Getting into copper

Ohh, well that would explain why water in my copper pot won’t come to a boil.

“Doesn’t copper work well on all but induction ranges?”

Yes and no.

The copper cookware itself is wonderfully responsive to heat changes, but then can only be as responsive as the type of range you’re cooking on. Gas ranges are immediately responsive, changing heat output instantaneously with the slightest movement of the knob. Smooth-top ranges are woefully slow to respond to heat changes. If their tops are cool, they have to warm before they can start heating your cookware. And if they’re hot, they have to cool before your cookware can begin cooling. Gas is the exotic sports car of heat input, while smooth-top is the ocean-liner. Cal-rod electrics are somewhere in-between. And I’ve not cooked on halogens, so I don’t know where they fall in the hierarchy.

And then there’s Kaleo’s wood stove … :wink:

Yep. I think it is just different approaches of making different styles of egg omelette

Hmmm, interesting. Are there lead “home test” kits? These both came with Baumalu tags, and sport the oval Baumalu stamp to the right of the handle. By contrast, the thinner fry pan I picked up a few years ago came with no tag and has absolutely no markings.

Congratulations on your new purchases!

You can buy home lead test kits at Home Depot (and the like). Some are instant read, others you have to mail in. Amazon of course has everything. Speaking of purchases, the Falk warehouse clearance event ends Monday. Although I have a lot of tin-lined, I also appreciate the stainless lined for applications where I begin to skirt the upper temp limit (gratins, etc).

I was going to echo the theme of chicken braises (Hazan’s chicken with lemon, for example). You can do a ragu to experience the wonderful simmer you can get with the saute.

@chem – I came to the same conclusion about the tamagoyaki pan. Unless you make the Japanese sweet rolled omelettes or do a lot of makisushi, it is a bit of a unitasker.

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Thanks gearguy! Wow, you’ve got a lot of copper in that photo! Do you use anything else? (cast iron, tri-ply)
I’m thinking my All Clad pans will still be useful for hi-temp uses that might damage the copper’s tin lining.

After four meals (two breakfasts & two dinners), I think my best initial description of copper’s difference is that the cooking seems more “gentle” to the food than in my other pans. I’m sure that’s part of the “control” you mention!

So, besides the rondeau, what pieces are you still going to get? :slight_smile:

Thanks Kaleo! The haul isn’t finished yet! (I’m blaming you, just so you know.)

Yes the SS handle on these pans stay amazingly cooler compared to the cast iron handle of the unmarked 1.7mm pan I’ve been using! I’ve always had to use a towel to grab that CI handle, but the Mauviel’s SS handle only ever got a little warm. The same amazing result on the smaller Baumalu saute, with its high-arcing CI handle - it never got too warm to handle w/o protection.

The past two nights I’ve used the smaller saute to make my dinner. The ingredients were the same both nights (beef tenderloin, onion, carrot, potato, red bell pepper, portabella, tomato, garlic), but I prepared them differently. I enjoyed the second version (tonight’s) better, & wished I hadn’t run out of the 2011 Nebbiolo so soon! :slight_smile:

Thanks for all of thought-provoking pro-copper knowledge you’ve shared over the years! :thumbsup:

`[quote=“Eiron, post:20, topic:4514”]
copper’s difference is that the cooking seems more “gentle” to the food

Yup. Now try super delicate sauces. You’ll be amazed that it will be more difficult to burn/scorch delicate sauces in there. And congrats, your pans look beautiful. I hope you get a lot of great use out of them!

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That’s really not a good enough excuse to not buy it :wink:

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the cooking seems more “gentle” What an excellent description of copper.I’m glad you are enjoying tthe use and as for me, I think my wife has put her foot down on the copper purchase. LOL I got my rodeau this week so I really don’t need anything else but if I’m somewhere and a pot is for sale, well it just might come home with me. Forgot to say the besides copper yes I use cast iron a lot.Not so much stainless anymore.

No problem, Greg. Enjoy.

@ Gearguy,
you must have some amazingly strong walls! Great collection!
Pretty soon, the chest will have to go if the copper addiction continues…
Unless of course you have hard to hang pieces within! ; )

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Hi, Greg:

Go to the last page of this link for a discussion of the fake Baumalu in discount places.

Hopefully yours are genuine.

Here’s a home lead testing kit:


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Way to go on the copper scores Greg! Thanks for the share. Nice photos. I didn’t know Mauviel had a stainless handle tin lined range. I thought it was the M’Tradition with the good thickness that could be hand hammered or not on some pieces with Bronze/brass/CI handles.

I caught the copper bug only a year ago but already have a decent size batterie de cuivre. At some point I will share a little. Just a little embarrassing, nice copper with my apt kitchen and stove.

This is my latest grab. A 28cm De Buyer 2mm full size single CI handle saute. I can tell already that I will get good use out of this one. You can’t toss/maneuver a 2.5mm Saute in the same size like you can with this one.Thats why I went with the two handle 2.5 mm rondeau and got the single handle 2.0 mm saute.

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I’m going to tack this onto your post kaleo. I read the post about the fakes and I have several Baumalu pans, so was interested in testing. I came across this article.
What should I test this with?
I think if you use the lead check test by 3M and it comes back positive, you know that piece has lead but if the test comes back negative, that doesn’t mean there’s no lead. I have read different things about how sensitive these tests are. I’m not sure if they have even determined what a safe level of lead would be. I do wonder if any other retinners have experienced this. I can find nothing else on the internet about it. I would be interested in the chemistry and what the reaction is for tin vs lead.

Hi, wekick:

Well, good luck with ever saying there’s ZERO lead–pretty much anywhere.

The last tin ingot I bought came with an assay. I believe its purity was determined to be 99.95%. Of the remaining 0.05%, I think the assay showed lead being present at a trace level of 0.001%. This equates to 10ppm.

The 3M product I cited is only going to register positive at 600ppm (0.06%) or greater. Since I’m comfortable with this level for the short time food is actually being cooked in tin-lined pans, I’m also comfortable with the 3M test for assessing counterfeit pans.

For anyone who’s not comfortable with that small level, by all means use a more sensitive test. But for me, the Rapid Test swabs would be TOO sensitive.


Thanks Ross! I guess these pans are discontinued by Mauviel, which is how I got them at a significantly reduced price.

Just take really close-up pictures of your copper stuff. That way you minimize the “embarrassing” areas. :slight_smile:

I’ve used the smaller 8.5" saute a couple of times & liked it a lot. I do hope to get something slightly heavier in the future, but the 2mm saute worked wonderfully for the couple of meals I prepared in it. I already know I’ll love it every time I use it! :sunny:

Hi wekick,

I’m going to jump in here as well. I read thru the link you provided. (Great stuff! Thanks!) As with any search for data, there can often be more than a single thing to consider when testing a contact surface for lead. As stated in the article, one of those things is the degree to which the lead in your object is “free” to migrate out of that object. Does the tin “bind” with the lead? Is the lead “loose” within the tin & able to transfer freely into food? I’m not a metallurgist, so I can’t answer those kinds of questions.

I agree with you, there will always be some question as to whether any test is sensitive or accurate enough. Unfortunately, we all have to rely on somebody else to give us that feeling of security, whether it’s the company that makes the home test kit, or the lab that does the testing for us. However, based on the information & testing examples provided in your link, the 3M “Lead Check Swab Test” looks to be the best home test option for those of us questioning our cookware. “Test 2” (about halfway down the web page) runs all of the test methods on a metal surface. The 3M Swab (test method “C”) & X-ray Fluorescence (test method “D”) were the most reliable in this test. The more sensitive Rapid Swab Test (method “A”) doesn’t work on metal, & the Leach tests (methods “B”, “Ei”, “Eii”) were not only less consistent, but are probably beyond most people’s desires to run on their cookware.

Get the 3M swabs & at least you’ll know if you want a more sensitive test. ($22 for 8 swabs from Amazon!)

Of course, if you’re really concerned & don’t want to rely on the swabs, you can always send your pans over to Rocky Mountain Retinners & have them test your pans. (I think that’s the company who identified the lead in the eGullet post, wasn’t it?) Just be sure to ask what method they use to test with before sending your pans over. You wouldn’t want to find out they use swabs, right?

Agree. A test which can give zero is very difficult – simply because any test is about measuring “something”, not about measuring “nothing”.

Safe level of lead is another tough question. The reason for this unanswerable question is similar. We can define a toxic level where symptoms start to show. It is possible to prove “something” e.g.: at X level of lead, this happens. It is difficult to prove “nothing”. e.g. at X level, definitely nothing can happen.

If the possibility of lead in tin is concerning to you and if you don’t entire trust these home testing kit, it may simply easier not to use tin.

Hi Kaleo,

Thanks for the links! My unmarked pan looks suspiciously like the one in that discussion! It’s never flaked off sections of tin, but I’ve decided to retire it to “decoration” status anyway. I’m a little peeved, as I think I spent $50 on that pan! Oh well …

Both Home Depot & Lowe’s have the 3M swabs in 2-paks for $10. Amazon has an 8-pak for $22, so that’s what I bought.

I will mention a couple of differences that I’ve noticed between the suspect pan & the others, even in the few cooking sessions I’ve had with the new pans. These observations apply to both the one Mauviel frying pan and the one Baumalu saute pan I’ve used so far.

  1. Non-stick – the new pans are considerably more non-stick than the unmarked pan. The Baumalu, with its thinner copper (2mm vs 2.5mm) and thinner tin wipe, is slightly less non-stick than the Mauviel. But it’s still noticeably more non-stick than the 1.7mm unmarked pan ever was! (Perhaps to my benefit, the stickiness of the unmarked pan dissuaded me from using it; it was significantly less enjoyable to use - and more difficult to clean - than my All Clad Copper Core pans!)
  2. Comfort – the handles of the new pans stay cool to the touch! The unmarked pan has always required the use of a towel once cooking started. Maybe this is obvious to others, but it’s new to me! It wasn’t too much of a surprise that, like the handles of my All Clad pans, the SS handle of the Mauviel stays comfortably cool. But the cast iron handle of the Baumalu also stays cool. Obviously, the high-arching saute handle is positioned farther away from the heat source than the handle of a frying pan. But, with 20% heavier copper in the saute, I expected heat transfer into the handle to be similar.

Once I get my test swabs, I’ll let everyone know the results of the various pans.