It seems that copper cookware is the latest trend in the arena of food and dining, and rightfully so! After what seems like ages, copper cookware is finally getting the hype it deserves.
But if you want to switch over to copper or even just start including it in your kitchen set-up, there's a lot that you need to know about it. Copper is a tricky material to work with it, and when done right, it can be highly beneficial. But done wrong, you'll not enjoy the experience one bit.
To know how you can use the best copper cookware to the fullest of your abilities, read this article where we elaborate on the benefits of copper cookware, the ways to use it, and more.
The History Behind Copper
Copper has been a widely used material for a long while, and the usage of copper cookware can be traced back to 9000BC, in the middle east, which suggests that human beings had started using it during the Neolithic period. One of the oldest pieces of copper cookware was found in Northern Iraq, which dated back to 8700 BC. Historical studies have also shown that copper was widely used in Egypt for medical practices and cooking, due to its antibacterial properties.
Southeast Asian countries like India also have the usage of copper vessels etched into their culinary history. The use of "kadhais" in Mughlai cuisine, for the preparation of spiced curries and rice, was commonplace and continues to be practiced even today.
However, as time progressed, Europe also began to cherish copper, especially the French. Famous cook and TV personality, Julia Child spoke highly about copper cookware and its convenience due to its excellent heat conduction, and its ability to spread heat evenly.
Benefits of Copper Cookware
We've been gushing about copper cookware for a while now, but we haven't started why exactly. Read on as we list a few of the most prolific benefits of copper as a cooking tool.
1.Great Conductor of Heat - Copper cookware heats up incredibly fast since it is a great conductor of heat. You can get copper to reach precise temperatures within minutes. It even cools down just as quickly as it heats up, making it the perfect material if you want to make sauces and confectionary since they both require exactness in temperature and cooling.
2.Heats Up Evenly - Other than being a great conductor, copper cookware heats up evenly as well and doesn't have "hot spots", where some areas tend to become hotter while the others remain cold. The even heating makes copper excellent for browning meats, such as steak cuts, and also makes it non-stick as well.
3.Long-lasting - Compared to modern cookware, copper is much more long-lasting. Despite several washes and rough usage, copper will not lose its sheen and will continue to remain beautiful for ages to come. Its excellent durability is one of the primary reasons why copper remains so sought after. Tin-lined copper pans remain intact even when you scrub it hard, which isn't the case with other non-stick pans, where the non-stick layer tends to get scraped off.
4.Anti-bacterial - We mentioned above that copper was popularly used in Egypt due to its antibacterial properties, and that holds true even today. Copper is known for preventing the growth of harmful bacteria, which is why copper vessels are used in the production and processing of dairy, cheese, and even alcohol. Water pipes in hospitals are also generally made of copper to prevent the transmission of bacteria and germs.
5.The Perfect Weight - Copper vessels have just the right weight. Unlike cast-iron, which tends to be quite heavy, copper is light and portable. You can easily move it around the kitchen when you cook, and you can carry it along with you if you want to as well. But, at the same time, it isn't flimsy and you don't have to worry about it toppling over on the stove, which is often the case with aluminum pots and pans.
Do's and Don'ts of Using Copper Cookware
If you're interested in using copper cookware, we greatly encourage you to. They're excellent tools and they offer a wide range of benefits. But, there are some important dos and don'ts to keep in mind if you do decide to dabble in cooking with copper vessels.
1.DO: Wash gently with cold water
Copper cookware is always lined with tin to make it safe to use. However, the tin lining may get damaged if you use hot water to clean it. It is suggested to use cold water, or lukewarm water, to clean your copper pans. Also, instead of keeping them submerged in water, make sure to fill them with only a bit and clean gently instead of scrubbing them.
2.DON'T: Store food for extended periods
Copper is excellent for cooking, we've already established that. But what it isn't good for is storing food. Copper, in general, is toxic and if you leave food in it, especially things that are acidic and corrosive, the substances may dissolve the metal into your food. This is a problem that may affect lined vessels as well. It is better to use copper only for cooking, and not storage.
3.DO: Keep a regular check
Copper vessels don't require too much maintenance or care, but it is good to keep a check on them once in a while. Keep an eye to see if the tin lining is damaged or showing cracks. Also, make sure that you regularly clean your cookware, and keep it stored clean and dry. It is recommended that you hand-wash and dry instead of using the dishwasher, as it'll preserve the integrity of your lined copper cookware.
4.DON'T: Place them on super-high heat
Copper vessels aren't meant for super-high heat. Extreme temperatures may cause the tin-lining to burst, pop, or crack. Similarly, do not let it heat empty either. Copper can heat up very fast and that can ruin the lining present inside. High heated frying, such as stir-fries, aren't meant for copper vessels.
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