Do copper pans scratch easily? – Better

When buying cookware, one of the most important questions may be its durability.

Does it scratch? Will I have this for a few months or a few decades? Let’s see what the experts say.

If copper pans are not properly maintained, scratches can occur.

However, this applies to almost any cookware, from stainless steel to cast iron. Each type of cookware requires different care instructions. Copper cookware is no different.

Are copper cookware more susceptible to scratches?

It depends on the quality of the pan. Lower quality pans are more susceptible to scratches.

As with all cookware, materials matter. The better the quality, the more durable the product.

According consumer reports, all copper cookware should have a metal liner. This liner protects against leaching of metals into food.

The quality of these liners depends on the quality of the pan. The better the lining, the less prone it is to scratches.

Uncoated parts of the pan, such as the exterior, are more susceptible to scratching.

Uncoated parts of pans are also susceptible to oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical process that causes discoloration over time.

Tips to avoid scratches on copper pans

While scratches can be a part of using copper cookware, that doesn’t mean you can’t do your best to avoid them.

Here are some quick tips to keep your copper cookware looking its best.

Use non-metallic utensils

Metal utensils are a surefire way to scratch your cookware. When cooking with copper, use only wooden or silicone utensils.

Follow this rule for all metal cookware, including cast iron.

Store carefully

If you store your pans stacked in a cupboard, they can get scratched or even dented.

The average copper pan is only 3mm thick. This means that copper pans are more likely to dent when stacked with heavier pots and pans.

Instead, preserve your copper pans by hanging them as much as possible.

If you must stack them, use fabric liners between pans to prevent scratching. Stack copper pans on top of each other to avoid bumps.

Clean carefully

Never put your copper cookware in the dishwasher. Dishwashers can be effective, but they can damage copper cookware.

The interior of the dishwasher gets too hot and the jerky motion can cause scratches and dents.

According to experts from Retinning.comthe best way to clean copper cookware is with a dishcloth.

For stubborn, stuck-on gunk, soak the pan overnight. In the morning, clean with a cloth and elbow grease.

Once your pan is clean, be sure to dry the entire pan thoroughly. Allowing water to dry naturally on copper pans leads to oxidation.

What to do if copper cookware is scratched

The first thing to do is to determine the severity of the scratch.

You can often buff out scratches on the exterior using copper cookware cleaners. Even if they refuse to be swept away, they are not harmful.

The only damage that affects the use of the pan is damage to the coating. If the copper part of the pan becomes visible, the pan cannot be used safely.

Scratches this deep are rare if you take good care of your copper cookware. However, we are all human and accidents happen.

For tinned copper pans, re-tin the pan before using it again.

Unfortunately for stainless steel pans, there is no way to restore the coating. It is possible to repair some dents, but if the copper is visible, the pan is no longer safe to use.

Better throw it away.

Are copper cookware safe?

If copper pans can be scratched so easily, doesn’t that make cooking with them dangerous? Does discoloration affect cooking? The answer is usually no.

As mentioned above, most copper cookware today has a pewter or stainless steel liner.

These liners keep food out of the reach of copper and prevent leaching of chemicals.

However, not all coatings are created equal, there are pros and cons to both.

What is the best copper cookware liner?

Generally speaking, there is no better understudy. Pewter and stainless steel both have advantages and disadvantages. It depends on what you want to deal with as a buyer.

Pewter liner

Tin was the original coating material for copper pans. Pewter remains the favorite of prestigious copper cookware companies, such as Mauviel and Ruffoni.

The reason for love is twofold. Tin bonds well to copper, making it the most popular coating for copper cookware.

Second, canned foods release, making these pans nearly nonstick and easy to cook with.

However, a study 2020 on copper cookware suggests that certain cooking practices can damage the pewter coating. These include long cooking times and cold storage.

Although a study is not a definitive statement, it may cause concern for consumers.

However, lovers of copper cookware will say that if your pan starts to decompose, just can it back.

They are right. Re-tinning is an important part of maintaining copper cookware, like seasoning cast iron. Unlike cast iron, you need a professional to tin a copper pan.

Retinning is a rare service in the United States. US residents will likely need to mail their pan in for re-tinning.

It’s a time-consuming prospect, but re-tinning isn’t often necessary. Copper cookware should only be re-tinned when the liner is worn. This often takes years to happen.

This usually takes years, depending on how often the pan is used.

The upside is that tin-coated copper pans are essentially immortal. If your stove is well cared for and re-tinned from time to time, it can last for generations.

Stainless steel liner

Stainless steel liners are a recent development in copper cookware. They are more durable than tin liners and will not leak under any circumstances.

Unlike pewter liners, stainless steel likes to stick, making it a bigger chore to cook and clean.

Also, stainless steel does not like to bond with copper. This not only makes these pans more difficult to manufacture, but also leads to “decomposition”.

Decomposition occurs when the stainless steel separates from the copper and destroys the pan.

Fortunately, this only happens if the pan has been on high heat for a very long time or, in some cases, placed in the dishwasher.

The beauty of this is that it is preventable. If you follow the steps above, you don’t have to worry about the detachment.

Are copper cookware right for you?

Copper pots and pans require a lot of maintenance. But despite that, they’ve been a chef’s favorite for generations.

This fidelity is due not only to their beauty, but also to their rapid and homogeneous heating. So the real question is: do the pros outweigh the cons for you?

If you barely have time to clean your nonstick cookware, copper pots and pans may seem like a chore you don’t need.

Copper cookware may be just what you need to round out your cookware collection if you’re willing to spend time maintaining your pots and pans.

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