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Old 07-31-2009, 06:49 PM   #51
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I have a number of Baumalu pots - 2mm variety. I am very happy with them. Just a couple of points. Some have advised cleaning with lemon juice and baking soda. This seems rather odd as the two react together to produce carbon dioxide and a salt. (Salt in the chemical meaning as when an acid and base are mixed). Maybe it works, but I fail to see why.

Lemon juice and table salt or vinegar and table salt do work. The salt acts as a catalyst (not exactly, but it will do as an explanation - it alters the ionic strength of the vinegar) that allows the vinegar to remove the surface oxidation more quickly. In the process an extremely thin layer of copper (oxide) is removed. Don't worry about the amount of copper you lose.

Copper is an extremely reactive element. It 'rusts' very quickly. However the copper rust - ie copper oxide(s) - is highly unreactive and generally impervious to water and air. So the dull surface acts as a barrier and prevents further rusting.

The Baumalu handles are iron and hold a lot of heat. Take care if you use them in the oven. You can give yourself a really bad burn if you grab hold of the handle even 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven. Iron is a relatively poor conductor of heat and it takes some time to dissipate it. Be particularly careful if someone else may enter the kitchen and pick up the pan. It's exactly the same danger as for cast iron pots. The same problem can happen on a gas burner where heat rises round the side of the pan and heats the handle. Try to ensure the pan covers the complete 'circle of flame'. A silicon pot handle is a good idea and you can use it for your cast iron frying pan.

My preference is not to clean the copper but let the pans generate a patina. It's your choice of form v. function. It does not affect performance. (at least not significantly in terms of cooking).

In my experience I find the copper lids are a pain. The copper lid conducts heat to the lid handle which can get very hot. It is a minor burn hazard. My preference is to use glass lids with insulated handles. I certainly would not buy copper lids for any future lid-less pans. I do not see what copper lids bring to the equation except in terms of looks. Additionally the copper bends easily, and copper lids suffer accordingly. And once the edges have been dinged it is not easy straightening them. This dinging happens when you pick up a hot lid - temporarily. The lid handles (and pot handles) rust so you need to dry them by hand. Alternatively, live with a bit of rust. It is part of the character. IMHO shiny copper pots are a sign of a person who has wasted some valuable cooking time.

As someone else said. the lids slip over the handles which makes for easy hanging from a ceiling pot rack. A couple of butcher's hooks from Ikea and away you go.

The tinning on the inside may display 'water-marks' which are very difficult to remove. Ignore them.

The external surface of the pot is easily stained (in reality cleaned) by acids so take car not to splash vinegar etc on the outside. There are other oxidising cleaners (I suppose oxy-clean is one) that can cause marks on the outside. But fear not, using your trusty vinegar and salt will bring back the shine.

Sorry for stating the obvious - don't stick 'em in a dishwasher.

Someone stated that you need re-tinning every 3 to 5 years. In my experience it is a lot longer than this for the average non-professional foody cook. Accidental scratches in the the tin that expose small amounts of copper is not a reason to get them re-tinned. In this case, ignore the copper poisoning worry. Your will get far more copper in your system from the effects of acid rain on your copper pipes.

If you want to preheat a pan to 212 then just a tiny bit of water will do the trick. Copper conducts heat so well that it does not get significant hot spots. Don't stick it on a burner empty - it's just not worth making a mistake and forgetting about it. In general, unless you are bringing something to a boil then medium heat will do. This also has the advantage that if the pan boils dry it will probably not melt the tin. (although it will get discoloured)

Also remember that the sides of a copper pan heat up more than an ordinary pan and transfer heat to the food.

My first post on this site. Sorry, I do have a tendency to ramble.

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Old 08-04-2009, 12:20 PM   #52
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Thanks Paul! I've seen your user name on another site or two.
Always full of good info!

This particular post is what led me to this board.. it's a bit difficult to find info on Baumalu cookware.

My local cooking store had to do some looking up as they were unfamiliar with this line as well when I asked about removing the lacquer.

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Old 08-04-2009, 01:07 PM   #53
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Baumalu is new (a few years) on the American Market, but has a long history in France. Much is sold online or in stores like Marshalls TJMax and Tuesday Morning. Baumalu comes in many grades (as do all potmakers btw) so do some measuring. 2 to 2.5 mm thickness is ideal for most cooking. But they do make thinner pans. Why they lacquer their pots is for the person who want's to hang them on the wall rather than use them. No other French copper company does this to my knowledge (Mauviel, Dehillerin, Bourgeat, etc.)

How long will the tin last? the accepted wisdom is 3-5 years. Mine has lasted a lot longer. I use wooden spoons etc, no metal. I keep the heat reasonable. I don't scour the pans. TIn will darken naturally with use. Let it do its thing! Soak the pans and they come clean with a sponge.

to polish or not? your choice. But real copper as these are polish easily compared to the copper wash or old revereware. Do I use lemmon and salt? If I have cooked with lemmon I keep the used ends around till cleanup. If not I use barkeepers friend. I have let some age and darken but they cook the same. I prefer them shiny.

Lids are very useful tools. Do they need to match? no. But if you want them to, Baumalu, Mauviel, Bourgeat etc sell lids by diameter. French copper studio, Metro Kitchen, Fantes etc can help.

You can cook a fine meal in much less expensive pans. Most restaurants do! But with good copper or enameled cast iron you can turn the heat down low and trust that your soup or stew will keep simmering without burning.

Do you want to sear food over high heat...get cast iron or carbon steel for that job...

different pans for different jobs.

I don't think any of us who have written on cooking and caring for copper have contradicted one another. We may have slightly different approaches but we are saying pretty much the same thing.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:08 AM   #54
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Thumbs up Feedback copper cookware

The Alsatian Cookware is great, I bought quite a few pieces at Marshalls, and Tuesday morning. Having bought a lot of higher priced Mauviel and the Italian hammered pots at Williams Sonoma, it appears there is NO difference in the way that they cook other than you cannot use extremely high heat.

Being French myself, I do not think any of my french relatives would esteem one brand of pot over the other, rather the results of the cooking would be discussed more than the cost of the pot.

I have received gifts of lacquered pots that required boiling and they lasted a long time. I always use a lemon or lime with salt on top to clean the pots every night after use....if I have no lemon a tablespoon or two of catsup works just as well.

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Old 11-01-2009, 03:18 PM   #55
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Baumalu Cast Iron Handles

Hi y'all,

This is my first post here. I discovered this site while Googling Baumalu cookware, which I am considering for purchase.

Thank God for this thread! It answers many of the questions that I had.
Someone above mentioned that the cast iron handles will rust. But I would assume that they could be seasoned to prevent rusting just like a cast-iron skillet.... Right?!
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Old 11-01-2009, 03:51 PM   #56
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I've several Bourgeat copper pans with cast iron handles.

no rust around here..... the handles 'darken' and that seems to be their long term stable condition.
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:58 AM   #57
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<< Thank God for this thread! It answers many of the questions that I had.
Someone above mentioned that the cast iron handles will rust. But I would assume that they could be seasoned to prevent rusting just like a cast-iron skillet.... Right?! >>

No. You may well melt the tin lining in a hot oven.

Don't worry about the rust. It is a superficial coat - more of a browning. You could always varnish the handle. But it is not particularly ugly.
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:30 PM   #58
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just wipe the handles with a little cooking oil after cleaning and before putting away the first few times. I've had no problem with rusting handles. (I agree, do not place in the oven without food or liquid.) Tin melts at 460*F
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:36 PM   #59
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When I buy copper cookware, unless I know otherwise, I assume that it has a laquer coating. This is generally put on at the factory to increase shelf life. The simplest way to remove it is with laquer thinner or acetone. Mineral spirits is paint thinner, and will not remove laquer. Thinners are very flammeable and toxic, and should be used outdoors.

I have only had a couple of cast iron handles show signs of rust. In both cases, I used a very small amount of hi temp clear engine enamel to coat the offending spot

I clean my copper. I use Wrights cleaner as it is cheap and readily available and does the job.

2mm + copper works best for me. I stay away from any with a rolled upper edge. The roll is there to strengthen the rim. Not necessary on thick pots. I have seen both Baumalu qualities sitting side by side at Tuesday Morning, and at roughly the same price.

I seldom buy a pot without a lid. While you do not always need a lid, when you need it, you need it. A year or so ago Rocky Mountain Retinning had acquired a bunch of old lids, and was able to fix me up with one I could not find. I also use Pyrex lids on pots used for simmering.

Copper cookware requires more care than SS. Only wooden or plastic utensils. As stated, small scratches do not deter from the cooking. IMO copper requires about the same care as non stick.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:02 PM   #60
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Great info -- Thanks!

Thanks to all for your input!

I was wondering about the hammered finish -- it is more difficult to polish/clean than a smooth finish? I.e. removing the tarnish from the little indentations, is that difficult?

Also, somewhere I read about handle placement; someone posted on a forum that they preferred that the handles be closer to the top (rim) of the pot as opposed to nearer the heat source. Looking at the more expensive lines (Mauviel, etc.) I noticed that the handles were typically riveted toward the top of the pot (looking from the lateral, or side view). But on the Baumalus the handle placement seemed to vary with the piece.
Any comments on that?

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