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Do they make Tri-Ply cookware with copper instead of aluminum (SS-Copper-SS)?

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I'm looking at mid range cookware and see that the tri ply cookware from All Clad is SS-Al-SS, does anyone make any that is SS-Cu-SS?

I see that most tri ply cookware is SS-Al-SS and copper cookware is Cu outside and SS inside or it's got 5+ layers where 1 thin layer is Cu.

I just want easy to clean no hassle cookware here it is SS-Cu-SS. Is there a reason why this isn't done? It can't be cost, because how much copper do you really think is in those expensive copper pans and pots? maybe $10 worth in a 12 qt copper stock pot? I'm thinking it might be a technical reason?

Thanks.

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  1. The original All-Clad bonding process was for SS on aluminum. As I understand it, the aluminum layers remain in the copper core product for technical reasons having to do with bonding the SS. If I wanted an all stainless look, I would just go with the copper core. If I thought lots of copper were important, I would go with a copper pan with only interior lining. The SS exterior is mainly for people who don't like the look of aluminum. I expext most people who like copper also like the look of it.

    Mauviel seems to make copper with SS lining and no aluminum, but it's copper on the outside.

    4 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      I want SS exterior because I don't want to polish/do upkeep on the copper.

      1. re: gotsmack

        Hi, gotsmack:

        Take a look at Demeyere Atlantis. It may not be "midrange", but it is coin-of-the-realm when it comes to copper tri-ply.

        Aloha,
        Kaleo

        1. re: kaleokahu

          Keep in mind that Demeyre only uses their copper ply on the straight sided disc-bottom cookware. The formed multi-ply to the edge cookware is their 7-ply material which is an aluminum steel sandwich - the same material used in their apollo line which is why it is said that unless you need matching pot handles, just get the apollo line for any non-straight sided Demeyre cookware and the atlantis for their straight sided cookware.

          There is no mid-range copper tri-ply cookware because in it simply costs too much to make. The costs probably are in part the raw materials cost, cost of finished bonded materials, cost and difficulty of working bonded materials (if the bonding process allows that degree of deformation), the cost of marketing/differentiating their product, etc.

          1. re: khuzdul

            Correct.

            Demeyere Atlantis only has copper in the straight sided disc bottom cookware (like a pot) and those are 5-ply not 3-ply. The rest of the Atlantis (like frying pans) are fully cladded to the rim, but are cladded with aluminum as the core layers with a 7-ply scheme.

    2. We have SS-Copper-SS from the late 1950's and it still works fine. Never any bonding issues. Perhaps cost and fluctuating prices for copper dissuaded cookware manufacturers from using it more often.

      3 Replies
      1. re: SanityRemoved

        Do you mind posting the manufacturer/brand name of your vintage cookware?

        1. re: AsperGirl

          The logo has a house with the name HomEc inside the house.
          HomEc
          Copper Core
          18 8 Tri-ply
          Stainless Steel
          Made in USA

          HomEc was a division of Wear-Ever Aluminum, Inc. and was sold door to door in the 50s and 60s.

          1. re: SanityRemoved

            Ah, thank you. Supposedly, 18/8 or 18/10 are't able to be used on induction burners.

            I'm always on the lookout.

      2. My guess as to why they don't make SS-Cu-SS pans is that most folks who are willing to pay for copper cookware want to be able to show it off to their friends.

        I admire your practical and unostentatious attitude.

        1. Like someone else said, Demeyere straight side disk bottom pot contain copper (a significant amount based on the cutout in the store), but not their cladded pans & sauciers. But if I'm not mistaken, the Culinary Institute of America collection does have cooper in their ply. I stumbled upon that when I was looking for a saucier.

          I haven't tried any of their pot/pans, or seen a cutout, but they do list a 7 ply sandwich:
          SS-Al-Al-Cu-Al-Al-SS. Not sure how much copper there really is, since prices are similar to All Clad (but they are made in China). Maybe someone has experience with that line? Pieces are listed on Amazon.

          9 Replies
          1. re: rewok

            "Demeyere straight side disk bottom pot contain copper (a significant amount based on the cutout in the store), but not their cladded pans & sauciers"

            Correct. Demeyere frying pans and etc are made with aluminum core. The copper ones are not triply neither.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              The interesting thing to me is that their disk bottom pans also have some thin layers of silver. I don't know how big of a difference it actually makes, but silver is one of the few things that has slightly better thermal conductivity than copper.

              Gimmicky or not, I have found that most of the 5+ ply cookware seems to have better efficiency and heat distribution, in my very *unscientific* tests. The CIA Masters series has only a single very thin layer of copper in its 7+ layers, but it's noticeably heavier than 3 ply pans of comparable size, and does seem to distribute heat well.

              I haven't looked at the newer version of All-Clad Copper Core; as I've said elsewhere, I don't know that it's worth the extra money, but the layer of copper on the one piece I do have does seem to be quite a bit thicker than you'd think from looking at the diagrams. So, if you are adamant about stainless outside, copper inside, I think this is your best bet. That said, I'm inclined to agree with most of the other posters here. If weight and cost aren't concern, I would suggest just buying copper and not being so fussy about the appearance. Tarnished / beat up copper has its own charm. And, for that matter, stainless steel will scratch quite a bit too, depending on what type of grates you have.

              To answer your original question, Sitram does make stainless / copper / stainless disk bottom cookware (the Catering line), but not fully clad.

              1. re: will47

                I looked at Sitram Catering but it is not good for Induction. I don't have an induction cooktop now, but there is a very high chance I will in 2 years or so.

                I disagree with beat up and tarnished copper having charm. It is in my head but :

                1. When I see brass or copper that is tarnished when it should be shiny I think "This person doesn't take care of their possessions, it takes 5 minutes to polish that and they are too lazy to do it" so this logic concludes with "If they treat their own expensive things like this there is no way I'm going to lend them or trust them with ANYTHING".

                2. I've seen very scratched up copper and it is really ugly, the dents I don't mind so much.

                3. I've seen beat/scratched to hell stainless steel and though "It's stainless, did you really expect it to look pretty?"

                1. re: gotsmack

                  "but there is a very high chance I will in 2 years or so"

                  In that case, you should really look for cookware which can work on an induction cooktop.

                  "I disagree with beat up and tarnished copper having charm."

                  It is all personal.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    It's definitely a personal thing. I can appreciate both - I've seen some "well used" copper that looks absolutely gorgeous (to me), but I understand that some people don't like it. To me, well-used cookware in general tends to look nice.

                    A lot of folks who don't want to be so fussy about cleaning / polishing seem to like Falk's brushed copper finish, however that's definitely not induction capable.

                    It really sounds to me like All-Clad Copper-Core is probably the closest thing currently on the market to what you're looking for. However, if possible, it might be worth purchasing or borrowing a couple of pieces of various cookware lines to compare, or purchasing standard multi-ply stainless / aluminum pieces for applications where precise control of heat is not so important.

                    1. re: will47

                      It is like these Takeda knives. Some people love the rustic and traditional look, but some think they are disgusting and dirty:

                      http://knifewear.com/knife-family.asp...

                      "It really sounds to me like All-Clad Copper-Core is probably the closest thing currently on the market to what you're looking for."

                      Certainly, the best known one for what the original poster is looking for. Demeyere Atlantis is much more expensive. In addition, only some of the Demeyere Atlantis has copper, about half of them have aluminum instead.

                2. re: will47

                  Will

                  "but silver is one of the few things that has slightly better thermal conductivity than copper."

                  More expensive too. So it certainly wasn't put there to be a dummy cost saving mean.

                  "newer version of All-Clad Copper Core ... but the layer of copper on the one piece I do have does seem to be quite a bit thicker than you'd think from looking at the diagrams"

                  I don't think copper in All Clad copper core is thin. If anything, the criticism is always about the Cop-R-Chef, no?

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Sorry, I was referring to the diagram in "Technical Details" at:
                    http://www.all-clad.com/collections/c...

                    It doesn't specify one way or another whether the drawing is to scale, but in the picture, the copper layer looks like the same thickness as the aluminum layers. However, if you look at the edge of an actual pan, the copper layer is quite a bit thicker than the surrounding aluminum layers. You'd think it would be to All-Clad's advantage to make it look bigger in the drawing at least, so that they don't look cheap.

                    1. re: will47

                      From other threads, estimating the thickness based on eyeballing the edge thickness with rulers, "people" (i.e. pundits on discussion boards) have generally agreed that the copper layer in the copper core is about 0.89 or 0.90mm sandwiched by two 0.17 or 0.18mm aluminum layers for a total heat conductive sandwich thickness of ~1.23 to 1.25mm.

                      Demeyere's silver layer is so thin that it really does not affect the heat distribution of their pots. The reason there are layers of silver is because they are needed for their bonding process, and if you look at their site's materials page, they say as much. They do however use a 2mm copper disc for their disc bottoms.

                      Sitram's catering line in the U.S. with copper disc bottoms also are 2mm copper thick discs IIRC (though I have seen sites that claim it is a 2.5mm copper layer for all but the small saute/sauce pans which are 1mm, but I am inclined to believe they are 2mm in thickness with 1mm for the smallest pots) and cost quite a bit less than Demeyere if you are OK with copper disc bottom pots. However, Sitrams bottoms are not wielded on capsules if that matters to you, and I believe that the Demeyere conductive disc layer goes to the edge of the pan while Sitram's disc bottom do not extend all the way to the edge. Sitrams copper disc bottom catering line also is not induction capable.

                      I've never handled their catering line, but I have handled their profisserie line and find their quality to be good on that line.

            2. Given that copper is about 3X the cost of aluminum and there's no real functional advantage why would a manufacturer bother to hide copper in a core? If they're going to use it they'll make it visible. In the multi-layer cores (100% gimmicky) the copper serves next to no purpose.

              The Demeyere products are ridiculously overpriced and, as the original poster noted, probably contain a couple of bucks worth of copper.

              29 Replies
              1. re: ferret

                Copper is a better material than aluminum and the cost is higher, but you don'treally use that much more. The clad process should be mature now so cost to clad copper should be low.

                Having the steel on the outide can reduce the hassle of doing upkeep on the copper and shod be able to take more abuse. I want to be able to have a good copper fry panand not have to worry about the finish or nicks in the bottom when i bang the pan against the range.

                1. re: gotsmack

                  Copper is only marginally better and that's only if you're using an identical thickness of each. I've had a number of aluminum core pieces over the years and there's not enough abuse possible to get down to the aluminum core. I have heavy iron grates on my stove and while scratches are certainly evident I have yet to experience an event of sufficient magnitude as to deform the stainless cladding. Unless you're using blacksmithing tools and techniques I doubt you'd ever get to the core either.

                  1. re: ferret

                    Hi, ferret:

                    "Copper is only marginally better"

                    Well, if you mean it's better by a margin, that's true. But by that standard, copper is "only marginally" better than straight-gauge SS or plutonium. Copper, at 231 hr-ft-F, has nearly twice the conductivity of aluminum at 136 (118 at room temperature). Now 1.7 times better may *seem* like a small margin when you compare copper with CI (46 hr-ft-F--5x better), or with SS (8 hr-ft-F--29x better), but the difference between aluminum and copper is significant. I would reserve the judgment "only marginally better" for a comparison like copper (231) to silver (247).

                    "...and that's only if you're using an identical thickness of each."

                    No, not at all. Because of it's greater thermal conductivity, an equally thick layer of aluminum is not going to carry the heat as far/fast as the same thickness of copper. In order to equal the evenness of 2.87mm copper, the aluminum pan is going to need to be 6-7mm thick.

                    An oft-overlooked aspect of the thermal conductivity of "aluminum" is the effect of alloyants. Some cookware manufacturers claim some or all of their layers are "pure" aluminum, but most do not. Nor with they tell you the alloy if you ask. The problem with this is that there is a HUGE spectrum of thermal conductivities across the commercially-available alloys, from quite good to abysmally poor. See, http://www.matweb.com/search/DataShee...

                    Aloha,

                    Kaleo

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      ""...and that's only if you're using an identical thickness of each."

                      No, not at all. Because of it's greater thermal conductivity, an equally thick layer of aluminum is not going to carry the heat as far/fast as the same thickness of copper. In order to equal the evenness of 2.87mm copper, the aluminum pan is going to need to be 6-7mm thick. "

                      That was pretty much my point. The difference is apparent only when you use the same thickness of material. Given the roughly 3.5X price factor, even if you use twice as much aluminum (as you would copper) the price advantage stays with aluminum, so you offset the difference with more material.

                      However, the world of cookpot science is decidedly unscientific. There's no "our technology is demonstrably better" in the equation so you can't say that 2mm of copper is the "sweet spot" as compared to 4mm or 1mm. It's all marketing.

                      1. re: ferret

                        " There's no "our technology is demonstrably better" in the equation so you can't say that 2mm of copper is the "sweet spot" as compared to 4mm or 1mm. It's all marketing."

                        Let's say it is gradual, so there is no real cut-off line.

                        1. re: ferret

                          Hi, ferret:

                          Your original statement was "Copper is only marginally better and that's only if you're using an identical thickness of each." In truth, it's *appreciably* better at equal thicknesses. Only when you more than double the thickness does the margin close to near insignificance.

                          How many quarter-inch-thick aluminum pans are there in the market? I've seen some (applied) disk-bottomed pans that might qualify. But I don't believe there are any fully-clad pans with cores of that thickness of aluminum.

                          Yes, aluminum is cheaper, especially when purchased by weight. But Demeyer Atlantis isn't 3.5x the price of Apollo.

                          And yes, marketing and hucksterism show no signs of abating in the world of cookware. But the laws of physics being what they are, a 2mm copper core is going to outperform a 2mm aluminum one. Cladding them in crappy SS (especially thick crappy SS, such as All-Clad uses) will mute the differences somewhat by degrading the performance of both. And I cannpot find the citation right now, but there is authority out there that quantifies--scientifically--thicknesses of various cookware metals to a theoretically ideal degree of evenness. Thats where the 2.87 and 6-7mm figures came from, not someone's marketing hype.

                          Aloha,

                          Kaleo

                          1. re: ferret

                            Ferret- Why do you keep bringing up cost? Yes it is higher cost as a percentage comparison between the two metals, but the cost of copper instead of aluminum in a fry pan is like $2 in raw material. This is nothing when it comes time to buy the pan in the store! I'm not going to disqualify a pan from consideration because it cost $2 more than the other pans.

                            From what I've seen, the thing that really drives up the cost is that companies only want to put copper in their fancy 5+ layer (must be expensive to bond multiple layers?) cookware and I'm not sure it even does any good when you have that many layers or they put in barely any copper into cheap cookware and use that as a gimmick.

                            I started this thread with the intent to find good, simple, and relatively cheap copper cookware. In my mind this is done by having:

                            1. the best cooking material (copper)
                            2. in an easy to care for & dish washer safe package (tri-ply),
                            and
                            3. at a low price point for what you are getting (being tri-ply instead of 5+ layers)

                            I also need it to work on an induction stove top, which Sitram Catering does not do.

                            1. re: gotsmack

                              I believe Sitram Catering doesn't work on induction, or at least isn't guaranteed to work with it.
                              That said, for what it's worth, I did try attaching a magnet to the bottom of one or two of my Sitram Catering pans, and it did seem to attach, though not as firmly as to some other pots. The outer stainless layer is definitely very thin.

                              You didn't mention induction capability before... I think that thins down the field of contenders even further.

                              I get what you are saying, but it sounds like (regardless of whether the reason is technical, marketing, or whatever) there isn't anything exactly like what you are looking for, so you probably need to decide in which areas you're willing to cut corners. You could pick one of All-Clad Copper-Core (see http://www.all-clad.com/consumer-serv..., though, especially if you're considering buying it used) or De Buyer Prima Matera, or else consider something with a much thinner copper layer (but good induction capability) like the CIA Masters or Demeyere's disk bottom stuff. I don't have much personal experience with induction, but I would imagine that some of the benefits of copper aren't as important with induction.

                              1. re: will47

                                FWIW, I tried again with a magnet, and it didn't stick to an older (> 5 years) Sitram Catering saucepan). However a slightly newer Catering series skillet, which has a thicker looking base, and which is probably at least 3 years old, does attract a magnet (just about as well as a pan in the Profiserie series).

                                The All-Clad copper-core pan I have is also the older style - it doesn't attract the magnet at all.

                              2. re: gotsmack

                                The ss-cu-ss that we have is 18 8 stainless steel so it does not work on induction but I am tempted to purchase an interface disk to see how well this 50+ year old cookware performs on induction. I'm curious as to the speed and the distance that the copper core may or may not afford.

                                1. re: SanityRemoved

                                  Stop rubbing it in, but please let me know the results!

                                  1. re: gotsmack

                                    I tried using a 9 1/2" de Buyer Force Blue crepe pan as an interface with an approximately 6" ss-cu-ss pan containing 3/4" of water. Initially things were going well. Water was heating pretty uniformly and small bubbles lined the bottom of the pan. It looked like it was about to hit the boiling point when the overheat sensor triggered. The top pan was fine. The crepe pan didn't fare so well. It had a noticeable 3-4" grey hot spot and had warped.

                                    These copper core pans have an interesting bottom that may have contributed to the overheating and warping. There is a 3/4" ring on the outside that sits flush while the interior area is raised about 1/8".

                                    Now to remember where I put that 10 ton press ;)

                                    1. re: SanityRemoved

                                      "These copper core pans have an interesting bottom that may have contributed to the overheating and warping."

                                      I don't think it is the copper core pans. I have a decent guess what might have happened.

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        I took one for the team?

                                        1. re: SanityRemoved

                                          :) Ha ha ha. You do remember my famous line. I stole that from SouthPark episode: "For the Team". I do feel bad that you ruin a perfectly good DeBuyer pan.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            Yes, we are still waiting to see that knife haha.

                                      2. re: SanityRemoved

                                        Hi, Sanity: "There is a 3/4" ring on the outside that sits flush while the interior area is raised about 1/8"

                                        I think that's probably the reason for the warpage. I wouldn't have guessed the crepe would warp, especially since it has a formed edge. How thick is that Force Blue?

                                        Jeez, I feel responsible after passing along Michael Harp's recommendation. Sorry.

                                        Aloha,
                                        Kaleo

                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                          The crepe pan is 2mm. No need to apologize, it worked for Michael Harp so I gave it a shot. I cooked eggs in it this morning and it was fine, it just has that restaurant look to it now haha.

                                          Saved me some money too.

                                    2. re: SanityRemoved

                                      Hey Sanity...:

                                      If you want a disk, check out the big CS crepe pan that's on eBay right now, for <$20. Michael Harp, the Falk guy, tells me that's what he uses and claims it works well.

                                      Aloha,
                                      Kaleo

                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                        Thanks Kaleo, I'll take a look.

                                      2. re: SanityRemoved

                                        Would the interface disk somewhat defeat the purpose/benefits of induction? Just asking because I am not all that familiar with those disks.

                                        1. re: Fowler

                                          Max Burton states that there will be a reduction in efficiency when using their induction interface disk. People have reported good success with copper pans.

                                          1. re: Fowler

                                            "Would the interface disk somewhat defeat the purpose/benefits of induction?"

                                            It certainly does take quiet a bit of benefits away. There are several advantages of true induction cooking. First, it is from the safety point. With induction cooking, the cookware is directly heated. It is the hottest source, where the stove is cooler. You can lift the cookware and touch the stove. Second, it is its high energy transfer efficiency also due to the cookware being directly heated. Third, it is the quick response.

                                            When your cookware cannot take advantage of the induction cooking and resort to use a ferromagnetic dish, then you lose quiet a bit in these areas because now the induction stove is heating the ferromagnetic dish which then heats the cookware. So it is back to a picture much closer to electric resistive stove.

                                        2. re: gotsmack

                                          "but the cost of copper instead of aluminum in a fry pan is like $2 in raw material"

                                          About 4 times in difference.

                                          "in an easy to care for & dish washer safe package (tri-ply)"

                                          In term of heat response, triply in aluminum is effectively as good as triply in copper. The stainless steel in the triply (or whatever ply) even out the difference. If you are flying from Boston to San Francisco for a conference meeting, your travel time is determined by your plane flight, not by the car your rent. Questioning if you should rent a Porche at the airport to try to speed up the overall travel time seems unnecessary.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            But at the airport if the Nissan cost $40 a day to rent and the Porche is $44, why not take the Porche? $4 a day isn't going to break the bank and it's a better rental.

                                            That was the point in saying $2. The cost of raw material is not a deterrent because it will only drive up the total cost by an amount that doesn't even matter.

                                            1. re: gotsmack

                                              "But at the airport if the Nissan cost $40 a day to rent and the Porche is $44, why not take the Porche? $4 a day isn't going to break the bank and it's a better rental."

                                              Except that copper core cookware is not 10% more than aluminum core cookware. An All Clad stainless steel aluminum triply 3-quart saute pan is $175 (Amazon price) and its copper core counterpart is $330. So it is more like $40 rent vs $80 rent.

                                              I am not advising you against copper. I am just saying that once you put the stainless steel on the triply construction, the heat response will be greatly affected by the stainless steel. Now, the copper and aluminum distinction becomes much smaller.

                                              If you are going to drive all the way from Boston to San Francisco in a car , then the selection of a car matters. However, if you are going to fly, then the rental car has a much smaller overall impact.

                                          2. re: gotsmack

                                            I bring up cost because manufacture is driven by it. They pick a price point and then figure out the best way to hit it. You may want to pay $2 more for copper but they won't give you that option ($2 for the manufacturer is not equal to $2 for the buyer, it's not even $4 for the buyer, it's what the manufacturer believes it can get for a "premium" feature). If they can save $2 in raw materials then they will do so.

                                            1. re: ferret

                                              Copper is much harder than aluminum (harder to machine) and may be more difficult to bond as well. It may not be a conspiracy theory. Aluminum is relatively soft and pliable and thus has lower machining costs, plus a long history of bondability with stainless steel without resorting to aluminum or silver bonding layers.

                                  2. re: ferret

                                    It's certainly not 100%. Copper has almost twice the thermal conductivity of aluminum, which is enough to easily make a difference in the distribution of heat throughout the pan. Whether the effect is enough to be important in cooking most things is debateable, but it is certainly not zero.