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Jun 5, 2009 08:14 AM

The Saga of a Copper Pot (cont'd)

Back in early March I ordered a fairly large (8.5 qt.) Bourgeat copper pot with a lid from It never arrived and after several unsuccessful attempts to reach a customer service rep there, I canceled the order in mid-April via email and voice mail messages. Today I received an email saying that my order has (finally) been shipped. But I no longer want the pot. After successfully ordering two other pieces of copper cookware, I've become aware of how very heavy these pieces are, and although I've come to love cooking with copper, an 11" casserole would just be too heavy for me to manage, once it was filled with whatever I was cooking.

It turns out that customer service is now back up and running at TTF, and I just spoke to someone who assure me they'd send me a return shipping label, so I can easily return it. But here's my dilemma: when I ordered the pot, the price was $272. The price for the pot at various other websites is considerably more ($385 and up). I really don't want the pot, but at the price it seems so worth it! I guess I have three choices: keep it (and maybe learn to love it), return it, or sell it. What to do, what to do...

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  1. Save your money and buy some weights to build up your strength.

    Seriously, as a cookware addict who appreciates the best and a fellow weakling, an 8.5 quart pot is big, and unless you are going to use it and love using it, it will take up a lot of room as well as your money. While I have loads of LeCreuset, Staub, cast iron and copper, I can assure you that anything bigger than 7 quarts in my kitchen has two handles and is made of more manageable high grade stainless steel, or even aluminum. If you aren't going to use this often, but need it for special occasions and can lift it with a groan, maybe. But if you really think that you'll probably reach for something else, send it back. You can invest in copper futures if you want to play the commodities market.

    6 Replies
    1. re: RGC1982

      Storing the pot isn't an issue; I've got plenty of storage space in my kitchen. This pot DOES have two handles (see photo). I'd have to think about what I might do when, let's say, it's time to put up a big pot of soup -- which pot would I be most likely to reach for? Quite possibly, if its a long-simmering stock I'm making, the advantages of copper for low, even simmering would likely win out. And maybe if I did have this pot, I'd give my old stainless steel stock pot to one of my kids, so I wouldn't even have to face the decision.

      1. re: CindyJ

        Time to end this thread. Sounds like you have already made up your mind -- congratulations on a great new pot.

        1. re: RGC1982

          :) I'm trying to talk myself into it. I still haven't opened the carton.

          1. re: CindyJ

            I have a 12" copper saute pan and a 12.5" copper rondeau. Things I find them useful for are--sauteeing lots of onions (about 4.5 lbs of chopped onions go into a pint of onion confit), braising a whole quartered chicken in the smaller one, braising a whole pork shoulder with the bone in the larger one, braising a 5 lb. brisket in the larger one, making one pot meals with meat/poultry/fish and vegetables all sauteed together in the smaller one.

            The main attraction of a heavy copper saute pan or rondeau for these things is that you can put them on the stovetop and don't have to pay as much attention to them as with other kinds of cookware, because the heat is distributed very evenly, so the food won't burn or scorch.

            1. re: David A. Goldfarb

              Well, I've been talked into keeping the pot, and, after opening the carton last night, I found it's neither a large nor as heavy as I had envisioned.

              I hadn't considered using the pot for braising, but I certainly will now. I've always done my braises in the oven, using one of two LC French ovens I've got. The reason for oven braising has been the uneven heat on the stovetop. In light of this new acquisition, I'll revisit my stovetop cooking options. I can already imagine using the pot for caramelizing a ton of onions for onion soup. I have a feeling I'm going to come to love this pot after all.

              1. re: CindyJ

                Congratulations! Just as an added nugget, when I make something big on the stove it generally stays there until it's empty, and gets spooned out. The way I see it, whether you're making soup, curry, chili or a stew, it has to be heated anyway before you eat. I guess the bad points are that copper is a good centerpiece, and that people have to be served rather than help themselves (in a typical situation)