Copper is very fashionable right now, particularly in cookware. As a component metal in cookware, it’s extremely responsive to heat changes. It is almost twice as conductive as aluminum and 10 times more conductive than stainless steel. That responsiveness and conductivity make copper cookware perfect for cooking foods where heat regulation is important. Due to its luxurious look, copper is often used on the exterior of the cookware, either as a thin decorative layer or as a thicker, functional layer, particularly on the bottom of the pan.
Exposed copper develops a patina with age, but it can be returned to the previous shiny look using special cleaning products or some lemon juice and salt. While pure copper is seldom used when it will be in contact with food, there are a few specialty pots that are made entirely from copper. There are also many copper-colored pans that offer the look of copper at a lower price point, and without requiring the care that pure copper does.
Whatever you're looking for, read on—we've found the best copper cookware that will fit your needs.
Best Cookware Set
Lagostina Martellata Hammered Copper 10-Piece Cookware Set
Retains and distributes heat well
Versatile in use
Steep price point
Requires special care
Copper cookware is stylish, but hammered copper cookware takes it to a whole new level, with an artisan look that is distinctive and classy. Lagostina has a wonderful hammered cookware set that is sure to look great in your kitchen.
The cookware has a thick aluminum core for efficient heat distribution and a stainless steel interior. The lids are also stainless steel. Besides being beautiful, the hammered copper exterior offers excellent heat control. During our testing, we observed even simmering, and recorded consistent temperatures across the heated pans. We also love that the handles are designed to be comfortable to hold while they stay cool on the stove.
The cookware is oven- and broiler-safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It is compatible with all stove types, except induction. Of course, since this is copper, you will have to hand-wash the separate pieces, each and every time.
Price at time of publish: $381
Construction: Aluminum core, copper exterior | Oven Safe: Up to 500 degrees | Induction Safe: No | Dishwasher Safe: No | Pieces Included: 8 and 10-inch skillets, 2 and 3-quart saucepans, 3-quart sauté pan, 6-quart stockpot plus lids
"I love the style so much that we plan to put them on display in our kitchen on a wall-mounted rack."
Anolon 75818 Nouvelle Stainless Steel Cookware
Oven safe to 500 degrees
Too small for large recipes
Small saucepan can tip easily
Copper cookware can be prohibitively expensive, but this set from Anolon provides a nice combination of copper performance and exceptional value. Priced at just a fraction of other copper cookware sets, this includes a nice assortment of saucepans, frying pans, a stockpot, and saute pan, all constructed of stainless steel with a copper bottom.
We found the pans to be made of high-quality material, though they are a bit heavy thanks to their 5-layer construction. Somewhat slow to heat, when they were up to temperature, they held and evenly distributed heat very well, without any noticeable hot spots. The angled sides of the pans made it easy to toss vegetables and meat. One drawback is that these pans might be too small if you tend to cook in large quantities, but they might be perfect for a single person or couple. They're surprisingly versatile too, as they are induction compatible and can also be used in the oven up to 500 degrees.
These are technically dishwasher-safe, but the manufacturer warns that harsh detergents can cause the cookware to discolor, so hand-washing is recommended. Like with most stainless steel, you may have to use a bit of elbow grease to remove any stubborn food, but with some soaking and gentle scrubbing, you'll be able to return your pans to like new.
Price at time of publish: $300
Construction: Stainless steel, copper base | Oven Safe: Up to 500 degrees | Induction Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes but handwashing is recommended | Pieces Included: 1.25- and 2.5-quart saucepans with lids, 6.5-quart stockpot with lid, 8- and 10.5-inch frying pans, and 3-quart sauté pan with lid
Best For Induction
Viking 4-Ply Contemporary 9-Piece Copper Cookware Set
Can be used on all cooktops
Oven safe to 600 degrees
Pieces can be bulky to store
Most copper cookware is already quite spendy, but this comprehensive set from Viking feels like a "reasonable" splurge, priced well below copper sets with a similar piece count. The set includes 10-inch and 12-inch open fry pans, a 3.4-quart saucepan with lid, steamer insert, a 4.8-quart sauté pan with lid, and an 8-quart Dutch oven with lid that can be used as a stockpot. The pieces have a nice weight to them without feeling too heavy and the contemporary silhouette is a nice change from the more ornate shapes that are common with copper cookware.
These pieces feature an aluminum core surrounded by stainless steel and a solid copper exterior which helps conduct heat. One of the best things about this set is that it can be used on induction, which isn't always the case when it comes to copper. The pans and lids are also oven-safe up to 600 degrees, making them wonderfully versatile.
Like nearly all copper pieces, these should be hand-washed and can be left to patina, or polished to maintain their high shine. The set comes backed with a limited lifetime warranty against defects in materials or workmanship.
Price at time of publish: $934
Construction: Copper and stainless steel | Oven Safe: Up to 600 degrees | Induction Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: No | Pieces Included: 10-inch and 12-inch open fry pans, 3.4-quart saucepan with lid, 4.8-quart sauté pan with lid, 8-quart Dutch oven with lid, steamer insert
Best Frying Pan
Hestan 8.5-Inch CopperBond Skillet
Available in three sizes
Oven safe to 600 degrees
Larger contact area than similar size pans
Lids must be purchased separately
Might be too heavy for some
Frying pans are a workhorse in many kitchens, coming in clutch for sautéing, searing, and even making sauces on the fly. This Italian-made skillet from Hestan is not just beautiful, it's modeled after those used in professional kitchens, made of five layers of 18/10 stainless steel and a 100-percent copper core for ultimate heat control. On the plus side, it makes the pan extremely durable, but for some, it might feel a bit heavy—something to consider when purchasing. But in action, this pan's weight keeps it steady on your cooktop, while heating up fast and responding quickly to changes in temperature, checking all the boxes for a high-performing piece of cookware.
This skillet also boasts a larger contact area than other pans of a similar diameter, making it a wonderful choice for induction ranges, while giving you a little bit more room to cook. It's oven safe to 600 degrees, so you can take it from the stovetop to the oven—great for finishing dishes under the broiler.
Though this piece is hand-wash only, the flat rivets are easy to clean (they also allow you to nest multiple pans). The one pain point of this skillet is the price—it's very expensive for a single piece and lids must be purchased separately—but for such fantastic quality, it's a worthy investment.
Price at time of publish: $230
Construction: Copper and stainless steel | Oven Safe: Up to 600 degrees | Induction Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: No | Available Sizes: 8.5-inch, 11-inch, and 12-inch
Most copper cookware pieces are not meant to be put into the dishwasher, but cleaning copper by hand isn't as hard as you think. Simply scrub off any stuck-on bits of food with warm water, gentle dish soap, and a non-abrasive scrubber—don't use steel wool as you'll damage the finish. Once the vessel is clean, you can buff any copper parts with copper polish cream or any of these DIY methods to bring back its high polish shine.
Best Stock Pot
All-Clad Copper C4 8-Quart Stockpot with Lid
Heats quickly and evenly
Oven- and broiler-safe to 600 degrees
This extra-large 8-quart stockpot has an attractive copper exterior and copper layers bonded with copper for excellent heat control. The layers extend all the way to the rim of the pot for even heating all around, along with perfect heat transfer from pot to food. The pot heats quickly to high temperatures for perfect searing and browning before lowering the temperature for low-and-slow braising or long-simmering stews. When it’s time for roasting or baking, the pot is oven and broiler safe to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, so there’s no need to worry about using it in a home oven at the highest heat.
The interior, handles, and lid are stainless steel for an attractive accent next to the copper. Over time, the copper will darken, but that doesn’t affect the cooking performance. While some cooks admire the dark patina, it’s easy to polish it and return its original shine.
Price at time of publish: $550
Construction: 4-ply bonded stainless steel and copper | Oven Safe: Up to 600 degrees | Induction Safe: No | Dishwasher Safe: No | Pieces Included: 8-quart stockpot with lid |
Mauviel Copper M'150 B Saucepan
Rolled rim allows dripless pouring
Available in four sizes
Oven and broiler safe
Not induction ready
If you're looking for a copper saucepan, Mauviel offers the M'150B model in four sizes, from a 1.25-quart version for small tasks like warming butter, to a 3.5-quart size that is handy for making Thanksgiving gravy and other sauces. This trusted brand specializes in French-made copper cookware and is used in professional kitchens worldwide, so you can be sure this saucepan will perform beautifully.
Each of these pans is made with a double stainless steel interior and a 1.5-millimeter copper exterior, enough to offer excellent heat conduction and light enough for easy maneuverability. These saucepans also come with domed lids that help to retain moisture and heat, and can be used in the oven.
This saucepan is ideal for gas and electric stovetops and is not compatible with induction (you can purchase an induction interface disc from Mauviel separately). Like other copper pieces, it should be hand washed and dried after use and can be polished to maintain a high-shine exterior.
Price at time of publish: $226
Construction: Copper and stainless steel | Oven Safe: Yes but max heat not specified | Induction Safe: No | Dishwasher Safe: No | Available Sizes: 1.25-quart, 2-quart, 2.75-quart, and 3.5-quart
Best Large Sauté
Made In Copper Saucier
Conducts heat beautifully
Oven safe to 800 degrees
Small frying and sauté pans are fine when you’re cooking eggs or flipping a stir fry, but a large, shallow cooker is great for all sorts of one-pot meals and more. This pan by Made In is composed of 90 percent copper and 10 percent stainless steel, offering the superior heat conduction you'd expect from a restaurant-quality pan. Its versatile shape lends itself well to making risotto or braising meats, as well as creating sauces and soups.
It has a 9-inch cooking diameter with 4.9-inch walls, tall enough to prevent splattering when frying and sautéing. You can transfer this pan from the stove to the oven, as it can withstand temperatures up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit. The 5.2-quart capacity is large enough to cook food for the family or a party, and the copper exterior adds a touch of elegance to the kitchen.
Price at time of publish: $440
Construction: 90 percent copper and 10 percent stainless steel | Oven Safe: Up to 800 degrees | Induction Safe: No | Dishwasher Safe: No | Pieces Included: 5.2-quart sauté pan with lid
Best Jam Pot
Mauviel Copper Jam Pan with Bronze Handles
Durable, heavy-duty construction
Doesn’t react with fruit acids or sugar
Only suitable for cooking high-sugar foods
Traditional jam pots are made from copper, like this 17.3-quart copper pan by Mauviel. The copper conducts heat efficiently, and the unlined interior doesn’t react with fruit acids or sugar. It’s perfect for turning excess or nearly-too-ripe crops of stone fruits or citrus into large batches of jams and jellies, as well as making candies like toffee and buttery caramel.
Mauviel has been making quality copper cookware in France for 170 years. This sturdy pan has bronze side handles with copper rivets for secure transport on and off the stovetop. Hand washing is recommended to ensure it gives you years of delicious jams. Customers give this jam pot high marks because nothing burns or sticks to the bottom. Plus, they love that it's heavy-duty and beautifully crafted.
Price at time of publish: $320
Construction: 1.2 mm-gauge copper | Oven Safe: Up to 500 degrees | Induction Safe: No | Dishwasher Safe: No | Size: 15-inch unlined copper pot
Best for Sugar
Mauviel M'Passion Sugar Saucepan
Heats up quickly and evenly
Easy temperature control ideal for sugar work
Beautiful, simple design
Only right-handed pouring spout
Made specifically for sugar work, this 1.9-quart saucepan is made entirely from copper for ultimate heat control. It heats evenly so the sugar will melt evenly with no hot spots or burning, and it’s reactive to heat changes so the temperature can be controlled easily. Customers gave this specially designed saucepan positive reviews for its easy temperature control and how quickly it heats up, though they warn that because of its all-copper construction, the body and handle can get very hot.
The distinctive conical copper handle offers a secure grip and is attached to the body with copper rivets for security. A pouring spout on one side makes it simple to pour scalding hot syrup safely and accurately. Not just for sugar, this can be used for making small amounts of jam or other sweet sauces. This pan should be hand washed.
Price at time of publish: $210
Construction: 2 mm-gauge copper | Oven Safe: Up to 680 degrees | Induction Safe: Needs adapter disc | Dishwasher Safe: No | Sizes: 1.9-quart unlined copper pot, also available in 0.8-quart, 1.3-quart, 2.6-quart, 3.7-quart options
If you want to test out a copper piece before you splurge on an entire set, we like the Hestan Copperbond Skillet because it's a versatile piece that works on every cooktop. If you're ready to invest in a full set to replace your current cookware, we recommend the Lagostina Martellata Hammered Copper 18/10 Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set as a fantastic upgrade.
What to Look For in Copper Cookware
The thickness of your copper cookware can have a noticeable effect on how quickly and efficiently it heats up. Aim for around 2.5 to 3 millimeters. Thinner than 2 millimeters may cause the copper to heat more slowly and less evenly. Plus, thin copper cookware is more likely to warp and dent.
Copper cookware is usually lined with either tin or stainless steel. Stainless steel, while not very effective at conducting heat, is more durable than tin and is easy to clean. Tin, however, heats more quickly than stainless steel, thus decreasing the risk of "delaminating" (the lining separating from the copper). Tin is also non-reactive and relatively nonstick but requires special maintenance because of its delicate nature. While unlined or bare copper cooking vessels are rare, there are some available designed for specific jobs, such as jam pots and mixing bowls for beating egg whites.
Appearance and Finish
Copper cooking vessels are typically available with either a hammered or smooth finish. The type of finish you should go for is a matter of aesthetic taste and what each brand has available; it does not dictate the quality of the cookware. While in the past hammering copper was done to strengthen the metal, today it's done by machines for decorative purposes. Hammered copper cookware is usually high-shine, and smooth finishes are available in either matte or shiny versions.
What is multi-ply copper cookware?
Multi-ply (also known as tri-ply, 5-ply, and 7-ply) cookware has been crafted by bonding together multiple layers of metal with each "ply" (layer) serving a different purpose. Multi-ply copper cookware usually involves copper sandwiched between layers of stainless steel where the copper acts as a responsive heat conductor, and the steel gives the pan durability and a non-reactive cooking surface.
Does copper cookware stick?
It will depend on what the cookware is lined with. If the pan features a stainless steel interior, it will stick as much as any stainless steel pan would.
How do you clean copper cookware?
Most copper cookware is not dishwasher safe. The dishwasher can often cause stains and discoloration to copper, so it's best to hand wash your copper pieces and dry them with a soft cloth. Some copper pieces will develop a patina over time, which gives them a rustic, lived-in appearance. If you prefer shiny copper, you'll have to give them a little extra attention.
Is copper cookware oven safe?
Many higher-end copper pieces are oven-safe and can be used under the broiler, as well. If you want to be totally sure, check with the manufacturer's guide to see the exact heat threshold for your pots and pans before putting them into the oven.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats
Cookbook author Donna Currie was gifted her first set of pots and pans as a child, when her mom’s new cookware came with a miniature, fully functional set. Since then, she graduated to full-size cookware, researching and testing a wide variety of brands for The Spruce Eats to find the best.