August 4, 2014

Line copper with tin for culinary win!

Most people are aware of the wonderful uses of copper in cooking. Chefs from around the world praise the material for its ability to evenly and efficiently disperse heat. However, because it is very reactive to the acid present in food, most coppersmiths line the cookware with a less reactive metal– usually tin or stainless steel.


We choose to line our copper products with tin for several reasons:

For one, tin is able to neutralize copper’s surface without interfering with the metal’s excellent cooking properties. It is also highly durable and easy to clean.

On the other hand, stainless steel can get in the way of copper’s benefits. For instance, it can significantly reduce the conductivity of copper.

In our opinion, it is a waste to purchase a beautiful piece of copper cookware and lessen the benefits of this world-renown metal by lining them with stainless steel.

We are not saying that stainless steel is bad in itself—we even sell stainless steel Turkish coffee pots. However, you will not get the tremendous advantages of cooking with copper, so you may as well save your money and purchase a set of cookware made entirely of stainless steel.

Tin is also incredibly safe. 

Tin is an essential element and a trace mineral. It is naturally found in our bodies, as well as many of the foods we eat, and has been used in cookware since the Bronze Ages.

In fact, recent studies show that most Americans are actually deficient in tin consumption, causing ailments like low adrenals and hair loss. Scientists are unsure of the its precise in human health, but several studies point to decreased fatigue and decreased depression, as well as increased digestive capabilities, with steady tin consumption.

Even so, tin has a very high melting point: 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, coffee boils at around 212 degrees Fahrenheit. With normal use, your tin-lined copper pot will never reach the high temperatures needed for any significant leaching to occur.

More information on maintenance:
We line all of our copper products with thick, pure tin, in order to increase the safety and durability of its use. Eventually, the cookware will need to be re-tinned after a decade or so of regular use (click here for a great tinsmith in the U.S.). Also, because tin does melt at very high temperatures, you should never place a tin-lined pot on a hot stove with nothing inside of it. If you do this, you risk “dry burning” the pot.