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Apr 17, 2012 07:16 AM

2.5mm copper fry pan, 10.2 inches in diameter--use on a 7.5 inch burner?

Is a 2.5mm copper fry pan that is 10.2 inches in diameter okay to use on a 7.5 inch burner?

I've read that if your pan is a good conductor it is ok to use it on a smaller burner. Is this true?

Will I damage the copper pan if I do this?

Thank you for your help!

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  1. Tin, clad, or bare (candy) copper?

    1. I'm assuming this is a stainless-lined pan (guessing it's the Mauviel with iron handle? I loved its wonderful, even cooking, but ended up going with a slightly lighter and smaller 2mm skillet).

      The actual base on the pan is about 8.5", so it's not wildly inappropriate for the burner, and should work fine. No reason it should damage the pan. I'd stick with a larger burner for higher-heat jobs, if possible, just for the sake of speed/fuel efficiency.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ellabee

        Yes, I'm referring to the Mauviel 18/10 stainless-steal lined copper fry pan with cast iron handle. So you're saying that the 10.2" diameter pan is the diameter of the pan from lid to lid? If that's the case, and the base is really about 8.5" that makes me feel much better about ordering the pan.

        Thank you ellabee.

      2. Hi, CF:

        You're good to go. This is a good match, actually, one that you could push a little bit more with all that copper. So yes, what you've heard is true. It will not damage the pan. Just remember not to heat the pan (much) while it is completely empty.


        1. You will not damage the pan that is for sure.

          You said your copper fry pan is 10.2 in diameter. Is that the base diameter? Usually people refer to the diameter on the top. Like, ellabee said, your base is probably closer to 8", so you should be ok.

          However, if the based of your fry pan is 10.2", and you are trying to put on a 7.5" burner, then it will suffer.

          <I've read that if your pan is a good conductor it is ok to use it on a smaller burner. Is this true?>

          A good conductor help a bit, but only a bit. You cannot get the entire pan evely heated when more than 1 inch sticking out all around the burner. There is nothing wrong with this set up, as long as you realize this and play within your limitation.

          1. Have just found my notes on that skillet: the base is 8", so should be perfectly fine on your burner(s). Happy cooking!

            A caution: Some of those 2.5mm Mauviels, including the one I enjoyed for a while, have a kind of clear coating on the handle -- varnish or silicon or something. This seems to have been a small experimental production run by the mfgr, I guess to attempt to "rustproof" the handles. During its second or third use here, the handle heated up at the pan end enough to burn off the coating -- a very alarming chemical smell, that made me glad for good ventilation. But once it burned off, the fumes dissipated and didn't recur. Maybe you might want to do your first few outings with your pan on a hotplate outdoors?

            Once broken in, it's a pretty unbeatable pan. I'm not using it now only because I happened into a terrific bargain on a copper skillet with an ideal handle (long, cast stainless, and curved just right to make it comfortable to use the saute motion with your arm). The 2.5mm is boxed up waiting for me to get it together to sell online at some point.

            8 Replies
            1. re: ellabee

              Hi, Ellabee: "...I happened into a terrific bargain on a copper skillet with an ideal handle (long, cast stainless, and curved just right..."

              What pan might that be? One of the lighter-gauge Mauviels? If so, do you notice any difference in performance? I'm also interested because I assumed there wasn't much difference in the handle ergonomics between the CI and SS. I dislike the CI handle on my one Mauviel saucepan--too "turny"; and so narrow, smooth and angled that it feels like I'm losing control of it half the time.


              1. re: kaleokahu

                It's a 2mm skillet, 9.5" (24 cm), in Mauviel's fairly short-lived "Cuprinox Style" line, now discontinued. The pans all had pouring lips and cast stainless handles that are longer than the traditional cast iron ones (also longer and wider than the brass handles on the otherwise identical 2mm Mauviel-for-Williams-Sonoma pans). I'm not sure it would make such a big difference for me on a saucepan, but the Mauviel stainless handle is a real selling point on a skillet, where you do so much moving and manipulation of the pan.

                Sadly, Mauviel seems to have eliminated the happy medium, now producing pans only in 2.5mm or 1.5mm copper. The thicker line are wonderful, but just a bit heavier than I find manageable in anything but the smallest sizes. They also are (I think) only available with cast iron handles, and with straight, lipless edges like the fry pan that the OP asked about.

                I haven't cooked with the thinner gauge, nor do I feel any urge to. That's always been considered a weight for presentation pans, used only for brief cooking, not thick enough to offer the real benefits of copper. Particularly for someone like you, accustomed to cooking in 2.5mm and 3mm copper, it's hard to imagine it would be worth trading down to a lightweight pan just to get the nice handle.

                I'd suggest keeping an eye out on ebay for any of the original 2mm saucepans in the Style line, but I honestly don't think I've seen one in the last year. What there is a lot of is the 2mm Mauviel-for-W-S with brass handles. Brass isn't ideal because of how much more quickly it heats up, but Mauviel's brass handles are flatter and less 'turn-y' than their cast iron ones. Just a few weeks ago I got a 3-qt saucier in that line, the last piece of copper I plan to buy for a long while. I wish it had the Style stainless handles, but considering how little I paid for it, I'm happy to use a handle cover if need be.

                1. re: ellabee

                  Hi, Ellabee:

                  Thanks or the info. I have heretofore associated the SS handles with the table-service lines. It is unfortunate if Mauviel abandoned better handles simply to match some aesthetic. IMO, SS is the perfect handle material (and it's rare real functional use).

                  My very first copper pan was a 2mm Mazzetti skillet handled in brass. that I bought at the family's shop in Montepulciano. I still use it a lot, and even more so now that I have the woodstove. Ironically, having a solid-surface cooktop greatly levels the playing field when it comes to the thickness of the foil, at least with frying and saute. (These stoves also heat the iron handles nearly as fast as brass, so a sidetowel is now becomng an appendage.) In fact, out of curiosity, I'm now keeping an eye out for a *very* thin pan with which to compare on this stove. But on a "modern" hob, there seems to be a bright line, 1.5mm pans being on the wrong side of the tracks, 2mm on the right.

                  This might end up a fool's errand, but if you really like those Mauviel SS handles, you can always have them transplanted onto a thicker pan. The rivet spacing might even be the same. The thinner pans you'd have as amputees could also be saved, either converted to gratins, rondeaux or marmites, or cut down for pastry rounds.

                  Fellow CHer timirvine swears by his 2mm Mauviel nonstick. I wonder if it too has one of these SS handles.


                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    Yes, I have a big frypan I got years ago at Fantes, 12 inches. I'd peg it at around 2 mm. It has a brass handle I do not like, chiefly because they get hot so quickly. However, it performs well. I will concede that I like my old BIA sautoir better, close to 3 mm and CI handle (10"), but when I need a large pan and will want a delicate sauce, the large thin pan works well, definitely better than an AC. OK, now I want shrimp with thin sliced onions, parsley, and lime.

                    Interesting how people feel about different handles. I certainly agree with the world at large, even people who generally like AC, that AC handles are awful. I actually like the wide flat handles of the heavier DeBuyer pans. I noted that at SLT they offered those pans with a choice of handles, the others very similar to Mauviel.

                    Back to the OP, a heavy copper pan can handle a VERY significant mismatch with the burner. I deglaze and make gravy in a heavy copper roasting pan that is about 18 or 20".

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      :: It is unfortunate if Mauviel abandoned better handles simply to match some aesthetic.::

                      I don't believe they did. They've been making the iron handles since they began manufacturing. They introduced the cast stainless handles with the 'Style' line, fairly recently (don't know even roughly when; guess: in the last 15 years). Then they transferred the stainless handles to the thinner-gauge line when they essentially dropped production of 2mm pieces (in the last year or so).

                      It's possible that the cast stainless handles are not quite strong enough for the larger items in the 2.5mm line. [Also, it's possible that I'm mistaken about the handle options Mauviel offers in the heavier line.]

                      1. re: ellabee

                        Hi, ellabee:

                        Sorry, I must have misread your earlier post--I understood you to say the good, longer cast SS handles were unique to the now-discontinued 2mm line. My bad.


                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          Just checked the current offerings ( ), and it's as I thought: only iron on the heavy stainless-lined pieces. But the 1.5mm is available with either brass or stainless handles. The cast stainless really is the best material for handles on such conductive pans: stays cooler and doesn't rust or tarnish. And looks good.

                          In the particular case of Mauviel, they also seem to have been designed with function in mind -- the shape of the handles for skillet, saucepan, and saute pan are different from each other and suited to the way a cook holds and moves the pan. It's a shame they thinned down the pans...

                          1. re: ellabee

                            Hi, ellabee:

                            Thanks. It appears from the site that the 1.5mm line offers handles in iron, SS or "bronze", and the 2.5mm line in iron or bronze. But I see only a few thicker pieces in bronze. I also noted that the SS handles all take 2 rivets, whereas the handles on all the 2.5mm pieces take 3.

                            "...And looks good." Well, I'm trying to accept that. It (bright polished SS) sure doesn't look *traditional*, but I think it would indeed stay cooler longer.

                            The MSRP on this stuff is crazy expensive.