The first use of copper pans: what to do & what not to

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  November 15, 2020

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Everything you need to know about using copper pans for the first time and useful information about how to keep copper pans nice and clean for years can be read below. We give you a simple and simple step-by-step plan with a short explanation.

In the culinary world, copper pans have been used for centuries and are preferred over other types of pans. And this is simply due to the material: copper.

Copper is an excellent heat conductor and conducts the heat from the heat source evenly across the bottom and sidewalls of the pan.

The first use of copper pans

And as they say: “Good tools are half the battle!” It goes without saying that all top chefs have an extensive collection of copper pans in their kitchen.

Not only professional chefs, but also amateur chefs mouth water at the sight of the copper pans.

Copper pans are not only of excellent quality, but are also super handy and simply beautiful to have in the kitchen.

How do you keep copper pans so beautifully shiny and shiny?

Copper pans must be ‘seasoned’

What do you need for ‘seasoning’ your (new) copper pans? Below you will find a step-by-step plan.

  1. Pretreatment: wash the pan.
  2. Apply oil and coat the pan.
  3. Heat the pan on the stove or in the oven.
  4. Dry the pan and repeat.

What do you need if you want to enjoy your copper pan for years to come?

  • A tablespoon of vegetable oil. Other oils can also be used, such as grape seed oil, canola oil, or peanut oil. However, it is advisable to use vegetable oil for non-stick surfaces. Butter or olive oil are not suitable because they burn more quickly. You don’t need a lot of oil; just enough to cover the bottom is sufficient.
  • Tap water. You need this to be able to rinse the pan.
  • Soap. A mild dish soap is best suited.
  • Paper towel. To spread the oil.
  • Gas stove or oven. Usually an oven is used, but on the gas stove is also sufficient.
  • A soft cloth. To wash the pan.
  • Oven mitts, for safety.

Also read: Can you put a copper pan in the oven?

Step by step instructions for handling your copper pan

  • Pretreatment: Wash the pan. Before you start seasoning, it is important that you wash the pan first with warm water and a mild dish soap. Make sure you do not sand! This can scratch your new pan. Use a soft cloth to soap the pan very gently.
  • Rinse the pan with warm water. Then dry the pan with a soft and clean cloth. Check that the pan is completely clean and that there are no soap residues in it. You should definitely do this when it comes to a brand new pan!
  • Apply oil and coat. Add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan. Take the paper towel and rub the oil very gently all over the bottom and the sides of the pan. Use an oil that does not get hot quickly. This will prevent the oil from burning too quickly and disturb the whole seasoning process.
  • Heat on the stove or in the oven. Heat the pan on the stove or in the oven. Make sure to keep your oven gloves handy.
  • Heating on the stove: Reduce heat to medium. Put the pan on the stove and wait until the oil starts to smoke. Remove the pan from the heat. Heating in the oven: You have to preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Make sure the oven is well preheated and put the oiled pan in the oven. Leave it in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the pan (with oven gloves on!)
  • From the oven.
  • Dry, use and repeat. What you need to do now is check if the oil has dried properly in the pan. This will ensure that the oil has filled in all the imperfections naturally in the pan (those imperfections may still be there after seasoning, even if you don’t see them). After the oil has cooled completely and dried, wipe off the excess with a clean, soft paper towel. Now your copper pan is all set to be used for cooking.

A few more useful tips

What you can certainly do to preserve the life and quality of your copper pans is the following: Be careful! Be careful not to drop your beautiful pan or accidentally bump it here and there. Copper is sensitive and you could make an ugly dent in it. Usually the pans are hung to minimize the risk of dents.

Do not use harsh chemicals or detergents to clean your copper pans. These will corrode and damage your copper pan. The non-stick coating will also disappear.

Use your copper pan for what it is intended. There are several copper pans on the market that are specially made for certain uses.

So, for example, use a saucepan for making a sauce and a stockpot for making a soup and so on.

For keeping your cup shiny With the pan on the outside, you can brush the outside of the pan occasionally with lemon juice. Use a soft cloth with some lemon juice on it and rub gently on the outer walls, stem and bottom to get the pan nice and shiny again.

The seasoning process should be done at least once or twice a year to ensure the quality of your copper pan. For better results, it is still recommended to seasoning your copper pan once every few months. This will ensure that you keep your pan good for a long time and that the non-stick coating will not disappear.

Also read: best induction hobs vs electric ones

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.