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Nov 26, 2010 10:24 AM

Help identify a copper pan

Picked up this saucepan today at Marshall's. I was originally there looking for a saucier to gift my sister and this glint of copper caught my eye from behind a couple stock pots. heavy, thick walls, and a iron handle, and what seems like tin lining. The little booklet that hung from the loop of the handle had the cover torn off, i flipped the booklet over and the pricetag read $7.00. I almost dropped it from the shock and then double checked to make sure it actually said 7 dollars. I checked for a lacquer coating and found none, this looks to be a functional piece. Even if this is a non-functional piece, i think it's still a steal at 7 bucks.
Does anyone have a clue of who makes it or resources to help ID the sauce pan? I added some pictures, pay no attention to the mess on the stove...i haven't cleaned up from thanksgiving yet :P

edit: i measured the wall thickness with calipers and it is 2.5mm

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  1. I'm going to guess it is by Baumalu--I have seen their products show up in Marshall's/TJ Maxx before. They all seem to be unmarked, except for the "Made in France" stamped by the handle. They do make a variety of thicknesses, so congrats on finding the 2.5MM!

    3 Replies
    1. re: E_M

      Thanks E_M! Looks like that is what it is, the part of the booklet hanging from the handle matches ones after looking up "baumalu" on ebay. Confirms it is a functioning piece of cookware. Thank you! =)

      1. re: E_M

        I saw a Baumalu this week at TJMAXX and the label said (shudder) "Made in China". What does that mean? Does Baumalu no longer make their own copper pans?

        1. re: Chipped Ham

          this one says made in france, it's sad that so many manufacturers are outsourcing their products to cheap-labor countries. seems like almost everyone does it now

      2. I concur that it is probably Baumalu. However, I'm detecting what I think may be the characteristic reflections for which SS linings are famous. You should be able to tell within a few uses, because if it is tin, it will sltart to darken and discolor a bit--go easy on it with non-metallic utensils until you know for sure it's SS. The circular "Made in France" stamp surrounding that county's outline may help--it is not unique to Baumalu, but far from ubiquitous.

        This is an EXCELLENT buy, and this thread should be held out as an example of how inexpensive quality copper can be if you are patient and keep your eyes open.

        So..., is it going to your sister?

        16 Replies
        1. re: kaleokahu

          I'm going to keep this one for myself, but I'll be going back to this marshall's to check if they replenish their stock. I think a 2 1/2 to 3 quart thick copper sauce pan would trump a tri-ply saucier as a gift for x-mas.

          1. re: cannibal


            If Sis has any sense it will!

          2. re: kaleokahu

            I own a few Baumalu pieces, purchased at TJ Maxx and HomeGoods; and cannibal's new pots look identical. Based on my internet researches, I don't think Baumalu makes any stainless-lined copper pieces, just tin-lined ones. The tin linings are unusually smooth and thin, which may be why they appear so reflective in cannibal's photo. Baumalu's literature claims that the pots are hand-tinned, but I don't believe it. However, the prices of mine were so low that I felt it was worth buying them even if they had to be retinned (by hand) sooner rather than later. So I agree that these are an excellent buy!

            1. re: Miss Priss

              Miss Priss: So you think the Baumalu pieces are plated?

              1. re: kaleokahu

                Well, metallurgy is hardly my strong suit (!), but that's what it looks like to me. I'd be glad to be proven wrong.

                1. re: Miss Priss

                  Miss Priss: Metallurgy's not mine either, but tinning is so simple and easy that plating seems the worst of both worlds--thinner yet more complicated. I do not own any Baumalu. Have you worn through any of yours, and if so, after how many years?

                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    Kaleokahu, I've barely used my Baumalu pieces--saving them for when I (eventually) re-do my kitchen and install a better stove. So I haven't had to do any retinning yet.

                    1. re: Miss Priss

                      Miss Priss, did you have any lacquer coating on your pieces? from what i've read the coating is real thin and might be hard to detect. I was trying to search for images online of what burn on lacquer looked like but i am not finding anything. I tried cleaning the copper pot I got with lemon and salt but it doesn't seem to be removing the discoloring from use...which makes me wonder if there was a real thin coat of lacquer on it. I am not getting any black or anything like that which sounds like is what would occur, it's just not coming off with the usual methods.

                      1. re: cannibal

                        cannibal, my pieces came with hangtags saying they did have lacquer coatings, so I wiped them down with acetone. No blackening has occurred on the two that that I actually used.

                        1. re: Miss Priss

                          Thanks for the reply. part of the booklet for my sauce pan was missing so I wasn't sure. I already used it without cleaning off the lacquer and they're not black but definitely darker than I would expect from a couple uses. I'll try and hit them with acetone when I get home to see if that does anything. There are "clean" streaks where liquid dripped down the sides of the pan when I was making a bechamel variant. I wonder if the hot liquid stripped lacquer off the copper where it dripped down.

                          1. re: Miss Priss

                            I have a couple of the Baumalu pieces from TJM as well, in the 2.5 mm. stamped Made in France. and have the cast iron handles.

                            Mine are tin lined.. and I had to do the acetone wipe down as well.

                            One thing I noticed locally when TJM does get in some of the pans, be sure and look over the lining carefully. Some are perfect where others have had gouges.. people are not exactly careful with things in the store.

                            1. re: grnidkjun

                              The pan i picked up didnt end up having the lining on it surprisingly. It wasnt wrapped in the plastic the other ones ship with either so it might have very possibly been a return that someone else had taken the lining off of.

                              I have been frequenting mashalls and tjx in my part of town and i found a nice 10" fry pan only to find that the tin lining was quite badly damaged. I must say i feel almost adicted to this search now. I feel like gollum, rummaging through pans mumbling "precioussss"

                        2. re: Miss Priss

                          Miss Priss: Saving them??? Oh, my! Life's too short not to be cooking every day in good copper.

                          In my three kitchens, I have (a) a cheapo gas range; (b) a cheapo radiant cooktop; and (c) a hand-me-down 1940s resistive electric range. I want an AGA or an institutional wood cookstove, but copper is a joy regardless of your stove.

                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            Kaleokahu, the burner grates on my old gas stove are slightly corroded, and they tend to scratch the bottoms of my cookware. I can live with this on my All Clad factory seconds, on my plain and even my enameled cast iron, etc., but am somehow averse to the idea of defacing my nice copper pans--even if I'm missing out on a fabulous cooking experience. In fact, I've actually tried to find replacement burner grates, to no avail. Looks like a new stove is the only solution.

                            1. re: Miss Priss

                              Miss Priss: Until you get your new stove, you might try something like this:


                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                Thanks--that's definitely worth a try!

              2. Your post inspired me to make a little trip to Marshalls and TJMax today. No copper cookware at either, but I DID find a Mauviel copper mixing bowl at TJM for $99, which retails for $300. Not low enough for me to bite (yet), but we'll see what happens.

                11 Replies
                1. re: kaleokahu

                  i've been meaning to pick up a copper mixing bowl for beating eggs, but likewise have not bitten because of the price.

                  update on the sauce pan i picked up, it is tin lined. I did some poking around online and the stainless lining is quite a bit thicker than the tin lining. this also has a high shine to it. I use nothing but silicone utensils in my cookware except on the carbon steel stuff so it is a non-issue regardless. Just thought I would update the thread in case anyone stumbles upon it in the future trying to identify the lining.

                  1. re: cannibal

                    cannibal: I'm going to continue to check Marshalls and TJM for your pan.

                    Incidentally (and comically), I dropped in to my local SLT store (the original Seattle location) yesterday. and discovered their price for the same copper mixing bowl referenced in my post above was ONLY $80--$19 LESS than at TJM. Go figure.

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Hi everyone! I'm pretty new to this forum, however I've read multiple posts on Chowhound, for a long time and decided it was about time I became a hound as well!
                      I came across the same same fantastic line at Homesense (a Canadian store similar to Marshall's, I believe), in September. My wife saw me eyeing it and went out and bought as part of an anniversary gift. I started out by cleaning the outside with acetone, as usual with any lacquered copper, and put it to use.
                      While it has discolored A LOT, it has been a great performer in my kitchen, for virtually anything a 3 qt sauce pan can be used for! I have been nothing but impressed with it and I think I kinda like the old school "patina" that has formed.
                      Just an idea, but do you guys think it might be possible to season the handle to avoid any rusting issues???
                      By the way, nice find!

                      1. re: Leftychefty

                        Lefty: The classic way is to wipe a light layer of vegetable oil on the cast iron handle every time you think of it. The blacksmith way is to get the iron hot (either in the oven at <425F, or hotter with a torch JUST on the handle), and then brush on a little pure carnuba wax and wipe while still hot. If you use the latter process, be real careful not to toast the rivets--which may be copper--or linger too long on the flange, else you'll bubble the tin inside the pan; I'd keep the torch out on the handle a bit.

                        Hope this helps.

                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          I like the first idea, but the last one scares me just a little bit! Haha. I know it's in the post, but I can't remember the exact what temperature can tin be heated without any concern for melting?
                          If I rub some oil on the handle and heat it to "x" degrees in the oven for 45 minutes and let it cool down in the oven (with a sheet pan under it), that would work, would it not Kaleokahu?
                          You sure seem to know your stuff! Thanks for your help!

                          1. re: Leftychefty

                            Lefty: Pure tin melts at 449F, so I'd keep your oven at 425 or maybe even a little lower, 415. I'd also verify with another thermometer that your oven readout is correct before putting in the pan. Half an hour should heat the CI through.

                            If you want to be totally risk averse, just oil the handles when you cook. Wait until the handles get hot (it takes awhile w/ cast iron--that's why they use it for handles) and wipe on some oil.

                            The #1 way to get rust, no matter whether/how you season the handles, is to put the pans away wet or leave them in the sink. If you treat the pans the same way you'd treat a carbon steel knife, you'll be fine.

                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              Great advise! I'm definitely going to try the season in the oven method and then I'll do a quick wipe while cooking and see how that goes. I'm guessing it would be like wiping down my skillets with a bit of oil after use, combined with the natural seasoning process that occurs on the inside of a pan while cooking.
                              As far as rust is concerned, I'm more worried about where the flange and copper meet. It seems no matter how hard I try, I just can't get it dry at the point of contact!
                              Well, on my way to search for a Watanabe vs Global post...Lefty has an Xmas wishlist after all! Haha
                              Thanks again!

                              1. re: Leftychefty

                                Lefty: I wouldn't worry too much about the escutcheon surfaces rusting. If the riveting was done right, there won't be any interstitial space to hold water or crud. Besides, those flanges are thick--your great-grandkids might rust them out, but you won't.

                                If you're concerned with drying thoroughly, just put them on the warming shelf or in your warm oven while you do the rest of your dishes. That'll sweat any water out of there.

                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                  You are like chowhound's Yoda! Haha. Great idea once again!
                                  I'm trying to decide on a new Japanese you know any good ways to discuss my options on here? I'm trying to decide between Global, Watanabe and Messermeister's Japanese line.

                                  1. re: Leftychefty

                                    Lefty: Yoda? Hey, I resemble that remark.

                                    There are others here who excel at knife choice. I do not, as I have been lucky or ignorant enough to be satisfied with older European designs rendered in carbon steel, and pay little attention to retail availability. In particular, I would refer you to cowboyardee and to Chemicalkinetics; they know their stuff and what's current.

                                    For what it's worth, I think Global is light, thin (for anything but a dedicated vegetable knife) and overpriced. I do not know Watanabe. Older Messermeister blades that I have handled seem quality knives. I keep my traveling set in one of their folding cases.

                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                      I just posted a new topic about the knives. Hopefully those two bite!

                2. I bought one at TJ Maxx last week...a large covered saute pan with cover for 39 bucks on clearance...over the years I have purchased almost all my copper cookware at Marshall's or TJ's. Incredible deals. Some were Mauviel, some Baumalu. I have not had any coating on any of them. Copper is alive. It gets streaky, sometimes scratched and often spotted. I like that about it and I love the way copper works with me to control the cooking temperature. I love the sensitivity.