Cleaning Copper Cookware Can Be Easy

Lauded for its beauty and ability to conduct heat evenly, copper cookware is the tool of choice for serious chefs. The downside: The rosy-colored metal darkens with age and requires regular maintenance to stay shiny. But restoring the like-new luster and shine is not as difficult as you might expect, according to copper-cleaning experts. Here’s how to do it.

What Not to Do

Tara Steffan, marketing manager at Mauviel, the French copper cookware manufacturer established in 1830, says you should avoid putting copper in the dishwasher because harsh detergents don’t treat the metal kindly. The company also warns against using cleaners that contain bleach because it can be corrosive and cause the cookware to pit, resulting in a scarred, pockmarked surface.

Pretty on the Inside

Although it’s possible to maintain copper’s like-new appearance with regular cleaning, some cooks appreciate the warm, darkened glow of a finish with more patina.

Regardless of your preference, unlined copper pots — meaning those not lined on the inside with a different metal — should always be kept shiny. If a patina, also called verdigris, is allowed to darken the inside of a copper pan, it can be transferred onto food. Cleaning the inside of unlined copper is essential.

Mauviel suggests doing the following:

To remove any verdigris on an unlined pan, use a vinegar-salt solution or rub the metal with lemon sprinkled with salt. Rinse and dry the pan.

Handle It

For cleaning iron handles that may show signs of rust, scrub (the handle only!) with a piece of light-gauge steel wool, then rub it lightly with oil.

Copperbrill is a cleaning paste for copper surfaces. Mauviel and de Buyer are two popular brands. How often you use the paste depends on the look desired. To maintain a shiny surface, clean after every use; to create a nice patina, you need to clean with the paste only occasionally.

Here’s how to use the paste:

-First, rinse the pan thoroughly.

-Then, using a soft sponge or cloth, rub a small amount of the paste all over the copper surface.

-Next, wash the pan under a running faucet.

-Dry the pan.

-Other products to check out include: Wright’s Copper (Brown) Cream Polish; Twinkle Brass & Copper Cleaning Kit; and Hagerty Heavy Duty Copper, Brass & Metal Polish.

Cleaning Alternatives

Marie Stegner, consumer health advocate for the Maid Brigade, a green homekeeping company based in Atlanta, says there are alternative ways to clean copper.

One of her favorites is to mix kosher salt with lemon juice in a small bowl to make a paste. “I always use the kosher salt because it has bigger crystals,” she says. “Then you just have to scrub it and rinse.”

Stegner is also a fan of cleaning copper with ketchup. Hold the fries. “It’s kind of funny, but it works,” she says. “Put a dab of ketchup on the [copper pan] and rub it in a circular motion with a microfiber cloth. It cleans right away.”

If you’re hesitant to give this home remedy a try, Stegner suggests you try it on a penny first.

The Maid Brigade has other natural solutions for cleaning copper as well:

Lemon juice and baking soda: Combine a few tablespoons of lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and rub the mixture on the copper until the grime begins to come off. Then polish with a clean cloth.

Vinegar and salt: Pour vinegar and salt over the copper. Rub in and keep rubbing until the tarnish comes off. Rinse and polish with a clean, dry cloth.

To enhance the natural polish of copper, Stegner suggests wiping it with a dab of vegetable oil.

By Forbes


Win a Zwilling Henckels Cookware Set

The Splendid Table is celebrating 20 years on the air by better equipping listeners’ kitchens and filling their pantries.

This month, we’re giving away cookware sets from Zwilling J.A. Henckels. We have 6 sets of Zwilling Aurora 5-ply stainless-steel cookware, each worth $799, which we will send to 6 winners. Produced in Belgium, the cookware is designed for uniform heat conductivity and can be cleaned in a dishwasher.

Enter before Nov. 30, 2015, at 11:59 p.m., by submitting the form below.

Recipe for Cast Iron Cookware


Classic Roast Chicken with Lemon-Thyme Pan Sauce from Cook It in Cast Iron from America’s Test Kitchen

Serves 4

Why This Recipe Works: Roast chicken is often described as a simple dish, but the actual process–brining or salting, trussing, and turning–is anything but easy. We wanted a truly simple way to get roast chicken on the table in just an hour without sacrificing flavor. We quickly realized that trussing was unnecessary; we could simply tie the legs together and tuck the wings underneath the bird. We also found we could skip flipping the chicken during cooking by taking advantage of the great heat retention of cast iron. We cooked the chicken breast side up in a preheated skillet to give the thighs a head start and allow the skin to crisp up. Starting in a 450-degree oven and then turning the oven off while the chicken finished cooking slowed the evaporation of juices, ensuring moist, tender meat, even without brining or salting. A traditional pan sauce pairing lemon and thyme was the perfect complement, and it took just minutes to make while the chicken rested. Pan drippings contributed meatiness, and finishing the sauce with butter gave it the perfect velvety texture. We prefer to use a 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken for this recipe. If roasting a larger bird, increase the time when the oven is on in step 2 to 30 to 40 minutes.

1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) whole chicken, giblets discarded

1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

1          lemon, quartered

1          shallot, minced

1          cup chicken broth

2          teaspoons Dijon mustard

2          tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2  teaspoons minced fresh thyme

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position, place 12-inch cast-iron skillet on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Meanwhile, pat chicken dry with paper towels, rub with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Tie legs together with kitchen twine and tuck wingtips behind back.

2. When oven reaches 450 degrees, place chicken breast side up in hot skillet. Roast chicken until breast registers 120 degrees and thighs register 135 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Arrange lemon quarters cut side down around chicken. Turn off oven and leave chicken in oven until breast registers 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Using potholders, remove skillet from oven. Transfer chicken to carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 15 minutes. Let roasted lemon cool slightly, then squeeze into fine-mesh strainer set over bowl, extracting as much juice and pulp as possible; press firmly on solids to yield 2 teaspoons juice.

5. While chicken rests, pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet, being careful of hot skillet handle. Add shallot and cook over medium heat until softened, about 30 seconds. Whisk in broth and mustard, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to simmer and cook until mixture is reduced to 3⁄4 cup, about 3 minutes. Stir in any accumulated chicken juices. Off heat, whisk in butter, lemon juice, and thyme. Season with pepper to taste; cover to keep warm. Carve chicken and serve with sauce.

To secure wings while roasting whole chicken and prevent them from burning, fold them firmly behind neck. They should hold themselves in place.

Cast iron cookware has been around for centuries, but many modern cooks are intimidated by it. How do you clean it? What can (and can’t) you cook in it? Should you season it?

In this week’s Please Explain, Julia Collin Davison, the executive food editor at America’s Test Kitchen and author of the forthcoming book Cook it in Cast Iron: Kitchen-Tested Recipes for the One Pan That Does It All (Cook’s Country), and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Managing Culinary Director of Serious Eats and author of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Scienceanswer all your burning cast iron questions and dispel the many myths surrounding the classic cookware.

Do you have questions about cast iron cookware? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

Find a cookware that keep you cooking for years

Time for a look at the best cookware sets available today at My Shiny Kitchen. Whether you are a fan of branded names, budget cookware, or particular materials, our pick of the best sets available today, should help you find the one to keep you cooking for years.

Whilst many of us plod along quite happily with mis-matched cookware accumulated over the years, there is something rather dreamy and very desirable about great cookware sets. But with so much trash available, it pays to do a little research before you buy, so hopefully this buying guide will help! There are various materials used to create these sets, and which you choose is likely to be based on what you already use, and what you trust. For me, cookware should be stainless steel with a copper core, but of course this is a personal choice, so I have included the most popular materials even though I don’t personally like them!


I believe for the majority of us there really are only two types of cookware set we are likely to consider; stainless steel, or non-stick hard anodized cookware. Which you choose is likely to be based on what you are familiar with using, and what your friends and family tell you!

There are of course other possibilities but they are far less popular; copper might be beautiful but is extremely pricey, and probably won’t perform any better than a good quality tri-clad stainless steel set, cheap aluminum won’t last that long as it is thin and very easy to bend and buckle, enamel looks good but is easy to chip, best for many might just be enamelled cast iron cookware but the price is very prohibitive, and the weight is off-putting for many.

Stainless Steel Cookware

There are a few points to consider before opting for stainless steel if you haven’t tried it before:

  • It simply must have an aluminum core to ensure even heat distribution. Most cheaper sets will only have aluminum in the base, if you can spend a little more get one with aluminum in the sides too.
  • You really shouldn’t put it in the dishwasher even if they say you can!
  • To avoid things sticking try to heat the pots slowly before adding any ingredients, and ensure those ingredients are at room temperature. It is very easy to make fridge-cold meat or fish stick horribly!
  • Cheap sets can often come with handles that are poorly designed and difficult to clean. Look for solid rivets and solid handles. Even very high quality cookware can have this simple flaw; I have an old European Meyer set that is fantastic in all but one respect – hollow handles are impossible to clean properly.
  • Stainless steel (if reasonable quality) is heavy if you’re only used to very cheap pans previously.
  • There are a few things that can be difficult to cook in steel, particularly if you haven’t used them previously. Scrambled egg is a prime example, and the main reason I have a few enamelled cast iron pans and skillets in My Shiny Kitchen, as well as many stainless steel ones!
The two reasons I love stainless steel, and have so much of it at home is that a) it is very tough which means I can use whatever utensils I like, and wash it up with whatever I like, and b) it doesn’t react to any foods so my stock pot can double as a preserving pan when I’m in the mood to make some jam!

Don’t forget too, that no matter how stylish, how practical, and how tough a set of cookware is, it isn’t any good if the pots and pans included aren’t what you need! Double check the dimensions of the pans included in any set, and compare them to what you currently use to see if you will actually need everything that is included. There is no point in spending more money on a 12 piece set if you never use the extra pans and could have got away with the 7 piece one!

Read more here.