The best copper pot

Buying copper pots is truly an investment in beautiful quality that is meant to last for many generations.
Buying copper pots is truly an investment in beautiful quality that is meant to last for many generations. (BestReviews)

Rows of gleaming copper pots in high-end kitchens fill the dreams of many home cooks. Copper pots are beautiful and durable cooking tools that are a joy to look at. They can be very expensive, though, so it’s crucial to choose the one that works for you. The best copper pot balances your culinary needs with your budget.

When only the very best will do, save your money and buy the Mauviel M'Heritage Copper Saucepan with Lid. It is a beautiful, highly functional, heirloom-quality copper pot that is designed to last for many generations.


What to know before you buy a copper pot

If you are not quite ready to invest in a copper cookware set, you can still buy one or two pieces of open stock copper pans.


In general, a good copper pot will be substantial and weigh almost as much as the same size pot in cast iron. For example, an 8-inch saucepan should weigh around 6 pounds or so — about the same weight as a cast iron pot of the same size.


Keep in mind that the thicker the copper, the heavier the pan. The thicker the copper, the higher the price, but the better the performance. You’ll need to balance a variety of factors when it comes to weight.

Size of the pan

If you won’t be buying a full set of copper pans, you’ll need to choose from open stock pans carefully. Consider which pans you use most frequently, then purchase accordingly.

It may also be a good idea to purchase a pan with a lid — even if you are purchasing a frying pan. This allows your copper pot to be more flexible in what you use it for.

Lining material

Although copper pots are traditionally lined with tin, stainless steel is a great modern alternative.

Tin is traditional because it bonds chemically with copper, helping with heat conduction. It’s also more nonstick than stainless steel (but not more than actual nonstick coatings). The main issue with tin is that it is only safe to 450 degrees, which means it can wear through quickly with use.

Stainless steel does not bond with copper, so some conductivity is lost, and if a pot is left on the heat for too long the chemical bonding agent can explode, albeit rare, but it happens. Even with these downsides, stainless steel is a great durable solution for most home cooks who want to harness copper’s good looks and heat conduction.

There are unlined copper pieces, such as bowls, but these are reserved for mixing tasks and are not for regular use on a stove top.

Copper pot features


The lid of your copper pot can be also made of copper, or you can opt for glass. Some lids have a handle that stays cool, but if not, take care when you grab it. It’s bound to be hot.


Depending on the size of your copper pot, look for either one or two riveted handles. As with the lids, look for handles that stay cool to the touch, or be prepared to use an oven mitt.

High-quality lining

Regardless of which lining you choose, it should be of high quality. The stainless steel should be 18/10 or 18/8 (the percentages of chromium and nickel alloys in the stainless steel), and the tin should be even and of moderate thickness.

Copper pot cost 

Copper pots range from the cheap (and poorly made) to the wildly expensive (and sometimes not worth the price). For a good quality copper pot within this range, expect to spend between $40-$400 per pot, depending on the size and type of the pot.

Copper pot FAQ

How do you care for copper pots?

A. If your copper pot has a tin lining, it will need to be replaced every couple of years. Stainless steel linings do not need to be replaced, and they can be hand-washed as you would any other stainless steel cooking pot.

To keep your copper pots gleaming, you will need to polish them regularly. You can use a store-bought copper polish, or choose an acidic liquid from your pantry instead. Tomato juice, lemon juice or vinegar all work.

If you are using DIY polish, sprinkle salt on the outside of your copper pot and slowly pour on your acidic juice of choice. Add more salt and then scrub with a sponge soaked in whatever liquid you choose. Once your copper pot is shining, rinse carefully and dry before storing.

Why are copper pots so special?

A. Besides the gleaming beauty of a shiny copper pot, this type of cookware has a few qualities and characteristics that make it special.

Copper is an excellent conductor of heat. This means that the pot heats evenly and stays warm, which allows even the most inexperienced cooks to create delicate, temperamental sauces.

Additionally, copper is extraordinarily durable. It does not lose its heat-control qualities over time, and the appearance of an aging copper pot is equally lovely.

Which copper pot should I get?

Best of the best copper pot

Mauviel M'Heritage Copper Saucepan with Lid: available at Amazon

Our take: This luxury copper pot is best for cooks who already have experience caring for copper.

What we like: This beautiful 3.2-liter capacity saucepan is 8 inches wide and has a cast stainless steel iron handle that's electroplated. It's oven safe to 680 degrees.

What we dislike: This saucepan costs as much as a car payment. This is high-end, heirloom-quality cooking equipment.

Best bang for your buck copper pot

Gotham Steel 12-Inch Nonstick Fry Pan with Lid: available at Amazon

Our take: For beginning cooks who like the look of copper but not the price tag, this is a great choice.

What we like: This fry pan has an aluminum core and a nonstick coating inside that makes it easy for even beginners to use. It has a hammered copper exterior and comes with a 10-year warranty.

What we dislike: It's pretty to look at, but it's not actually copper.

Honorable mention copper pot

Lagostina Martellata Tri-ply Hammered Stainless Steel Copper Saucepan: available at Amazon

Our take: This is a saucepan for people who want a copper pan without a copper pan price.

What we like: The 2-quart size of this makes it more versatile. Its tri-ply stainless steel core makes for even heat conduction and retention. The exterior is hammered copper for a classic look. This pot is oven safe to 500 degrees.

What we dislike: It's still not a true solid copper pan. Some users found that the copper coating degraded over time. But it's still a high-quality saucepan that is worth the price.

Suzannah Kolbeck is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money

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