Wednesday, September 28, 2011


We have in our kitchenware array half a dozen copper-clad pots and pans. The best two are French, a small sauce pot, and a large skillet; the others are Cuisinart stockpots, and I'm not even sure they make those any more.

It's great cookware–we call the big pan "the magic skillet" because everything we cook in it seems to be as good as it can be.

The drawback to copper is that it oxidizes and turns brown. This doesn't hurt anything, but it's not as spiffy-looking as when it is shiny. 

There are all kinds of polishes to buff it up, but we like the old standard, lemon juice (or vinegar) and table salt. Pour one of the fluids into a bowl, dump a mound of salt into it, stir it up, and apply it and elbow grease to the pot. It will dissolve the patina away, though it doesn't polish the copper per se.

Since we like a matte finish, I use the scrubbie side of a sponge and take the sheen down a little. They gleam, but not like a mirror.  Takes only a few minutes per pot, and you don't have to do it that often. I usually manage about once a month. 

Or, you can just have the butler or Cook's maid do it.

And that's today's tip from Steve's kitchen ...


The Daring Novelist said...

I love good old pans. My favorite pan is a copper-clad stainless steel saute pan, with a bronze handle.

It's as heavy and works as well as a cast iron skillet, but doesn't require seasoning and care.

The thing I love most is that it doesn't have any (non-stick) crap on the steel surface. I can use steel utensils, and it actually works in a more non-stick fashion than any non-stick pan I've ever come across. (Which is true of cast iron too -- properly seasoned.)

Mike Byers said...

It's the scullery maid who does the copper cleaning, old chap. Really, it's quite important to get this sort of thing right; why, otherwise you might have your footman brushing the billiard table when everyone knows this is the butler's job.