HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Discussion

Anolon Nouvelle Copper--Anyone Know What's Inside?

Hi, All:

Saw this line advertised in a magazine last week. http://www.anolon.com/cs/Satellite/mA...

It's clear as mud to me what "A copper double full-cap base" is. Also unclear is what thickness of copper is in the pans. I notice that the 10-piece set weighs almost 25 pounds.

Anyone know?

Aloha,
Kaleo

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. My guess is that the insides? of this analon cookware is a base containing an induction compatible metal,with a little copper, perhaps encapsulated in(as in surrounded by lots of) aluminum. The analon people like their aluminum, so it is probably copper inside thick aluminum rather than aluminum encapsulated in copper.

    1. Anodized aluminum, copper, pure aluminum, magnetic SS for induction is my guess. Like a 4ply disk.

      There are 6 pieces of actual cookware plus 4 lids. Assuming the information you provided is accurate. It's about 4.2 lbs per piece including lids. Heavy cookware, probably a good amount of copper in the disk. But I'm sure they won't put so much copper that its as heavy as cast iron.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jshawn2

        Thanks for the replies, folks, but what is a "copper double full-cap base"? Double how or what? "Full" and "cap" as in goes up the sides, or just a disc of copper? How thick is the copper? Anyone know?

        Thanks,
        Kaleo

        1. re: kaleokahu

          Sounds like marketing BS to me. "Double"-speak, maybe?

          Anolon's wording: "A copper double full-cap base features a full layer of copper sandwiched by 2 layers of aluminum and protected by an impact-bonded magnetic stainless steel cap..." While brief, sounds like marketing jargon for a double cap of stainless on top and bottom. Sadly, I found no references to the thickness of the various layers, so I just sent a question to customer support. Hopefully they respond quickly and with actual numbers. I'll update you as soon as I hear.

          I'm very interested in this line (the Nouvelle Copper Stainless version for its ease of maintenance) for what appears to be its fat copper base, so we'll see what they say.

          David

      2. Here's the reply from Anolon's Customer Service:

        "Thank you for your inquiry. The bottom layer of stainless steel on both lines is 5.5 mm and the layer of copper is 4.0 mm. The body of the pan on Anolon Nouvelle Copper Stainless contains stainless steel with a thickness of 1.0 mm, whereas the body of the pan on Anolon Nouvelle Copper contains a hard anodized aluminum body with a thickness of 5.0 mm."

        Sounds a little thick on the SS, but that's what she said. I did ask for a breakdown of each layer, so we'll see what they say.

        24 Replies
        1. re: davidahn

          Hi, David:

          If this is true, I am both astounded and confused by their answer. Almost a *centimeter* of total thickness, not including the liner? FOUR millimeters of that being copper? Nearly SIX of SS? Fully clad? They must have presses unlike any in the world.

          I suspect the info is in need of clarification or revision, but thanks for passing their answer along. Ask for a cutaway or *scaled* cross-sectional representation.

          Kaleo

          1. re: kaleokahu

            Ya gotta wonder if it's 5.5 mm total thhickness and 4.0 mm copper disc. That would be close to the 6 mm aluminum on some disc bottom cookware. 9.5 mm would be a terribly thick bottom.

            1. re: mikie

              Ha, I was drafting my response below as you were posting this.

              That's EXACTLY what I thought at first, which would make the composition:

              0.5 mm SS
              0.25 mm Al
              4 mm Cu
              0.25 mm Al
              0.5 mm SS

              But if you look at the photo I've attached below, the bottom SS layer definitely looks thicker than 0.5 mm (if you scale it to the 4mm copper layer).

              In either case, 4mm of copper! If that ain't a lot of copper bang for your buck, I don't know what is!

            2. re: kaleokahu

              Right? That's what I said, that it sounds AWFULLY thick. See attached photo which I got from Overstock's website after zooming in. The bottom SS layer is distinctly thinner than the copper layer.

              My guess is there's 4mm of copper and 5.5 mm of cap total, half on each cap:

              2.5 mm SS
              0.25 mm Al
              4 mm Cu
              0.25 mm Al
              2.5 mm SS

              Or thereabouts. What do you think? I await their response with bated breath.

              David

               
              1. re: davidahn

                I've got a friend in the tool & die business; if you send me some samples, I'll get him to him to cut them in half and post some pics. Really.

                1. re: plainv70

                  Hmmm. Interesting offer. I haven't heard back from customer support since I asked them for specs on essentially every piece. I'm sure there are pieces I don't really need in the set I bought. I had to buy the set because the Anolon.com online store doesn't sell the pieces individually. I suppose I don't need the 1.25 qt saucepan.

                  I'll let you know if I decide to sacrifice a piece!

                  1. re: davidahn

                    Let me just chip in my two bits worth here. Clearly the 11mm total thickness you were told is in error. If the bases was that thick, there is now way the total set would weigh just 25 pounds. So I'm thinking that your conjecture abiut 5,5mm total thickness is correct.

                    1. re: kagemusha49

                      Looking at the rather thick bottom disk (which I will measure when I get home), it is plausible that the 1mm of body SS continues on the bottom, then 4mm of copper below that, and 5.5 mm SS cap, for a total base thickness of 10.5 mm. The question is where is the aluminum in that: thin layers between the copper and SS for an additional 0.5 mm, or is the 4 mm copper disk composed of copper + two generous layers of aluminum (a lot less copper), or in the 5.5 mm SS cap (a lot less SS)? Either of the two latter scenarios would explain the light weight of the cookware.

                      Either way, it looks like the only way to know for sure is to sacrifice my 1.25 qt saucepan. :)

                      1. re: davidahn

                        Wow. you guys are serious. lol.

                        What I'm thinking: a tri-ply where two thick Al layers sandwich a significantly thinner layer of a good conductor is, for all practical purposes, equivalent to a single Al layer of the same total thickness of the laminate (chemicalkinetics:think rate determining steps & concentration relative magnitudes).

                        What we need is a chemical engineer with materials science experience. They could settle this with one hand tied behind their back.

                        I think if one were to devise a few good, repeatable, meaningful tests, we would find that many of these multi-layer pans are damn near physically and, certainly, functionally equivalent. Which is why some of the companies are not very forthcoming about the construction.

                        For the record, my guess is that the layer thickness is selected based on cost, then performance. Last I checked, copper was more expensive than SS.

                        It would be fun to cut open a variety of these pans to show the world what is really in there. Which is why I like the ss lined copper pots; no secrets.

                        1. re: plainv70

                          Er - I'm qualified to addrss questions in heat flow dynamics. Also, my prior post should have disposed of the idea that the total thickness exceeded one centimeter. Even if a good chunk of that is the relatively light aluminum, the whole set would wigh more than 25 pounds.

                          1. re: plainv70

                            "a tri-ply where two thick Al layers sandwich a significantly thinner layer of a good conductor is, for all practical purposes, equivalent to a single Al layer of the same total thickness."

                            Let's put your assertion in concrete terms: a 5mm layer of Al would conduct as well as a 3mm layer of Cu sandwiched between two 1mm layers of Al. I disagree. I don't think heat conduction works quite the same as a chemical chain reaction. I think the copper layer would distribute the heat it receives approximately 20% more evenly (see "Thermal Diffusivity" section http://www.cookingforengineers.com/ar...). Will it make a huge difference? Probably not. And a 20% thicker layer of aluminum would compensate for copper's 20% better thermal diffusivity.

                            David

                  2. re: davidahn

                    David:

                    Do you have this stuff yet? I'm curious what the exact weights might be. If I'm understanding correctly, there are 6 pans and four lids, and the set weighs 25 pounds. Assuming the lids weigh an average of a pound apiece, that means the pans average 3.5 pounds. This still sounds low to me for having 4mm copper slabs on the bottom, but maybe evrerything else--handles & walls is thin and light enough to make up for it.

                    Kaleo

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      I'll be happy to weigh everything for you tonight. The handles look matte, but I'm sure it's SS (otherwise they'd get way too hot). The 1.25 qt saucepan tips over unless the lid is on, which I didn't expect based on all the metal in the bottom disk. I'll get the weights of each piece on my handy-dandy digital kitchen scale that otherwise never gets used.

                      Looking at the base, I wonder if the copper band goes all the way through or if that's just cosmetic and not necessarily representative of and continuous with the copper disk. I say that because there's quite a bit of stainless steel below that copper band, and it's definitely not heavy enough for all that SS.

                      If I don't see much use for the 1.25 qt saucepan, I might take Plainv70 up on his offer to slice it and take photos.

                      David

                      1. re: davidahn

                        "... I wonder if the copper band goes all the way through or if that's just cosmetic and not necessarily representative of and continuous with the copper disk."

                        Excellent point. The Emeril "copper bottom" cookware has a thin sheet of copper in the bottom disk that is exposed at the edges. It extends a bit up the sides of the pots/pans, leaving the impression that it's actually quite thicker than it really is.

                        1. re: davidahn

                          I just took a few measurements for comparison these are my heaviest SS pans:

                          3lbs 14oz - All-Clad D5 (5 ply) 3qt saute pan w/o lid
                          5lbs 5oz - All-Clad D5 (5 ply) 3qt saute pan /w lid
                          2lbs 11oz - Berndes (Al disk) 9.5" SS skillet w/o lid

                          1. re: davidahn

                            David - did you end up purchasing the Analon Nouvelle Copper? I'm interested in a review if possible, or at least a quick 'yes/no' - I'm thinking about buying them. Thank you very much.

                          2. re: kaleokahu

                            Metal for thought:

                            According to Amazon, an Anolon Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel Covered Saucepot, 3-1/2-Quart is about 10" in diameter and weighs 4.8 lbs. That seems reasonable. I weighed an 8" SS top and it was 3/4 lb, the Anolon top is larger with a more elaborate handle, I will assume it weighs more.

                            http://www.amazon.com/Anolon-Nouvelle...

                            If a 10" diameter 4mm thick copper disk weighs 4 lbs give or take a few grams and the lid weighs > 0.75lb, that would leave about a 1 lb for the rest of the pot. If the disk is a little smaller in diameter, that still doesn't appear to leave much for the rest of the pot.

                            Cost wise, with copper at almost $4/lb, it might not sound like much and for the high end manufacturers it isn't; but, for the lower middle end of the market, and Anolon at under $300 for 10-pieces certainly qualifies, every penny counts.

                            1. re: plainv70

                              Hi, plainv70:

                              I'm with you on the weight of the copper disk, but there's 2 more slices of aluminum, and one more of SS before you ever get to the "pan". I'm not sure *one* pound is enough to cover the walls and floor of the pan.

                              And is 4.8 pounds with or without the lid?

                              Kaleo

                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                I'm going to assume it is with the lid, i.e. the total product weight. In other words, there cannot be 4lbs of copper in that pot...

                                By comparison, a deBuyer 3.3L 2.5mm thick SS lined all copper (10/90) casserole (presumably w/lid) weighs 2kg or 4.4 lbs.

                                1. re: plainv70

                                  This just confirms my initial reaction, thanks.

                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                    There are Chinese manufacturers and vendors advertising tri-ply pots in the various online export venues. Some of them give specifications for their products, I noticed one which had a "copper" disk on the bottom similar to the Anolon pans. From the description, it was clear that it was a thin (0.5mm) copper layer covering an Al disk.

                                    DavidA: if you are still interested in dissecting a pan, please contact me via PM, plainv7 AT gmail DOT com.

                                    1. re: plainv70

                                      DavidA, should have been plainv70 AT gmail dot com

                            2. re: kaleokahu

                              I didn't weigh the whole set, but I weighed the 8.25 qt stockpot. It weighs 4 lb 5.5 oz for the pot, 1 lb 3.475 oz for the lid. Recall they said the sides were 1mm SS. It's somewhat difficult to measure due to its curvaceous figure. Here's a picture of it: http://www.anolon.com/cs/Satellite/Pr....

                              Amazon lists it as measuring: 13 x 12.8 x 8.9 inches.

                              Let me know what you think bout the weight vs. the composition.

                              David

                              1. re: davidahn

                                Hi, David:

                                It's not exactly my style, but I find it aesthetically pleasing. Why don't you measure the base and calculate its area, then calculate the weight of a 4mm copper disk of that size? Net that weight from 4lb, 5.5oz, and see what's left for the rest of the pan.

                                An 11" copper saute in 3mm usually goes 10 lbs. Attributing a pound to the CI handle, and cutting the weight by a third to account for the walls, I can't get how the Anolon with that massive base gets below 6 pounds.

                                FYI, there is a THIRTY-pound stocker listed on eBay right now.

                                Aloha,
                                Kaleo

                      2. Resurrecting this thread. I think I may have a guess on the copper thickness if this KitchenAid frying pan is any indication. I would say that the total thickness of the base is 5.5 mm. The 4 mm copper is probably the "visible thickness" that the representative measured, and not the "actual thickness". The visible thickness would be the very thin layer of copper that is sort of "folded" out onto the edge to make it look like there's a lot of copper. In reality, it's too thin to make a difference and it's more for aesthetic reasons. I wouldn't be surprised if all, with exceptions, multiclad cookware that uses copper look like this. KitchenAid, Anolon, Martha Stewart and T-Fal seem to be in this category. Possibly even All-Clad or the Calphalon AccuCore. As you all mentioned, copper is heavy and is a very expensive metal.

                         
                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Angelus2013

                          Hi, Angelus:

                          Thanks for this photo!

                          Just to be clear, what KitchenAid pan model is this a photo of?

                          Thanks,
                          Aloha,
                          Kaleo

                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            You're welcome Kaleokahu. The KitchenAid pan model I believe is the Gourmet Distinctions judging by the handle. I found the photo on Flickr so I'm not sure.

                            http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-Dist...

                          2. re: Angelus2013

                            Wow! That's beyond disappointing, that's outright lying. This amount of copper is purely cosmetic! I'm tempted to cut open one of my Nouvelle Copper pieces.

                            1. re: davidahn

                              I know, right? I don't even think that the newer thin Revere Ware made today has copper that thin.

                              Editing to add: I hope you'll cut a piece that you don't find any use for. Seeing cookware that is cut open or shot with a bullet(I'm looking at you MythBusters) just hurts me.

                              1. re: davidahn

                                Hi, David:

                                If you cut it once, cut it in pieces and donate one to someone (I guess I volunteer) to keep as a "library" piece, so people KNOW what's inside.

                                Unfortunately, I think this chicanery happens all the time with makers, and they pass it off as "proprietary".

                                Aloha,
                                Kaleo

                              1. re: Angelus2013

                                Hey, good work! LOTS of aluminum, and not much copper, but this design looks great from the perspective of evenness.

                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                  Thanks. I was searching info on Sur La Table stainless steel cookware and I came across this site. I did a search through with "Anolon" and I came across this. But the equivalent of nearl 9mm worth of aluminum has to be very good indeed. That's approximately 3.5mm worth of copper but without all the weight. I know Anolon makes a stainless steel version and I'm wondering how that matches up to the hard anodized version. Probably slightly less even.

                                  It's a great website and even talks about All-Clad thickness and all that.

                                  1. re: Angelus2013

                                    I suspect the stainless version is not nearly as even heating. The vessel, which is only stainless, feels tinny, and can't possibly match the 3mm of aluminum of the hard anodized line. My only gripe with this cookware is that many of the pans have extremely small base diameters relative to the overall size of the bottom of the pan. Many of the pans with better base/pan ratios have been discontinued. This shortcoming is obviously mitigated significantly by a highly conductive vessel. The heat is transmitted from a (relatively) small fire or element to the vessel through the base, and the vessel transmits throughout. Obviously this is not going to be nearly as effective with a thin stainless vessel.

                                    1. re: randallhank

                                      I figured as much seeing as thin stainless steel can never match up to ~3mm of aluminum. A base that's worth nearly 6mm of aluminum is still better than many other disk bottom pans out there I'm sure.

                                2. re: Angelus2013

                                  Yes. I think I posted this information on this other thread but forgot to cross link here:

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/986216

                                  This is a similar, yet slightly thinner, base construction to the stainless version of Raymond Blanc by Anolon:

                                  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Raymond-Blanc...

                                  Likewise, the Anolon Nouvelle has roughly 2/3 the conductive material in the base compared to the Chiarello Signature Clad that he mentions. If it rivals, or even surpasses, the Chiarello in terms of even cooking, I would bet that it is actually because of the vessel, not the base. In other words, approximately 2mm of teflon coated HAA beats 2mm of clad.

                                  I have a few pieces of the Anolon Nouvelle, and I have been very impressed not only by the cooking properties, but by the overall construction. I don't have much need for the stainless version, but if you want a few nonstick pans I can recommend the hard anodized version without reservation. Lots of nice details. Below is a pretty cool video.

                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRyAy...

                                  1. re: randallhank

                                    I would agree that the better heat distribution is due to the vessel itself. Approximately 2mm of aluminum would be better than 2mm worth of clad. Even at the same thickness, clad uses less aluminum because the stainless steel would make up the rest of the thickness.

                                    I've never seen or used the Chiarello cookware so I wouldn't know how his cookware is.

                                    I'm glad you recommend the Hard Anodized version of Anolon Nouvelle without reservations. You don't hear that too often. It's definitely a "to-buy" piece for me in the future.

                                  2. re: Angelus2013

                                    Thanks, Angelus

                                    That's impressive construction indeed, much thanks for finding that review. Checking Amazon, I couldn't find any complaints from induction users. That's a *very* unusual thing; the vast majority of induction-capable aluminum performs poorly, heating slowly on most hobs and not working at all on some.

                                    I'd previously dismissed this line, because of the unknown construction, but now have to rethink that. When I finally replace my cheap 12" nonstick skillet I'll have to give strong consideration to this pan.

                                    Duffy

                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                      You're very welcome.

                                      I have no experience with induction stovetops but I'm guessing that Anolon uses a thicker induction base than other cookware. Maybe not, but I know Falk uses at least 0.5mm worth of stainless steel for their Prima Matera line.

                                      Tell us what your experience with the 12" inch Anolon Nouvelle pan would be like. Pictures and or videos would be appreciated from me!