The rosy hue of copper pots may be what initially draws you in, but for avid cooks, it’s copper’s superior heat distribution qualities that make it a worthwhile investment. While there are a lot of dupes out there that only
look like copper because of their color, the best copper cookware pieces will be made with thick, high-quality copper, often with a thin stainless steel interior.
For the highest quality copper cookware make sure to buy ones that are between
2.5 and 3 millimeters thick to maintain quick and even heating, though not all manufacturers offer precise measurements. Keep in mind copper is typically used as an exterior material, sometimes only as an inner core ring or bottom for cookware, and a pan is usually lined with stainless steel, aluminum or another non-reactive option. True copper cookware is an investment for your kitchen, but you may find it more reasonable to buy single pieces and build a copper set over time.
Copper is unique in how quickly it
responds to changes in heat, giving a cook more precision and control when preparing something delicate, like a sauce or fish. For that reason, saucepans and frying pans are a good place to invest in copper. This list covers everything from individual pieces to full cookware sets and focuses primarily on one big name in copper cookware: Mauviel. As a leader in copper cookware, Mauviel has been making products since 1830. Beloved chef Julia Child famously kept her kitchen stocked with French copper cookware, too.
Each of the picks below will be an instant kitchen upgrade, and I've also included a special cleanser to keep your beautiful copper cookware looking, well, beautiful.
We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
The Best Copper Saucepan
This high quality
copper saucepan will turn out perfect sauces, caramels, and more thanks to a thick, 2.5-millimeter copper body. The 1.9-quart saucepan is lined with stainless steel and its handles on the pan and matching lid are made of cast steel that remains cool.
The thick, solid copper is what sets this pan apart from others and allows it to heat and cool off quicker than other metals for unparalleled control over what you're cooking.
One reviewer said this pan performed “spectacularly” for making candy without any hot spots. This saucepan is also safe to use in the oven and under the broiler, which usually goes up to
550 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, this pan is compatible with any cooktop, including induction with a disc accessory for induction, which is sold separately.
If the 1.9-quart pan doesn't suit your cooking needs, this line is available in sizes that range from 0.8 to 6.1 quarts.
A helpful review: "Excellent pot and cooks so well. Boiling water is interesting as there are bubbles evenly on the bottom and sides and the boil is perfectly even. Cleanup is easy with soap and water. "
The Best Copper Frying Pan
This overall great
copper frying pan is another pick from French copper giant Mauviel . The pan has a 2.5-millimeter thick copper body and stainless steel lining. The 10-inch frying pan's cast stainless steel handles stay cool while cooking.
You can go from stovetop to oven with this pan, since it's oven-safe and broiler-safe. It's this pan's quality of copper that sets it apart, and reviewers commented that they were "blown away" by its performance and know it will last "a lifetime."
A helpful review: “Worth every penny! I’ve used it to make the perfect omelette and a beautiful seared steak ... stove to oven like a boss! Can’t decide if I like the clean polished look or leaving it the dark copper it turns once heat hits it. Def a pot that sits on my stove even when not using it.”
The Best Copper Cookware Set Under $500
If you're thinking the
best copper cookware set is the one you can afford, you'll love this 11-piece collection from Cuisinart. The manufacturer is mum on the thickness of its pans' copper exteriors, however. That said, reviewers report it’s thick enough to reap the benefits of heat conductivity, and they're happy with the upgraded quality in cookware.
Here's what the set includes: 1-quart saucepan, 2.5-quart saucepan, 5-quart sauté pan with a helper handle, 8-quart stockpot and lid; steamer insert; 8-inch skillet, and 10-inch skillet. These pots and pans with stainless steel lining are
oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. A helpful review: “I have always wanted copper pans. I could never justify the expense. [...] Once I started using them, I see why people want them. They are fantastic. I have made delicate sauces, roasted meats, fried fish etc.....I really put them through 'challenging' cooking. I was amazed at the uniformity of the heat. I was amazed at the lack of sticking, scorching even when browning meats and vegetables. They clean up as easily as any nonstick pan I have used. [...]”
The Splurge: A Complete Set Of Premium Copper Cookware
Here's the absolute
best copper cookware set if you're all in for a lifetime of cooking on copper. Mauviel makes these pots and pans with 2.5-millimeter thick solid copper bodies and stainless steel linings for unmatched cooking performance.
The set comes with a 10.2-inch skillet, a 1.9-quart saucepan with a domed lid, a 2.7-quart saucepan with a domed lid, a 3.2-quart sauté pan with a domed lid, a 6.4-quart stock pot with a domed lid, and a tub of copper cleaner to keep them looking like new.
A helpful review: “Look no further - if you love to cook and are serious about the art of it all this is by far the BEST product out there. Yes, you have to hand wash and only use silicone products while cooking and cleaning this product but it [is] well worth it. Food is ALWAYS impressively cooked to perfection. Just not enough words to say about how in love I am with Mauviel!!”
Also Consider: A High-Quality Dishwasher-Safe Pan With A Copper Core
Copper cookware can is an investment upfront and in regular maintenance since it should be washed by hand. For some of the benefits of copper at a lower price tag that requires less careful care, consider All-Clad's
copper core fry pan.
This 8-inch fry pan is made with five-ply bonded construction. Although its thickness measurement is not stated, it is designed with layers of stainless steel and aluminum around a thick copper core that contribute to even heat and more responsiveness, according to reviewers. Its stainless steel handles stay cool to the touch and are designed with a comfortable grip. This thick pan won't warp, and you'll love that it's conveniently dishwasher safe.
This pan gives you the durability and washability of stainless steel with the enhanced cooking qualities of copper thanks to that core lining. Feel free to use it in the oven and under the broiler safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, and even on induction cooktops.
A helpful review: “This pan is worth every penny, and changes the way I think about stove-top cooking. […] First, the pan itself is a thing of beauty. Wonderfully well-built, smart design, elegant, shiny and solid[...] Food cooks so evenly on this pan it's amazing. The copper core allows the pan to get hot extremely quickly, and to cook food through evenly in much less time than cheap pans. (You can do shrimp on this pan in about 45 seconds). Easy to clean, and I found no issue with even omelettes sticking- […] Buy this pan and throw away those 3 or 4 crappy pans that are cluttering up your kitchen. [...]”
Nice To Have: A Cult Favorite Cleanser & Polish
Bar Keepers Friend has been around almost as long as Mauviel, and this cult favorite cleanser and polish is loved for keeping kitchen tools clean and shiny. It's a non-abrasive powder you can use on any copper and stainless steel cookware. A helpful review: “After spending an hour scrubbing my pan with all sorts of soap, vinegar and baking soda combinations... I gave up. I ordered this and hoped for the best ... The container says it’s safe on copper so I thought what the heck! And was impressed it restored the finish as well. A must-have in my opinion for anyone who loves cooking.”