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nickel-lined copper pans

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I bought 6 lidded Baumlin copper pans made in France at an estate sale. Five had never been used (still had protective resin on them) at all.
Baumlin tags state that they're lined with nickel. Are they safe to use? Could I get a tin lining on top of the nickel?

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  1. Hi, anmara:

    Yes, they're safe to use, unless you are one of those unfortunate and rare people who has a high sensitivity to nickel. You would probably already know if you suffer from that sensitivity.

    Nickel linings are actually advantageous over tin when it comes to melting, wear resistance and reactivity. Many fine old French makers (including Gaillard) offered nickel linings as soon as the plating technology was known and available. There was a maker called Joseph Heinrichs that specialized in very high quality nickel-lined copperware.

    On the downside, plated linings tend to be thinner than tin, and so the wear resistance comparison evens out some.

    I do not know this to be a fact, but I believe a nickel lining can be tinned over (well-fluxed tin sticks very well to all metals, IME).

    So if I were you, I would count myself VERY lucky to have found these pans, and enjoy the heck out of them until (if ever) a lining wears through. THEN I'd try tinning that pan and see how it works. Unless the pan has a high value, replating in nickel would probably not be economical.

    Would you please post some photos of your pans?

    Aloha,
    Kaleo

    8 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Hi Kaleo,

      Thanks very much indeed! I bought the pans for my son (a chef in training) and I'm so happy that he'll be able to use them. I'm guessing that the original owner was given them as a wedding present, tried using one with the protective resin still on (i.e., without reading the instructions), found that it was turning black and so put the entire lot away in the basement.

      Here's a photo.

      Thanks again,
      anmara

       
      1. re: anmara

        Those look really nice. That was a great score.

        1. re: anmara

          Hi, anmara:

          They look very nice, and a very useful size spread. Two questions: (1) If you don't mind, what did you pay for the set? (2) How thick are they, relative to U.S. quarter or nickle coins?

          I also want to forewarn you a little. Few restaurants use, and fewer still culinary schools teach with, copperware. So you may find it's a tough sell with getting your son to start using these. But do not give up: he will--eventually--come around to realizing what a fantastic gift you gave him.

          Aloha,
          Kaleo

          1. re: kaleokahu

            Hi Kaleo,

            I paid $220 for the set. They're thicker than a dime... about the size of a nickel.

            My son is training with French chefs and is delighted about the pans (though he has yet to see them).

            Thanks again,

            anmara

            1. re: anmara

              Hi, anmara:

              You're welcome.

              12 pcs., unused, nickle-lined, 2mm, for $220? That's a great deal. You could easily spend that for *one* premium clad piece, which would be a lesser pan.

              If he takes off cooking in them, would you try to remember to post if/when the first lining gives out? I hope Chowhound and I are still around to learn how many years it takes.

              What a cool mom you are.

              Aloha,
              Kaleo

              1. re: kaleokahu

                Hi Kaleo

                My son picked up the pans today and I passed all your information on to him. He or I will post if or when the linings start to wear out.

                If I go to another estate sale, I think I'll head straight to the kitchen!

                anmara

                1. re: anmara

                  Hi, anmara:

                  Hopefully it will be years before they show through.

                  Hope springs eternal with estate sales. In my area (Seattle) many of the estate sales are run by professionals, who: (a) cherry pick before the sale ever starts; (b) start them on Friday mornings when only other pros and the similarly-unemployed can get the worm; and (c) set high prices until Sunday afternoon in order to get the most $. The only estate copper find I've had was a coal hod.

                  But I wish you a long string of picks like your son's pans. What culinary school is he attending?

                  Aloha,
                  Kaleo

                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    Hi Kaleo

                    L'Academie de Cuisine in Maryland.

                    Anne