How to Clean and Care for Copper Cookware?

Do you know how to use and maintain your copper cookware? Copper is a highly valued material due to its electroconductivity as well as heat retention and heat conductivity properties. That’s why so many brands have their own version of copper cookware. Some are of greater some of porer quality, but they all share one thing – their long lifespan.

Grease stains on the outer side of the pan are really hard to clean. And when that grease starts to pile over time, your once shiny copper cookware doesn’t look anything like brand new. Well, you can change that by thoroughly cleaning it. And if you’re wondering how to do it, here’s exactly how.

copper pots and pans

Why is Copper Cookware So Much Valued?

Having copper cookware in your kitchen can change your entire cooking experience. From even heat distribution to a meal ready within minutes, the difference between copper and other types of cookware is immeasurable. But there’s one thing that really makes a difference. No matter how good cookware is or how good it performs, after a period, it starts to lose its original shine. And no one enjoys using cookware that is apparently warn out, right? Well, with copper cookware, you won’t have that problem. You can use the same set for five or ten years, and it won’t lose your shine. However, they won’t stay in perfect shape by themselves.

As burnt grease piles over time, the recognizable golden copper color will change into a blurry darker version of it. All you don’t want to use your cookware in that shape. So what should you do, throw it away? Actually, there’s a way to keep your favorite copper set spotless even after a while of using it.

How to Clean your Tarnished Copper Cookware?

Tarnish, and grease will cover your copper cookware over time if you don’t clean it regularly. That’s a fact. To prevent this from happening, you will need to clean your copper cookware by hand thoroughly. And before you ask yourself,yes, this means that the dishwasher isn’t really doing a swell job of keeping your cookware shiny. Tarnish is a very thin but persistent layer of corrosion that forms over almost every type of cookware. So to keep your pots and pan shiny, it’s best to learn how to maintain and clean it. We’ve listed several methods and techniques to get rid of tarnish on your precious kitchenware successfully.

clean copper cookware

Baking Soda and White Vinegar

This is the most popular method and requires little time and effort to clean the cookware thoroughly. To start, you’ll need some white vinegar ( one or two cups), baking soda, and warm water. Now you’re probably wondering why the warm water if we’re going to wash it anyway, right? Well, as mentioned before, copper cookware is sensitive. To prevent damaging the copper outer layer, it’s best to dissolve the solution in warm water.

Mix the ingredients together and stir until everything is combined. Get your tarnished copper cookware and submerge it in the solution. Wait for the water to cool down and remove the cookware. You’ll immediately notice that most of the tarnish is gone or started to dissolve. Now all you have to do is get a sponge and clean the remaining tarnish by rubbing. If the stains are still there, submerge it in a fresh solution and repeat the entire process.

This way you’ll avoid damaging the nonstick finish on your precious cookware, but completely remove stains and tarnish. You’ll end up with perfectly clean copper cookware. They’ll look like the day you bought them.

Salt and White Vinegar

Having persistent stains on your kitchenware can be a nightmare. It seems that no matter how long you rub the surface, tarnish won’t go away. Just like with the previous method, use warm water to mix the following ingredients: salt, white vinegar, and lemon juice. Stir the mixture well so that all ingredients come together. Once that’s ready, it’s time to submerge the cookware and follow the steps from the above-mentioned method.

The important thing to remember is that this method works and if you don’t get the results from the first try, repeat the process. The tarnish will come off; it’s only a matter of how long you leave the cookware submerged and how persistent you are when scrubbing. Don’t use iron sponge or anything of the sort if you do get tempted to clean it faster. You’ll only end up damaging the finish on your cookware, thus endangering your health.

Barkeeper’s Friend

Barkeeper’s friend cleaning aid comes in a variety of types. Some are used for marble countertops, other for wooden. There are products from most materials found in or around the kitchen. Naturally, you’ll need copper cleaning aid for the best results.
Because this type of cleaning aid is specifically designed to keep copper cookware shiny and spotless, you won’t have to add warm water. Get your tarnished cookware and apply Barkeeper’s friend. Be sure to cover the entire surface. Wait for a couple of minutes for the solution to start dissolving the grease.

The next step is rubbing. Get your sponge, and don’t be afraid to use the hard side. Rub the cookware in circular motion without applying to much force. Remember, the goal is to remove the tarnish layer after layer, not damage the existing nonstick layer on your cookware. Again, if you’re not satisfied with the results from the first run, rinse, clean, and apply the cleaning aid again. Depending on how persistent the stains are, you might need to do it a couple of times.

copper pots hanging on wall

Seasoning Copper Cookware

Keeping your cookware clean is one thing, but keeping the features that it has is entirely different. Every type of cookware has a specific set of features. And no matter how good the set is, or how reliable the brand is, the features they have will degrade after a while. Their nonstick features are affected the most, as every time your rinse, clean by hand or in the dishwasher, the finish dissolves in a small extent. Therefore loosing its nonstick properties little by little.

However, there is something you can do about it, and most brands actually recommend that you do it regularly. Seasoning your cookware may sound complicated, but the truth is it’s far from it. If you got your cookware set with a manual, check it for instruction for that specific model.

If not, here’s how. Get almond, canola, or any quality oil. Get your copper cookware, and rub the oil thoroughly on the surface. You can use a paintbrush or wear gloves; it’s entirely up to you. Drain it, and preheat the oven. Set the oven on about 300-500 ° F and place the cookware in it. Leave it inside for ten to fifteen minutes, then remove and wipe the remaining oil. Once out from the oven, wait for it to cool down. Do not leave it in a fridge to cool off as you’ll end up with dents and deformed cookware. After that, your seasoned copper cookware will be ready to use. You’ll be surprised how the nonstick features have improved. And there it is, that’s the entire “science” behind seasoning copper cookware.

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