Food can only be delicious if the food is cooked properly. But preparing such a good dish, one need to make sure the heat reaches to every bit of food equally, and the flavor comes out just as much is needed.
Some food needs a burnt charcoal flavor while some may need an earthly, raw flavor that comes from cooking at a middle flame. But not every metal can give the deliciousness of food that is needed.
Some metal heat slowly and the heat does not reach equally to every portion. In this regard, copper cookware has always become the priority of the chefs.
But after a need to buy copper cookware which can be expensive at times one may become a little worried if it is safe after reading many safety cautions. This article will help you with that matter.
What is Copper?
It's a mineral and one of those kinds that are essential for the growth and survival of the body – iron and copper help are building red cells of the blood.
Copper is found in dark leafy greens, shellfish, whole grains, and many other food components. So people get enough copper easily from their diets. Adults over 19 need almost 900 mcg of copper.
But excess consumption of copper has many hazardous health side effects. Copper is also used as a metal in many utensils and especially cookware that you are going to read about here.
Copper cookware is the best looking ones in the kitchen. And it is so loved in the kitchen that people recommend to keep them as decors in the kitchen if the cookware cannot be used anymore.
The copper cookware always comes with sturdy thick cast iron handle so that its heat doesn't reach the handle. These pots often come with a different coating of steel, nickel, etc.
Its Use in the Kitchen for the First Time
As history recalls, copper can be as old as agriculture when it comes to human's using it. No, wonder it gives such a classic addition in the kitchen. Though at that time our ancestors only used copper as decorative items. The only thing they did was shaping the copper into many beautiful items that can be found as antiques.
But it is assumed that our ancestors learned to flatten the metal and shape them into utensils before the pyramids were raised. The Egyptians have learned to use it but mostly the used copper pots for storing water and milk.
And the Romans used them for wine and many dining purposes. But soon they discovered the toxicity of copper and stopped using them. Though, they stayed as regular utensils in grandma’s kitchen.
It’s not until 200 years earlier that people learned about lining copper pots with steel and other metal from copper leeching in the food.
The Chef and His Weapon in the Kitchen
The copper pots have been very popular with the chefs. The metal spreads the heat evenly, and it heats up fast. And thus it helps the food to cook thoroughly and evenly.
With French cooks, copper pots and pans were extremely popular. Because the main ingredient of a French dish, the sauce needs to be cooked at a minimum level, and it must be done evenly. Then the perfect creamy texture would be formed, and you have a Michelin star dish.
On the other hand the other metals, such as cast iron heats up slowly and unevenly which is a no-no for any cooking as it will destroy the flavor completely. So now you see the use of copper pots and why it is so expensive.
But the plain copper pots are nothing but toxic for health. We have historical proof. The stories are everywhere. The Romans got sick for drinking from the copper wine vessels while many communities started to become sick for drinking water that came directly from copper pipes.
When cooking, the copper slowly leeches into the food which is extremely unhealthy. Especially cooking citric foods (lemon, orange, vinegar, etc.) helps the copper peels off the surface and mix in the food. Even boiling water does the same.
The recent survey has shown that jaundice, complications during pregnancy, chronic low blood pressure, cirrhosis, fetal mortality, neurological disorders for the ingestion of heavy metals- copper, lead, mercury, etc. The extreme digestion of copper leads to liver or kidneys failure.
The Two Types of Copper Cookware
It comes with copper cookware with a coating of Steel, nickel and many other metals. Over time it has been improved, and now stainless steel coating is the one assumed to be healthy and safe. But with time being and advancing of technologies more safer copper cookware are coming to the market.
Uncoated Copper Cookware
It is the one you must be wary of as it is dangerous, toxic and unhealthy. They are expensive and won't last long, and they can cause many health problems mentioned above.
The Cleaning and Maintaining
As the copper cookware is the jewel of the kitchen, so the cleaning and maintaining come a little hard. But don't be scared! It's not that hard.
- Any type of cleaning that includes oven or baking soda is strictly prohibited.
- No types of steel wool or materials that can scratch the surface must not be used to clean the cookware.
- The cookware must be cool off entirely after cooking.
- Lemon with lukewarm water is recommended to clean the cookware, and a soft cleaning material must be used.
- The cookware must be dried off with soft cotton cloth after cleaning.
- Food should not be kept in the copper cookware after cooking as it can damage the coating especially if the food is citric.
- Though the coating is there one must be very careful with it while using.
Now that you know about the dangers and the benefits of copper cookware, please choose wisely. Whether or not copper cookware is safe, your judgment will be best.