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Old 10-17-2004, 04:45 PM   #1
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Relative quality of various copper cookware brands

Lately, I've been interested in other types of cookware beyond the 'usual' stainless steel and non-stick ones, and again, I'm seeking experience/info about the various brands of copper cookware out there. Is it as simple as "you get what you pay for" or is there decent quality copper available for average home cooking without costing an arm and a leg? Some of the brands I've come across is Mauviel (seems to be the most expensive), the tri-ply clad copper lines of All Clad, Calphalon and Cuisinart, and some others like Paul Revere and Tagus. The latter two seem the most affordable, but I wonder if they're simply stainless-steel pots/pans with a thin copper lining on the outside to make them look good but without the advantages of copper as a metal to cook with (i.e. the conductivity of copper that gives one superior control over the temperature)?

Any responses/input/guidance is appreciated.

Thanks,
Anchita

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Old 10-17-2004, 06:29 PM   #2
 
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Re: relative quality of various copper cookware brands

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Originally Posted by anchita
Some of the brands I've come across is Mauviel (seems to be the most expensive), the tri-ply clad copper lines of All Clad, Calphalon and Cuisinart, and some others like Paul Revere and Tagus. The latter two seem the most affordable, but I wonder if they're simply stainless-steel pots/pans with a thin copper lining on the outside to make them look good but without the advantages of copper as a metal to cook with (i.e. the conductivity of copper that gives one superior control over the temperature)?
Anchita, it is my understanding that Paul Revere and Tagus are just thin copper.

All Clad and Cuisinart are ok, but Calphalon has been taking a hit on some of the sites I visit.

Mauviel is the one that many people really like -- responsive and long lasting. If it were me, I would buy the Mauviel a piece at a time as I could afford it.
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Old 10-17-2004, 06:32 PM   #3
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Thanks choclatechef! I appreciate the info and your opinion.
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Old 10-17-2004, 06:36 PM   #4
 
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You are very welcome! :D
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Old 10-17-2004, 06:58 PM   #5
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Copper Cookware

Two brands of copper cookware which I feel are superior to Mauviel are Bourgeat copper and Falk Culinair copper. Both have 2.5mm copper layer and are lined with stainless steel for ease of cleanup. Neither one is inexpensive however.
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Old 10-17-2004, 07:26 PM   #6
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Re: Copper Cookware

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Originally Posted by wep896
Two brands of copper cookware which I feel are superior to Mauviel are Bourgeat copper and Falk Culinair copper. Both have 2.5mm copper layer and are lined with stainless steel for ease of cleanup. Neither one is inexpensive however.
My sister has four Bourgeat pans. A really high-end pro model, as I understand it. And they look it and feel it. Heavy weight and, as my sister says, the stainless steel lining is so thick, it will not need to be re-tinned in her lifetime. Cast iron handles. Beautiful stuff. But, oooooh Bessie, these pots are pricey!!!
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Old 10-17-2004, 09:47 PM   #7
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Old copper cookware was tinned to make it non-toxic and non-reactive. It was usually a very thin tin lineing and combined with it's melting point, and the hardness of the metal, sometimes the copper pots needed to be re-tinned. That was before stainless steel came on the scene.

The reason your sister's stainless/copper will never need to be re-tinned, Audeo, is because they are lined with stainless steel - not tin. It's a harder metal, higher melting point, etc.

I would love to have a nice set of stainless/copper cookware. I just can't justify the cost.
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Old 10-18-2004, 10:59 AM   #8
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Re: relative quality of various copper cookware brands

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Originally Posted by choclatechef
Mauviel is the one that many people really like -- responsive and long lasting. If it were me, I would buy the Mauviel a piece at a time as I could afford it.

A friend of mine brought me back a saucepan from Paris and I am IN LOVE with the thing!!!
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Old 10-18-2004, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
Old copper cookware was tinned to make it non-toxic and non-reactive. It was usually a very thin tin lineing and combined with it's melting point, and the hardness of the metal, sometimes the copper pots needed to be re-tinned. That was before stainless steel came on the scene.

The reason your sister's stainless/copper will never need to be re-tinned, Audeo, is because they are lined with stainless steel - not tin. It's a harder metal, higher melting point, etc.

I would love to have a nice set of stainless/copper cookware. I just can't justify the cost.
Michael, I can't believe I was that stupid! DUH!!! My sister? Yes! But moi???

Thank you for being such a gent in pointing out my oversight!!!

And I am with you -- I just can't justify the cost. Might put it out there on the Christmas Wish List and see if anyone else can, though!
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Old 10-20-2004, 04:35 PM   #10
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Bourgeat manufactures truly premium-grade copper cookware. I would suggest a fait-tout (slant-sided) saucepan as the first piece to purchase. Very confidently recommended.
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Old 10-22-2004, 12:22 AM   #11
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Audeo - don't feel bad ... I think most of us just automatically think about copper cookware as being "tin" lined - since that is how it used to be made. Only problem with a tin lining is that it melts at about 460-F ... which is why it would probably need to be re-tinned from time to time. Tin does tend to be a little more non-stick than stainless steel. In the long run - it just turns out to be a tournament of compromises.

We also automatically think that good copper cookware is out of reach. It's not the cheapest stuff on the rack ... but is it really that far out of sight? I was suprised to find ... I might actually be able to afford a couple of pieces a year. Well, if I start with something that can make beans-n-rice on a very frequent basis ... :P

Mauviel and Bourgeat stainless steel and copper may seem pricey ... but when you compare them to All-Clad's copper clad - they are actually cheaper by the piece. Falk Culinair, from Belgium, also looks impressive, expensive - but comperably priced to Mauviel and Bourgeat - but I didn't find them giving the thickness of the copper like Mauviel and Bourgeat. At $3,600 for their 40-pc "ultimate" cookware set - it looks like it still comes in significantly lower than All-Clad copper.
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Old 07-08-2005, 06:14 PM   #12
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Real copper is a joy to cook with. that said the French and Belgian companies produce great stuff: Mauviel, Bourgeat, Falk. (In fact Falk produces the bi-metal the others use) These are 2.5mmmsolid red copper with a super thin stainless lining. Both Mauviel and Bourgeat also produce the tinned lined as well.

If you want to try one, go to the Falk Culinair web site and order the try me piece. It has a reduced price and will get you hooked!

If you become serious with copper you will soon learn its fine properties and the tinned will seem a good option. THese companies use a heavy tin lining, hand wiped so it's thick.

Also investigate Hammersmith in NYC and Lara Copper of Tasmania. Fine pieces, great prices.

There is much good Italian copper as well, Rufoni and Puppieni. This tends to be a bit thinner and is tin plated, a thinner coating.

The other copper pans out there are not much by comparison. Calpholon is a mere coating on aluminum, not much more than Revereware. The AllClad is better but for the same price you can get the real thing!!!

BTW, real copper is easy to clean and keep polished. THose coated pans are harder to keep up.
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Old 07-17-2005, 05:24 PM   #13
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I have several pieces of the Cuisenart and I am very pleased with them. No question about it, the temperature control with the copper is better than with the stainless. Now, I am not saying that the Cuisenart compares witht eh best of the best, but even the Cuisenart is better than no copper at all.
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Old 07-19-2005, 06:57 PM   #14
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I swear by Cuprinox and the house brand from Dehillerin in Paris. I thik they have their house brand made by Cuprinox.

The sides are all straight with no lip and the handles are cast iron. They guys are heavy but they simply do not wear out so in the long run they are far less expensive to buy than anything else. I have had Calphalon for over 20 years and their new stuff is just junk in my eyes. The stay cool handles however do just that, "stay cool"

Also, if you have a gas range and like the heat response then you will adore the additional control SS lined copper gives you but always get the thickest copper you can find. The ones with brass handles are generally considered serving stock for use table side.
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