Kitchn Love Letters

Hestan’s Copper Skillet Is the Perfect Intro to Copper Cookware

published Dec 2, 2022
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Pots and pans vertical storage on a wall in a house. Dining room visible through the adjacent doorway
Credit: Emily Billings

When I started upgrading my cookware a decade ago, my dream was to one day have a luxurious rustic kitchen outfitted with a fancy La Cornue stove and lined with shiny copper cookware. Admittedly, my desire for these stylish pots and pans was purely aesthetic, and when faced with the high price of a quality set, owning these pieces seemed out of reach. (And, let’s face it, there’s absolutely nowhere for me to display an entire copper cookware collection in our tiny Los Angeles apartment.)

My cookware collection grew over the years, with many pieces coming from Hestan. I have its saucepan (although the model is discontinued now), a roasting pan, and a couple of nonstick skillets, so when Hestan reached out about testing its Copperbond 11-inch Skillet, I knew I couldn’t say no. I was already a major fan of the brand, so I knew this pan was going to be top-quality. 

Credit: Hestan

The Hestan Copperbond 11-inch Skillet arrived, its gleaming copper exterior on full display, and I started using it immediately. After a couple of months of having this pan in rotation, it’s become my favorite skillet, and has also reignited my desire for that full copper cookware collection.

The Italian-made Copperbond line is built very similarly to other multi-clad Hestan cookware, featuring a copper core for heat conduction and even heating. The pan is lined with non-reactive stainless steel so you can cook acidic foods like tomato- or citrus-based dishes, and the base is a magnetized stainless steel that makes it induction-friendly. The flat interior rivets are modeled after cookware used in professional kitchens and are designed to avoid food buildup and to allow you to stack and nest your pans. 

If you’re not familiar with how copper cookware performs, there’s a bit of a learning curve when using it for the first time. Copper is prized for being very responsive to heat, so the pan will heat quickly and also adapt to temperature changes and, similarly to cast iron, will distribute heat really well.

After I got used to how to control the pan’s heat, it was easy to sear meats, make risotto, sauté vegetables, you name it, with really noticeable control. The pan is light enough to maneuver with one hand — a stark contrast to my hefty carbon steel or trusty cast iron skillets — and the handle is quite comfortable too.

If you like the durable versatility of cast iron, you’ll love that this pan can also go right into the oven (even under the broiler), as it’s oven-safe up to 600°F. And although I was somewhat nervous about the cleaning and upkeep required by such a gorgeous piece of cookware, it’s actually easier than maintaining my cast iron pan. I scrub the skillet with a non-abrasive scrubber and mild dish soap, then polish the copper exterior with some Wright’s Copper Cream before rinsing it one last time, drying it, and putting it away.

While I realize that this skillet costs a pretty penny, it’s the perfect introductory piece for someone who has been contemplating copper cookware but can’t or doesn’t want to commit to coughing up upwards of $2,000 for a full set. I already have my eye on a few more pieces from the Copperbond line, like the 3.5-quart sauteuse. Maybe I might build that copper cookware collection after all … well, in another decade.