Why did copper cookware almost disappear from today's kitchen? Is it because everyone seems to be lazy and buys cheap stuff that is made even cheaper and makes us think this will do. People buy non stick pans that get scratched up quickly- even manufacturers say you can use steel gadgets which you shouldn't. However, despite good care even these new non stick pans don't last long.
We have become a fast living, large waste producing nation that is producing more waste then ever. I think everyone can agree that we all went though a good amount of fry pans in our cooking life already!
All will remember how Julia Child has displayed her copper cookware on a pegboard in her Paris kitchen. She had them for close to 50 years and they are still good looking, usable pots.
When choosing a copper pot you will notice that it is not your average weight that you may remember when using non copper products. Copper gives you a certain feel, substance when you hold the pot or pan.
I have a cast aluminum wok at home and it takes around 5-7 minutes on my strongest fastest burner to hear the slightest of sizzle. I also own an all stainless steel wok and will do some testing in the future with all 3 materials, cast aluminum, stainless steel and tin lined copper.
Have you ever seen someone displaying their used banged up non-stick pan, or the outside-black- fried-on- aluminum pan or the stainless steel pan?
If you have ever burnt your beloved cookware badly or scratched it up by accident, what do you do with it? You try to clean it as good as you can, sometimes you are lucky and you can use the pot again but sometimes it is too late and you cannot rescue it.
If this were a copper pan with a tin lining you can have it re-tinned at a fraction of the cost for a new pan. If your stainless steel lined copper pot is scratched or ruined you have to get rid of it altogether and buy a new one- hopefully this one will have a tin lining!
Good question. I have yet to find the answer. I think people shy away to clean their pots and pans by hand even though copper with stainless steel lined has to be cleaned by hand as well and this seems to sell. It seems like cooks are afraid to ruin the lining but with proper care and some common sense this should not happen.
Having a copper pan with a stainless steel interior may appear easier to clean but the purpose of having a copper pot is not to have it lined with stainless steel. Steel does not heat up as fast as copper but tin does. It therefore was the choice of lining back in the days and slowly went away as it was costly. However, when you compare copper pots that are lined with tin or stainless there is almost no price difference. Keep the advantage of tin in mind when you next time by copper cookware.
After a while of using your beloved tinned copper cookware you will notice a slight discoloration of the tin. It will darken over time with use and this is perfectly normal and did not harm the tin lining in any way. On the pictures you will notice that the tin layer has shown some dark spots- these are absolutely no concern. These spots are not raised or flat- you cannot feel these with your fingers.
Do never scrub your tin with anything coarse, only use a soft sponge to clean your cookware. I use a sponge that has a slightly coarse outer and soft inner part. Everything should come off very easy- maybe soak your cookware in warm soapy water if you cannot get it cleaned right away.
There is also not polishing of the inner surface necessary.The copper on the outside can be cleaned with commercial copper cleaner or cost saving with salt/vinegar paste. Latter will last not as long as commercially polished by the copper smith with a polishing pad but can be done as often as needed. True copper fans do not polish the pot each time, the patina will develop which is what fans are looking for.
A concern would be if the copper would shine through- see the picture next. This pot has to be re-tinned before it can go back in the kitchen. The old layer will be scraped off and re-tinned.
For it's excuse this pot is probably at least 40-50 years old.
By Marion January 2016