Red Copper vs Gotham Steel: Copper Pans at War

There are many copper cookware brands out there, yet most of them hold little to no copper.

But copper content isn’t why I buy cookware.  I want something that is convenient, not too expensive, and durable.  It’s a sweet bonus if it looks nice.

Both Red Copper and Gotham Steel make attractive “copper-look” pans.  Yet only one of them actually includes copper in their pans.

Gotham Steel vs Red Copper – Just Say Which is Best!

If you can’t be bothered to read the whole article, here it is in a nutshell: Both Red Copper and Gotham Steel offer decent cookware, but I would choose the Gotham Steel Hard Anodized Pots and Pans Set

Read on to find out why, and all about some other great options.

Things to consider before buying Copper Ceramic Cookware

Copper Ceramic cookware isn’t true copper cookware.  With an attractive orange color, it’s made to look like copper, but it offers far more.

Does it even contain copper?  Most “copper” non-stick cookware is actually copper infused ceramic cookware – some pans don’t even contain copper at all!

By using a ceramic coating, manufacturers are able to reinvent non-stick.  In theory, this means that you can have a safe, Teflon free non-stick – but this isn’t always the case!

The trouble with reinventing nonstick is that you risk making your products less durable.

One of the main advantages of copper is its heat efficiency.  Yet copper isn’t the only, heat efficient material.  Aluminum makes a great alternative for example.

In fact, copper ceramic cookware often includes an aluminum layer for heat efficiency.  This means the copper aspect is often mainly about the look.

Red Copper Pans and Cookware

Red Copper, a brand of Bulbhead, offers a selection of attractive cookware and pans including this 10 piece set reviewed.  (If you just want a pan, consider the Red Copper 10 inch Pan Non-Stick Fry Pan)

The surprising thing about Red Copper is that it doesn’t have a lot of copper in. The pan’s main structure is actually aluminum and the surface is a copper infused ceramic non-stick coating.

This has the potential to offer the best of all worlds.  Aluminum is a great cookware material; it’s light, sturdy, and has outstanding heating efficiency.

The non-stick surface is also healthy and PTFE (Teflon) free.

That said, the pans aren’t quite as non-stick as Teflon, at least to begin with.  So you should use a bit more oil, and definitely preheat the pan.

Once the pan has “seasoned” then it should become fully nonstick.  Cooking with oil helps the seasoning process.

Now, these pans are advertised as “scratch-resistant”.  Well, that’s the claim, but in practice, I’m not sure they are different from other non-stick pans.  Avoid using metal utensils with them!

These pans are a healthy, attractive alternative to traditional non-stick.

Pros:

  • PTFE (Teflon) Free
  • Affordable
  • Useful selection of pots and pans
  • Very attractive
  • Efficient heating
  • Oven Safe to 260°C (500°F)
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons: 

  • Not fully non-stick until seasoned
  • The outside scratches easily
  • Some users report non-stick doesn’t last 

Gotham Steel Cookware and Pans

Gotham Steel is known for its attractive cookware and produces a range of great pots and pans.

In this case, I’m reviewing at the ceramic range, which again looks like copper but actually isn’t! 

There are some alternative Gotham Steel products:

For more information on the hard anodized cookware set see below.

Back to the cookware set actually being reviewed: this is a beautiful set of pots and pans.  The “copper style” surface is completely non-stick right from the start.

Unfortunately it does wear over time, as with any nonstick cookware.

In theory, you don’t need any oil for this cookware, but I always suggest using at least a little.  I recommend olive oil.

Of course, it’s dishwasher safe, so it makes cleaning up easier.  Still, if you want the non-stick to last as long as possible, consider hand washing.

These are attractive, healthy, and easy to use pots and pans.  They aren’t quite as durable as their hard anodized cousins (see below), yet they are significantly more affordable.

Pros:

  • PTFE Free
  • Useful selection of pots and pans
  • Oven Safe to 260°C (500°F)
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Genuine non-stick – can cook without oil or butter
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Non-stick wears off eventually
  • Reports of coating peeling

Red Copper Vs Gotham Steel Pans – What’s the difference?

These two sets are surprisingly similar.  From the look to how they perform there isn’t a lot between them.

Even on very tangible, concrete, numbers they come in close with a matching oven-safe temperature and very similar (at the time of writing) prices.

The main differences are:

  • The Red Copper pans need seasoning
  • The Gotham Steel pans don’t have any actual copper

Personally I think the Gotham Steel pans might be slightly more attractive, BUT, that is a matter of taste.  Both look great.

In terms of downsides, you need to understand that non-stick doesn’t last forever.  Consider cast iron if you want that.  These pans are all decent ones but you will need to buy new ones after a few years.

Other “Copper” Options:

Copper Chef

Copper Chef also offers both a cookware selection or an individual pan.  

These pans include a stainless steel induction plate and a ceramic non-stick coating.

Incredibly, despite the name, it isn’t clear if there is actually any copper in these pans.  As far as I can work out, there is little, or likely, no copper included.  This doesn’t need to be a problem – the cookware still looks great and modern cooking materials can cook even more efficiently.

It’s just a bit disappointing if you are looking for copper cookware – especially given the name.

That said this is a decent cookware set. 

It’s non-stick, yet PTFE free.

The non-stick technology used is interesting as it allows a heat-proof temperature up to  450°C (850°F).  This is way higher than most types of non-stick and, in reality, way higher than you need.  Still, it’s always good to have some margin here!

These are oven safe as well, though there isn’t a listed temperature.  I would be especially careful with the lids which may have a low oven-safe temperature (though this isn’t stated).

The biggest downside is that the non-stick properties of these pans apparently wear away quickly.  This means that food tends to stick more.

That isn’t the end of the world, and it does depend on how you use it.

This is a decent cookware set, but it won’t last forever.

Pros:

  • Dishwasher and Oven Safe
  • Heatproof to 450°C (850°F)
  • PTFE free non-stick

Cons:

  • Non-stick isn’t very durable
  • Doesn’t seem to actually include copper

Gotham Steel Hard Anodized Pots and Pans

This is an amazing quality set.  By far the most durable of all the cookware sets reviewed in this article.

So why didn’t I include this set in the main comparison between Gotham Steel and Red Copper?  Well, I was trying to choose comparable cookware.  This set is several times the price of the main cookware sets reviewed.

Gotham also don’t seem to offer the option of a standalone hard anodized pan.

What makes this set pricier, and higher quality, is the hard-anodized construction.  Hard anodized pans have a layer of aluminum oxide which makes them especially tough.  

And you can see the quality – it’s much harder to scratch these pans and they last a lot longer.

The only downside is that, while they are non-stick, they do stick more than Teflon.  The trick is to use oil and preheat the pan if cooking eggs, or anything particularly sticky.  For most things, the non-stick works great.

Pros:

  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Oven Safe to 260°C (500°F)
  • Teflon (PTFE) free non stick
  • Durable and High Quality

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Not quite as non-stick as Teflon

Verdict: Gotham Steel or Red Copper?

If you are looking for a high-quality copper style cookware set that’s built to last, then I recommend the Gotham Steel Hard Anodized Pots and Pans.  It’s a healthy alternative to Teflon that lasts a long time and is versatile.

It’s often worth paying a little bit more for something that will last a lot longer.

Red Copper Pan vs. Gotham Steel Pan?

Sometimes it’s nice to go for a pan, as you get to try out the cookware before buying a full set.  Plus, it’s always handy to have a spare pan.

I, personally, would hesitate to buy one of these pans on its own, though.  It’s not good value when you compare the price to the full cookware set.

And these pans are a little bit too “loud” and stylish to be in the kitchen on their own.  They would look odd amongst other cookware.

Yet if you are just looking for a pan, I’d go with the Gotham Steel Pan.  It’s quite similar to the Red Copper Pan, but it’s just a bit more stylish.

Red copper vs Gotham pans: Budget Cookware

Finally, there’s nothing wrong with either the Red Copper Cookware set or the Gotham Steel (NON hard anodized) one.  They won’t last as long but they are affordable and good value.

There’s a lot to be said for the Red Copper Cookware set, including the fact it actually has copper in!

The seasoning isn’t a big deal and may help make the pans more resilient.

Yet, if I had to choose, I think I would go with Gotham Steel.  There’s not a lot between them and in the end, I just like the Gotham look better.  

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