Brooklyn Copper Cookware - artisanal masterpieces!

The big box from Brooklyn Copper Cookware (BCC) arrived this evening, and I just unpacked the 6 QT casserole + lid, and the 3 QT sauté pan. They are thick and heavy hand-made tin-lined 3mm copper pots with cast iron handles.

Brooklyn Copper Cookware in on to something - these pots are very special indeed and BCC deserves hearty congratulations for producing these wonders! I am in awe - these are artisanal masterpieces, heirloom cookware that will make many wonderful meals during my lifetime and for generations to come. I can’t wait to start cooking with them!

BCC currently offers a selective range of products including a 3 QT sauté pan, a 3 QT rondeau, and a 6 QT casserole with a 10” lid that also fits on all of their current 9.5” diameter pots. They will be reintroducing a slightly smaller 14 QT version of their original 16 QT stock pot, and have announced the pending release of 1, 2, and 3 QT sauce pans:

http://www.brooklyncoppercookware.com

The Brooklyn Copper Cookware pots are more artisanal than my Mauviel pieces. The BCC pots are thick 3mm copper lined with tin, and they are entirely made by hand. My Mauviel pots & pans are all current production (acquired new in 2015) 2.5mm copper lined with SS, except for a tin-lined 11" rondeau which is 3.3mm thick. Mauviel is made on a larger scale with more automation, and so appear to be more modern than the BCC pots.

If I could use a musical example to illustrate the similarities and differences between Mauviel and BCC: Imagine the Bach cello suites played on a modern cello with steel strings by Mstislav Rostropovich as opposed to Anner Bylsma playing a Stradivarius cello with gut strings. Rostropovich is appealing to more modern sensibilities in his style of playing, while Bylsma is striving for authenticity with a more historically informed performance practice that is as close as possible to what Bach would have heard. Both performances are superlative, engaging, and relevant - I enjoy them both immensely, and they both nourish the soul. To me Mauviel is akin to the more modern interpretation, and BCC is the more authentic and historically informed performance. They both have a place in my kitchen.

I imagine that Mauviel made pots in say 1905 that were more comparable to what BCC makes today than to what Mauviel is currently producing. They have grown far beyond the operation they started in 1830, and have evolved into a modern interpretation of their artisanal roots. They are still a relatively small company owned and run by the 7th generation of the founding family, but they have a product range that appeals to multiple markets and price points, of which high end-copper is but one of their offerings. BCC on the other-hand is making a selective range of artisanal copper products by hand and without compromise. They are appealing to those cooks who want to reach the pinnacle of their craft, much as the Stradivarius workshop once did for musicians many generations ago.

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oh, oh! Just having a new Vent-a-Hood installed ahead of receiving my gently rehabbed Chambers stove, so shekels are in short supply. . . but the Brooklyn Copper rondeau is calling my name. And then you had to post this. Have some mercy! :grinning:

Within two hours of posting the above review on another forum (eGullet), I was greeted with a pop-up message saying "you are banned from this site”. After a brief email exchange with a moderator, I was reinstated with the explanation that “we get a lot of spammers – when your first post appeared to be an advertisement we banned the account”.

OK, fair enough… So, to be very clear, I am in no way affiliated with Brooklyn Copper Cookware other than as a recent customer, and lover of copper cookware. My review was written as a way of bringing attention to the resurgence of outstanding artisanal copper cookware manufacturing in North America. Such small artisanal manufacturers appeal to a very small, specialized, and hard to reach niche audience. It was my intent to bring awareness to other like-minded lovers of copper cookware.

I have read many independent reviews of products on this and other forums from independent users, and this was my way of contributing similar helpful content. This was not spam as I am simply a recent customer in another country who works in a completely unrelated industry. Cooking is a hobby.

The moderator reinstated my account with the following explanation: “I’ve reactivated your account. Please keep in mind that as a new member with a single post to your name your content is viewed in a very negative light by our members, who immediately assumed you are a shill (and complained loudly about how I could allow such an obvious spammer entrance to these forums!). Only your future posts will be able to dissuade them of that view."

I would hope that it is more customary on such forums to view new content in a more positive light and be more welcoming of new members. My interactions on this forum have been very positive and members have been most helpful and forthcoming with helpful advice and information.

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The insularity and suspicion over at eG is one of the reasons it’s so moribund. The plankholders over there really do judge others negatively if their posting totals aren’t high enough.

Ironically, there are products flogged all the time over there, and nary a word is said. Two recent examples are the Rancho Gordo bean pots and the Searz-All.

Don’t let them give you any shit.

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Thanks Kaleo! As a friend of mine likes to say in such situations, FTITCTAJ (F… Them If They Can’t Take A Joke)!!!

On a more serious note, a topic worth discussing is the trepidation some have regarding cooking with tin-lined copper cookware. Copper has superlative thermal conductivity, as does tin. With proper care and attention, you can protect the tin lining for many years. All you have to do is use wood or silicone utensils, and never metal ones, and clean it with only a soft sponge. You also have to be mindful that tin begins to melt around 425 degrees, so you will not leave an empty pan on a hot burner or sear streaks in a tin-lined pan - that is what cast iron is for!

The advantages of tin are twofold - it has excellent thermal conductivity, and it is very smooth and non-stick relative to stainless steel. A tin-lined copper rondeau is ideal for say browning and then braising meat.

When Julia Child published “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in 1961, she did much or her cooking in tin-lined heavy copper cookware. And if you watch her early black and white videos, she did not baby that cookware or avoid using metal utensils. She bought all of her copper cookware in Paris from E. Dehillerin, which continues to sell copper cookware made in Normandy by Mauviel. Today the thicker copper cookware is available lined with either stainless steel (2.5mm thick pots) or traditional tin (3.3mm thick pots).

In the chapter on Kitchen Equipment in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, under the heading ‘A Note on Copper Pots’ Julia Child wrote: “Copper pots are the most satisfactory of all to cook in, as they hold and spread the heat well, and their tin lining does not discolour foods. … To get the full benefit of cooking in copper, the metal must be 1/8 of an inch thick, and the handle should be of heavy iron. The interior of the pot is lined with a wash of tin, which must be renewed every several years when it wears off…”.

To my horror she also wrote cleaning instructions that today would be considered destructive: “The tin lining is cleaned with steel wool and scouring powder, but do not expect it to glitter brightly again once you have used the pot for cooking. (All cleaning, alas, removes infinitesimal bits of the tin lining.)” - And so would sand-blasting it or using grinding power tools!!! A gentler approach would be the standard of care today…

Tin-lined heavy copper cookware has it’s place next to more modern stainless steel lined copper cookware, and both have pride of place on my shelf as I enjoy learning how best to cook with both.

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You touch on a good point, namely: relatively few modern cooks, even chefs and food blog poo-bahs, have much–if any–experience actually cooking in thick, tin-lined copper. Even noted food writers mostly just repeat the same old hearsay.

Thanks to Soye and BCC and a few others, that is changing. I’ve been after Mac to start a copper guild, to help educate people and foster copperware use.

A Cooper Guild is a great idea. Perhaps we could start by encouraging Mac to participate in this forum. A positive experience as a contributor may well be a good first step in that process?

Mac is quite busy right now, and I believe would not want to make the same impression you unwittingly made at eGullet.

FWIW, the eG mods have taken down your latest post, as well as mine welcoming you there…

The mods at eG moved part of the thread to the little visited members-only “Moderation and Policy Discussion” forum:

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/152630-brooklyn-copper-cookware-artisanal-masterpieces/

This type of censorship of a civilized and rational argument places a damper on freedom of speech and freedom of expression, and is an example of how not to attract and retain new members to a forum.

And they also moved a very positive and welcoming post from an existing member (boilover - is that you K?). Many thanks for the welcoming message!

Here are some photos of the Brooklyn Copper Cookware 3 QT sauté pan in action, making a quick Friday evening stove top braise. I browned chicken thighs and then braised them in white wine with potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, preserved lemons, onions, and thyme. A simple one-pot meal!

And boy do I miss my gas stove! My apologies for the crappy cooktop, but I am living temporarily in a rented condo as a result of ‘downsizing my marital status’. I am now in a position to buy something more permanent, and my real estate agent known that no gas is a deal-breaker.

Sometimes absence of gas makes us wish for it again…

Today’s project was making a stew of beef marinated in red wine. I have been documenting the process…

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Hello Toronto416,

i hope you are fine! Congratulations to your nice pots (and the lovely meal)!
I’m interested in the Mauviel M’Tradition series (tin lined copper, I assume that your Mauviel 3.3mm rondeau is from this series).
In my opinion it is not necessarily a bad thing that Mauviel produces their cookware using machines, as far as I could find out, the machines they use are still operated by humans and not entirely automated. If you set aside, that the BCC-cookware has a more artisanal and handmade feeling to it, would you still describe the tin lined Mauviel cookware as “high end” or are there details that could have been done in a more careful or nicer way?

You wrote “BCC on the other-hand is making a selective range of artisanal copper products by hand and without compromise.”

In your opinion, what compromises does Mauviel (tin lined) make, if you please don’t consider that their products don’t have that artisanal feel? Are they as well made as Mauviel claims? Do you think your tin lined Mauviel rondeau will last a life-time if taken good care of? Any differences while cooking concerning head distribution etc.?

Not all Mauviel tin lined pots have the same thickness (3.3mm), it depends on the size. Are there any differences concerning heat distribution if you compare the 2.5 mm ss lined pans to the 3mm BCC ones (I know, difficult to answer because of the different lining but I’m interested in the effects of the thickness)?

You would really help me if you’d answer my questions because I’ve searched a lot during the last few weeks and you are the first person who has both series. Thank you!!

Sincerely
F

Both Mauviel and Brooklyn Copper Cookware make high quality tin-lined heavy copper cookware. In addition, Mauviel makes other lines of SS-lined copper, clad, and induction cookware etc. They are a much larger company, and do not make everything by hand.

Brooklyn Copper Cookware is entirely made by hand, and they only make tin-lined heavy copper cookware. They have a smaller range of products, with more to come, and are more artisanal.

I don’t have identical pieces, but I do have a BCC 3QT sauté pan and a Mauviel M’tradition 11" rondeau. They are both over 3mm thick and are lined with tin. They both have lids, and so I have cooked similar dishes in both that involved browning and then braising meat. They both performed equally well. The Mauviel 11" rondeau has bronze handles with 2 rivets each (and not 3 as they once used), and has a hammered exterior. I imagine it was hammered by machine as it looks too perfect to have been done by hand (but I am just speculating). Both companies make high quality products that will last for generations, and will outlast us.

Comparing Mauviel and BCC would be like comparing a high quality off the rack suit (such as a Brioni) with a bespoke suit. Both will look good, but one will feel somewhat better and be more hand crafted.

I am happy to have both Mauviel and BCC in my collection.

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Yesterday I made a stew with beef marinated in red wine, using the recipe in the book “Cooking” by James Peterson (Ten Speed Press 2007) pgs 182-183. It was delicious!

I used my SS-lined Mauviel copper frypan and my new Brooklyn Copper Cookware 6QT casserole to good effect:







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Wow, great photos. Thanks!

Thanks to Mac Kohler’s unflagging efforts, we now have a top-flite, new, artisan, USA-made alternative to vintage Euro pieces.

All hyperbole aside, there really isn’t any better cookware available anywhere. Some might prefer other marks’ styling, but BCC’s is unmistakably American–just like its craftsmanship. I look forward to the BCC line’s expansion, and perhaps to silver linings. I will personally nominate Mac for a Beard if he can resurrect and perfect for us Sheffield plated copperware like Bill Moran did with reinventing Damascus steel.

Aloha,
Kaleo

I definitely would like to see at least a few more pieces added.

Thank you a lot for your answer!
I found a video where they show how they hammer their pots: They have a pneumatic hammer that periodically moves up and down and a worker turns the pot…

And on Sunday I reduced the sauce - and it transformed the stew - what a difference a day makes!

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