Copper Cookware Basics – Cooking & Cleaning Guide

Copper cookware is one of the leading choices of experienced chefs because of its heat conduction ability. Besides, it is also well known for its beauty and stylish look.

Since copper cookware is costly so, investing in it is undoubtedly a big deal. This article is all about the basics that you should know about copper cookware for cooking and cleaning. It also provides some shorthand tips for cleaning and cooking with copper cookware.

Treating the copper cookwares rightly is not a difficult task if one has the idea about certain key things. All these key-issues are covered up on this article with a brief discussion.

Certain Things to Keep in Mind

The critical thing to keep in mind is that, apart from jam containers and several other containers like this, all the other copper cookware are lined. This is because copper is a reactive metal and is toxic to some extents.

When the lining is done with an inert metal, the cookware becomes safe to use. You will have to treat your cookwares differently based upon the linings made on them.

Initially, tin was used for lining the copper cookware. But, today, the manufacturers are focusing more on lining with stainless steel because it is very much resilient than that of tin.

On the other hand, the exterior portion of copper has its type of needs that are not at all similar to stainless steel or, tin. However, if maintained well, copper cookware can serve for generations.

Cooking with Copper Cookware

Copper is a good conductor which indicates its energy efficiency by conduction. It heats up evenly and takes very little time to get heated up. It also cools down fast. That’s why it is considered as a metal that is very much sensitive to heat and responsive as well.

Gas is the one source that you would prefer to use your copper cookwares on because cooktops that run on electricity shifts the temperature slowly. Besides, apart from some exceptional cases, copper doesn’t work in case of induction ovens.

When cooking on the gas flame with your copper cookware, ensure the heat is gentle enough. Since copper is highly conductive so, it can cope up with a flame slow.

If your cookware is lined up with tin, be careful with high heating. Tin has some significant traits among which, its nonstick trait resides in the top. But, the melting point of tin is really low at about 232°C (450°F).

It is the temperature where empty cookware lined up with a tin can start melting and bubbling up. As a consequence, you might require to re-tin the cookware if you desire to get it back to working condition.

How to Prevent Problems when Working with Copper Cookware

To prevent this type of problems regarding tin lining, you have to follow the technique of preheating. Preheat your copper cookware that is lined with tin by using fatty products on them like Oil or, butter.

If you see any type of smoke, be sure that you are getting near to danger. If the food is in the cookware, it is safe to some extents because the food will prevent the cookware from being overheated.

The copper cookware that is lined with stainless steel can’t offer the benefit of being nonstick. But, they are way too good at handling temperatures. You can let a stainless steel lined copper cookware on the stove for a long time and make it go scorching without anything bad happening.

However, if the lining of steel decouples, a problem might occur that can’t be fixed right away.

There are a good number of sources that will forbid you to use metal products with tin linings. Because they consider the fragility of the tin, it might happen that, you ended up scratching the tin. Overall, it will depend upon your own decision and intake of risks about what to choose as a lining of your copper cookware.

Cleaning Copper Cookware

Similar to cooking with copper cookware, the cleaning process depends on the lining. In the case of tin, the nonstick quality helps a lot for which, a small effort on cleaning is required.

Tin-Lined copper cookware can be easily washed by filling it with water and adding dish soap to it in a small amount. If it’s left for some time to simmer, a perfect cleaning can be ensured and the minute particles can be cleaned off with a wipe.

You should avoid scrubbers like Sponge pads, steel wool, etc. You must keep in mind that, a tin will naturally start darkening when it comes to the exposure of heat though it won’t result as a problem after scrubbing it away.

In the case of copper cookware with stainless steel lining, you can conduct a cleaning process by scrubbing. It is straightforward and similar to what you do in case of cleaning your other steel pans or, pots.

Talking about the copper exteriors, you have several choices in your hand. At the very first, you should know that copper cookware doesn’t require polishing as the other cookware do.

This serves as very good news for those who don’t want to spend further on this cookware. But, be very careful to wipe away the dribbled food on the pan before it gets the chance to settle on.

If you fail to wash your cookware, send it to a professional cleaner who can ease your task.

Using Copper Cream to Clean

“Copperbrill” is a cream used for cleaning the surface of copper. “De Buyer” and “Mauviel” are two of the famous brands of this cream. It will entirely depend upon the look you desire to use the cream that often.

To get a surface that shines, clean your cookware after every single use. Again, to get a good patina, clean the cookware occasionally.

Now, about the procedure of using the paste, first, rinse the cookware thoroughly. Then, use a cloth or, sponge to rub the paste gently on the surface of the copper.

Make sure that you are taking a small amount of paste that requires. After that, rub a few more paste on the whole of the cookware. Finally, wash the cookware under running water and let it dry.

Cleaning Alternatives

  1. There are several alternate ways to clean copper cookware. A few of them are mentioned:
  2. Mix lemon juice and kosher salt in a bowl. Mix it well until it turns into a paste. You can use this paste to wash you copper cookware.
  3. This is an interesting alternative way of cleaning copper cookware. Use ketchup! Put a small amount of ketchup on the pan and use a cloth made of micro-fiber to rub through. Do the rubbing in circular motion. It will clean your cookware.
  4. Take the help of the maids who has several other solutions when it comes to cleaning the copper cookware.
  5. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with several tablespoons full of lemon juice. Use this mixture on the copper cookware and rub thoroughly. Finally, polish with a cloth, and you’re done!
  6. Pour salt and vinegar on the pan. Start rubbing and keep continuing until the luster is coming back. Finally, rinse the pan and polish it with a clean and dry cloth. If you want to enhance the natural look of the cookware, wipe it with a few drops of vegetable oil.

Things to Avoid

Never put copper cookware in the dishwasher. This is because the detergents used in the dishwasher doesn’t treat copper pans gently.

You should also avoid using cleaners containing bleach since they are corrosive. Bleach can even cause a pit to the cookware.


We all want our copper cookware to remain shiny and lustrous, and we also want to cook on them with satisfaction. This is surely not much that you want from your cookware but, for that, you must put some effort into them.

This article was a small guide to that. So, start caring for your copper cookware and in return, cook on pans that seem new and clean enough.