The Best Copper Skillet With Lid In 2021 – What Are The Options?

If you want nothing but the very best heat performance, copper cookware really is the only show in town.

As well as holding and distributing heat exceptionally well, this material also reacts very quickly to temperature changes.

If you’re looking for really fine control over your cooking, you really can’t do better.

There are two things that prove a challenge here for the home cook though.

First, the price. High-end performance demands a high-end price tag, and there aren’t many shortcuts to be found in this corner of the cookware world.

Secondly, it’s harder than you might think to find a true copper skillet with a lid. More options can be found for copper that’s been bonded with other materials for protection.

I’ll be focusing on these in this buying guide. They’re easier to source, and are more durable too, giving you a much better return on your investment.

(Want to learn more about cookware? Take a look through my archive for more guides and reviews.)

Recommendations

If you just need a quick summary, here’s an overview of the products that I shortlisted for this guide.

BEST OVERALL – All-Clad 6406 Copper Core

All-Clad 6406 SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded...
  • A versatile piece featuring a large surface area for searing, with straight sides to hold in liquid and...
  • 5-ply bonded construction with stainless steel, aluminum, and a thick copper core for fast and even...
  • Highly polished stainless-steel cooking surface offers superior stick resistance for easy maintenance...

All-Clad’s 5-ply Copper Core line has become one of the most popular cookware options in this category. You get all the benefits of copper cooking, but with the added benefits of protective layering.

This pan is also compatible with every stovetop surface, including induction plates.

BEST BUDGET – Anolon Nouvelle

If you want most of the benefits of copper cookware, but at a much more affordable price tag, Anolon has you covered. This pan is largely made of stainless steel, but has copper in the base – where it really counts.

Sale
Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Stainless Steel...
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE FRYING PAN: Polished stainless steel construction is crafted with copper for optimum...
  • EASY HANDLING: Elegant, shapely frying pan handle is dual riveted for strength and durability
  • PUT A LID ON IT: Glass lid fits snugly on skillet to lock in heat and flavor

BEST PREMIUM – Mauviel M’Heritage M150C

Mauviel is one of the biggest names in copper cookware, but it requires a significant investment. This is the closest thing the premium brand offers to a copper skillet with a lid.

Just make sure the size and style of the pan is what you need in your own kitchen. It’s also not induction-compatible, unless you buy an induction ring separately.

Mauviel M'Heritage M150C Copper Saute Pan...
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE Copper heats more evenly, much faster than other metals and offers superior cooking...
  • 90% COPPER, 10% STAINLESS STEEL. Copper offers superior control, heats evenly and much faster than other...
  • HANDLES STAY COOL. Cast stainless steel handles stay cool during use. M'heritage 150C2 handles have a...

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About Buying A Copper Skillet

Before moving onto the individual pans, there are a few things worth understanding about what goes into a modern copper skillet.

Have A Lining

Many years ago, copper cookware was nothing but copper.

The problem with this approach is that acidic foods react badly with a “raw” copper cooking surface. Not only does this affect the flavor of the food, there’s the potential for the copper to leech into your dinner.

All modern copper skillets are now lined with extra material to prevent this from occurring. You get the same heat control benefits of the base copper material, with the peace of mind that a protective layer provides.

All three of the pans I’ve included in this buyer’s guide feature such a lining. I think it’s important to know why it’s included though.

Consider The Size

I’m a big believer in making your kitchen budget go as far as possible. 

Copper is an expensive cookware material to invest in, so think really hard about the maximum size you’re likely to need.

You can save a considerable amount of money by dialing down the diameter.

Just make sure you’ve got enough room to handle special occasions, when you might be entertaining more guests than usual.

Lots of different copper pots and pans hanging from a pair of racks

Copper Skillet Reviews

Here’s a closer look at the three pans I’ve researched for this guide.

All-Clad Copper Core

All-Clad’s Copper Core line has become an increasingly popular choice for home cooks who want exceptionally high performance from their cookware.

This performance is enhanced through the company’s patented 5-ply technology. A copper core is bonded twice with layers of stainless steel and aluminum. 

All-Clad 6406 SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded...
  • A versatile piece featuring a large surface area for searing, with straight sides to hold in liquid and...
  • 5-ply bonded construction with stainless steel, aluminum, and a thick copper core for fast and even...
  • Highly polished stainless-steel cooking surface offers superior stick resistance for easy maintenance...

In effect, you get the best of all possible cookware worlds, with a remarkably tough finish so the pan stands the test of time.

At around 14 inches, it offers plenty of space for covering plenty of different tasks, with a snug-fitting lid that keeps all the moisture locked in.

At this price, you’ll want a pan that lasts a long time. To help preserve its lifespan, the Copper Core skillet features riveted – not screwed – handles.

This limits the strain placed on the handle over time, which in turn holds off the most common cause of cookware failure.

They’re also designed to be comfortable to hold, and are vented to stop too much heat being transferred from the skillet surface to your hands.

You can use Copper Core cookware on any cooking surface, including induction plates. It’s also oven-safe to a maximum temperature of 600F / 315C. That should be more than enough for the average home cook.

(My All-Clad Copper Core review takes a closer look at this popular cookware range.)

Anolon Nouvelle

The Anolon Nouvelle range is designed to offer the benefits of copper cookware at a more affordable price.

That copper is blended with a stainless steel finish, adding extra durability to the cooking surface, while still retaining the advantages of copper cooking.

Sale
Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Stainless Steel...
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE FRYING PAN: Polished stainless steel construction is crafted with copper for optimum...
  • EASY HANDLING: Elegant, shapely frying pan handle is dual riveted for strength and durability
  • PUT A LID ON IT: Glass lid fits snugly on skillet to lock in heat and flavor

Like the All-Clad skillet covered above, this Anolon pan features riveted handles to provide extra strength and stability.

You may also appreciate the addition of a clear glass lid here.

It’s much easier to see how your food is progressing with one of these, and you don’t have to lift it continually, releasing moisture in the process.

Again, the Nouvelle line is compatible with all kinds of cooking surfaces, from induction to gas and anything in between. As for oven safety, it can tolerate a maximum heat of 500F / 260C.

Mauviel M’Heritage M150C

Mauviel is the go-to brand for truly high-end copper cookware. This is technically a 9.5 inch saute pan, but it’s the closest product that fits the bill from this premium manufacturer.

It’s constructed from 90% copper and 10% stainless steel. This maximizes the performance of the core copper material, while still providing an essential protective layer.

Mauviel M'Heritage M150C Copper Saute Pan...
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE Copper heats more evenly, much faster than other metals and offers superior cooking...
  • 90% COPPER, 10% STAINLESS STEEL. Copper offers superior control, heats evenly and much faster than other...
  • HANDLES STAY COOL. Cast stainless steel handles stay cool during use. M'heritage 150C2 handles have a...

The handle’s angled quite sharply away from the main pan as well, keeping them cool to the touch.

The one thing you can’t do with the M150C is use it on an induction cooking surface. You’ll need to purchase a separate interface disc to do so, which only increases the already significant cost.

It is, however, compatible with all other cooking surfaces.

Wrapping Up

If you’re happy to get most of the benefits of copper cookware at a more affordable price, consider the Anolon Nouvelle. Although not true dense copper, it will certainly elevate your cooking experience.

The Mauviel M’Heritage pan is seriously high-end stuff, but it’s not induction compatible. For this reason – as well as comparative cost – I lean towards the All-Clad Copper Core skillet as my top pick overall.

Happy cooking!