Authored by Kennedy Allen in Food and Cooking
Published on 09-29-2009
The type of cookware one uses nowadays can vary widely. There are so many options, from plain steel, aluminum, iron cast, etc. that all have their different strengths and weaknesses. Copper is an altogether popular option with many attractive benefits.
For starters, copper cookware heats easily and evenly very quickly. Copper conducts the heat from the stove in an efficiently distributed way whereas cookware made from other materials might take longer to come to the same temperature or might overheat directly where the flame is applied. Steel cookware for example, reflects the heat from some stove types and takes longer to reach adequate heated temperature. This makes copper cookware ideal for a time crunched meal.
Copper cookware is also very long lasting. Copper is an extremely resilient material. Also, while copper cookware looks great while new and shiny, there is no need to keep it looking polished. Even tarnished copper stays looking great and attractive.
One downside to copper cookware is the fact that it needs a lining in order to be safe for cooking. These linings can be rather delicate and can be scratched and ruined by some cooking utensils. Always make sure the utensils used in copper cookware are soft (i.e. plastic or wood only!) and not scratchy. Never stir anything in copper cookware with a metal utensil.
Copper cookware can also be heavier than most other utensils. This extra weight may make it more prone to dents due to dropping while the pot or pan is being washed. Some people who prefer their cookware shiny and new looking may also complain that these pots may be complicated to keep looking like new, as they require a polishing process after cleaning because if not they will tarnish. However, the cookware will still be attractive even in this state.
When it comes to cleaning a copper pot after cooking, it is a relatively easy process. The lining in most copper cookware is non stick, which makes the food that might get stuck in the pan easy to remove. Also, due to the fact that copper cookware heats evenly, there is less chance for burn spots.
Another downside to copper cookware is the pricing. Being as to how these pots are highly efficient, they are sold at a premium price. Some sets of the highest quality copper cookware can sell for a couple hundred dollars a piece. Also, the cost of getting it lined again (if the lining is scratched as mentioned before) may be quite high. Copper cookware cannot be used if the lining is scratched because there is a risk of contaminating the food. Copper itself can leech into the food being cooked and result in serious medical conditions such as metal poisoning.
Most professionals agree that the benefits of copper cookware far outweigh the cons. While there are certain unattractive things about it, copper is still the best material for gourmet dishes. Also, copper cookware should be looked at as a long term investment. It has the ability to last a lifetime if properly cared for and looked after. With slight maintenance and care, your copper cookware can last a lifetime.