Plenty of skillets in the kitchen, constructed from different materials increase the efficiency of preparing different meals daily. Among all, the most popular types of cookware are stainless and copper. Most likely, stainless and copper are used in every kitchen, as both are considered premium materials.
Both are attractive and high performing, and also expensive; but the question is which one is better? Each material has its benefits and drawbacks. So, if you’re planning to buy new cookware for your day-to-day kitchen task but have confusion between stainless steel pans and copper pans, take a deep dive into the article for different aspects to make the right choice.
Differentiate Between Copper and Stainless Pans
Here are some key points to help you know how a copper pan differs from stainless steel pans.
1. Copper Vs Stainless – Looks
Both Copper and Stainless Steel Pans are high-end pieces in terms of looks.These materials are inclined to have a shiny polished from the outside of the pans. Depending on your kitchen looks and choice of taste, you will realize that matte and lovely finishes are available.
The most common stainless steel has been used over the years, as the demand for this material has never diminished.It has a sleek and modern aesthetic that enhances the beauty of a variety of kitchen styles and interiors. On the other hand, copper has a rustic and distinctive look that complements any kitchen type.
The copper pans feature a reddish-brown exterior with a silvery interior, making it a perfect piece of cookware for the kitchen. If you’re looking for a skillet that matches your farmhouse-chic interior décor, these pans would be an excellent option. The skillets in both copper and stainless steel can double as serving ware depending on aesthetic choice.
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2. Copper Vs Stainless Steel – Durability
Copper is least durable than stainless steel. Pans made of stainless steel are corrosion-resistant, extremely durable, sturdy, and has long service life; but it can be scratched, dented, or chimed if not used properly. One significant benefit of using stainless steel pan is that it preserves its shape even after frequent or rough use. If you have an expensive stainless skillet, it may have a long span depending on your maintenance and care.
On the other hand, copper is fragile and softer metal likely to scratch, tarnish, and other damage. With frequent use, its exterior shine can fade off.By spending on frequent polishing, you can restore it to an earlier life.
The service life of the cooking base varies from the material. Stainless steel requires less care and maintenance and is highly durable. While copper cookware has a tin cooking surface, which is less durable because it is extremely soft and can be broken by metal spatulas or other utensils.
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3. Copper Vs Stainless Steel – Construction
Copper skillets typically have a copper exterior and a less reactive metal interior lining to enhance the versatility of the pan. Pure copper cookware reacts with acidic food & release small particles atoms of metal, thereby causing a metallic taste. Consumption of these copper metals will make your food unpleasant but don’t harm the body.
The quality of and the cookware depends on the metals combined & the technique used to design cookware. Copper is a slightly expensive metal that’s why some manufacturers add a copper layer on any other metal like aluminium with copper plate or steel with copper plate. The construction of this cookware is comparatively much less than pure copper. The perfect example of this type of copper is Analon Nouvelle Copper.
Cookware made of stainless steel comes in a variety of materials. Compounds like nickel, chromium, and molybdenum are being used in the construction of stainless steel.
Stainless steel cookware is considered 100% pure when the outer and inner steel layers are connected by a core layer of aluminium that extends completely. Generally, the two types of stainless used in the production of cookware, one which is 18/8 – 18% chromium and 8% nickel, and the second 18/10 – 18% chromium and 10% nickel. The latter one is more resistant to rust and corrosion.
Since pure stainless steel is not a good source of high heat, so, you can consider conductive metals. The market is full of the best conductive stainless steel skillets made with copper or aluminium core to reduce hot remarks and improve heat distribution.
When looking for stainless steel pan, you will check the thickness terms, such as three-ply, five-ply, or tri-ply. It indicates the number of tuck layers; however, 3-ply is standard, 5-ply is the thicker and bigger size which heats more evenly.
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4. Copper Vs Stainless Steel – Heat Conduction
Heat Conduction is meant to evenly distribute heat and quickly heat up. Copper has excellent thermal conductivity than stainless steel. Without having spots on the exterior, the cookware evenly distributes the temperature across the entire surface.
Just the opposite, stainless steel cookware has low heat distribution properties. During the construction of the process, it may be improved. In pure stainless steel, the heat change is uneven and unstable, and if you are an untrained chef, you will get undercooked parts or burnt food.
Whether you’re a beginner or professional chef, you’ll have better cooking results through copper cookware. That doesn’t mean you will ignore the stainless steel. Still, you should require more skills and attention to work with copper skillets.
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5. Copper Vs Stainless Steel – Compatibility for Induction
Like stainless steel, the copper skillet is not safe for induction use, as it is can’t be magnetized due to ferromagnetic metal. Copper cookware won’t work on an induction top. Even, not all stainless cookware is safe for induction cooking as stainless steel is an alloy constructed of different elements such as carbon, chromium, and nickel. Unlike, pure stainless steel is induction-compatible. In simple words, stainless steel with great nickel properties is not safe for induction use.
6. Copper Vs Stainless Steel – Price
Copper is a very expensive material, as compared to stainless steel. Depending on the types of cookware and models, the price varies. You have to pay 25% money on copper cookware. Furthermore, the price of cookware also depends on other factors, such as dishwasher maintenance, handles, lids, surface, etc. Copper cooks the food evenly and is extremely durable, which is a great value for money. Some models are equipped with cheaper materials such as nickel, which are affordable. Gold layers and Silvers layers on copper skillets enhance the value significantly.
On the other hand, stainless steel cookware is neither too expensive nor cheaper. They are available in a wide array of the price range. By chance, you can find well-structured and versatile pans from stainless steel material at an affordable price range.
7. Copper Vs Stainless Steel – Low-fat Cooking
The copper cookware is meant for low-fat cooking as it has non-stick properties on its own, and doesn’t need any seasoning. Without added oil or fat, you can prepare several dishes with aroma and lots of flavours. Thereby, it requires less fat and oil and maintains the quality of food you cook. On the other hand, stainless steel is completely free from non-stick coating; therefore the food can easily stick to it. Hence, it is going to be good with copper to prepare crepes, pancakes, eggs, and sear fish without adding food oil.
8. Copper Vs Stainless Steel – Flavours
It’s difficult to figure out which one affects the flavours of foods. Traditional used stainless steel is popular because it is safe and doesn’t change the food flavours. Moreover, depending on the ingredient you used in the dish, or on your cooking skills, the taste may change. The majority is that the stainless steel is perfect for preparing delicious meals without losing nutrients and flavours.
Unlike stainless steel, copper can react with acidic food which may add a metallic taste and disturb the flavour. You can desirable flavours and blend of food juices with a non-reactive copper pan since it can help you cook food evenly.
9. Copper Vs Stainless Steel – Probable Risk
Stainless is considered the safest material because it doesn’t react with any type of food. There is no risk of releasing toxic metals in this material. On the other side, copper can release toxins and react to acidic food during the cooking process, which can harm your body. Thereby, there is a bit risk of consumption of little heavy metal poisoning.
10. Copper Vs Stainless Steel – Maintenance and Care
Copper cookware has lined with tin or nicked material which makes cleaning tasks easier. That spreads heat evenly, so the food isn’t stuck to the pan, therefore reducing the need for scrubbing. At the same time, it is inclined to scratches so you have to be even careful while it’s cleaning. On the other hand, stainless steel is completely safe for dishwasher and manual cleaning.
Both copper and stainless have a scenario in the terms of construction, price, maintenance, performance, appearance, construction, and care.
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Hi, my name is Ashley Robinson. I’m a food blogger and a part time chef in Food & Drink Junction, Denver. With my blog I’m sharing information & tutorials about different kinds of cooking pans.