My copper pan finally retinned, Tasmania

I am very pleased with the re-tinning of my copper frying pan. I sent it to Launceston to be re-tinned and at the same time Ludwig cleaned the copper base for me so now it looks almost new, but not that new. The Lara stamped brand on the back is losing its final ‘a’ and therein lies the charm, it looks like an antique. A useful antique.

If you are a subscriber and read my post last year on Lara Copper you will see that I wrote a general story about this Launceston based artisan – this was before the re-tinning you see now.
The re-tinning is done by hand and that means the surface has brush marks, all characteristics of the artisan.

And now here is the ‘before’ photo I asked Ludwig to take, it is a bit fuzzy but really you don’t need more ugly. I have been using too high heat on my pan so I am now turning over a new leaf and using it for gentle sauteing, not rapid frying of Tuscan eggs in olive oil which was one of my favourite uses for it. So last night I used it to braise green peas gently with anchovies, olive oil, butter and a little water. A recipe from Neil Perry that I will use again.

Maintaining copper is a bugbear I must admit but Ludwig put a tip sheet in the packing.

I am so annoyed that I forgot to pack my French saucepan for him to re-tin surface inside is overdue. There is something about copper cookware that is irrestible for cooks and hopefully the tradition and craft will continue, particularly as we are lucky to have someone in Australia who can make these and even more fortunate for all Tasmanian food lovers that he is based here. For the record I sent my pan to Ludwig by Calows Coaches which I just have to give a plug as they run an excellent service to and from St Helens to almost anywhere in Tasmania.

This kind of craft is rare and I hope someone can take over when Ludwig gives it away.



  1. #1 by Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial on January 15, 2011 - 10:12 pm

    Such fine workmanship, Roz! I’m so impressed with how shiny it came back – as you say, not new, but maybe even a bit better than new!

  2. #2 by Ron on January 17, 2011 - 4:29 am

    Hi John,

    Thanks for Roz’s rendition of the restoration of her fry pan. I know copper was and is still used in the confectionary industry but what are the advantages of home cooking in copper? I realise that tinning is essential to isolate the food from the copper. I am particularly interested in cooking pots and pans, mainly from the point of food contamination by modern Teflon based coatings. I repeatedly see well known chefs furiously scraping and whisking food using metal utensils and in the process removing particles of the coating into the food. My daughter informs me that some modern coatings may have long term health implications so I avoid them where possible. My favourite cooking container is a large thin cast iron wok that I bought in Malaysia many years ago. I seasoned it in the traditional way using fresh shredded coconut, extracting the natural oils which worked their way into the pores of the wok. The wok has over the years of use developed a glaze which makes it near enough to non-stick. I just love it for stir frying. Roz’s pan is certainly a beautiful implement and I think that the brush marks she refers to are actually the leather wiping pad that is used in hand wiped tinning as distinct from dipping in a vat full of molten tin. Wiping lead, tin etc is certainly a dying art and Roz was lucky to find someone still doing this. Love the steel handle. I take it the two corks on the saucepan is to allow lifting the lid without a cloth. Great presentation Roz.

    Regards Ron

    • #3 by tastetravel on January 17, 2011 - 5:30 am

      Dear Ron, glad John forwarded you the post and now you have found the place to drop a quick response. Now I do avoid Teflon coated pans as I do aluminum but I am sure all used in moderation are ok, millions of Asians still use aluminium but maybe they don’t have the economic freedom to do otherwise. I still like copper for its quick to heat up feature and as the temperature stays even, as many stainless pots today have an insert in the base of copper so I am not the only one who thinks copper still reigns. Love my cast iron wok too that I bought as it has a flat base and holds in the heat well, good for electricity, something I needed to demonstrate to students in my teaching days as many would tell me they only had electricity with flat hobs and not gas. Just made some jam in a cast iron enamelled saucepan and if I had a heavy base copper jam pot I would be reverting to that instead. Yes you are right the two corks otherwise the handle does get hot, a tip I picked up in France. Roz

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