Copper cookware has been around for a long time, but it’s made a fashionable return to the spotlight in 2019, touted by French chefs and Williams-Sonoma stores. Although popularity and recognition are important to sales, it’s also important for retailers to question whether or not the high-end product line is worth adding to solution-focused housewares inventories. Those who understand the qualities of copper say it is worth it, because not only are the pots and pans attractive, they’re also excellent for cooking.
Copper conducts energy very efficiently, which is why it’s used in electrical wiring. In cookware, copper offers uniform heat distribution, perfect for sautéing and stovetop cooking. Copper also retains heat longer and is fairly easy to clean. Although copper isn’t as tough as cast iron or as inexpensive as aluminum, it is long-lasting with proper care.
Retailers who stock the shiny cookware should warn customers not to heat an empty pan, because it can melt at around 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, users only need to heat copper to half the level as other pans because it conducts energy so efficiently. To prevent tarnishing, consumers should regularly clean copper pans with vinegar, lemon juice or a copper cleaner.
When selecting the best copper cookware for your housewares department, look for pans that are made with hammered copper, lined with pure tin and have cast-iron handles. This combination is known to be the most durable.