Copper cookware is highly recommended by professional chefs because the pan is uniformly heated, no matter what type of food you are preparing. Making your own copper cookware is a similar process to what blacksmiths did to create metal armour, but without the need to heat up the metal.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 2 saw horses
- 4 vice grips
- 1 sheet of copper with a tin centre insert (round or square)
- Large metal mallet
- Small metal mallet
- Ball peen hammer
- Metal file
- Dish soap
- Drying cloth
Set up your wooden or steel saw horses so there is enough space between them to place the copper sheet.
Lay the copper sheet on the saw horses and secure them with the vice grips. This will prevent movement when you are hammering out the cookware.
Lay a fabric sheet on top of the copper sheet to prevent sparks when hammering the copper. Use a metal mallet to begin shaping the copper cookware.
Hammer the middle of the copper sheet downward in the centre and begin to work your way out. This will create a bowl shape.
Use a pair of pliers to go around the edge of the copper sheet and bend it upward to create the cookware lip.
Remove the copper sheet from the saw horses and place it onto a flat, concrete surface. Hammer the bottom of the bowl until it flattens out.
Use a smaller mallet to detail shape the copper cookware until it sits on the concrete completely flat without wobbling. As this will be used on an open flame or coals, it does not have to be perfect. Finish the hammering using a ball peen hammer to create a artistic hammering effect.
File the edges of the copper pan using the metal file. Do this until there are no sharp edges around the entire edge of the pan.
Clean the copper cookware with dish soap, scrubbing off any marks that were left by the metal mallet. Dry the copper thoroughly and place it onto your cooking coals to heat it up to a proper cooking temperature. Add cooking oil or butter to the copper pan and cook with it as you would a cast iron, ceramic or Teflon pan.
Tips and warnings
- The tin centre insert prevents the copper from reacting to acidic foods. This will prevent discolouration of the copper throughout the life of its use.
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