How to Choose a Copper Saucepan (& Why)

Copper cookware has a culinary reputation that is unparalleled. That’s why you’ll find heritage copper cookware in countries as far apart as France, India and Mexico. Copper doesn’t need much heat (or time) to get food to brown, simmer, braise, or cook anything you’d like to perfection. But the only way to truly believe that copper makes a difference is by cooking in it.

So if you’re curious about copper and want to see what the hype is about, start your journey with a copper saucepan.

Why Choose a Copper Saucepan?

A copper saucepan is the best way to see copper’s supremely quick responses to heat in action. For example, our copywriter Nikkitha tested a copper saucepan by cooking a sauce that included miso, sake, mirin and sugar – a combination of ingredients that could easily burn and go bitter if left on the hob too long. Just as the sauce began to smoke, she took it off the heat immediately, the smoke dissipated, and her sauce was saved. You can also use most copper saucepans in the oven, to keep sauces or other dishes warm before serving.

Copper also spreads heat evenly from base to rim, which means that if you want to heat a sauce, porridge, or water, every inch will cook at the exact same time and temperature. This is especially helpful when cooking large pots of chilli, stock, and more, but since copper is an investment, it’s better to experience copper’s alchemy – and decide whether it’s a game-changer for you – in a smaller saucepan first.

How to Choose a Copper Saucepan

There are a few things to consider when buying a copper saucepan, from size to induction hob compatibility – as copper is not a naturally magnetic material. We broke them down below to make your decision a bit easier.


The more copper a pan has, the better it will respond to heat. Most of our copper pans are constructed of 90% copper, with a lining of stainless steel (10%). The reason copper needs to be lined with a different material is because it is a reactive metal, meaning it will impart a metallic flavour onto acidic foods (tomatoes and other fruit, citrus, wine-based sauces). A stainless steel lining ensures that’s not the case.

Sometimes you’ll see a copper pan lined with tin, which serves a similar purpose. However, because tin is not as durable as stainless steel, it will need to be re-tinned every few years. So, while we love tin-lined copper pans for specialist pieces, it’s not our top choice for a saucepan – a tool you'll be using very frequently. Tin-lined copper pans are also not compatible with induction hobs.

Induction Hob Compatibility

Copper pans will work on all hobs, including electric and the AGA, but they will not work on induction hobs. This is because induction hobs rely on magnets to conduct heat, and copper is not naturally magnetic. But induction hob users, fear not: heritage companies like Mauviel and De Buyer have applied their nearly 200 years of experience crafting copper cookware to engineer copper pans for induction hobs (more on that below).

Cleaning & Care

Copper is a soft metal that tarnishes easily, which means it is absolutely not safe for the dishwasher. Many cooks love the burnished, vintage look copper pans take on over time, while others like to keep them polished and neat. To do so, we recommend using a copper cleaner like Mauviel’s Copperbrill Cleaner. For more on how to clean and care for copper, read our guide.


Traditional copper pans have cast iron or bronze handles. Cast iron is granite-coloured and has a thicker, stone-like feel, while bronze looks like gold. This makes them gorgeous, but because these materials retain heat, they get very hot. Pans with stainless steel handles retain less heat in comparison, making them more functional.

Size Guide

  • 12cm: Holds a little less than 1 litre (0.8 litres). Great for individual portions and serving sauces at the table.
  • 14cm: Holds a little more than 1 litre (1.1 litres). Great for small portions, sauces, browning butter, and more.
  • 16cm: A very versatile size, and our top choice for a saucepan. Holds 1.8 litres of liquid. Great for all of the above, as well as two-person servings of noodles, rice, and more.
  • 18cm: Holds 2.5 litres. Holds all of the above, with a little extra leeway for larger portion sizes.
  • 20cm: Holds 3.4 litres. Great for cooking pasta (up to 4 portions), tomato sauce, curries, and more.
We have a few exclusive Mauviel copper saucepan sets, which you can browse here.

Our Traditional (Non-Induction) Copper Saucepans

If you do not have an induction hob and want a traditionally designed copper pan, these are our favourites.

Mauviel M’150S

Made from 1.5mm thick French copper (90%), we consider these saucepans the best. The range maximises the unparalleled heat responsiveness of copper while being light enough to manoeuvre easily. Not only does the stainless steel handle stay comparatively cool, it’s got a small recess in the handle that makes it very comfortable to hold. The straight-sided rim stays true to traditional French copper design. Buy it individually or as part of a copper saucepan set.

Because we are so confident you’ll love Mauviel’s M’150S range, we worked with Mauviel to offer our customers an exclusive introductory offer of 30% off the 16cm saucepan (here). 

Mauviel M’150B

The Mauviel M'150B range is exactly like the M'150S, except the handles of these saucepans are made out of bronze rather than stainless steel. This means they will get hotter faster when cooking. But for some cooks, that's worth it for the aesthetic. (And can you blame them? These pans are gorgeous.) The Mauviel M'150B saucepan is available here, with a special introductory offer on the 16cm size.

Mauviel M'200B

While the Mauviel M'150B range contains a 1.5mm-thick copper layer, the M'200 range has a 2mm layer of copper. More copper means quicker heat responsiveness, but it also means heavier pans. So it comes down to personal preference: If you want a faster pan, and don't mind the added weight, the Mauviel M'200B Saucepan is perfect for you (with a special introductory offer on the 16cm size). Shop here.

We do not carry this range with handles other than bronze.

Our Induction Copper Saucepans

If you want to experience copper's heat responsiveness on your induction hob, consider the following.

Mauviel M'6S

This range is clad, from base to edge, with two layers of stainless steel for durability and easy clean-up; three layers of aluminium for excellent heat responsiveness; and an outer layer of copper for perfect performance. A flared rim allows drip-free pouring and a stainless steel handle stays cool as you cook. Shop for the Mauviel M'6S saucepan here, with our introductory offer on the 16cm size.

De Buyer Prima Matera

In their induction-compatible copper range, De Buyer has stayed as true as possible to the traditional construction of a copper pan: 90% copper and 10% non-reactive metal interior, in this case stainless steel. The stainless steel base is what lets it bond to induction hobs. De Buyer Prima Matera saucepans have straight sides (no pouring rims), and are available with traditional cast iron or modern stainless steel handles. Explore our De Buyer Prima Matera saucepans here.

All-Clad Copper Core

A truly unique range, All-Clad Copper Core is constructed with five layers of metal – 18/10 stainless steel on the outside, two supportive layers of heat-responsive aluminium in the middle, and a core of copper. It looks like a stainless steel pan, but a thin band of exposed copper shows its true nature. A curved rim provides mess-free pouring, and the comfortable recessed handle is vented to stay extra cool as you cook. We especially love the deep, 17cm saucepan size for its unique height. Shop All-Clad Copper Core saucepans here.