Copper is one of the best materials to use in the kitchen. It’s an outstanding heat conductor that works well at low temperatures, saving you energy.
Yet, one significant drawback is that pure copper is not non-stick.
Fortunately, manufacturers have come to our aid, blessing us with copper cookware lined with non-stick materials.
Read the whole guide to get the full lowdown. Otherwise, here’s my list of the best non stick copper cookware options in 2020:
- BulbHead Red Copper-Infused Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware (Best Copper Non Stick Pan Set)
- Copper Chef Aluminum Cookware (Best Copper Ceramic Non-Stick Coating)
- Gotham Steel Hard-Anodized Cookware (Best Copper Style Cookware Set)
- Gotham Steel Hammered Collection (Best Hammered Copper Finish Set)
- Farberware Glide Nonstick Cookware (Best Value Copper Non-Stick Set)
Are Copper Pans Non-Stick?
Natural—or pure—copper isn’t non-stick.
In fact, it will react with acidic foods. It may even contaminate your food with copper, making it unsafe to eat. But more on that shortly.
Why Copper Cookware?
Copper conducts heat thirty times better than stainless steel.
Thanks to its impressive energy conductivity, copper cookware spread heat more evenly than other materials, like cast iron.
This, in turn, eliminates hot spots, thus reducing the risk of burning food. Copper also stores heat very well, helping your food stay warm for longer.
Another benefit is its antibacterial properties. Copper is toxic for microorganisms, meaning that bacteria and germs can’t survive on it. This is also why door handles in hospitals and water pipes are often made from it.
Is It Really Copper?
There’s some controversy around whether copper cookware is safe or not. So, this has some wondering how much copper there actually is in non-stick copper cookware.
While copper cookware is generally safe, there is a chance of copper toxicity.
Copper is volatile with acidic foods. For instance, if you cook vinegar, lemon, or tomato-based ingredients in an unlined pan or pot, you could expose your body to excess copper.
Your body actually needs some copper. It’s not bad for you in small quantities.
Yet, excess copper can cause nerve damage and kill liver cells. It also interferes with the body’s absorption of iron and zinc. This is the main reason why manufacturers usually line the material with another metal.
So, although unlined copper cookware is available, go for lined pots and pans. Also, ensure that the lining is non-reactive and safe—such coatings include stainless steel, ceramic or tin. In this case we will be focusing on non stick (usually ceramic) coatings.
There is another option here – some pans are more “copper style” than actual copper. They are made to look like copper and have many of its properties. But they may not contain any actual copper.
Which Non-Stick Coating Is Best?
Non-stick coating options are:
Ceramic non-stick coatings are made from a mixture of clay and silica. The ideal ceramic coating is free from PFOA, PTFE, and other toxic chemical ingredients. This makes it an excellent lining for the best non-stick copper cookware.
Be warned though – some ceramic coatings masquerade as healthy but contain PTFE, the active ingredient in Teflon (see below).
Sadly, it often isn’t as durable as other coatings. Therefore, ensure you hand wash ceramic-lined cookware and use wooden or silicone utensils to avoid scraping the cooking surface.
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) Coating
PTFE is one of the oldest coatings for non-stick cookware. It’s slippery, making it an excellent non-stick surface for any cooking vessel.
In the past, manufacturers used another chemical component in the production of the PTFE, namely PFOA—perfluorooctanoic acid. However, since this impossible-to-pronounce ingredient is highly toxic, it was banned back in 2015.
Still, even without PFOA in it, PTFE can be harmful. Studies have shown that when overheated, PTFE linings may release toxic fumes.
Even so, many believe that using PTFE-coated pans is safe, as long as you take the necessary precautions.
If you are looking for PTFE-free cookware, checkout my Teflon-free pan guide.
What to Look for in Non-Stick Copper Cookware
As if it’s a case of just choosing any old non-stick copper cookware! With different types of cookware available, it can be challenging to choose one that suits your needs.
Here are several things you should keep in mind when looking for non-stick copper cookware:
When it comes to thickness, you don’t want to go too thin or too thick—find the balance. I suggest looking for copper cookware between 1/16-inch (2.5 mm) to 1/8-inch (3 mm).
Thinner than this will impact the durability and performance in the kitchen. However, if you go thicker, it may decrease the copper’s responsiveness to heat and temperature changes.
When it comes to lining, you can generally choose between tin, stainless steel, ceramic and PTFE.
I highly suggest that you opt for ceramic—it’s a lot safer and more durable than the others.
Ceramic is also a fantastic non-stick surface. Whatever you cook slides right off without having to use excess butter or oil.
This lining is also excellent at retaining heat, which helps you save energy when cooking.
Make sure your non-stick cookware is compatible with all cooktops, especially if you use an induction stovetop.
For an induction cooktop, ensure your copper cookware comes with a magnetic steel bottom layer.
How your pan feels in your hand is essential for comfort and control. The best handle material to go for is stainless steel. Such pots and pans often have cool-touch safety features, and they look great, enhancing pan control.
Stainless steel handles can also go into the oven if you need to heat something or cook a steak through. This material can easily withstand 260°C (500°F) and up, which is about the same as copper.
Another feature to consider is helper handles. These are additional handles sitting on the opposite side of the pan. They make it a lot easier to carry a heavy pan and provide some balance.
Nothing beats the convenience of a dishwasher, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find dishwasher-safe copper cookware. Sadly, though, not all non-stick surfaces are.
Make sure that you look for an indication that it’s safe. Otherwise, you could ruin your prized coating.
Whether you’re cooking a steak or a skillet brownie, tossing your pan into the oven is a huge plus. However, not all copper kitchenware is oven-safe, so make sure you double-check beforehand.
Best Non-Stick Cookware Reviews
BulbHead Red Copper-Infused Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware—Best Copper Non Stick Pan Set
In this BulbHead bundle, you’ll receive 10 pieces, including two fry pans, three sauce pots, and an aluminum steamer insert.
The pots and pans included have copper-infused ceramic linings that provide scratch-resistant and non-stick cooking surfaces. In addition to this, the manufacturer bonded the coating with aluminum, which improves heat conductivity, similar to pure copper.
The set is oven safe up to 260°C (500°F), and all items are dishwasher safe. You can also hand wash them with warm water and mild detergent.
However, please keep in mind that the pans and pots require seasoning. This means that the non-stick effect won’t be too noticeable at first. Don’t worry though, it’s not cast iron – the seasoning isn’t as big of a deal.
- Copper-infused ceramic linings.
- Easy to clean.
- Oven safe up to 260°C (500°F).
- PTFE (Teflon) Free.
- Lids aren’t oven safe.
- The handles tend to get too hot.
- Requires some seasoning
Copper Chef Aluminum Cookware—Best Copper Ceramic Non-Stick Coating
This set from Copper Chef includes nine pieces of ceramic-coated pots and pans.
What sets this bundle apart from the rest is the non-stick surface. Copper Chef utilizes a ceramic-tech coating that offers superb food release, minimizing the need for grease and avoiding the use of copper on the inside.
As with most non stick, you should use non-metallic utensils—bamboo, wood, silicone, and plastic.
Another feature worth mentioning is the stainless steel conduction plate. This allows you to use the cookware on all stovetops, including induction.
This set is oven-safe up to an incredible 427°C (850°F). That’s more than you would ever need in a home oven.
Finally, the handles have a riveted design and outer coating, making the cookware secure to hold, especially when hot.
That said, the pans seem to be quite thin, which decreases their durability. You should also be aware that the handles are heavy and may cause the pan to tip over.
- Ceramic-tech coating.
- Even heat distribution.
- Suitable for all stovetop types.
- Secure handles.
- PTFE (Teflon) Free
- Using dishwasher may reduce the set’s durability.
- Fragile surface—scratches easily.
- Thin pans—high temperatures may cause issues.
- Handles can cause pan to slip over.
Gotham Steel Hard-Anodized Cookware—Best Copper Style Cookware Set
If you’re looking for something with less copper, you may like this set from Gotham Steel. In this bundle, you’ll receive 13 pieces, including several pots and pans of varying sizes.
This set looks like a copper set, but doesn’t actually contain any copper. These are more “copper style” pots and pans than anything else.
The more important difference is that the pots and pans consist primarily of hard-anodized aluminum, an excellent heat conductor.
For the non-stick coating, it offers titanium and ceramic linings. Sadly, the surfaces aren’t as durable as hoped—make sure you give them a thorough seasoning!
Note that the set has stainless steel handles that are rust-free, durable and cool to touch. The bundle also includes glass lids that are tight-fitting and break-resistant.
Finally, the set is safe for use in the oven up to 260°C (500°F), making it ideal for casseroles and slow-cooking stews.
- Durable anodized aluminum construction.
- 13-piece bundle.
- Cool-to-touch handles.
- Tight-fit glass lids.
- Oven safe up to 260°C (500°F).
- 10-year warranty.
- PTFE (i.e. Teflon) free
- Not induction compatible.
- Cooking surface scratches easily.
- Doesn’t contain copper.
Gotham Steel Hammered Collection—Best Hammered Copper Finish Set
This is another set from Gotham Steel, consisting of 10 pieces. In contrast to the one above, this one has more of that authentic copper look.
The finish is definitely a highlight. It’s a hammered finish with a copper coating, giving it a rustic appearance, while also increasing its durability.
However, although the set looks as though it’s copper, the pieces are actually made from aluminum. The solid aluminum construction is highly durable and an excellent heat conductor.
On the inside, the pieces offer triple-layered non-stick, diamond-infused coating. It’s also scratch-resistant and super smooth.
Other notable features are the premium handles that will resist heating up while cooking. The pieces are also compatible with all cooktops, including induction stoves.
- Beautiful hammered finish.
- Durable aluminum construction.
- Triple-layer non-stick lining.
- Compatible with all cooktops.
- Oven safe up to 260°C (500°F).
- No PTFE (Teflon).
- The non-stick layer has a short lifespan.
- Not dishwasher-safe.
Farberware Glide Non-Stick Cookware—Best Value Copper Non-Stick Set
Lastly, we have this cookware set from Farberware. The pieces in this bundle are made from aluminum and coated in a copper ceramic finish.
For its non-stick feature, this cookware has an innovative CopperSlide Technology, enabling food to slide right off. This works well with the flared edges and sturdy and comfortable handles.
Yet I suspect this technology contains PTFE (the active ingredient in Teflon). Farberware aren’t clear about this – normally a sign they’ve been using this chemical.
Don’t let that stop you buying this product. PTFE can be fine if used correctly. It’s up to you!
The glass lids are tight-fitting, making the set excellent at retaining heat and moisture, while the entire set is dishwasher safe.
However, the pans are quite thin and may warp when exposed to high temperatures.
This is a budget set both in terms of price and quality.
- Ceramic non-stick material.
- Flared edges.
- Comfortable, sturdy handles.
- Dishwasher safe.
- Very affordable price.
- Oven safety is up to 178°C (350°F).
- Not suitable for all cooktops.
- Contains PTFE (Teflon)
Best Non Stick Copper Cookware
The winner of the best non-stick copper cookware is the BulbHead Red Copper-Infused Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware. With its copper-infused ceramic non-stick lining, it’s sleek and durable.
The set is compatible with all stovetops, and each piece is bonded with aluminum, increasing their durability and enhancing heat conductivity. You can also toss them in the oven and dishwasher, ticking all the necessary boxes.