Very pricey but made to the highest quality specifications, a 30-piece copper cookware set can cost up to $4,000. Far less expensive sets are available, though. Copper is extraordinary in its ability to conduct heat and cook evenly, making the metal a chef's choice. Higher-end sets feature hand-hammered components. This gives them a satiny smooth surface and very predictable heating qualities, even at the highest temperatures. Copper evenly distributes heat from the stovetop without creating hotspots in the food, a must for delicate sauces and entrees.
Copper cookware typically features a thin aluminum layer that is positioned between copper and stainless steel layers to improve heat conductivity. The outer copper layer gives the cookware its distinctive, old-world look. Stainless steel lids and handles are riveted to ensure a cool grip during use. Copper cookware is safe for up to hundreds of degrees in the oven. All components should be hand washed to preserve the materials.
Depending on the number of components included in a set, a copper cookware package may feature dual 1- and 2-quart saucepans, a 3- to 4-quart saute pan and a stockpot with a capacity generally ranging from 6 to 9 quarts. All pans and pots have lids. Dual skillets are included with most larger sets and commonly come between 8 and 11 inches in diameter.