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Old 01-16-2016, 07:15 PM   #1
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Some questions about copper cookware

Hi everyone. I'm a novice cook and really only started seriously cooking not quite 18 months ago. I mean, I knew how to do a grilled cheese sandwich and boil water, but that was about it.

Anyway, my old Teflon frying pan had started to lose its Teflon, so I decided to replace it. Then I decided to get all new cookware (who am I kidding? I just had two other old and cheap sauce pans). I began by looking at copper cookware, but it was way, way, WAY out of my financial league. So I was going to settle on a nice stainless steel cookware set by Kirkland from Costco.

Right before I bought it, I checked Craig's List one more time to see if I could find a used set, and lo and behold, someone was offering a copper cookware stainless steel lined set for the same price as the Kirkland set at Costco. On impulse, I bought it. And I don't know how to cook with stainless steel, let alone copper.

What I have is an old (1976) Revere Ware set. My first question is, am I cooking with copper or stainless steel, since the inside is lined with stainless steel? If I get on a 'How to cook with copper" article and they talk about cooking with copper pans that are tin lined, is that going to be different?

How often would I have to polish this set to keep it looking nice? Once a week? Once a month?

Does anyone here know if this cookware is oven safe and if so, to what temperature? Likewise the lids.

I have a fish pan - what would I use that for?

I also got something with the set called a zabaglione (from Bazaar from de la Cuisine - it's not Revere Ware). It has no lining and is supposedly for melting butter. I have no problem melting butter and chocolate over a low heat in a regular pan, so should I keep this?

The rest of the pans I'll use - I also got a large fry pan and a 1 qt, a 2 qt, and a 3 qt sauce pan, all with lids. I think I made a pretty good buy, but I have a suspicious feeling that the pans are way more advanced than the cooking I do.

I really don't want to ruin this set with my inexperience, so any suggestions would be very gratefully received.
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:37 PM   #2
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I think you describe a copper bottom cookware set, and not full copper outside? If so, the copper helps heat the pans quicker and more evenly and maintain their heat. You are cooking in stainless steel.

I have several similar pieces, I don't know for sure how much heat they can take, I cook with medium and lower temps with most pans anyway.
If you oven cook with them and they have the older black material handles/ lids wrap the exposed parts in aluminum foil and up to 350 F.

Do any of your pans fit one on top of the other to form a double boiler?
If so, you may not need the zabaglione pan. We made tiramisu Once last year. So now I am an "expert" zabaglione cooker. Use it over simmering water, not touching the water. Zabaglione is a cooked egg yolk / sugar thin custard, not as thick as a pudding and if cooked too high a temp, you get scrambled eggs Don't ask how I found this out. Terrific dessert with some berries or mixed with a jigger of liqeuor. There’s other dishes that would use a double boiler that you can use the copper pan with.

I’m not sure I would cook with the solid copper pan over direct heat, perhaps someone else knows for sure. At any rate if you have a double boiler or a medium mixing bowl that fits nicely in one of the pots, you could re-sell the copper pan on Craig’s list, perhaps for a profit.

A fish cooking pan. Does it have a lid? If not, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil. You live on Puget Sound. I would poach some long asparagus spears in it. But really! A whole salmon or salmon side. Look up some recipes for poaching fish/ liquids. Serve cold with a lemon mayonnaise. I will be first in line at your next party!! Reality says I would personally seldom use—hence putting it back on Craig’s list. Make a profit, and if not, keep it and use it. But really, use it at least once before re-sale, because you Have the pan!


With stainless pans and today’s leaner meats, grass fed beef, overly trimmed pork and plump but not fat chickens, or a really lean ground beef, I recommend pouring a spoonful olive oil or fave cooking oil in the pan and let it come up to heat a bit, before adding the main ingredient. I don’t have a dishwasher, so I just clean with hot sudsy water.
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:57 PM   #3
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Not oven safe, the knobs will crack and fall apart...experience speaking here. Love Revere Ware. Does need fat so things don't stick, as Whiska said. Med heat will cook most things on top of the stove, high heat is okay for bringing to boil or quickly searing a steak. Leaving on high for extended periods will warp the pans.

Fish pans are nice, if you like fish, it also works as a steamer for vegetables. I think you got a good deal and a nice set of pans.
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:13 PM   #4
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I think a lot of old timers here had Reverware pans at one time or another. They sure do look pretty when the bottom is hanging up for everyone to see. But like me, mine sit in the drawer at the bottom of my stove. I have had them for 40 plus years. I stopped polishing them years ago. No one is going to see the bottoms except me. I no longer care how pretty they look all polished up. The shiny bottom has no effect on how the pan cooks the food. The heat reaches the copper without all that polishing. And like I said, no one sees the bottom on my pans. Not even me until I wash them with just hot soapy water. I occasionally use a Brillo or S.O.S pad to clean the bottom. But not for the sole purpose of shining the copper. Only to prevent a buildup of baked on grease and foods that may have boiled over.

Since Whiskadoodle gave you such valuable advice, I won't repeat what he told you. But whether you want to continue polishing the bottom of the pans for years to come is up to you. I have a friend that got a complete set of Revereware almost 50 years ago. She still polishes them faithfully. But then she has hers hanging on a pot rack over the stove. I can think of a lot of more interesting things to do other than polishing the bottom of pans.
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:42 PM   #5
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I'm actually talking about copper pans. Can I post these pictures here? This is what I got:





The outside is copper and the interior is stainless steel. The lids are copper with stainless steel on the underside. The pan handles and lid handles are brass.

Whiskadoodle, I don't have a double boiler and I also don't have a cover for the fish pan. And I have to admit it, but the only vegetable I cook is corn on the cob. Although now that you mention it, I can sometimes get cod on sale. I usually deep fry it, but I could put it in the pan - I do have a recipe for that.

I'm on food stamps right now, so I have to be careful of what I buy. Paying cash for cooking wine is probably not wise after buying groceries with food stamps. Beer for bread or chicken is probably also likewise out. And I get the look when I buy anything besides hamburger, too. And I think buying any kind of fish like salmon is also something I probably shouldn't do. *sigh*

And if you guys are wondering how I managed to buy pots and pans, my mom gave me a large check this year for a combined Christmas and birthday gift. This pan set was under $200 and I was supposed to get new glasses. I guess that shows you where my priorities are (and I did tell her I got the pans). LOL

Anyway, I suppose I could fit the smaller sauce pan into the larger sauce pan to make a double boiler and I do have some old metal bowls that could be used for that, but again, I really don't steam any vegetables. If I eat any vegetables, I usually eat them raw, like carrots (although I have been known to cook peas once in a while). And I just put chocolate and butter on low and it melts with no problem in a small sauce pan.

So I may do as you say and put the zabaglione thing on eBay.

Thank you everyone, for answering!
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:48 PM   #6
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Lemon juice and salt to shine the copper. Those are beautiful pans and not like the Revere Ware I grew up with.
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:55 PM   #7
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I forgot to add, since I have only one usable cupboard, a friend gave me an old floor standing pot rack, so these pots are out in full sight.

I am also wondering about using the copper on an electric stove. And to top that off, the stove is only 20". The griddle I got with this set is 12" across, so it dwarfs the largest burner on my stove and the fish pan would probably do the same.

I have a lot to learn!
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:59 PM   #8
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Thank you, Fiona. I just hope I can do them justice.

They definitely are Revere Ware. I looked them up on this site:

http://www.revereware.org/info/id10.html
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Old 01-17-2016, 12:59 AM   #9
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Good ol’ Paul Revere. You got the up-scale Revere ware. I apologize, this wasn't the style I was thinking, so disregard what I said. Yes, yours are stove top to oven ready. As far as the copper pot/ using as a double boiler, I was attempting to show an example use for it. I seldom need a double boiler pot. Your set should cook standard on an electric stove. And the oval pan looks like it might make several pancakes, French toasts or chops and anything else you can think of and you can save the skillet until you get a larger stove.

As far as receiving food stamps. Pfft. Many, including DC’ers, use or have used food stamps. Good as money. Learn to ignore “the look.”

I forgot to say this before. Have Fun using your new cookware. .
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:17 AM   #10
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Some questions about copper cookware

Whoa! What beautiful pans! You got a great deal.

As far as food stamps, absolutely no worries! Many of my kids' families used them.
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