The thickness of the copper is important because of 3 reasons:
- Thicker copper (starting at 2mm) provides more structure and durability without the need to add additional support with a rolled edge and iron ring.
- The base of thicker copper cookware (starting at 2mm) will not warp and is therefore better suitable for electric or glass/ceramic stoves.
- The thicker the copper the higher the value of your cookware
If the copper cookware has a rolled edge on the rim = it has a maximum thickness of 1.5 mm or less! Thinner copper products (up to 1.5mm) require a rolled edge and iron ring to ensure rigidness and prevent deformation.
Thinner copper is absolutely fine when you mainly use your cookware on a gas stove. It will provide you with the same advantages as thicker copper cookware in regards to thermal heat conductivity and cooking in general. The fact is, thinner copper is less expensive in the production process and will also easier deform (warping of the base) which could be a problem if you are using your copper cookware on a flat surface such as an electric or glass/ceramic stove.
Thinner copper does not have the sturdiness and structure needed and has to be supported by implementing an iron ring around the rim and rolling the top edge around it. You will not find a rolled edge with 2mm or thicker copper cookware.
If you are making a conscious decision as a consumer to purchase thinner copper (up to 1.5mm) because you are using this particular pot only on a gas stove where a deformation of the base is not as noticeable = that is absolutely fine. Unfortunately some retailers or manufacturers might leave the thickness of their copper unknown to you and simply refer to the rolled edge as a “pouring-rim”. That is not what it is. It is simply a great indication that the cookware you are looking at is max. 1.5mm thick.
At Navarini we mainly use a thickness of 2mm, 2.5mm and even 3mm. We only use thinner copper sheets where the thickness does not matter (Bread Bowls, Oil cans, etc) or the traditional design requires thinner copper such as with our “Pentola Barilotto” traditional Bean Pot for example.
Copper is far superior to most other materials used for cooking and that is what you are paying for so you want to make sure that you are not getting anything less then 100% pure copper.
Whether a copper product is made from 100% pure copper or has some impurity from other materials is impossible to see and one has to believe whatever is written or being told.
As a rule of thumb: If a retailer or manufacturer does not indicate that 100% copper is used = most likely a lesser quality of copper was used.
Pure copper is more valuable thus more expensive to manufacture. Therefore it is not uncommon for manufacturers to use copper with a purity of less then 100% for their products. We believe that if you are paying for pure copper you should receive pure copper and anything below 100% is simply not pure.
At Navarini, we only use 100% pure copper for all of our copper products.
Manufacturers that don’t compromise should only use highest quality materials for the entire product and not take any shortcuts. Even with smaller parts such as rivets.
Rivets made of iron are usually used by mass-market manufacturers since they are cheaper and therefore preferred by those manufacturers. Look at the rivets that secure the handles or lid of the copper cookware. If they look like iron (no copper color) chances are that they are made from iron and not copper.
At Navarini, we us pure copper rivets for all of our copper products. We don’t argue whether other materials would serve the purpose and are durable enough but believe that when you are paying for a highest quality product, only highest quality of material and craftsmanship should be used.
Traditionally used, tin is a great lining for all copper cookware especially when preparing food with higher alkaline or acid levels. It creates a protective barrier between your food and the copper and also has good non-stick capabilities if used in combination with oils or liquids.
Whether a copper product is lined with only 100% pure tin or has some impurity from other materials such as lead, iron, zinc or aluminum is impossible to see and one has to believe whatever is written or being told.
As a rule of thumb: If a retailer or manufacturer does not indicate that 100% tin is used = most likely a lesser quality of tin or even a tin paste was used.
Unfortunately most of the tin used today has a purity of 99.9% or less and might contain other elements such as lead, iron, bismuth, zinc, aluminum, cadmium or nickel. Others might say that 99.9% or less is almost 100% but we think that “almost pure” is not pure and use only 100% pure tin for all of our tin lined copper products.
Hammered copper is one of the signs of quality craftsmanship. The main reason for hammering copper is to add stiffness and durability to the cookware. Take for example a 1mm or 1.5mm thick copper pot that is not hammered and you will be able to deform the pot by putting pressure on its sides. Hammering the same pot will add a stiffness to the copper that prevents the pot from deforming.
Hammering the copper is a necessity to ensure the longevity of the cookware.
There are 3 possibilities:
1.) Not hammered at all
2.) Hammered by a machine = An absolute uniform structure on the outside might indicate that the pot is simply rolled over a hammering machine used by many manufacturers since they either don’t have the craftsmanship for hand-hammering or simply want to cut corners.
3.) Hammered by hand = It requires a lot of training for a craftsmen to hand-hammer a copper product. If done by a qualified and skilled craftsman, hand-hammering will not only make the product unique but leads to the best results regarding structure and durability.
SEE IT = Look at the outside of the pot and you will be able to see the structure of the hammering. If the structure looks absolutely uniform the hammering might have been done by a machine.
FEEL IT = Seeing a pattern on the outside is not enough as the manufacturer might have simply put a pattern on the outside to look like a hammered pot. Feel the outside and you will be able to feel the structure of the hammered pot
Hand-Hammering is difficult and time consuming but leads to the best results for the copper product. Unfortunately most manufacturers do not hammer their products at all or use machines in order to save time and money.
In our opinion, hammering the pot by hand is a necessity as it adds stiffness and durability to the cookware and has a very positive effect on its longevity. All of Navarini’s copper cookware is exclusively hammered by hand by a skilled coppersmith.
Tin creates a protective barrier between your food and the copper and high quality tinning goes all the way including the rim.
For copper pots with a thickness of min. 2mm, the rim in not rolled and rather flat. Look at the top of the flat rim and see whether it is tinned on top of the narrow rim as the inside of the pot is.
The facts are as simple as that a high quality product should have no short-cuts and tinning the rim is just one more thing that belongs to a job correctly done.
The proper way is that the pot should be completed, including the rivets, before the inside of the cookware is tin plated. This way it is ensured that the tin lining covers the entire inside of the cookware without any gaps.
This is easy to spot. If a different material such as steel or iron is used for rivets, they usually have a slightly different color then the tin on the inside. You may also see a small gap between the rivet head and the tinned surface.
Some manufacturers might insert the rivets after the tinning process as their automated process might not allow otherwise. We believe that the proper way is to tin plate after the rivets are inserted.
Navarini products are among the most sought-after copper pieces in the world. Some of the best Chef’s in the world as well as most copper customers are aware of this and want to make sure that they receive nothing but a genuine and authentic hand-made Navarini Copper product.
Every original product has either a manufacturing stamp such as “Navarini Handmade in Italy” on the bottom, a tag attached to the product or even both.
Unfortunately some manufacturers, producing a lower quality of copper products, as well as resellers might be eager to take advantage of the renowned quality and design of Navarini items. Those might offer similar designed copper products and market them in a way it could lead consumers to believe that those would be original and authentic Navarini items.
By Navarini USA July 2016