When cooking with copper cookware be aware that it heats up faster than other types of cookware so you want to start out with a lower heat than normal. Since stoves heat differently it may take some time to learn the proper heat setting for your copper cookware. It is best to let foods get to room temperature before cooking them with copper cookware. Copper cookware isn’t non-stick and putting cold food in a warm pan will cause it to stick instantly. When cooking be sure not to use sharp metal utensils. Copper cookware is usually lined with something like stainless steel so metal utensils that are blunt should be okay to use.
Before using a copper cookware set for the first time you should thoroughly hand wash it and immediately dry by hand. For later cleanings there are many different options. Copper cookware will tarnish with age and use, it may change color or it can even develop purple streaks. If you are someone that likes the tarnished look of copper then you are fine to just clean it with warm water, dish soap and a soft cloth or sponge. If you are the type of person that likes your copper to be shiny, you have options that include store bought creams and homemade pastes. Some examples of store bought anti-tarnish creams are Calphalon Radiance Cleaner, Wrights Copper Cream, Siege Instant Copper Cleaner and Penny Brite Copper Cleaner. Simply follow the cleaners instructions to apply.
Here are some examples of homemade copper cleaners:
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar (this can also be replaced with lemon juice) and 2 tablespoon’s of coarse salt and apply the mixture using a soft cloth, then use warm water to rinse
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar add flour until the mixture forms a paste and buff clean using a soft cloth.
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice, add baking soda until it forms a paste and buff clean using a soft cloth
- A bottle of ketchup and some time on your hands to let it sit on the cookware(let it sit over night). It will cleanse due to the vinegar in the ketchup. (A good test for this is on a penny). Once you have let it sit over night just clean it with a damp sponge.
If proper care is given to your copper cookware it can last a long time. Make sure to follow the cookware manufacturers care instructions to get the most life out of your cookware. You can read ceramic cookware reviews if you need safe and healthy cookware.