The most common question I’m asked in my kitchen is “do you really use your copper pots?” which kinda makes me giggle. When my husband first started purchasing our copper pots, I kept them polished and beautiful, and still reached for my All-Clad and Cuisinart standbys. As I slowly started using the copper beauties, I became a believer in copper. It might be because I’m a bit controlling … and the copper responds so quickly to heat that it fuels my desire to control.The first copper pots in my collection were used, and not marked with a brand-name, and it seemed that Baumalu was regularly sold on eBay. My husband can be a bit obsessive when it comes to learning and researching, which can make me crazy (I’ll admit it … I usually buy the first car I test-drive). He couldn’t find much information on-line about them, but today I have 5 Baumalus and they are my most used. Here’s what I’ve learned about them, having now used them for a couple of years.
There seem to be three lines of Baumalu copper, which is usually not specified on eBay. One line is a hammered copper, which I don’t have any of, since they always seem to sell higher and don’t think they would out-perform the others. Another line is the lighter weight, less expensive line and is easy to spot in a photo because it has a chromed-steel handle and is a stainless steel pot with a thin layer of copper on the exterior (the stainless steel appears to be 2 mm thick, and copper less than 1 mm).
I use this pot when I’m looking for more consistency and don’t need as much control since the stainless steel doesn’t change temperature as quickly as tin. The much heavier, much sturdier, and much less refined-looking Baumalu (I’m guessing it’s a commercial line) have cast iron handles and 2 ml thick copper. They are tin-lined, which I prefer, particularly for sauces since there’s no burn ring as the sauce reduces, and if I’m cooking something that I need precise heat control, there just isn’t a better option. When using copper, remember that you can’t set an empty pot on a heated burner, or you’ll separate the tin layer from the copper. Also, if you’re using a commercial-style range with high BTU burners, there’s never a reason to turn the heat higher than “medium” … I can boil water quicker in these pots on medium heat than in a stainless steel All-Clad on high. Even though all but one of my Baumalus were new when I bought them, I enjoy using them since it makes me feel like I’m cooking in the Downton Abbey kitchen. Sometimes I hear that folks are afraid of the tin, thinking it won’t pass the test of time, but I haven’t had any problems, and haven’t yet had my pots re-tinned.
Copper vs Copper
I didn’t buy a set of pots, I bought the pots one at a time based on what I needed (which is a post for another time). I have a Mauviel and a few Ruffonis in my collection that are just downright beautiful, but I find myself reaching for my Baumalus more regularly since I love to be in control. 😉
A word about thickness
Julia Child was known for saying to buy copper cookware that’s at least 3 mm thick … I have only one this thick that my husband found used on-line. It’s a Baumalu windsor pan. I’ve never seen a Baumalu 3 mm copper pot new … probably because the price would be so high. My Baumalu 2 mm 11-inch braiser is pretty heavy; if it were 3 mm, even though I lift weights every week, I don’t know if I could pick it up, especially if it was full! The difference in the way sauces reduce when comparing my 2 mm with 3 mm is so very slight, I don’t think it’d be worth the money. But, I do highly recommend spending the money to get a 2 mm verses 1, especially for reductions.
Keeping copper clean
The second most-asked question I’m asked is how I keep my copper pots cleaned. To be honest, I kinda like the patina look on my pots. I’ll make ’em shine at Thanksgiving by using my Bar Keepers Friend. You can also clean the copper by slicing a lemon, dipping in coarse salt, and rubbing it in to the copper. Another option is to rub ketchup over the copper, let it sit for a little while, then rinse off.
I am enjoying reading your blog. Your doing a great job with the articles and keeping up with posts. Keep it up!
What a wonderful blog Kathy – good work on the Baumalu review. People can be very sniffy about these wonderful pans – they are great value for money and give a great service in a busy kitchen, especially as you say with reducing sauces! I will read your blogs with interest. Have a look at my blog
http://www.normandykitchencopper.com/blog not half as good as yours!!
Great post, Kathy! Also, I love the blog! This was the first I’d come across it.
Thanks for your work! Information is very intresting and full. I bought several Ruffoni pots and will be very grateful if you will write more about this brand from your experience with this brand.
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I just purchased my very first copper pots. I choose these Baumalu cooper pots. I have yet to use them but can’t wait. I am looking to upgrade all of my kitchen cookware, and utensils. I love your blog page and will keep reading as I coninue on my new found cooking journey.
Congrats on your Baumalus! I made a braised chicken with pears & rosemary tonight .. used my Windsor pot to reduce the sauce .. works so well!
I am really impressed along with your writing abilities as
well as with the format for your blog. Is that this a paid topic
or did you modify it yourself? Either way stay up the nice quality writing,
it’s rare to look a great blog like this one today..
Thank you .. and yes, I write my own posts .. this is not a paid topic!
I like copper cookware just as you does. But i find it is hard to get really good copper cookware. I live in a small town online shopping is my first choice. Thank you
Great post. I am dealing with some of these issues as well..
I am really inspired along with your writing skills as smartly as
with the layout for your blog. Is that this a paid theme or did you modify it your self?
Either way stay up the excellent quality writing, it is uncommon to
peer a great blog like this one nowadays..
Most informative, thank you…Have much better understating and confidence to enter into the world of copper pots.
Thank you for a great post! You won’t believe – but your comments specifically about tin-plated Baumlau copperware made me change my mind about returning them back to the store where I’ve purchased them! My only dissappoitment came in AFTER I had a chance to cook something in one of them.. I was surprised to see the tin-plated interior of the pot to turn into various uneven shades of darker metal or something within those lines… I thought that perhaps, it happpened because the tine came into contact with food and also temperature, but later I figured that it must be the norm. Basically, brand new tin-plated interior looks shiny metal (NOT aluminum) and after you use it the first time – its NOT the same…. Please let me know if that’s the case with you… I was even worried that the tin started to came off or something….
I also bought various pans (for frying something) and tried to fry an egg on it (of course with some veg. oil), only to find the egg to be sticking LIKE CRAZY to the tin-plated bottom of the pan.
Not sure what to make of it… Please provide your opinion in my case… I so much don’t want to return them back to the store… Maybe there is something I don’t know… Will wait for your response! MUCH APPRECIATED 🙂
Tanya – don’t return your pots! The uneven darker shades inside the pot are to be expected. To extend the life of the tin lining and avoid scratches, it’s best not to use metal objects in the pot – wooden spoons (or plastic) work best. I prefer using my tin-lined copper pots when compared to stainless steel because they react to heat much more quickly. Your new pots will last a lifetime, and can be passed on to your children if cared for properly. They can be re-tinned over and over .. the copper will last forever. Happy cooking!
And .. by the way .. use a non-stick or cast iron skillet for your eggs 🙂
I absolutely love things that age well. Over the past few years, I’ve passed over our All Clads and have been using my cast irons as often as possible. I’d thought about venturing into the Copper world for a while, but always feared the upkeep. Your post is fantastic for breaking the ice for a newbie – I actually stumbled upon it while searching Baumalu while in the store. I just managed to pick up a 1 qt saucepan (with the cast iron handle) for $8 new! I don’t think I’ll be lucky like that again in the future. Thanks!
First, thanks for the thoughtful reviews of various copper cookware. My wife and I returned from two weeks in Italy earlier this year, a highlight of which was the purchase of several pieces of absolutely gorgeous copper cookware from Rinomata Rameria Mazzetti in Montepulciano, http://www.rameria.com/english/. While I’d not call this a cheap purchase, the value of these amazing pieces is quite astonishing. We purchased 3 mm, tin lined pieces, hand hammered (they also sell some silver lined pieces; well beyond our budget). The wonderful husband/wife team who own the shop will ship abroad, and removed the approximately 20% VAT from the cost, which paid for the cost of shipping. As you’ll see from their website, they sell 2 and 2.5 mm cookware, as well, but we found the cost difference for 3 mm to be modest. Recently, I stumbled upon both Baumalu and Ruffoni cookware at discount store Marshalls, which has resulted in a flair up of my copper cookware fetish. Fortunately, I’ve managed to get away with only purchasing one small 2 mm Baumalu copper sauce boat, as the oddball collection of other items weren’t really what I was looking for. I’ll be monitoring the situation, however. That said, I do very highly recommend checking out Rinomata Rameria Mazzetti. The quality and price – for new items – is unmatched, based on my personal experience.
Thank you for your help. I just bought a couple frying pans from homegoods. There is no indication whether it’s 10 stainless steel or aluminum. Is 10 the same thing as aluminum? As far as the sickness it looks to be as big as a nickel and from the top of you I see nothing but copper on the 1 tiny pan (big enough for 1 egg) and on the other it has a curved edge so I a thin layer silver and thicker copper. The handles are kinda dark gray and feel slightly rough (maybe cast iron?) Anyway I can email you pictures? Maybe you can help. I am wanting better pans. I have a old set of stainless steel with no conductive aluminum. They are so thin and cook unevenly. I did look up website the last person put for copper pans from across the world but they have no toll free number and I can’t convert those dollars in American dollars. I did email them though. Maybe that person can tell me how much and what sizes they bought so I can have a idea.
Sure, feel free to message me a few photos and I’ll give you my thoughts.
Hey there! Great review! I was just looking around because my new baumalu pots with cast iron handles have started to get rust spots on them! I am not sure if this has happened to you and if you have any good solutions! Thank you!
Hmmm .. this hasn’t happened to me so not sure how to solve other than making sure to dry the pot immediately after washing it, or rubbing a thin layer of oil over the iron handle after cleaning.
I have very similar problem and this gets me discouraged to use them 😦
In my case, they look like uneven oxidized spots on the interior coated surface of the pan that has silver plated interior, but it’s not Stainless Steel for sure. And yes, the handles are cast iron and they are OK.
My problem is that I DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE THEM AND NOT TO HAVE THE FOOD STICK TO IT (as it sticks to this interior surface like crazy)?
I keep them all almost new and shiny in the Pantry and using my old SS cookware instead… Hoping that one day I’ll find out HOW to use the Copper Pots for my everyday cooking…
FOR example: My hubby took one of the small deep copper pots the other day to make the morning Oats. It came out like it stuck to the interior of the pot (and I had to be careful to clean it afterwards, having to soak it real good to make sure that I don’t get it scratched).
PLEASE HELP with ADVICE on how to use them, so food won’t stick to the interior surface. Your advice is MUCH MUCH appreciated! (AND YES, I am aware that the copperware is not intended to be used under heavy and/or MAX of Gas burners as it conducts heat perfectly enough while on MEDIUM.
THANKS! WILL WAIT FOR ANY INPUT 🙂
I am wondering how you keep the copper clean around the handles. I have Falk traditional cookware (looks like your pots), and I cannot get baked on crud out of the part where the cast iron handle meets the copper pot. Not even a sponge with BKF gets it clean in there- simply not enough precision. Any ideas? I could dig in there with a knife point, but that would just scratch everything up 😳.
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Thank you for the insight. I’d like to ask if this copper cookware is well used with electric range cooktops?
Yes! Works well with gas or electric .. just not induction.
Your post was a gigantic relief. Bought beautiful Baumalu (3 small) as a gift to myself. And after my first use thought I ruined that lustrous interior finish. Its lost its sheen immediately and even a little splotchy. Ohhh I was so disappointed that I could be so stupid to make a sauce with tomatoes. What was I thinking! At any rate, it appears the dulled finish is normal and I won’t feel as though they’re ruined.
I have several Baumalu pots. The interiors are a thick and shiny silver metal and have a thin skin of copper that is wearing off in many places including the top rim, looking like its copper plated. They have the mfg stamp of Baumalu, and the iron handles. The tags say,” You have just invested in a piece of solid copper”. Do I have counterfeits? I’ve been using them for two years for everything. Any information/advice would be welcome.
Hmm .. not sure .. post a photo and I’ll take a look at it.
Can you please post your recipe for braised chicken with pears and rosemary using your Baumalu pots?
Hi! This was very helpful, I came upon a Baumalu 11” braiser for a great price- I am new to copper cookware. It looks great and came packaged and tagged, but there is no stamp. I noticed most copper brand are stamped- Do you see reason for concern or am I really overthinking this? Can’t wait to use it but want to make sure I didn’t get a knockoff. Any advice would be helpful 🙂
Hmm .. not sure if Baumalu stamps every pot .. might just be on the older ones.