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 cookware brand by 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 Red Copper pan has “seasoned” then it should become fully nonstick. Cooking with oil helps the seasoning process.
Now, Red Copper advertises these pans 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.
- PTFE (Teflon) Free
- Useful selection of pots and pans
- Very attractive
- Efficient heating
- Oven Safe to 260°C (500°F)
- Dishwasher safe
- Not fully non-stick until seasoned
- The outside scratches easily
- Some users report non-stick doesn’t last
For more information check out my Red Copper Pan guide.
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 the ceramic range, which again looks like copper but actually isn’t!
There are some alternative Gotham Steel products:
- Gotham offers a 9.5 inch (24cm) pan
- They also offer a similar style hard anodized cookware set
For more information on the Gotham Steel 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.
Gotham Steel claim 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.
- 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
- Non-stick wears off eventually
- Reports of coating peeling
For more informations, and details on more Gotham Steel products, check out my Gotham Steel Reviews page.
Red Copper Vs Gotham Steel Pans – What’s the difference?
Not a lot: From the look to how they perform, the two sets are surprisingly similar.
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
This difference is related; the Red Copper pan’s surface is made from a type of copper ceramic, which obviously needs seasoning. The Gotham Steel pan’s non-stick coating is a different material.
Yet both have a Teflon-free cooking surface. Another difference is that Gotham Steel recommend not using oil in their frying pans, whereas Red Copper recommend using oil. I would always suggest a little bit of oil for non-stick frying pans.
Personally I think the Gotham Steel pans might be slightly more attractive than Red Copper, 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. Both Gotham Steel and Red Copper will wear out eventually. 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 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.
- Dishwasher and Oven Safe
- Heatproof to 450°C (850°F)
- PTFE free non-stick
- Non-stick isn’t very durable
- Doesn’t seem to actually include copper
Gotham Steel vs Red Copper vs Copper Chef
Gotham Steel, like Copper Chef offers a copper look without actually including copper. In the case of Copper Chef, given the name, this is rather ironic.
All three offer safe, Teflon-free, non-stick. In the case of Copper Chef this non-stick isn’t especially durable–according to customer experiences.
Copper Chef is OK, but both Gotham Steel and Red Copper seem to edge it out.
Gotham Steel Hard Anodized Pots and Pans
This Gotham Steel cookware set is of amazing quality. By far the most durable of all the pots and pans 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 Steel also don’t seem to offer the option of a standalone hard anodized pan.
What makes this Gotham Steel cookware 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.
- Dishwasher Safe
- Oven Safe to 260°C (500°F)
- Teflon (PTFE) free non stick
- Durable and High Quality
- Scratch resistant cooking surface
- Not quite as non-stick as Teflon
Gotham Steel vs Red Copper vs Gotham Steel Hard Anodized
All three offer healthy Teflon-free non-stick, the Red Copper Pan’s non-stick coating does need seasoning.
Only Red Copper has any actual copper in it.
Of the three the Gotham Steel Hard Anodized cookware set is by far the most resilient, durable and long lasting, but it is also the most expensive.
Why is my Gotham Steel pan sticking?
Firstly, make sure to pre-warm your Gotham Steel pan before cooking, although Gotham Steel recommend against it, you can also use oil. (Don’t use a non-stick spray with a Gotham Steel pan.) If this doesn’t work, clean it thoroughly, being careful not to damage the non-stick coating.
It’s possible for Gotham Steel cookware to appear clean but have a thin layer of invisible food stuck to the cooking surface. You can restore the non-stick capability using a chemical cleaning agent–either baking soda, or Barkeeper’s Friend.
(This should also work for a Red Copper pan, but make sure to season it again afterwards.)
Can you use butter in a Gotham Steel pan?
Gotham Steel claims you don’t need to use oil or butter with their pans, they even recommend against it. However you can use oil and butter, and it can help.
It is important to avoid non-stick sprays with a Gotham Steel pan, and crucial not to burn the oil or butter. Use it on a low heat–if it overheats it could leave a sticky residue.
Can you use oil in a Red Copper pan?
You can use oil in a Red Copper pan and it will help improve the non-stick. Add the oil before cooking and pre-heat it. Be sure not to overheat the oil as it can reduce the non-stick properties of the pan.
Are Red Copper pans toxic?
Red Copper cookware is not toxic. Red Copper does not even contain Teflon. Teflon is not toxic, but there are some concerns, especially if overheated.
This means the Red Copper pan is probably safer to use than most non-stick pans on the market.
Is the Red Copper pan oven safe?
The Red Copper pan is oven safe to 260°C (500°F). This is enough for most cooking needs, and a higher temperature than most non-stick cookware on the market, which tends to be limited to 232 °C (450°F) or less.
The Gotham Steel pan is also oven safe to 260°C (500°F).
Is the Gotham Steel pan really non stick?
Gotham Steel cookware is non-stick. Gotham Steel use a special type of non-stick coating that avoids Teflon and results in a copper-color surface. This means it is safe and healthy, however some customers believe that it isn’t quite as effective 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.