Choosing The Right Lining For Your Copper Cookware
Copper is the metal of choice for professional and amateur chefs alike, and it is not hard to see why. Copper is antibacterial and a highly efficient conductor, meaning it distributes energy quickly. When used as cookware, it heats up faster than any metal other than silver and cooks food evenly, reducing the risk of burning and allowing a degree of precision no other pots and pans can offer. This metal does, however, react with food, and so the interior of most copper cookware is lined with tin, stainless steel and more recently ceramic. If you are shopping for copper cookware, you probably intend for it to last a lifetime, so picking the right material for your needs is vitally important.
Choosing a Tin Lining
Tin is a less expensive liner in copper pans because it has a tendency to wear away with time. This natural chemical process can be delayed for years and even decades with careful use and maintenance, but you will eventually need to have your cookware re-tinned. Many cooks swear by the improved flavor of cooking with tin over steel. If you do not mind a little extra effort to keep your pans in shape, tin may be the smarter option.
Investing in Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a relatively new addition to copper cookware, but it has several benefits and has quickly gained popularity. Stainless steel will not corrode or stain, preserving a spotless appearance that can be very attractive when combined with the bright gleam of copper. Furthermore, when cooking with a stainless steel lining, you will be able to use metal utensils without worrying about damaging the pot. Individuals who want a durable, trouble-free pan for daily cooking are probably best-served by stainless steel, despite the increased price.
Experimenting With Ceramic Lining
The most recent addition to copper pan manufacturing is ceramic. Ceramic is not a metal, but is instead made from clay and various minerals, depending on its intended use. The result is a hard, inert substance that is naturally non-stick and capable of withstanding high temperatures. Ceramic, however, has low conductivity and will take longer to heat up as a consequence. These pans are best for cooks who like to heat their recipes slowly and evenly, and they are not suitable for recipes that require quick fluctuations in temperature.
As you look through the many varieties of copper pans for sale, consider your own needs and habits carefully, and choose the pan with the best mix of cost, efficiency and maintenance for your kitchen.