Being one that loves to cook, I have prided myself on a well-stocked kitchen. I’ve always felt that having exactly what I needed, or thought I may need, right at my fingertips, would make things easier for me in the kitchen. And, though I do have a nice collection of cookware, it’s copper cookware that I had been urning for, for years. I mean, what’s more beautiful than a pot rack filled with a collection of copper?! So, I set out to start my own collection on my very modest budget.
From Martha Stewart’s kitchen, to beautiful kitchens gracing the most elite home decor magazines, copper cookware makes a stunning appearance.
And I wanted in on it.
But let’s be honest here folks; to buy a 10 piece set of copper cookware can set you back a couple thou. One can certainly get the collection started in this one purchase, but that’s not exactly budget friendly. Nor Brooke friendly. To start my own collection, I had to turn to my tried and true stomping grounds: thrift stores and flea markets. Though copper does require some upkeep, follow these tips for starting your collection, and keeping your copper looking shiny and copper-y.
Set a price in your mind. Figure out what you would be willing to spend for a piece that you come across. My earmarked price is around $20, on the high end. This applies to most copper pans. Baring in mind that quite a bit of elbow grease will need to be applied to get the piece looking like new, stay true to your limits. Some pieces may be worth more – like a 12 inch sauté pan, but it all comes down to budget and what it is worth to you. Just yesterday, I found this oval copper pan at Goodwill for $4.99, and true to form, a thorough polish and scrub was in order. Still, a nice score.
Patience. Patience. Patience. Starting your copper collection by shopping thrift stores, flea markets, Craigslist, etc, will take time. And really, time is on your side. You can afford to be picky. If you come across a copper pan that will need to be re-tinned, factor in that cost. For me, that’s not something I am interested in, but willing to invest serious elbow grease and a bastion of polish and SOS pads to get the pan looking like new. By now, you all know my history and love of polishing, and you can get my favorite go-to polish here.
Be willing to walk away. If you do come across a like-new copper pan and it’s priced close to retail, then walk away. Something very similar with a lower price tag will show up down the pike eventually. I promise. Circle back to #2, patience, patience, patience.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again as many times as I deem necessary – there’s nothing more rewarding than scoring a great deal all while staying true to your wallet. All in, my copper cookware collection has cost me $220, and I’m still keeping an open eye. Each piece has required ample polishing and cleaning, but totally worth it in the end, to have the beautiful copper cookware collection that I had been longing to have for years. This collection looks like a couple thousand bucks, but only you and I are the wiser.
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