I heard that the best frying pans for steak are copper. Most are way too expensive but these are cheap in comparison. For example, this is three times the price - both with a 2mm gauge, although the more expensive one is 2cm larger in diameter.

Is there something I need to look for when buying copper pans?

  • 1
    Copper pans are fantastic for many purposes, but you may find that the tremendous heat retention of cast iron when properly pre-heated proves more ideal for searing steaks. The main virtual of copper is that it is very responsive, as it has the highest thermal conductivity of the relatively economical metals used for cookware.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 12:51
  • Are you buying copper because you believe it's a better conductor of heat transfer or because you like the looks? Copper may be overall a better conductor of heat but the size of the pan compared to the source of heat is much more important than your pan materials. There is a lot of info about this in the modernist cuisine books.
    – Brendan
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 18:02
  • For sure cast iron is better for searing than copper... I'd actually be worried about damaging a copper pan at the very high temperature that searing requires; it's a reactive metal. You don't need precise temperature control or even heat distribution for it, just a whole lot of heat, so the heavier the pan, the better.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 1:32
  • @Aaronut No quality copper pan should be unlined, and expose the copper to the content of the pan, except possibly in the specialty application of sugar work. Copper melts at just short of 2000 F. There is no danger of harming it on any typical home equipment. Tin lining, on the other hand, will melt at 450 F....
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 20:40
  • 1
    As someone who actually owns copper and uses it to cook steaks sometimes, I would just mention that (1) yes, you can use copper to make steaks, (2) while I personally only use my stainless-lined copper to sear, one can do it with tin if careful because... (3) since copper moves heat through faster you don't need to preheat to as extreme temps as cast iron, and (4) I frankly was shocked at how much better burgers and steaks came out when I started using copper. I expected to use it mostly for sauces and sensitive dishes, but control is really helpful to get the perfect browning and doneness.
    – Athanasius
    Commented May 17, 2015 at 2:05

2 Answers 2


I have never sprung for copper pans, so this is just from my general research.

Here are the factors I would look at:

  • How thick is the copper? You want it to be thick enough to retain and distribute the heat of the burner.
  • How is the handle attached? Rivets are better than welded for long term use. (This is general to any metal pan.)
  • What is the handle made of? Is it oven and broiler safe?
  • What is it lined with, and what care does it require? Copper is too reactive to use for general purpose cooking unlined. Tin will need to be replaced over time, but probably is not in use in modern manufacture.
  • What care or cleaning will it require?

See also:
Navigating the different types of cookware - new kitchen advice


Copper pans don't really add value to the kitchen (except that they are looking good). Copper pans are mostly used in restaurant by waiters for showing things at tables.

A tip for you, buy a good baking pan or a grill pan (very good for steak)

  • This really isn't true; they just don't add value for the casual cook. If you're working with candy or chocolate, copper is almost indispensable because you need to work within an extremely narrow temperature range.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 1:36
  • In the professional kitchen, they do are indeed used for such things. But I think Michael is a home cook who does not copper pans (in my opinion)
    – Wouter
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 14:21

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