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Aug 18, 2011 02:53 AM

Interesting YouTube video about how De Buyer Prima Matera pans are made

Well, I guess the title says it all...

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    1. Awesome video! Although I still can't tell whether that induction layer is sprayed on or stamped or what... :-(

      2 Replies
      1. re: cutipie721

        Yes, they don't show the application of the bottom layer. The interior does appear to be sprayed on. Can you tell how this induction layer is? It doesn't look very thick (which is consistent with the claim that someone else is applying such a layer to the base of a ceramic).

        1. re: paulj

          In the video the inside is just polished with a belt sander, the SS was there already, and judging from the thickness of the induction layer it is pressed/sintered into place and appears to be a powdered iron mix

      2. I thought this video was really interesting because De Buyer's descriptions of Prima Matera have been so vague in the past.

        It seems that "90% copper, 10% stainless steel" doesn't mean some kind of special alloy, but simply two fused layers to form the bottom and sides of the pan (1.8 mm of copper on the outside, and 0.2 mm of stainless steel on the inside, assuming a total wall thickness of 2.0 mm).

        Induction capability seems to be achieved in the same way as for induction-capable aluminum pans (like my De Buyer CHOC Induction nonstick aluminum frying pans) -- by applying a cap of magnetic steel to the bottom of the pan.

        I have to confess that basic monkey curiosity has gotten the better of me, and so I've ordered an 11" Prima Matera frying pan from the US. It should arrive here in Japan in a couple of weeks, and I'll try it out on my induction cooktop. I'd be happy to post my impressions (and also photos of the induction bottom layer) if anybody is interested.

        3 Replies
          1. re: tanuki soup

            Hi, tanuki:

            YES, a high level of interest here in how you think the pan performs.

            I think you should also get one of the saucepans... ;)


            1. re: kaleokahu

              Hi, Kaleo.

              It was actually your many informative posts about copper cookware that got me interested in trying it out myself. In fact, as I recall, you were the first to alert people to de Buyer's Prima Matera here at ChowHound.

              I've looked around a bit on the Internet, but haven't been able to find any reviews or discussions of the Prima Matera cookware by people who have actually used it.

              I'm not much of a cook, so I don't think I'm in any way qualified to report on the "performance" of the pan in culinary terms, but I can at least describe its construction, post some pictures, and maybe measure its heating characteristics with my handy noncontact infrared thermometer.

              The pan shipped yesterday, and I'm tracking its progress across the Pacific.


          2. Thanks, ts, for the link to the video. This is an intriguing line, and there are a number of pieces offered on ebay right now for significant (40%) discount off list -- but still exorbitant.

            The piece that interests me most is the 3.5 qt double-handled stew/sauce pan. I'm planning to make some fruit butters and ketchup, which need to be cooked slowly and evenly for an hour to two. It's a perfect application for the portable induction unit, which supplies low, even heat more safely and more economically than the gas stove here. And there are an array of 4-qt pots that I hope to compare for this use: enameled cast iron, Chantal Copper Fusion (enamel, steel, &[film of] copper), and the thick-aluminum-disk-based smaller pressure cooker pot. If one of these manages the job without too much sticking or scorching, I'll be able to put the Prima Matera out of my mind. If not, I should still go the crock pot route; the PM's just too much.

            It would be harder to resist if it were brushed, un-reflective copper; my least favorite part of the video was the polishing. If I had a gas stove that would reliably maintain a low, low flame, I'd get a Falk 4.5qt simmer pot in a heartbeat; hard to imagine anything better for even slow cooking, and I have to think that's an example where the thicker copper would offer a real advantage.

            1. Having finally assembled a good collection of tin-lined copper, and frankly having not much use for stainless steel at all (except for utensils), I enjoyed this video mostly for its great design and execution. But the De Buyer stuff I covet is the black steel frypans; I do not want one of those pots. Yes, tin is expensive to apply, and it does wear out eventually, but those pieces are the best cookware I've ever used. And every one came from a yard or estate sale, at from $5 to $12 per piece. Four I had to get tinned, but that tab came to $350 total … and a De Buyer pot is how much?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Will Owen

                I see your point. IMO, the Prima Matera cookware would be attractive mainly to people like me who have switched over to induction cooktops, which are becoming extremely popular here in Japan (and I believe also in Europe). The PM stuff has the distinction of being the first induction-capable copper cookware to hit the market, and I guess its price reflects that. As other manufacturers introduce similar lines, choices should expand and prices should fall.