Cast iron or copper lined?

HBS Guy

Head Honcho
Staff member
Pots and pans that is.

I watch a lot of cooking shows (well, the TV is on, sometimes I give it attention.)

Chefs tend to use cast iron pans lined with ceramic errr liner. Cast iron retains heat and spreads it evenly. You can buy wonderful, high quality pans made by Le Creuset in France. LOTS of chefs use them and they are wonderful and truly high quality. If you don’t mind paying $500–1000+ for one pan. I have two small ones, the braiser is tiny, does a cup of rice for great risottos—I was after a braiser for making 3-4 batches of stew etc so I could eat one, freeze three. Back to the drawing board on that one! Got a small Le Creuset saucepan, each cost me $255.

Watching “Martha Stewart Bakes” right now. She has copper–lined pans (copper on the outside, natch.) Now, I have a WONDERFUL stainless steel preserving pan with a thick slab of copper sealed in the ss bottom. Never gone close to burning anything in this—and Mum found it for me at an op shop, bought it for me for just: $4! ($400 would be what it is worth to me! I make a lot of marmalade!)

So—cast iron, copper bonded in ss or copper lined pans? Any facts, any opinions?



PS: in antique shops you will find all–copper jam pans. You can safely make jam in them now, I am assured but ONLY jam (incl marmalade.) The pectin in fruit makes copper a safe substrate but for fruit only!

So how good is an external copper skin? In terms of retaining and spreading heat? Nice copper pans look nice in the kitchen, of course.

Anybody have an idea?
 

HBS Guy

Head Honcho
Staff member
In the same vein I see lots of chefs use the Cuisinart stand mixers. Now, I was leaning to one myself but “AustRanger” who used to post here convinced me to get a Kenwood Chef stand mixer, the biggest domestic version. I did and am happy about it. It has a 1400W motor—even mixing a HUGE batch of bread dough I did not detect any warming of the motor and it has a shitload of accessories: mincer, food processor, juicer, blender and spice grinding jars are standard and I bought the moulie/food mill attachment.

But I bought a Cuisinart hand held mixer and it is a solid bit of kit!
 

Texan

Active member
I'll need to consider things like this when I build my own place. We use a mixture of everything right now. O like the teflon nonstick coating for eggs and other quick items. Clean up is easy and they are light weight. You do have to use nonmetallic utensils or you'll damage the coating.

I like the stainless with the copper filled base for larger and longer cooking items. Also easy to clean.

Iron is a pain to clean, but the absence of a plastic insulated handle allows you to put it in the oven as well. Its also impossible to damage. Even rust could be sanded off. To clean it, I wash it and then spray it with cooking oil and heat all moisture off of the skillet before wiping the skillet down with the heated oil. The iron skillets don't typically come with lids either. I miss that.
 
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HBS Guy

Head Honcho
Staff member
The pans with copper on the outside and stainless steel lining inside are not as expensive as the cast iron with ceramic lining pans. They are lots lighter tho.
 
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