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Aug 15, 2012 02:42 PM

My new Mauviel M'Heritage cookware - need help


I'm new to this website, having discovered it after conducting months and months of research on copper pots. After much deliberation, I finally decided to buy the Mauviel 250c M'Heritage collection, although the Falk and Matfer products were equally oustanding and came in a "tie" for second!

I have a few questions that I was hoping some of the experts here might help me with. I understand that some copper manufacturers (for example, Baumalu) place a protective lacquer coating on their copper to prevent oxidation, and that the lacquer must be removed prior to using the pots. However, it is my understanding that Mauviel, at least with the 250C model, does not put any lacquer on their pots. I've already cooked with the pots and have not noticed anything unusual, other than what appears to me to be normal patina affect on the bottom from the fire, but nothing in terms of black marks or sticky melting of a coating. Am I safe to assume that there is no lacquer on these pots?

Second, the cast iron handles on my pots do in fact appear to have a clear coating on them, perhaps the lacquer coating? Am I supposed to remove this coating from the handles with acetone? Or am I supposed to leave it as is? I noticed that the handles, right where they attach to the copper pots, have melted and look like they have carmelized, if that makes sense.

Last, is it safe to clean the copper exterior with Bar Keeper's Friend? Is that too harsh for the polished copper finish that Mauviel uses? How about Wenol?

Thanks for any help I can get!

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  1. Hi,

    There is no lacquer on the copper surface. The handles have some kind of lacquer on them, presumably to stop them rusting. It is supposed to be there, don't try and remove it. It is hard wearing and tolerates high oven heat without a problem.

    Don't know about your caramalised handle.. weird. Pic? I will say that there is colour and shade variation on these handles, they're all a little different.

    Personally, I think bkf is a little harsh. I use mauviels copperbrill. Bit more expensive, but I don't use it often.

    1. I have purchased several 20-40 year old copper pieces made by Mauviel (stamped Williams Sonoma, Dehillerin, etc), and they all once had a thick hard lacquer coating on the handles. Over time, that lacquer yellowed and flaked until there were little patches of it here and there all in various places on the handle and the rest was bare iron. My solution was to have the handle buffed when I sent the pans to be re-tinned. Others that didn't need tinning, I've just left as they are, which is what I would do with a stainless lined pan. So, unless Mauviel has changed their lacquer formula, I'd expect to see it yellow and eventually crackle, and hopefully it will eventually all flake away. It might take 30-50 years, but don't worry, your pan is still young at that age!

      1 Reply
      1. re: jljohn

        actually, I just bought a Mauviel M'Heritage saute pan, and can't wait to use it tonite,
        but I agree with you, watch37, it seems like there is some kind of
        almost "shrink wrap" on that handle.
        It doesn't look like there is a seam or anything, and there is no mention
        of it in the small booklet that came with the pan.
        But it feels funky, almost like I can slide it around a little bit.

        I am getting ready to use the pan in a few minutes, so I am going to just swipe a little acetone
        over the handle first and if nothing happens, then I am just going to
        use the pan and hope for the best.

        It's a beauty, BTW !!!!!

      2. As a Falk loyalist can only respond to the BKF inquiry and maybe the handle question. Even with its brushed finish I really limit my use of BKF to those occasions when the bottom is getting to a mid toned gray and then only lightly touch up and buff the sides of the pot. Typically the chemical reaction does most of the work so only use it with a dishcloth and not a scrubber brush. The cast iron handles have long lost any protective coating so after washing and using a stiff brush along its length and at the lip of the pan, after drying I run a paper towel with just a hint of vegetable oil and then wipe that dry which has kept any rust from forming. Like the Mauviel, great cookware.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ThanksVille

          Oh, I have the Falk Try-Me pan too !
          Love that.

          Well, I tried a little acetone on a small patch of the handle of my Mauviel Saute pan,
          and really nothing happened, so I said Heck With It and just used the pan.

          I found my new Best Friend :-D

        2. Hi, watch37:

          "Am I safe to assume that there is no lacquer on these pots?" Yes. You would have had a hella mess by now if there were.

          "Am I supposed to remove this coating from the handles with acetone?" You may do as you please. Removing it will promote normal patination; leaving it will prolong the new appearance. It really is a matter of personal preference. It is possible that the lacquer at the handle/pan interface has melted or slumped into the interstitial space, but I think that, too, doesn't matter much. If anything, it seals the juncture against water entering 'twixt the two.

          "Last, is it safe to clean the copper exterior with Bar Keeper's Friend?" Safe, yes (unless you plan to live for another 100 years, and scour your bottoms daily). Advisable, probably not, because: (a) you should approach this from the perspective that your pans *will* outlive you; and (b) BKF has the largest abrasion particle size of all the popular scouring powders, and therefore will tend to dull a bright or highly polished finish. You are better off with Bon Ami, Flitz or Simichrome for a bright finish. I am not personally familiar with Wenol. As for the tinned interiors, IMO the use of BKF there would be the height of folly.

          Have Fun,

          4 Replies
          1. re: kaleokahu

            Thanks to all for these informative replies! Yes, I thought that Mauviel didn't lacquer their cookware, but it's good to know that I didn't mess things up. As for the clear coating on the handles, I won't do anything to them for now. Regarding the BKF, is the liquid version just as abrasive as the powder form? I was going to buy the liquid form, which I assumed was not as abrasive, but maybe I am wrong?

            1. re: watch37

              Well, I was just wondering, in reading your last post,
              why you would want to use BKF on the "outside" of your
              copper cookware ?
              I occasionally use it on the SS inside,
              but not the outside.
              Is the copper dirty or just fingerprinted ?
              If it's for appearance only, can't you just use CopperBrill on occasion ?

              If the outside of my copper isn't actually dirty, I don't worry about it
              (but that's just me)
              I think I polished my small Mauviel frypan with CopperBrill one time a year ago.
              It looks pretty good overall, for my needs anyway.

              I have some old Revere Ware and I'm telling you, nothing but nothing
              shines that up (I've tried)

              1. re: oooYUM

                Hi, oooYUM: "I have some old Revere Ware and I'm telling you, nothing but nothing
                shines that up (I've tried)"

                A high-speed buffer and cutting rouge will do it.


                1. re: kaleokahu

                  Hey, that sounds like a good idea, I'll have to give it a try !
                  Thanks !!!