Have you ever cooked with copper cookware? If not, you’re missing out on an amazing cooking experience! Copper pots and pans heat up rapidly, cool down quickly, and distribute heat more evenly than other materials. This level of temperature control allows you to cook foods with precision. No more burning delicate sauces or proteins.
But not all copper cookware is created equal. Ruffoni copper pots and pans stand in a class of their own for their unparalleled heat conductivity, quality craftsmanship, and beauty. Handcrafted in Italy since the 19th century, Ruffoni copper has earned the praise of both home cooks and Michelin star chefs.
So is Ruffoni copper worth the splurge? Will it really improve your cooking game?
In short – yes. Ruffoni’s premium copper and brass cookware delivers restaurant-level performance. The even heat distribution, responsiveness, and temperature control rivals pots costing thousands from custom fabricators. While certainly an investment, Ruffoni offers reasonable prices considering the handcrafted quality and durability that will last decades when properly cared for.
In this in-depth Ruffoni copper cookware review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about these Italian-made pots and pans:
- Ruffoni’s history and reputation for quality craftsmanship
- Benefits of cooking with copper
- How Ruffoni’s copper cookware performs
- Ruffoni pot and pan models and lines
- Proper care and maintenance
- Cost and value comparison
- Ruffoni vs comparable high-end copper cookware
- Where to buy Ruffoni copper
Let’s dive in to see why chefs and home cooks alike adore these Italian copper masters!
Overview of Ruffoni Copper Cookware
The Ruffoni company was founded in Italy by Olinto Ruffoni in the 1920s. But their history of metalworking stretches back to the 1830s in the town of Valduggia in the Piedmont region.
Ruffoni is renowned today for their gorgeous hammered copper pots and pans, crafted using traditional techniques passed down through generations. The hammering isn’t just for aesthetics – it increases the surface area allowing for better heat conductivity.
Ruffoni takes pride in their Italian artisanal heritage, with some steps in the cookware making process still done completely by hand. They use pure copper sourced from Italy and Austria, spinning and hammering each pot and pan into its characteristic shape.
Their extensive range includes cookware of all types: fry pans, sauce pots, sauté pans, stock pots, and more. While pricy, Ruffoni copper will literally last a lifetime when properly cared for. Many of their vintage pieces are still used in kitchens today.
“I own several Ruffoni pans that were passed down from my grandmother. They still perform beautifully – a testament to their quality and durability.” – Mariana S., home cook
Ruffoni remains family-owned and committed to their legacy of quality. Chef Thomas Keller of the renowned French Laundry restaurant uses Ruffoni as his copper cookware of choice. When asked why, Keller explained:
“Ruffoni copper maintains a remarkable consistency of temperature throughout the cooking surface. The result is precise control – the sign of a great pan.”
Benefits of Cooking with Copper
Before diving into specifics on Ruffoni, let’s look at some of the benefits copper offers as a cookware material:
Exceptional Heat Conductivity
Copper is the most thermally conductive material used in cookware. It rapidly transfers heat from your stovetop burner to the entirety of the pan. This allows you to achieve a precise temperature quickly. Copper also cools down fast when you reduce the heat.
Precise Temperature Control
Due to its superior heat conductivity, copper excels at maintaining steady, even heat without hot or cold spots. You can simmer sauces, sear meats, or fry eggs at exact temperatures needed for the best results.
Copper naturally kills bacteria and other germs through a process called the oligodynamic effect. This makes it the most hygienic cookware material.
Let’s face it – copper pots and pans just look gorgeous hanging in your kitchen. The warm glow and hammered craftsmanship make it a joy to cook with.
Durability & Longevity
With proper care, copper can literally last a lifetime. Many treasured copper pots get passed down between generations of cooks. The initial investment pays for itself in decades of use.
With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why copper has been prized by cooks for centuries! Now let’s look at how Ruffoni builds upon copper’s natural advantages.
Ruffoni Copper Cookware Performance
Ruffoni takes copper’s assets – the quick heating, even heat distribution, and fine temperature control – and perfects them through their careful handcrafting.
Here are some examples of Ruffoni’s copper cookware in action:
Ruffoni’s pots and pans heat up unbelievably fast. The copper bottom essentially acts like one giant heat conductor to spread warmth throughout. Bring water to a rapid boil in minutes without waiting around.
No Hot Spots
Ever move food around a pan only to find part of it burnt or undercooked? That won’t happen with Ruffoni. The thoroughly hammered surface means it heats evenly with no random hot or cold zones.
The responsive heat of copper allows you to simmer sauces and broths at the most delicate of temperatures. Hit the right point for slowly reducing a sauce without scorching the bottom.
Sear scallops or steak at high heat to get that perfect crust without overcooking the interior. Ruffoni excels at retaining steady heat up the sides of pots and pans.
Lightning Fast Cool Down
In addition to heating rapidly, Ruffoni copper also cools down in a flash. Remove it from the burner and the temperature quickly dissipates. Great when needing to reduce something from a boil down to a simmer.
When treated with care, Ruffoni cookware will perform like this for decades without losing it’s touch. For cooks who value control and consistency, Ruffoni delivers professional-grade results.
Downsides of Cooking with Copper
While we’ve waxed poetic about copper’s advantages, it does come with a few drawbacks to consider:
Requires Frequent Polishing
Unlined copper like Ruffoni will oxidize and lose its shine over time. To keep it looking pristine requires diligent polishing and care.
Can React with Acidic Foods
Bare copper can actually react with acidic ingredients like tomatoes, vinegar or wine. This is why Ruffoni lines their interiors with tin or stainless steel.
Heavier Than Other Materials
The thick copper construction makes Ruffoni heavier than aluminum or stainless steel cookware. While it provides even heating, the weight can make maneuvering tricky.
Expensive Upfront Cost
There’s no getting around it – handcrafted copper costs significantly more. But when you consider you’ll use them your entire life, the value becomes clearer.
The benefits outweigh the downsides for most home cooks. But it’s helpful to go in with proper expectations. Next we’ll overview the different collections Ruffoni offers.
Ruffoni Copper Cookware Models
Ruffoni makes three main lines of copper cookware, each with slight variations:
Ruffoni Opus Prima
Opus Prima is Ruffoni’s premium line, made with 2.5 mm thick copper for superior heat conductivity. It features a hand-applied tin interior lining. The inside tin layer provides an exceptionally smooth cooking surface.
With hammered external sides and riveted bronze handles, Opus Prima is built to be passed down for generations. It’s compatible with all cooktops, including induction. Oven and broiler safe up to 650°F.
Best For: Discriminating home cooks who want the ultimate copper cooking experience. Suitable for all cooking tasks.
Similar in quality to Opus Prima, the Opera line features a stainless steel interior versus tin. The brushed stainless steel layer is easy to clean and safe for acidic ingredients. Exteriors have the signature hammered copper finish.
Opera cookware works on all cooktops including induction. You can use it in the oven or broiler up to 600°F. Handles are cast iron with brass rivets.
Best For: Those wanting premium copper paired with low maintenance stainless steel. Excellent for cooking acidic foods.
Linetto is Ruffoni’s entry-level line with many of the same great features. The 1.5mm thick copper offers fast, even heating. It’s lined in stainless steel with riveted cast iron handles.
You can use Linetto on any stovetop and oven safe up to 350°F. The exterior is more affordable because it lacks the hammered finish. But performance remains top-notch.
Best For: Cooks wanting authentic Italian copper at a lower price point. Great way to try Ruffoni quality.
Within each line, Ruffoni offers a wide range of pot and pan types. They have anything you need from small saucepans up to huge stock pots.
No matter which you choose, expect an heirloom-quality piece that becomes an essential kitchen ally. Next let’s go over how to care for your investment.
Maintaining and Caring for Ruffoni Copper
One downside of copper is it requires a bit more care than stainless steel to keep it looking beautiful. Here are some tips for maintaining Ruffoni cookware:
Never place Ruffoni in the dishwasher! The harsh detergents can erode the tin or stainless lining over time. Always handwash gently with mild soap and soft sponge.
Avoid Abrasive Cleaners
Don’t use anything abrasive that could scratch the interior surface – no scouring pads or powders. Stick to non-scratch sponges and soft cloths.
Polish Exterior Regularly
To keep the iconic hammered copper glow, polish it every few weeks with copper cleaner. Paste wax can also help protect the finish between polishing.
Replace Tin Lining If Needed
The tin lining may wear thin over many years of use. Most local kitchen supply shops can re-tin the interior by sending back to Ruffoni.
Hang or nest pieces to avoid dents. Don’t stack items directly inside one another. Wipe exteriors if they get fingerprints or water spots.
With proper maintenance, your Ruffoni copper can literally get passed down for generations. The pieces age beautifully over time. Now let’s compare the upfront cost with expected longevity.
Ruffoni Prices: Are They Worth the Investment?
There’s no denying Ruffoni copper commands luxury prices. But devotees swear it’s worth every penny considering the quality and performance.
As a benchmark, their Opus Prima 10″ fry pan will run you around $275 USD. A big 8 qt stockpot costs approximately $1,000. The thinner Linetto line offers lower prices but still represents an investment purchase for most home cooks.
What justifies the premium cost? Here are a few factors:
Each piece is touched by artisans who painstakingly hammer, shape, and polish the copper by hand using traditional methods. This personal care shows in the final product.
The 2.5mm thick copper costs more than thin mass-produced pans. Ruffoni also sources from the best mines to ensure purity and integrity.
Simply put – the even heating, control, and responsiveness exceeds other premium cookware. Better performance demands higher prices.
With proper maintenance, Ruffoni pots often get used for 50+ years. And many become cherished family heirlooms handed down to the next generation.
When you consider you may be cooking with a Ruffoni pan for the rest of your life (and passing it down after), the price seems fair.
But how does Ruffoni stack up to other luxury copper cookware brands? Let’s compare.
Ruffoni vs Other High-End Copper Cookware
In the market for premium copper cookware, Ruffoni faces stiff competition from other legendary names like Mauviel, Bourgeat, De Buyer, and others. How does Ruffoni stack up?
Ruffoni vs Mauviel: Both offer outstanding heat conductivity in the 2 – 2.5mm range. Mauviel edges out for lighter weight, while Ruffoni wins on balance and handle comfort. It comes down to personal preference on style and design.
Ruffoni vs Bourgeat: The vintage French brand Bourgeat gets points for its lower price tag. However, Ruffoni takes the lead in heating speed, lifetime durability, and availability of parts.
Ruffoni vs De Buyer: Known for next-level frying pans, De Buyer competes with Ruffoni on performance. However, Ruffoni pulls ahead on cooking versatility with wider pot and pan options. De Buyer skews more towards single-use pieces.
While personal tastes vary, Ruffoni remains a top choice for its responsiveness, balanced handling, and breadth of cookware beyond fry pans. The availability of lifetime replacement parts also ensures your investment will pay dividends for generations.
Where to Buy Ruffoni Copper Cookware
Wondering the best places to purchase Ruffoni? Here are some recommended retailers:
Sur La Table – Large selection of Ruffoni available online and in stores
Williams Sonoma – Carries the full range of Ruffoni lines and pieces
Amazon – Convenient way to order Ruffoni pots and pans
Bloomingdales – Upscale department store selling Ruffoni cookware
Bed Bath & Beyond – Reasonable prices on Ruffoni products
Ruffoni Direct – Order directly from the manufacturer
For the best prices, check for sales around holidays and clearance events. Sign up for retailer email lists to receive notice about promotions.
And be sure to inspect pieces carefully upon arrival for any manufacturing defects covered by warranty. Always save original packaging in case you need to return.
Our Verdict: Is Ruffoni Worth Buying?
So what’s the final verdict – is Ruffoni copper cookware worth the investment?
In our opinion, yes – for cooks who are serious about their craft. The even heating, precise temperature control, and responsiveness of Ruffoni pots and pans can elevate your cooking. Dishes like finicky sauces, fussy seafood, and temperamental eggs turn out perfect.
The sheer enjoyment of cooking with beautiful, Italian-crafted pieces also brings satisfaction. While certainly a luxury, Ruffoni justifies its price through performance and multi-generational durability.
Will it guaranteed make you a better cook? Perhaps not on its own – skills still come through practice. But pro-level cookware removes limiting factors. Ruffoni tools simply work the way they should.
For cooks wanting the very best copper money can buy, Ruffoni remains a top contender. Their dedication to Old-World quality resonates in every hammered pot and pan produced.
So invest in an heirloom Ruffoni piece that may one day get passed down to children and grandchildren. The generations of delicious meals prepared will make it worthwhile.