Stainless steel is a combination of iron and other metals, this type of cookware has a hard surface which will not chip, flake, or peel but it is a poor conductor of heat. Therefore, stainless steel cookware bases are often bonded with another metal, usually copper or aluminium which conduct heat well, resulting in more even cooking and the elimination of hot spots.
Copper cookware is the very best in terms of precision; when you adjust the heat on the stove, the metal conducts quickly and the change is almost immediate. It is also the most attractive type of cookware and is heavy enough to sit solidly on the burner. It is sometimes bonded with stainless steel to give strength, copper is an expensive material and this can be reflected in the price but it is consider by many chefs to be the best material for cookware.
Chefs and home cooks choose copper cookware because it is twice as conductive as aluminium and ten times more conductive than stainless steel. This means that copper pans will heat up rapidly and evenly without hot spots that may cause food to stick and burn. When the heat is removed, they will also cool down quickly, providing the cook with maximum control.
Amara’s core range of cookware is from Mauviel, established in 1830 it is a French family owned business located in Normandy France. With more than 180 years of experience in the manufacturing of copper cookware, the Mauviel name has become synonymous with top quality copper pans.
The M’Heritage collection is the core of Mauviel cookware, combining copper pans with stainless steel linings. The copper allows for unsurpassed heat conductivity and control, and the stainless steel interior is ideal for all daily cooking needs.
Something to be aware of when making your choice is that the thickness of the copper does vary, largely according to the handle style. The thickest copper construction is used in the traditional cast-iron handled pans.
Mauviel M’Heritage copper saucepans are the heart of the Mauviel copper range. With their thick copper bodies, stainless steel linings and substantial cast iron handles, these copper saucepans not only look beautiful, they are also entirely functional.
Copper pans do need maintaining with a special cleaner to keep them looking good and they need to be dried quickly, a little time taking care of your copper pans is worth it to keep them looking good and in top condition (see our Cookware Care Guide).
Remember that the type of oven/hob that you have is also an important factor when choosing the right cookware. When using solid fuel type hobs such as Agas always choose pans with thick bases which can withstand the high temperatures produced. You can use any type of cookware on a gas hob, but always make sure you regulate the flame to prevent it extending beyond the base of the pan, as the waste gas can a the saucepan handle. When using ceramic hobs always lift pans- don’t slide them as this may damage the ceramic surface. Halogen hobs can be subject to short bursts of heat so use thick based pans and again always lift pans instead of sliding them.
Any type of cookware is suitable for radiant spiral element hobs, and for solid hotplates the best pans are those with a flat base, this will ensure they heat evenly and energy is not wasted. Pure aluminium or copper pans are not suitable for induction hobs, unless the base is bonded with a magnetic metal.