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May 25, 2013 01:19 PM

Mauviel Hammered Copper Rondeau

Hello Everyone,
I have this beautiful copper rondeau that I rarely use because it is lined with tin and I am afraid to ruin it. All my other pieces are lined with stainless steel and I feel more comfortable using those. I am debating if I should sell it since I know I won't get anywhere near the $650 it is worth. Maybe I should trade with someone for a stainless steel lined saute pan even if the copper is a bit thinner?


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  1. It is indeed a thing of beauty. I'd put my fears aside, make the big investment in a wooden spoon, a wooden spatula, and maybe some silicone tipped tongs, put equal parts unsalted butter and peanut oil in it, and cook more with it. I have heavy tinned copper I have used regularly since the early seventies that shows no sign of wear.

    3 Replies
    1. re: tim irvine

      Wow; since the '70s and no signs of wear? That's very encouraging. That's just what I needed. Thank you. I am pretty new to the wonderful world of french copper cookware, so all advice is greatly appreciated :)

      1. re: djimenez

        The keys, in my experience, are two. Wooden or silicone utensils, no metal, is the big one. The other is that when you use butter ( which should be often), always use an equal amount of oil to prevent scorching which leads either to sticking which leads to digging at things to pry them loose or to the need to scrub hard at clean up time. I will say, however, that from time to time I commit each of those sins, and the pans still hold up well. There is, as you can see, a little spotting. This is one of my newer pans, snagged in 1976!

        1. re: tim irvine

          You have no idea how consoling it is to hear they have lasted so long with mistakes and all. The butter and oil is a good tip that I will make sure to use. Thank you Tim.


    2. Use it. You can always have it retinned.

      If you ever have a problem with your stainless lined copper, what are you going to do?

      9 Replies
      1. re: Sid Post

        I think retinning for this pan would be around $300 on an already expensive piece. That's why I was afraid of ruining the lining...
        I assumed the stainless steel lining wouldn't wear out until you mentioned " If you ever have a problem with your stainless lined copper, what are you going to do?" What kind of problems might I run in to?

        1. re: djimenez

          Hi, DJ: "What kind of problems might I run in to?"

          Well, unless you're careful to add salt to already boiling water and stir, the SS lining can pit through. And the pans can delaminate on high heat if left empty. In both cases, the pan's a goner.

          Your rondeau is probably *the* classic piece of copperware. I would keep it and use it--a lot.


          1. re: kaleokahu

            Hi Kaleo, you and the other posters have made me look at my rondeau in a different way. Thank you.
            Now I am worried about the SS lined pieces! Do you know of any irrepearably damaged SS piece and how it happened?

            1. re: djimenez

              Hi, dj:

              Yes, I know of irreparably damaged pieces. The modality of failure is not that easy to determine. De-lams tend to happen at the floor-pan juncture, where the forming stresses are the greatest.

              I don't think these failures are common, so you ought not to be worried. But they do happen occasionally (Falk does not honor its guarantee for salt-pitting), so people need to know that the bimetal pans *can* fail.

              I hope you cook with love for many years in that rondeau.


              1. re: kaleokahu

                I will add "floor-pan juncture" to my vocab. It is right up there with PIBCAK (problem is between chair and keyboard).


              2. re: kaleokahu


                I would add that leaving a good stainless steel pot or pan overnight to soak and soften burned tomato sauce will also lead to pitting. From one who owns most of the Silga Teknika and Rösle pan collection, please don't soak them overnight this way.

                The acids and sugars in the paste will really go to work overnight, swirling around in water. Same to same if left in the fridge for a few days.

                Soak stainless yes, but clean it immediately when it cools.

                This said, I like to look at copper and brass, and will spend a good hour polishing when needed. But copper cooking ?

                In another life, perhaps.

                1. re: SWISSAIRE

                  It's crazy how one can unknowingly damage a SS pan in so many ways. That's why I am loving this website; I am learning something new everyday.

              3. re: djimenez

                <I think retinning for this pan would be around $300 on an already expensive piece. That's why I was afraid of ruining the lining...>

                $300 is a bit high. Be as it may be, it is more expensive not to use a cookware. If you want to exchange it for the stainless steel line cookware, then that is ok, but do not just have a cookware sit idle.

            2. < have this beautiful copper rondeau that I rarely use because it is lined with tin and I am afraid to ruin it. >

              You just have to use it. What else are you going to do with it? Hanging on the wall. The tin will wear off, but you can retin it.

              20 Replies
              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                It is more expensive not to use it at all; you are absolutely right! The way I now look at it is tin pieces basically have insurance: the deductable would be the price for retinning. SS pieces do not :)

                1. re: djimenez

                  <The way I now look at it is tin pieces basically have insurance: the deductable would be the price for retinning.>

                  I have never viewed it as insurance, but an interesting idea indeed.

                  < SS pieces do not :)>

                  Both designs have their advantages. For example, stainless steel held up really well at high temperature, whereas tin has a much lower melting and softening temperature. Good luck and have fun. :)

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Ah yes the melting point. Another thing I will have to watch out for with this piece, but it's worth it. I feel very fortunate to have stumbled across it (almost by accident!). I will make sure to use my SS lined fry pans for searing and other high-heat methods.
                    Thanks for wishing me good luck, Chem. I will need it! :)
                    Good luck to you as well

                    1. re: djimenez

                      Many people confuse and believe that tinned cookware can be used up to the tin melting point. The fact is that one should never even get remotely close to the melting point. The metal will gradually soften more and more as the temperature rises.

                      Read the part about Addendum (8/26/2011):


                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        That makes sense: the material loses its strenght well below the melting point. Only low heat for this pan!!!! Too high, and I am literally playing with fire. Not worth the risk. Low and slow braising is best with this piece.
                        Thanks Chem

                        1. re: djimenez

                          <Only low heat for this pan!!!! Too high, and I am literally playing with fire. Not worth the risk. >

                          Medium temperature is fine too. Good thing is that tin is nontoxic. The worse you will do is that you shorten the lifetime of the tin surface and you end up having to retin the cookware more often. Best wishes.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Thank goodness yes, unlike the dreaded teflon which does become toxic at super high heat.
                            Best wishes to you as well

                          2. re: djimenez

                            Hi, Again, dj:

                            Some people here don't actually *use* tinned copper, and some of those tend to exaggerate the phenomenon of melting tin linings. And your 3mm rondeau is going to conduct a lot of heat out away from your hob

                            As long as you don't take an *empty* pan past 425, you are safe. That means avoiding preheating an *empty* pan. It IS OK to preheat a pan with just fat in it, up to the smoke point of a normal oil.

                            As for a pan that is full of cooking food, you can do whatever you like. By "full", I don't mean one chicken breast in your rondeau--the floor of the pan needs to be at least loosely covered.


                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              Can someone please explain the pleasure or advantage in copper cooking? I've just acquired a paderno copper saucepan (about 24cm) and not quite sure what tasks to approach it with. Thanks.

                              1. re: Moonshot

                                Hi, Moonshot:

                                Congratulations on the new pan.

                                IMO, the *pleasure* and *advantage* are overlapping things. The basic advantages are that (with few exceptions) copper performs better. Very even heat, heats faster, cools faster, uses less energy.

                                The pleasure aspect includes knowing you have the best tool, the unmistakable appearance, the history, the heft, and the timelessness.

                                What to do with a saucepan? Well, apart from sauces, you can do quite a lot. A 24cm will fit in the oven, and function as a dutch oven. You can braise, make small batches of stock, boil, poach, even saute. I even use that size for making popcorn.

                                You might want to pick up a copy of James Peterson's "Sauces" and put your Paderno to work. Find some preps you like, and compare the new pan A-B with what you were using before.


                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                  Hi - That book looks great. I'll order it. I think i've been a bit shy of sauces. Not 100% but it's something i need to get over. Thank you for the heads up. The pan i would like by Paderno is here: http://bit.ly/11mBTgj . If you care to, then search for 45208. Would be interested in your view!

                                  Thanks, Kaleo.


                                  1. re: Moonshot

                                    Hi, Moonshot:

                                    The 45208 looks like a saute, not a saucepan. And it is quite thin, at 1.5mm.

                                    I would suggest that--if you're going to be buying the Peterson book and getting seriously into sauces--you get the 45312 instead. It is a classic sauteuse evasee, and is 2.5mm thick. I think you would be much happier with this one.


                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                      Hi Kaleo

                                      That is so helpful. The one I'd identified was on a special 60% reduction but if it's not of sufficient quality then I certainly don't want it. Out of interest, what do you think of this make? http://bit.ly/14cgLdR Another saute, I admit.


                                      1. re: Moonshot

                                        Hi, Moonshot:

                                        With respect, the Paderno saucepan is too thin at 1.5mm. You definitely could cook in it, but it is what is called a "table service" pan, i.e., meant to bring food to table. That thickness would be OK in a steamer or poacher, but not in a saucepan.

                                        The Lecellier saute to which you linked is just OK, too. It has many of the virtues of a top-flight pan (hammered, iron handle, 3 rivets, hand-wiped lining, etc.), but it, too, is borderline too thin. If you already know your hob is very even, it might be thick enough. 2mm is, IMO, just the low end of the range that is worth buying. At £90.00 (and better postage from France), I think you can do better.

                                        Here's a vintage pan that I would recommend. It's considerably larger than the Lecellier, but a good mark, thick, and in good shape. Note the weight. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FRENCH-VINT...


                              2. re: kaleokahu

                                Hi Kaleo!
                                I am glad to know that the tin lining should hold up well to normal use and I will definitely use your tips :)
                                Any preventative measures taken with this pan are worth the effort, unlike those crappy teflon pans that need to be babied and still get damaged.

                                1. re: djimenez

                                  The 3mm Rondeau is, at least IMO the quintessential piece of Mauviel cookware. It would be a shame not to use it.


                                  1. re: TraderJoe

                                    I agree. It is a beautiful piece and at 11 inches, it's the perfect size. I was only concerned with the lining. Do you prefer tin or SS?

                                    1. re: djimenez

                                      I prefer SS. It's just more forgiving and it's getting harder and harder to find some one to re-tin at a fair price and do a good job.
                                      However for all the chitter chatter about SS Vs Tin the difference (as long as you take care of your cookware) is not much.
                                      Use it. Enjoy it. If by chance you change your mind in the future they are easy to sell on eBay.

                                      1. re: TraderJoe

                                        That's exactly how I feel 100%. The ebay option is what I was thinking about when I posted this question originally. I was debating going thru the hassle of selling when there is a good possibility of not being able to replace my 11" tin piece with a SS one for that price. After reading the advice from fellow Chowhounders, I feel like keeping the tin is best after all.
                                        I love this website. It's nice to get advice and opinions from people that love their cookware. Everyone I know around me are happy with their teflon so asking for advice on french copper is out of the question :)