The truth is, I really love the look of copper. I wanted it in my kitchen because it's gorgeous. But what I have learned is that the best copper cookware is not just a pretty face. It does so much more than just look amazing on the stove.
Here's a fun fact: copper is antimicrobial. It's true! The best copper cookware has an antibacterial effect because bacteria and germs can't survive on copper. Copper is actually toxic for these microorganisms, but the copper cookware on our list this year is entirely harmless to humans. Pretty cool, right?
There are several more benefits of cooking with copper, but you should know that if you've never done it before it does take some getting used to; there is a learning curve, for sure.
Copper cookware doesn't work like your regular pots and pans. We'll talk more about that in a minute. Copper can also be a bit quirky. However, if you can deal with those quirks, you will love not only the look of your copper cookware but also how evenly it cooks your food.
Now let's take a closer look at the advantages of cooking with copper.
What Are the Advantages of Using the Best Copper Cookware?
Okay, let's start with the obvious. The best copper cookware is beautiful and looks great in both contemporary and traditional kitchens. But as I said a minute ago, it's so much more than just a pretty face.
In her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, chef Julia Child wrote, “Copper pots are the most satisfactory of all to cook in, as they hold and spread the heat well."
She was right. Copper gives you incredible control over the temperature when you cook. In fact, when compared to stainless steel, copper is 25 times more thermally efficient. Yes, really!
It also eliminates hot spots. Another thing that we love about it is while the best copper cookware is relatively hefty, it's not as heavy as cast iron.
I mentioned earlier that copper cookware could also be a bit quirky. It's true. For one thing, there's a steep learning curve with it when you switch from non-stick. It should also be hand washed and dried. And because it can tarnish quickly, it takes some extra care.
If you have the time and patience to deal with those few quirks, then copper is a fantastic cookware material. I know what you're thinking. Do you really want to go through all that trouble just to get the benefits of copper? Well, I have good news for you.
Another option with the best copper cookware is stainless steel with copper cladding. This type of cookware uses a process of sandwiching stainless steel around a copper core.
The process allows clad cookware to distribute the heat perfectly evenly, and the best part is that you don't have to give it any extra care. So you get the benefits of copper without all the fuss.
Are There Any Dangers in Using Copper Cookware?
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The answer is yes, possibly. Copper cookware can pose some potential danger. The problem comes from the coating, or lack thereof, on the cookware. Mostly, it is a problem with older copper cookware.
It is not dangerous to consume small amounts of copper. Many foods that we eat every day contain it. But if you consume too much of it, it can pose a health risk. The exact amount of copper exposure that proves toxic to humans is unknown.
The danger occurs when the coating on the copper dissolves, gets scratched, or is inappropriate or non-existent.
Over time, acidic foods like tomatoes that you cook or store in copper cookware will cause the copper coating to release into the food. Because of that, you should never store acidic foods in your copper pots and pans.
If you have older copper cookware that has a tin or nickel coating, do not use it for cooking because it is unsafe.
None of the best copper cookware sets on our list this year pose any danger. None of them are toxic. If you have any concerns about safety, you can opt for stainless steel with copper cladding.
How Much Does the Best Copper Cookware Cost?
It's true that the best of the best is going to be expensive. But you can dip your toe in the copper water by purchasing just one pan instead of a whole set if you're not ready to pay an arm and a leg. Or opt for one of the more affordable collections. You really can't go wrong with any of them.
How Do You Clean the Best Copper Cookware?
Some of the best copper cookware on our list this year claims that they are dishwasher-safe. But it is always better to handwash your pots and pans and towel dry them immediately.
There are several things that you can use to clean the copper and make it look more beautiful. The video below walks you through one of those.
Another of our favorite things to use on copper cookware is a product called Bar Keeper's Friend. Bar Keeper's Friend is a cleaning agent that has been around since 1882. You won't believe how well this stuff works. You just apply it, give the pot a little scrub, and your copper will look better than new.
Our Review Process
To create our list of the best copper cookware this year we researched top-selling sets, and we compared the features, price, and consumer and professional reviews for each.
We have no financial or business ties with any of the companies on our list. Our goal is to help you find the best copper cookware to meet your needs.
Best Copper Cookware Sets of the Year
In no particular order, here are our top six picks for the best copper cookware of 2019.
The first contender for the best copper cookware this year comes from Michelangelo. For more than 30 years Michelangelo has been a renowned German kitchenware producer who has given us some high-quality pots and pans.
This 12-piece set of nonstick, tri-ply base, copper cookware is no exception. It comes with an 8-inch skillet, a 10-inch skillet with a cover, an 8-quart stock pot with a lid, a 1.5-quart saucepan with a lid, a 3-quart saucepan with a lid, a 3.5-quart saute pan with a helper handle and cover, and an 8-inch steamer insert.
This copper cookware set has an ultra non-stick, scratch-resistant coating that enhances both the cooking performance and durability. It's ideal for cooking at medium or low temperatures with little or no oil or butter.
Like the other best copper cookware sets on our list, the Michelangelo set is non-toxic and PTFA, PFOA, lead and cadmium free.
Another great thing about this set is that it can safely go in the dishwasher. You can also use it in the oven up to 400 degrees F. This set is compatible with all cooktops, including induction.
Customers complained that the ceramic coating came chipped on the small saute pan. Others complained about the accessories not being the greatest. But even with those minor complaints, customers still loved the pots and pans.
This 13-piece set by T-fal is mainly stainless steel, but it made our list of the best copper cookware this year because all of the pieces have copper bottoms.
The set comes with an 8-inch frying pan, a 10-inch frying pan, a 12-inch fry pan with a cover, a 1-quart saucepan, a 2-quart saucepan, a 3-quart saucepan, and a 5-quart stew pot with a lid. This set is non-toxic and PTFE, PFOA, lead, and cadmium-free.
Each pot and pan in this set features a multi-layer base that includes a thick-gauge aluminum core that they bonded between a double layer of stainless steel with copper on the bottom. The copper assures that they will heat quickly and evenly. The copper also eliminates hot spots and prevents warping.
Another great thing about this set is that it can go in the oven, up to 500 degrees F. It's also compatible with all stoves, including induction cooktops. And T-fal says that all of the pieces are dishwasher-safe.
One of the reasons that this T-fal set is one of the best copper cookware sets this year is because it's high-quality at an affordable price.
Another reason that this set made our list is because it gets excellent consumer and professional reviews.
The vast majority of people rave about this set. But some complained that they had some sticking problems. Others complained that they damaged their pans by putting them in the dishwasher. Even though T-fal claims they are dishwasher-safe, it's always better to wash them by hand.
The next contender for the best copper cookware this year is from Calphalon. The set comes with an 8-inch omelet pan, a 10-inch omelet pan, a 3-quart saute pan with a cover, a 1.5-quart covered saucepot, a 2.5-quart covered saucepot, and a 6-quart covered saucepot.
The triple-ply copper in this set comes from three different metals. The heavy-gauge core is aluminum that they sandwiched between a layer of stainless steel and copper. The superconductive copper and aluminum work together to provide unbeatable heat conductivity, gorgeous browning, and precise cooking control.
Beyond that, this set is also safe to put in the oven, up to 450 degrees F. It also works on all stovetops, including induction cooktops. However, it is not safe to put in the dishwasher. You have to handwash this set.
Like the other best copper cookware on our list, it gets outstanding reviews.
Most people love this set, but some complained about having spots on their pots and pans when they took them out of the box. Don't freak out if that happens. If you use Bar Keepers Friend on them the spots clean right off.
Our next top pick for the best copper cookware this year comes from Bulbhead. This 5-piece set comes with a 10-inch square pan, a vented tempered glass lid, a fry basket, a steamer and roaster rack, and a recipe guide.
The multipurpose copper-infused ceramic-coated pan has a scratch-resistant, non-stick cooking surface. You can use this one pan for baking, broiling, sauteing, steaming, braising, frying, deep frying, and roasting. Not too bad, right?
On top of that, this set is non-toxic and contains no PFOAs or PTFEs. These chemicals often get added into non-stick coatings. You can also use this pan in the oven up to 500 degrees F. And it should be hand washed and dried.
One thing to know with this Red Copper pan is that you have to season it before you use it. Instructions come with the set. You will also occasionally have to reseason the pan for optimal performance and maintenance.
Most of the professional and consumer reviews of this set are incredibly positive. But some complained that over time things started sticking to the pan. Another complaint is that the paint chips off easily.
No conversation about the best copper cookware could be complete without talking about All-Clad. All-Clad says that this set is the most responsive of all of their cookware.
The 7-piece set comes with all of the essentials, including a 10-inch fry pan, a 2-quart covered saucepan, a 3-quart covered sauté pan, and an 8-quart covered stockpot.
The All-Clad pots and pans feature a five-ply bonded construction that uses 18/10 stainless steel, aluminum, and a dense copper core which gives you even heating and superior control over the temperature.
Like the other best copper cookware sets on our list this year, the All-Clad is non-toxic, and it won't react with the food you're cooking.
This set can also go in the oven, up to 600 degrees F. And it is compatible with all stovetops, including induction cooktops. All-Clad says that these pots and pans can also go in the dishwasher. If all of that wasn't great enough, they also offer a limited lifetime warranty on the set.
This All-Clad set is the ultimate in beautiful, high-end, high-performance cookware. But the downside is that it's going to cost you a pretty penny.
The biggest complaints about this set are that it's expensive and it can be hard to clean.
Okay, now if you want to talk about the best of the best copper cookware, then you have to mention Mauviel M'heritage. I'm going to warn you now that this set is quite expensive. It's also pretty amazing.
It comes with a 1.9-quart saucepan with a lid, a 2.7-quart saucepan with a lid, a 3.2-quart saute pan with a lid, a 6.4-quart stock pot with a lid, and a 10-inch skillet. Mauviel's 2.5-millimeter-thick copper cookware construction is 90 percent copper and 10 percent 18/10 stainless steel.
One thing I want to note about this set is that it is heavier than the other best copper cookware sets on our list. The handles on the pots and pans also can get hot, so you may have to use a kitchen towel to handle them while you're cooking. One great thing about this set is that it comes with a lifetime warranty.
I warned you that this incredible set was expensive, and it is, it will cost depending on where you buy it. But even with high cost, people love it.
Nearly all of the professional and consumer reviews for this set are outstanding. People used words like "magnificent cookware," "excellent quality," and "second to none" to describe it. The only real complaints about it are that it is super expensive and some people didn't like the lids very much.
It All Boils Down to This
We love and recommend all six of the best copper cookware sets on our list this year, but if you twisted my arm and asked me for my favorite, I would have to say the All-Clad collection. It really is the best of the best.
The Calphalon set comes in at a close second. If you love the look of copper and not just the advantages of the temperature control, then go with the Calphalon. And make sure that you pick up some Bar Keeper's Friend to keep your pots and pans looking their best.
If you're on a tight budget or just want to try one copper pan before you splurge on an entire set, then try the Bulbhead Red Copper square pan.
Now we want to hear from you! Let us know in the comments section below what you think about the best copper cookware that made our list this year. What's your favorite thing about copper? And if we left your ideal copper cookware off of our list, please share it with our readers.
Enjoy your day and happy cooking!