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Mauviel Copper - Restrictions on Heat

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mundty Jan 31, 2013 04:42 AM

I'm just hoping to clarify what exactly, the limits are to Mauviel copper regarding heat. The product page states to only use Medium or lower. I recently bought the 6501.00 5-Piece Set with the copper Fry Pan, Saute Pan, and Sauce Pot and I'm curious whether I should pick up one of their Stainless Fry Pans for searing, sauteing and other high heat applications. I've also heard that because the copper reacts so much better to heat, that I may not need High or Medium High anymore, thoughts?

I obviously don't want to damage my new pots, and they haven't arrived yet so I'm trying to figure out if I'd be better off just dropping $95 on one of the Stainless Steel fry pans?

Thanks for reading!

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  1. m
    mandymoo RE: mundty Jan 31, 2013 05:22 AM

    I too have been purchasing copper cookware (by the piece) recently and was concerned about searing and high heat cooking. I found that so far I have not needed heat any higher than 3.5-4.0 (my range goes from 0-10 with 5.0 being medium). I have yet to sear a steak in my pans but I also have cast iron if I feel I need high heat for meat. My fry pans are Mauviel 250c with a stainless lining so I guess I was under the impression that with a SS lining I could do more? **Advice/corrections accepted from the experts here on the board of course**

    62 Replies
    1. re: mandymoo
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      laraffinee RE: mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 05:29 AM

      How do you like your new cookware so far, mandymoo? I was reading your process of selection, and have been wondering how it is working out for you.

      1. re: laraffinee
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        mandymoo RE: laraffinee Jan 31, 2013 05:44 AM

        I am in love so far! At this point I have a Mauviel 11.8 inch fry pan (SS lined), a 3.6 quart saucepan (SS lined) and an 11.7 quart stock pot (tin lined). I have orders in for the 10 inch fry pan and a 2 quart splayed saute. The evenness of heat is amazing and everything cooks so beautifully I have been combing through recipes trying to find challenging dishes to make! I still hope to purchase at least a rondeau from the copper makers in Brooklyn but I have been trying to place an order for over a month to no avail so I finally gave up and started with Mauviel. I was concerned about keeping the cookware clean and I ordered the Copperbrill but it hasn't been an issue as a wash with soapy water and drying with a soft cloth has kept the pieces looking great so far. I confess to leaving my stock pot out on the stove just to look at <insert shameless grin here> Thanks for asking!

        1. re: mandymoo
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          Bigjim68 RE: mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 06:00 AM

          Wrights Copper Cleaner is what I use to clean. It is readily available in supermarkets and not expensive and works well.

          1. re: Bigjim68
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            mandymoo RE: Bigjim68 Jan 31, 2013 06:36 AM

            I may try this brand when I run out of the Copperbrill. At this point cleaning hasn't been an issue really. I fully expect my cookware to change throughout years of cooking and I do not expect a perfectly shiny exterior forever. The only way that will happen is if my OCD'd hubby gets his hands on them.

          2. re: mandymoo
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            laraffinee RE: mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 06:09 AM

            It sounds wonderful, mandymoo! I too am still looking for a copper/tin lined rondeau. I got the Mauviel one from Williams-Sonoma - 3 mm copper and all, but it was beat up (what is with these pots from WS?) and they didn't have one in stock to exchange, so I just returned it and will probably order from the Italian guy who makes copper cookware (Mazzetti?) at some point. ....and yes! it is so beautiful so why not leave it out....

            1. re: laraffinee
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              iyc_nyc RE: laraffinee Jan 31, 2013 08:42 AM

              Laraffinee, was the WS rondeau tin lined -- and definitely 3 mm as opposed to 2.3/2.5mm? I hadn't realized WS carried tin-lined Mauviel copper in that thickness (in tin-lined Mauviel at all!). That sounds like a nice piece.

              1. re: iyc_nyc
                TraderJoe RE: iyc_nyc Jan 31, 2013 01:16 PM

                "I hadn't realized WS carried tin-lined Mauviel copper in that thickness (in tin-lined Mauviel at all!)"

                WS still carries the 3mm Tin lined Rondeau. It's an awesome piece and at over 11 pounds it's a real brute.

                http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...&

                1. re: TraderJoe
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                  iyc_nyc RE: TraderJoe Jan 31, 2013 01:50 PM

                  Thanks, TJ! Sorry I was too lazy to do the search myself. :-)

                  Wish it had cast-iron handles..

                  1. re: iyc_nyc
                    TraderJoe RE: iyc_nyc Jan 31, 2013 01:53 PM

                    Cast Iron Vs Bronze doesn't make much difference (IMO) when you have two handles since you will most likely be using oven mitts. I like the brass but I know I'm in the minority on that.

                    1. re: TraderJoe
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                      fso506 RE: TraderJoe Dec 4, 2013 11:21 PM

                      Has anyone else noticed the very poor quality in the cast iron handles on the mauviel 250c?

                      1. re: fso506
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                        jljohn RE: fso506 Dec 5, 2013 04:40 AM

                        You mean how they are extremely pitted and over-polished?

                        1. re: jljohn
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                          fso506 RE: jljohn Dec 5, 2013 07:42 AM

                          Yes, and also crooked, gaps between the handle and pan where it's riveted, burrs, poor fit and finish and craftsmanship, HORRIBLE. Ruins the whole aesthetics od the cookware.

                        2. re: fso506
                          TraderJoe RE: fso506 Dec 27, 2013 03:21 PM

                          Has anyone else noticed the very poor quality in the cast iron handles on the mauviel 250c?
                          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          Over the last year I've purchased several M250 pieces. I had one with a lousy handle (crooked with a gap) that I sent back. The others came in just fine. The F&F is vastly better than the Falk cast iron and at least with Mauviel if you get a bad sample any reputable dealer will let you return or exhange it.

                    2. re: TraderJoe
                      CindyJ RE: TraderJoe Dec 9, 2013 01:42 PM

                      I realize this is an old post, but FWIW, W-S is having a 25% off cookware sale this week with free shipping. That seems to include Mauviel copper cookware.

                    3. re: iyc_nyc
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                      laraffinee RE: iyc_nyc Feb 1, 2013 09:20 AM

                      It was a really nice pot (WS 3 mm copper rondeau) - if it hadn't looked like it had been kicked down the road - ok, a bit of an exaggeration, but indeed very scratched up, and at that price, that was not acceptable. I did not measure the copper thickness, but it was definitely thicker rather than thinner than what I usually see, so probably the 3 mm as described.

                    4. re: laraffinee
                      TraderJoe RE: laraffinee Jan 31, 2013 01:33 PM

                      "will probably order from the Italian guy who makes copper cookware (Mazzetti?) at some point"

                      I ordered from them recently. The 3mm pot I ordered came in at a 2.42 mm. I think some one just made an honest mistake and sent 2.5 instead of 3mm. It's a bit convoluted as Comcast has seen fit to blacklist a bunch of euro emails, The Mazzettis don't speak English and there's an agent in the middle. Their hammered copper is gorgeous but the lids are wafer thin. I've never even seen a lid this thin before. If you can find the 3mm Hammered rondeau in stock I'd much rather have that piece. The tin lining on the Mazzetti is really nice for hand wiped tin. The piece I ordered is a 6 quart sauce pot but I ordered it with double handles like a soup pot.

                      1. re: TraderJoe
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                        mandymoo RE: TraderJoe Jan 31, 2013 01:39 PM

                        If I cannot get the rondeau from NY then I will probably go with the 3mm Mauviel, tin lined, from WS. It has the brass handles, unlike the rest of my pans, but it is hammered which I love the look of.

                        1. re: mandymoo
                          TraderJoe RE: mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 01:46 PM

                          The WS 3mm Mauviel Rondeau is an awesome piece and yes it is really a great looking piece with the hammered finish. When you pick up that bad boy up you know it's 3mm cookware instantly.
                          I forgot to ask if your Mauviel stock pot is 2.5mm or 2mm. There was some confusion on that in the reviews @ WS. Copper makers seem to use a thinner copper on the larger stock pots. I assume it has something to do with how they make them. Either way that hammered stock pot is really a peach!

                          1. re: TraderJoe
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                            mandymoo RE: TraderJoe Jan 31, 2013 02:26 PM

                            Thank you! I really do love the hammered pieces and hope to get more of them in the future. My stock pot is allegedly 2.5mm...but I do not know for sure really. I guess I could search the threads for the measuring method to se but I am keeping it regardless. I weighed the pot and it is 7.3lbs and the lid is 4.63lbs. I think I am going to give in and get the rondeau at WS. It is a beautiful piece and will look nice on the table to serve out of too.

                            1. re: mandymoo
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                              jljohn RE: mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 02:38 PM

                              Mandymoo,

                              I recommend checking out buycoppercookware.com. The tin-lined is not just available in sets. And the Rondeau you are interested in is (3mm tin-lined, 11") almost $200 cheaper from him than from WS. The only difference is that it will carry the Mauviel mark instead of the WS mark: http://www.buycoppercookware.com/rond... (EDITED to note that I just double-checked and the WS comes with a lid. You would have to buy it separately from buycoppercookware.com. Even still, the lid costs $130, so you are still saving over $50.

                              )

                              Here's the entire tin-lined collection:

                              http://www.buycoppercookware.com/trad...

                              I have no affiliation, but I regularly go to his site and have talked to the proprietor a few times.

                              1. re: jljohn
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                                mandymoo RE: jljohn Jan 31, 2013 03:03 PM

                                I just looked and you are correct! The only difference I see (other than buying the lid separately) is that WS says its capacity is 7 qts and BCC says the capacity is 8 qts. I placed the order through WS right before I read your post but the rondeau they have is backordered until April so I could probably cancel that order and order through BCC.

                                1. re: mandymoo
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                                  jljohn RE: mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 03:08 PM

                                  BCC seems to reprint the volume directly from Mauviel, which, inexplicably, is often very wrong! I tend to just plug the dimensions (subtracting the thickness of the walls of course) into this calculator to calculate any volumes I want:

                                  http://www.aqua-calc.com/calculate/vo...

                                  1. re: jljohn
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                                    mandymoo RE: jljohn Jan 31, 2013 03:15 PM

                                    Thank you!

                                2. re: jljohn
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                                  mandymoo RE: jljohn Jan 31, 2013 03:17 PM

                                  Well, I must say that you just saved me a bundle! Buying from WS would have cost me $710 since I would have had to pay tax also. I just ordered it from BCC and my total (with lid) was about $595!!! I live chatted with WS and they canceled my back order.

                                  1. re: mandymoo
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                                    jljohn RE: mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 03:40 PM

                                    Awesome! I'm glad that worked out for you then! Let us know how you like the Rondeau?

                                    I've long been in the market for something in the 10 quart range (I have a 6 Qt Casserole (Dutch Oven) and a 14 Qt stock pot), and I find myself constantly torn between the 11" Casserole and the 12.5" Rondeau.

                                    1. re: mandymoo
                                      TraderJoe RE: mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 03:43 PM

                                      Congrats! Please let us know how you like it when it arrives. :)

                            2. re: TraderJoe
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                              laraffinee RE: TraderJoe Feb 1, 2013 09:24 AM

                              Thanks for letting me know about your experience with them (Mazzetti). I does sound like you got the 2.5 mm instead of 3 mm. Hard to exchange that one. That can be a problem with such overseas orders.

                              1. re: TraderJoe
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                                roycey RE: TraderJoe Dec 9, 2013 01:15 PM

                                You mentioned that the lid is wafer thin - have you had any problems with this?

                                1. re: roycey
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                                  mundty RE: roycey Dec 9, 2013 02:56 PM

                                  OP here...

                                  I think wafer thin is an unfair assessment. Indeed it's no where near as thick as the 2.5mm pot itself, but I'd have no reservations banging it around with fear of little else than some scratches.

                                  Had them for almost a year now, and I have to say they did not disappoint.

                                  1. re: mundty
                                    TraderJoe RE: mundty Dec 27, 2013 03:15 PM

                                    "I think wafer thin is an unfair assessment"

                                    I think if you had any of the current Mazzetti 3mm cookware you would quickly agree the lids are wafer thin. I'd venture a guess they are 1/2 as thick as the Mauviel lids with ease.
                                    @ roycey I have not had any issues with the Mazzetti lid but I rarely use it. It's thin enough that if you dropped it on the floor on edge it would be very damaged. It's not suitable for making rice etc but will work fine for finishing a dish and you want to put the lid on to hold your product as it rests.

                            3. re: mandymoo
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                              iyc_nyc RE: mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 08:44 AM

                              Mandymoo, I've found that my Mauviel pieces lost their copper color and turned to a stainless steel-like/silvery color after just 1-2 times cooking on them at low-medium heat. Has this happened with your Mauviel pans?

                              I don't care so much about the looks. I just want to make sure I haven't damaged the pans somehow or they weren't defective to start.

                              1. re: iyc_nyc
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                                mandymoo RE: iyc_nyc Jan 31, 2013 08:47 AM

                                No, I cannot say that I have experienced a color change in my pans. Granted I haven't had them for a long time but they have been used several times now. I do see small scratches or marks on them in spots but I expect that when they are being used regularly.

                                1. re: mandymoo
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                                  iyc_nyc RE: mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 09:21 AM

                                  Okay, thanks for your quick reply. Not sure what happened with my pans then (?). I never use high heat and rarely go any higher than low-medium (and never medium on my copper).

                                2. re: iyc_nyc
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                                  goodthyme RE: iyc_nyc Jan 31, 2013 11:12 AM

                                  lyc_nyc:

                                  I have a new Mauviel pan that's been used twice that has the same discoloration as what you described. Does yours look something like the one on the bottom? Both pans in the photo are new but from different lines. Only thing I can think of is possibly different finishing polish prior to shipment (the one on the bottom has a slightly brushed finish). I suspect with more use and washing the copper color we're so used to will eventually exhibit itself.

                                   
                                  1. re: goodthyme
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                                    jljohn RE: goodthyme Jan 31, 2013 11:38 AM

                                    That looks like normal tarnish progression to me. I love that stage right there--between bright copper and brown. I love giving my pans a polish and using them so the get back to that in-between phase.

                                    1. re: jljohn
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                                      iyc_nyc RE: jljohn Jan 31, 2013 12:06 PM

                                      Jljohn, I think we're talking about the discoloration on the bottom pan -- silvery, not so much brown..

                                      1. re: iyc_nyc
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                                        jljohn RE: iyc_nyc Jan 31, 2013 01:03 PM

                                        Ok, sorry. I've had a couple of pans turn that silvery (almost yellow) color as well. My experience is that the pans that have turned that color were on their first tarnish cycle after being retinned and polished. I've always guessed that it has something to do with how re-tinners polish pans (i.e. maybe related to the type of polishing paste that is used). Once I've polished them, they always progress through the expected copper to reddish-brown cycle. In any case, I don't see anything that is abnormal or would constitute damage.

                                        1. re: jljohn
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                                          iyc_nyc RE: jljohn Jan 31, 2013 01:50 PM

                                          Jijohn, my pans are SS interiors, not tin-lined..

                                          1. re: iyc_nyc
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                                            jljohn RE: iyc_nyc Jan 31, 2013 02:21 PM

                                            I understand that. My point is that, it seems to me, there is some polishing compound which causes this color shift. All my copper that I polish myself turns reddish brown. Copper that I've had polished by Rocky Mountain tarnishes a reddish brown. Copper that I've sent to East Coast tarnishes silver, and once I polish it it tarnishes reddish brown. The only thing that I can figure is that there is a particular polishing paste or compound that causes that color shift in the tarnish cycle. Is it possible that your pan tarnished and was re-polished before you acquired it, even if it was never used?

                                            1. re: jljohn
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                                              iyc_nyc RE: jljohn Feb 1, 2013 10:09 AM

                                              I guess that's possible, especially if someone returned the pan before I got it. I bought the pans 'new' from WS...

                                    2. re: goodthyme
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                                      mundty RE: goodthyme Jan 31, 2013 11:52 AM

                                      Thanks for posting that image, at least I know what to expect or what can happen.

                                      1. re: goodthyme
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                                        iyc_nyc RE: goodthyme Jan 31, 2013 12:05 PM

                                        Yes, mine is exactly like the one on the bottom - the pan arrived copper colored but changed to silver with just one or two cookings on low-medium heat.

                                        Where did you get the bottom pan from? I purchased mine from WS.

                                        1. re: iyc_nyc
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                                          goodthyme RE: iyc_nyc Jan 31, 2013 12:57 PM

                                          iyc_nyc:

                                          The pan on the bottom is a M250C 10.5 inch frying pan, purchased from Amazon. I've also only used mine on low to medium-low heat. The one on top is also from amazon, used with the same heat level, only difference being that's it is tin lined. The difference between the two that I noticed, when new, was that the M250C had a much higher sheen, almost glass-like finish on the copper exterior. I'm purely speculating (and more much knowledgeable people on here have said otherwise) but it's possible ours has some sort of extremely thin lacquer coating? As I'm sitting here looking at the pan, I also have a brand new unused mauviel gratin sitting next to the pan and it just doesn't reflective quality, difficult to describe.

                                          Will wipe it down with a lemon later to see if there's any change in color, will let you know.

                                          1. re: goodthyme
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                                            Bigjim68 RE: goodthyme Jan 31, 2013 01:19 PM

                                            Some pans come from the factory with a protective coating. It prevents tarnish during shelf life. It should be removed prior to usage as it will burn leaving a difficult to remove mess. I believe Balmalu is coated. Lacquer thinner, toluene or other laquer solvents will remove it.

                                            1. re: Bigjim68
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                                              iyc_nyc RE: Bigjim68 Jan 31, 2013 01:52 PM

                                              Yikes, I hope not! Seems they should warn you if there is a lacquer coating that must be removed. I know Balmalu has the coating - but i thought Mauviel didn't.

                                              Is there a definitive way to tell if our Mauviel pans have a lacquer coating that must be removed?

                                              1. re: iyc_nyc
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                                                Bigjim68 RE: iyc_nyc Jan 31, 2013 04:00 PM

                                                I think the instructions will let you know if any coating needs to be removed, and how. I don't have much new copper, so I'm not too sure of Mauviel coatings. You can test it with fingernail polish remover or lacquer thinner. If it gets tacky, it has a coating. If you have cooked with your pots and the coating did not burn, it had none.

                                                1. re: Bigjim68
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                                                  iyc_nyc RE: Bigjim68 Feb 1, 2013 10:12 AM

                                                  There are some very dark spots on the exterior but I thought it was just normal discoloration - will check to see if it's not burned coating.

                                                  I'll also try the lacquer thinner as a test. Is the lacquer remover damaging in any way to the copper? I know that it is often used to remove the lacquer of coated pans, so can't be too damaging (I hope), but I'd rather not use it if it'd be damaging at all.

                                                  1. re: iyc_nyc
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                                                    Bigjim68 RE: iyc_nyc Feb 1, 2013 12:29 PM

                                                    I think I am getting too technical. The dark spots are probably just food and will come off with a little cleaner.

                                                    Bottom line. You have some of the best cookware available. Copper cookware in its present form has been around for over a hundred years. Very little of it has been destroyed by using. Don't worry about anything but using and enjoying.

                                                    1. re: Bigjim68
                                                      kaleokahu RE: Bigjim68 Feb 1, 2013 01:35 PM

                                                      Hi, Jim: " Copper cookware in its present form has been around for over a hundred years."

                                                      If you exclude bimetal, it's >400 years. And there are still pans that old in use.

                                                      1. re: kaleokahu
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                                                        mandymoo RE: kaleokahu Feb 1, 2013 06:12 PM

                                                        Okay, I know this is like beating a dead horse but I'm asking anyway...I use my tin lined stock pot tonight for the first time. I boiled potatoes and then made fresh corn in it (I know, nothing amazing). As soon as it was cool I washed it out and there is a ring on the inside where the water level was. Just slightly discolored but nothing is budging it (washed with a soft cloth and mild detergent, wiped with a soft dry cloth, etc.). Is this normal? I never went above 4.5-5.0 to boil the water(5.0 is medium on my stove) and actually cut it down a notch when the water began to boil. Did I mess up somewhere or should I expect the discoloration?? Thanks for any answers.

                                                        1. re: mandymoo
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                                                          jljohn RE: mandymoo Feb 1, 2013 07:30 PM

                                                          That sounds perfectly normal. The area of tin that regularly gets covered by liquid will start to discolor and eventually turn dark grey. It's looks odd at first though. I've seen some start off as a shimmery purple tone.

                                                          1. re: jljohn
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                                                            mandymoo RE: jljohn Feb 1, 2013 07:37 PM

                                                            Shew, thanks! I thought it was normal but I just had to ask and be sure. Thank you for the response!

                                                          2. re: mandymoo
                                                            kaleokahu RE: mandymoo Feb 1, 2013 08:53 PM

                                                            Hi, Mandy:

                                                            You're so careful and conscientious!

                                                            Yes, totally normal. As fastidious as you are, I encourage you to keep track of all the "rings" as a running record of all your delicious meals. Eventually, if you cook long and well enough, your lining will look nearly black, and have a lubricious feel to it. Resist the temptation to do anything more than you have already done to clean it.

                                                            Happy for you,
                                                            Kaleo

                                                            1. re: kaleokahu
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                                                              mandymoo RE: kaleokahu Feb 2, 2013 06:13 AM

                                                              Thank you :) I appreciate the help. I plan to put it through its paces over the next couple of weeks with stocks and my husband's favorite chili. Let the blackening begin!!

                                        2. re: iyc_nyc
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                                          ellabee RE: iyc_nyc Jan 31, 2013 12:38 PM

                                          iyc_nyc, it took more than a few cooking sessions, and went through a darkening red-brown phase first, but my Mauviel skillet is now that same silvery-brass color. I cook with gas, and assume that different gas supplies will have different effects.

                                          I'm the odd duck who vastly prefers the current look of the pan to shiny clean copper, and I can assure you that you haven't damaged it at all. I've polished the skillet exterior a few times, and it cleans up beautifully, so get out your soft cloths if you want the original look back. (I just use a lemon, salt, and a bit of flour as paste -- tip from chowhound, probably kaleo.)

                                          The color of the copper makes no difference whatsoever to the cooking function.

                                          1. re: ellabee
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                                            iyc_nyc RE: ellabee Jan 31, 2013 01:53 PM

                                            Okay, will try the polish to see if the color turns back to copper. I don't care as much about the look - I just want to ensure there's nothing wrong with the pan, and that there's no lacquer coating that mut be removed.

                                            1. re: iyc_nyc
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                                              goodthyme RE: iyc_nyc Feb 1, 2013 12:37 AM

                                              Wiped the pan down with a half lemon and for the most part it now has a fresh rosy copper finish. I miss the blond finish now - haha.

                                              1. re: goodthyme
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                                                ellabee RE: goodthyme Feb 1, 2013 08:00 AM

                                                Then start cooking... It won't take long. ;>

                                                1. re: goodthyme
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                                                  iyc_nyc RE: goodthyme Feb 1, 2013 10:13 AM

                                                  Interesting - will try the same. Thanks for circling back so quickly!

                                      2. re: mandymoo
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                                        mundty RE: mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 06:13 AM

                                        Thanks for your input, it's nice to hear that Low-Medium heat seems to do the trick for most cooking. I ordered the 2.5mm copper as well, and I'm looking forward to using them!

                                        1. re: mandymoo
                                          TraderJoe RE: mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 01:22 PM

                                          " I have yet to sear a steak in my pans but I also have cast iron if I feel I need high heat for meat"

                                          I'd not sear a steak in copper but that's just me. Cast iron just works so well for that. For any thing short of that hi-temp searing your SS lined copper should be just fine.

                                          1. re: TraderJoe
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                                            mandymoo RE: TraderJoe Jan 31, 2013 01:33 PM

                                            Thank you for the advice on this subject. I have been hesitant to expose my copper, regardless of the SS lining, to high heat even though I have read posts from those that do or have without a problem. I'm afraid I wouldn't be that lucky!

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                                          Bigjim68 RE: mundty Jan 31, 2013 05:57 AM

                                          I think the heat restrictions on your new pans has more to do with the lower temperatures needed with copper vs other cookware materials. Copper melting point is near 2000 degrees. The SS lining and CI handle above that. You are not going to reach those temperatures in a home kitchen.

                                          If I were going to buy a skillet for searing, it would be an older #8 CI skillet.

                                          17 Replies
                                          1. re: Bigjim68
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                                            mundty RE: Bigjim68 Jan 31, 2013 06:10 AM

                                            I understand the pots aren't going to melt, but I was under the impression that high heat can do irreparable damage to the copper. I know they won't look new forever, but I don't want to completely disregard the general care instructions either.

                                            1. re: mundty
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                                              Bigjim68 RE: mundty Jan 31, 2013 06:18 AM

                                              I don't think you need to worry about using too much heat.

                                              A few months ago, I left a 3mm copper pot boiling and forgot it. After an hour or so, the pot had turned black from the heat, but no damage occurred, even to the tin lining, which did surprise me.

                                              1. re: Bigjim68
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                                                mundty RE: Bigjim68 Jan 31, 2013 07:21 AM

                                                What brand are you using? I'm curious if maybe there's something different about the Mauviel's finish that causes this...

                                                1. re: mundty
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                                                  Bigjim68 RE: mundty Jan 31, 2013 08:01 AM

                                                  I've got about 30, only a few were purchased new, and they are a variety of brands.

                                                  Most of mine are tin lined. There is a difference in the alloy used for copper cookware. Some are harder than others, Mauviel makes cookware for a variety of stores, including W & S, Dehellerin, and others. In my experience Mauviel is similar to other high quality pots, with the possible exception of Ruffoni and Falk.

                                                  1. re: Bigjim68
                                                    kaleokahu RE: Bigjim68 Jan 31, 2013 09:52 AM

                                                    Hi, Jim: " There is a difference in the alloy used for copper cookware."

                                                    Not arguing, but which maker uses what alloy? There's a zillion ways to alloy copper, but I was always under the impression that the sheetstock used in cookware was very similar if not the same. Don't Falk and Mauviel use the same bimetal?

                                                    I think the OP is just experiencing her first heat discoloration. Do you thing different alloys discolor at different rates?

                                                    Aloha,
                                                    Kaleo

                                                    1. re: kaleokahu
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                                                      ellabee RE: kaleokahu Jan 31, 2013 12:46 PM

                                                      :: Don't Falk and Mauviel use the same bimetal? ::

                                                      Falk makes the bimetal stock for Mauviel and for their own pans, but they're different. The stainless layer on the Falk is completely different from the 'regular' stainless on the stock they supply to Mauviel and Matfer-Bourgeat, and it's not just a question of the finish.

                                                      So I assume the copper layer could also be slightly different -- but I doubt that's the biggest factor affecting discoloration. The cooking surface (gas vs. radiant electric), the ambient atmosphere, the makeup of the gas itself all would seem to come into play there.

                                                      1. re: ellabee
                                                        kaleokahu RE: ellabee Jan 31, 2013 03:41 PM

                                                        Hi, ellabee: " The stainless layer on the Falk is completely different from the 'regular' stainless on the stock they supply to Mauviel and Matfer-Bourgeat, and it's not just a question of the finish."

                                                        Apart from the obvious differences in the finish, what is the basis for you saying this?

                                                        Aloha,
                                                        Kaleo

                                                        1. re: kaleokahu
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                                                          ellabee RE: kaleokahu Jan 31, 2013 05:55 PM

                                                          I'm an observer with no basis for saying it other than how differently it behaves, as well as looks and feels from the stainless layers in the other stainless-lined cookware I've used -- All-Clad, Cuisinart, Mauviel.

                                                          Some of the differences: On the plus side, it's much more impervious to markings from the use of steel utensils like the whisk. On the minus side, it has a noticeably more metallic odor after soaking (not the whole pot immersed, just the interior filled with water).

                                                          Can just a (chemically produced? mechanically produced?) finish do all that?

                                                          1. re: ellabee
                                                            kaleokahu RE: ellabee Jan 31, 2013 07:13 PM

                                                            Hi, ellabee: "Can just a (chemically produced? mechanically produced?) finish do all that?"

                                                            I honestly don't know.

                                                            Regarding hardness, all stainless alloys that I'm aware of being used in cookware are austenitic (e.g., 18-8, 18-10, 300 series, etc.), and I believe all austenitic steels are non-hardenable and fall somewhere in the B85-95 Rockwell hardness range.

                                                            It may be that the more polished finish of the Mauviel simply *shows* abrasions better than Falk's matte finish. I am evaluating one of the new W-S Thermo-Clad pans, which W-S and Hestan wisely brushed inside and on the bottom, and the only bright-polished surfaces are the handle and the exterior walls. Scuffs on the bright surface are pretty much there to stay, whereas on the brushed surface they sort of meld into brushmarks. Same steel, same heat treatment (or lack thereof), different--visual--scratch resistance.

                                                            We should get the Falk and Mauviel engineers under sodium pentothal...

                                                            Aloha,
                                                            Kaleo

                                                            PS: That's really strange about odoriforous aspect of Falk's linings. If an overnight in pH7 water makes the water smell metallic, it makes you wonder about the food. I hadn't heard that before. Interesting.

                                                      2. re: kaleokahu
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                                                        Bigjim68 RE: kaleokahu Jan 31, 2013 01:00 PM

                                                        I have noticed any difference in cooking among the various makers, but there is a difference in the time it takes to clean. Some seems much harder (literally) and also harder to clean. The softest I have is the older pans, which I take to be pure copper or close to it. The newer Dehellerin is much different than the older ones I have. So to with Williams and Sonoma, which I believe were made by Mauviel. Although not truly copper, the Paul Revere Signature are the hardest to keep clean. Rocky Mountain sold a set of 4 3mm hammered saucepans for a long time. The copper in these closely matches that of the older Mauviel. I l have some Chilean pots. These seem to be somewhere in the middle.

                                                        It's just my perception, but there does seem to be quite a difference. I wil try to get photos of some of the different alloys soon if anybody is interested.

                                                        1. re: Bigjim68
                                                          kaleokahu RE: Bigjim68 Jan 31, 2013 03:53 PM

                                                          Hi, Big Jim:

                                                          Interested? Of course I am.

                                                          If it is true that the newer generation of pans is made from an alloy that is harder than near-pure, then their conductivity is going to be less. This opens yet another can of worms.

                                                          It makes sense, though. Traditionally, pure copper pans were work-hardened (either through planishing or against a chuck while spinning on the lathe). Now the big makers are just stamping them, so it stands to reason that they may want to start with an alloy that doesn't need to be work-hardened later. Either that, or there is something about the bimetal bonding process that necessitates use of a less-pure alloy.

                                                          Right now I'm happier knowing my older pans are nearly pure copper.

                                                          Aside: I think the Rocky Mountain set must be near-pure because, despite being nominal 3mm and planished, a 2-foot drop will still take them slightly out of round.

                                                          Aloha,
                                                          Kaleo

                                                        2. re: kaleokahu
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                                                          Bigjim68 RE: kaleokahu Jan 31, 2013 01:04 PM

                                                          By the way, that silver tarnish I have only seen happen on newer slope sided skillets when used on gas. I assume it is less tarnish and more fumes from the heat source. It comes off readily with Wrights cleaner.

                                                          1. re: kaleokahu
                                                            TraderJoe RE: kaleokahu Feb 14, 2013 05:01 PM

                                                            "Don't Falk and Mauviel use the same bimetal?"

                                                            I surely don'y have an answer to that Kaleo but I will share a few observations about the Falk that makes me believe the copper and SS is a very different alloy in Falk than Mauviel.
                                                            I'm sure all of us with copper have experienced burner discoloration on the bottom of a pot. With Mauviel a titch of BKF, Bon Ami or what ever you prefer to clean with brings the copper right back to looking new.
                                                            With Falk no amount of BKF or elbow grease is going to bring it back. Once Falk is discolored that's it.
                                                            The SS is vastly different as well. When BKF hits Falk SS you can smell the reaction. I've never had that experience with any other SS lined Copper. In fact the interiors of the pots kind of reek a bit. Very Odd.
                                                            I strongly suspect Falk contains far less copper or far more other metals in the alloy.
                                                            I also find the Satin interior of the Falk to be a royal pain to get clean. I'm not a fan and won't be buying any more Falk in the future.

                                                      3. re: Bigjim68
                                                        kaleokahu RE: Bigjim68 Jan 31, 2013 07:25 AM

                                                        Hallelujah! Yes, this happens. Tin linings do not always melt, run, puddle, commit suicide at 437F.

                                                        1. re: kaleokahu
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                                                          mundty RE: kaleokahu Jan 31, 2013 07:32 AM

                                                          The set I ordered is SS though... I didn't even see any tin lined copper on their website.

                                                          1. re: mundty
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                                                            mandymoo RE: mundty Jan 31, 2013 07:36 AM

                                                            I found Mauviel tin lined on Buycoppercookware.com. It seems that they were only available in a set maybe? Cannot remember for sure but I'm thinking was the issue for me.

                                                            1. re: mundty
                                                              kaleokahu RE: mundty Jan 31, 2013 07:51 AM

                                                              I was responding to bigjim. To respond to your OP, other than refraining from very high searing, I think your new pans are going to be useful and durable, so you shouldn't worry.

                                                              But you will find that you need lower hob settings than what you're used to.

                                                    2. m
                                                      mundty RE: mundty Mar 29, 2013 06:21 AM

                                                      I just wanted to post an update, since this discussion attracted a lot of attention as I wasn't the only one curious about heat restrictions on the Mauviel.

                                                      I've had my 5-Piece 2.5mm Copper set for almost two months now and learned quite a bit in the process from cooking with them.

                                                      1. First thing I should mention is I'm a renter and stuck with an electric range stove... so your experience may vary slightly if you're using gas, but the same rules should apply.

                                                      2. The Medium heat restriction is real, it won't do any permanent damage but it can discolor the pan.

                                                      3. Pre-heating the pan too much will also have this effect, the mercury ball pan test also discolors the pan. You must have something in the pan for the heat to absorb, or it will discolor.

                                                      4. To be clear, when I say discolor I'm not talking about Patina... I mean Purple, Red, Blue, etc. Not to worry though, these mistakes can easily be removed with a light scrubbing of Bar Keeper's Friend.

                                                      5. For cleaning, I prefer not to use BKF everyday since it's a polish and I'm worried that over time I could be thinning out the Stainless interior. Instead I use the soft side of my sponge for the outside to avoid scratching the finish. For the inside I use the Scotch Brite side of the sponge with little to no pressure... I find too much pressure will scratch the Stainless. If that doesn't work I boil water in the pan and scrape with a spatula.

                                                      Hope this information helps, it all comes from reading Mauviel's website as well as trial and error using the pans. There's definitely more than one way to care for your pans, but if you just want a Patina look to your pans without any serious discoloration or scratching... I think my method is your best bet.

                                                      Good luck!

                                                      1. kaleokahu RE: mundty Mar 29, 2013 08:21 AM

                                                        Hi, mundty:

                                                        The multi-color discoloration you've experienced with "too much" heat on your electric coils is pretty normal. The good news is it's better/less on coils than it is over a gas flame.

                                                        I really don't think you need to baby the SS linings. But I'd go easy with BKF on the exteriors.

                                                        How would you rate our new pans overall compared with what you had?

                                                        Aloha,
                                                        Kaleo

                                                        1. tim irvine RE: mundty Mar 29, 2013 11:28 AM

                                                          If the only issue is changing the coloration of the copper I wouldn't , personally, think twice about it. I have all sorts and thicknesses of copper pans, tin lined, steel lined, and unlined. They all do it at higher temps and are perfectly susceptible to being polished back to the bright pink that made Julie Andrews burst into song. Left in their unpolished states they still cook superbly.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: tim irvine
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                                                            jljohn RE: tim irvine Mar 30, 2013 07:44 PM

                                                            Some even like the multi-colored discoloration. My daughter looked at my 3 QT Windsor the other day and exclaimed, "Dad, it looks like a rainbow! Can we keep it that way?" I had to explain that one of the many cool things about using copper cookware is how it constantly changes and progress through so many phases before we polish it back to bright and shiny. I guess it's all in the perspective of the viewer.

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