourmet soiree. It can be a great investment for your kitchen

                                                                               
                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: kobechef

                                                                                Beautiful!
                                                                                I wonder how thick they are. No mention on the website.

                                                                              2. there are a lot of reputable copper cookware manufacturers around the world see this post
                                                                                http://www.coppercookwareinfo.com/cop...

                                                                                1. IMO, tinned copper is still the standard by which all other cookware is measured. You won't get the best performance from equipment that attempts to marry disparate materials with copper, like stainless steel and other 'sandwiched' materials.

                                                                                  Try one piece, maybe a small(ish) sauté pan in tinned copper, and I bet you'll be a believer.

                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: JustCharlie

                                                                                    Hi, Charlie:

                                                                                    I totally agree with your entire post.

                                                                                    But the key phrase is "best performance". The best copper bimetal pans, e.g., Falk, will give excellent performance, and if the cook is switching from clad or cast iron, the bimetal pans will blow his/her mind. If they've already habituated to a SS cooking surface and learned all the workarounds, the bimetal is sweet indeed.

                                                                                    I catch flak here for saying that SS exists in pans strictly as a matter of convenience, but it's true. Once people get used to the easy maintenance and utensil freedom of a SS interior (or the DW-ability of fully clad), it isn't easy to convince them to try tin linings.

                                                                                    IMO, if folks spent a month alternating between saute'ing in clad, 2.5mm bimetal and 3mm tinned (and hand-washed, as they should anyway), nearly everyone would want the thick tinned copper. The problem is there isn't much thick tinned copper out there, especially new. And if everyone wanted thick tinned, the prices would shoot up astronomically.

                                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                      Kaleo,

                                                                                      i agree with you. Tin tinned is way better than copper bimetal pans. The only reason to me companies insist with the bimetals is because, for them, price-wise and quantity-wise is better: basically those pans are more "commercial" and offer better advantages for the medium consumer who is looking only for the outside copper look, they have no time for cleaning and care and that`s it. Anyway Mauviel, Amoretti Brothers...those guys still do the thick copper with tin lining, I mean...luckily quality products are still there

                                                                                      1. re: kobechef

                                                                                        Hi, kobechef:

                                                                                        Not to argue, but to my knowledge Mauviel isn't selling thick tinned copper in USA any longer, with exceptions like their rondeaux. And I think Amoretti Bros. and Ruffoni are only 2mm thick, max. With Hammersmith in a state of suspended animation, the only maker of new >2.5mm tin-lined copperware I'm aware of is Mazzetti, and with them, it's brass handles, Italianate shapes and limited selection.

                                                                                        The sad bottom line is I'm unaware of anyone making new, hammered, iron-handled, >2.5mm tin-lined pans in classical French proportions. If any Hounds know of a maker who *is* making such pans, I'd like to know...

                                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                                        [Edit] There is the newly-reconstituted Duparquet entity for sautes: http://www.dhandm.com/

                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                          Jim from East Coast Tinning is making those Duparquet pans. You'll notice that the mark says "D.H&M. CO. R.I." instead of the old "D.H&M. CO. N.Y."

                                                                                          Mac also says he'll be back up and running soon and will have thicker stuff than he did in the past. I don't know if the means 2.5mm or 3mm, but it's better than nothing.

                                                                                          1. re: jljohn

                                                                                            Hi, Jeremy:

                                                                                            Are you sure Jim is actually making these sautes? The mention of "limited quantities" makes me wonder.

                                                                                            I sure hope Mac Kohler reopens soon. What a great guy.

                                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                                              1. re: jljohn

                                                                                                Hi, Jeremy:

                                                                                                That's great. Is he planning to do pans other than sautes?

                                                                                                Aloha,
                                                                                                Kaleo

                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                  Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                  We didn't have a lengthy conversation about it, but I got the sense that he needed to focus on the sautes for now and see how it goes down the road. I would love to see some other pieces with the same quality of craftsmanship!

                                                                                                  Jeremy

                                                                                                  1. re: jljohn

                                                                                                    Hi Jeremy,

                                                                                                    I might be interested in buying one of these pans from Jim, but I like Kaleo, was skeptical of their source. How does Jim make them?

                                                                                                    It's one thing to be a professional retinner of copper cookware. I imagine it's a totally different thing to be able to fashion these shapes from sheets of copper, and to make iron handles to attach to them, etc. If there truly are hand made in an artisanal fashion, I might spring for one.

                                                                                                    alarash

                                                                                                    p.s. I love old copper cookware, but I just can't quite relate to the slightly sensitive-new-age-guy degree of emotion expressed in his video at this site: http://www.eastcoasttinning.com/

                                                                                                    1. re: alarash

                                                                                                      I mostly agree with this assumption.

                                                                                      2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                        Well, it's a shame that you take flak since I think you're exactly right.

                                                                                        I have an All-Clade sauté pan that has worse hot spots than Revere Ware. If there's is any separation at all, even almost unnoticeable , I believe the space gets superheated and causes the problem. I may be wrong on the physics but I've had two chicken breasts in a properly heated pan (slowly and evenly) and had one produce perfect fond and one burn underneath. Both hit the pan at the same time and I was cooking on a very high-quality HOB at the time. And, I think I know how to cook. Same dish on tinned copper -- perfect fond anywhere the product is placed in the pan.

                                                                                        It made a believer out of me....

                                                                                      1. I only buy antique or vintage Dehillerin or antique Gaillard and i have bought some beautiful French antique copper from Thierry in France that is some of the thickest and most beautiful pieces i have ever used, I have also bought a lot of chomette pieces also from Thierry.He always sends me the most stunning pieces i have ever had. i recently bought a huge 5 piece set of all the different pots you will need to use with the lids he found at a brocante in France that is a antique set of Dehillerin. not counting the vintage set of 3 matching Dehillerin vintage fry sautee pans that are a rare set. I also have and 18020s Dehillerin rare candy or whipping cream bowl. Not counting all the other pieces i have of Dehillerin also. i think the antique or vintage copper is the best. but Dehillerin is still the best copper you can buy. if you want stainless steel the only brand to buy is vintage cuinox or new all clad. all clad bought culinox so thats why their copper is the best for stainless steel if thats what you want or as i said before culinox or swiss made also stockli netstal.Dehillerin is very expensive but worth every penny. but i love the antique copper the best. i recently bought a 200 hundred year old medium sized stock pot from thierry stamped peter burn that was made in belgum. with wonderful dovetailing made by a great copper smith. i have all my copper tinned at Virginia tinning owned by gary who has been a master coppersmith and blacksmith for over 30 years. he does the most beautiful tinning i have ever had done on my copper. i found him because he recently id a website, he just finished doing the copper at the governors Historic mansion in Virginia and they are not going to let just anyone touch this historic copper. he also makes all kinds of lids upon requet. i have bought several of the reproductions. he also will be opening huge shop or store with over400 hundred pieces of antique and vintage copper a lot bought from thierry. i can't wait to see the new web page with the changes. also unc tv is interested in doing a special on him because of the beauty and old ways he sticks to in making his copper. but his lids are stunning . And this is not all he will be making. look up virginia tinning in Virginia of course and he will pop up. he has quick turn around and beautiful work. and can repair anything you need repaired. try him and look for his shop opening soon.