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Old 12-31-2006, 12:17 AM   #1
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Cuisinart Cookware - Copper sandwiched in the base

Back in the early 90's I purchased some SS Cuisinart cookware but in this case, instead of aluminum in the disk on the base, there is copper. You can even see the copper line if you look at the base of the pots. Back when I was buying Cuisinart Food Processors, the company was also giving away different pots if you sent in a FP proof of purchase.

Just out of curiousity, how do these pieces compare to the aluminum base models of the present Cuisinart line? Just curious. (I have a 5 qt saute pan, a 1 qt saute pan, 1.5 qt saucepan and another 3 quart casserole piece. Anyone have any cooking experience with these kinds of pots?

thanks.

mack

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Old 12-31-2006, 12:34 AM   #2
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As has been discussed in response to several of your earlier questions, there is no practical difference between copper and aluminum in the disk.

I had several pieces of Cuisinart Everyday which had the disk with copper. They worked well and my daughter is using them now.
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:07 AM   #3
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The Cuisinart Chef's Classic SS has a fully encapsulated aluminum core bottom which covers the full width of the cookware.
The Everyday SS has a copper core bottom that wasn't fully encapsulaed and doesn't cover the entire bottom surface of this line fo cookware. Not being fully encapsulated is the reason you can see the copper circle around the bottom. Because the copper disc wasn't fully encapsulaed it's been reported that the copper will melt at high heat ruining the pan and also possibly your cook top.

The Everyday SS nonstick used Dupont Excalibur nonstick coating and the Chef's Classic nonstick uses the newer and supposedly better Quantanium nonstick cooking surface.

The Chef's Classic handles are also of a new and improved design which makes for less heat transfered to the loop handles.

Both perform about equally as far as cooking performance is concerned with the Chef's Classic possibly having a slight edge. Because of the CC's fully encapsulated bottom design the smaller pans have a slightly larger surface contacting the cooking surface.

We have a glass/ceramic cooking surface so you need to taske that into consideration also.
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Old 12-31-2006, 11:16 AM   #4
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The original Chisinart cookware, that was made in France, when Sontheimer still owned the company, has a copper sandwich on the bottom that covers the whole bottom. I'm guessing this is what you are talking about -- the old Cuisinart cookware. Cuisinart has gone through a couple of different owners since Sontheimer sold the company, and the cookware is now made in Sri Lanka, I believe... The quality, altho good, is NOT the same as that wonderful old stuff.

In the early 90's many stores were clearing out the remainders of the original Cuisinart cookware, and if you picked some of that up, you have some great stuff. I have the 5 1/2 quart deep sauté and the Great Griddle, both of which I wouldn't trade for all the AllClad in the world!

Andy, your daughter is a lucky girl that you decided to part with yours. I wouldn't be that generous!
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Old 12-31-2006, 11:41 AM   #5
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June, the disk bottomed stuff wasn't working for my on my gas stove. Too many scorched foods when the flame hit non-disk surface.
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:17 PM   #6
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yes, ChefJune, I do have the copper sandwiched Cuisinart ones, and the 5 1/2 quart saute pan too. No frying pan though. My stove is also ceramic. Thanks for the info.
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:24 PM   #7
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"Because the copper disc wasn't fully encapsulaed it's been reported that the copper will melt at high heat ruining the pan and also possibly your cook top."

The melting point of copper is 1083.0 °C (1356.15 K, 1981.4 °F). It's not going to melt on a residential (or commercial) range.
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:24 PM   #8
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quite right, real copper is not going to melt on the stove. but there are all these urban legends out there. "My ceramic stove overheated, melted my cast iron fry pan all over my fried chicken..." Now there are some thin pans sold at big lots etc which will melt when exposed to heat...I think they're only slightly thicker than a foil pie plate.
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloce
"Because the copper disc wasn't fully encapsulaed it's been reported that the copper will melt at high heat ruining the pan and also possibly your cook top."

The melting point of copper is 1083.0 C (1356.15 K, 1981.4 F). It's not going to melt on a residential (or commercial) range.
In a link that someone recently posted here for an America's Test Kitchen testing of cookware ATK stated that Emerilware SS, which uses a copper disc, melted and bonded to the cooktop.

The high heat can also warp the cookware even if the copper core doesn't melt.
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron W.
In a link that someone recently posted here for an America's Test Kitchen testing of cookware ATK stated that Emerilware SS, which uses a copper disc, melted and bonded to the cooktop.

The high heat can also warp the cookware even if the copper core doesn't melt.

Some time ago, I posted that info from a Consumer Reports magazine. The disk separated from the pan body and remained on the burner. It's not at all clear that it was because the copper melted as there is also aluminum in that disk and some attachment method for connecting the disk to the pan.
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Old 12-31-2006, 04:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloce
"Because the copper disc wasn't fully encapsulaed it's been reported that the copper will melt at high heat ruining the pan and also possibly your cook top."

The melting point of copper is 1083.0 C (1356.15 K, 1981.4 F). It's not going to melt on a residential (or commercial) range.
Some high output gas cooktops put out 17,000 BTU or more.

Don't know if that would melt pure copper but might melt an alloy and/or cause the steel disc to release from the copper core.
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Old 01-01-2007, 12:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
Some time ago, I posted that info from a Consumer Reports magazine. The disk separated from the pan body and remained on the burner. It's not at all clear that it was because the copper melted as there is also aluminum in that disk and some attachment method for connecting the disk to the pan.
That sounds like a manufacturing defect.

Stainless Steel cookware is not meant to be used at high heat. The directions that accompany every pan or set I have ever seen says that in large, bold letters. Unfortunately, too few people read those pamphlets, and then they blame the company for bad pans.....
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Old 01-01-2007, 12:50 PM   #13
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No need to scold. The 10" skillet, for example, has a disk about 3 inches in diameter due to the curved sides. Ther is no way to sear a piece of meat or fish in the skillet while keeping the flame to less than three inches in daimeter.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:55 AM   #14
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I love urban myths and misinformation ....

I have a set of Emerilware SS and I have had a meltdown that was my own fault. I washed my 6-qt pot, put it on a stove burner and turned a burner on under another pot to boil some water ... oops ... I turned it on under the empty pot! My daughter called, we talked for a while ... I didn't spot my mistake until too late.

Sorry, but the disk on the bottom of my 10-inch Emerilware skillet is NOT 3-inches in diameter ... it's 7.75+ inches, the same as the diameter of the base on the inside of the skillet. Take the ATK (America's Test Kitchen) tests results (published in Cook's Illustrated) and read what they spec out about each pan they tested ... the difference between the diameter of the top and bottom of a fry pan varies between brands. Going to the ATK study of 12-inch fry pans ... their darling "benchmark" All-Clad had a base surface of 9.25 inches ... Emerilware came in at 9-inches ... not a significant difference.

When it comes to a meltdown ... no, the copper is not what melts. What melts is the aluminum core .. the aluminum melts, the SS warps, this breaks the seal from the impact bonding ... the aluminum leaks out onto the stove. And, it wasn't "fused" to the stove top ... when it was cool enough to handle the puddles of aluminum lifted off quite easily.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
No need to scold. The 10" skillet, for example, has a disk about 3 inches in diameter due to the curved sides. Ther is no way to sear a piece of meat or fish in the skillet while keeping the flame to less than three inches in daimeter.
I wasn't scolding, Andy, merely pointing out what I hear from customers when I'm on the sales floor fielding questions. Sorry if it sounded that way.

I haven't seen any 10 inch skillets with only a 3-inch disk, but I guess there may be some out there like that.
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:38 AM   #16
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Couldn't find the URL Andy M. posted but this one is interesting.

ABC12.com: Consumer News-Testing cookware
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:06 AM   #17
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Last night's question about Tools of the Trade reminded me of the warning that came with my TOTT Belgique cookware.

The instructions included these warnings.

"CAUTION:Electric stove tops are capable of higher
temperatures and generate higher heat. Please use
extra caution when cooking on a high temperature.

CAUTION: Tools of the Trade's constrution creates rapid
and efficient dispersal of heat throughout the utensil. Because
of the combination of metals used, the base could seperate or
liquefy through misuse, such as allowing pots to boil dry or
leaving it empty on an open flame or using a high setting on
certain electric stoves that can reach temperatures on excess
of 1,000F (538C)."
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:09 AM   #18
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Clarifications:

I posted no URL, just made an observation about a Consumer Reports article.

The CR article tested to see what would happen if a pot was mistakenly left on a burner empty or allowed to cook dry. This test was performed with all the products in the test. Not all failed.

The 10" skillet I had was not Emerilware, it was Cuisinart Everyday.

No misinformation or urban myths, just the facts.
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:46 AM   #19
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I've never seen one in person but I would think that Cuisinart 10" stir fry would have a bigger disc bottom than 3 in.

Didn't measure but the 10" Chef's Classic skillit I was checking out at TJMaxx Tuesday had what I would guess to be an 8" bottom.
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Old 01-04-2007, 12:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron W.
I've never seen one in person but I would think that Cuisinart 10" stir fry would have a bigger disc bottom than 3 in.

Didn't measure but the 10" Chef's Classic skillit I was checking out at TJMaxx Tuesday had what I would guess to be an 8" bottom.

Ron:

I no longer have the skillet so I am working from memory. The point was that the disk on the bottom was smaller because of the curved sides od the pan and smaller than the burner ring on the stove. This allowed the flame to reach the undisked portion of the pan, causing burning of the food in the pan.
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