Falk copper cookware owners- advice please.
Yes, yet another cookware advice post. I know that it comes down to "just get it an make the best of it", but I would appreciate some info from cooks who own Falk copper cookware and have used it regularly for at least a year. I have been upgrading my kitchen for the past year or so, in a nice and steady replacement mode, and so far, have been happy with my choices. For 35 years, I cooked with a Faberware set That I first got when I went out on my own. I have to give kudos to that set, because it is still very good, but my cooking has become more sophisticated and my cookware needs have changed. I got an All-Clad sauté pan over 10 years ago and it is "Meh". I have lucked out with some really good finds for tin-lined copper on eBay and I have been happy with it, and I got the Fissler Solea set at Gilt earlier this year, so I am all set with stockpots and saucepans. Several Staub pieces take care of the roasting and such, and the de Buyer carbon steel is doing great for frying.
I am looking for a really good 4-6 qt. sauté/rondeau type of pan. I will be using it most for vegetable curries, ratatouille and similar dishes. I am looking the Falk, Demeyere Atlantis, Sitram Catering, All-Clad Copper Core, etc. etc. I am kind of leaning toward the Falk. I thought of trying their "try me" piece, but I do not need another saucepan. Any thoughts on any of these would be appreciated.
Falk used to make a rondeau version of their 11" straight-sided saute pan with two short handles, but now sell only the long-handled version (with helper handle). The closest thing in the Falk offerings now is the 11" 4.5 qt stew pan -- slightly deeper than the saute, and with rounded rather than vertical sides.
That would be my pan of choice for the purposes you mention, if it's within your budget. Unless that budget's very generous, I wouldn't spend the money for a matching copper lid; a stainless or tempered-glass 11" lid will work just as well for a tiny fraction of the Falk price. It's indestructible, great for stovetop or oven, and beautiful for serving. The brushed exterior of the Falks stay untarnished for much longer than mirror-finished copper. (I have, use constantly, and love the 'try me' saucier, and have been struck by how much more impervious it is than the polished surfaces of my Mauviel skillet and saute pan.)
If you like glossy surfaces more, and straight saute-type sides are important to you (more bottom surface for browning, and more capacity at 5.25 qt), the Matfer-Bourgeat is a terrific buy: http://www.culinarycookware.com/bourg...
The Demeyere Atlantis saute seems massively overpriced to me, considering that it costs the same as the 2.5 mm copper offerings from Falk and Matfer-Bourgeat. Ditto, even more so, for the All-Clad Copper Core 6 qt -- it's very wide and shallow. The advantage of those stainless-clad choices is that they work with induction; between them I'd choose the Demeyere. If induction isn't a consideration, IMO the Falk stew pan or the Bourgeat braiser would be a much better pan for a wide range of uses.
Sitram Catering pots are tough and easy to clean, but the smallest of their rondeaus is 7+ qts, 11.75" x 4" deep, and I'm not keen on the nearly inch-wide gap between the copper disk base and the sides of the pan. Had one, used it a few times, and realized that I needed something smaller and wanted something more evenly conductive. A local community kitchen is putting it to good use.
I was very much in your situation at this time last year. I ended up with an 11" x 3.5" 2mm copper lined-with-stainless Mauviel saute pan that was an auction site bargain at $250. I had the long handle shortened to fit in my 24" oven, and use it regularly with great pleasure. But I'd be much happier if it had two loop handles instead.
The stainless lining of the Falk pans isn't like any other stainless I've ever encountered on other cookware. It's grey-er and not at all shiny. It seems to be tough as nails, and cleans easily, but it's not what most people are expecting when they think of stainless steel.
The rondeaux found here http://lnx.rameria.com/en/department/... are nice. If you ask politely, Cesare will do your pan in 3mm and/or line it in silver. A Mazzetti like this was my first copper pan, and is still one of my favorites.
Or, if you prefer a straight-sided design, http://www.rameria.com/inglese/Catalo...
Note for price comparison, that Cesare & Isolda's pans include covers...
Thank you, ellabee and kaleo for your great suggestions. I will check those out after work today. Given that this is a pricey purchase, I want to take the time to get the right one. Falk does look like a good contender, although a silver lined Mazzetti is something I have always wanted to cook with. Silver is superb and I have no silver phobia as I have used it in wound healing etc. Thank you for your good advice!
Demeyere Atlantis cook really nice. I will be buying more when I can find/justify a need to replace a pot or pan I already have.
I have an All-Clad Copper Core dutch oven and really don't like it. It is destined for an auction site, donation to a charity, or something similar. What was I thinking when I bought this "bargain"?
While not a saute pan,
I love my Demeyere "Proline" skillets. They don't have the sloped sides I am used to. They are curved into straight sides and I really like them. The big one is apt to see duty in my kitchen as a saute pan stand in. These pans heat extremely evenly. My 11"/12" skillet gets hot clear out the edge on a ~8" hotplate. I'm sure there is some heat loss but, it cooks well clear out to the edge. I can't wait to use it with something other then a cheap hotplate.
re: Sid Post
Thanks, Sid. I checked the All-Clad Copper Core and given the prices, I would just go with copper. My current saute pan is an All-Clad original, and it is ok, but after I started to get copper pieces, I began to experience finer control/results in my cooking. LOVE copper. I too have the Demeyere Proline 11" frypan and I love it too. I got it mainly for acidic foods that don't do so well in my carbon steel, and it really is excellent, but I pull out the carbon steel for most frying.
I do not have any copper with stainless as the lining, and I am concerned about a post of a Falk owner that had some black spots on the stainless steel. I am wondering what kind of stainless they use. I have only worked with tin-lined, and that stuff is cooler than cool - but not the right choice for a good sauté pan.
I have had 3 different Falk pans and an assortment of other stainless and tin-lind copper ranging from 2mm - about 3.5mm over the last year; my prior saute's were All-Clad tri-ply 10" and 14"; and right now both of my saute pans are thick tin-lined copper. So, I can comment on part of your question.
First, I've not been thrilled with Falk. My experience has been that 2 of the three pans I purchased had what I perceived to be flaws, and I had a difficult time getting the issues dealt with. I even lost a substantial 'restocking fee' on one of them. If you are buying from the distributor, you'd better hope that your pan is perfect or that the problem is so egregious that the distributor will back your perception. If you really want Falk, I'd wait till pans come up on ebay so you have some way to get your money back if there is a problem.
Second, don't fret tin in a saute. Unless you want to finish dishes in the oven at 450 and up, tin makes a great saute pan lining. Especially so, since you can get 3-3.5mm saute pans fairly easily with a tin lining.
Third, without ever having owned a really high end (demeyere, etc) stainless saute, I'll say this. Unless I really needed to put my pans in the dishwasher, I probably would never select a pan in that price range except for a stainless-lined copper pan. So, if you want stainless on the inside and are willing to spend that much, go for a copper pan.
Lastly, if you send me your email, I'll send you some info about a couple of really great deals I've found that might meet your needs directly.
Hope this helps!
Thanks, Jeremy. I was reading your post in the 3 mm copper discussion and realized that the issue of nickel in lining materials is one that I have to consider since I am really allergic to nickel. Maybe tin is still the way to go for sauté also, or the luxurious copper and silver. I handwash all these pans, and have no problem with it. For me, cooking is a kind of alchemy, so I enjoy it from start to finish, including the clean-up.
I don't know a lot about the precise make up of stainless steel or about nickel allergies, but don't certain types of stainless contain nickel, and does that give you a problem?
Insofar as you are considering old pans, it seems fairly easy to determine between tin and nickel/stainless, but it can be difficult telling if a non-tin lining is either stainless or nickel.
Since you are at least considering a Falk Saute, you should keep an eye on this (I am not the seller btw): http://www.ebay.com/itm/150955278737?...
Yeah, I saw that listing on eBay, and after looking into the stainless lining of Falk - I wonder what its composition is. I know I do not have a problem with tin. I have plenty of stainless steel cookware and have cooked with it all my life with no problem. The nickel allergy came up after an experience with a dental alloy. I eat with stainless steel flatware from Oneida, etc. etc. That said, the last thing I want is a copper pan lined with nickel or high-nickel alloy.
I tried to find how to email you on this site, but could not figure it out. I do not want to post my email on the discussion boards as I have boatloads of spam already.