Cooking with copper cookware has been around for centuries, but somehow it fell out of practice as other types of cookware hit the market. Another reason for the change in popularity of copper cookware was the discovery that pure copper is not good for users’ health. Using pure copper to cook has, in the past, caused the mineral to leach into the food. When too much copper enters the diet, it causes vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. Public health experts also warn that too high an intake of copper can cause kidney and liver damage and even death.
So, now you know why cooking with pure copper cookware discontinued.
Thankfully, the copper cookware that is now on the market is not lethal. That is because the copper is used as an undercoat with other materials like stainless steel to prevent the leaching of copper into food. Modern copper cookware is safe to use because they are also designed to use less copper. Most copper cookware is not totally made of copper. You will find that the copper cookware that is on the market these days are made of stainless steel that is insulated with copper to give it a neat appearance. Also, copper cookware are lined with tin or silver to prevent any contact of copper to food.
The main benefit of using modern copper pots and pans is that they are excellent at cooking foods evenly. You won’t have to contend with hot spots, or undercooked food as a result of this feature.
Benefits of using copper cookware
Here are some other great benefits of using modern copper cookware.
- It conducts heat very well: Chefs use copper cookware to prepare food that is delicate and temperature-sensitive. For sautees which require even cooking, a lined copper pan is excellent. Heat distribution is always even, so your food is not burnt. You will notice that some containers are designed with a copper bottom or lining for the heating surface. That is to ensure that during cooking, the pan maintains constant and stable cooking temperature. Also, such cookware adjusts quickly to any change in temperature during cooking. This feature also enables users to achieve great cooking results no matter what food they prepare.
- Copper adheres to other metals. One of the best metals to use to adhere to other surfaces is copper. That is because copper is not hard metal like iron or steel. Copper bonds well with stainless steel or other metals even those that don’t contain iron. The benefit of treating pots and pans with copper is that they last longer so you don’t have to keep buying them all the time.
- Copper is rust-resistant: Copper naturally does not rust. Used as an undercoat, this material resists corrosion. Metals like nickel, tin, and steel are also protected from rust when a copper coating is applied to them. Not only does coating with copper prevent rusting in other metals, but it also gives them an attractive finish. Another thing is that copper is not hard like other metals, so it provides an even coating that does not have any defects. No wonder a copper-coated pot or pan is so pleasing to look at.
- Unique designs with copper are attractive: This leads to the next point about copper. It is unique and beautiful. Believe it or not, copper-coated pots and pans enhance your kitchen décor. The distinctly attractive look of copper-coated cookware sets them apart from other pots and pans. You can even arrange your copper-coated cookware in attractive displays in your kitchen or show area.
- The weight is manageable: Interestingly, copper pans and pots can sit securely on your stove because of its weight. It is not extremely heavy cookware. Copper cookware is at the right weight to sit on your stove yet be easy to lift when full of food or water. This feature makes the copper cookware easy to handle in the kitchen.
Good news for the health conscious
So, you have seen some of the benefits of using copper cookware. But what if you are health conscious? Wouldn’t you need to ensure that there are no health risks of using copper? Considering copper’s toxic feature, it may take some persons more than a list of benefits to convince them to go ahead a use copper cookware.
When non-stick pots and pans hit the market, everyone thought they were safe from health risks. Users are, however, finding out that the non-stick material is made of the potentially harmful perfluorochemicals (PFCs). So, in the interest of preserving health (and protecting the environment) persons are turning to pots and pans that are made of stainless steel or cast iron.
The good news for the health-conscious is that stainless-steel pots with a copper undercoat are safe to use. There is no danger of copper poisoning since the copper is on the outside of the pots and pans. The main problem of leaching that came with the copper cookware of the past is also no longer a threat.
If you are on a budget, you will find that copper cookware is more expensive than other pots and pans. You may, however, consider the price a worthwhile investment in cookware that is not only attractive but durable.
The use of pure copper pots and pans fell out of practice centuries ago when the health risks were discovered. Since then, copper has been used as an undercoat for other pots and pans, particularly those made of stainless steel. Also, lined copper cookware became more popular. Not only did this change reduce the health risks linked to copper, but the market was introduced to attractive cookware that can be displayed for show. The main benefits of using pots and pans that are undercoated with copper are that foods are cooked more evenly, and the pots and pans last longer. If you choose to purchase copper cookware, ensure that the copper content is not too high. Preferably, stainless steel cookware that has been undercoated (at the bottom) with copper is an appropriate choice.