Copper pans are perfectly safe to use in the oven. They can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. However, when using a copper pan in the oven for the first time, keep a close eye on your food to avoid burning it because copper pans heat up pretty fast.
Copper pans are quite a popular cookware, but I was skeptical about using them at first, so I compared them to pans made of other materials. And found that they have better heat conductivity properties than other pans.
However, this same advantage makes people wonder if copper pans can be used in the oven for fear of the pans heating too fast and resulting in burnt food.
The answer is yes. Copper pans are a great option when cooking in the oven. The cookware distributes heat evenly and comfortably, which allows for optimal cooking. And while copper pans do conduct heat easily, the conductivity is so low that it won’t affect your food.
Still, there are a few precautions to take when using a copper pan in the oven. And in this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know to get the best out of using your copper pan in the oven.
Let’s get right to it!
Is It Safe To Put Copper In The Oven?
Yes! Copper pans are entirely oven safe. They are made of materials that can withstand high temperatures and will not melt unless heated to 1985°F. I doubt any oven can generate such high temperatures without melting or burning the food.
However, you should keep your oven at 500°F when using a copper pan. Also, since it’s uncommon to find a pan that’s 100% copper, the 500°F heat limit is ideal for accommodating the non-copper lining and handling.
Things To Consider Before Putting Copper Pan In The Oven
Okay, now that we’ve gotten your doubts about using copper pans in ovens out of the way, let’s dive into more specifics and best practices.
While cooking with a copper pan on the stovetop isn’t a big deal, putting a copper pan in the oven usually requires more caution and more of your attention.
Here are a few things to consider before putting your copper pan in the oven:
There are many popular copper pan brands, including Viking Copper Cookware Set, Mauviel M’Heritage Copper Pan, and Matfer Bourgeat Copper Cookware Set. And each of these brands has a different maximum heat limit.
Even though some claim their pan can withstand temperatures of up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit, you shouldn’t heat your pan above 500°F to be on the safe side.
You should also take note of many other brands, such as the Gotham steel pans that are disguised as copper, but in reality, they are not made of copper.
These pans are made of stainless steel and aluminum. And at best, they only have a copper-colored ceramic coating.
Although they are also oven safe, they are not true copper pans and cannot withstand as much heat as copper pots. And sometimes, their lids are not even oven safe.
Copper pans are usually lined with non-reactive metals to prevent acidic reactions. However, the lining affects the heat conductivity of copper. So, it’s good to know whether your pan is lined with materials other than copper.
- If your copper pan is Tin-lined, don’t use it in the oven. This is because tin melts at approximately 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead, your pan should be lined with aluminum or stainless steel.
Handle and Lid
Before putting your copper pan in the oven, make sure the handles and lids are also oven-safe.
Here are things you should look out for:
- If your copper pan has a plastic or silicone handle, you cannot use it in the oven as the heat will cause the handle to melt. However, copper pans with handles made of stainless steel, cast iron, or bronze are safe to use in the oven.
- A copper pan with a removable handle is a safer option because you don’t have to worry about the handle being heat resistant.
- Different types of lids can be used in an oven, but not all are made to withstand heat. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if your glass lid can go in the oven.
- Remember that the pan’s handle and the lid will get hot in the oven. So, use potholders or an oven mitt to avoid burning your hands when removing the pan from the oven.
Copper pans are often coated with different nonstick materials such as ceramic and Teflon (PTFE), so it’s essential to choose one that is safe for your health.
Here are some coating material guides;
- Don’t put your copper pan in the oven if it has a Teflon (PTFE) coating. Although Teflon materials make an excellent nonstick surface, they will start to emit toxic gasses when heated up to 450°F.
- If you’re looking for an eco-friendly and safe option for your oven, consider ceramic nonstick coated copper pans. Just be sure not to heat the pan above 500°F, as this can cause the nonstick coating to degrade.
- Also, avoid broiling with your non stick copper pan because direct flame exposure can degrade the nonstick coating.
Size of Pan
Before you start cooking, make sure your copper pan will fit in the oven. Keep in mind the size of the pan as well as the handle. If necessary, use a copper pan with a detachable handle.
Check The Tag
If you’re unsure whether your pan is entirely copper or just copper-colored, check the tag to see if it’s oven safe. The tag would also indicate the pan’s maximum temperature, which can be found on the bottom of the pan or on the product’s packaging.
How to Use and Care For Your Copper Pan
Copper pans are expensive, and you don’t want to make sure you’re able to use them as long as you can. So, you must exercise extreme caution when using your copper pan in an oven.
The tips below will help you in preserving the durability and longevity of your pan;
Copper Pan Is Not Dishwasher Safe
I know you hate to hear it, but copper pans can’t be put in the dishwasher. Copper is a delicate metal that scratches easily. And when washed with abrasive detergents, it quickly loses its shine.
- Only hand-wash your copper pans to keep them long-lasting
- Wash only with a mild detergent to preserve its shine.
- Use a soft sponge and dish brush instead of metal bristle brushes to avoid scratching the pan’s surface.
- Soak in warm water before hand washing to remove burnt food and dirt buildup.
Copper Pans Are Not Safe To Cook Acidic Foods
Copper pans react with acidic foods, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, and vinegar. So, when heated, there is a possibility of copper leaching into the food, which can be toxic if consumed in a large amount.
However, this is a rare occurrence because only a few acidic foods require cooking above 350°F. So, a copper pan is still considered safe for cooking.
- Cook acidic foods in a different pan (such as cast iron, aluminum, or stainless steel).
- If you insist on cooking acidic foods in a copper pan, use low/medium heat.
Copper Pans Are Susceptible To Warping
A copper pan can easily expand and contract unevenly when subjected to drastic temperature changes due to its high heat conductivity. And when you take a copper pan out of the oven, it is usually very hot. As a result, exposing the hot copper pan to cool water almost immediately can result in thermal shock and warping.
How To Prevent Warping
- Allow the copper pan to cool down gradually after use before washing or rinsing in cold water.
- Never place a copper pan directly from the refrigerator into a preheated oven. Instead, allow the pan to come to room temperature before placing it in the oven.
Polish Your Copper Pan Regularly
Copper pans develop patina and lose their shine after repeated use. But, you don’t want to lose your expensive cookware too soon. So, polishing your copper pan regularly is a good idea.
How To Polish Your Pan
- Start by cleaning the copper pan with soap and water.
- Then, use only a copper-specific cream to polish your pan. I recommend polishing your copper pan every six months.
Store Your Copper Pan In A Dry Place
Your expensive pan should not be stored in the same way as other types of cookware. And the location and method of storage can affect the longevity of your copper pan.
How To Store Your Pan
- After washing, dry your copper pan immediately with a soft cloth.
- Keep the copper pan in a dry place with little moisture exposure. For example, I hang mine near my kitchen window.
- To avoid scratching the surface of your copper pan, do not stack it directly with other metal or ceramic cookware.
FAQs On Can You Put Copper Pans In The Oven
Can I Use Copper Pans On Induction Cooktops?
Copper pans are not magnetic, so they will not work with induction cooktops. To cook on your induction pot, get a metal pot with a magnetic bottom, such as stainless steel.
Why Did My Copper Pots Turn Black?
Your copper pot’s brown or black coloration is a sign of aging. Copper is a reactive metal, and the chemical reaction (oxidation) between oxygen and copper will cause your pot’s surface to lose its shine over time.