Is Copper Cookware Naturally Non-Stick or Coated for Non-Stick Surface?

When it comes to cookware, copper is often hailed as the material of choice for professional chefs due to its superior heat conductivity. However, a common question that arises is whether copper cookware is naturally non-stick or if it is coated with chemicals to achieve this property. This article aims to delve into this topic and provide a comprehensive understanding of the non-stick nature of copper cookware.

Is Copper Naturally Non-Stick?

No, copper in its natural state is not non-stick. Copper is a highly reactive metal, which means that it can react with acidic or alkaline foods, leading to a metallic taste. Moreover, food can easily stick to the surface of a copper pan or pot if it is not properly preheated or if the food is not moved around during cooking.

How is Copper Cookware Made Non-Stick?

Copper cookware is typically lined or coated with another material to prevent food from sticking and to stop the copper from reacting with certain foods. The two most common materials used for this purpose are stainless steel and tin.

  • Stainless Steel: Many high-quality copper pots and pans are lined with stainless steel. This provides a durable, non-reactive, and relatively non-stick surface. However, it’s worth noting that while stainless steel-lined copper cookware is more durable and longer-lasting than tin-lined ones, they do not offer the same level of non-stickiness as tin.
  • Tin: Tin is a naturally non-stick material and provides an excellent cooking surface when used to line copper cookware. However, tin linings can wear out over time and may need to be replaced.

What About Copper Cookware with Non-Stick Coatings?

Some copper cookware is coated with a non-stick material, such as Teflon. While this does provide a highly non-stick surface, it comes with its own set of drawbacks. For instance, Teflon coatings can scratch or chip over time, and they can release toxic fumes if overheated. Therefore, while they may be easier to cook with initially, they may not be the best long-term choice for health or durability.


In conclusion, while copper itself is not naturally non-stick, copper cookware can be made non-stick through the use of linings or coatings. Whether lined with stainless steel or tin, or coated with a non-stick material like Teflon, each type of copper cookware has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, when choosing copper cookware, it’s important to consider your specific cooking needs and preferences.