How To Keep Food From Sticking To Copper Pans?

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Copper pans have become popular over the years because of their durability and the quality they offer when cooking food. And the red variety copper pan is even more prevalent. These cookwares are not made from any non-stick material, but food can still stick on them just like any other pan. 

So how do you prevent food from sticking to your copper pan? This post will walk you through how you can prevent food from sticking to your copper pans. Furthermore, we will share tips on how you can care for your copper pan and increase its lifetime. Let’s dive in. 

How To Prevent Food From Sticking To Copper Pans?

The best and most proven way to stop food from sticking to your copper pans is seasoning them appropriately. You will prevent incidences of rust when seasoning is done the right way. 

Even more, seasoning can help protect the surface of your copper pan from damage when exposed to very high temperatures. 

Meanwhile, the seasoning will also help eliminate the chemicals from detergent you use when washing your cookware and purify the food you cook. 

Seasoning your pan will make it have pores with carbonized oil filled in them. This helps create a protective layer on your copper pan surface, thus preventing food from sticking to it. 

What Do You Need To Know Before Seasoning Copper Pans?

You need to understand that not all copper pans are the same and that you cannot season all of them. For example, unlined copper pans are excellent for making candies and jams, but you’ll not need it. Tin-lined copper pans also do not require seasoning, so don’t bother seasoning them. 

On the contrary, stainless steel copper pans should be seasoned because they’ve got a tougher, rough, and uneven material. The rugged nature of stainless steel pans is what causes food to stick to them. Now that you know a few of the basics, let’s get to how you can season your copper pan, shall we? 

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How To Season a Copper Pan?

Seasoning your copper pan can be downright frustrating, but we made it a little straightforward for you. This section will walk you through, step-by-step, how you can season your copper pan. Once you have seasoned it, be sure to use it without any worries of food sticking to it. 

Step 1: Wash The Pan

It’s easier to think that your copper pan is clean when you remove it from the box, but that is not the case. Clean your new copper pan with a clean, soft sponge before you can start seasoning it. 

You want to clean your pan because there could be traces of chemicals on it. Using soap should help remove any chemical on the pan. 

Step 2: Rub Some Oil 

Once you have washed your new copper pan and left it to dry, smear some oil on its surface. Vegetable oil is recommended or any other oil with a higher smoke point. Some examples include canola, peanut, and grapeseed oils can be perfect choices. However, you must never use olive oil because olive oil heats up fast and can damage your pan. 

Step 3: Heat Your Oily Pan

It’s time to heat your pan on a moderate heat supply. Remove the pan from the source of heat when you notice smoke. Doing this should take you roughly 3-5 minutes. 

If you notice oil puddles on your pan, gently move it around so that it can spread well on the surface of your copper pan. 

For this step, feel free to use an oven. However, you must ensure that you have preheated the pan to 300F before putting it in the oven

Once in the oven, cook for about twenty minutes before taking it out from the oven. Also, ensure that you have thick gloves before holding the hot handle. 

Step 4: Allow Your Pan To Dry

Once you have removed your pan from the source of heat, allow it to cool for about fifteen minutes. Doing this will enable the oil slick to dry. Additionally, this will help with sealing all the pores on the surface of your copper pan. Lastly, please don’t put the pan in your refrigerator unless you want it to warp. 

Step 5: Wipe The Pan

You let your pan dry for about fifteen minutes. However, we cannot be sure that all the oil has dried out. Use a clean paper or towel to clean the remaining oil and start using your pan. 

Your seasoned copper pan should last for about six months, but the duration will depend on how regular you use it. Also, make sure that you don’t use soap and water to clean your pan. 

The chances are that food will start sticking to your pan after six months or so. When this happens, season the pan again. Reseasoning the pan should be a lot easier. Just repeat the steps above. 

How to Clean a Seasoned Copper Pan after Use?

Regardless of the liner, don’t toss your copper pan into the dishwasher. Use a paper towel to wipe off any leftovers once you’re done cooking. Cleanups should be done occasionally and quickly.  

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Please refrain from using an abrasive scouring pad or steel wool as they can be harsh to copper. Instead, use a washcloth to clean the pan. After cooking, don’t soak in cold water or pour water on it as this may lead to cracking due to sudden change in temperatures. 

How To Clean An Unseasoned Copper Pan After Use?

Unlike seasoned copper pans, there are many ways to clean unseasoned copper pans:

1. Lemon and Salt

Cut your lemon into halves and add salt to them. Rub the salted lemon onto the surface of the pan, paying attention to the tough stains.  

Next, use warm water to rinse off the pan and let it dry. Use a clean piece of cloth to buff the surface of the pan to maintain its smooth sheen. 

2. Baking Soda and Ketchup

Usually, your copper pan will discolor after several uses. Don’t panic if you happen to be the victim. You can try this simple remedy – baking soda and ketchup.  

These products are not only pocket-friendly but also effective. Dust some baking soda on a washcloth and use it to eliminate the black stains. As for ketchup, apply the same concept but allow it to sit for a while before cleaning the pan. Since ketchup contains acid, it’s worth giving it some time to renew the coppery color. 

3. Worcestershire Sauce

This is a time-intensive product, often preferred by users running on a tight schedule. Soak a sponge in the Worcestershire sauce and smear it all over your dirty pan. Allow the sauce to sit for a while before wiping it off. After that, rinse and let it dry before storing it. 

Avoid using detergents for cleanups, especially if the surface is seasoned. Often, the soap will eliminate the effects, compromising the taste of your food. 

What to Look For When Buying Copper Pans?

Choosing the right pan can be a daunting prospect, especially when you’re running on a shoe-string budget. Below are some of the factors worth checking out before buying one: 

1. Size and Thickness of the Copper Pan

Usually, copper pans are 8 to 12 inches long, with weight capacities of up to four pounds. Also, it’s about 2.5mm thick for even heat conductivity. Pans that are thicker tend to heat up slowly and equally long to cool down. 

2. The Handle of the Pan

Thicker copper pans include cast iron handles. Often, they create pits that enhance a sturdy grip while preventing injuries. In addition to providing a sturdy grip, these handles don’t conduct heat efficiently.

3. The Pan Lining

You’ll find out that most copper pans are lined with tin, suitable for heat conduction. Unlike stainless steel, tin is soft and will therefore warp. Even worse, tin can melt when exposed to temperatures of 437 degrees and above. Therefore, try and get a stainless steel lining when buying a copper pan. 

4. The Appearance

Copper pans are available in two forms – the smooth and hammered copper finishes. Even though the hammered copper finishes look attractive, both of the finishes will still serve you well. However, if you are looking for a beautiful finish, go with the hammered type. 

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5. Cooktop Compatible

Ensure that your copper pan has a magnetic steel bottom made precisely for induction cooktops. Copper pans are safe in all types of cooktops, but your overheated copper pan can leave marks or stains on top stoves. Therefore, don’t allow your copper pan to boil until dry. 

Best Heating Methods for Copper Pans

Electric heat: Copper pans are safe for electric use, but you stand the risk of discoloring it or leaving marks, which might be a hassle removing later. 

Gas heat: Copper pans are safe for use using gas heat. If your copper pan’s lining is 2.5mm thick, rest assured that heat will evenly distribute, minimizing food sticking chances. 

Induction stove heat: You should never use an induction cooker to heat your copper pan. Induction cookers are only meant for cookware with magnetic bottoms. 

How Does Copper Make Your Cooking Seamless? 

Copper is one of the materials that are very sensitive to heat. Its ability to evenly distribute heat makes it a number one priority for many cooking savvies. 

And because sticking of food is often as a result of hot spots on your pan, copper pans can cope with temperature fluctuations, thus reducing the chances that your food will stick. 

Copper material is energy efficient, which means it will help you save energy. Additionally, this material is durable and will serve you longer when well cared for. 

The copper pans’ ability to distribute evenly can be noticed when one is cooking entrées that tend to get burnt easily. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Is Copper Cookware Safe?

Yes, copper pans are safe to use, but they have to be linked with any other material. There are two types of copper cookware – the coated and uncoated copper cookware. Uncoated copper pans are dangerous because they contain molecules that can end up in food. 

2. Is Copper or Stainless Steel Better for Cooking?

Yes, copper and stainless steel are better for cooking. When deciding what metals to use for cooking, the main critical element you need to consider is heat conductivity.

Copper pans can distribute evenly and minimize the chances of your food sticking on the pan. That said, some cookware brands line copper with stainless steel.

3. How Can I Stop Food from Sticking to My Red Copper Pan? 

As we said earlier, seasoning is the most proven way to stop food from sticking to your pan. If you have seasoned your red copper pan before, season it again when food starts to stick to it again. 

Bottom Line 

If you want to prepare excellent meals, invest in copper pans, but season any stainless steel variety before you can start using it. 

Doing this will help your pan stay longer, with your meals tasting even better. Regular seasoning is necessary, especially after 3-6 months of regular use, even when you have seasoned before.  

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)