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. It’s also antibacterial, and just plain beautiful.
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 copper cookware with non-stick in 2023:
- BulbHead Red Copper-Infused Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware (Best Copper Cookware with Non-Stick)
- 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 Non-Stick Copper Cookware 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 don’t worry, there is plenty of safe “copper cookware” out there. More on that a little later.
Why Copper Cookware?
Superb Heat Conduction
Copper conducts heat thirty times better than stainless steel. Plus, thanks to its impressive energy conductivity, copper cookware spread heat more evenly than other materials, like cast iron.
This superb heat distribution eliminates hot spots, reducing the risk of burning food. Copper also stores heat very well, helping your food stay warm for longer.
Copper’s unmatched heating is one reason you’ll find a lot of multi-ply stainless steel cookware with a copper core. The copper gives the stainless steel a heating boost.
Another benefit of copper cookware 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 Copper Safe to Cook With?
There’s some controversy around whether copper cookware is safe or not. This has some wondering how much copper there actually is in non-stick copper cookware.
It’s important to remember that your body actually needs some copper. It’s not bad for you in small quantities. But 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.
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 non-reactive metal.
Although you can find unlined copper pots, go for lined copper pots and pans. Ensure that the lining is non-reactive and safe for contact with food. You’re better off to go for a ceramic, tin, or stainless steel interior. The copper cookware in this article predominantly comes with a non-stick (ceramic) coating.
Is It Really Copper?
Another thing to consider is that some pans are more “copper-style” than actual copper cookware. These pans are made to look like copper and have many of its properties, but they may not contain any actual copper!
These pans often have an aluminum core with a copper-colored non-stick coating. In fact, several of the copper pans on this list fall under that category. This cookware can still be highly effective, but it isn’t copper.
The easiest way to tell the difference? The price. If the price seems very reasonable, it’s probably not copper. Either way, it’s super important to check the product description for the materials, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Which Non-Stick Coating Is Best?
If you’re looking for the best copper cookware with a non-stick surface, the type of coating used is a top priority. You have several non-stick coating options available. Read more about each type, along with their advantages and disadvantages.
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 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. Even then, you will have to eventually replace these pans. That’s just the reality with ceramic coatings.
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) Coating
PTFE (i.e., Teflon) 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 potentially be harmful. Studies have shown that when overheated, PTFE linings may release toxic fumes that can cause flu-like symptoms in humans.
Even so, many believe that using PTFE-coated pans is safe, as long as you take the necessary precautions. The most important thing is to avoid overheating the pan. Never heat an empty Teflon pan, and stick to low or medium heat.
If you are looking for PTFE-free cookware, checkout my Teflon-free pan guide.
What to Look for in Non-Stick Copper Cookware
The term non-stick copper cookware can cover a wide range of pots and pans, each with different materials and features. With so many 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) thick.
Thinner than 2.5 mm will impact the durability and performance of the copper cookware 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.
Handle Material & Design
How your pan feels in your hand is essential for comfort and control. The best handle material to go for is stainless steel. Stainless steel handles often have cool-touch safety features which enhance pan control. Not to mention, stainless steel looks sharp.
Stainless steel handles can also go into the oven if you need to heat something or finish off a steak. Stainless steel can easily withstand 260°C (500°F) and higher, which is about the same as copper.
Another feature to consider is helper handles, which are smaller handles on the opposite side of the pan. They make it a lot easier to carry a heavy pan and provide some balance on the stovetop. These handles are generally the same material as the main long handle. Stainless steel and heat-resistant plastic are common materials.
Dishwasher Safety & Ease of Cleaning
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 can withstand the dishwasher. The harsh detergents, high heat, and contact with other objects can tear up a non-stick surface.
Make sure that you look for an indication that your non-stick copper cookware can go in the dishwasher. Otherwise, you could ruin your prized coating.
The good news? Most non-stick coatings are easy to clean by hand, reducing the time you have to spend cleaning pans in the sink.
Whether you’re cooking a steak or a skillet brownie, tossing your pan into the oven is a huge plus. However, not all copper cookware 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
This BulbHead Red copper cookware set features copper-infused ceramic for the coating. It comes with a red exterior. Here are the 10 pieces you get:
- 2 fry pans (one with a lid, one without)
- 3 sauce pots with lids
- 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-Colored Ceramic Non-Stick Coating
This Copper Chef copper cookware set includes nine pieces of ceramic-coated pots and pans in a pretty copper exterior. Here’s what you get:
- 5.8-quart (5.5 liters) casserole with lid
- 2 saucepans with lids
- 2 fry pans
- round fry basket
- round steamer tray
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.
But to be clear, this “copper cookware” set doesn’t include any real copper. It has an aluminum core with a ceramic non-stick coating. The only thing copper about this cookware is the color. That doesn’t mean it’s not good cookware, but you should know what you’re getting.
As with most non-stick cookware, you should use non-metallic utensils—bamboo, wood, silicone, and plastic. Metal can scratch the surface.
Another feature worth mentioning is the stainless steel induction plate. This allows you to use the cookware on all stovetops, including induction.
This copper cookware 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.
Another thing to consider is that this set isn’t always available. If you’d like something similar, the Gotham Steel Hard-Anodized Aluminum set is a good alternative.
- Ceramic-tech coating
- Even heat distribution
- Suitable for all stovetop types, including induction
- 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 copper cookware, but doesn’t actually contain any copper. These are more “copper style” pots and pans than anything else, just like the Copper Chef set.
The most important difference is that the pots and pans consist primarily of hard-anodized aluminum, an excellent heat conductor. Hard-anodized aluminum also provides a more durable construction that’s non-reactive.
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! That should help lengthen the life somewhat, along with avoiding metal utensils and the dishwasher. You’ll have to baby this “copper” cookware somewhat.
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 Copper Cookware: Best Hammered Copper Finish Set
This is another set from Gotham Steel, consisting of 10 pieces. It comes with the following:
- 2 fry pans (one with a lid)
- 2 sauce pots with lids
- 1 stockpot with lid
- stainless steel steamer basket
In contrast to the one above, this set has a beautiful hammered copper exterior for an authentic copper look.
The finish is definitely a highlight. It’s a copper exterior with a hammered finish, 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 copper cookware set from Farberware. The pieces in this bundle are made from aluminum and coated in a copper ceramic finish, just like several other options on the list. Here’s what comes with this set:
- 2 covered saucepans
- Dutch oven with lid
- 2 frying pans
- slotted turner, spoon, and pasta fork
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. Check out my complete Farberware Review.
- 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: Final Thoughts
My recommendation for the best copper cookware with non-stick 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.
If you’ve read my guide carefully you may have realized that non-stick copper cookware is a type of non-stick ceramic cookware. I’ve also reviewed other types of ceramic cookware.