All right people. Hold onto your britches, I’ve got a really doozy of a First World problem for you all today.
For years I’ve admired the shiny, professional and “serious” luxury of copper pans. I know I’m not alone, there are many a message board devoted to their metallic goodness.
And don’t you go acting like you haven’t seen them taunting you from the windows of Williams and Sonoma. What with their hand hammered exterior and golden/stainless/cast iron handles…they’re the ultimate cookware tool. They’re also my unicorn. I’ve wanted copper pans for a very, very long time. However the broke college student who morphed into the wedding debt newlywed never really had the extra Benjamins to devote to these beauties. Now we’re getting closer to possible acquisition and I can’t decide which ones to commit to.
I’m like a kid at Disneyland. I’m so overwhelmed with all the awesomeness I just have a breakdown.
Why is it such a big deal? One, it’s a crap-ton of money, technical term folks. Two, we’re most likely going to acquire a piece at a time so we need a brand/collection that we know is going to be around for a while. Three, we use our cookware….a lot. So I need a product that is going to stand up to some affectionate abuse.
For those of you that think I fell off the crazy truck today, let me explain. Copper is known for its conductive superiority. What this means for your food? Even heat all the way throughout the pan. No burnt spots, no moving items to just over the burner…copper pans are one giant even heat haven. They’re also considerably more responsive than other metals to a change in temperature. For instance, you’re cooking and you realize that you don’t have the pan warm enough. So you turn your stove knob and wait for the pan to heat up…and it seems to take for-ev-er. With copper, the time spent waiting is significantly reduced. And we all know how much I love almost-instant gratification! These pans were made for me.
No I will not apologize for my unwavering adoration.
But here is where even I get lost….apparently the variations in copper pans, albeit subtle can be quite the deal-breakers for copper puriests. Which I’m trying very hard to pose as. So let’s break down the main differences as sorted by Stesha’s brain.
1. Brand – Obviously the craftsman (or craftscompany in today’s day) is a big deal. Since copper pans have a history in classical kitchens, and let’s face it, are a major investment, it is better to go with a trusted face. Plus as we mentioned, we’re going to acquire slowly so we need to know the company will be around for a while.
2. Lining – Now I know what you’re thinking, you just finished telling me why copper is SO awesome. Now we need a lining to detract from the awesomeness? Well, yes. While you could probably line a copper pan in many different materials the two options that seem to be most prevalent are tin and stainless.
The copper snobs… and I mean that most affectionately… they seems to prefer tin lining. Apparently tin is the only material that truely highlights the superior properties of copper. The realists prefer stainless lining… less maintenance. Word.
3. Retailer – For big brand copper (Mauviel, Ruffoni, Etc.) you’ll have a few different retailer options. That’s great! Kindof… Sometimes when purchasing items from a specialty store they’ll release exclusive collections. Read: Way more expensive for a slightly different color handle. Do I need gold materials mixed into the handle of my pans? To be determined… Unfortunately for this type A spaz, once I start with an exclusive collection I’ll want to finish with all the pieces from the exclusive collection. Maybe not the best scenario?
So as you can see this has taken up some serious time and space in my noggin. I’ll keep you posted on the results, but please, please please, if you have any copper pan experience share your wisdom in the comments section below!