January 28, 2015

How to Care for Copper Pans

How to Care for Copper | The Naptime Chef

Last year I was gifted some pretty copper pots by various family members. I love cooking with copper and could never afford to buy a set myself so it was a real treat! The pots themselves are heavier than my favorite stainless steel workhorses, but they conduct heat more evenly and are perfect for warming soups and stews. They even make my kitchen look a little fancier, like a French kitchen! Someday I hope to have a little copper collection that I can hang from the ceiling or on a pegboard like Julia Child. In the mean time, though, I need to the care for the pots I have to make sure they last a lifetime. So! Here is what I’ve learned so far about caring for copper:

Easy regular cleaning – Salt & Lemon:

My favorite easy natural cleaning solution is to cut a lemon in half, sprinkle a generous dose of kosher salt on top, and scrub the outside of the pot. This will instantly lift away grime by acting as a mild acidic abrasive. It doesn’t damage the pot at all and makes the whole kitchen smell heavenly.

Shining up – Vinegar:

When I want to wash off hand prints or marks from water droplets or sauces I use a rag dipped in white vinegar. It polishes the copper right up and makes it look shiny and new. Vinegar is also a good natural way to clean the inside of your pan. Pour about 1-inch worth of vinegar into the pan (doesn’t matter if the lining is tin or stainless steel), and simmer for about 10 minutes. Then rinse out with water and a sponge. This will lift any grime off the bottom of the pan and get the bottom nice and clean.

How to Care for Copper 2 | The Naptime Chef

Extreme Discoloration: Wright’s Copper Cleaner

Sometimes extreme discoloration happens if you hit the pan with a lot of high heat over a long period of time. Or, if you give it a nick or a dent by accident. It is no big deal. Just use the copper cleaner according to directions and it will all come off. If it doesn’t clear up entirely don’t worry, a little patina on the pan is pretty and adds character!