Cooking with Hand Hammered Copper

copper 1

It was love at first sight … and now I’m completely smitten.

The hand hammered copper pan I recently got from coppersmith, Cesare Mazzetti of Montepulciano, is simple extraordinary. I use it for stews, ratatouille and just about any dish that likes to be simmered. The evenness of the heat is amazing, plus the reddish patina that the copper develops with use is just beautiful.

terri and cesare
Cesare and my sister, Terri

But, as is the case with all loving relationships, the pan must be treated right.

So here’s what I’ve learned about cooking in hand hammered copper.

  • Turn down the heat. Pure copper conducts and radiates heats like nobody’s business, so you can keep that flame to a minimum.
  • Easy on the inside. The tin lining of a copper should be treated with care. Use wooden utensils when cooking and don’t scrub with abrasives. The lining is pretty easy to clean with hot, sudsy water. If needed, use baking soda to help break away cooked-on food particles.
  • Easy on the outside. Don’t polish away that patina! Allow the pan outside to deepen in color as it ages by simply wiping it clean on the outside, as needed. If cooked on food needs to be cleaned off the sides or bottom, use baking soda and vinegar, not detergent.
  • Get cooking. Hand hammered copper pans grow better with age and use (as do many of us), so the more you cook, the better the pan works and the better it looks – how about that!
  • In plain view. Pure copper, hammered and formed by hand by an expert artisan, becomes more than just a pan. It’s a work of art. So whether you hang it or shelf it, when not cooking, definitely display it.

You can learn more Cesare Mazzetti’s gorgeous copper work by visiting his website:

copper 2

copper 3


Pamela Haack
Pamela Haack

Pamela Haack creates and hosts boutique-style, small group tours that are a combination of the very best of Italy: the exciting and the peaceful, the popular and the secret, the talked about and the never-heard-of-before. From art experts and operettas to authentic cooking classes and ancient Etruscans, Pamela helps visitors experience the spectacularly beautiful, endlessly interesting cities and countryside of Italy in an up-close and personal way – off the beaten strada.

She is also the author of Top 10 Favorite Etruscan Sites, as well as her popular blog, Off the Beaten Strada in Italy.

Pamela lives with her husband, Lou, in Umbria, Italy.


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