Tinned Copper Cookware: Not Just for Show

Tin-lined copper pans cookware cooking tips

Chowhound user djimenez, afraid of ruining a tin-lined Mauviel copper rondeau worth perhaps $650, turned to the Cookware board for advice: sell the pan, trade someone for a steel-lined sauté pan instead, or just forge ahead and cook with the rondeau?

Chowhound tim irvine recommends setting those fears aside and following a few simple practices, for tinned copper pans that can last decades with no signs of wear. There are two keys: The first is to only use wooden or silicone utensils; metal utensils should never be used on tinned copper, though they're safe to use on sturdier cast iron. Second, tim irvine says, when you cook with butter, use an equal amount of oil (such as peanut) to prevent scorching, which would then require hard scrubbing and could add wear to the tin.

According to kaleokahu, the problem with using tin-lined copper at high heat (softening and melting) is exaggerated; as long as you don't take an empty pan past 425 degrees Fahrenheit, you should be fine. And a pan full of food does not need to be babied as far as temperature; if it's not hotter than the smoke point of normal oil, it's unlikely to harm the pan, kaleokahu says.

Even stainless steel pans can be harmed by less than careful use, kaleokahu says, and unlike tin-lined copper cookware, they can't be retinned. djimenez now looks at copper cookware as cookware with insurance: The deductible is the cost of retinning!

Discuss: Mauviel Hammered Copper Rondeau

Photo by Chowhound user marcbale