Is Copper Chef the new King, or a Cheap Knockoff?
Now that copper pans are becoming one of the hottest kitchen items of 2018, there is no shortage of copycats. Despite the sea of overseas knockoffs, there is one brand that's managed to make a name for themselves in an already crowded market. Copper Chef took the tried and true formula started by their popular competitor and added a few unique twists to it.
But this begs the question: when you cut through all the marketing, are these pans actually any better than what's already out there? To find out, we decided to go hands-on. First, we'll show you the brand highlights. After, we'll pit it head to head with other popular alternatives to find out if this is a pan that should have a home in your kitchen.
Copper Chef Cookware
What appeals about these products is the same thing that appeals about all copper pans. Their metal-infused non-stick coating allows you to cook without any food sticking to the pan, and you can even leave the butter or oil out of the pan. Cleanup is a breeze, and it's free of PFOA and PFTE - two chemicals that can be toxic.
But there is more than meets the eye. While all of these pans are oven safe, only copper chef can be used in temperatures up to 800 degrees. Most others cap out at 500. This particular brand also coats the entire pan - front and back - in the same non-stick coating that most manufacturers only put on the inside. The main advantage of this is that it makes everything easier to clean.
Finally, they have a number of additional products like baking sheets, muffin tins, knives, and even their own induction cooktop. So if you're looking for something that other brands don't offer, copper chef might have it.
Copper chef has a variety of products on the market - much more than just pans. If you're missing anything in your cupboard, maybe a sauce pot or a skillet, you'll definitely be able to find it here. We're going to be taking a look at each product one-by-one to find out what it's strengths and weaknesses are. After, we'll go in-depth to help you decide if one of these is right for you.
Why People Like Copper Chef
There are three main reasons you might want one of these pans: for health, for ease of use, or for performance. The biggest benefit is in ease of use: these types of pans will not stick to your food. You don't have to spend a lot of time scrubbing them, and you can move your incredients around without charring them too bad. This also has health benefits, too. You don't have to use butter or oil, so you can cut the fats in your food. This coating is also free from PFOA and PFTE - chemicals commonly found in non-stick cookware, and many people feel that it's healthier.
Finally, you've got performance. Copper is a great conductor of heat. This means that your pan will heat evenly, and won't have any cool or hot spots. It's also easier to control the temperature, as it wont' hold the heat long after you've turned the burner down.
Copper Chef vs. Red Copper
We all know that red copper was the first to market with this unique design, so how does copper chef stack up? Well, to put it simply, copper chef is a bit of an upgrade. You pay a little more for most of their products, although you will find the odd thing that's a little less expensive. In exchange for your investment, you get a few things that red copper just doesn't have.
Red pans are only non-stick on the inside. On the outside, they're painted. This paint looks cool, but reduces the amount of heat their pans can take. At most, they can't be used over 450 degrees, whereas chef pans can handle up to 850 degrees. Additionally, copper chef has many products that red has never offered. They definitely started the trend, but this brand is bring it to your entire kitchen.
If you want to see how other brands stack up, you can check out our copper cookware buyers guide. Or, read on to learn everything you need to know about copper chef.
Copper Chef Reviews
Ready to look at their specific products? First, we'll be taking a look at the sets. If you're only interested in purchasing something individually, simply scroll down. After we look at the package deals, we'll go more in-depth to focus on the individual components.
7 Piece Cookware Set
If it were up to me, I probably wouldn't advertise this as a 7 piece set. In reality, you're only getting two different pans. On the flip side, these could be the only two pans you'd ever need. You get a round pan and a square pan. Both are over 12" wide, making them some of the larger pieces of cookware in your kitchen. The round one is almost more like a wok. You also get a fry basket, a steam tray, a set of lids, and a cook book. Since these are oven safe, it doesn't matter if you want to bake, steam, grill, sear, fry, or simmer - these pans can do it all.
9 Piece Pan Set
Like the last set we looked at, this one includes the square pan with the lid, fry basket, and steamer tray. You also get a smaller 8 inch pan with shallow edges - ideal for grilling burgers or chicken. What's unique about this set is that it includes three knives - each of which are coated with the same copper coating that made these products famous. This will help you slice food more effectively, and save you time during the washing up.
9 Piece Round Set
If you came for the pans, this is the set for you. You get two pans - a 10-inch and an 8-inch one. They also give you three pots measuring in at 1 quart, 2.8 quarts, and 5.8 quarts. The largest pot comes with a smaller version of the fry basket and steam tray we saw earlier. This set is enough for a complete kitchen, so get this if you want to fully convert.
Deep Dish Set
This set includes two different pots. These are cassarole-dish style, measuring in at 8 and 11 inches across. They are extremely deep, so you might not want to cook eggs in them. But they're great for soups, stews, or anything baked. Because they are oven safe, you can start off on the stove top and soften up those harder veggies, then add the rest of your ingredients and throw em in the oven at temperatures up to a staggering 800 degrees - they were built for it!
Round Pan 3 Pack
This three piece set includes Copper Chef's most popular choices - the 8, 10 and 12 inch pans. Like their red competitors, these feature a PFOA and PFTE free coating. The difference is that the coating wraps all the way around the pan, making it easier to clean up drips and increasing the maximum oven-safe temperature. The only part not coated is the stainless steel base, which is necessary to make these pans work properly on an induction stove.
This is one of those unique offerings that really sets this brand apart from their competitors. While everyone else is making pans, these guys have a whole range of kitchenware. You get five different products in this package - a large baking tray, a muffin tin, a square baking pan, and a loaf pan - all of which are fully coated with the same copper-infused coating as the pots and pans. Finally, you also get a set of four silicon storage containers, each with a lid that seals airtight.
9.5" Square Fry Pan
There are a few reasons you might want to choose a square pan over a round one. If you're cooking whole foods such as chicken breasts, burgers, or sandwiches (as opposed to blended foods like stir fry) the square pan gives you more space. Because it's copper, the heat will spread evenly in spite of the fact that most of us have round burners. For this reason, this shape has become very popular with copper pots and pans.
Copper Chef XL
The XL is one of the largest pans available, designed specifically for families who need to cook for a lot of people. They have the advantage of being extremely versatile. In many ways, this is one pan that could replace almost every other piece of cookware in your kitchen. Of course, that doesn't mean that it's going to be the best choice in every situation. For more information, click below to read our full, detailed review.
One of the main reasons that people purchase these kinds of pans is because they can avoid using butter or oil. If you also own an air fryer, then the copper crisper is just the thing for you! It fits inside of cuisinart (and many other brands) air fryers to help you make healthier fries and similar goods. Measuring 9 by 11 inches, you can get quite a bit of food in this tray and basket set.
If nothing you've seen so far has enough space, this wok is sure to fit the bill. Since this material conducts heat so well, it will heat your food from both the base as well as the sides of the pot. If you're trying to whip up a quick stir fry or steam a lot of vegetables, you'll be able to do so much quicker here. As one of the higher end offerings, you also get bonuses like a steam tray, a fry basket, and a cook book with it.
We especially found the cook book useful, since this wok performs so much differently than we're used to. The recipes will help you come to terms with the adjusted cooking times, so your food will turn out right from day one.
15-Inch Crisper Pan
Specifically designed for cooking pizza and pie in an air fryer, this unique product drastically improves the functionality of your air fryer. It's sized to fit most models - something that's particularly important when you consider the fact that copper chef doesn't make an air fryer on their own.
Although this is technically a knife, we think that this belongs in a category of it's own. These copper infused knives make it easy to cut breads, meats, or anything else that can be challenging to cut with a dull blade. This approach tackles the problem from two angles. No matter what you get, a sharp new knife is going to cut better. But with the ultra-slick coating, you'll prevent food from sticking to the sides of the knife. This set includes three knives - a filet knife, a chefs knife, and a serrated blade.
Grill & Griddle
Specifically designed for induction cook tops, these plate-like covers give you the ability to grill your favorite foods. Measuring 12 inches in height and length, you've got quite a lot of surface area to work with. You'd have no problems cooking up breakfast for your entire family. The core of these cooktops is much more heavy duty than you'll find in their pans, allowing the stainless steel heat surface to better absorb and transfer the heat evenly across the entire surface. It includes a tempered glass lid, and can be used with gas, electric, ceramic element, and induction stoves without any issues.
Once you've replaced your pans, copper chef wants you to replace your burner! Induction cooktops are popular for a few reasons. First - they're safe. You can touch your hand to it while in use an not even get a burn. That's because it works by creating a strong magnetic field that induces (that's where the name comes from!) heat in certain types of pans. Because all of their products are designed to work with induction stoves, this could be a cheap option for anyone who wants to try it out.
You can get this cooktop in either black or copper, depending on which color suits you best.