Hammered Copper: Functional or Just Aesthetic?

Copper pans are beautiful, yes. But for us, their warm hue and vintage charm is an added bonus to their instant responses to temperature. This quality saves Hollandaise from breaking, caramel from burning, and boils water very, very quickly. Because copper heats so evenly, you’ll rarely encounter hot spots or food sticking stubbornly to the pan.

Hammered copper pans, with dappled surfaces that catch and reflect light beautifully, are no exception. But is it purely an aesthetic choice, or does it make a difference in function?
Notice how the hammered Mauviel M'Tradition Copper Roasting Pan Tin (bottom) reflects light differently than the Mauviel M’150S Roasting Pan (top).

According to Mauviel, who’s been manufacturing copper pans in Normandy since 1830, the main purpose of hammering is to strengthen the copper body. By hammering a copper pan, it makes the naturally soft metal more rigid by dispersing its weight over the entirety of the pan. This, in turn, helps distribute heat and air more evenly. The hammered effect also tends to camouflage scratches, tarnishes or wear in the patina, but like all copper, it will need polishing to stay shiny. (Copperbrill is best for that.)

But does it make a significant difference in the actual taste and texture of food, or cook more evenly? Will it last longer than a smooth copper pan? No. It’s a very, very subtle difference, one that matters more when you’re working with very thin sheets of copper. Since Mauviel’s M’Tradition range features a thick 2mm layer of copper, non-hammered M’Tradition pans are already very durable. The hammered finish, in this case, only makes a small difference. The main purpose is to showcase its remarkable craftsmanship and, with its brass handles, is a signature of tradition. This detailed craftsmanship is true for all Mauviel pans, but products in the M’Tradition range are made in the same way they were almost two centuries ago, which is why it stands out.
The hammered finish isn’t just for copper. Mauviel’s M’Elite range applies it to stainless steel pans as well, a style that combines modern and antique. Browse our selection of Mauviel M’Elite pans here.