In-Depth Copper Chef XL Review: What You Need to Know
There is plenty of kitchen gear out there designed to make your life easier. Those all-in-one breakfast machines, electric griddles, and even mechanical chopping devices are all flying off the shelves because people are willing to pay to save themselves a few minutes in the kitchen here and there. Unfortunately, there is one thing that all of these products have in common: they're designed for individuals. In many ways, this doesn't make a lot of sense. After all, it's the people who are cooking for large families that could really use the time. This is where the Copper Chef XL comes in. Dimensionally, it's only a little bit larger than a standard frying pan. But in terms of volume, this unique design can hold 70% more food than the pans you might be used to.
Should you spend your hard-earned money on it? Do the manufacturers claims translate into real-world results? To find out, we decided to try it out for ourselves.
The XL is a bit of a mashup between a frying pan and a casserole dish. Like a frying pan, it's designed for stove top use and measures about 11" in both height and width. Like a casserole dish, it features two loop handles on each side and is quite deep.
It features the same copper coating we've been raving about, enabling you to cook your food without any grease, and without any mess. It features two loop-style handles on either side, so it is fairly easy to maneuver around.
You can get just the dish by itself, or you can buy it will all kinds of other goodies. Which one you choose all depends on how you intend to use it. Some consumers are looking for a single pot that can do it all. In this case, the packages are probably a better option. They include a number of accessories that improve the functionality.
Alternately, maybe you've already got a well equipped kitchen and you just want the pot on it's own. If so, no worries! You can get it on it's own, and save a few bucks while you're at it.
XL Basic Set
This four piece package is one of the cheapest, and most basic packages available. You get the pot itself, along with a tempered glass lid. You also get a large fry basket, which can be used for deep frying food in oil, if that's your thing. For a healthier option, you can use the steamer insert to cook your veggies. The insert doubles as an extender, doubling the volume. You can place the lid right on top of the steamer tray, and use it as one larger unit if you wish.
In our eyes, this is where you get the real bang for your buck. This set includes the pot, the lid, and a fry basket. Instead of the steamer and extension combo, you just get a simple tray. But what they add in is their 1500 watt induction cooktop - an all-electric burner that doesn't actually generate heat. It's child safe, energy efficient, and gives you much more control over your cooking temperatures. It might not be for everyone, but if you think you'll use it this is an unbeatable deal.
Personally, we don't really think that this package is a very good deal. You receive two XL pots, two lids, and a cook book. You don't get the fry basket or the steamer tray - and if you really want to make the most of this kit you'll want those things. Trying to use a generic steamer will just waste space, whereas the branded ones fit perfectly. If you really need two, then you do save a little money here. But for most of us, one is enough.
What We Like About It
The square shape of the XL has some pretty big advantages. First, if you're cooking solid, portioned food such as chicken breasts or burgers, you can fit a lot more in. Think about it like packing books into a box versus packing them into a garbage can - there is a lot less wasted space! Additionally, they got the height just right. You'd have no problem whipping up a stew or baking a lasagna, but you can also grill up some veggies for dinner.
The XL can be used in both the oven or the stove top. It's rated for temperatures up to 850 degrees - which is something that no other non-stick pan can compete with. It's also extremely versatile, and very easy to clean. Overall, this take everything we like about copper-coated cookware and puts it in a larger package.
What we Don't Like
This is a big pan! If you're just whipping up a meal for one, it's going to be a little cumbersome. It's also a little heavier than copper chef's other options. In terms of functionality, we don't really feel that a single pot really can do everything. Sometimes, you want to prepare ingredients desperately and combine them later - so you'll want to think about how you intend to use it before you buy.
Lastly - you need to be careful with how you use this. Like most non-stick cookware, you shouldn't use metal utensils. If you scratch the coating, your pan will start to slowly degrade over time.
As Good as Other Copper Chef Products?
You should take note of the fact that the XL is made just like any other copper chef product. It's got the same core, and the same coating.
For those of you who like these products but don't want something so big, you'll do just as well with one of their smaller options. If you've tried them and don't really feel that their a good fit for your kitchen, then this one probably won't be any different. XL just refers to the size - it hasn't been upgraded in any way, so it's the same pan that most of us love.
Want to read more about their other options? Check out our full Copper Chef Review
Overall, we’ve got a lot of good things to say about the XL. The pan is large enough to cook for an entire family, and versatile enough to be used for almost anything we can think of. Is it truly the only pot you’ll ever need? Perhaps not. Like anything, this has a time and a place. That being said, you can do a lot more with this than you could similar products.
In essence, it’s doing the job of three things: a pan, a pot, and a casserole dish. Like a pan, you can use it on the stove top to fry up your veggies or meats. Like a pot, you can simmer soups or cook larger, more liquidy meals. Like a casserole dish, you can pop it in the oven and let it bake. There aren’t many materials that can be used for all of those tasks.
One of the things that stands out about this brand is that they put the copper non-stick coating on both the inside as well as the outside. With their other offerings, this has only come in handy for us a few times. But in the XL, it’s very handy. How many times have you baked something and had little runs drip down the outside? Because this material is so easy to clean, that’s no longer a big deal! In our eyes, the ability to clean it up without having to scrub is reason enough to throw out all of our other oven-friendly cookware.
Of course, this product isn’t without it’s disadvantages. You shouldn’t use metal utensils, or you can scratch the coating. It’s also too large to use for small meals. But as long as that’s not going to be an issue for you, we happily recommend it.