If you’re debating between buying stainless steel or copper cookware, one thing is certain: you’ve got an eye for style. The reflective exterior of stainless steel, like our 5-ply AFFINITY Collection, and the brightness of copper, like the PRIMA MATERA or INOCUIVRE collection, are certainly eye-catching when displayed in any kitchen. Beyond their aesthetic superiority, there are additional benefits they share in common versus other materials. But the differences between the two are what will ultimately help you decide what’s right for the job.

Both of these materials are superior conductors of heat and highly responsive to temperature changes. In terms of both cooking and aesthetics, they both rank at the top. Our stainless steel cookware is made from an alloy of chromium and iron, while our copper cookware is 90% copper and 10% stainless steel.

How to Decide Between Stainless Steel or Copper Cookware

Cooks love the look and the temperature control of copper. The high ratio of copper to stainless steel is what makes de Buyer copper unique, as many brands fall short, affecting the overall conductivity of the pan. Professional kitchens appreciate the durability of stainless steel, and the way that it offers temperature control that is comparable enough to copper cookware, but without the investment. Let's break down some of the comparisons between these two expert cooking materials:

Heat Conductivity:

Stainless Steel:

○ Conducts heat quickly and evenly
○ Ideal choice for flat-top stoves
○ Great for low to high temperature cooking


○ Offers the best heat conduction of any material

○ Responds quickly to temperature changes

○ Maintains thermal consistency

Ease of use:

Stainless Steel:

○ Oven-safe
○ Safe to use with induction cooktops
○ No seasoning required
○ Not completely non-stick, requires some getting used to 


○ Oven-safe

○ No seasoning required

○ PRIMA MATERA line is safe to use with induction cooktops

maintenance & Clean up:

Stainless Steel:

○ Easy to clean
○ Dishwasher safe
○ Low maintenance
○ Susceptible to fingerprints and smudges


○ Must be hand-washed

○ Should be hand dried to prevent spotting

○ Requires occasional polishing 

○ Susceptible to fingerprints and smudges

Best Uses:

Stainless Steel:

○ For cooking food evenly food without burning it
○ Great for cooking on flat top stoves
○ Browning and braising meats
○ Boiling and reducing soups and sauces
○ Sautéing vegetables


○ Delicate dishes that require controlled temperatures 

○ Searing and browning meat and seafood

○ Cooking delicate proteins like fish and seafood

○ Thickening sauces, caramels, and jams

○ Soups and stews 

So which one should you try?

When deciding between copper and stainless steel cookware for your kitchen, there are several things to consider...

Copper might be best for you if:

● You often cook delicate, French-style sauces

● You’re ok with some regular maintenance to keep your copper looking good

● You value the aesthetic beauty of copper and its ability to double as serveware

Stainless Steel might be best for you if:

● You spend most of your time cooking and need ultra-durable cookware

● You're looking for copper-like performance without a big investment

● You value the convenience of easy, dishwasher clean-up

Whether you choose stainless steel or copper, or opt for a combination of both, you’re making a great long-term investment in high-quality cookware. For serious and seasoned cooks, these materials offer the biggest bang for your buck. At de Buyer, we take pride in crafting the highest quality of materials with artisan hands for cookware that lasts. Whether you choose our stainless steel or copper collections (or both!), you’ll love what you're cooking with. 


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