I am starting to invest in a few pieces of copper cookware. I've read all of the comments about different cookware being best for different purposes (searing vs. sauces, etc). So, the big question is, what are the can't live without pieces to begin with in copper?
:) First of all, there is no "can't live without pieces" for copper, but I know what you are talking about.
As you know, copper excels in heat conduction. It responses very quickly to heat source and it creates a very uniform heating surface. Consequently, a copper saucepan is nice if you like to make delicate sauces (sauces which require good temperature control). If you don't have much need for decliate sauces, I would guess a good copper frying pan or a good copper saute pan would make bigger impacts..
jmdishongh: As E_M has linked, the previous thread is a good one.
If you are cooking for 2-4, I would first suggest a 2-3Q fait tout or Windsor, and then a 9- or 10-inch saute.
Just Completed "building" my 10 piece All-Clad Copper-core collection. All i have to say is..this is the "last" set I'll ever invest in for a LONG TIME. Heats up Fast..and cooks everything evenly in my opinion. Everyone has their "preffered" choices much more the Hard Core Aficionados out there with their French made Copper stuff. But for me you can't go wrong with All clad with their Lifetime Warranty. Can't beat that. Even the "S" seconds, they still work like a charm.