Copper is a metal that offers high thermal conductivity (390W/mk).
It is second only to silver on the scale of conductors. This feature makes it an excellent material for making cooking utensils.
The aspect that limits its use the most is cost. Tinned copper cookware is often prohibitively priced, due to the high cost of the raw materials and the tinning process that is still performed using traditional methods. However, these pieces last forever since they can be re-tinned on the inside and repolished on the outside.
Since copper stains easily, it is recommended to occasionally rub the outer layer with lemon that has been sprinkled with salt, or vinegar and coarse salt, or a mixture of vinegar and corn flour. It is best to not wash it in the dishwasher. Copper is a metal with a high specific weight 8.9 kg/dm³. Therefore, containers made of copper are very heavy and unwieldy.
For all of these reasons, today the use of copper cooking utensils is almost exclusively limited to the professional field. Copper is also not suitable for contact with food and is often covered with a layer of tin or combined with other materials suitable for contact with food, such as steel or aluminium. In this case, the material is no longer considered to be copper but co-laminated copper-steel or copper-aluminium. Technically speaking, different metals are paired together using a metallurgical process referred to as cladding. When combined with aluminium, the copper utensil may also be finished with a non-stick coating.
Today, this version of copper is the most technologically advanced solution available on the market, able to combine, in a single product, the performance of a normal non-stick aluminium utensil and that of a copper utensil.
All the materials mentioned in this guide are regulated by the following laws, directives and guidelines that can be downloaded from the following links of the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) and the COE (Council of Europe): downloadable at the following link:EFSA COE Download the pdf guide