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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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Old 01-17-2016, 01:25 AM   #11
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That's a beautiful set of pans. I just wanted to say that when I bought my first piece of good cookware, I was really surprised at how different, and better, cooking with it was. I hadn't realized how frustrating it was to cook with pans that heated unevenly and had hot spots. It became much more fun and I was inspired to learn more. I hope you have the same experience
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Old 01-17-2016, 04:00 AM   #12
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rodentraiser, you found a gorgeous set of pots and pans! Others have given great advise. Our daughter now has my Mom's Revere Ware that was earned by my Dad as service awards at work back in the early 1950's, but they are just the copper bottom variety. I grew up learning to cook on them, and always thought that a clean pot or pan, inside or out, contributed to the efficiency of the pan's performance. Besides, how can you not want to spend the extra minute or two to polish up the bottom to a mirror finish. If you polish them each time you cook with, them it takes no more time than that.

Just a point or two. The rounded-bottom "pot" on the left of your image? It might very well be the top of a double boiler. Set it into the saucepans to see which one it fits into - probably the large one. Also, since it appears to be copper in the interior, if you ever need to beat egg whites, use that piece. The chemical reaction between copper and egg white makes the eggs whip up fluffier.

As far as food stamps? Ground meat isn't always the best value. If you find chicken or fish at a good deal, buy it. If someone gives you "the look", you could speak up and say that it's a more healthful purchase and you're trying to improve your health. And about "cooking wine"? Bleh. It might work out better if you buy a bottle of reasonably priced wine wine to cook with, then freeze any extra in an ice cube tray.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
...I occasionally use a Brillo or S.O.S pad to clean the bottom...
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:37 PM   #13
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Revere ware

What you have is Revere Signature ware. Basically stainless steel pan clad clad with a copper exterior. IMO it performs more like SS than copper. This line was produced from the 60's or so till the mid 80's.

Care is simple. The interior can be treated like any stainless, and the exterior cleaned or not cleaned as you prefer. I use Wrights Copper Cream and fall somewhere in the middle as to how clean mine are kept. The lemon + salt works for some. I prefer the Wrights. I believe the copper is actually an alloy harder than pure copper as it takes a little more scrubbing than my copper cookware.

Yours appear unused. If so, be aware that this line came with a protective lacquer coating that must be removed prior to heat or you will have a sticky almost non removable mess on your hands. You can check by applying any lacquer thinner. It it becomes tacky, it has not been cleaned. A lot of this series was used only as decoration in coppertone kitchens and never cleaned. If yours is shiny be suspicious. Copper discolors if not coated.

The fish pan, AKA oblong skillet. I have one, and find that it does not heat evenly due to being a stainless oblong vs a round burner.
I've also never seen one that lies flat. My tin lined copper from Brooklyn Copper of the same age is much better.

The Zag pan is used over a double boiler arrangement and should not be overheated, Use a saucepan slightly smaller than the pan for a boiler.

Overall, this cookware is surprisingly good for what it is. You'll be happy with it.

The logo changed over time, particularly the date, and if you are curious, here is a good site to pursue:

http://www.revereware.org/info/id10.html
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:48 PM   #14
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Revere ware

I just looked at your label again. I think that was a special edition series made only 1 year. It's probably never been used.
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:08 PM   #15
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Thanks for the info, Jim. This cookware has definitely been used, even if it looks new in the picture. You can tell by the sleeking on the insides of the pans.

And I guess it could be polished a little more. I made Swedish meatballs last night in the griddle pan because that was the biggest pan I had. Naturally, I tried to move the pan when it was full to center it more on the burner, but instead I just spilled some of the gravy down the side of the pan and all over the stove.

When I went to wash up the pan, I saw that where the gravy spilled on the side of the pan, it acted like a tarnish remover. Wait till I go to Chef John's site and tell him his gravy sauce for meatballs cleans copper.
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:18 PM   #16
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And thank you, everyone, for making me feel better about the food stamps. I'm on another site where most people needing to use welfare and food stamps are considered loafers and losers, so I am always jumping into the fray to defend those of us that do need them and don't fraud the system.
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:57 PM   #17
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Thanks for the info, Jim. This cookware has definitely been used, even if it looks new in the picture. You can tell by the sleeking on the insides of the pans.

And I guess it could be polished a little more. I made Swedish meatballs last night in the griddle pan because that was the biggest pan I had. Naturally, I tried to move the pan when it was full to center it more on the burner, but instead I just spilled some of the gravy down the side of the pan and all over the stove.

When I went to wash up the pan, I saw that where the gravy spilled on the side of the pan, it acted like a tarnish remover. Wait till I go to Chef John's site and tell him his gravy sauce for meatballs cleans copper.
How shiny you want to keep your copper is up to you. It doesn't affect performance either way. Each time you polish you remove a little metal, particularly if you use an abrasive. Any acid will remove the tarnish. I've seen recommendations from lemon juice through the compound used for soldering copper. I prefer Wrights as easy, cheap, and readily available.
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Old 01-18-2016, 03:36 AM   #18
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Fear not. If you could see the bottom of my pans, you would be asking yourself why I even keep them. They were a present. And I no longer care about the bottom. I don't cook on the outside or bottom of the pan, so I don't really care. Read my signature line. It says it all about my attitude towards life. As long as I keep my home clean and dusted, that is all that matters to me. The bottom of pans that need constant shining are the last concern in my life.
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Old 01-18-2016, 05:55 PM   #19
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I'm with you, Addie. Someone once asked a group of us how often we dusted our model horses. The answers ranged from, "Dust? What is that?" to "Dust protects the horses from fingerprints." I personally feel the dust looks like snow and occasionally I'll march my little horses across it to make hoof prints.

I will go on record here to say my kitchen is a little cleaner than that.
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:56 PM   #20
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I'm with you, Addie. Someone once asked a group of us how often we dusted our model horses. The answers ranged from, "Dust? What is that?" to "Dust protects the horses from fingerprints." I personally feel the dust looks like snow and occasionally I'll march my little horses across it to make hoof prints.

I will go on record here to say my kitchen is a little cleaner than that.
I will be 77 in March. I still do my own housework. I certainly qualify for a homemaker, but prefer to do it myself as long as I can. I started housekeeping when you were expected to iron your sheets and pillowcases. And like the good wife I did. Then the family started to grow and grow. Five kids, two husbands later and guess what. I stopped ironing those sheets and pillowcases decades ago. And I never saw a reason any company should go into my bedrooms and check to see if I did iron them. Taking good care of my family was more important. Going to their baseball games, Girl Scout Leader, camping in the summer, attending PTA meetings, etc. These activities took time away from all that ironing. Deep house cleaning also took a back seat until the kids were leaving home, one by one. Even though I was working full time I was able to squeeze in time for commercial cleaning. Every time a commercial came on, I jumped up and cleaned something. You would be surprised how much you can clean in three minutes of commercial time.

I managed to keep the window sills clean of city grime, fingerprints off the light switches, etc. I had a new priority. Myself! Wow! What a concept. I don't care about the bottom of my pans. I don't cook my food there nor do I eat from there. As long as I give them a good scrubbing with a Brillo pad, I get them reasonably clean.

You know what? If you don't like my new attitude towards housecleaning, then don't come visit me. I will meet you in the park. Bring your own drink of coffee.

BTW, I spent almost five years living in Tacoma.

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