Copper Cookware vs. Nonstick: The Battle of Cookware

Good cookware can save a lot of time and energy. Whether you’re spending little time or a lot in the kitchen, you must have a favorite set. Different cooking styles and preferences dictate which type of kitchenware you fancy. But the problem with today’s cookware industry is that there are so many choices. A great way to filter your search for the perfect set is with the process of elimination.

In the end, you’ll wind up with two or more types, and still won’t know which one to choose as there are so many features that you like, right? Well, if you’re top two are copper and nonstick kitchenware, we’re here to help you choose. We’ll list all the features as well as flaws of using each type to help you decide.

Copper Cookware vs. Nonstick

Copper cookware has been around for ages. It’s one of the first types of cookware to be invented and used. The thing with copper is that it has excellent heat conductivity properties. Even when you were in school, you learned how amazing copper is at transferring heat. However, just like with any type of cookware, there are some downsides.

Cooking acidic food or storing it for an extended period, will result in leaching. Although our bodies need copper in small doses ( around 10 mg for adults), adding large doses to our diet is harmful to our health. That’s why people tend to avoid using copper cookware. But it’s not like this happens every time you cook. This kitchenware has a specific use, and every brand clearly states not to use it for cooking or storing acidic food. Other than that, it’s perfectly safe.

Nonstick cookware, although it features excellent durability and usability, also has a downside. Because PTFE is present in the nonstick layer of this cookware, people are raising awareness about the dangers of this toxic material. However, this material isn’t reactive until it reaches a certain temperature. That’s why nonstick kitchenware has a lower max temperature for use in ovens. Also, its use is limited to specific types of burners.

About Copper Cookware

Copper cookware sets are excellent for cooking eggs, as the protein in egg white reacts with copper and basically cooks faster. So if you’re looking for a set that you’ll specifically use for breakfast or brunch, there’s no better one than copper. It’s a great conductor of heat and cools down relatively fast. It’s easy to maintain and use, and when it comes to cooking in the oven, it’s perfectly safe up to a temperature of 500 ° F. There are models with silicone handles that have a lower endurance to heat.

copper cookware vs nonstick

Why Is Copper Kitchenware Favored?

Next to its excellent heat conductivity properties, copper cookware is also practical and very versatile. What does this mean? It means that you can adjust heat as you cook and the cooking vessels will adapt almost immediately. Let’s say that you’re cooking a sauce that requires a particular cooking technique to have perfect density, flavor, and overall taste. It needs to reach a boiling point, after which you need to lower the temperature almost immediately. Otherwise, the taste won’t be the same. With copper cookware, the pots will adjust instantly to a lower heat, thus allowing you to prepare the sauce perfectly each and every time.

PROS:

  • Great versatility
  • Practical and easy to maintain
  • Superb heat conductivity properties
  • Relatively lightweight

CONS:

  • Risk of leaching in case of misuse
  • Cleaning is limited to nonabrasive cleaning agents only

Next to that, there’s the usability. It’s easy to maintain and clean. Warm water and a swipe with a sponge will remove most stains. However, it’s advised to use abrasive sponges and cleaning agents with such properties.

About Nonstick Cookware

As mentioned before, nonstick cookware is super easy to maintain and use. It’s great for quick meals like breakfast or brunch. Provided that you use it correctly, no meat or vegetable will stick while cooking. In order to make sure your food doesn’t stick, preheat the pan every time before cooking. Also, use room temperature food. If you have frozen food, wait until it defrosts completely and reaches an appropriate temperature for cooking.

nonstick cookware vs copper

Why is Nonstick Kitchenware Favored?

There’s a variety of reasons why this cookware is favored and praised so much nowadays. First of all, it’s really affordable. Most sets aren’t exactly cheap but have a much lower price than other types on the market. You can clean even the most stubborn stains with one swipe. Just submerge the cookware in warm water and wash away. It’s really that simple.

There’s also the aspect of saving energy and eating healthier while cooking with this kitchenware. Your food will cook evenly at medium and low heat. Thus there’s no need to max out your burners. You’d be amazed at how much energy you can save while using this cookware. Also, the nonstick layer requires little to no oil to cook food to perfection. Less oil and butter means less cholesterol, and therefore better health for you.

PROS:

  • Great heat conductivity
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Effortless cleaning
  • Oven and dishwasher safe

CONS:

  • Contains PTFE that will react to extremely high temperatures
  • Using abrasive cleaning aid will chip or peel the finish

However, this type of cookware contains PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) in the nonstick layer of each vessel. This material is toxic but only when exposed to extreme temperatures. Cooking below 500 ° F is a safe way to go with this kitchenware. No fumes will be released, and it won’t be harmful to the environment in any way. So searing stakes or food that required temperature above 500 ° F is not recommended with this cookware. As an alternative, you can always cook at lower temperatures for an extended period, until your food is cook evenly from all sides.

There’s a myriad of nonstick cookware brands and types. Some feature stainless steel base so they might be heavier in general. If you prefer lighter pans, look for extremely thin nonstick cookware or that which doesn’t have metal or steel base.

Final Verdict

Depending on your cooking style, you may prefer either of these two types of cookware. If you’re looking for superb heat conductivity and versatility, go for copper kitchenware. However, if you don’t spend too much time in the kitchen and enjoy preparing quick meals, nonstick cookware is the right way to go. Both types have pros and cons, and it really comes down to your personal preference and features that you want to see in cookware.

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