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Re-Lining Copper Pans

Q:

I have some heavy pans in which the tin lining has worn away and the copper is showing through. Should I have them re-lined? Where can I have this done, and how much might it cost? Is it unhealthy to cook with the copper exposed?

Grace Low, Eugene, OR

A:

Copper is unbeatable for cooking because it conducts heat so evenly. Tin-lined pans are wonderful, but the lining may be harmed by temperatures higher than 405 degrees F, or by long use. You should have your pans retinned because exposed copper can be toxic.

The cost of retinning is about half the cost of a new pan. Any silversmith should be able to provide this service. Look in the Yellow Pages, or call the best cookware store in your area and see whom they recommend. In the future, you could buy stainless-steel-lined copper pans, which cost about twice as much, but don’t wear out like tin-lined pans do.

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