Of course, cast iron cookware is antimicrobial

10 things you should know about copper pots

At the start of the blog series, in which I introduce you to various materials for kitchen pots and pans, the first post was about 10 things you should know about stainless steel pots. In the second part of the series, the following post is all about 10 things you should know about copper. Starting with the question of what copper actually is, how you should care for copper pots and what to look out for when buying. The two final contributions will follow in the coming weeksenamel and cast iron.

What is copper

Copper, from the Latin cuprum, is a transition metal and chemical element. Copper is a relatively soft and easily malleable metal, but it is also very tough. Pure copper has an orange-reddish color. The Latin name cuprum is derived from ‘cyprium’ and means “ore from the Greek islands of Cyprus”.

What are the special properties of copper?

Copper has a high thermal and electrical conductivity. This makes it ideal as a heat or electrical conductor. After silver, copper has the second highest electrical conductivity of all metals and is used, for example, as an electrical conductor for power cables, overhead lines or on electrical components. Due to its high thermal conductivity, copper is used in heat exchangers or heat sinks, for example.

In addition, copper is toxic to many microorganisms even in low concentrations, but is harmless to humans and other vertebrates. In addition to the high availability and easy processing, this is an important reason why water pipes and pipes often contain copper.

Why is copper suitable as a material for pots and pans?

Copper pots have a very high thermal conductivity, so that the heat in the pot is distributed very evenly and can be passed on to the food. In addition, the heat that reaches the contents of the pot can be easily controlled and changed quickly if necessary.

Did you know there are hospitals where all the door handles and banisters are made of copper? Since copper has been shown to have an antimicrobial effect, it helps to significantly reduce the transmission of dangerous germs such as bacteria, fungi and viruses.

Are copper pots suitable for induction?

Without explaining in detail how an induction cooker works (you can find a good explanation here), it is crucial that the cookware used is magnetizable (more precisely: has at least a thin layer of ferromagnetic material). Non-metals such as stainless steel or aluminum and copper, for example, do not have this property, so they are initially not suitable for induction. However, there are manufacturers who provide these types of pots with a ferromagnetic layer on the bottom of the pot so that the pots are also suitable for induction (see below).

When is the best time to use copper pots?

Copper pots can be used as normal in everyday kitchen use, but are a little more sensitive than pots made of stainless steel, for example. Due to their high thermal conductivity, copper pots and pans allow very precise dosing and adjustment of the temperature of the food to be cooked. Accordingly, copper pots are often used by cooks who rely on being able to change temperatures very precisely and quickly. In addition to the visual aspect, copper pots last a lifetime with appropriate care.

You can easily find out whether your pots are suitable for induction: just hold a magnet on the underside of the pot. If it sticks to it, the pots are suitable for induction.

Copper pots or bowls made of copper (without a coating) are also used primarily for preserving jams. The excellent thermal conductivity and even distribution of the heat make it easy and uncomplicated to boil the jam without burning it on the bottom of the bowl or pot.

How do you take care of copper pots?

Copper is a comparatively soft metal and is accordingly sensitive to scratches, small dents and deformations. Warm water, if necessary a little washing-up liquid and a dishcloth are used for daily cleaning. In addition, there are special polishing pastes for copper pots that are polished by the manufacturer, with which the surface can be processed so that the pots do not lose their shine even after repeated use. Under no circumstances should you treat the copper pot with an abrasive agent, a steel brush or put it in the dishwasher!

Is it true that the color of copper changes over time?

The next time you are in a bigger city, you will definitely see one or the other green church roof. Here in Hamburg it is just teeming with them. Churches in particular were often provided with copper roofs. Over time, a so-called copper patina forms on these roofs. This forms through corrosion, as the copper is exposed to the weather. This is deliberately intended, as this patina forms an extremely stable protective layer for the roof.

Pots and other dishes in the kitchen are also subject to a small extent to natural “weathering” and come into contact, for example, with heat and increased humidity. The potters can discolour and, for example, take on a significantly darker, more irregular color than when they were bought.

Did you know that the Statue of Liberty in New York is completely covered in copper ?!

What are the differences in copper pots?

If you shop around for copper pots, you will quickly find that there are several different “types” of copper pots to buy. These differ mainly in the following points:

  • Copper pots without any additional coating
  • Copper pots with a tin coating allow food to cool down in the copper pot without discolouring the copper. However, the tin layer itself changes its color a little over time and becomes slightly grayish
  • Copper pots with a stainless steel coating, which prevent the inside of the pot from becoming discolored in general
  • Copper pots with handles made of a different material to prevent them from overheating

What do you have to look out for when buying copper pots?

If you have made the decision in favor of copper pots, there are also a few points to consider:

  • If you have a ceramic hob, the copper pots should have a thick copper base so that they lie flat on the hob even when heated
  • If you have a gas stove, thin-walled copper pots can also be used
  • Copper pots are initially not suitable for induction. However, there are now manufacturers who offer copper pots with a ferromagnetic base, so that they are also suitable for induction hobs
  • When buying, make sure that the pot is actually made of at least 90% copper. There are a large number of aluminum / stainless steel pots that are only brought onto the market with a thin copper coating

Brands That Make Copper Pots You Should Know About

Especially with manufacturers of copper pots and dishes you will find a large number of small craft businesses that specialize in the production of copper goods. This is mainly due to the demanding manufacturing, and on the other hand, of course, to the exclusivity of these products. With proper care, a good copper pot will accompany you for a lifetime.

Not only high-quality pots, but also, in my opinion, the most visually attractive pots by far come from the Weyersberg company. The small manufacturer near Tübingen has been producing copper tableware for over 30 years and has launched its latest range of induction-compatible copper cookware. All pots and pans in this series from Weyersberg can be obtained from Bleywaren.

My product recommendations

Advertising as brand names

Copper pot set

Copper set from the Rösle company. Ideal for everyday use! With a 20-year manufacturer guarantee. The pots are made from a combination of copper, aluminum and stainless steel.

Premium copper pots

High-quality copper pots from de Buyer with 100% copper (pot). Correspondingly high-priced but a pot for life :).

Good and cheap

Comparatively inexpensive copper pot set from Claire or Springlange. Here, too, the pots are made from a combination of copper, stainless steel and aluminum.

Your experiences

Have you had great, disappointing or even funny experiences with your copper pots ?! Then please leave a short comment below this post. For example, I would be particularly interested in which pots you use every day and whether you are satisfied with them. Do you also pay attention to special things or the main thing when cleaning;)? I look forward to your feedback.

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Happy vegan and vegetarian trips for many years, doctorate in physics, enthusiastic experiments in the kitchen, gives cooking courses and workshops in Germany's first vegan cooking school and thinks that pizza makes everything better! More about me...


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