Which copper pan?Mauviel, all-clad,calphalon...

homey_birdApril 21, 2007


I have a few calphalon tri-ply copper pans and I am quite satisfied with those. I am now considering buying a higher-end one such as Mauviel cuprinox or all-clad cop*r*chef, faulk culinair, ruffoni.

I want a copper exterior, stainless steel interior. It would be great to have aluminum between but not a must-have.

The price difference between a Calphalon tri-ply copper and a mauviel or all-clad-cop*r*chef is quite a bit. Thus I ask: is there sufficient quality/performance gain to justify the huge price difference?

I am willing to shell out $$$'s if the price is worth it, and therefore I would like to know:

1. Is there a positive difference made by sandwiched aluminum layer between copper and s.steel?

2. Is Mauviel worth the price over Calphalon? Once again, I own some Calphalon copper pots and I am quite satisfied with them, after owning some s.steel Farberwares.

3. Between All-clad copRChef and Mauviel, can someone share their experience/opinion ?

4. If someone has another suggestion that I am totally not aware of...

5. If someone has a suggestion on where to get them. Also is there a time of the year that they are on sale etc?

I would appreciate your feedback/experiences. BTW I cook a lot, so usage is not an issue.

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Oops, I meant Falk Culinair in the above post. So far I only found one site selling them: www.copperpans.com.

Waiting for opinions/suggestions/feedback.Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 1:10AM
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If you are going to buy copper cookware, buy the Falk Culinair. It is heavy gauge copper with a stainless lining and brushed finish. The heavy gauge ensures even heat distribution while a thin layer of stainless bonded under extreme pressure to the inner surface creates a bi-metal that will never wear off like tin. The brushed finish cuts down on the maintenance.

Many love the look of polished copper but it doesn't stay that way long unless you invest serious time keeping it that way which is next to impossible if you actually use it to cook - the brushed finish minimizes tarnish from fingerprints etc which will affect a polished surface very quickly.

Another advantage of the Falk cookware is the iron handles which don't get hot as quickly as the brass ones. Falk is completely functional and beautiful as well. You will find it in the kitchens of some of the world's finest restaurants.

Of course the tool needs to fit the job so you probably don't want everything to be copper. I use copper for sauces and other delicate items where control is imperative, cast iron for casseroles, searing, deep frying and general hearth cooking and stainless for beer making, stock reduction etc. Stoneware is excellent for baking. In the end you want the best material for the job and for each material you want the best of breed available. If you enjoy cooking you will love the Falk, pricey but well worth it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 11:15AM
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Falk Culinair has a "try-me" piece at a discount from their regular prices. Click the link.

If you're considering a big investment, might be worth trying one out.

Here is a link that might be useful: falk special

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 7:41PM
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I've wanted a copper saucepan for a long time, but couldn't decide on a brand; finally, a couple of days ago I ordered (on eBay) a Falk pan similar to the one shown in the special "try-me" piece, but the next size larger. I understand that a tin lining is thought to be better than stainless because stainless is a very poor conductor of heat, and sort of neutralizes the advantage of copper. However, stainless doesn't wear off the way tin does, and because it forms a very thin layer in the Falk pans, it shouldn't interfere with heat conduction all that much. I guess I'll find out when my pan gets here!


    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 7:50PM
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I'd also get the Falk or a thicker Mauviel (they make pans with different copper thicknesses).

Copper heats, and cools faster for better control. Basically twice as fast as aluminum. Good for sauciers and sauce pans. Not really needed for big stock pots.

The All Clad CopRChef is mainly for looks.The copper conducts the heat to the outside of the pan. All Clad have a copper core set that makes more sense to me, but expensive.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 2:15AM
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Thanks, Arley. I checked the try-me piece info. It is so small for my needs that I think that money is going to be a waste. I need a pan with around 4qt size.

Glycera, I checked the ebay ones too. They come all the way from Belgium, if I remember correctly. Otherwise, they are a lot cheaper than the ones being sold in US. Please do let us know how long it took for the pan to arrive and whether the wait was worth it!

So far here is what I understand from the replies:
1. All-clad: thumbs down
2. Mauviel or Falk : lots of folks are bullish over these and beyond that it is a personal preference. I think Falk is a bit cheaper than Mauviel and have got more variety of shapes/sizes.
3. Aluminum does not matter. Copper+stainless steel does the job.

Thanks everyone for your replies. You were really helpful.

Looking forward to more contributions on this thread....

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 6:20PM
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I think you've pretty well got it already. There are two kinds of copper pans: Faux copper pans, which have a thin layer of copper on the outside for looks, and real copper pans. The real copper pans divide into two categories:

1. Copper with a stainless-steel lining. This comes in various thicknesses. You want the 2.5mm thickness. Other than that, the bonded copper-SS material all comes from the same factory under Falk Culinair's patent, so the different brands are all pretty much the same except for minor differences in shape and what the handles are made out of. Brass handles look nicer; cast-iron handles conduct heat less well, and thus are cooler. Pro chefs tend to go with the cast-iron handles.

2. Tin-lined copper. This is the old way to make copper pans. Tin conducts heat very well, but is soft, tarnishes, and wears off so that you have to have the pans re-tinned every once in a while. Those who are willing to put up with tin seem to quite like it; stainless steel is much easier to keep clean and doesn't wear out. I far prefer the stainless steel.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 2:05PM
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"1. All-clad: thumbs down "

No way!! Give me my Bourgeat and Mauviel any day.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 12:11PM
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This is a follow-up to my post of April 23. I received my 9-3/4" Falk saucier today, almost a month from the time I ordered it on eBay. Just about the time I was getting antsy about not having received it, I got an email message from the vendor, telling me that the manufacturer had had trouble getting handles, and that was the reason for the delay. A few days later there was another message saying that the pan had been shipped, and I received it ten days after that message. It was well packed, and looks and feels like it would survive being run over by a tank. It's quite heavy, which is what I expected---no single-handed tossing of ingredients! I'm on the short side (5'4"), and find the angle of the pan's handle a bit high; however, this isn't the first time I've had that problem, and can cope with it. On the whole, I'm happy with my purchase (obviously, I haven't cooked anything with it yet, but don't anticipate any surprises there). Given the price of copper cookware, I think this was a reasonable transaction for a new pan. I didn't get the copper lid, which I think is a frivolous expense; a glass lid from another pan fits this one just fine.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 8:34PM
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The copper on the Calphalon is mainly cosmetic. It's not really thick enough to make a difference. One of the major magazine tested the All-Clad copper core, and weren't impressed. Unless you're a professional cook, and need total heat control for candy making, or pastry cream and such, I think heavy gauge copper is really overkill for everyday cooking. There isn't that much of an advantage to justify the much increased cost and weight. Also, with cookware like All-Clad stainless you will be able to use it with induction. Copper will prevent you from ever using that technology.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 2:26PM
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glycera, thanks a lot for posting your experience. It would be very helpful in deciding the vendor.

blondelle, thanks for your feedback on Calphalon. I had been expecting to hear the same -- since I have both Calphalon anodized aluminum and tri-ply copper, and I have found their performance nearly identical :-) (Which tells me that the tri-ply copper performs on its aluminum layer).

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 3:39PM
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I have several of the All Clad copper core pieces, and I absolutely love them. They are extremely responsive and are easy to clean.

For the rest of my cooking, such as stews and slow cooked sauces, or for frying, give me a good cast iron piece, any day.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 10:03PM
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At least the last poster admitted it was spam. These are tin lined copper pans. Unless you have access to a re-tinning service, you probably ought to stay away. I seriously doubt that these admittedly pretty pans are in the same league as Falk Culinair, Mauviel or Bourgeat.

Also, unless you know the thickness of the copper in the pan, you may well be paying for something decorative rather than functional. Revere Ware, for instance: there isn't enough copper present to significantly affect the performance.

The following is from the excellent discussion of cookware by S.L. Kinsey (full text at the link):

Most of the stainless-lined copper cookware sold in America is 2.3 mm of copper bonded to .2 mm of stainless steel -- 2.5 mm of copper/stainless steel "bimetal." Mauviel makes three lines: two "Cuprinox" lines at 2.5 mm and 2.0 mm and the "Table Service" line at 1.6 mm. This last line is meant for table presentation and not for real cooking. Make sure you know what thickness you are buying!

Here is a link that might be useful: stovetop cookware

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 1:27PM
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