When it comes to high-end cookware, it’s hard to beat copper. A favorite of professional chefs and experienced home cooks, copper pots and pans are the perfect final touch to any serious kitchen.
Copper is one of the best conducting surfaces, meaning heat is quickly and evenly distributed throughout the pan. The even heat helps delicate foods keep their texture, and also prevents overcooking.
High end copper cookware is also designed to last for decades. If cared for properly, copper pots and pans can last a lifetime.
Although copper cookware can be a great addition to just about any kitchen, there are a few drawbacks you should know about before buying.
Copper pots and pans require a bit more maintenance than other types of cookware, and they can discolor quickly if you don’t regularly polish them. Many can’t go in the dishwasher, so you’ll have to spend a bit more time hand washing them.
Pure copper cookware can also be dangerous if not used properly. Certain highly acidic foods can strip copper from the surface, causing it to leach into your food. Over time, this can lead to copper toxicity.
The few drawbacks aside, copper cookware is one of the best investments you can make for your kitchen. They can elevate simple dishes, helping you bring out the most from your food.
Here, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about copper cookware. We’ll also review some of the best sets out there, across a number of different categories and price points.
Disclosure: It is important you understand that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. All opinions are our own we pride ourselves on keeping our articles fair and balanced. For more info see our disclosure statement.
Our Top Pick
All of the pots and pans in this set feature a 2.5mm layer of copper, giving you even heat distribution every time you cook. The outer lining of stainless steel is scratch and wear resistant, so the set will last you decades.
Of all the pots and pans we reviewed, these did the best at conducting heat across a variety of different cooking conditions. Whether sauteing, making a sauce, or searing, you’ll be able to cook up just about anything you can think of.
The Mauviel set is a bit of an investment, costing more than most of the other pieces of copper cookware reviewed here. But these pans are designed to last a lifetime, so you can go decades without having to replace your cookware.
|Product||Details||Where to Buy|
Type: Lined Copper
Our rating: 5
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Type: Lined Copper
Our rating: 4
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Type: Copper Core
Our rating: 4.5
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Type: Ceramic Coated
Our rating: 3.5
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Type: Lined Copper
Our rating: 4
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Type: Lined Copper
Our rating: 4.5
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Type: Ceramic Coated
Our rating: 4
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Type: Pure Copper
Our rating: 5
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Copper Cookware Reviews
This is one of the best copper cookware sets for anyone looking to fill their kitchen with top of the line pots and pans. No matter what kinds of dishes you prepare, you’ll have the right tools with the Mauviel.
All of the pans and pots in the set are made out of 2.5mm copper, with a durable lining made out of stainless steel. At 90% copper and 10% steel, you get the perfect balance of heat conductivity from the copper and durability from the stainless steel.
The Mauviel pots and pans are made with durable copper and stainless steel that holds up to years of intensive use. The cookware set also comes with a lifetime warranty.
The cooking surfaces of all of the pots and pans are uniformly excellent. They heat up quickly and evenly, preventing any hot spots. Although the lining is not non-stick, it does a great job of preventing food from sticking to the surface and falling apart.
With two saucepans, a saute pan, and a skillet, you’ll have just about every piece you need for a fully equipped kitchen.
All of the pieces in the set are built with classic French style, featuring polished copper finishes and beautiful bronze handles. It’s a set that is designed to provide the finishing touch to your kitchen.
There aren’t many downsides to the Mauviel, at least when it comes to performance. The price, however, may be a bit of a hold up for some people.
But if you’re looking to deck out your kitchen with high end, rustic cookware that will last a lifetime, the Mauviel set is worth the substantial investment. You’ll get the perfect mix of looks, performance, and durability, and you won’t have to buy cookware for the next few decades.
Mauviel M’heritage M250B 9-piece 2.5mm Copper Cookware Set is available from Amazon.
Martellata 10 Piece Copper Cookware Set
- 2 quart saucepan
- 3 quart saucepan
- 7 inch skillet
- 10 inch skillet
- 6 quart stock pot
The Martellata 10 piece set is an excellent option for anyone who needs high quality but affordable copper cookware for their kitchen. This set won’t compare to some of the other high sets reviewed here, but for the price you’ll pay, it doesn’t really need to.
An outer layer of copper helps channel heat evenly across the surface. A stainless steel lining provides added durability, and also prevents food from sticking to the surface.
The flared edges of the pots and pans make it easy to pour out sauces and drain water, preventing any dripping and lowering the risk of burns. All of the pieces are fairly light, making them one of the easiest sets of any reviewed here to move around on the stove.
The exterior of all of the pieces is made out of hammered copper, giving them a traditional, rustic look. All of the pieces except for the skillets also come with stainless steel lids with a great seal.
With a copper exterior, the pieces all conduct heat quickly and evenly. However, they have a bit more stainless steel than some of the more expensive sets on this list. The pieces are all dishwasher safe, making clean up a bit easier than with more expensive sets.
The Martellata set stands out for its looks. This is a beautiful collection of pots and pans, with a classic copper finish that looks great in just about any kitchen. The copper exterior is complemented by stainless steel finishes, giving it a modern touch.
The Martellata set is one of the best options for those looking for an approachable mix of cookware suitable for day to day use. All of the pieces are durable, holding up to years of use, and they come with a limited lifetime warranty, should you have any issues.
If you’re looking for a top of the line set, you may want to consider the All-Clad or Mauviel set. But if you need something that is a bit more affordable, the Martellata is an excellent choice that won’t feel like a compromise.
Martellata 10 Piece Copper Cookware Set is available from Wayfair.
All-Clad have earned a reputation as one of the go-to brands for high end cookware. This copper core set is no exception, offering you the perfect blend of performance, durability, and versatility.
The copper core works to provide even heat to the stainless steel surface. Food cooks without any hot spots, making the pots and pans great for making delicate sauces and fish.
The stainless steel surface is quite durable, resisting scratches and discoloration over time. You can use metal utensils without worrying about damaging the lining.
Food rarely sticks to the stainless steel lining, making the pieces a great high end alternative to non-stick pots and pans. The pots and pans also have flared edges, making it easy to pour sauces and drain water without spills or burns.
All of the pieces are oven safe, and they come with light stainless steel handles that are heat resistant. Although hand washing is recommended, the pieces are dishwasher safe.
Since the pieces are all copper core, you won’t get the traditional rustic look seen with sets that have copper exteriors. This will bother some people, although it’s a matter of personal preference.
One upside to the stainless steel exterior is that you won’t have to worry as much about maintenance. The exterior won’t tarnish, and you won’t have to polish the pots to maintain their color. The pots and pans also won’t develop spots if any moisture sits on the surface.
The main downside of the set is its price. All-Clad are known for their high quality and durable cookware. But these come at a price, as you’ll have to fork up a lot for the set.
If you’re looking to invest in a cookware set that will be the foundation of your kitchen for years to come, the All-Clad is an excellent option.
All-Clad 10 Piece Cookware Copper Core Set is available from Amazon.
If you want a cookware set that gives you the copper aesthetic without the copper price tag, this is a great option. Copper Chef make a range of pots and pans that are designed to look and perform like real copper pans.
Made from a blend of aluminum and steel with a ceramic outer layer, the pots and pans do a good job of cooking a wide range of dishes without food sticking to the surface.
They are also much lighter than cookware made out of copper. Although some people may miss the heavier feel of copper pots, the lighter build also makes them easier to use.
Since the pots and pans don’t have any copper, they are dishwasher safe. They are also heatproof to over 850 degrees fahrenheit, making them safe for use in the oven and under the broiler.
The main downside of this set is that the pieces don’t distribute heat as well as others on this list. Without any actual copper, the pieces won’t cook food as evenly as more expensive sets.
The pieces also aren’t as durable as the more expensive sets reviewed here. The ceramic coating can start to flake off, especially if you use metal utensils.
The Copper Chef set isn’t the best choice for anyone looking for high end copper cookware. But if you need a full set of pots and pans that won’t cost much more than $100, it’s an excellent value for the money.
Copper Chef 9-Pc set is available from Amazon.
Cuisinart make a range of affordable, entry level copper cookware that holds its own when compared to higher end options. This set won’t be the choice of chefs, but if more than serves for day to day use for home cooks.
All of the pots and pans are covered with an exterior of hammered copper. They have that traditional rustic look you expect from high end cookware, making them a great compliment to just about any type of kitchen.
A three layer construction with a mix of aluminum, stainless steel, and copper gives you great temperature control on a variety of different stove tops.
The pots and pans are built to handle a wide range of different cooking applications. Sauteeing is easy, with a surface that prevents food from sticking. The copper lining on the stock pot helps bring water to a boil more quickly than in pots made entirely of stainless steel.
For the money, it’s tough to complain about this set. However, there are a few small drawbacks that keep the Cuisinart from joining the ranks of the top tier sets.
Although the Cuisinart set is made from actual copper, the exterior layer is thin. That means that the pots and pans are mostly made of aluminum and stainless steel.
The stainless steel is durable, holding up to years of cooking without scratching or denting. The outer layer of copper holds its color well, although you’ll need to regularly polish it if you don’t want the surface to tarnish.
The Cuisinart is one of the best introductory level copper cookware sets you’ll find. All of the pots and pans have a classic copper look and feel, while giving you plenty of performance.
Cuisinart HCTP-9 Hammered Collection Cookware Set is available from Amazon.
All-Clad make some of the most durable cookware out there. Their copper cookware sets are no exception, giving you all of the performance and durability you would expect from the company.
Multiple layers of copper provide excellent heat conductivity, evenly spreading the heat along the bottom of the pots and pans.
The pots and pans are finished with an outer layer of stainless steel on the cooking surface, which resists scratches and won’t discolor from repeated use. It also has excellent non stick properties, making the set perfect for cooking a wide range of delicate dishes.
The three saucepans and the stock pot come with tight fitting stainless steel lids that keep steam from escaping. The lids have a solid look and feel, and the stainless steel construction should hold up to years of use.
Built with 4 layers of copper and a stainless steel lining, the All-Clad pots and pans are durable, holding up after years of day to day use. The stainless steel won’t scratch, and can be used in the oven and under the broiler.
Although durable, the All-Clad pots do require a bit of maintenance. They should all be washed by hand, and you’ll have to polish the outer layer of copper if you want them to keep their shine.
The only downside to the All-Clad set is its price. This set will set you back more than any other on this list, so really consider what you need before springing for it.
Although some people may be willing to make this investment, it’s not the best option if you want an approachable and affordable mix of copper pots and pans.
But if you want to outfit your kitchen with some of the best copper cookware you can find, then the All-Clad should be high on your list. The pots and pans are designed for professional level cooking, and they will last you for decades.
All-Clad C40010 C4 10 Piece Cookware Set is available from Amazon.
Unlike many of the sets on this list, the Concord is not made from actual copper. Although the ceramic coating and stainless steel interior do a good job of simulating copper, they don’t have the same heat conducting properties.
That means that the Concord pots and pans don’t conduct heat quite as well as other sets on this list, and heat isn’t as well distributed. This gives you less control as you cook, and food won’t have the same texture as with pure copper cookware.
Although they don’t perform quite as well as high end copper cookware, the pots and pans in this set are well suited for day to day cooking. They have tapered edges that prevent spills when pouring.
Stainless steel handles also prevent overheating, keeping your hands safe when you move the pieces around the stove.
The ceramic coating provides a great non stick surface, making the pieces excellent for cooking eggs and sauces. The surface is also great for browning and searing, as it forms a crisp outer layer.
Although the Concord set should last you for a while, the pots and pans aren’t quite as durable as others reviewed here. The ceramic coating will often begin to show signs of wear after a few years, and can start to flake if you use metal utensils.
When it comes to style, the Concord set stands out compared to other sets in the same price range. The copper-colored exteriors of the pots and pans give them a rustic look, and the stainless steel handles add an elegant finish.
If you’re looking for a cookware set with the look of high end copper pots and pans without the price, the Concord is a great option. The pots and pans in the set aren’t the best choice if you’re looking for high end cookware, but they offer excellent value for the price.
CONCORD 8 Piece Ceramic Coated Copper Cookware is available from Amazon.
Mauviel make some of the highest quality copper cookware you can find. This 1.9 quart saucepan is no exception, with excellent style and performance. Although it’s not the most versatile saucepan you can buy, it’s one of the best pieces of cookware you can get for the money.
Made entirely of copper, the pan conducts heat faster than just about any other piece of cookware. This makes it a great saucepan if you plan on cooking delicate sauces that require constant, even heat.
It’s also one of the best saucepans for preparing meringue and jams. The copper in the saucepan helps form the perfect texture, making it a better option than stainless steel options.
Since the pan is made of pure copper, the handle heats up more quickly than cookware made of stainless steel. To reduce heat, the pan is built with a tubular handle, reducing the risk of burns.
The main downside of using the Mauviel is that it’s only suited for a fairly limited number of cooking applications. The copper surface is reactive, meaning that copper will leach into certain types of food.
When cooking with the Mauviel, you should stay away from acidic foods, such as tomatoes. The pan should only be used to cook dishes with high sugar content, as this prevents the copper from reacting with the food.
The Mauviel isn’t a great option if you’re looking for an all around saucepan to use for day to day cooking. But if you need a specialized saucepan for meringues or dishes made primarily with fruit, it’s one of the best pieces of copper cookware that you can buy.
Mauviel Copper 1.9 Quart Sugar Saucepan is available from Amazon.
Types Of Copper Cookware
When searching for copper cookware, pay attention to how the pots and pans are built. There are a number of different types of copper cookware, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are the main types to look out for.
Copper Core/Copper Bottom
Cookware made with a copper core has other metals that surround the copper, making them more affordable. These pans and pots take advantage of the heat conducting properties of copper, while saving money by using cheaper metals to build the body of the cookware.
Since cooper core and copper bottom pans have additional metals, they won’t conduct heat as evenly as cookware made primarily of copper. However, they still conduct heat better than pieces made entirely of stainless steel.
One of the benefits of cooking with copper core cookware is that you won’t have to spend as much time on maintenance. Most copper core pots and pans are lined with stainless steel, which requires little maintenance.
Lined copper cookware is made primarily with copper, with an additional lining made of another metal. This metal lining, usually made of tin, nickel, or stainless steel, prevents food from coming into direct contact with copper, lowering the risk of copper toxicity.
The copper on the outside of the cookware evenly conducts heat, while the lining prevents the copper from leaching into food.
Most high end copper cookware sets are lined copper, since these types of pots and pans are much more versatile than those made of pure copper.
Although most of the copper cookware sets you find will have lined pots and pans, some will have much more copper than others. Check the thickness of the copper layer to make sure that you’re getting a pan that is mostly made of copper.
Pure copper pans, as the name suggests, have no added linings made of other metals. Because of this, they are not safe when used for all cooking applications.
Since copper reacts strongly with acidic foods, you should not use pure copper cookware when cooking with highly acidic foods, such as tomatoes.
Pure copper pots and pans are safe when used for specific types of food, such as making meringue. They are also great for cooking with fruit, as the high levels of sugar prevent copper from leaching into food.
With no metal linings to protect the copper, these pans are also much easier to scratch than cookware made from stainless steel. To avoid damaging the metal, use soft kitchen utensils, and avoid cleaning the cookware with any rough bristles.
Pure copper pots tend to be a bit more expensive than lined copper cookware. Because of this, as well its limited applications, pure copper cookware is usually purchased as individual pieces, rather than full sets.
Related: The best cookware for glass top stoves
What Makes Copper Cookware Different
Copper cookware is valued for its rustic, high end aesthetic. But copper pots and pans are a lot more than decoration. They are one of the most high performance types of cookware, beloved by chefs and seasoned home cooks.
Superior Heat Conductivity
The main advantage of cooking with copper is its great heat conductivity. Copper heats up quickly and evenly, meaning that pots and pans have few hotspots. This helps preserve the texture of food and prevent overcooking.
Quick Temperature Adjustments
Copper also responds much more quickly to changes in temperature than stainless steel. If a dish requires you to quickly raise or drop the temperature, there is no material better suited for the job than copper.
Although there are a number of benefits to using copper cookware, there are also a few drawbacks.
Copper is Reactive
Copper is reactive, meaning that the metal can leach into foods. Over time, exposure to high levels of copper can be dangerous.
To avoid copper toxicity, most pans come with a stainless steel lining. However, if this lining wears out, the cookware is unusable.
Not Great For High Heat
Copper is also not the best material when cooking at extremely high temperatures. Although you can use it to sear food, you may be better off with a stainless steel saute pan, which holds up better at high temperatures.
Copper cookware also requires a bit more maintenance than other types of pots and pans. You have to polish the surface if you want to keep the color from tarnishing, and most copper pots and pans cannot go in the dishwasher.
You’ll also have to pay a premium for high end copper cookware. Many sets can run well over $1,000, making them substantially more expensive than stainless steel cookware.
Although you’ll have to spend a lot of money up front, copper cookware will last for decades, especially if you buy a high end set. In the long run, you can save money by investing in a quality set of copper cookware, as you may not have to replace it for the rest of your life.
Also interesting: The best cookware sets available.
Tips For Cooking With Copper
Copper cookware can elevate your cooking to a new level, if you know how to use them. Improperly using copper pots and pans can lead to overcooked food and damaged cookware.
Don’t Over Heat: Copper pots and pans heat more quickly than other types of cookware. If you let the pan preheat as long as you do with stainless steel, food may burn.
Have Ingredients Ready: Since copper cookware preheats quickly, make sure you have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go when you turn the stove on.
Don’t Overcook: By conducting heat better than other materials, copper adjusts more quickly to changes in temperature. Although this can be quite useful when cooking delicate dishes, it also means that food will cook quickly when you turn the temperature up.
Don’t Heat Dry: Most copper cookware comes with a lining made out of another type of metal, such as tin, nickel, or stainless steel. Copper cookware should not be heated dry, as this can destroy the lining.
Copper Handles Get Very Hot: If you buy pots with copper handles, be careful when lifting them off the stove. Copper conducts heat quickly, which means the handles can severely burn your hands if you don’t keep them covered.
Use Soft Utensils: With pure copper pots, make sure to use soft utensils to avoid scratching the metal. Stainless steel lined pots and pans are much more scratch resistant, so they are generally safe to use with metal utensils.
Know When To Use Pure Copper: Pure copper pots should only be used for certain types of cooking, such as making meringues. The sugars in fruits can prevent copper from reacting from food, lowering the risk of copper toxicity. However, if you cook with acidic ingredients, copper will leach into the food.
Great For Oven Cooking: Most copper pots are safe to use in the oven, and many do a better job than other types of cookware of evenly heating food as it cooks.
Broiler Safe: You can also use most copper cookware under a broiler. However, the high temperatures cook discolor the copper, so make sure to polish it when you’re done.
Great For Boiling Water Since copper cookware conducts heat better than most other materials, it’s one of the best ways to quickly boil water. Copper stock pots are also one of the best ways to cook stocks, stews, and soups, as it keeps them at a steady temperature.
How To Clean And Maintain Copper Cookware
Although copper pots do come with a number of advantages over other types of cookware, they do require a bit more maintenance.
Clean Carefully: When washing a copper pot, use a soft sponge with warm water and mild dish soap. Don’t let the pot sit in water for long periods, as it can tarnish the finish.
Some Wear Is Good: Some people prefer to let the finish of their copper pot wear with time. As the patina develops over time, the pot becomes harder and conducts heat more efficiently.
Check The Lining Copper cookware is lined to prevent the copper on the bottom from directly touching food. Over time, this lining can begin to wear down. If you notice that the copper is exposed, you should have the pan repaired by a professional.
Copper cookware that has a stainless steel lining usually cannot be repaired once the copper begins to show. In these cases, you should replace the piece rather than risk copper toxicity.
Avoid The Dishwasher: With a few exceptions, copper pans should never be put in the dishwasher. This can speed up the wear of the copper, as well as damage the lining.
Polish With The Correct Product: If you choose to polish your copper cookware to keep its polish, you should use a product that’s recommended by the manufacturer. Many sets will come with some form of polisher.
Use a Mild Abrasive: You can also use a mild abrasive to get spots off pots and pans. Lemon works well, especially combined with salt. Just cut a lemon in half, sprinkle salt on the area you plan to buff out, and then rub the lemon on the copper.
A commonly used product is Bar Keepers Friend.
Vinegar Works Wonders: Vinegar is another good home remedy for tarnished pots and pans. Apply it to the areas of copper that are starting to tarnish, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Wash off the vinegar, and make sure to dry the cookware off thoroughly.
Dry Completely: More than with other types of cookware, it’s important that you dry copper pots and pans thoroughly after washing. Any water that remains on the cookware could cause spotting, and will tarnish the surface.
Copper cookware is only unsafe to cook with if the lining is cracked or wearing away. If the outside of the cookware is beginning to lose color or wear out, you can still use it without any safety risks.
Is Copper Safe?
Copper cookware has an unearned reputation as dangerous. Although copper cookware does come with some risks, they are completely safe if used properly.
High levels of copper can be dangerous, especially if consumed over time. To keep you from ingesting copper, most manufacturers use an extra lining of another metal to prevent food from contacting copper directly.
Since the copper in most copper cookware won’t actually touch your food, there is little risk of toxicity.
However, copper cookware can present safety risks if the lining begins to wear away. If you notice that the lining on your pots or pans is beginning to thin, you should stop using them and have them repaired.
Pure copper pots do come with a few safety risks if they are not used correctly. That’s because the copper can react with acidic foods, causing it to leach into the food.
If you are using pure copper cookware, avoid highly acidic foods such as tomatoes. Only use the cookware to make dishes that have high levels of sugar, as these can prevent the copper from reacting and leaching into food.
Nothing makes your kitchen stand out like copper cookware. With a rustic, old world look, you’ll be able to complement the style of just about every kitchen.
But copper cookware has more going for it than just style. One of the best conductors of any metal, copper evenly distributes heat along the bottom of the pan, giving food the perfect texture and helping prevent overcooking.
Copper cookware is also much better than other materials for quickly changing temperature, making it the material of choice for cooking dishes that require a lot of precision.
In addition, copper cookware is much more durable than many other common pots and pans. If cared for properly, it can last for decades, so you won’t have to worry about replacing your pots and pans.
Although copper cookware can be a significant investment, many high end sets are designed to last a lifetime. With proper care and maintenance, a high end copper cookware set can last you for decades.
There isn’t one copper cookware set that will be right for every kitchen. Use the guide and reviews here to help your search, We’ve reviewed some of the best sets out there at a number of different price points, so that you can find one that fits your budget and kitchen.