Is Copper Cookware Safe?

Updated on December 2, 2017
cleoaddams profile image

Cleo Addams has a Master's Degree in Natural Health & Nutrition. She enjoys researching and writing in her free time.

Old Copper Pans
Old Copper Pans | Source

If you’re reading this article, then you’re probably already aware that non-stick pots and pans are not the safest to use, but what about copper cookware?

Copper cookware is fanciful, timeless, and aesthetically pleasing, but it’s also loved for its ability to distribute heat evenly through your food during the cooking process and cool down fast when removed from the stove. It also minimizes the danger of scorching.

The short answer is: yes, it's safe to use if it's lined with something like tin or steel, and you use wooden utensils to keep the coating from getting scratched.

The Types of Copper Cookware

There are two different types of copper cookware: uncoated and coated.

  • Uncoated cookware is dangerous because the copper molecules can leach into your food during the cooking process. Too much copper in your body is poisonous and can lead to copper toxicity (copperiedus).

Note: This also goes for uncoated copper containers used for storage. Acidic foods can break down the copper and it can contaminate your food.

  • Coated copper cookware is lined inside with metals like tin and stainless steel. This keeps the copper molecules away from your food. However, if the coating becomes scratched or starts to break down from general wear and tear, then you’ll need to throw the cookware away or send it to a place where they can restore the lining for safe use.

When Did We Start Cooking With Copper?

The exact time period in which humans started cooking with copper is unknown, but copper artifacts have been discovered that date back to 9,000 B.C. However, lining copper cookware with tin did not come about until the 18th century. Tin doesn’t take away the copper’s ability to distribute heat; it just keeps the copper from leaching into the food.

Fast forward to present day. Now manufacturers have pretty much moved away from using copper cookware with tin linings. Instead, they mainly use stainless steel over copper. Unfortunately, this type of cookware cannot be relined.

Copper Stew Pot
Copper Stew Pot | Source

Which Is Best?

Reading some reviews from chefs online, most rave about the traditional tin over copper combo and swear that it’s better than stainless steel over copper. The choice here is due to fast heating and the fact that if the tin coating wears out, you can get it retinned without buying a new pot or pan. Sure, tin lined copper cookware can be a little pricey, but it may be better than buying a new piece of cookware when the coating wears thin.

So, Is It Safe?

Cooking and storing food in copper cookware and containers is safe as long as it's coated and items are retinned or replaced when the lining wears thin. Also, be sure to use wooden utensils instead of metal so that you won't scratch the lining.

Copper cookware has been around for centuries and remains a favorite for many professional chefs and home cooks for its beautiful aesthetics and impressive qualities.

Retinning Copper Cookware

References:

  • Wikipedia: Copper toxicity, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_toxicity, Accessed 11/21/17
  • What My Home Wants: The History of Copper Cookware, http://www.whatmyhomewants.com/the-history-of-copper-cookware/, Accessed 11/21/17
  • Brooklyn Copper Cookware: Pure Metal Cookware, http://www.brooklyncoppercookware.com/pure-metal-cookware/, Accessed 11/21/17

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Cleo Addams

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://delishably.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)