Copper Cookware vs Man-Made Non-Stick

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Sara, here

I often get people asking me how easy copper is to care for, and I explain that it’s actually just as easy, if not easier, than cast iron. Why? Because unlike cast iron, which needs to be seasoned to stave off rust, copper doesn’t need that kind of upkeep. Otherwise, the care of either is pretty much the same: handwash, don’t use sharp tools or metal when cooking, clean with warm water and a soft cloth.

What I did find interesting was the use and care instructions of a little “ceramic” non-stick piece of cookware we picked up so my 6 year old can cook eggs in the morning (the 8-year-old already goes, gets eggs from the chickens, and cooks on a copper skillet without issue).

Here are the instructions on the cheap non-stick pan, which are pretty much exactly the same as tin-lined copper cookware:


Before use, wash your new cookware with soapy water, then rinse and dry.

Simply wash in water with soap or any common detergent.

Use only wooden or nylon utensils.

Never cut food in the pan interior.

High heat can permanently discolor and damage the cookware.

Avoid using abrasive cleaners.

Do not allow cookware to boil dry.

Handles will become hot when cookware is used in oven or prolonged stove top use. Always use pot holders or oven mitts.

Do not immerse your pan into cold water after use as this may result in warping.

Do not slide your cookware on glass cook top as this may scratch the surface.

Never leave an empty pan on a hot burner.

When cooking, always use the lowest heat possible.

Additional instructions for the non-stick cookware which are NOT needed for tin-lined copper were:

** Periodically wipe the inside of the pan with cooking oil to maintain the interior of the non-stick pan.

**Do not allow handles to extend over hot burners.

** Always try to match the size of pan to the heating element; adjust gas flame so it doesn’t extend up the sides of the cookware

Anyway, I just found it ironic that the non-stick stuff is just as “fussy” as tin-lined copper, having almost exactly the same instructions for use and care. Ain’t that interesting?!

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