We’re weeks away from one of the best days of the year, seeing our family and loved ones gather in our homes to celebrate Thanksgiving. We want our homes to be as warm as our hearts and the Thanksgiving meal as memorable as our time together.
While we’ve spent a lot of time talking about setting the perfect table on our blog, we thought it was about time to get inside the kitchen and talk about one of our favorite pieces of cookware — copper pots and pans.
Copper versus The World
The cold metals of iron and aluminum are staples in modern kitchens. We’ve all got pots and pans made from these two metals, but (truth be told) cookware made from those two metals lacks warmth, character, and elegance. Sure, aluminum is cheap and easy. But it only lasts for so long. Cast iron pans have their place in every kitchen, but moving them around is something else, and so is the maintenance of each piece.
Copper cookware, though, means something special is happening. Just that flash of golden color brings a certain elan to every home kitchen. Plus, because the material hints at a higher level of cooking, we’re geared to anticipate and appreciate the upcoming meal. It’s not surprising that many of the world’s top chefs rely on copper pots and pans at the best restaurants and homes.
A Quick History of Copper
Copper is a metal that’s been around for thousands of years and used in hundreds of applications, from coins to wires to high-tech components to cookware. The oldest evidence we have of copper in use dates back 10,000 years. Some reports say the earliest known use of copper is a pendant found in northern Iraq that dates back to around 8700 B.C.
In ancient times, metalsmiths bent pure copper into various shapes, including cookware and jewelry. At a certain point, metal workers discovered how to alloy copper to tin, making bronze. History aficionados recall the Bronze Age as a seminal time in world history, as bronze tools and weapons became popular.
The Benefits of Copper in the Kitchen
Beyond the aesthetics of copper, many of the metal’s properties make it a superior metal for cooking. Here are just a few examples:
Heat Conductivity and Distribution — copper heats quickly and evenly, reducing the risk of hotspots and uneven cooking.
Temperature Control — copper responds quickly to changes in temperature, which gives chefs precise control over in-pan heat.
Aesthetics — copper cookware adds elegance and sophistication to any kitchen, improving the appearance of a home chef’s workspace.
Copper pots and pans are fantastic tools when preparing that “very special recipe.” From sauteeing vegetables to preparing a sauce to searing meat, copper is the way to go.
Caring for Copper Pots and Pans
One of the things that copper cookware shares with cast iron pans is the effort it takes to clean and maintain each piece. But with a bit of forethought and elbow grease, it’s not as tricky as it may seem.
Keep in mind that tin or stainless steel line most copper pieces, and to prevent metal from getting cooked into your food, you’ll want to avoid using metal utensils while cooking.
Never ever put those copper pans in the dishwasher! Handwash them with a non-stiff tool in an acidic or vinegar solution — think lemon juice or tomato paste.
Unlike iron, it’s difficult to season a copper pan, so it’ll be fresh flavors every time! However, with time and use, that gorgeous patina on the bottom of your cookware will come from the heat, creating green swirling patterns that add character.
We’re Here to Help
Taking care of your copper cookware can be a bit challenging, and sometimes accidents like overheating happen. We are experts at repairing and restoring copper pots and pans, whether they are family heirlooms or more recent purchases. Contact us with any questions.