Selecting a cookware or a single piece of pan can be a confusing task since there is a wide range of them available in the market and what to look for in a cookware or a pan is a somewhat of time taking task. If you do it properly you will able to select the cookware or pan which will last through generations. Before you are able to choose your required pan or cookware you have to understand some basic ins and outs of these things. In this publication we are going to discuss just that.
There are different types of cookware and pans available in the market each are made up of different metals which hold certain quality which are unique to those manufacturing materials. The most commonly used metal to manufacture cookware or pans is the iron which is considered to be the king of cookware and is heavier and thicker. While the other metal that is preferred in manufacturing of cookware or pans is the copper. So which one is better and how do you determine which material will be best suited to your needs. To further explain these things first we have to highlight the main differences between the two materials that are used in the manufacturing of these cookware or pans and how they affect the cooking of food items. Let’s get into that.
Iron & Copper Cookware/Pans
The cookware or pans that are manufactured using iron material are generally heavy and have a higher resistance to fire heating them up. The cookware or pan made of iron heat up very slowly and once they heat up the heat is distributed evenly throughout the base of the cookware or pan. The cookware or pans made of iron are generally good for cooking where there’s no nimble temperature variations are required e.g. if you want to boil a cup of water it doesn’t matter at which temperature you boil the water the main concern is that you boil the water that’s it.
Now the copper cookware or pans are more sensitive and suitable when it comes to temperature variation. The copper pans are thinner and are lighter allowing them to require less time to heat up and evenly distribute the heat along the base of the cookware or pan. If you are cooking something that requires quick temperature decrease or increase then the copper cookware is more suitable for that. Copper cookware or pans allow you to easily cook something with minimal variation between the texture and taste of the food, iron cookware or pans make it harder to achieve that.
Does Copper Cookware or Pans Make Cooking Easier?
Of course it does. Now when you are looking at the copper cookware or pans the thing to keep in mind is that copper is a very good conductor of heat after gold and silver of course which are way too expensive to have cookware or pans made out of them. And as we have discussed that the copper pans distribute heat evenly through the pan which allows you to ditch Teflon coated cookware for the copper ones. The copper cookware or pans are non Teflon coated and they work perfectly well as the Teflon ones when it comes to food sticking at the bottom of the pan. The sticking of the food mainly occurs due to the hot spots that are generated due to uneven distribution of the heat along the pan and as we know that the copper cookware or pans eliminate this factor of uneven distribution of heat.
You will notice this feature well on the entrées that are delicate to cook and can burn up quickly with slight variation of the temperature. Apart from that copper cookware or pan can save a lot of energy as well because they require less energy from the stove to heat up compared to iron cookware or pans. We have mentioned this before that if you’re boiling a water it doesn’t matter if you use iron or copper cookware but you will notice that copper cookware will prove their point when you steam up dairy products since other cookware materials will create hot spots due to uneven temperature distribution. This will lead to scalded milk or gooey stuff due to lack of stir during the heat up of the cookware. Apart from these examples you will notice other improvements when you will use copper cookware or pans when cooking other things in your daily routine.
Point to be kept in mind here is that if you like to cook one dish at a time then chances are you will not be able to notice the anti sticking or anti burn qualities of the copper cookware or pan because you will be concentrating on a single dish and will be constantly stirring or flipping the food as it is cooking to avoid burn or sticking of it to the bottom of the cookware or pan.
Now if you are looking to choose a copper cookware or pan for yourself then you will have to judge the copper cookware by few qualities which will determine if the cookware is good to own or not. So what are these qualities to look for? Let’s get into that.
What to Look for in a Copper Cookware/Pan?
The first thing to consider when choosing a copper cookware or pan is the thickness of the metal used to manufacture them. The general criteria to judge a good cookware or pan for the longest of time has been the thickness of the metal used to manufacture it but this is not a sure criteria that you can rely upon these days. You have ask about the weight of the cookware or pan and question about the actual thickness of the copper used to manufacture it. Some manufacturers tend to hide the thickness of the cookware or pan and some are more open to the details.
The actual number to avoid and the number to go for doesn’t fall too far from each other but that slightest of the change can make a huge difference in terms of performance in the kitchen. There are pans and cookware which are 1.5mm thick, this thickness in a cookware or pan has to be avoided as it is too thin to work on. The golden number of the perfect cookware or pan is between 2mm and 2.5mm which is the number you should go for.
Another thing you have to keep in mind is that the edge should not be rolled. Any copper that is easy enough to be rolled has no place in the kitchen because it will be too thin to work with.
- Hammered or Smooth Copper Cookware/Pan
The next thing to consider is more of an aesthetic point that doesn’t really affect the performance of the copper cookware or pan. There was a time when hammered look of a copper cookware or a pan was considered to be the sign of craftsmanship. But those days are now over. The manufacturing of almost every cookware and pan has moved to automated and machine assisted setups. The hammered look is more of an aesthetic appeal that is optional and on the choice of the individual.
Mostly you will find a wide range of smooth finished copper cookware that is produced by reputable Manufacturers who also produce a second option of the same product in hammered look. Now smooth or hammered look doesn’t identify the quality of the cookware. If you prefer handmade copper cookware or pans there are very limited artisan shops which still produce handmade copper cookware you can check them out.
This is the information that will be enough for you to select a good copper cookware/pan for yourself. Hope you find this publication useful.