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What copper cookware brand do you recommend (Mauviel or Falk)

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I originally intended to buy the Mauviel Professional line of copper cookware from Williams-Sonoma. It is stainless-steel lined (im not interested in retinning) with cast-iron handles and the copper is 2.5 mm thick. I found out about Falk which pretty much has the same characteristics except it has a brushed rather than a shiny finish and unlike the Mauviel, is made in Belgium rather than France.

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  1. I would, and did, go with Bourgeat. I love the shiny finish and really wanted the curved lips. The price is really great to if you go with my chef's favorites. Here's the 8 piece set at a great price $1099:
    http://www.mychefsfavorites.com/kitch...

    I bought this set and added a smaller saucier and I absolutely love them. I had looked and Mauviel and Falk as well but the price point and the details really made this a no brainer for me.

    2 Replies
    1. re: olympia

      olympia,

      I followed your link and it appears they have closed as of the 22nd of January. It's a good thing you got your copper when you did, that was an excellent price.

      1. re: mikie

        Aw, that's too bad. Don Shipman was really great to deal with. I was a little displease about some of the cosmetic blemishes on the pans and he was great to help. I hope he's on to some new adventure!

    2. AFAIK, Falk makes the sheets of 2.5mm copper/stainless that they use to produce their cookware and also these 2.5mm copper/stainless sheets that Mauviel uses to make any of the 2.5mm stainless lined copper cookware Mauviel produce (this specific wording makes more sense in the next line....)

      AFAIK, In addition to making their own brand of cookware, Mauvil is also the OEM for and makes Bourgeat's 2.5mm stainless lined copper cookware to Bourgeat's specifications, thus different handle positions, flared pouring rims.

      They are all good manufacturers and the pots are all good quality. IMHO, if you are looking for French/Belgium stainless lined copper cookware at 2.5mm thickness, then the decision comes down to the their various unique characteristics.

      Should you want a brushed copper surface, then Falk. If polished surface and rounded rims then Bourgeat. If polished surface and straight rims then Mauviel.

      Lastly, if you want to use stainless steel lined copper for induction deBuyer (though I think it is 2mm copper/stainless sheets not 2.5mm).

      1 Reply
      1. re: khuzdul

        Nice read!

      2. Hi, littleprotege:

        As khuzdul has mentioned, the metal in the pans is the same. Both have excellent fit and finish. So it comes down to the ergonomics, the lip, and brushed vs. polished finish. If I were in your position, I'd decide based on the handle geometry and feel, and for me that would be Falk. I find Mauviel's handles to be "turny" in my hand and at a less than ideal angle.

        But since your choice is essentially between Ferrari and Lamborghini, I'm not sure there's a wrong decision to be made here.

        Aloha,
        Kaleo

        14 Replies
        1. re: kaleokahu

          Agreed on the Mauviel handles. The Falk handles seem to be more comfortable.

          1. re: kaleokahu

            I think the Falk ss lining is a different alloy. Maybe superior? Maybe added Molybdenium? I dont know. But it is not the same.

            1. re: SomersetDee

              What do you find different about the alloy? There are many different sub-types of 18/10 stainless, and they may use one with a slightly difference composition, but I think that it is more likely that they use a different finish for the same stainless steel, just like they have a different finish for their copper.

              1. re: khuzdul

                Hi, khudzul:

                Barring some expensive and wasteful destructive testing, or some information from within Falk Culinaire, I think it's impossible to tell what explains the lining differences.

                It may be, as traderjoe has speculated, that Mauviel and/or Bourgeat specs a steel different from that used by Falk for its own bimetal production. This is possible, but from the small bit of looking I've done at the patents and processes, I'm skeptical. Until more information is available, my own speculation is that the same steel is given different surface treatments after forming.

                Aloha,
                Kaleo

                1. re: khuzdul

                  Hi Khuzdui and Kaleo
                  The company themselves have declared in their website that it is a 16% Chromium alloy. Since the manufacturer is Belgian, I did some research and found that there are very very few stainless steels with exactly 16% Cr. I am quite certain that the lining is superior because I suspect that it is even harder than a 18/10 Cr/Ni mix. I dont know if I am psychologically influenced by the Matt finish and projecting attributes on this lining!! I am a big fan of the Bourgeat shiny finish which mimics traditional Tin. Nevertheless, Falk is quickly becoming my favourite because of its practicality and attention to detail. Mauviel loses in this battle of inside surface. Bourgeat and Falk come out better, and easy to clean. But definitely while cooking, especially frying delicate meat like fish, Falk appears to out perform. Again it may be psychological.

                  For example please look at the metal called "Euroweld". This is a 16% food grade Chromium alloy. So 16% Cr alloys do exist within the 300 series of austenitic steels. Falk have also revealed they add 0.15% carbon which I believe is the maximum you can had to achieve maximum hardness without losing the ductility and malleability. Also,they probably add some Manganese in their alloy. I respect that they dont want to reveal what the exact composition is and that is the reason I have not asked them. It is even possible that the composition is not protected by a patent therefore not wanting to reveal the exact details. It simply cannot be an 18/10 (Cr/Ni)stainless steel when it is a 16% alloy. I have a feeling that the properties of this lining might be better and that is the reason they have chosen it and not to reduce the cost. If you notice a Falk product they have spent more on the finish, this shows a product philosophy of wanting to make things better at increased cost rather than a desire to reduce cost and compromising on the details. :) regards Dee F Padamadan

                  1. re: SomersetDee

                    Hi, Dee:

                    You had me there right up to "...Falk... they have spent more on the finish, this shows a product philosophy of wanting to make things better..."

                    Anyway, your metallurgical sleuthing is plausible and laudable. You've opened my mind on this lining issue.

                    Aloha,
                    Kaleo

                    1. re: SomersetDee

                      Hello, Falk's FAQ says that their lining is "Austenitic or 300 series, stainless steel contain a maximum of 0.15% carbon, a minimum of 16% chromium and sufficient nickel and/or manganese to retain an austenitic structure at all temperatures from the cryogenic region to the melting point of the alloy. This type of steel is used most often in food processing equipment."

                      Unfortunately it does not specify that the stainless that they use is 16% chromium and 0.15% carbon, just that their steel has those minimums and maximums. These percentages allow them to be use any of the 200 or 300 series stainless steels!

                      1. re: khuzdul

                        Thanks, khuzdul. This is par for the course with Falk--they won't even publish accurate numbers for the capacities of their pans.

                        1. re: khuzdul

                          Yes Khuzdul.. you're right.. I would like to correct myself too..thanks for pointing this out.. Maximum and minimum is what they have published in their website. It is just that to my knowledge there is a stable food grade alloy with the specs that I was speculating on. In reality one cannot increase and decrease compositions as one pleases. No one is going to experiment with a questionable alloy on food grade pots.. especially not with EU laws. There are stable alloys usually designated with an appropriate 3 digit number starting with 3xx (some starting with 2xx, etc) I am still not going to ask Neil at Falk Culinair about the composition :) because I believe he does not wish for those specific details to be published.

                        2. re: SomersetDee

                          "Mauviel loses in this battle of inside surface"

                          There's a few very nice features with Falk but the satin interior SS lining is surely not one of them. The Falk SS gives off an unpleasant odor, it's a real pain to get clean and it sticks far more than Mauviel SS. The Falk handles are my least favorite. On the larger Falk pieces their handles are absurdly small. I like the Falk lids the best but clearly this gets into personal preference.
                          My best advice for any one confused by the contrast in one poster preferring brand X and another preferring brand Y is to buy one of each and see what you like before buying too many pieces of any one brand.

                          1. re: TraderJoe

                            Hi Joe
                            By saying "Mauviel loses in this battle of inside surface" what I meant to say is that it is neither polished like Bourgeat, nor is it given a satin finish like Falk Culinair.

                            Falk definitely sticks food the least of the three. However, it is not without problems. I do find that the "stainless" steel lining stains easily.

                            Mauviel is the worst finish inside in terms of sticking. It is not smooth. It has grind marks (concentric) that has not smoothed out even after years and years of use. Especially the Frying pans. Oh my god. Mauviel frying pans require so much cleaning. However, they resist staining well.

                            I have a small frying pan from Falk. Nothing sticks. So also in the ultra polished Bourgeat. Nothing sticks. But they (Falk) do get tiny spots of dark stain. (mimics tin lining! :) )

                            For me the inside finish is most satisfying with Alliance Bourgeat. Smoother finish... easier to clean. Stays looking new and fresh unlike Mauviel.

                            Personally I like Mauviel lids the best. Falk has the worst lid in my opinion because it has a half to one millimetre gap through which the steam escapes. This goes directly on the wrist or "upwards". I hate that about those lids. This never happens with Mauviel. So Mauviel lids are the best, better than Bourgeat too.

                            When Mauviels cook, you can hear a repetitive "tonk-tonk" noise. This is the lid raising slightly to let the steam escape and then falling back down. So in a furiously boiling saucepan you get a rough idea how FAST it is boiling. when you reduce the heat this knocking sound tempo goes down. So the whole thing is like a feedback mechanism. Only the traditionally shaped straight edged saucepans and stockpots have this beautiful feature. For the sake of this feature alone, Mauviels are my favourite. Moreover, the lid's lips overhang extends much over the rim, furthermore, they are curved downwards, making sure no steam is directed upwards. Winner.

                            Furthermore, I also suspect (just a guess) that because of holding slightly (marginally) higher vapour pressure inside the saucepan.. because of this lid behaviour, Mauviel is inadvertently able to achieve higher internal temperature speeding cooking.

                            How do you reckon the Falk is giving an unpleasant odour? I tried heating mine for full 5 minutes empty/dry to try and smell what it did. All I got is the oven like smell of heat. no bad smells. But I can smell the hint of flavours of the foods that have been cooked in them before. I suspect microscopic particles inbetween the grains of the satin finish...? Please can you say more about this? Have you spoken to Falk people about this?

                            kindest regards
                            Dee

                            1. re: SomersetDee

                              "Falk definitely sticks food the least of the three"

                              That's not been my experience at all.
                              @Kaleo I agree the handles and rivets on Falk are tiny. Waaaay too small unless you have ooompa loompas in the kitchen.

                              1. re: TraderJoe

                                Hi Joe, Well, I think the stainless steel is softer in Falk. It is also not as "stainless" as the other two. Perhaps this is the reason that the food releases easily? I do find the Falk easy to clean and provided that the lard or oil is hot before you start frying the sticking is definitely less than Mauviel. I have attached a photo of three pans i.e. one of each brand. I just chose those particular pans as I could fit it in one picture. The Falk is not as old as the other two. Surprisingly the Bourgeat (small saucepan) is the oldest of the three pans (4 years old) and also used as many as three times in a day as it gets used to heat milk for coffee. The large frying pan probably gets used once or twice a week and the tiny Falk frying pan gets used every morning for fried eggs (sometimes twice a day). I asked my wife as well about which of these three brands she prefers and she replied that even though she likes the Falk frying pan performance she prefers the Mauviel and Bourgeat for looks and almost everything else. She feels that the "stainless" steel lining of Falk (and others) actually imparts a taste into the food and she prefers the taste imparted by the Mauviel the best. She says that anything made in a Mauviel actually tastes better (than Falk). I am personally not certain if that is because of other factors like the pressure created when you shut the lid, etc. I certainly prefer the taste of white sauce prepared in Mauviel and Bourgeat. I find that the Falk actually reduces the brightness (or whiteness) of the sauce. Again this could be all psychological (suggestive) than fact. But then the molecules of the cooking surface is intimately in contact with food molecules at high heat.

                                 
                            2. re: TraderJoe

                              Hi, TJ: "On the larger Falk pieces their handles are absurdly small."

                              IMO, they're too small (yet too light and thin ;)) on all the pieces. Either all Belgians have girly hands, or someone wants to shave the cost of cast iron to impress the boss. Rivets are Lilliputian, too.

                              Aloha,
                              Kaleo

                    2. myhabit.com (Amazon.com's "special" upscale deal-o-the-day sister website) has some pretty reasonable deals on a few Bourgeat 2.5mm copper (stainless lined) pans today.

                      The saute pan is already sold out, but the still have a saucepan, an oval skillet, and a 3-piece set available...

                      1. Hi LP,

                        I currently own 2.5mm stainless lined copper from Mauviel, Bourgeat, and Falk. I agree they are all equivalent in performance and rugged build quality.

                        My personal favorite is Bourgeat for their beefy iron handles that attach lower on the copper pot than the other two brands. I also value the shiny finish on the stainless lining, and also the shiny exterior. The rolled rim is also practical.

                        I like the Mauviel as well, since they mimic the aesthetic design of the old school tin lined french copper pans. I have not had any problems with their handles as mentioned by my friend previously.

                        While Falk is the rarest and perhaps most coveted, I favor the other brands ahead of them. I don't like the brushed outer finish and the dull interior of the Falk pans. Also, their iron handles are a bit more dainty, which isn't my style.

                        If you're interested, I have some Falk and some Mauviel which I'd like to sell. I'm not dealer. I just have a bad cookware habit.

                        Finally, consider tin-lined-copper. You won't need to re-tin anything, and the older stuff often came in 3 or more mm thickness, which makes all the difference.

                        best wishes,
                        alarash

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: alarash

                          alarsh,

                          been looking to start a copper collection. picked up a ruffoni 8 qt stock pot. if you are still interested in selling some of your copper cookware i am in the market.

                          thanks,

                          LF

                          missmalou@netzero.com

                          1. re: alarash

                            Hi Alarash,

                            Thank you for your informative post. Would be most grateful if you continue to share your experience and knowledge of older copper cookware, e.g.:

                            1. When you mention the need to not re-tin, why is that? Home use not very wearing on the tin? How about high temperatures?

                            2. How does one determine the state of the tin layer, & need for re-tinning, when purchasing unseen? When purchasing seen?

                            3. Other useful tips/arcana you might wish to share.

                            Thank you very much.

                            1. re: alarash

                              Finally, consider tin-lined-copper. You won't need to re-tin anything
                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                              I'd suggest most home cooks avoid tin lined copper. It absolutely will need to be re-tinned at some point and that is VERY expensive and it's getting harder and harder to find some one who can do quality re-tinning.
                              I also wouldn't get sucked too far into the 2.5mm Vs 3mm debate. I like thicker material myself but it's just not necessary for most home cooks.The 2.5mm copper is a fine product.
                              Noobs to copper should also be aware that if a tin lined Copper pot is inadvertently scortched the tin can melt. That won't happen with SS lined copper.
                              I prefer Mauviel myself and the 3mm tin lined pieces are among my favorites like the large stock pots and rondeau. However I do accept that one day they will need to be re-tinned.
                              I keep them clean with BKF.

                              TJ

                              1. re: TraderJoe

                                Hi, TJ: "I'd suggest most home cooks avoid tin lined copper."

                                Yes, avoid tinned and 3mm like the Plague (It means more for the rest of us, at lower prices! :P).

                                You use BKF on the tin? If so, you may be retinning sooner than you think.

                                Have you melted a tin lining? I ask because my experience speed-boiling a saucepan and skillet completely dry (same saucepan 3 times, on a HI electric coil for long enough each time that the smoke detector went off) has been that tin linings don't just melt and run off at 437F as people might imagine. IME, the tin "cooks"--mottles and darkens--but I have never had blisters, flakes or runs. Maybe I've just been lucky, but my much-abused saucepan never showed any exposed copper, even after another year of cooking and multiple baking-soda boils to lighten the color.

                                I admit that one should be more careful with a tin-lined pan than its SS-lined counterpart. But there *is* also the reasonable prospect of delaminating a bimetal pan with scorching and/or salt-pitting. Noobs should also consider that if/when this happens, they'll be buying a whole new pan, not just a retin job.

                                Aloha,
                                Kaleo

                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                  You use BKF on the tin? If so, you may be retinning sooner than you think.

                                  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                  Clearly you don't like BKF but I use the product with good results. If you think some thing as mild as BKF will destroy tin lining it's not very durable. Tin starts to melt at 450, how about SS?

                                  Yes I've had one of my cooks melt the tin in a rondeau and yes it will run and bubble. You've never had bubbles or blisters in your tin? Here let me leave a link for an older thread;

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/809202

                                  Either way tin will need to be re-lined even with normal wear and SS never will. The average cook will never be able to see any appreciable difference between 2.5mm and 3mm. That difference is more in the feel good department than performance. I like nice cook ware as well but even the 2mm WS Mauviel was a very nice product. I'm very happy with all of it.

                                  TJ

                                  1. re: TraderJoe

                                    Hi, TJ:

                                    No, no bone at all to pick with BKF--it's a good product. But I would not use it on soft metals like tin or copper.

                                    And I'm not saying tin won't bubble. I've just abused the sh#$ out of pans under circumstances where one would think the tin would bubble and run if it would *ever*: sitting empty and for a long time on a maxed out coil, and not had that problem. I did buy a Jacquotot oval roaster one time that came with a few tiny bubbles, though. What I *am* saying is that going to 450 or above isn't an automatic calamity, or even a mishap of sufficient magnitude to eschew tinned copper.

                                    Yes, of course, SS is harder and not smeltable in the kitchen. But the Falk Culinaire bimetal is of relatively recent advent, so I caution against universal conclusions about those pans "never" needing to be replaced. The differences in coefficients of expansion between Cu and most SS do not bode well for such pans' immortality.

                                    And yes, tinned pans will need to be redone--about once a decade if you take care of them and use wooden and silicone implements. Less if you scour them inside with BKF and use metal utensils. These pans can, do and have lasted centuries.

                                    "The average cook will never be able to see any appreciable difference between 2.5mm and 3mm. That difference is more in the feel good department than performance." That's not my experience, and I'm a decidedly average, if learning, cook. If there's no discernible difference, was it also a "feel good" that Julia Child and others have recommended 3mm to the American public?

                                    Aloha,
                                    Kaleo

                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                      What I *am* saying is that going to 450 or above isn't an automatic calamity, or even a mishap of sufficient magnitude to eschew tinned copper.
                                      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                      Nor is it advisable to use tin lined Copper at those temps. If you are using an electric burner this is probably less of an issue than for those who use gas especially with the number of 22K burners we see on home ranges today.
                                      Hey I like thick copper as much as the next person but there's no reason for others to avoid 2-2.5mm copper.
                                      An extra .5mm is going to hold residual heat a titch longer but that's about it.
                                      Tin lining should be well thought out. As long as a buyer knows what they are getting all is well. I won't ever agree that tin is worry free or that it will never need to be re-lined.

                                      As far as the "feel good" moment with Julia you may be closer to the truth than you realize. You know the story about how she "discovered" blackened Red fish at K-Pauls ....right? ;)

                                      TJ

                                      1. re: TraderJoe

                                        Hi, TJ: "...there's no reason for others to avoid 2-2.5mm copper."

                                        Ah, some common ground. Your statement is spot on, and I agree wholeheartedly. IMO, compared with the very best multi-clad, tinned (and bimetal) 2-2.5mm copper is fantastic. I have a 2mm skillet/poelle from which I would not part. Even that gauge range is a quantum leap, and I do not mean to demean it. In fact, I will go you one better--as long as the user understands (and compensates for the fact) that thinner gauge equates to blindingly fast heat transfer, 1.5mm works well, especially if one starts with a decently even hob. In this vein, ever since I traveled "back to the future" to a wood/coal cookstove, *all* my cookware is performing better; on a solidly-even cooktop, I am now re-looking for a salient difference between 2mm and 3mm copper.

                                        This gets abstruse fast, but it has always been my opinion that hotel-grade shines because it is a better *balance* of heat transfer and retention, conductivity and specific heat. I see this most clearly in 3mm and thicker roasting pans, which retain enough heat when preheated so that they almost instantly come back to heat. For example if you tried Tom Keller's basic roast chicken in a 2mm gratin, not only would you imperil the tin, but it would shed most of its heat before you could get it back in the oven, and you would end up thinking cast iron is better. The results in a 3mm or thicker copper pan are better, I think.

                                        Speaking of roasting... Nowhere in the "historical" cookery can I find any angst over copperware in high ovens. It is my evolving belief that, if the pan is sized properly to the joint, bird, or assemblage, the risk to the tin is small even in the vicinity of 500F. Omit the aromatics, and the risk rises, of course. My explanation is that the food and aromatics are sinking the heat that would otherwise toast the tin.

                                        Finally (and this applies to me equally, if not more so), the actual, working knowledge of hotel- vs. "available"-gauge copperware is tissue thin. I do not take Falk's platitudes at face value, nor do I think I have it all figured out. The obvious problem is that precious few cooks, amateur or professional, have much depth of experience with it (it not being production-made any longer), and the celebrity chefs who do own and use the artifacts make judgments that may have less to do with food than money.

                                        I do not know the story of Ms. Child and K-Paul's blackened red fish; I would like to hear it. I do know that, consistent with an old Hawai'ian proverb, not all knowledge is within anyone's house. That is the great thing about Chowhound: collective wisdom.

                                        Aloha,
                                        Kaleo

                            2. I have owned Falk for a while now. Recently got Mauviel (2.5 mm thickness, cast iron handles.) I've only cooked in the Mauviel once, but upon first try, I could swear it makes better fond. Got it recently, so I have to experiment more.

                              22 Replies
                              1. re: sherrib

                                Hi, Sherri:

                                They should be exactly the same bimetal. If you look really closely, is there any apparent difference between the two in how the interiors were brushed/polished?

                                Aloha,
                                Kaleo

                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                  Hi Kaleo,

                                  I have read also that Falk Culinair has a patent on copper-stainless bimetal, and that Bourgeat and Mauviel buy their bimetal from Falk.

                                  However, I have owned several pieces from all three companies, and I have noted differences that suggest the bimetals are made to different specifications.

                                  1. Mauviel's stainless lining seems to be matte in finish (like a typical stainless steel surface on a commercial range or refrigerator). In addition to the finish, the lining at the rim of the pan seems to be exquisitely thin.

                                  2. Bourgeat has a polished stainless lining that appears shiny, almost mirror like when new. The stainless lining also seems to be substantially thicker at the rim, and seems a touch sturdier.

                                  3. Falk's stainless lining seems to have a slightly rough texture, atypical of stainless steel. The thickness of the steel seems in between those of the other two.

                                  From my observations, I am more sure about the texture and finish of the linings of the three coompanies than I am about the thickness, as I have not examined the rim of the pans under a microscope for a definitive answer. They are my impressions nonetheless.

                                  My cooking skill is not good enough to distinguish a performance difference between them, as they all performed beautifully cooking things like pan-seared chicken, fish, and steak, and making a sauce by deglazing the pan drippings. I love copper for simple dishes like those.

                                  Finally, I am (despite all of that jibber jabber about stainless lined copper) a die-hard tinned copper fan.

                                  Thanks to everyone for your remarks!

                                  Ala

                                  1. re: alarash

                                    E Ala, my friend, Aloha:

                                    I had not considered the possibility that Falk Culinaire makes the bimetal to individual makers' specs. I had blithely assumed that everyone started with the same sheetstock, in either 1.5mm or 2.5mm thicknesses. What you say is an intriguing possibility. Do you think the interior finish (brushing, polishing, blasting, etc.) is also individually specc'd to the FC factory?

                                    Aloha Aikane,
                                    Kaleo

                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                      The interiors are definitely different. Even the color of the stainless steel is different. The Falk being more of a blueish gray while the Mauviel looking more like what you would find inside an AC stainless.

                                      1. re: sherrib

                                        Hi, sherri:

                                        Yes. But the question is whether it's a different steel or maker-specc'd finish put on the sheetstock by Falk Culinaire, or whether it's a different surface treatment imparted later by the makers.

                                        If indeed FC can and does make whatever the makers want, I would expect that someone would by now have specc'd 3mm or > bimetal.

                                        Aloha,
                                        Kaleo

                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                          Kaleo,

                                          It's possible that customers are given a choice within a range of options (as opposed to any/all options). Maybe thicker cu isn't one of them?

                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                            Hi Kaleo,

                                            I wouldn't know why or how the steels are different. I would love to find out.

                                            As far as why no one has spec'd a 3mm, I am going to assume it's because of price point and/or uninformed consumers. I live fairly close to Manhattan. When I did a search for stores carrying Mauviel, I found that NOT ONE of them carried their 2.5mm lines. ALL of them carried their 1.5mm lines. I think there's few consumers out there willing to shell it out for high quality cookware and out of those few, even fewer who understand what to look for in cookware. I think too many stores are getting away with selling the lower end copper (for now). I hope it doesn't catch up with them (which I think it's beginning to.) My local SLT, for instance, doesn't carry copper any more and the pieces it had left (for a major discount) were all from Mauviel's 1.5mm line. Either it's a sign of current economic times or the result of ignorant consumers (being influenced by equally ignorant sales people), or a mixture of both. Or, perhaps, the marketing tactics at other companies are extremely successful at determining what goes on in these stores' shelves. Interestingly, I have also been looking into Le Creuset cast iron gratin pans. All of the stores I went to (which carry extensive Le Creuset products) only carried their much cheaper stoneware gratins.

                                            1. re: sherrib

                                              Hi, Sherri:

                                              I agree with you about the general consumer unfamiliarity with copperware, sales associates' ignorance and/or lack of training/curiosity, and hence its rarity in retail display. More's the pity.

                                              However I think your assumption of why no one offers >2.5mm (actually 2.3mm when the SS lining is accounted for) bimetal is unsound. The price differential for the copper sheetstock between 2.3mm (0.093") and 3.2 mm (0.125") is not that great. I know that Falk *says* they would use thicker copper if it made any difference, but I think there is more to the story. Far more likely, IMO, it is a manufacturing or patent issue.

                                              It sounds stultifyingly stupid of LC that there would be a rarity of cast iron gratins. One would think those would be among the best sellers, because they would be a most useful application for CI and easy to make. Maybe they can't change the colors fast enough?

                                              Aloha, Kaleo

                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                Kaleo,

                                                I easily found the LC cast iron gratins online. It was stores that were the problem. They only carry the stoneware equivalents. Many many consumers would walk into these stores and never know that a cast iron version exists or that it would make any difference in their cooking. I'm finding that so many stores are just trying to sell a product based on price (or a gimmick) instead of true quality. I used to love walking into the SLT store around here. Over time, it's beginning to look more and more like BB and B though. I went to Broadway Panhandler about a year and a half ago. I liked it there, but even THEIR copper selection was tiny (although their LC and AC selections were very good.)
                                                And, to answer your question, if there's a 3mm copper pan out there, I'm definitely willing to give it a go. I don't know why no one is manufacturing and would love to know the answer to that too.

                                                1. re: sherrib

                                                  Hi, Sherri:

                                                  Don't get me started about SLT. Their original (prefranchise) store was here in Seattle, and they were great. I had an issue with a fish poacher they sold (among others) that disqualifies them from getting another cent of my money. When I was last in the store they had *no one* who even knew what a larding needle is.

                                                  Rest assured that if I ever find a line of 3mm bimetal copper, I will announce it from the rooftops.

                                                  Aloha,
                                                  Kaleo

                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                    Forgive me for butting in but it's always been my experience that you could return anything at any time with no receipt, packaging, etc. at SLT. I've always felt like they've stood behind whatever I've purchased and returned/exchanged/replaced with no problem. I know that their policy reads as such but they might not all honor it in the same way.

                                                    1. re: olympia

                                                      Hi, olympia:

                                                      Butt away. All I know is that I have a $$$ fish poacher from SLT that needed a replacement hook for its grate. SLT staff at all levels (I am persistent, as you know) were completely unhelpful, unapologetic, and unwilling to do anything besides refer me to a non-English-speaking foreign manufacturer's representative. Throughout a multi-week experience of promises, waiting, re-explaining dozens of times, and no results, I learned what customer service really means to SLT in the age of franchises and chains: *nothing*. If I hadn't had my replacement part custom-cast at great expense, I would've taken the whole thing back to SLT and made sure someone felt it in an appropriate place.

                                                      I'm glad you have had better experiences with them.

                                                      Aloha,
                                                      Kaleo

                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                        Wow, I'm sorry to hear that! I'm contemplating a new AmEx card with return protection. If you have a problem in 90 days and the company won't help AmEx will take it and credit you. I never want to get stuck with something defective. So sorry to hear that SLT was so awful. I've had great experiences but only with smaller items (had a victorinox knife that I thought was junk, had silicone potholders melt, etc. and they issued credits with no problem), If I had the same experience as you, I'd write them off too! Service is just about the only distinguishing factor between retailers these days. (One other plus about SLT is they price match!)

                                                      2. re: olympia

                                                        I haven't gotten to the point of needing customer service from them in a good long time. Not much left in there I'm interested in buying . . .

                                                2. re: sherrib

                                                  I've lost the thread. (Too many abbreviations, maybe).

                                                  If this doesn't totally screw up this point in the thread, it's about the "lines" sold by Williams Sonoma (WS-- :) ). It was like prying teeth to get the thickness of their dislay "Mauviel" SS models in their NYC store, and the upshot was "1.8 mm."

                                                  Is that the same deal with their Professional" line?

                                                  Thanks,
                                                  Rob

                                                  1. re: rbraham

                                                    Hi Rob,
                                                    I've found that the stores are mostly selling the 1.5mm pans. If it's 2.5mm, they would definitely advertise it on the product. I spent some time looking at their website:
                                                    http://www.mauvielusa.com/M-heritage....

                                                    The pans that you generally see on display at stores are either from Mauviel's M'150c, M'150s or M'150b. The M'150c is the most confusing as the handles are cast iron, just like the pricier, thicker M'250c line.

                                                    1. re: sherrib

                                                      Well, there's this:
                                                      http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                                      What think you?

                                                      Rob

                                                      1. re: rbraham

                                                        Hi, Rob: These are nice pans, of course. The 2Q is even sale-priced within the realm of reason, at $210. The 4Q is still obscenely priced at $385.

                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                          No, I figured that.

                                                          My point was this "line" is claimed at 2.5 mm, and I just wanted to point out that there are some (modern) WS Mauviel at that thickness out there.

                                                          1. re: rbraham

                                                            Exactly! When they actually offer 2.5mm, they absolutely say so. Notice how the description states 2.5mm TWICE. When an item is from the 1.5mm line, they don't mention anything. And, just like you said, you have to pull teeth to get any answer at all for those items. The 2.5mm seems to be shouted from rooftops when they offer it.

                                                            1. re: sherrib

                                                              Just got off the phone w/ WS. The Professional/Mauviel line has always had SS handles. I say this not as some "I gotta let CH know because that's great,' but because it could help to identify them if they come up in the market.

                                                              Rob

                                                              1. re: rbraham

                                                                Hi Rob,

                                                                I'm not sure what WS means by their "Professional" line. On the Mauviel website, the only pans with a ss handle are from their M'150s line which is 1.5mm copper. It's possible they are making 2.5mm copper with ss handles exclusively for WS. In any case, if it's 2.5mm of copper, they will definitely advertise it as such.

                                    2. I can't remember which copper thread I read this on, or maybe I'm paranoid, but is Mauviel thickness really 2.5 mm when they say it is? I think I saw someone say they fudged the numbers.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: rbraham

                                        Hi, Rob:

                                        When Falk and Mauviel say 2.5mm on bimetal pans, it is *total* thickness, meaning the copper is about 2.3mm and SS 0.2mm.

                                        Aloha,
                                        Kaleo

                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                          Good enough for me. I'll leave my nickels and Australian dollars and CD and calipers in their respective proper locations...

                                      2. What about Ruffoni?

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: itryalot

                                          Hi, itryalot:

                                          I have only one Ruffoni, a 14Q stockpot. It is beautiful, but thin. All the pieces I have ever handled (e.g., at W-S) were also quite thin.

                                          Don't forget about brooklyncoppercookware.com and Bottega del Rame in your searches.

                                          Aloha,
                                          Kaleo

                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                            Quick reply after quick web site check:
                                            Brooklyn looks OK, but didn't see specs posted.
                                            Bottega is into show pieces primarily. Of I need copper colanders, ice buckets, and two sizes of alembics (!). When I find a pressing need for these items, I'll know where to go.

                                            Thanks for the cites, though.
                                            Rob

                                            1. re: rbraham

                                              Hi, Rob:

                                              Brooklyn is in the 2.3-2.5mm range.

                                              And the Mazzettis make serious pans in addition to the ecumoires and alembics--the only place I know where you can get new 3mm silver-lined pieces. All of their wares are users. I have one of their frypans. They are somewhat unique, as the bottoms are planished.

                                              Aloha,
                                              Kaleo

                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                Whoa Momma!

                                                Ecumoirs, planish...Learn something (or two things) new every day.

                                                Does this mean I can't say perforated ladle or hammered metal when we hang out?

                                                Also, since I'm being obnoxious already, "unique," by definition, cannot take an adjective. So there.

                                                Rob

                                                1. re: rbraham

                                                  Hi, Rob:

                                                  Point taken and erratum pleaded: THEIR bottoms are planished (as is mine now). My awkwardly expressed point was that the bottoms of Mazzettis' pans are themselves mechanically and beautifully work-hardened, which I think is unique.

                                                  How's my diction? And where do you want to hang? 'Skimmer', 'ecumoire' or 'thingy with holes' works as long as you're buying... ;)

                                                  Aloha,
                                                  Kaleo

                                            2. re: kaleokahu

                                              Good to know about Ruffoni. That's why I asked. Thanks

                                          2. Is having brass handles, as opposed to cast-irin ones, a deal-breaker?

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: rbraham

                                              Not in my opinion, except maybe for a saute. Iron is nice for all short-term cooktop things like sautes skillets and and saucepans, but offers almost no advantage for things used in the oven, or even things that stay on the hob for any length of time. IMO, iron handles appeal mostly for the look, and folks associate the look with the best pans. It's not especially smart, but some people insist on having all iron or all brass, just so everything matches.

                                              Frankly, from a "hot hand" standpoint, SS handles would be ideal, if you can abide the look. But there aren't many thick pans handled in SS for some reason. For all Falk's talk of functionality, you'd think they would.

                                              Aloha,
                                              Kaleo

                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                "Waldow, Brooklyn"?
                                                I'm in a New York State of mind.

                                                1. re: rbraham

                                                  Their older stuff is good, but as the market changed in the early 1900s, it kept getting thinner and thinner. My only Waldow piece is a Bain Marie.

                                                  My friends at http://brooklyncoppercookware.com/ bought all the Waldow tooling, and are using it to make *very* high-quality pans again, right here in USA. Because they have the tooling, they also have the ability to custom make anything Waldow ever made, which was quite an extensive catalogue. Brooklyn's pans are not inexpensive, but come with a 1-time retinning guarantee--something no one else offers.

                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                    How old is old vs. thickness? A real current question, to which seller has no clue....

                                                    1. re: rbraham

                                                      I'm not sure what you're asking. My bain-marie is probably 1.5mm, but it is probably 1940s.

                                            2. I use three brands (Mauviel, Bourgeat and Falk - all 2.5mm) on a regular basis. I still don't have a favourite! I like Mauviel as the lid appears to make a good seal (best of the three) and the straight edge/side maximises capacity allowing me to use it to the brim. I like the lid overhang making sure the stem escaping is never pointing upwards to your wrists (or face) when you reach for the lid. I always worry that I will dent the Mauviel edge as it is not flared. But this has NOT happened even though sink mishaps and short falls have occurred! So it is not due to luck or careful usage, but because it is sturdy. So Mauviel has an edge over others, no pun there!

                                              Bourgeat: I love the feel and look of Bourgeat. If you need to pour out what you are cooking then a flared edge is useful (not critical, as this can be accomplished with Mauviel by pouring in one smooth action as opposed to pouring hesitantly/slowly). Lid fits well.The polished interior of Bourgeat is my personal favourite. I find my polished Bourgeat insides easy to clean as I dont use scothbrite type scourers. I only use non-scratch sponge. Even after daily use for two years I find the inside of my Bourgeat pan looks mirror like, you can see your reflection. Mind, it gets used every day.

                                              The Falk Culinair insides look completely different. They, I am inclined to believe use a slightly different alloy lining (as opposed to the 18/10 used by French manufacturers ?) according to their website claiming 16% Cr. This is then unique because there aren't many with that exact percentage; so my guess probably Cr-16%/Ni-8%? I dont know if there is any Mo-2%. Anyway cooking with Falk is a breeze. I find myself using Falk more often than the others. I love the shape of their saucepan even though it is slightly less in capacity than same diameter Mauviel. Their lid could be better with a slight overhang. I think the Bourgeat lid and Mauviel lid have better steam retaining and steam escape characteristics. However, Falk has a more practical feel, best handles of the three brands and best angle. Patina on copper also looks best on Falk. I keep finding myself reaching out for Falk. Falk is the only one with matching lids for their frying pan and the roasting pan :) Beautiful and overall it is just amazing quality and has the most versatile range.

                                              So they are all equally good. Sometimes it annoys me that my pans dont all "match" each other being different brands. I never could decide on which one and to this day I cant decide which one is best!

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: SomersetDee

                                                I have had the occasional incident that led to a "dimple." They only make them more endearing to me, loved and heavily used tools, not decoration. Never tried Bourgeat, but they really are beautiful. I mean really. I personally don't relate to the Falk finish. A neglected Mauviel is pretty to me. I just made the weekly batch of salted caramel sauce, and the pan looks like rainbow.

                                                1. re: tim irvine

                                                  Hi Tim Irvine
                                                  I hope you realise you used the word "endearing" on a kitchen utensil. I guess we both know that it is more than just a tool. What you say is so true. Great comment. I love "making" food for my family. I guess its fulfils the primordial male urge "to Hunt and bring the Kill home". If I prepare a venison burger I put it down on the table in front of everyone with the same cockiness as if I just shot a wild animal and brought it home to the ones who mean everything to me. The smell of freshly roasted coffee beans, freshly baked bread, the taste of freshly made stews and roasts are good to motivate the family to assemble at the table or sofa to eat together, as well as to stay married :) Preparing food and cooking can be creatively satisfying and sharpen timing skills too :) that is how I discovered copper about 4 or 5 years ago as I find them very very satisfying to use. That is also how I discovered ultra sharp handmade kitchen knives. Good tools make a world of difference. In my youtube channel I made videos like this http://youtu.be/tev6s2cN9Z8 to encourage friends to cook more and bake bread etc, rather than blindly relying on supermarkets and large corporations/companies to hand you a pre-packed dinner. Apart from being a necessity to stay married :) cooking can be quick (30 minutes for a meal), healthy and fun.

                                                  Picture: Stew made with sauteed freerange chicken with sun-dried tomatoes and a tiny pinch of Spanish pimenton (in a Bourgeat 24cm copper pan) with a home made Pullman's loaf bread made using home cultured starter dough (3+ months old laven) using: yeast from air, Mauripan yeast, live bio-yogurt, Kombu seaweed, unrefined-sea-salt (handmade in France) and a teaspoon of spirulina. It is the most delicious bread as I have not found anything that tastes this good even in artisan bakeries. My family fights over this bread. Loaf weighs well over a Kilo (over 1200gms), but does not last two days! -by Deepak Francis Padamadan

                                                   
                                                  1. re: SomersetDee

                                                    Amen! I am just beginning Cooked by Michael Pollen. I commend it to all readers on this site. Cooking is central to who we are and abdicating its role to frozen dinners, top flight restaurants, or anything in between is sad. Don't get me wrong, I have used and will use them all, but if I don't get the pleasure out of cooking with the family at least five or six nights a week I feel a hole.

                                                    1. re: tim irvine

                                                      Hi, Tim:

                                                      Careful! Thin ice here, what with the relentless CH drive to restaurants (But I agree with you, 100%).

                                                      Mom taught me cooking is an act of love. Hard to have that dimension whenever the filthy lucre is involved.

                                                      I respect your posts a great deal. Please tell me about the Pollen book.

                                                      Aloha,
                                                      Kaleo

                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                        Your post makes me smile. Kaleo and Tim, the pleasures of cooking and sharing with family and friends don't seem to be discussed much here. When I look back on the most memorable meals in my life, the ones that stand out the most are not in restaurants, but at home gatherings with family and friends. From big outdoor feasts with relatives that I had never met before, to a simple meal of boiled potato, pan fried trout and a fresh tomato onion salad with my elderly parents. Cooking is sharing love, and the secret ingredient in every recipe is Love. The best cooks are true alchemists, transforming food with love.

                                                        1. re: laraffinee

                                                          As I noted I do go to restaurants, but most nights we are in the kitchen, usually with a drink and the hubbub of cooking. I like restaurants because there are places that crank out novel and/or very well executed things, because they are an extension of someone else's family and I am privileged to be able to connect with that, and because they are cheap and close and I was too lazy to get up and make lunch. I am in the first major section of the Pollen book. He went to North Carolina to delve into whole hog barbecue. It makes me want to find some locally raised pork and fire up the smoker and spend a day swapping stories over drinks while we tend it. I believe the next major section may involve Chez Pannise, which I believe epitomizes what a restaurant can aspire to be, not just for great food but for being a home, a family, and a part of its community.

                                                          O, BTW, since this thread is about copper cookware, my old dented 3mm Mauviel six quart saucepan is heating homemade cream of roasted pepper soup to go with cucumber sandwiches when the bread comes out of the oven and cools.

                                              2. Mauviel. I had a love hate relationship with it for awhile but I have come to respect it's power and purposes. I also have a few All Clad pieces and Le Cruset - love them all. But you have to cook with these items, especially the Mauviel. It kind of sings when you are actually making a real recipe. You can make Kraft mac and cheese in one but .... it seems to be happier if you make your own Mac and cheese. Love my all Clad - water seems to boil much faster and deals with heat well.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: needfoodadvice

                                                  Hi, nfa:

                                                  You have my interest... Which All-Clad are you comparing to which Mauviel copper for a speed boiling test? Unless you're using the A-C on induction or it is much thinner, the copper should be substantially faster for equivalent size pans.

                                                  Aloha,
                                                  Kaleo

                                                  1. re: needfoodadvice

                                                    Hi Needfoodadvice, This is simply NOT possible! :o
                                                    I suspect you are comparing different sized pans (maybe even with different bottom shapes)

                                                    1) Please use identical burner ring. (i.e. please dont compare at the same time on different rings, because most gas burners will have dirt causing identically sized rings to differ in heat, even on the same hob.

                                                    2) Please make sure that the bottom shape ( contour) of the pans being compared is roughly similar in diameter and shape. Identical shape & size will be best. The diameter on top of the pan should also match the pan being compared. For example: different shapes in the same material will boil water at varying speeds, example saucepan with bulged side as opposed to straight sides with same bottom and top diameter, Kettle shape with large bottom diameter, with straight side and narrow top diameter is fastest, hence the kettles are shaped that way.

                                                    3) Pls use a stopwatch and identical amount of water. (not milk or anything else)

                                                    4) The water poured into the pan should have the same initial temperature. Say cold tap water within same time period. This is because tap water gets a few degrees colder if you leave it running!

                                                    5) Before starting; Leave the ring aflame naked for 2 minutes without any pan on it so that the ring gets fully hot. Initially some heat is lost heating the ring itself and the holding frame etc.

                                                    6) Pls do NOT use a lid for the test.

                                                    I know this sounds crazy and pedantic :) but this is the only way you can compare! But you will find that the copper pans boil the water faster. That is just nature/reality/physics whichever way you look at it. Just like no one can fly whichever building one tries to jump out off.

                                                    kind regards,
                                                    Dee F Padamadan

                                                    1. re: needfoodadvice

                                                      Hi NFA, I just realised while cooking today that the huge cast iron handle on most copper pans act like a huge heat sink :( So this sucks out a lot of initial energy. I really apologise for not thinking about this.
                                                      thx D

                                                    2. better try Amoretti Brothers copper cookware, it is sold online metrokitchen.com or Dean & Deluca in their stores, or try any store shown on their website www.amorettibrothers.com,it is a much better product to me

                                                      12 Replies
                                                      1. re: kobechef

                                                        Hi, kobechef: "[B]etter try Amoretti Brothers copper cookware... it is a much better product to me[.]"

                                                        I challenge the basis for you saying this. With the arguable exception of aesthetics and tin lining, the Amoretti Bros. stuff is clearly lower-grade than either Falk or Mauviel in terms of performance. The 2mm foil used on the Amoretti is thinner than either, and the cast iron handles are superior to the brass ones Amoretti uses.

                                                        2mm copper is still probably in the 95th percentile of cookware quality, so the marginal improvement gained by going with Falk or Mauviel may not be enough to overcome one's like for the aesthetic, etc. But saying an Amoretti is a better product, I think is just counterfactual.

                                                        You're not affiliated with Amoretti Bros. by any chance, are you?

                                                        Aloha,
                                                        Kaleo

                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                          Kaleokahu, I am not so sure about that but I respect your opinion...I use Amoretti Brothers for my risottos and it is great, and for food presentation on my tables (cooking with stainless steel but presenting the food in a copper pan is the best thing ever), and the wow effect is much louder than the others Agnelli, Mauviel, Ruffoni pans I have in my collections (which are great do not get me wrong). That`s it. Then, since I am not a professional chef, I can`t really say if cooking time is a little bit slower because of that 0.5 mm of copper of the Amoretti` foil...no idea about that, and really I do not care at this point. because my life doesn`t change if I have to wait 1 minute more on preparing the arrosto

                                                          1. re: kobechef

                                                            Hi, kobechef:

                                                            We all have our favorites. For instance, I've always had a soft spot for Mazzetti pans because one of their 2mm skillets was the first copper piece I ever bought, and from their shop in Montepulciano. On the other hand, I have a strong negative reaction to Falk because of its finish, small rivets, small handles, etc. But on an objective performance basis, a 2mm Mazzetti is not the Falk's equal.

                                                            And I'm not talking about *speed*, either. IMO, it's more about heat evenness, and the balance it strikes with responsiveness that makes that extra 1/2 a millimeter worthwhile.

                                                            But the Amoretti wares are quite functional, again in the 95th percentile, and I find them beautiful. I perfectly understand how they bring you and your guests visual and culinary joy.

                                                            If you are interested in similar wares, I can e-mail you about a small copper artisan community in Mexico that makes excellent wares on a small, custom-order basis. Very reasonably priced, too.

                                                            Aloha,
                                                            Kaleo

                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                              thanks so much, I am a pretty good collector of artisan copper cookware too, I started buy them in France and Belgium where there are also different communities of coppersmiths , as in Italy of course. Sometimes I do not understand why people have to buy big brands when they can go to any street market and buy handmade products made by local independent folks, so I totally agree with you. Working by hand is the real deal these days.

                                                              1. re: kobechef

                                                                Hi, kobechef:

                                                                Now you really have my interest! I am always *very* interested in learning where I might look to buy better-quality (2.5mm and up) copperware from small independent and artisanal businesses. Do you know of any who will sell from afar without the buyer actually having to go to the market or brocante? You needn't mention eBay--I spend too much time there already. The only ones I know are Mazzetti and the senora in Mexico.

                                                                "I do not understand why people have to buy big brands..." IMO, it's unfamiliarity--we only know what we think we know. If you collect copper, you probably already know that, until 1-2 years ago, pretty much *any* Mauviel piece fetched large sums on eBay, when there were better vintage pieces, both marked and unmarked, that were going for a song. That has changed quite a bit, with more obscure old French marks now commanding VERY high prices.

                                                                There're also the (I think unfortunate) American traits of insisting on buying only *new* cookware, and having "clean" SS linings to take into account. Other than Falk, Mauviel, and Bourgeat (and their licensees), there aren't any choices out there for thick bimetal pans that I'm aware of. Do you know of any?

                                                                Again, if you have info on additional makers of quality traditional copperware, please share!

                                                                Aloha,
                                                                Kaleo

                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                  yes there are so many I know, I will write you an email with all the infos. Big brands are monopolizing the market but they are also ruining the real traditional hand-hammering of copper, in fact both Mauviel and Faulk, by example, are not handmade but they have to use machines and molds because they have to compete in the big markets. By example, Amoretti`s cookware is totally handmade, which is another thing why I love it. Anyway, going to prepare the Sunday dinner, have a great day!

                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                    Hi Kaleo,

                                                                    I have personally found that the hand made pans are good only on the rare occasion that the tin lining is very thick. Moreover I am never 100% certain about the quality of the tin lining used. Ultra pure tin is getting more expensive and it is difficult to check unless you are willing to scrape off some of the tin. But even handmade artisan pans are not small companies.

                                                                    I have managed to tin copper pan in my garage workshop. But the results are poor and I would not put a picture here!! I find big manufacturers like Mauviel still have the highest quality control. I have found many Ruffoni pieces that have minute defects which have slipped their quality control. I find that the annealing of copper (the hardness) is a bit of the softer side with Amoretti when I came across a piece. |

                                                                    I find that copper is not necessarily just copper. I find that the hammering alone is not enough either. There are specific hot and cold treatments that give hardness to copper too.

                                                                    Copper pans have been an amazing discovery. In my personal opinion small artisan manufacturers are good only if they guarantee two factors, the quality of tin lining, and proper annealing/hardening of copper.

                                                                    For ss lined copper nothing beats proper heavy machine pressing where the three (maybe four if you include Allessi) big brands appear to rule the market.

                                                                    For the record I support artisan manufacturers on a matter of principle over big brands. I will choose to buy Amoretti pan not because it is a better pan but because I like the thought of people having personally fussed over making each pan. :) (Same way I like my knives)

                                                                    Also, I hope people respond to Kaleo above to share info on small manufacturers :)

                                                                    kind regards
                                                                    Dee

                                                                    1. re: SomersetDee

                                                                      Hi, Dee:

                                                                      What a thoughtful post, thank you.

                                                                      I wish I knew more about the hardening aspect. I know the sheetstock comes from the mills in different grades of hardness (e.g., 1/4-hard, dead soft, etc.) and that planishing and lathe-turning work-hardens the material. Mac at Brooklyncopper told me their old Waldow lathes and tools couldn't handle 3mm foil unless it was dead soft.

                                                                      Welcome to the club on home retinning--I won't post my photos, either! But I've seen it done enough to know that practice makes perfect. Strange, I had not heard of Alessi. I will research them a bit.

                                                                      Aloha,
                                                                      Kaleo

                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                        Hi Kaleo

                                                                        I always take note of your wisdom regarding many things :)

                                                                        kind regards
                                                                        Dee

                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                          http://www.panik-design.com/acatalog/...

                                                                          for Kaleo! I have seen a smaller one in a fancy shop once. Hardened copper to prevent dings. Exorbitant price, but they did look stunning. Mirror polish even on copper. Interior is ultra flat mirror polish 18/10 ss. Most Alessi have this kind of ultra mirror shine on their ss. Not sure how they do it so well.

                                                                          1. re: SomersetDee

                                                                            Hi, Dee:

                                                                            Thank you for the link.

                                                                            I think the steep price must reflect Richard Sapper's design consultancy and name-licensure. If you read the blurbs, Alessi got its money's worth--it's not the same 'ol MOMA aesthete-babble. It's pure.

                                                                            Thanks Again,
                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                              Hi Kaleo
                                                                              You are welcome Kaleo. I must admit that I was stunned when I saw it in a shop. The web pictures don't do it justice. It was shiny, similar in thickness to Mauviel but the exterior copper was polished to perfection. Even the edges were finished to perfection. (My wife is an Alessi fan).
                                                                              Kind regards, Dee

                                                          2. Not strictly on-topic, but of interest to those shopping for copper: at the moment, Falk (copperpans.com) is having a special on one of their most all-round useful pieces, a 3-quart 'stew pan' -- essentially a two-handled version of the saucier.

                                                            This pan is big enough to be useful as a braiser for a small household, a workhorse for curries, soups, stews, sauces, grains, and poaching. It's wide and deep enough to be good for deep frying. It's what you'd use for a significant quantity of caramel, or creme anglaise.

                                                            I said on a chow thread somewhere that if I were forced to make do with one single piece of cookware, this would be it, and it's now an extremely reasonable price. But my budget is severely restricted at the moment, and I have a pan that's too similar to justify this one (unless I wanted to add that to the sizable lot of things I'm selling online this fall)...

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: ellabee

                                                              Hi, ellabee:

                                                              That's a pretty good price on that stew pan!

                                                              I'm in agreement with something like this being my "desert island" or "you can save just one from your burning house" pan. In my case, I think it would be my large Pommes Anna, because it's actually *two* pans.

                                                              Let me know when your budget will allow--I think you can do really well for a vintage a small rondeau for less than $275.

                                                              If it makes you feel any better, the Falk special doesn't include a cover, and apparently none is even available.

                                                              Aloha,
                                                              Kaleo

                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                Hi Kaleo and Ellabee

                                                                I have the 200mm pan from Falk (with lid). It is quite alright and I am hard pressed to find faults with it even though I might have 3 minor niggles. I have minor niggles with all the main brands so that is why I have nothing major against using Falk.

                                                                There is more copper in Falk than Mauviel. So the 200mm Falk piece weighs more than the 200mm Mauviel piece. But then the handle may be contributing to weight? I don't know.
                                                                kind regards
                                                                Dee

                                                            2. Mauviel, of the two. Take a look at a recent review of Falk:
                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/888585

                                                              1. I would go with another brand, Amoretti Brothers. Got a set as a gift, amazing.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: SauceMojo

                                                                  Hi, SM:

                                                                  There's nothing wrong with Amoretti Bros. wares--they're quite beautiful and very functional.

                                                                  But AFAIK, it's all 2mm of tinned copper, so it's a little thinner than Falk or Mauviel's best bimetal. Just wanted everyone to know...

                                                                  Aloha,
                                                                  Kaleo

                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                    Hi Kaleo,

                                                                    I think you can`t really compare them. Mauviel and Falk are probably technical wares, Amoretti is more like a perfect gift, a beautiful object to have in your kitchen. I am very satisfied with 2mm thick, anyway.

                                                                    1. re: SauceMojo

                                                                      Hi, SM: "I think you can`t really compare them."

                                                                      Well, yes, I think we *can* compare them. If Amoretti wares are to be cooked in at all, they too are "technical wares". And I would consider both Falk and Mauviel to be perfect gifts, beautiful objects, etc. But let's be clear: Falk and the Mauviel we are talking about here are objectively superior culinary tools.

                                                                      What we may not be able to compare is our individual aesthetic or institutional preferences. I share your fondness for the Amorettis' lines and shapes, and I like that the production appears to be artisanal. Mazzetti is another example of this, as are some Ruffonis. Mazzetti actually makes pieces in bona fide 3mm, and I would take them in a heartbeat over Mauviel and Falk because they possess both high beauty and function.

                                                                      Again, Amoretti is fine cookware, and if it is all 2mm it is perfectly serviceable. And yes, beautiful.

                                                                      Aloha,
                                                                      Kaleo

                                                                2. LOVE my Falk cookware... 5 years heavy use, still looks like new! A little lime & salt and shines like the first day I got it! Nothing cooks better than these pots & pans. Don't use my other "high end" brands any more.

                                                                  My only worry is that as I get older, it is getting "heavier": to pick up and hold. I am aging faster than the cookware. Probably will out-live me!

                                                                  1. I'm partial to brushed finishes. My Falk try-me, the 18 cm saucier, has been heavily used for two years. I don't polish copper; it doesn't affect function, and I don't want a wall of pots gleaming at me. But the Falk is much less dark that the pieces with a "mirror" (when polished) surface that have been used just as long.

                                                                    After reading recently about the new Falk U.S.A. distributor, and realizing that the 'try-me' offer is no more, I took down the saucier and gave it a thorough cleaning in thanks and tribute to Michael Harp. I love the soft glow it gives off with even a little light in the kitchen.

                                                                    I like the interior stainless of Bourgeat and Mauviel a little better. But they're all pretty terrific pans.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: ellabee

                                                                      Hi ellabee,

                                                                      My thoughts are exactly the same. I prefer the interiors of Bourgeat followed by Mauviel then lastly by the Falk. I like their large 32cm (nearly 13 inches) diameter pans and the lidded (rectangular) roasting pan they have brought out.

                                                                      The matt finish is not really a problem at all. It is fantastic in fact. My only niggle is just that the stainless steel interior is a different kind of steel altogether from the usual 18/10 I have got used to.

                                                                      FoodSavant it is not surprising that the pans don't age. In my opinion the pans if not used roughly will last indefinitely. Several centuries at least!

                                                                      1. re: ellabee

                                                                        Hi, ellabee:

                                                                        Anyone who prefers a brushed finish can easily get that simply by scouring with dry BKF. At least then you have the choice of taking it back to bright or mirror.

                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                          Doubt very seriously I could get the fine, exactly parallel grooves that give the Falk its soft sheen! <g> But I'll give it some thought the next time I'm inspired to clean/polish the exterior of the Mauviel skillet... It's been more than a year.

                                                                        2. re: ellabee

                                                                          "But they're all pretty terrific pans"

                                                                          This is spot on. The rest is just niggelong between preferences. I also prefer the brushed exterior of Falk but I'm not a fan of the brushed Falk interior. The biggest issue for me is the pitting of the SS on Falk.
                                                                          Then again I have a few niggles about the other brands as well. I'm glad to own each brand and each has it's own strength and weakness.

                                                                        3. Anyone ever use Brooklyn copper? Also does any one have more to say about performance and not appearance?

                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                          1. re: RandyBobandy

                                                                            Hi, RBa:

                                                                            Your question came at an opportune time, because I understand a new and logistically-improved BC will be back in production shortly...

                                                                            Brooklyn Copper is very fine stuff. Every detail has been thought out several times--originally by Waldow, then by Mac Kohler and Jeff, and now again as BC tools up to resume production. They sweat all the details, including their custom-designed cast handles.

                                                                            Performance-wise, I believe BC is fabricated from 0.080" (nominal 2mm) sheetstock, so it will function as would any 2mm line. I do not yet know if BC will be offering thicker wares when it resumes production.

                                                                            American-made counts for a lot, IMO. Plus, Mac Kohler is an erudite guy, passionate about copperware. For him, it's not just about the filthy lucre...

                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                            1. re: RandyBobandy

                                                                              RandyBobandy,

                                                                              I'm beginning to lean towards Mauviel for their interior. I like the fond I get. There's nothing wrong with the fond produced with the Falk, I just feel that the Mauviel has a slight edge - it's exactly the right amount of "stick" and "non stick".

                                                                              1. re: RandyBobandy

                                                                                More a response towards sherrib:

                                                                                In my opinion the rougher interiors of a Mauviel are a bit annoying. e.g.: My Mauviel Frying pan interior is only just beginning to smooth out after nearly 2 years of everyday use. Initially it was not so. Even though all copper pans behave in a general non-stick fashion the circular grooves in the Mauviel pan holds carbon deposits. All Mauvial frying pans have these rough circular scratch-patterns on the inside. I have frying pans from all three brands. Bourgeat and Falk are smooth. Falk frying pan in daily use has no such carbon deposits, since they clean out well. If you try making crepes using a Falk frying pan you will be quite amazed. It is completely perfect.

                                                                                1. re: SomersetDee

                                                                                  "All Mauvial frying pans have these rough circular scratch-patterns on the inside. I have frying pans from all three brands. Bourgeat and Falk are smooth"

                                                                                  Falk SS is a satin finish which sticks far more than Mauviel. Also while Mauviel does indeed have a visible circular pattern in the SS you can not feel it nor is it "rough". Falk SS also pits waaaay to easy.
                                                                                  Pros and cons to each but with SS lining Mauviel for me is the clear winner not to mention vastly better customer service and a warranty that actually is..... a warranty!
                                                                                  I'm very glad to hear Brooklyn Copper may be an option again.

                                                                                  1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                    Hi, TJ: "I'm very glad to hear Brooklyn Copper may be an option again."

                                                                                    That would be super, wouldn't it? If it doesn't happen (or soon), it won't be for a lack of trying on Mac Kohler's part.

                                                                                    For those wanting new 3.2mm sautes, there is the reconstituted Duparquet mark, now run by Jim of Atlantic Retinning: http://www.dhandm.com/ I'm not clear about whether he's actually *making* these or just assembling them, but they look first rate. And in 3 sizes, too.

                                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                      WOW! That 12.5" Sautee is SCHWEET!

                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                        The hell with the pan, I want that custom-crate! What a bargain!

                                                                                        Interesting marketing. Fun comparison: Brooklyn Copper, http://www.brooklyncoppercookware.com, which shows the enthusiasm of the nearly crazed lover of copper craft and cooking (not saying BC's site is any better; it's good/fun for us, but not directly at the deep pockets).

                                                                                        Note the near-outright lie when they actually say anything about the materials (beyond that copper's a splurge/luxury, reminiscent of Babette's Feast, etc): tin's original, copper has good hurst conduction, and __iron's different because "its heat conduction is different [ok, true enough], and makes the iron handle cooler [implied "cooler" than handles in pans used by the lower classes, or simply cool in general.__ Neither true, of course.

                                                                                        Rob

                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                          Not of Atlantic Retinning, but East Coast Tinning. V different, I think.

                                                                                          1. re: ellabee

                                                                                            You are right. Mea culpa.

                                                                                        2. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                          "Falk SS also pits waaaay to easy."
                                                                                          -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                          Just an update on the pitting stock pot saga. Another few months have gone by with minimal use and I now have 8-10 very visible pits on the SS bottom of the stock pot that's roughly 1 year old. In many years of running Professional kitchens and handling a lot of Copper I have never seen any SS deteriorate like this. The last I posted on the topic I was still reluctant to call it defective but that does appear to be the case. It looks like I will get to find out if all the touting about a great new US distributor with improved customer service is true.
                                                                                          Wish me luck!

                                                                                    2. I have Mauviel, Falk and de Buyer. Out of these I prefer the Falk finish.

                                                                                      They are holding a massive sale at the moment with everything marked down, if anyone is thinking of buying copper cookware

                                                                                      http://service.falkcoppercookware.com...

                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: spitfired

                                                                                        The sale terms say only in Europe.

                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                          Falk are in Europe. I bought the big stew pan last week and had them send it to my sister in London, England who is shipping this over to me next week. With the tax refund this came out at $250 and some change.

                                                                                          1. re: spitfired

                                                                                            Yes, well, and fortunate you are!

                                                                                            Of course Falk is in Europe, Belgium to be particular. I was merely letting the USA Hounds know that the sale you mentioned is for the European website orders only, and they won't ship sale items to USA. That's what the new USA distributor is for...

                                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                              You are totally right. They don’t ship to the USA. But organizing this with UPS took a few minutes and cost IRO $25. So yes it worked out a lot cheaper to buy from the manufacturer for me. But I should also mention my own experience with Falks customer service has been excellent. I’ve bought a few pieces from them and they have always been really helpful both before and after purchasing. This is very different to what is posted here on Chowhound by people going through the US resellers. I regard a company’s customer service, especially after the purchase has been made, is just as important as the product itself. I am never going to pay double the price I can buy the same item elsewhere to be treated like c**p and then end up with a stripped down warranty.

                                                                                              Great to hear about Hammersmith. Do you know when they will be open for business again? That may be a great solution for copper fans in the USA.

                                                                                              1. re: spitfired

                                                                                                Unfortunately I do not know when Hammersmith will reopen.

                                                                                            2. re: spitfired

                                                                                              Yes there is a new USA distributor who should change things around for Falk Culinair in the US. Here in the UK we have an excellent distributor who are a delight to deal with.

                                                                                              I must mention here to my Chowhound friends that the new distributor in the US is likely to mirror that kind of exemplar service they are known for here in UK. You can specifically try the UK website to see local customer reviews by going here http://www.falkculinair.co.uk/

                                                                                              Their new HUGE 32cm frying pans and stew pots are truly AMAZING!! There are no other manufacturers offering a competing product.

                                                                                              I think the US customers are eligible for their 25% discounts http://service.falkcoppercookware.com...
                                                                                              and far more cost effective than importing from UK or Belgium spending more on postage :)

                                                                                              regards
                                                                                              Dee Padamadan

                                                                                        2. Hi guys,

                                                                                          I thought I will share my thoughts on the new range of 32cm super large pots from Falk Culinair.

                                                                                          It is heavy, stable, and stunning. The lids sits perfectly and I am happy to say that the lid is 90% copper with only a thin steel lining. I am disappointed with the lids the Mauviel is coming out with which is predominantly steel and the copper is a very thin outer layer. Such lids tends to stay cooler and not bring the benefits of copper.

                                                                                          This cavernous pot boils water really quickly which is all I have had time for since I received it this week. I can't wait to make a mega large chicken stew in this very soon.

                                                                                          regards
                                                                                          Dee

                                                                                           
                                                                                           
                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: SomersetDee

                                                                                            Hi, Dee:

                                                                                            That looks/sounds really nice! Did Falk increase the size of the handles too?

                                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                              Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                              I filled it up completely with water and then boiled it. I came up to the boil in record time. The shape and large base is absolutely fabulous for soaking up all the energy from the flame below. When it was full and partly hot, I checked the handle by lifting it with the full weight. The handle felt stable and safe.

                                                                                              Apart from the humungous weight of water, I could grip the handles firmly and feel good control. I am happy to say Kaleo, that its handles are LARGER than the handle in 28cm Mauviel :) Yeah!

                                                                                              I am really pleased with this.

                                                                                              regards
                                                                                              Dee

                                                                                              1. re: SomersetDee

                                                                                                Hi Dee:

                                                                                                That's good to know. Falk's handles have always been disappointing to me because they're so small all-around. But your rondeau looks like they used much bigger, stouter loops. Much more secure with towels/mitts/potholders.

                                                                                                You know the trick of putting 2 Champagne corks under the lid loop, right?

                                                                                                Aloha,
                                                                                                Kaleo

                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                  Hi Kaleo

                                                                                                  Do you mean wedging some cork across to form an insulating handle? I have not tried it sounds like a simple elegant solution. :) I still use the makeshift mitt my mom stitched for me few years ago when she saw me struggling with hot lids! I should try using wine bottle corks for lids. Thanks Kaleo!
                                                                                                  regards
                                                                                                  Dee

                                                                                                  1. re: SomersetDee

                                                                                                    Hi, Dee:

                                                                                                    Yes, I meant wedging the corks perpendicularly under the cover's loop (between the cover and the underside of the loop).

                                                                                                    Using two (or 3) on your monster 32cm lid gives a lot more leverage. Sometimes you need to whittle the corks down a bit, but yes, it's a very easy solution. If you do a lot of baking with the lid on at high temps, the corks toast and degrade some, but the solution is welcome: more Champagne!

                                                                                                    I learned this from Alton Brown, but it must be a very old trick...

                                                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                                            2. re: SomersetDee

                                                                                              Hi Dee, the new Falk pan is great! love it. If you are looking for 100% copper pan and pure tin inside for your collection you could also take a look at the Amoretti Brothers line. I am afraid Mauviel is choosing more and more the steel for the inside lining,I didn`t know that.

                                                                                               
                                                                                              1. re: kobechef

                                                                                                Hi Kobochef

                                                                                                Yes Amoretti Brothers pans are nice. I have one oval pan but I worry about damaging the tin so I rarely use it. They are beautiful. Thanks Kobochef.
                                                                                                regards
                                                                                                Dee

                                                                                            3. look at this page http://www.coppercookwareinfo.com/cop...

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: betheareast

                                                                                                That page still managed to leave out a few: Alessi for one :)

                                                                                                1. re: SomersetDee

                                                                                                  Mazzetti, Ruffoni, ODI, Paderno World Cuisine, and several others as well.

                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                    Amoretti Brothers...