Copper Cookware: 11 Burning Questions Answered!

A Definitive Guide to Copper Cookware

I was recently on a guided tour of a chocolate factory that makes gourmet, hand-made chocolates in small batches. While stuffing my face with free samples, I noticed something.

The lady operator was stirring melted chocolate in….. an UNLINED copper drum!

Mauviel Copper Bowl with Ring

“Unlined copper? But isn’t that dangerous?”, I asked, suddenly worried about the generous portion of samples I had ingested.

The tour guide smiled, shook her head and proceeded with the speech. Hmm, my curiosity was piqued.

The next day, one of my readers emailed to ask about re-tinning her copper pans and if tin lining is safe.

Re-tinning? Do people still do that?

Obviously, there was a lot I didn’t know.

All I knew was that copper cookware was something I seriously needed to understand:

Is it safe?

Is it good?

And does it really need to be lined with tin or something else?

This is the result – the most definitive guide to copper cookware that you will ever need.

Read on…..

1. Why use Copper cookware?

Copper cookware is like the Rolls-Royce of all pots and pans! Not only is it aesthetically appealing, it is the ultimate conductor of heat!

A copper pan will heat up quickly and evenly along the bottom, walls and edges with no hotspots or uneven heating. This means the top of the pan will be as hot as the bottom so your food heats and cooks evenly.

To give you an idea, copper has a thermal conductivity (i.e. ability to conduct heat) that is TWICE that of aluminum (which is considered a good conductor of heat anyway) and almost 20 TIMES that of stainless steel!

This means a copper pan will heat up twice as quickly as an aluminum pan and 20 TIMES as quickly as a stainless steel pan.

Not only is that saving you time, but is a much more efficient use of energy.

Copper electric wires work for the same reasons as pans

If you’re curious about how the most common cookware materials stack up against each other in terms of thermal conductivity (measured in W/m.k or Watts per meter-kelvin), here’s a comparison:

MaterialThermal conductivity (W/m.K)
Cast Iron80
Stainless Steel14.2

This excellent conductivity means a copper pot will also cool down quickly if needed. This gives a lot of control for dishes that are made at strictly controlled temperatures – like sauces and risottos for example. It also explains the popularity of Moscow Mule mugs. Since copper quickly takes on the temperature of the chilled drink, it heightens the enjoyment and the experience!

Copper cookware is well suited for the chef or home cook who wants precision and control in their cooking. It is for this reason that world renowned chefs like Julia Child favor copper cookware above all other pots and pans.

As a side note of interest, Julia Child’s entire kitchen including 30 well used copper pans are now on display at The National Museum of American History.

Fun fact: A museum at the University of Pennsylvania displays a copper frying pan that has been dated to be more than 50 centuries old. (

2. Why is copper cookware usually lined?

Copper is a trace element that is essential to the normal functioning of the human body. In fact, it is present in common foods like seafood, kale, mushrooms, nuts, beans, avocados to name a few.

So why all this hoopla about lining copper pots?

The reason for that is that Copper is not inert. It reacts with acidic foods like tomatoes to create reactive copper salts called verdigris poison that can make you quite sick, with symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. If copper is ingested in a large quantity or consistently over some time, it can cause problems in the liver, stomach, and kidney. It can also cause anemia (source:

Many countries and states don’t even allow unlined copper pans to be sold.

3. Is it safe to use copper cookware then?

In a word, yes!

You really don’t need to worry about copper poisoning from cookware. Almost all copper cookware sold commercially is lined with stainless steel, tin or nickel. Unlined copper cookware is available primarily in the form of jam pans and mixing bowls for beating egg whites. See section on using unlined pans for more.

So, as long as the interior of a copper pan is coated with an inert lining like tin or stainless steel, the lining prevents any reaction between copper and acidic food and it’s perfectly safe to cook in that copper pan.

As a point of interest, according to this article on, acute copper poisoning is a rare event, caused mostly by accidentally drinking a solution of a copper salt …. which most of us are not doing! Additionally, chronic copper poisoning, which means small and continuous exposure over an extended period, is also rare because a healthy body has the capability to excrete excess copper and maintain the balance in the body.

4. Why was tin lining so popular for copper pans?

In the words of a devout home cook friend, copper cookware with tin lining is ‘pure tradition’!

Tin is considered the original non-stick coating material – as non-stick a cooking surface as can be found. It is chemically inert, which means it does not react with any food, nor does it impart any flavor to food.

If you noticed the thermal conductivity table above, you’ll see that tin is a much better conductor of heat than stainless steel. Which means that the effect of tin lining on the performance of copper cookware is minimal. It also means that there is less chance that the tin lining will de-laminate (which means separate) from the copper pan, something that can happen with a stainless steel lining.

Another advantage that tin offers is that copper cookware with a damaged or old tin lining can be ‘re-tinned so that the pot can last for generations.

5. What is re-tinning of copper cookware?

Over time, tin-lined copper pans will eventually need to be re-tinned, i.e., have the tin lining redone. After how long depends on usage and care. Some people get decades of use out of their tin-lined pots, others just a few years.

Re-tinning of copper cookware involves scouring off the old tin and corrosion and application of a fresh coat of melted tin. It is truly a lost art and has virtually disappeared from the developed world where everything is disposable.

6. Is tin-lining safe on copper cookware?

Absolutely yes!

Tin cans got a bad rap in recent years because of the lining in the cans which contains Bisphenol A (BPA) which is a harmful plastic.

Tin, on its own, is an inert metal which does not react with, nor leach into food.

Tin melts at about 450F, which means that the lining on a tin-lined copper pan would deteriorate at that temperature and melt, possibly emitting fumes. Three points of interest:

  1. A pan would only reach a temperature of 450 F if it is heated empty. No coated or lined pan, be it Teflon, ceramic or tin lined, should ever be heated empty. So, if you’re doing that, then yes, the coating will get damaged.
  2. At 450 F, most cooking oils would be beyond their smoke point so if you are heating your pans/food to that level, then your food is probably burnt anyway.
  3. If by accident you did heat a tin lined pan to that point, there is no known danger of tin fumes or metal fume fever caused by tin. (Wikipedia).

Now, having said all that, it is important to note that tin is a much softer metal which means it can scour off easily. So take a few precautions if you use tin-lined copper pans and you will get years out of your pans before you need re-tinning:

  1. Use medium heat and don’t over heat an empty pan
  2. Use only wooden or silicone utensils so that you don’t scratch through the tin to expose the copper.
  3. Avoid hard scrubbing or scouring that can wear down the tin coating

If you see that the lining is coming off and copper starts showing through, avoid using those pans till you can get them restored.

7. Can I use unlined copper cookware for anything?

Unlined copper bowls are used primarily for baking as mixing bowls, for making jams and candies

First, let’s talk about beating egg whites. Apparently, egg whites will beat up to a significantly higher volume when whisked in a copper bowl.

But is that true? Is a copper bowl really better for whipping egg whites?

According to, yes. It’s actually a chemical reaction between the copper and the whipped egg whites that creates a much more stable foam. If the term ‘chemical reaction’ has you worried, don’t. Beating egg whites in copper bowls does not present any danger to you and while it would be outside the scope of this article to explain the chemical reaction, you can read all about it here.

Unlined copper pans are also used to make jams. According to traditionalists who swear by using copper pans for making jam, copper is THE pan for making jams. Once the fruit has been combined with sugar, it does not react with the pan and the little amount of lemon juice is apparently not enough acid to cause a reaction. So the trick is to combine the sugar with the fruit BEFORE it is added to the copper pan.

Because of the excellent heat conductivity of a copper jam pan, it means the fruit has to cook for a shorter time, preserving the flavor, color and texture.

So, to summarize: Copper Jam Pan = Better Jam

Last but not least, let’s get back to the use of copper pans when making candies and chocolate. Personally, I needed to get an answer to the question that had been burning in me ever since my visit (above) to a chocolate factory.

Turns out, candy makers have been using unlined copper kettles for centuries for making sweets. Sugary foods like candies, chocolate, and the aforementioned jam, do not react with copper. The superior heat conductivity of a copper pan allows great control when it comes to heating and quickly cooling down a confectionery, especially when caramelizing sugar.

Mauviel 10.2-inch Copper Skillet with Bronze Handle

8. Tin-lined or stainless steel lined?

I get asked this question so often that it deserves its own section here:

“Should I get tin-lined or stainless steel lined copper cookware?”

There’s no straight answer and it really boils down to personal preference and cooking choices. Anyhow, here is my analysis and conclusion:


Tin: If the tin lining gets scratched or worn, it can be refinished again and again so that the pan is like new again.

Stainless Steel: If the stainless steel lining separates from copper due to uneven amounts of heat, the pan is ruined.


Tin: Tin is softer than steel which means it requires special care to prevent it from getting scratched and worn. Which means don’t heat the pan empty, don’t use metal utensils and don’t scrub too hard.

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel can withstand a lot more use and abuse without damage.

Melting point

Tin: Tin melts at about 450 F, a temperature that is relatively easy to attain on a kitchen stove.

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel melts at over 2500 F, meaning little chance of it melting in a kitchen. This means you could sear a piece of meat on high with little worry.

Heat conductivity

Tin: Tin is a better conductor of heat than stainless steel. About 4 times better. Which means your pan will heat up quicker and cook the food faster.

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel takes a bit longer to heat up than tin. In actual use, however, users report that the difference is only marginal.


Tin Yes, tin can be restored. Again and again. But unless you are handy and want to deal with melting tin ingots, restoration is a lost art with few artisans who still do it.

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel lining doesn’t need much in terms of maintenance so is much more convenient.

Conclusion: In the humble opinion of The Cookware Advisor, if you are debating between tin-lined and stainless steel-lined copper cookware, my choice would be Stainless Steel lined. I personally prefer low hassle cookware and stainless steel lined copper cookware fits the bill. It is more durable, does not need the same level of maintenance and the difference in performance is only marginal.

9. Why is copper cookware so expensive?

Firstly, Copper is a much more expensive material than stainless steel or aluminum. In fact, according to the Copper Development Association Inc. ( it is a semi-precious element. Copper is considered the benchmark among semi-precious metals and is often quoted as a leading indicator of economic growth.

Secondly and maybe more importantly, Copper cookware is the cookware of choice for elite chefs. This is because of its excellent heat conductivity, even heating, and beautiful appearance. It is therefore positioned as a prestige item and priced accordingly. Good quality copper cookware is definitely not intended for the mass market. The higher price tag only helps to make it the exclusive product that it is today.

10. How to clean copper cookware?

While copper cookware looks beautiful when its new, over time, the exterior of the pot gets tarnished with a ‘rust-like’ coating due to oxidation. You could get a commercially available chemical cleaner or you could use a more DIY method with things you probably have at home. Here are some of my favorite methods:

  1. The lemon salt method: Dip half a lemon in some coarse salt and rub over the copper.
  2. The salt, vinegar and scour pad method: coat the pan with salt. Add vinegar, more salt and let sit for a couple of minutes. Scrub it off with a scouring pad. Rinse with water.
  3. The ketchup method: Pour a layer of ketchup. Let sit for a few minutes. Scrub it off and rinse.
  4. Baking soda and lemon method: Combine some lemon juice with baking soda. Rub into copper. Wipe off with a dry cloth.

11. What kinds of copper cookware are available today? What are the pros and cons of each?

For this article, I’m going to focus on the 6 main types of copper cookware that are available, ranging from expensive to most affordable. There are other types including nickel lined and alloys with zinc (brass) and tin (bronze) but those are not used much for cooking and are more for decorative purposes.

Interestingly enough, Health Canada actually recommends even using tin-lined copper for decorative purposes only, probably because the lining eventually wears off and most people would not know how or where to get it re-tinned.

1. Unlined copper


  • Beautiful to look at
  • Last forever, often passed down as family heirlooms.
  • Excellent heat conductivity


  • High maintenance. Copper tarnishes very easily
  • Reacts with food so use is limited e.g mixing bowls, jam and candy making
  • Expensive

Best Brands for Unlined Copper:

2. Tin-lined copper


  • Best combination of metals for heat conductivity
  • Can be restored again and again if the lining wears off
  • Family heirlooms


  • High maintenance. Copper exterior can tarnish and stain.  Interior needs to be handled with care as tin lining can scratch or come off while scouring.
  • Tin melts at 450F so pan cannot be heated too high, even accidentally
  • Tin lining will eventually need to be re-applied which is a lost art.

Best Brands for tin-lined Copper:

3. Stainless Steel lined copper


  • Low maintenance interior.
  • Can heat to high, great for searing meats.


  • Slower to heat than unlined or tin-lined copper since stainless steel is not a good conductor of heat.
  • The steel lining can warp or come off (de-laminate) due to the big difference in the heat conductivity of steel and copper. While not likely in a good brand, once the lining de-laminates, pan must be discarded unlike a tin-lined pan which can be restored.

Best Brands for Stainless steel lined Copper:

4. Stainless Steel Copper sandwich. (Stainless steel on the exterior and interior sandwiching a copper interior).


  • Low maintenance interior and exterior


  • Lower heat conductivity than plain copper due to 2 layers of stainless steel.

Best Brands for Stainless steel Copper Sandwich:

5. Tri-ply Copper Cookware with Aluminum core and Stainless steel lining


  • Combines superior heat conductivity of aluminum and copper
  • Stainless steel interior is non-reactive and hardy
  • Beautiful appearance with copper exterior and shining steel inside


  • More expensive than regular triply cookware because of the copper component

Best brands for Tri-ply Copper cookware:

6. Stainless Steel with Copper Core/ Copper bottom


  • Most affordable option in range of copper cookware
  • Combines the durability and low maintenance of stainless steel with the heat efficiency of copper


  • Copper is limited to the bottom of the pan unlike copper clad cookware which goes up the sides.

Best brands for Stainless Steel with Copper Bottom:

Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

46 thoughts on “Copper Cookware: 11 Burning Questions Answered!”

  1. This is regarding tin coated brass and copper cookware. Can the cookware be used to steam foods ( food does not have contact with the cookware- food is placed in a smaller container which is then placed inside for steaming) even if the tin lining has worn off? Will this affect the food or the cookware? Thanks!

    • Hi Anita, if the food is not in contact with the copper, I would think its totally fine to use the pot without any lining.

  2. I have a set of relatively new copper pans. They have been used regularly and have very dark tarnished bottoms. I have recently tried to clean first using CopperBrill and then lemon and salt mixture. The majority of the pan comes up shiny and new however there is still very dark circles on the bottom. I have repeated the process a number of times but the stain just wont budge. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hi Kay, this might be a silly suggestion but I’ve heard of good old ketchup being a great cleaner for copper pans…. try it, maybe it will do the trick?

    • What your looking at on the bottom of your pots is not tarnish but rather cooked on and caramelized oils and fats. The only way to remove them is by scrubbing, probably with an abrasive. Magic erasers can usually get it off without to much scratching but you may need to use a copper scrubby first on the darker areas.

  3. Very informative article! Can you answer a question I haven’t been able to find the answer to anywhere else online? I am looking to purchase a copper colander to use as a colander, not for decoration. I see on I like, but it is unlined. Will it be fine for just straining starches, ie pasta/potatoes, or should I look elsewhere?

  4. I have an old Revere ss kettle with what appears to be a copper bottom. But I left it on the burner and the water boiled away. It got hot and the kettle or the burner made a weird smell.
    I can’t see inside it. Do you think it is still safe to use. Is there something I should use to clean INSIDE the kettle?

    • Hello Dawn, the copper bottom is likely on the outside, i.e. not on the inside surface that would touch the water. So I’m going to assume the inside is stainless steel that got burned dry. Happens to the best of us. I don’t think the kettle is unsafe to use, might just need a bit of internal cleaning.
      I would suggest you read up on my article 6 Stains on Stainless Steel and see if you get any tips.
      What I would do is vigorously swish around some baking soda and vinegar. Then some warm soapy water to wash it out. Then boil water a couple of times, throwing it out every time. After 2-3 tries, it should be good to use. If at that point, you find the water doesn’t taste like it used to, then it might be time to invest in a new kettle.

      Just my suggestions but hope they help!

  5. Hi, great informative article, however I have a question which I don’t believe was addressed in your article. I love copper pots and I have a lot, of it which I have bought from different countries. I bought a very large unlined copper pot ( two handled style) which I’ve never used it. I quite often host large family gatherings and I would like to use it to serve paella . I would do the cooking on a “ regular” pan and than transfer it to the unlined copper pot. So….. here’s my question is it safe to serve the hot food in the unlined pot? Thanks so much.

  6. I had a copper pan “La Mere Poulard” and did not read the directions to prepare the pan.
    Subsequently, I now have somewhat of a messy bottom inside. little ridges.
    It seems to cook quite well.
    Do you have a suggestion?

    • Hi Beatrice, from what I can gather with a quick Google search, this is vintage tin-lined copper. If that is the case, it means the tin lining slightly melted and formed those ridges. At some point, you might want to look at re-tinning this pan to restore the lining. Though it is also my understanding that unless the underlying metal is exposed, (and you plan to cook acidic foods), there is no issue with using the pan as is.

  7. I was given a set of copper pans from Williams-Sonoma over thirty years ago. I have never used them except to hang them in my kitchen. How can I tell if they have a sealer on them and how can I clean them? I’m considering selling them since I don’t use them—is there a way to find out their value? Thanks for any advice!

  8. @Jennifer, if the pan is copper then Brasso should be fine (even though it’s yellowish now). You can try the lemon and salt technique. Also, do you see any manufacturer/artisan markings/stamps? This can help you understand its value better. You should be able to Google someone who can re-tin it for you for relatively inexpensive. I hope you’re able to enjoy the pan.

  9. I inherited a copper saucepan (with lid) when my dad died. It was very dirty and tarnished, so I used Brasso (which says right on the bottle that it can be used on copper) to clean it. And all the copper came off the outside! It’s now a slightly yellowish color. What happened?! Was it just a copper wash? Why did it come off? Can the item be saved, or is it even worth saving if it isn’t copper? I thought it was, because the tinning on the interior is worn away a bit, and you can see the copper through it.

  10. Bought what I think are copper pots at a street bazaar in Izmir Turkey 25 years ago. They have been in a box. I’d like to use them but have no way of knowing what it’s lined with. The bottom is copper looking, inside is silver looking and handle is brass colored. If I sent you a pic, could you advise. Or perhaps you’re familiar with these- likely common tourist purchase. Thanks!

    • hi Shannon, from the description (silver looking) plus the fact these are from 25 years ago, I would guess its tin lining.

  11. I just left my brand new Mauviel copper kettle on the gas too long and the water dried up. The handle and spout are still original color but the body of the kettle is almost iridescent and unevenly colored. Is there any chance the pot will return to its original copper color when it cools?

  12. I use a Cooper egg white mixing bowl to whisk egg whites. The interior of the bowl has become quite tarnished. Is it safe to continue to use.

  13. How can I tell if the tin lining in a pot has worn away? I bought a teapot that once I began to use I realized it had a nasty film in it. I tried to scrub it out and got nowhere so I tried booking vinegar and water. The pot got left boiling too long and now the film is gone off the bottom and sides of the pot but the pot has a pinkish hue now and I’m not sure it’s safe? Can you please help? The pot is old and has no manufacturer stamp of any kind. It’s just an old fashioned copper tea kettle with wood handle.
    Thank you

    • Hello Dawn, really interesting question. So just based on what you describe, it seems like either the kettle has no tin lining or its been completely worn away, as indicated by the pinkish hue (that’s a characteristic of copper). Tin lining is by its nature, a shiny finish which tends to become gray over time with use. The film you mentioned, was likely a calcium carbonate deposit from years of water boiling in the kettle and which would have removed with vinegar.

      So I think you’re left with a clean copper teapot with no lining and no white calcium deposits.

      The good news is that copper doesn’t react with water so I don’t think its a safety concern.

  14. Hi! I had a similar experience as a commenter above. I fell asleep while heating up a pot of water (I know I know…lucky I didn’t burn the house down -__-) and my Calphalon Tri-Ply Copper pot turned ashy black on the outside. As it cooled, the ash started to peel and I scraped the rest off. Now it looks like tarnished/scoured copper on the outside and I’m not sure if it’s safe to use? Any recommendations? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Mackenzie, the Calphalon Tri_ply copper set has stainless steel on the inside which is pretty heat resistant (melting point of over 2500F) so I would say your pot is safe to use.

  15. Hi i bought a 100 percent copper pot for carnitas
    Its not lined with any other metal is that safe to cook
    On i see alot vedios on YouTube but ..still i dont have
    Solid answer??

    • Hello David, its generally not recommended to use unlined copper pans for cooking since it reacts with food. So if I were you I’d avoid it except for jam making and egg beating.. Just my two cents worth.

  16. Hi. We bought a copper pan from a very high end restaurant that was closing. I went to heat some water and turned on the wrong burner, heating the dry copper pan by mistake.
    It turned a very dark gray, which mostly wiped out with a paper towel, although some remains after washing.
    Is it safe to cook in?

    • hi John, its hard to say without any more details but it doesn’t seem like your pan was lined with anything (tin or SS). If that is the case, overheating would have caused a layer of copper oxide to form. (Copper oxide is a powdery black). If you’ve managed to remove most of it, that’s good and I think you are safe to use the pan HOWEVER, if indeed, your pan is unlined copper, there are few things I would be willing to cook in it that don’t react with the metal.

      Again, my answer is based on a guess of what your pan is so I can’t be 100% sure. You’ll have to be the best judge yourself.

  17. I am dubious about the safety of the Copper Chef pans. Copper plumbing contributes to copper levels in humans, and excess copper suppresses zinc activity in the body. Zinc is essential for health, and can be difficult to absorb from food sources. Some metabolic conditions favor accumulation of copper.
    Copper Chef instructions recommend avoiding use of detergents containing lemon, though they don’t recommend against cooking with lemon. Acid from lemon will interact with available copper. Is copper in the ceramic coating available for interaction with foods? Is there some other aspect of the ceramic that requires avoiding lemon?

    • Hi Laurel, a lot of readers have the same misconception, but Copper Chef pans have NO copper in them. From their product FAQs:

      ‘The Copper Chef pan is aluminum with copper-colored Cerami Tech™ Non-Stick Coating’.

      I am not sure why they caution against lemon detergents, could possibly be that its more abrasive.

      • Some of the advertising blurb that’s used by Copper Chef and Red Copper claims that the product is “copper-infused” and has “excellent thermal conductivity” – both mentioned in the same space. This might well lead consumers to expect that the two statements might be connected. In my view, this is a potentially misleading gimmick: the copper content of the coatings is just at trace levels from what I have heard. The copper color contains a red pigment, which seems to be iron oxide-based. Accordingly, there is no danger of copper poisoning. The only drawback is that if you’re not careful, then with these iron oxide type pigments, hot cooking oil (above ~500oF) has a tendency to cause discoloration of the interior coating. Nevertheless, “As seen on TV” is a powerful advertising slogan, and these pans have been selling very well, and the reviews that I’ve seen thus far on Amazon for Copper Chef have been quite respectable. Let’s see how they perform in the long run.

    • hi Ann, if you’re referring to Copper Chef cookware, it’s not really copper cookware. Their USA based website is unclear about the material but from the faq’s on their canadian site, its aluminum with Cerami Tech™ Non-Stick Coating, and a stainless steel induction plate.
      So basically an aluminum pan with a copper coloured ceramic coating. From what i can see, reviews online are a bit mixed but beyond that, I have no experience with this line of cookware. Hopefully another reader can share their experience.

  18. I am looking at a bowl for beating whipped cream that will keep its consistency. Is a coated hammered copper bowl good to use?
    Is solid copper the only material that will help keep whipped cream whipped?
    Thanks for any help

    • Hi Linda, I know a copper bowl is recommended for whipping egg whites but not cream. For cream you’d be better off using a chilled stainless steel bowl.

  19. Hi,
    I have access to a new set of copper pans lined with nickel from the 80s. You touched on nickel briefly in the article, and I was wondering if nickel is also safe for cooking. I only seem to information about tin and stainless lined pans. Thanks!

    • Hi Matt, that’s a great question and one I will attempt to answer to my best.
      Nickel used to be the lining of choice for copper cookware many years ago though it would be a rarity nowadays. However, the thing about nickel is 1.) It is a common allergen and 2.) It does leach into food. It is probably for this reason that Health Canada states that copper cookware lined with nickel “should be used for decorative purposes only”. Having said that, I do want to point out that stainless steel also contains nickel and is considered one of the safest cookware materials. So my conclusion is that unless you have an allergy to nickel, you should be safe to use the pans. I leave the final judgement to you.

      • Personally, I’d be pretty cautious about using Nickel-lined cookware, especially if the food is acidic. Nickel-lined by definition means that the surface in contact with the food is essentially 100% Nickel. I would therefore anticipate (chemist’s intuition) that Ni-lined would leach far more Ni than what is considered the maximum permissible limit for stainless steel cookware, which commonly contains no more than around 10% Nickel. BTW, in Europe there are strict limits placed on the amount of Ni that’s allowed to leach out of stainless steel pots and pans when exposed for 2 hours to 0.5% citric acid solution at 100 degrees C. According to the Council of Europe, the maximum permissible limit is 0.14 parts per million, which is almost nothing. Have no fear on reputable stainless steel cookware. But I’d advise a “better safe than sorry” approach when it comes to anything that’s Nickel-lined even if you or family members don’t suffer a Nickel allergy.

  20. Copper isn’t actually the ultimate conductor of heat. Silver is. Silver is just way too expensive to use for cookware, though. Also, it may be interesting for you to consider the thermal diffusivity chart at the cookingforengineers site, as this value takes into account also the density and specific heat of the metals. The diffusivity copper:aluminum ratio is more like 6:5 rather than the 5:3 ratio suggested by thermal conductivity alone. Sitram Catering and Demeyere Atlantis are known for having comparatively thick copper discs sandwitched in the bottom of stainless pans.


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