The Red Copper line of cookware is, yet another one of those “As seen on TV” products that you’ll encounter on television. Usually in the middle of the night. This article will focus on the Red Copper 10 Piece Ceramic Cookware Set. I’ve read several other Red Copper Pan reviews filled with hype. Does it live up to all the claims? Let’s find out.
Over the years, I’ve used and/or reviewed dozens of cookware sets from many different brands, at many different price points. One of the first lessons I learned was that once you get past all the marketing noise, a lot of the products are very similar with a few features that set them apart from their competition. This is especially true when it comes to nonstick coatings which I’ll cover below.
Before we get into the details, I’ll tell you right up front the Red Copper 10 Piece Ceramic Cookware Set is a no-frills product at an affordable price. Perfect for anyone who’s on a budget and looking for a basic starter set.
Is Nonstick The Right Choice?
When purchasing any kitchen tool or appliance, there are many factors to consider. Nonstick cookware is no exception. Nonstick cookware was once shunned by chefs. They concentrated on the main disadvantages of these products rather than the benefits.
The main complaints are that nonstick cookware is easily damaged and does not withstand extreme heat. Some even claim that the nonstick surface is hazardous to human health. Despite these claims, there are clear benefits to using nonstick cookware. Similarly, I’ve noticed significant improvements in them in recent years.
The primary advantage of nonstick cookware is convenience. Simply put, it is easier to cook with and clean up afterward. They are also far more affordable when compared to other options. A non-stick surface also reduces the likelihood of your food sticking or burning. This simplifies cooking for both novice and experienced chefs.
Some chefs, however, swear by more traditional cookware options. Materials such as cast iron are extremely durable and can withstand high temperatures, whether on the stovetop or in the oven. Stainless steel is extremely durable and has excellent heat distribution.
These cookware options are ideal for experienced chefs who are committed to producing high-quality dishes and are willing to put in the extra effort to do so. Although most home cooks value quality, in the real world, convenience and efficiency are also important.
Red Copper Pan Review
The Red Copper 10 Piece Ceramic Cookware Set comes with a basic collection of pieces at a price that’s hard to resist. Each piece is suitable for daily use with non-stick, non-toxic coatings that make them safe and simple to use. They are also relatively long-lasting when compared to other nonstick sets.
In general, this set is an excellent choice for beginning cooks who need a well-rounded set of essential cookware. This 10-Piece set includes the following:
- 8-inch frying pan
- 10-inch frying pan w/ lid
- 1 ½ qt saucepan w/ lid
- 2 ½ qt saucepan w/ lid
- 6 qt stockpot w/ lid
- Aluminum steamer insert
Safe Nonstick Coating
The heart of any nonstick cookware is the interior coating. Red Copper used a copper-infused ceramic coating. I’m not sure what the copper infusion adds to the performance. It seems “copper” is a popular marketing gimmick these days (e.g. Tommie Copper, Copper Fit, Copper Chef, etc).
Ceramic cookware is becoming more popular since it is safer than other non-stick alternatives. Toxins may be released during the cooking process with certain forms of cookware. If the pan reaches a high enough temperature, these chemicals can be released into your food or even produce toxic fumes. When you cook, you run the risk of inhaling the fumes after they’ve been emitted.
Teflon pans, for example, were extremely common before it was discovered that they contained the toxic synthetic elements PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoate).
Ceramics are considered safe cookware choices because of the natural material base on which they are made. Since the coatings are toxin-free and do not emit toxic fumes, they are currently the preferred choice. This Red Copper set is made in China. Although FDA standards are strict, I’ve seen reports of some ceramic-coated cookware containing lead, cadmium, and other harmful chemicals being imported from some countries. The manufacturer makes no mention of this.
One of the great features of ceramic cookware is since they have non-stick capabilities, you can use less oil for low-calorie, healthy cooking.
Many brands like to boast that their ceramic cookware can stand up to repeated use of metal utensils and are dishwasher safe. From personal experience as well as reading dozens and dozens of customer and professional reviews, the performance of these nonstick pans does not last. Using metal utensils and throwing them in the dishwasher is only going to speed up the process. Stick to handwashing with soap, hot water, a soft scrubber, or paper towels, and use wood or silicone utensils. Proper care is essential.
To Red Copper’s credit, they suggest that their pots and pans should be seasoned before use. I have never seen a manufacturer of nonstick cookware make such a statement. If you’re going through the effort of seasoning your cookware, you’d be better off buying a nice stainless steel set that can last a lifetime. Naturally, you’ll pay more upfront. Ceramic cookware performance should be evaluated “right out of the box”.
Many customers have complained that the nonstick performance of their Red Copper pots and pans doesn’t hold up over time. To be fair, this is a common complaint with most brands and is caused by unrealistic expectations generated in the advertising department.
Materials and Design
The base material is aluminum. Most manufacturers use anodized aluminum to improve durability, however, the manufacturer makes no mention of this. Being oven safe up to 500°F (lids are not oven safe ) gives you the option to finish a dish by browning it under the broiler.
Thanks to the aluminum base each piece provides an even heating surface with no hotspots. There seems to be some confusion as to whether this set will work on induction stoves. In order for a pan to work on an induction stovetop, it must have a base containing a magnetic metal such as iron or stainless steel. I see no evidence or mention of any such base, and so wouldn’t recommend this product for induction stoves. However, it would be fine for any other cooktop type.
The design of the handles is well thought out. The dual-riveted stainless steel handles are comfortable to hold and stay relatively cool on the stove. Some of the competition offer silicone-covered handles which is a nice feature. It does reduce the maximum oven temperature rating though. You’ll have to decide which is more important to you.
Vented Glass Lids
Some recipes require you to trap heat and moisture in your pot or pan. In this case, a high-quality glass lid is essential. This Red Copper set includes vented, tempered glass lids. The lids effectively trap heat, while the vents keep moisture at just the right level for optimal results.
There are a wealth of options available when it comes to nonstick cookware. Here are a few of my favorites that may be more suitable for your requirements. Please see our article, The Best Ceramic Cookware Sets For Every Kitchen, for even more options.
The Gotham Steel Cookware Set is a direct competitor to Red Copper and almost identical. Whereas Red Copper uses a “copper-infused” ceramic coating, Gotham Steel went with a “titanium-infused” version. Does it matter? Nope. The only practical differences are the following:
- Available in graphite or ocean blue (vs red)
- More expensive (larger set)
- Slightly different capacity pieces
- Includes a square frying pan w/ lid
Another popular item in this price range is the MICHELANGELO 12 Piece set. Like Gotham Steel, they use a combination of ceramic, copper, and titanium for their nonstick coatings. Personally, I felt the handles on this set were more comfortable to use. This is how it stacks up against Red Copper:
- More expensive (larger set)
- Includes a 3 ½ qt saute pan w/ helper handle and lid
- The large saucepan is 3 qt (vs 2 ½ qt)
- The stockpot is 5 qt (vs 6 qt)
- Graphite exterior (vs red)
- PFOA, PFTE, cadmium, and lead free
- Better handles
The Racheal Ray Cucina Cookware Set has always been a perennial favorite. The porcelain exterior of this set makes its surface both attractive and durable. This collection is also reasonably priced. Here’s how it compares to the Red Copper set:
- More expensive
- Available in many vibrant colors
- Lower oven rating (400°F)
- No strainer or frying pan lid
- Comes with 2 silicone utensils
- Rubberized stainless steel handles stay cool
Read our complete Rachael Ray Cucina Cookware review.
Before I finish this review, I want to point out that none of the sets discussed here are compatible with an induction cooking surface. That’s not surprising since they’re all budget-friendly product lines. If induction cooking is how you roll, you should check out our Best Induction Cookware article.
If money and space are tight the Red Copper 10 Piece Ceramic Cookware Set could be the perfect solution. It covers all the basics and is so inexpensive it’s hard to see how you could go wrong. My personal favorite is the MICHELANGELO Nonstick 12 Piece Cookware Set. It’s a bit more money but includes a nice saute pan and has better handles. Whichever set you choose, a good nonstick cookware set will allow you to create healthier meals with less work.
Check out the Red Copper set here.