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Copper is an excellent material for cookware. Not only doe sit look nice, it heats everything up better and more evenly, making it almost perfect for just about any kind of cooking.
It’s also one of the most misleading type of cookware out there, with a ridiculous amount of imitators, copper colored (but aluminum or steel in actuality) cookware, and other falsely advertised sets out there before you even get into the varying levels of quality the cookware itself can have when you winnow out the terrible options.
So I threw together this list to show what to look for in a cookware set in general, why copper is so good of a material, and some of the best sets on the market, in varying levels of quality and price.
Our Top Choice...
For the complete product list, please continue reading...
Top 7 Best Copper Cookware Sets Reviews
1. Best overall - Calphalon T10 Tri-Ply Copper 10 Piece Set
This set is beautiful, but moreover is unmatched in quality. While the set is limited in scope, that’s not really a drawback; it left Calpahalon free to pour everything they had into making these pieces as excellent as possible.
Each is mad of bushed copper, designed to stay looking pristine even after years of daily use, so long as you make sure to maintain them as good tools are meant to be maintained.
The selection, while small, is all of the necessary components you want: 2 commonly used skillet sized, a deep sauté pan, and 3 saucepans/pots of varying sizes.
The handles are arched high, but it fits the shape better than others we’ll look at later, given the more flat design of these saucepans and skillets. The lids are flat and retain heat perfectly, while being easy to use and remove.
Everything about this set is pretty much perfect, and as long as you can get past the shocking price tag, they’ll serve you well for a lifetime.
Top quality copper cookware.
Looks beautiful in any kitchen.
Retains appearance even after years of heavy use.
Good selection of basic cookware.
Extreme price tag.
2. Runner up - Michelangelo 12 pc Ultra Nonstick Copper Cookware Set
This cookware is a pretty hard tie with our winner, with the only thing really being the tiebreaker being that I like the looks less.
These are still incredibly high-quality pieces of copper cookware, with a similar variety; the main difference here is the addition of the steamer pan to the big sauce pot, which is great to have. I also liked that this set offers a professional stockpot. The lids are nice glass, though I find the bulbs instead of looped handles a bit awkward to use; I’m really not a fan of them at all, as they heat up and make it more difficult to use oven mitts to pick them up.
Overall you can’t go wrong with this set. The variety is great without any of the chaff a lot of bigger sets provide, and while I like the look a lot less than the Calphalon set above, it still doesn’t look too bad.
Really, the make or break for you is going to be the appearance and handle style. If you prefer this look and style you might want to go for this one over the Calphalon, especially as it is significantly less expensive.
Great variety of basic cookware.
Steamer insert for large stockpot is fairly uncommon to find.
Good price for the quality.
Very high durability.
Not a fan of the lid handles.
3. Best starter set - Shineuri 9 pc Copper Cookware Set
This is a great starter cookware set from Shineuri Kitchen if you’re looking to start transitioning into copper cookware, with everything you need to get started. You’ve got what I would consider the absolute essentials for anyone who wants to do home cooking: an 8 inch skillet, a 9.5 inch skillet, and a 2.5 quart sauce pan.
Short of cooking a big ol’ pot of chili to feed a large family or something, these are the only pieces of cookware you really need, and they’re all high quality options with the copper for even heating and a non-stick ceramic interior or easy cleanup.
The handles are very sturdy stainless steel affairs. They conduct heat, but you’d have to really go out of your way to get them to heat up enough to need mitts for most of these.
Both of the larger pieces of cookware also come with well fitting lids, which is also nice to have. The utensils it comes with are…less good. They’re the kind of thing you’ll use, ruin within a year, and toss. At least they’re included.
Gives you everything you need to get started home cooking.
Good quality pieces.
Utensils are poor quality.
Very bare bones set.
4. Best Full Cookware Set - Home Hero 23 pc Copper Cookware Set
For those who want to jump into the deep end of the pool with a full, huge set of ceramic cookware, you’ve got this set. All of these pieces are quite well made, and the variety is amazing. Pretty much everything you could ever think of using is represented here, and you have the tools with this set to make just about any dish known to man, with a great collection of both stovetop and oven ware.
The construction is heavy duty, a super thick combination of layers of aluminum, copper, and ceramic which leave the pans’ handles cool to the touch while ensuring even heating on the interior of the pieces.
I’m not a huge fan of the square skillets, is my only real gripe. Square skillets have their place, but it’s in addition to similar sized round skillets, not in place of them.
Great versatile and wide ranging set.
Good quality heavy duty materials.
Lack of large round skillets.
5. Best high-end set - Lagostina Martellata Hammered Copper Tri-ply Copper Cookware Set
On the one hand, these pieces of cookware are top of the line. They’re beautifully designed, with flared tips for easy pouring, which is always welcome. The handles are great, high arched over the lid, and with very thick centers for extra grip and heat resistant.
The construction itself is super thick and good, a 3 ply design with a layer of hammered copper on the outside for heat dispersal and appearance, followed by a layer of aluminum, and then a layer of 18/10 stainless steel for the usable pan layer. This makes it highly durable and easy to clean, with great heating ability.
In terms of sheer quality, these are the best bits of copper cookware around. They are also by far the most expensive, clocking in at around 3 to 4 times what out winner will cost you, making these a bit difficult to recommend for all but the most hardcore home chefs.
Extraordinary overall material quality.
Good variety of simple cookware.
Flared edges for easy pouring.
6. Best copper infused ceramic set - Bulb Head 10 pc Red Copper Cookware Set
A small set, but quite a good quality one. You have a good 10 piece copper infused ceramic set, coming with all the essentials, for the most part.
You have 2 good skillets of varying sizes, a pair of saucepans (one deep and one wide), a steamer basket, and a larger sauce pot.
Not a whole ton to say here: everything is well made, looks nice (if your kitchen doesn’t clash with red), and works perfectly, though I have to look askance at how weirdly angled the skillet and saucepan handles are.
Small limited set with just the essentials.
Good quality materials.
7. Best non-stick set - Kutime 10 pc Non-Stick Copper Cookware Set
Another basic cookware set, though this one I’m not as big a fan of. It’s still fine, but of noticeably lesser quality than many of the others on this list.
The main reason is these are copper aluminum, rather than copper or copper with ceramic coating, making them a good deal less good at heat conduction than their peers. They’re not bad, by any means, but aren’t quite what we look for in copper cookware.
Still, what they have going for them is they’re cheap. You get a similar selection as some of our other choices, at a bit of a cut of performance, but a major cut in price.
That’s really the make or break with this set: if you’re fine with the drop in performance for this basic set, this is a huge value here. If not, it’s never going to be worth what you’re paying, since it’s simply not what you’re looking for. It’s “close enough”, but sometimes it doesn’t matter how “close” you are, if you miss the mark you’ve missed the mark.
Good choices for a limited set.
Not actually copper cookware. Close enough for some purposes, but not others.
Calphalon steals the show here, with amazing quality cookware at a relatively reasonable price. Very few of the other offerings come close to its level of quality, save the Michelangelo set (which is roughly equal; it’s up to personal preference which you like better) and the Lagostina Martellata set, which has its own issues…namely that its price is absurd, even if the quality is top notch.
Everything else is varying shades of good to okay, making hem all decent purchases if you want to go a little lower on the objective quality scale, but get something that serves your purposes and budget better. The 23 piece set from Home Hero is a particular standout in this regard. I’d highly recommend giving it a shot if you’re starting a kitchen form absolute scratch, since it provides everything you could need in the kitchen save extremely specialized items.
How Do I Pick the Right Set?
Let’s cover the biggest question first: what makes copper so good?
Why Choose Copper Cookware?
Copper, first and foremost, is an excellent conductor. It’s been used for all sorts of purposes throughout history, for pipes, wiring, and yes, cookware.
Because it conducts heat so much better than iron or steel pots and pans, it heats things more evenly. This gives you an increase in versatility over most other cookware to gently cook foods; better heat distribution means more control over the finished product. Because of this conductivity, copper can also be used to keep food warm better, since it will slowly transfer heat to the food inside of it over time, unlike a less conductive material which will mostly bleed the heat back out into the atmosphere.
As a final added bonus, copper is also naturally antibacterial, making it a very safe cooking material. This only applies for cookware with copper interiors, however, which is a rarity.
What Makes a Good Cookware Set?
A good cookware set is going to include, at a minimum, the standard pieces of cookware that most people will use on a regular basis. This is going to be skillets, saucepans, and pots for the most part.
A good set will provide a variety of these, usually at least 2 skillets, 2 saucepans, and a large pot, with lids. A sauté pan with a lid is something else you’ll usually find in any cookware set worth its salt.
Some cookware sets will include other cooking essentials like scissors or even a spoon. These are welcome, but not necessary, and shouldn’t be the deciding factor on their own if you’re looking for the highest quality set. Above all you want to ensure the individual staple piece of cookware you’re going to se for almost every meal are up to snuff.
What makes Cookware High Quality?
In this case, durability and copper content.
The cookware should have a thick copper plating on the outside of each piece AT LEAST. You can get away with having an aluminum or steel insert on the copper plate if the plating is thick enough, but more copper is overall better. The more copper content you have, the better the conductivity, and the better the performance you get.
In general, no matter the composition of the material, it should be thick and durable. A good cookware set should last a lifetime, maybe even several if well maintained, which means thick, insulated material and no gimmicky non-stick coatings.
Speaking of, ceramic is a positive inclusion in copper cookware much of the time if the construction isn’t pure or mostly pure copper. It also has good heat dispersal and retention, while being non-stick (mostly) and very easy to clean.
This one is likely to be the real sticker: copper cookware is expensive.
For a top of the line set of just the basics, you’re looking at anywhere between $200 and $300, and that’s just for the essentials we mentioned. That’s why I made sure to point out that cookware that is copper plated, if done well, is still plenty good.
Copper plated cookware is going to come to you ate a significant markdown; somewhere in the ballpark of half or even less than the price of the top quality stuff.
Depending on what you want to do (whether you’re buying it for home use or professional purposes, for instance), going for the cheaper but technically less high quality variant is perfectly understandable; for most purposes the cheaper stuff is going to work just as well.