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Opinions on Baumalu Copper Cookware?

So, I stumbled upon several copper pieces at TJ Maxx and couldn't resist. They are 2mm tin lined copper sauce pans in 16, 18 and 20 cm and a 24 cm saute pan w/lid. Some look a little dinged up so I brought them home to look over (and think over). Any thoughts on this line? I had been contemplating the Falk try me piece and all of this was less than that one piece.

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  1. Hi, olympia:

    I do not own any Baumalu pieces, but they are a reputable maker and their pans are frequently listed on eBay for substantial sums.

    The only pans of theirs I have handled were in a Tuesday Morning discount store, and these were thinner than 2mm. If the ones you found are indeed 2mm, it sounds like a good deal. If you don't have access to a micrometer, for comparison, a US nickel is 1.95mm thick at the rim; the half dollar is 2.15mm.

    One other minor thing to consider is that the brass handles on these pans will heat up faster than Falk's cast iron ones. My experience with CI-handled ones is that you can easily reheat soup or even do a quick boil without reaching for the potholder. I can't fry one egg in my Mazzetti brass-handled pan without some insulation (It now wears a silicone sleeve, so it IS minor).

    Hope this helps.

    Kaleo

    17 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Thanks so much, I appreciate your guidance. The ones that I picked up have cast iron handles. Here's a link to the saute pan:
      http://cgi.ebay.com/BAUMALU-COPPER-SA...

      I'd love to test out copper but I'd hate to be penny wise and pound foolish. If they're not that great I'll hold out for a Falk in time. I actually have no business buying anything else since I've picked up at least six new pieces of cookware in the past two months (including two All Clad sauce pans)- eek!

      1. re: olympia

        Aloha, olympia:

        You're welcome.

        I say "Get in the Game." You can wait forever for the best piece. Unless you abuse them, whatever you buy will hold its value(s). If you're like me, you will also cut your costs by selling off what you had before, once you fall in love...

        The link you posted has a photo of the interior of the saute. At first glance, it does not look like tin--extremely smooth and homogenous. I think what it shows is that the tin is probably plated on. Hand-wiped tin shows sworls and is less homogenous-looking. This is not necessarily bad, but I think you end up with a thicker lining the old way.

        Even so, 4 2mm pans for less than Falk's (semi-useful) loss leader is a good deal.

        Kaleo

        1. re: kaleokahu

          I feel conflicted about the interiors - they're a little less homogeneous than they appear in the picture. The pamphlets say that the tin is hand applied - although I know that things aren't always as described. I'd hate to have to contemplate retinning anything soon though!

          I know this is highly subjective but if I were to hold onto only one of them would you do a saute or a sauce pan?

          1. re: olympia

            Hi, Olympia:

            That's good that they're hand-wiped, probably thicker. The lining will darken and mottle with use, this is completely normal. Just don't succumb to the temptation to polish the linings.

            If you had to have just one, I think the saute would be nice. But if you make sauces, you're going to regret not getting the whole lot...

            Kaleo

            1. re: kaleokahu

              I'd like to try out copper, I'm just worried that if it's subpar I'll just end up wanting falk and will have wasted the dough on these. Maybe I'll test out one and see. I feel like copper cookware is so fabled I might be missing out if I get this lesser known brand. I don't want to suffer from sale goggles!

              1. re: olympia

                Hi, Olympia:

                I urge you to stop worrying and start cooking!

                Baumalu is a well-known, reputable brand. The pans are a bargain and thick enough. If--for some mysterious reason--you have buyer's remorse after cooking in them, you can easily flip them on eBay and PROBABLY TURN A PROFIT. But I think you will like them, maybe so much that you put your pan sales goggles away for good.

                Kaleo

            2. re: olympia

              Olympia, if I were you (but of course, I'm not), I'd keep all of them! I have a couple of Baumalu 2mm, iron-handled pieces, also purchased from the HomeGoods/TJ Maxx chain, and while the hangtags say they're hand-tinned, I simply don't believe it--they really look plated. However, they were inexpensive enough that even if they have to be re-tinned after relatively little use, they'll still be a very good deal. If I came across any more at those prices, I'd certainly buy them.

              1. re: Miss Priss

                Which pieces do you have? How do they compare with your other cookware? I wasn't sure about the tin myself. It looks thin to me but I do see some swirls in it.

                I might be able to score a few more pieces if you are truly wanting some more. The price of shipping might be annoyingly high though.

                1. re: olympia

                  Thanks for the offer, but I agree--shipping costs would probably cancel out the bargain. I have two saute pans (about 9" and 11" in diameter), and a pot with two short handles that looks as if it holds about three quarts, but haven't used them yet because, as mentioned in another thread, the burner grates on my old stove are so corroded that I fear damaging the bottoms. At kaleokahu's suggestion I even tried to get burner covers, but couldn't find any that fit properly. So now I have an incentive to re-do my kitchen!

                  1. re: Miss Priss

                    Well, I broke one of them in tonight. There was a bit of a learning curve but it was fun. I browned a pork tenderloin in the pan (which I have read is not the best application) and made a balsamic pomegranate reduction to finish it. Yum! I served some mashed carrots with it which I had underestimated time wise so I had to stall on the reduction. I was pretty impressed with the pan's ability to cool down and warm back up. All in all, it was a great first experience.

                    1. re: olympia

                      Thanks for the report. That sounds marvelous!

                      1. re: olympia

                        Congrats on breaking them in. I meant to reply earlier, but so long as they are the thicker pans, I would keep all of them (saw one or two of the lighter ones that didn't appeal to me-- but they are probably good for light duty, boiling water, etc.).

                        I stocked up on a huge number (made my wife wonder what i was doing) when I saw a big stock of them at Marshalls last year. I find I use the Saute pan with the lid the most as it goes from stove top to oven, and I like to use the leavings to do reduction sauces to finish (much like you did above).

                        Another nice advantage of the copper is in cooking fish. I do lake trout with the skin side down to make it crispy, then lower the heat and finish on the other side. Then make whatever sauce I want after removing the fish.

                        Enjoy!

                        1. re: awhoughton

                          I'm a dolt - did you get Baumalu or some other brand? If Baumalu, how have the interiors held up? How many did you pick up. ha! Sounds like your wife and my better half would have plenty to commiserate over!

                          Also, dumb question but "leavings" are those the drippings or something else?

                          I've been contemplating returning all but the saute and jumping in whole hog with some Falk or Bourgeat. I'm also considering selling my All Clad which makes me feel kind of insane (and excited!).

                          1. re: olympia

                            Hi Olympia,
                            Yes, they are all Baumalu. I got 2 saute pans with lids, 1 dutch oven (maybe 5.5 quarts), 3 sauce pans, a medium and a large frying pan, and 3 different sized sauce pans, one is really a Sauteuse.

                            the leavings are what is left after you cook the meat (in this case the fish). Great for making sauces. Cook, remove the meat, toss in wine and butter to deglaze. I've used the saute pan the most, and the lining has held up very well. I don't use metal utensils, and don't heat over very high heat.

                            I'm not sure why you would return all but the saute and get Falk or Bourgeat. If they are the 2mm pans, why would you want to trade in just to get something more expensive? One option would be if you wanted steel linings to not worry about the tin, but even then, you're paying a lot of money and you already have the All clad if you want a no-hassle high heat cooking.

                            Unless they are taking too much space, keep them and enjoy them. I like having the right pan for the right situation. So I don't use tin lined copper for everything. I still use my cast iron, or my staub, or even an all-clad I have.

                            1. re: awhoughton

                              Wow, you really cleaned up! That's quite a haul - sounds like it's really treating you well.

                              Frankly, I've really enjoyed using the saute pan but it seems to me that the interior is looking a little weird after a couple of uses. I'm admittedly and recognizably a bit of a worry wort but the saute pan interior has a pinkish glow to it. I wouldn't say that I can see the copper showing through the tin but it does look coppery inside.

                              I'm contemplating returning all (save for the used saute) because I feel like I'd rather have copper that's more worry free - although my experience with the saute might be atypical. Also, I'd hate to be penny wise and pound foolish with the discount copper, i.e., I don't want to be lusting after something better in a short amount of time.

                              I'm going to work with the saute a little more before I do anything too drastic (but I'm thinking about it).

          2. re: kaleokahu

            All of the Baumalu pans I have are set up with cast iron handles, but it is possible that some are out there with brass.

            1. re: kaleokahu

              Looks like Tuesday Morning now has some that are 2mm thick...the link is not working, but if you go to the online store and click on cookware, they have two sets.

            2. I have a 3qt copper sauce pan from TJMaxx. I threw away the label tag, but I think it is Baumalu. It is quite heavy and conductive, though with an electric coil stove I can't make much use of these properties. The lining has gotten a bit scuffed; assuming it is tin, I don't want to treat it like a durable stainless steel. A saute pan might have been more useful.

              3 Replies
              1. re: paulj

                Have you been pleased with it thus far? Why would you prefer a saute pan - just that it's a shape you use more frequently? Thanks!

                1. re: olympia

                  I don't need great conductivity in a deep sauce pan. That's for things that need to be stirred like a sauce.

                  1. re: paulj

                    That's an interesting point. I don't think I'm going to keep all of them and some are more dinged up than others but maybe I'll focus on the saute and one of the smaller and shallower sauce pans. Thanks for your input!

              2. Okay, so first use went really well. I even polished the exterior yesterday. When I set it on the stove with the light reflecting in I noticed that the interior had a pinkish (seemingly coppery) glow to it - this all over, not in one particular area. I've read to expect dulling and darkening of the tin interior but this seems odd. Should I take this to be an awful sign? (Yes, I'm a worry wort but this seems unusual.)

                Thanks!

                3 Replies
                1. re: olympia

                  Hi, olympia:

                  Again you worry....

                  You will likely get some irridescence given the wipe and the shiny nature of new tin. The darkening you expected actually takes a fair amount of use.

                  Kaleo

                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    Translation - don't worry? It's strangely pink though.

                    I forget, are you a tin or SS lining kind of guy? Or do you go both ways?

                    (... forgive me, I'm high on cold pizza)

                    1. re: olympia

                      Hi, olympia:

                      I'm tin all the way. But I would consider buying a SS-lined roaster.

                      Kaleo

                2. if you like a pan that sticks, go for the Baumalu.
                  i just bought one and if i did not pay good money for it, it would be in the garbage now.
                  also, i am not sure it is tin lined, as they advertise it to be. it does not look one bit like tin.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: jackie57

                    Jackie,
                    Which pan did you get & what did you cook in it? I recently bought a 5 qt round & 10" skillet (both 2mm from Homegoods). I like the round, and it goes from stove to oven, but I'm still getting used to not preheating the skillet- but no sticking problems-even with eggs. Anyone else have experience-good or bad-with these pans?

                    1. re: Pietime

                      I bought some from Homegoods too. They had some 2mm and a few 1mm. I bought what I thought I could use of the 2mm. I just bought acetone to clean them off and then I will try cooking with them.

                      1. re: Pietime

                        i got a little frying pan.
                        i just wrote a post about the continuing sad saga.it is below.
                        good luck to you and everyone who buys baumalu- as i said, maybe i just got a bad one, but after using Falk, i don't now why i would pay for anything else. except maybe Hammersmith , which is being made as we speak. i have great expectations for that one, too. i will write about it when it gets here, but until then, off the 4 or so good brands of copper i have, those falks are the winners!

                    2. i have a new baumalu. used it maybe 3-4 times? for eggs, every time. i did not use salt in the pan and i turned the egg with a soft spatula. i used very low heat. after i finally managed to pry off the stuck eggs, i still had to soak it in water for a long time to get the rest off. now i notice that the pan is pitted and the lining appears to be coming off. maybe i just got a bad one? who knows. draw your own conclusions.
                      i have two falks and they are WONDERFUL. everything the company claims them to be, and more. i have several different brands of copperware, all good brands, all fairly expensive. those falks are by far the best. worth every penny. whatever you buy, you will have it for your lifetime, if you take care of it, and assuming the lining does not peel off after cooking eggs in it, chuckle, so choose as carefully as you can.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jackie57

                        Jackie, sorry to hear about your pan, but have you used tin before? Are the falks you have tin lined or stainless steel lined?

                        Tin takes a bit of effort and knowledge on how to use it. Nor is the use of tin different across manufacturers --- in other words a falk or any brand of copper pan at the same thickness with the same tin lining will perform in the same way.

                        If you do wear down or scratch out the tin (it happens over time), you take it to someone to have it relined with tin. Remember, tin is a very soft metal with a lower heating point than copper or stainless steel for that matter.

                        Basic message is that well, tin is tin, it's not going to have different physical properties across multiple manufacturers....

                      2. So it is now Sept 2012 and I bought the same postsat TJ Maxx. They look beautiful hanging on my pegboard ala Julia but does anyone have any more recent experience with the quality of these pots??

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: elissat

                          Hi, elissat:

                          As copperware goes, these are not the best, but they are *very* good, compared with 98% of non-copper pans out there. You should be using and enjoying them.

                          To give you some basis for comparison, no clad I know of (even the most expensive) have copper cores thicker than your 2mm. Most have less. And some *excellent* and $$$$ cookware (e.g., Falk) has only slightly thicker (2.3mm).

                          The quibbles I and others have with Baumalu have to do with the final, incremental 2% of quality--the linings are good, if thinner, and the brass handles get hot fast. But you're already in the 98th percentile of quality!

                          Spend some time cooking in them!

                          Aloha,
                          Kaleo

                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            kaleo, I'm guessing that elissat's pans have iron handles, not brass ones, since that's the case with all the Baumalu pans I've ever seen at TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, etc. (including the ones I bought a couple of years ago and haven't yet used).

                            1. re: Miss Priss

                              You know, MP, you are right. I read Baumalu and I thought table-grade Mauviel. My bad. But the handles aren't very good even if they're iron. They always felt turn-y in my hands, like they were trying to save $1 in raw materials.

                              Aloha,
                              Kaleo

                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                Hi all, yes my copper Baumalu pans are with iron handles. So here is my story. I have several huge old copper pots(at least 40 yrs old that I bought at an auction) that I hang on a pegboard in my kitchen. I have loved the look of copper since I got married in the seventies (kept the copper got rid of the husband)and would buy it at different estate auctions over the years. Big buckets, little pots, mixing bowls. Kept most of the copper on a peg board in my kitchen mainly for decorative purposes. The rest I scattered throughout the house.Then I happened upon these Baumalu pans at TJ Maxx and wondered if they are rejects or good pots that I could actually cook with! I have an old set of Farberware that helped me cook family meals for many years (and no one complained!) but now I am looking to upgrade (all clad whatever that really means) because now I can afford some new pots and pans for the larger family meals when the kids and their spouses come home for dinner.
                                So here is the real essence of my question....Keep the pretty polished copper hanging on my pegboard and buy all clad to replace my Farberware?? Or use the copped baulmalu instead. If buy the all clad(so I don't have to keep polishing the copper to look pretty), give me advice on what to buy to use! Thanks soooo much for your advice in advance!! I do love to cook. I am more of a Bon Appetit cook rather than a Gourmet cook!

                                1. re: elissat

                                  Hi, elissat:

                                  You know what old pieces you have hanging, I don't. But I can tell you that 40 years ago was a particularly sweet spot for very good copperware. Much of it was better (far better) than anything in current production. You may have 98 or 100 percentile stuff as wallhangers. If and to the extent that it's scary heavy and/or hammered, that'd be a good sign. If so, for 1/10 the cost of All-Clad (at about 85 percentile), you could have premier-grade pans reconditioned.

                                  On the other hand, if your older stuff is thin, table-service wares, depending on what/how much you have, it could still finance a large part of what you end up buying. The older I get, the less ornamentation I want in the kitchen; non-utilitarian things tend to grow garish with time.

                                  The diminution in value for your Baumalu, cooked-in vs. virgin, is minuscule. You might as well try it on for size, see how you like it.

                                  You kept the copper and lost the husband. Good call. Keep up the good work.

                                  Aloha,
                                  Kaleo

                                  PS: I'm no polish fetishist. I polish maybe 2x/year. You don't have to polish at all.

                                  1. re: elissat

                                    I bought several pots the same way through TJX stores. I have cooked in them and like them. They don't seem to have any major flaws. I have some 6 and 8 qt AC stock pots that I have used for many years and like too. For skillets, I use some cast iron, calphalon and some AC but the one that is the most even is a 14 inch thick aluminum skillet my son gave me. I would have to be able to use any pot or pan I have in my house.

                                    1. re: wekick

                                      Thanks for the input! I really appreciate all the comments