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French Copper Pans their names and uses Part 1/4

French Copper Pans their names and uses Part 1/4

French Copper pots, pans and utensils come in all shapes and sizes, here is a short guide when buying pans to their names and uses. Be aware, there is a pan for almost everything and this will not be an exhaustive list! The French term is in italics and the common English translated version or everyday name for the pan follows. This is the first part of four giving examples of different types of copper casseroles and frying or sauté pans.

CASSEROLES EN CUIVRE -  Copper Saucepans - Copper Pans 


Meret Casseroles Catalogue 1933



Everyday pans used by everyone for boiling vegetables, making sauces, generally easy to move and use. There are various versions of these types of casserole pans, the come in sets or singly, can be hammered - surface martelée, or flat, have different types of interiors, tin, silver, nickel, aluminium or stainless steel and different types of handles - poignées, queues or manche made from brass, bronze, aluminium, stainless steel, wood or iron. All are roughly the same style and can fit very well on a domestic stove as well as being very useful in a professional kitchen



Casseroles Ordinaire



You can use this set for stock, saute, boiling, steaming, sauces, stews or as a gravy pot. These pans will 'sing' all day. There are of course many different examples based on the same design from huge pots to small butter pans. 


 Poêle a beurre/ Butter Pan



Mauviel Butter Pan with Lid


It is perfect as it has a cover and is a genuine stove to table item. This is a pan that would look lovely on a table with a sauce, a small gratin or any food for sharing!


Casserole  à Lait


Copper Milk Pan


This small but tall milk pan cooks evenly maintaining a constant. regular heat throughout the pan and with the high sides, gives you a chance of catching the pan before it boils over. 


Casserole en cuivre avec queue et poignée en font/Copper casserole with helper handle



Large Copper Pot with Helper Handle


This is unusual as it has a balancing handle opposite the main one so it is easy to move off a large cooker when it is full, this is a real design feature that is invaluable for moving a full, hot pan


Casserole  à Jus/ Sauce Pan


This is a tall casserole a jus  - sauce pot this can have a helper handle or really could be used for anything that needs to maintain a constant heat or boiling, originally designed for a, Bain Mairie hot water bath, the high sides increase the surface area for the hot water and the narrow opening reduces the volume loss. Clever!


Casserole  à Jus



Casserole  à glacer - Glazing Pan


Casserole  à glacer

This is a pot that enables a newly glazed dish to remain succulent and shiny - this could be done in any large saute with lid of course, but this has a really snug lid so very little moisture evaporates. This lid can cover any casserole and do the same job.



Casserole  à glacer



Bain-marie - Hot water pan


All in one Bain Marie with Porcelain Insert



Bain-marie - Hot water pan, this enables the Chef to melt chocolate or butter, very gently or keep a sauce at the optimum temperature - this is an all in one version, here is another style:


Bain Marie with ears charlotte pan

The bain-marie copper pan sits perfectly in the Mauviel pan, its little ears keeping the base off the surface of the pan - perfect poacher.


Bain Marie Pot with stick lid


and this style could go into a large roasting tin filled with water, with few of his friends!


Bain marie



PLATS A SAUTER - Frying Pans - Saute Pans


This is a large group of pans that are used for lightly frying or friture or fried quickly in a little hot fat faire sauter. They can be used to cook with or serve, they can be used on a burner or in an oven - four ou cuisinière. There are many, and are possibly the most daily used design of pan in any kitchen


Saute and Sauteuse Evasee


Sautéing or sauteing is a method of cooking that uses a small amount of oil, fat or shortening in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. It enables, with movement, to cook ingredients without deep frying them and enabling the steam to escape without poaching.


Plat à sauter queue fer/Saute with single iron handle

Saute Pan with New Tin LIning


Meret Cataloge 1933 Plat a Sauter

Sauteuse évasée - Windsor - 'Splayed Pan'

Sauteuse Evasee


Sauteuse évasée - Windsor - 'Splayed Pan' Used for frying and sauteing, just as at home being used for making sauces or reducing 'jus' liquids. This design is the forerunner of the saute and fry pan, many are still used widely in French professional kitchens.



Plat à sauter deux poignées, dit 'rondeau' interieur etamé - Saute pan with two hand handles


Saute Pan with Two Handles


Plat à sauter deux poignées, dit 'rondeau' interieur etamé - Saute pan with two hand handles known as a 'rondeau' used for frying and sauteing foods but can also be used in the oven. 

This has fairly high sides, not as tall as a marmite but more than a saute pan, as it can be used for browning meat - it has a large enough surface area to ensure that steam is allowed to escape but not the food! It also then can be used for prolonged cooking in an oven - lamb shanks for instance.


Two handled Plat a Sauter


Poêle en cuivre/ Poêle à  frire /Copper Frying Pan or Skillet 


Copper Frying Pan



Poêle en cuivre - Ustensile en métal, à fond large, à bord évasé et à long manche, utilisé pour faire sauter, revenir, frire des aliments - Copper frying pan or skillet, metal utensil, wide, flared edge and long handle, used to saute, reheat or fry food. These can be used for flipping ingredients or frying eggs for instance in a shallow pool of oil, fat or shortening.



Coupe Lyonnaises - Copper Frying Pan or Flipping Pan

Coupe Lyonnaises


Coupes Lyonnaises


Coupe Lyonnaises - Copper Frying Pan or Flipping Pan

This frying pan is for easy flipping, it is lightweight and easy in the hand, it is made usually from 1-1.5mm copper. It can be tipped forward to make a pool of juices or fats and use a spoon to baste your meat or fish. The design is claimed to have originated from Lyon, the major culinary centre in the southern half of France.


Poêle à poisson en cuivre Poêle à truite en cuivre / Copper Fish/ Trout Pan


Gaillard Fish Pan


Gaillard Fish Pan 1933 Bronze Handle


This can be used for any dish but especially grill to oven to burner, most versatile with a short handle to enable easy fitting under a grill, salamander or oven. A good fish pan is the unsung hero of a busy kitchen, it is light enough to be moved, when the pan is tilted forward it has a great well for basting. Although it is large the short handle enables it to sit on a cooker and not interfere with too many other pans!


Poêle à crepe en Cuivre/Crepe Pan

Iron Handle Crepe Pan


Poêle à crepe en Cuivre/Crepe Pan

French Crepe Pan or Pancake Pan, what could be more French than crepe suzette? What could be more tasty than pancakes with maple syrup? This pan enables you to cook your very thin pancake and then add your wet ingredients.

Next episode: When is a Marmite not a Marmite? Large oven top pots. 2/4

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