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Copper VS Stainless Steel Cookware - Detailed Comparison!

Copper VS Stainless Steel Cookware – Detailed Comparison!

Deciding the type of cookware you need in your kitchen can be tough since there are many options. If you narrow down your options to copper and stainless steel, you will still be in a dilemma because the two types are beautiful, and they make your kitchen elegant.

Copper and stainless steel have their pros and cons. It is great if you understand the features, benefits, and drawbacks of each cookware so that you can pick the best. Let us look at each of the cookware in detail.

What Is Copper cookware

Copper is a metal that has been around for about 9000 years. It is popular because it conducts heat five times better than iron and up to 20 times better than stainless steel. Copper cookware distributes heat evenly, making cooking easy and fast.

What Are They Made Of:

Copper cookware is available in four different types, namely:

  • Pure copper
  • Tin-coated copper
  • Copper plus Stainless steel coating
  • Copper plus ceramic coating

Pure copper cookware - These are mostly used to make chocolate, syrups, or caramel due to their exceptional conductivity of heat. 

Tin-coated copper cookware - Foods do not come into contact with copper in tin-coated cookware. Also, your food can cool down slowly in the cooking pot.

Copper with stainless steel coating - These pots tend to last longer compared to tin-coated copper cookware.

Copper plus ceramic cookware - The pots are very tough hence endures every kind of scratching. These pots are also very simple to clean.

Works On Which Cooktops:

Copper cookware works on all types of cookers exclusive of induction cookers. In case the cooktop is made of ceramic glass, use cookware with a thick copper wall to avoid deformation. Also, make sure that your pot is in contact with the cooktop. With a gas cooker, you can use thin-walled copper cookware since the gas flame distributes more evenly.

How To Clean Copper Cookware:

Copper is very sensitive to scratches. When cleaning, use a supple sponge soaked in lemon juice plus fine salt. Wipe the copper cookware gently. Some brands recommend the use of a cleaning paste to clean the copper cookware.

How To Use Copper Cookware:

Copper cookware heats up very fast, so you should have everything ready before you start cooking. Use silicone or wooden utensils while cooking with copper cookware to evade scratching the metal surface. Never preheat copper cookware or sear meat in them. Always polish the cookware after use to make them last longer.

Pros Of Copper Cookware

  • Antibacterial properties: Bacteria plus other germs are unable to stay alive on copper materials. This is because copper is lethal to bacteria and other microorganisms.
  • Heat conductivity: Copper is the best conductor of heat. This makes it to be an ideal bottom material for either pans or the cooking pots. You, therefore, need less energy while cooking with copper cookware hence saving a lot of energy.
  • Long-term use: Copper cookware lasts for a very long time while taken good care of it. You can polish them to sustain the beautiful look.
  • Evenly heat distribution: Copper cookware lacks hot spots that cause food burns. Your food will, therefore, cook uniformly.
  • Very attractive: Copper metal is shiny, making the products look so beautiful and classy.

Cons Of Copper Cookware:

  • Highly reactive
  • Copper reacts easily with alkaline and acidic foods
  • Very expensive
  • Copper cookware is very pricey to purchase

What Is Stainless Steel Cookware?

Stainless steel is a mixture of chromium and nickel metals. The measure of these metals determines the status of every stainless steel product. This alloy is strong and durable, and so the cooking pans and pots will serve you for years.

Stainless steel does not react with chemicals, including acidic substances making it safe for human use. This material combines with metals like copper or aluminum to enhance heat conductivity.

Works On Which Cooktops?

Stainless steel is suitable for all types of cooktops, including gas stoves and induction cooktops.

How To Clean Stainless Steel Cookware:

To clean stainless steel cookware, you must do some scrubbing for it to retain the shiny look. The best way to clean is by use of hands together with warm lathered water. Avoid using steel wool or other hard scouring pads. Instead, use Bar Keeper's Friend or baking soda only. Put the cookware in a dry place to dry. When using hard water, ensure you add vinegar to the water.

How To Use Stainless Steel Cookware:

While using stainless steel non-stick cookware, apply low or medium heat. This will prevent food scorching that damages the coating. Also, avoid metal utensils on the cookware on the non-stick materials. Instead, use wood, plastic, or silicone utensils.

Always preheat the cookware to allow the pores to close as the steel expands hence offering a smooth surface. You can also add oil after preheating.

Pros Of Stainless steel cookware

  • Ease of cleaning: Stainless steel cookware is dishwasher safe since they have a solid material that resists scratches.
  • Long-lasting: The material is strong, making it durable. It is free from rusting, chipping, or scratching.
  • Rust and corrosion-proof: Stainless steel alloy resists corrosion as well as rusting making it safe for human use.
  • Non-reactive: The material is very safe for use as it does not react with acidic foods while cooking.
  • Classic design: This material is bright and beautiful, and it always looks new even after years of use.

Cons Of Stainless Steel Cookware:

  • Poor conductor of heat: Stainless steel transfers heat very poorly, making them heat and cool very slowly. It has to be combined with other metals to boost the conductivity.
  • Sticking of food: When cooking with stainless steel pots, food sticks at the bottom and sideways. You must scrub the pots while cleaning. Also, you cannot cook food without fats as it will stick.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Q: Is copper cookware better than stainless steel?

A: Both copper and stainless steel have their advantages over the other. Depending on your cooking preference, you can choose either copper or stainless steel. Remember that copper cookware saves a lot of energy than stainless steel, while stainless steel is better when it comes to food safety than copper cookware. Also, copper cookware requires strict maintenance to last longer than stainless steel.

Q: Why is copper cookware so expensive?

A: Copper metal itself is expensive. This makes the copper cookware also to be expensive. Also, the limited supply plus high demand for copper cookware makes them expensive. Copper has very excellent heat conductivity; hence many proficient chefs like using the cookware. This feature makes it to be pricey compared to others with lesser heat conductivity.

Q: Are copper pans safe?

A: Copper pans are very safe for human use, provided they are coated with another non-reactive metal. However, non-coated copper is very reactive with acidic plus alkaline foods making it non-safe. Most of the pans are coated using either stainless steel metal or ceramic making them safe.

Q: What can you not cook in copper cookware?

A: Copper reacts with acidic and alkaline foods. Therefore, you should avoid cooking foods with a pH of less than 6.0 and foods with high acidity. This is because these foods can dissolve copper metal, making it mixed with food that is not safe for human consumption.

Q: Who makes the best copper cookware?

A: Shinueri is the best company that makes the best copper cookware. The cookware set has quality aluminum material for excellent heat conductivity. Food does not stick to the cookware; hence cleaning the cookware is easy. They are safe to use in the oven and safe for human use.


I am now confident that you can make a sound decision between copper versus stainless steel cookware. These are the most classic cookware in the market with very high demand. Every material has its pros and cons. You just need to evaluate your cooking preference then make the right decision on the right cookware to use.

  • Updated January 31, 2021
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