Stainless Steel vs Copper Pans: Which is better?

The short, sweet answer is stainless steel. However, there are many factors that go into deciding which one you should use for your kitchen needs. Let’s dive right in!

Copper Vs Stainless Steel Pans: Comparing features & traits

When choosing between copper and stainless steel, it’s important to compare the features and traits, this will decide which is the right cookware for you as they both have their own pros and cons.

So let’s take a deeper look.


When it comes to comparing the durability of copper vs stainless steel pans, stainless steel is more durable. However, copper will tarnish with use and can be polished to restore its beauty.

The cooking surface’s durability depends on the material used in construction of the pan. For example, aluminum is not as durable as stainless steel but it is lighter in weight. Copper is less durable than stainless steel, but it’s also eco-friendly because it doesn’t release toxins when heated like some other materials do.

Tin pans are expensive to re-tin, and the lifespan could be shorter than your copper pan; however, the tin lining can last for many years if properly taken care of.

So between copper and stainless steel, stainless steel is the most durable.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Copper cookware requires more care and maintenance than stainless steel. Copper will turn greenish-brown if it’s not properly cared for, which is caused by oxidation or corrosion on the surface of the metal. The Statue of Liberty is made from copper because it has turned green over the years. To prevent your cookware from turning green, polish it regularly with a paste made of Bar Keepers Friend and water, or Bon Ami and vinegar (both can be found at supermarkets). Stainless steel pans should be hand-washed to avoid scratches; you can also use a soft cloth to buff them until they shine. If they aren’t properly cared for, stainless steel pans can lose their shine. Some brands and collections label their stainless pieces as “dishwasher-safe.”


Copper pans come in a variety of colors and patinas, so it’s easy to pick one that suits your kitchen decor. Copper pans tend to look better with a traditional decor however depending on the colour of the copper pans they can be very versatile when it comes to aesthetics.

Stainless steel also has a more modern look, it’s shiny and classy which is a consideration for those with traditional kitchens. It looks great in modern kitchens.


There are two types of copper cookware – those with a copper outside and tin or stainless steel inside, and those with a copper bottom. The latter is less expensive to produce and can be found in some popular brands. Copper cookware is more durable than stainless steel, but the latter is easier to clean. Impact bonded stainless steel cookware has an aluminum core, while clad stainless steel cookware can have a copper core.

Heat Conduction

There are two main types of materials that are used for cookware: copper and stainless steel. Copper is more conductive than stainless steel, which heats up much quicker. However, copper cookware requires more attention and skill because it’s so conductive; if you’re not careful, you could burn your food. Adding copper to the core layer of a stainless steel pan enhances its heat conducting qualities- making it almost as good as pure copper. The copper does not conduct heat as well as stainless steel, but it still outperforms most other materials in this category. The copper pot boiled the water faster than the stainless steel pot, but it was only marginally faster. In general, though, copper cookware is known for its speed and even heating capabilities. Stainless steel pots and pans are a better option for those who are less experienced in the kitchen or don’t want to have to worry about burning their food; they also come with the added benefits of being durable and easy to clean.


Copper pans react to temperature changes more quickly than stainless steel. This is because copper conducts heat and electricity better than stainless steel. To observe this responsiveness in action, I conducted another test. In this test, I heated two pots of water to the boiling point- one with a copper pot and one with a stainless steel pot. The water in the stainless steel pan was 131.9 degrees Fahrenheit, while the water in the copper pan was a higher temperature than that at just 128 degrees Fahrenheit.

Oven-Safe Temperatures

When choosing cookware, it’s important to consider the oven-safe temperatures of the materials used in order to avoid any accidents. Copper cookware is lined with many different materials to help it have varying levels of oven safety. The lower the copper pan is lined, the more likely it is to start melting at 450°F, and thus be unsafe for oven use. Stainless steel pans are usually safe in an oven anywhere from 500-800 degrees Fahrenheit because they are not lined with anything that starts to melt at these temperatures. However, make sure you read your specific cookware’s instructions before cooking in high temperatures with it. The difference between copper and stainless steel pans is that the former will discolor at high temperatures and the latter won’t.

Stove Top Compatibility

When it comes to stove top compatibility, copper cookware is a bit tricky. Copper pans are not suitable for use on glass-top stove as it can easily scratch the surface. Additionally, they are not compatible with ceramic, glass top or induction stoves – so make sure you have the right equipment before purchasing copper cookware!

Environment: which is better?

Copper is a more environmentally friendly option than stainless steel. Copper pans are made from 99% recycled copper, which means that the metal can be melted down and reused again as many times as possible. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is made from iron and nickel which are mined. Once these metals have been mined they cannot be reused or recycled.

Copper pans also come with the benefit of being more eco-friendly and healthier. Copper is considered to be one of the healthiest cookware materials because it doesn’t react with certain foods, such as tomato sauce or wine,


The price of a copper pan can vary depending on the brand and the type of construction (i.e., whether it has a copper core). All-Clad D3 is the most expensive cookware set in this article, but it offers perks such as an induction compatible base and a lid that’s dishwasher safe. The prices are subject to change from the time of purchase.

Ideal Use

So, which material is the ideal cookware?

Each type of metal has its own unique benefits and drawbacks. Copper pans are great for cooking on medium-heat, and silicone utensils are recommended to avoid scratching the pan. However, stirring meat in a copper pan requires too high temperatures, which can cause the tin layer to melt. Stainless steel is perfect for pickling and it’s also good for stir frying – but carbon steel is better suited to it. Cooking course options can help you decide which cookware is best for your needs. Stainless steel pans have a longer lifespan than copper pans, and are also easier to clean. Copper is known for its exceptional heat conductivity, durability and natural non-toxic properties. So if you’re looking for an extremely efficient conductor of heat that will last a long time, go with copper; but if easy maintenance is more important to you than performance, stainless steel might be the way to go

Conclusion: Are Copper Pans Better Value over Stainless Steel Pans?

When it comes to copper vs stainless steel pans, which one is the better value? In general, copper pans are more expensive than stainless steel pans. However, copper pans do not require as much maintenance and can be used for healthier cooking methods. Stainless steel pans are good for regular cooking, but they can be more difficult to clean and may not be as healthy. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to buy a copper pan depends on your needs and preferences.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *