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Jan 15, 2014 01:11 PM

Copper pans and tinning

Hi! I just bought a Ruffoni copper risotto pan, and learned how to care for it. I understand the pan needs to be retinned when the tin lining starts wearing off. I'm wondering what it will look like when it needs to be retinned; how do I know when to retin it? Thank you!

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  1. Hi, Julie:

    The general rule of thumb is that you need to retin when the total area of exposed copper exceeds the size of a 25-cent piece. A few little scratches won't matter, nor will darkening of the lining.

    What would you see? Well, you'd probably see some dull coppery color at the high-traffic points within the pan--rivet heads, around the bottom where your dominant hand stirs most, etc.

    Is this a new pan? If so, you should expect it to be a few years before you have any worries. Our friend timirvive has a well-used tinned saute which I believe has 17 years on its original lining.