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Mar 9, 2011 11:30 AM

Copper-bottom cookware

I am considering buying this set:

There's 1quart, 2 quart, 5 quart, with a steamer insert and 9.5" skillet

It looks like the construction is a disk of aluminum on the bottom of the pots encapsulated by a layer of copper on the outside. I like that the lids are metal and not glass and that the handles are rivetted on rather than welded.

What are the issues with taking care of copper on the bottom? I have some ikea pots with aluminum bottoms and they have never warped and are easy to maintain.

Thanks for the expertise.

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  1. neighborguy: I cannot get your link to work to see your proposed pans.

    Is the copper on the exterior WALLS of the pans (except the disk base), or on ALL the exterior? Can you post the weights of the pans? That will tell us quite a bit.

    You will need to determine the thickness of the copper layer to tell much about maintenance. If it is a thin layer, just electroplated on, you probably are not going to want to ever scrub with anything abrasive, for fear of wearing through the plating. However, if the layer is at least 1mm thick, you can actively polish--if you want to.

    Many people who have copper cookware like to NOT maintain the exteriors at all--they either like the dark patina that forms or hate doing any polishing. Without geting too technical in terms of emissivity and reflectivity, NOT maintaining does not affect performance appreciably, so it would be your choice from an aesthetic point of view.

    Hope this helps.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu


      Thanks for your reply. It helps!

      I've never considered buying a pot set but in this case, the President's Choice is a brand for great quality and value and I was looking to buy one of the pieces anyhow but at the sale price want the rest of the set. The copper is only on the disk base. On the side of the box the illustration of the construction shows the layer of aluminum inside and an equal layer of copper. Of course, there's no way to tell if it's just plated. I asked a grumpy and frowning employee but she (not surprisingly) didn't know.

      I want the pots because of the seeming thick base that will cook well and last long -- I don't care about the pretty shiny copper finish. And I doubt I will do any polishing.

      1. re: neighborguy

        Looks like a decent set for 99$ , the online picture and description blows we don't have a Real Canadian Superstore where I am so I can't even go check it out. Just make sure the bottom is good and thick, but I highly doubt the copper is very thick.

        1. re: neighborguy

          neighborguy: You're very welcome.

          Here's my take: If the copper's exposed on the bottom of the disc, it is probably not plated. And unless you're planning on displaying your new set on a rack, bottoms-out... no maintenance required.

          I am reconditioning my mom's big 1950s set of copper-bottomed Revereware for resale. I KNOW the bottoms have never been polished clean since purchase. They cook fine (at least as fine as I can cook in Revereware), despite 50+ years of patina and bottom deposits. Then again, they now look AWESOME with their bottoms cleaned and buffed back to new.

          So no worries. Your choice.

          I think your choice of thick, disk-bottomed aluminum cookware is a good one (and a good one for people in general). And it sounds like $99 is a good price for a set. Enjoy your pans.

      2. I remember seeing cookware like that at Loblaws, which I think owns Superstore (but I have not used them). If that is the $99 set it seems like a good deal. The ones I remember had a thick copper base with the President's Choice logo embossed in the bottom. Considering the price and weight, it's more likely an aluminum base with a copper plated exterior but still thick enough al to be effective.

        One concern is the size of the saucepans. 1 and 2 qt are not big, so consider if that size suits your cooking style.

        1. I agree with others. I also have trouble seeing the link.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            The link may only work in Canada, even here you have to pick Province, city, type of store, then find the pots, why do grocery store's sell TV's anyway?
            try this link it worked when I e-mailed it to myself

            1. re: Dave5440

              Nah. It is not working for us (in America). That is ok, I am bi-winning.