3 Months With The Red Copper Pan
Is this 2018's biggest culinary fad, or something that's here to stay? If you believe the infomercials, this affordable pan is one of the most impressive pieces of cookware on the market. But if you're a little more skeptical, you might be quick to label this as one of those "as seen on TV" gimmicks that just won't hold up in the kitchen. You wouldn't be the only one, either. There are many inquiries about these products online, and it was even the subject of a "deal or dud" section on fox news.
If you're not sure what side of the fence you stand on, this review is going to help you out. We decided to try it out for ourselves, pushing this pan well beyond what the manufacturer ever intended. After putting it through the wringer, we made a few surprising discoveries.
On the one hand, we found out why everyone seems to love this pan. On the other, we found a few surprising flaws that the commercials didn't tell you about. First, let's take a look at our findings. After, we'll go in-depth and show you everything you could possibly want to know about this thrifty little pan.
In many ways, this is just like any other non-stick pan on the market. It's got a ceramic core, a plastic handle, and a shiny black coating that feels very familiar. But looks can be deceiving - this coating is very different from any non-stick pan you've used before.
The material replaces Teflon with a copper-infusion. This drastically improves non-stick performance. You can cook a meal without a drop of oil, and cleanup rarely requires more than a dry piece of paper towel. Unlike standard pans, the Red Copper Pan is also 100% oven friendly. From a financial standpoint, it's not very much more expensive than any other generic pan on the market.
Red Copper Pan Reviews
The manufacturer offers a wide range of copper pans. If you're only looking for a single one, you should be able to find it in whatever size and shape you need. If you need a lot of cookware and you're looking to save a few bucks, you can also get a slight discount when you buy the entire set as a package deal. Different options are designed for different purposes, so we wanted to look at each product one-by-one to find out it's strengths and it's weaknesses. First, we'll give you an overview of the entire line so you can compare them head-to-head. After, you'll be able to see the full review of each option.
As Seen on TV Sets
10 Piece Red Copper Pan Set
Although this isn't the complete collection, this set will equip you to tackle any culinary task. You get two sauce pots - sized at 8 and 10-Inches, respectively. The larger of the two includes a tempered glass lid, so you don't get your stove dirty while leaving something on to simmer.
It includes three red copper pots, ranging in size from 1.5 quart to 6 quarts. All of the sauce pots include lids, and the larger one also comes with a stainless steel veggie steamer. You save quite a bit of money compared to buying all of the pans individually, so if you know you like these pans this is the kit to get.
10 & 12-Inch Round Pan Set
Generally, pots are used for cooking liquids. And when you're cooking liquids, it's not nearly as likely to scorch the cookware. For this reason, we feel that this two piece frying pan set gives you the most bang for your buck.
These are the pans you'll want for the tough job, and having two means that you can saute your toppings while the main sits and simmers. If you're looking for a starter kit that can tackle the toughest jobs, this is the package we'd recommend.
Red Copper Square Pan
While most of us are used to using round pans, red copper also has a few square models available. However, there are a few key differences between these products, and the standard offerings. For this reason, we did a separate review on all of the square offerings.
5 Minute Chef
While it's not actually a man, this mini-grill was designed using the exact same non-stick coating used on Red's most popular pans. This grill is designed to cook small meals for one or two people, without much effort. Just toss in your ingredients, set the timer, and flip it over half way.
This unique design has some key advantages over the competition, but also some downsides. Check out our full review for more information.
10-Inch Red Copper Frying Pan
This 10 inch fry pan is a great introduction to the red copper line. The pan is a little deeper than some, and the edges are gently tapered out. This helps keep the mess in the pan, so you don't have to clean everywhere else.
This is the most affordable option on the list, making it a great choice for anyone cooking smaller meals.
10-Inch Saute Pan
Lorem There are a few small differences between the Saute pan and the fry pan. The most obvious change is the handle on the front. This makes it easy to lift the pan, even if it's quite full. Both handles are insulated, so they won't heat up when in use.
The Saute pan is also designed with a slightly different lip, allowing you to use the optional lid, which frustratingly isn't included. If you want a lid on the cheap, you can pick up pretty much any generic 10 inch lid and it will fit.
12-Inch Fry Pan (as seen on TV)
The 12-Inch pan follows the same basic design principles as the Saute pan, just a little larger. Some changes were made internally to keep it nice and lightweight. It's quite a bit easier to maneuver than other 12-Inch pans we've used, making this a fantastic choice for anyone who cooks for two or more people.
This pan also works well for baking, as it's completely oven safe. If you've got a few extra bucks to spend, we'd recommend this over the 10 inch pan primarily due to it's flexibility.
Want More Options?
If you don't like what you see, remember that this is only one of several brands that offers similar products. To get an overview of the alternatives, check our our main buyers guide to see what else is out there.
How it Works
Red Copper pans are made out of a ceramic base. Ceramic is affordable, heat resistant, and durable. But it's also sticky. Scrubbing-out-a-muffin-tin sticky. There are many ceramic pans on the market, and most of them coat the cooking surface with teflon to keep things smooth. Instead of teflon, the coating on these pans is infused with copper.
Copper is much harder than teflon, and there are very few elements that will bond with copper. This is the main reason that food just doesn't wan to stick to the pan, no matter how high the temperature is.
Copper is also a fantastic conductor of heat. It's used in electric cables, as well as high end cooling systems for computers. What this does is spread the heat evenly across the pan. This prevents hot-spots. Often, if you find that you have one or two spots where the food just grabs on to the pan, this is because part of the pan was hotter than the rest. Because these pans heat so evenly, you won't get any scorch marks and cleanup will be a breeze.
In our tests, the non-stick coating worked incredibly well. We were able to cook an egg without using any butter or oil. Simply tipping the pan and giving the egg a gentle nudge with our flipper was more than enough to slide it off the pan, onto our plate.
We were also able to test the pan with some more challenging foods. Grilling cheese was easy, and we were still able to clean the pan with nothing but a dry piece of paper towel. Overall, there are three key advantages to this coating.
How it Works
If you saw the infomercial, you'll know that one of the main selling points of this pan is the durability. They show a chef sliding a bunch of screws and bolts around without even leaving the slightest scratch! To make things better, they even ran the pan over with a car to show how strong it is.
In some ways, these claims are true. The pan is extremely durable, and accidental damage (such as drops or scrapes) aren't going to hurt it. The pan can withstand extreme temperatures, making it one of the few non-stick pans that can be used in the oven.
Additionally, copper coated pans are much more resistant to scratches than Teflon. This is important because scratches can ruin a non-stick coating. Once you damage the surface, the whole coating will start to peel back. With Teflon, using a metal utensil can destroy your pan over time - ruining the coating, and causing flakes of Teflon to get into your food.
Overall, you've got something that is significantly more durable than Teflon in almost every category. Cast iron does last longer, but doesn't have any non-stick properties, and cleanup is much harder since you can't use soap.
It's Far From Invincible
While this coating is defiantly better than most of the alternatives on the market, you certainly can't treat it like it's invincible. A deep scratch can still ruin a copper pan. Officially, you shouldn't be using any metal utensils in the pan. While we were able to use a metal flipper for our steaks, whisking scrambled eggs with a fork did eventually leave a small scratch. It's too early to tell if this is going to slowly worsen over time, but a scratch is bad news. If you want this pan to last you a long time, you should take care to treat it properly. Don't use metal utensils, and don't toss it around without any consideration.
There is also one strong disadvantage with copper coated pans. Copper oxidizes, and degrades over time. When you first get the pan, you need to season it to seal the coating. This is a simple process, and should be repeated every 6 months or so if you want the pan to last.
Even with proper seasoning, a copper pan will start to degrade after about 3 years. If abused, it likely won't last more than 18 months. If you're looking for something that will last you generations, this isn't the pan for you.
One of the main advantages to the red copper pan is it's price. Whether you're buying the full set or just a single pan, you'll find that it's incredibly affordable. Despite being better in almost every category when compared with a generic non-stick pan, the price is roughly the same.
Don't take our word for it, see how the Red Copper Pan stacks up against similar products. Once in a while, you'll find something on sale and get a much better deal.
Red Copper Pan