What are the benefits and advantages of copper cookware?
Copper cookware has many benefits and advantages: beauty, longevity and value retention to name a few. Copper pans looks pretty and their durability makes them an incredible value.
However, there’s one advantage of copper cookware (some would say the most important advantage) that surprises people who have never cooked with copper – high thermal conductivity.
We’ll get to the importance of thermal conductivity in cooking in a moment, but let’s take a look a demonstration that will give you and idea of the extent of copper’s superior conductive properties over stainless steel. If you don’t have 5 minutes of your life to spend watching strips of metal get hot, we’ll walk you through it.
In the demonstration, a strip of Falk 2.5mm bimetal (consisting of 2.3mm copper bonded to .2mm of stainless steel) and an equivalent-sized strip of steel were each separately heated on one end. The thermal conductivity of each strip was measured by attaching a temperature sensor to the opposite (non-heated) end of the strip.
After 2:00 minutes, the temperature of the bimetal’s non-heated end rose from 23C (73F) to 93C (199F) and was still rising (2:22 in the video). After 2:00, the temperature of the steel’s non-heated end rose to 32C (90F) (5:05 in the video)*. You can see a chart of the temperature changes at the 5:10 mark.
The obvious conclusion from this demonstration is that Falk bimetal is a superior thermal conductor to steel alone. In real world cooking conditions, this means that a Falk pan will heat up and cool down quicker than a stainless steel pan. It also means that Falk copper pans will not have “hot spots” like you find in stainless steel. Furthermore, your Falk copper pans will get much hotter, when needed, than a stainless steel pan. These are true benefits that any cook should appreciate.
Think about frying an egg in a pan that’s too hot or too cold. A copper frying pan’s surface will react much quicker to your attempt to adjust the pan’s temperature than a stainless steel pan would.
Will any of this make you a better cook? Not necessarily. But the proper tools will always help you to achieve your full potential.
Do you have any thoughts or questions about the benefits and advantages of copper cookware? If so, please leave your thoughts below.
*Note: the temperature sensor was still slightly hot when attached to the steel strip, so the thermal readings of the steel seem to have started off artificially inflated. This doesn’t have any affect on the conclusion that copper has higher thermal conductivity than steel.