“Do I need copper cookware?” This, friends, isn’t a question I get every day. Yesterday, at the end of a business meeting, someone asked me this. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
In the moment, I wasn’t quite sure what to say. I could have quickly gone over the pros and cons of copper cookware as I see them. Pros: even heat, beautiful. Cons: they’re a pain to keep clean. I could have told him about a piece Daniel Gritzer wrote for Serious Eats about Copper cookware.
But what I said was this: “If copper cookware will make you happy, go for it.”
Probably not the answer he was expecting.
You see, I rarely buy stuff. I’m not someone who engages in retail therapy. It’s not who I am. I’m a saver. Big time.
Yet, “If it makes you happy, go for it” is the same answer I gave a friend who wanted to know if a baking steel for making pizza was “worth it.”
For the record, I love my baking steel and use it all the time. That doesn’t mean much other than I love my baking steel. Does it mean you’ll love one? I don’t know. Cookware is weird like that.
I’ve been around food media for a long time now. And I’ve seen conversations about how you never want to use a unitasker (a kitchen tool that only does one thing). And, funny enough, I’ve heard the same people who hate unitaskers extol the virtues of a sous vide wand. (A device that does one thing very well.)
I love my Instant Pot. Some people hate theirs.
I could go on and on.
Will having copper cookware or a baking steel or an Instant Pot make you a better cook? Nope. Only time and practice do that.
Are these nice tools to use? Absolutely.
Sometimes with cooking, we overlook this. If you’re cooking for pleasure, it’s okay to use tools that are pleasurable to use or even simply pleasurable to look at. To me, a piece of Le Creuset is beautiful. Every time I make a batch of soup in my favorite Le Creuset piece, I enjoy it. I really do. And I’ve been cooking with it for at least 15 years. That’s 15 years of enjoyment.
So this holiday season, if want to buy yourself something for the kitchen—and you have the privilege of having the money to afford it—my advice is to go for it. And may you enjoy it for many years to come.