Copper Cookware Vs Stainless Steel Which One’s The Best?

Looking to make lifetime cookware purchases but can’t seem to resolve the copper cookware vs stainless steel puzzle?

In the following sections of this article, we’ll dissect everything you need to know about these two most popular tip-top quality cookware materials.

 But before, here is a quick look at what the whole article will be about:

Let’s start our copper cookware vs stainless steel article with Copper Cookware.


What Is Copper Cookware?

Copper cookware set

Copper cookware has remained a favorite culinary ware for ages, given its classic appeal and unbeatable heat conduction capacity.

But it could prove a tricky utensil to use for new users who might find its highly efficient heat conductivity a little mesmerizing, especially if they make a copper cookware vs stainless steel comparison based on that parameter.


Copper Cookware Features

Copper pot tradition

Copper cookwares allow for an almost clinical, flawless heat distribution from the point of contact with the burner to every other point on the cookware surface.

However, copper cookwares usually sport interiors overlaid with tin or stainless steel, because a copper surface can prove toxic to some recipe ingredients.

The stainless steel interior also enhances the copper cookware durability and makes for easier cleaning.


Copper Cookware: The Pros

Copper Pot

1. Outstanding Heat Conductivity

Copper cookwares are well-known for their outstanding heat conductivity.

This attribute gives you optimum control over cooking, because it makes the cookware react quickly to temperature changes and distribute heat evenly.


2. Anti-microbial Attribute

Copper has a natural propensity to repel bacterial infestation, hence copper cookwares prevent the intrusion of bacteria into ingredients.


Copper Cookware: The Cons

Old Copper Pans

1. Reactiveness to Acids

Copper cookwares infuse a metallic taste to acidic ingredients such as tomatoes, and they can smear ingredients with gray streaks.


2. High-maintenance

Copper cookwares require high maintenance, and most are not dishwashable. They require regular polishing to maintain their sheen.


3. Not Ideal for Ceramic-Glass-Top stove

Copper cookwares are not befitting for use on glass-top stove as they tend to easily scratch the stove surface.


What To Look For When Buying Copper Cookware?

The thickness and the lining are the two most important parameters to consider when buying copper cookwares.

The thickness of the copper cookware determines its heat conductivity, and you would want to shop for copper cookwares with the best heat conductivity.

Copper cookwares with thickness of at least 2.5mm perform best in this regard.

You’d probably also prefer copper cookwares with non-stick coating to ease cleaning. Though many products do come with non-stick coating, such products have raised some serious health concerns that you should be heedful of.

One way to trump such health concerns is to go for copper cookwares with greater thickness and a non-PFOA interior. These make for minimal oil use and are dishwahable.

Also, if you’re wary of the high maintenance which copper cookwares require, but are keen on acquiring them anyway, there are some products that come with a brushed finish designed to project an exquisite patina over time that negates the need for constant polishing.

However, copper pans with a blue patina and pitting are ill-advised, especially the ones with a degraded lining.


The Top 5 Best Copper Cookwares To Wow Your Kitchen.


1. Lagostina Q554SA64 Martellata Tri-ply Copper Cookware Set

This product features a high-grade tri-ply structure crafted with a classic finish. The set comes with all the cookwares needed to prepare recipes suited for an average family.

It sports a stainless steel interior with an aluminum core that enhances radiation. 

Although the stainless steel surface doesn’t aid cleaning as much as a non-stick surface does, it is a more health-conscious makeup that preserves flavors and makes for easier cleaning, considering the copper cookware vs stainless steel dialectic.

 But the cookware is not dishwasher safe, nor is it compatible with induction stoves.

Check it out here.


2. CONCORD Ceramic Coated Copper Copper Cookware

Although this product is not made solely of copper, its makeup ensures you get the best of copper in terms of high conductivity without the downsides.

The product features a cast aluminum core coated with what the manufacturers dub Coppe-ramic, a composite of copper and ceramic.

 This composite gives the product a non-stick quality and makes it dishwashable and suitable for use on glass stove tops, unlike most copper cookwares.

What’s more, it’s compatible with all types of stove tops. The product is also free of PFOA and other toxic substances.

Check it out here.


3. Cuisinart Tri-Ply Copper Cookware Set

This is deservedly placed on the high end of the price spectrum because of its top-draw makeup and exquisitely glossy finish.

The product comes with a copper outer layer that imparts its tri-ply stainless steel makeup with the terrific heat distribution attributes of copper. The interior is not non-stick though.

It contains a set of six wares with four stainless steel lids, with some lids designed to fit into more than one ware. But the interior isn’t non stick though.

Check it out here.


4. All Clad 600822 SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set, 10-Piece, Silver

This product is a set of 8-inch and 10-inch frying pans, 2-quart and 3-quart sauce pans, 3-quart saute pan pan and 8-quart stock pot, all with lids.

The wares are all constructed with a 5-ply makeup consisting a compact copper core overlaid with 18/10 stainless steel and aluminum.

With such a makeup, the product performs excellently with respect to even heat distribution, heat conductivity and durability.

 The lids and riveted handles are made of stainless steel. This composition makes the wares versatile,capable of withstanding heat of up to 600F, and dishwasher safe.

Check it out here.


5. Sertodo Alicante Paella Hammered Copper Pan

As the name implies, this product is made out of compact copper with an interior classically overlaid with tin.

This makes for a highly durable product that can save you tirelessly throughout your lifetime.

The product is oven friendly and sports a stainless steel handle that has low conductivity to allow you to conveniently handle the ware while cooking at high temperatures.

Check it out here.

Done with the very first part of our copper cookware vs stainless steel puzzle.

Let’s solve the rest of the puzzle.

Off to the second part.


Stainless Steel: What Is It?

Stainless Steel cookware

This is another compact, durable cookware material available at a wide array of price ranges.

The difference between the products on different points of the price range stems primarily from the degree to which hotspots occur in them.

The expensive options usually feature a copper or aluminum interior or exterior to make for better heat conductivity and durability.


Stainless Steel: The Key Features

Stainless steel cooking pot

Stainless steel is a non-reactive material, meaning it does not infuse acidic ingredients like cheese and tomatoes with a metallic taste, but actually preserves their flavors.

It’s also a durable material that stands up supremely to regular use over time.

Chromium forms some 10-11% of a stainless steel alloy, and this allows for the formation of chromium oxide film that protects the material from impure air and moisture that beset rusts.


Stainless Steel: The Pros

Stainless_pan

1. Durability

Being an iron alloy, stainless steel is resistant to warp, bends and cracks.

2. Long Term Sheen

The sheen on stainless steel can last for years, although it does require regular care.

3. Dishwashable

All stainless steel cookwares are dishwasher friendly.


Stainless Steel: The Cons


1. Comparatively Lesser Heat Conduction Capacity

Stainless steel cookwares, especially the cheaper, thinner products, do not distribute heat evenly, hence, they can easily give rise to burns and uneven cooking.

2. Need for Frequent Scrubbing

With the frequent occurrence of hotspots comes burns and stuck food remnants that can only be removed through hard scrubbing.

3. Moisture-Induced Rusting

Since stainless steel is a derivative of iron, it is susceptible to moisture-induced rusts.


What To Look for When Buying Stainless Steel Cookware?

Although stainless steel is a high grade cookware material, the degree to which a product bears the hallmark qualities of stainless steel can make or mar your user experience.

For starters, 18/10 stainless steel cookwares, which contain 18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel are the most durable.

These are highly resistant to rusts and stains and can sustain a glossy sheen for a long time.

You should also consider shopping for stainless steel cookwares with an aluminum core or a copper core because these alternate core materials allows for better regulation of heat.

You should not neglect the quality of the lids and handles. Ensure the stainless cookwares you buy come with reliable handles and lids for greater control over the cooking process.

 

Top Stainless Steel Cookwares


1. All-Clad d5 Brushed Stainless-Steel Cookware Set

Made of thick 18/10 stainless steel, this product gives off a brilliant sheen over a sturdy body.

It is designed with a 5-ply construct that features alternating layers of stainless-steel and aluminum that prevent hotspots and offer tough resistance to warping. 

This makeup can stand up to heat of up to 600F.

The set is compatible with all types of stovetops and is dishwasher safe.

Check it out here.


2. KitchenAid Stainless Steel Cookware, 10-Piece Set

This eye-catching set of stainless steel cookwares is another high-grade product made of 18/10 stainless steel. It is oven-friendly and can stand up to heat of up to 500F.

The cookwares come with long riveted handles and tempered glass lids that prevent the loss of flavor and moisture in ingredients.

 All the wares are dishwasher safe. The product is available in 3 colors: empire red, liquid graphite, and onyx black.

Check it out here.


3. Cuisinart Multiclad Professional Stainless Steel Cookware, 12-Piece Set

With a core made from aluminum and a tri-ply construct, this stainless steel product allows for hotspot-free cooking and relatively greater sensitivity to temperature changes.

It can withstand heating for up to 500F. The wares in set sport brushed stainless steel exteriors and stainless steel interiors. 

Their riveted handles are constructed to remain intact place throughout the lifetime of the wares.

With tempered glass lids that retain moisture and flavor in ingredients and a tapered rims that prevent dripping when food is poured over, the product is designed to give you cruise control over the cooking process.

Check it out here.


4. Chef’s Star Professional Grade Stainless Steel Cookware, 17 Pieces

Made of 18/8 stainless steel that hurdles the test of time, this set of cookware is top-draw. 

It features an aluminum-bonded base that prevents hotspots and promotes even heating.

It comes with satin-finished riveted handles. All the wares in the set are compatible with all stovetop types.

And we are done with the second part of our copper cookware vs stainless steel puzzle.

Hope you now see what works for you and what doesn’t.  Check it out here.


Final Words

Stainless steel versus copper cookwares. These two are generally deluxe quality culinary wares. 

When looking at the copper cookware vs stainless steel equation in terms of performance and reliability, both types go neck-on-neck. Both types also look alluring and enhance the glory of the kitchen.

However, the copper cookware vs stainless steel equation begins to yield differences in the light of heat conductivity.

Copper cookwares do stand out in this regard. It is important to note that the greater the mass of the cookware, the better its heat retention capacity, regardless of the material in use.

When it comes to health consciousness, the copper cookware vs stainless steel dialectic favors stainless steel.

Although products of both materials are free of toxic substances such as PFOA, stainless steel is the healthier option, as copper has the tendency to react to acidic foods and infuse them with a metallic taste, and this could render the food intoxicated.

A copper surface can also impart a grayish color on ingredients when the copper molecules seep into the food particles.

Because of this, most copper cookwares come with stainless steel or tin interiors to prevent direct contact between food and the copper surface. But with stainless steel cookwares, you have no need to worry about these tendencies. 

The bottom line is that it's up to you to decide which one of the two suits you best, because both come with advantages and downsides.

But be that as it may, some manufacturers have chosen to resolve the copper cookware vs stainless steel puzzle by combining both material in a multi-layered constructs that makes the two complement each other.

Such constructs usually come in form of what is known as tri-ply. Other such constructs come in form of more complex combinations such as 5-ply.

However, any form of such construct features one of the materials as the primary material on the outer or inner layer, with the other used in the core as a “helper” metal. This assembles the best of both worlds under one body.


This post was most recently updated on June 10th, 2018

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