Chemical-free nonstick surface
Easy to use and care for
Retains and distributes heat well
Allows for oil-free cooking
Not actually made of copper
No lids included
Copper Chef cookware features a Cerami-Tech nonstick coating that makes pan-frying and sautéing quick and easy because nothing—and we mean nothing—sticks to the surface. In fact, the nonstick coating is so good, it eliminates the need for cooking with fats and oils, making for healthier meals. The one major drawback is that these pans aren’t actually made of copper. Rather, they’re made of aluminum and coated with copper-colored layers. If you’re still on the fence about whether the Copper Chef Round Fry Pan Set is right for you, read on for our verdict, including a comparison to one of its key competitors.
Design: Ergonomic and easy to use
Copper Chef cookware is solidly built yet surprisingly lightweight, which is a welcome change for anyone like us who cooks mainly with cast iron pans.
The included pans are all optimally sized at 8, 10, and 12 inches. Each one is about 2 inches deep, with high sides that help protect from splattering, whether you’re using them on the stove or in the oven (they’re safe up to an impressive 850 degrees). The pans feature double riveted, hollow stainless steel handles that are also oven-safe. The handles, which are extra long and ergonomic, gave us a comfortable and secure grip. Because of their stainless steel construction, the handles also stay cool to the touch throughout the cooking process—even after long periods of use.
One drawback to this set is that it doesn’t come with lids. Making matters worse, it appears the company doesn’t even sell lids separately, though you can purchase other Copper Chef pan sets or individual pans that do come with glass lids.
We found that this cookware diffused heat quickly and evenly with all the dishes we tried, with no noticeable hot spots.
We love that these pans can be used with different kinds of heat sources including gas, electric, and ceramic stovetops, induction burners, and ovens. The cookware features a five-layer construction that’s designed to provide excellent heat conductivity and thermal conductivity, including a stainless steel induction layer on the bottom that allows the pans to heat up faster and retain heat longer.
We found that this cookware diffused heat quickly and evenly with all the dishes we tried, with no noticeable hot spots. We made a sunny-side-up egg in the smallest pan on medium heat and the cook time was pretty fast. Thanks to the nonstick coating, the egg also glided around the pan easily, without any added butter or oils, and it fried to perfection in just a few minutes.
Material: Safe and stylish
As mentioned above, this cookware is made of aluminum rather than copper, with two copper-colored layers that give it Copper Chef’s signature look. The color is a lovely, shimmery shade of light copper, but in our opinion, it lacks the same elegance and style of true copper cookware.
Copper Chef’s Cerami-Tech nonstick coating is free of toxic chemicals such as PTFE or PFOA, making these pans safer and more environmentally friendly than cookware made with other nonstick coatings. The slippery surface also allows you to cook without oil or butter, which makes for healthier meals.
Despite some negative online reviews to the contrary, we found the pans’ nonstick coating to be extremely effective, even after multiple uses. In the time that we tested the pans, literally nothing stuck to them, from eggs and cheese to vegetables and meats.
This cookware is made of aluminum…the color is a lovely, shimmery shade of light copper, but in our opinion, it lacks the same elegance and style of true copper cookware.
We followed Copper Chef’s recommendation to season this set before first use, heating the clean, dry pans on low heat for 30 seconds, then removing them from heat and adding 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Using a paper towel, we then rubbed the oil all over the entire interior surface of the pans.
We made caramelized onions and peppers in the 12-inch pan, which is the ideal size for family meals or batch cooking. Although the CeramiTech coating negates the need for butter or cooking oil, we felt it was an important ingredient to include in this case. (If you do choose to use oil or butter, Copper Chef recommends those with a high smoke point—AKA refined olive oil, peanut oil, corn oil, and clarified butter. We used your average extra-virgin olive oil and it worked just fine, though.) The caramelized vegetables came out perfectly sweet, tender, and golden brown, leaving not a single spot on the pan. By contrast, we recently made caramelized onions in a stainless steel Cuisinart pan and although the onions themselves turned out well, we were left with a sticky, blackened mess to clean up.
Cleanup: A breeze
Copper Chef pans are almost laughably easy to clean. Since nothing sticks to the pans, we simply passed a soapy sponge over them, wiped them dry with a soft towel, and were done with cleanup in mere moments. Since these pans are not real copper, they’re dishwasher safe, which will be a draw for some busy cooks. But since handwashing is so fast and simple, we probably wouldn’t bother putting them in the dishwasher.
Price: Slightly high for non-copper pans
While not as expensive as true copper pans, we think these pans—which go for $60 for a set of three—are slightly overpriced given that they are made of aluminum. You could buy a similar set of nonstick pans, albeit perhaps without the copper coloring, for less than half the price. That seems like a high markup to pay for color, but the look might be more important to some than others.
Copper Chef Round Fry Pan Set vs. Lagostina Martellata 10-Piece Copper Cookware Set
In terms of aesthetics, performance, and value, we think Lagostina’s copper cookware is miles ahead of Copper Chef. For starters, we love that the Lagostina 10-Piece Set we reviewed is made of real hammered copper, which we think enhances both its look and performance. We found that the Lagostina pans heat up more quickly and retain heat better than the Copper Chef pans, but not by a huge margin. The Lagostina pans are not nonstick, however, and if that’s an important feature to you, then the Copper Chef might be a better choice for you, while still offering the appealing copper coloring. Copper Chef’s set is also offered at just a fraction of the price of its high-end competitor. The Lagostina 10-piece set is a major investment—full price it’ll run you $800, but you can often find it at online retailers like Amazon, Wayfair, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond for less than $500.
- Product Name Round Pan 3 Pack
- Product Brand Copper Chef
- SKU RND3PACK
- Price $59.99
- Weight 5.4 lbs.
- Sizes Included 8 in., 10 in., 12 in.
- Material Aluminum
- Compatible Heat Sources Ceramic, electric, gas, induction, oven
- Cleaning Dishwasher safe
- Warranty Limited 5-year warranty on ceramic coating and limited 60-day warranty on all other parts