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Have I Ruined my Pot?


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I have a 6.5 Qt stainless steel heavy bottom pot that I am not sure is still safe to use.

 

After washing it, I put it on a burner to dry it out before putting it up, but........................................ I forgot it was on there and it got very, very, VERY hot! When I finally noticed it, I moved it to a new burner and allowed it to cool off slowly and naturally and I thought it might be all right.

 

I washed it again, and again put it back on a burner to dry it out.  BUT, this time I heard something that sounded like "crackling" or popcorn popping. Looking at the bottom of the inside of the pan, I see some markings that look like "scratches" or knife marks on it. The outside bottom of the pot looks totally fine, but I am not sure if I should use this pot for cooking any longer as I don't know if food will get caught in there and cause bacterial build-up, etc.

 

Does anyone have any input, or have any ideas where I can take it to have someone look at it for me???

 

Edited by Midnightmom
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I have NO idea...but I just retired a Stainless Steel [I think] tea kettle that I did the exact same thing.  Well, not the crackling but it just looked....bad.  Not right.  Scrubbed up an old copper kettle to use now.

 

DH and I both forget when we're drying pots/pans.  Mostly the cast iron fry pans....which let out the horrid smoke from the 'season' of the pan.  Have cooked those down to grey metal, a time or two.  Now we have a rule to NOT LEAVE THE STOVE till it's turned off!!!  Best way is turn on burner [electric takes a while] while washing the pan...and turn off burner when we set the pan on it.  It's been working better...not perfect. 

 

MtRider  :( 

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I have no idea either. If you are worried about bacteria you could swish a little bleach in it either before or after you wash it each time. I don't think I'd use it for acidic foods like tomato products or anything with vinegar just to be on the safe side. 

 

I don't know if stainless steal cookware is solid S.S. or if it's clad. If it's clad I'd be concerned about food getting into the scratches causing what ever is inside to leach out. I don't know, just thinking out loud.

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I know our tea kettle did NOT look like SS after I roasted it.  I was concerned that whatever SS is composed of....had decomposed...so to speak. 

 

MtRider  :shrug: 

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On 9/10/2020 at 10:37 PM, Jeepers said:

... you could swish a little bleach in it either before or after you wash it each time.

 

One of the reasons the pot looks so "off" is because I put some bleach into it to "sanitize" some of the dishes I had soaking in it. After I washed the items I noticed the splotchy discoloration on the bottom, so I washed it with some Dawn and baking soda, then put it on the stove to dry out so I could put it away. THAT is when I left it on the (electric) burner and forgot I was drying it. The whole pot got HOT, but since it was empty it didn't smoke - so no smoke detectors went off etc.

 

When I finally noticed it, I just moved it off of the hot burner onto another one and let it cool off naturally. That's when I first heard the crackling noise. When it got cool enough to handle I looked inside and that is when I saw the marks, but I could not feel any ridges or depressions on or around them. :/  I boiled a small amount of water to test the pot and see if it would leak (or possibly shatter) if it got hot again, but there were no issues with it.

 

I just made a large pot of chix stock and the pot is still in one piece ;) so I think I will use it for liquids only - no "browning" of meats or sauteing of celery and onions, etc.

 

BTW - in my research I learned that you should NOT use bleach on stainless steel- oopsie. :( 

 

 

Edited by Midnightmom
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Out of curiousity for both of us, I looked up these sites.  These are OPINIONS but interesting to see other things they point out. 

 

I still think when it looks that bad, I'd rather not. 

 

 

 

https://www.quora.com/Does-overheating-a-stainless-steel-pan-make-it-unhealthy-to-eat-out-of?share=1

 

https://www.reverewareparts.com/faqs/i-overheated-my-cookware-and-now-the-inside-is-grey-or-iridescent-looking/

 

MtRider  :canning: 

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On 9/14/2020 at 11:33 AM, Mt_Rider said:

Out of curiousity for both of us, I looked up these sites.  These are OPINIONS but interesting to see other things they point out. 

 

 

Thank you. I think that the info from the Revere Ware site is the most reliable.

 

Quote

I OVERHEATED MY COOKWARE AND NOW THE INSIDE IS GREY OR IRIDESCENT LOOKING

Heating cookware with nothing in it for an extended period of time should be avoided, as it can damage the copper coating or warp the pan.

If you somehow avoided warping your pan when you overheated it, the discoloration can easily be fixed.

 

A greyish dull coating is typically caused by minerals from hard water (if you were boiling water and boiled it dry) getting baked onto the stainless steel finish. The iridescent sheen on the stainless steel finish is due to the finish getting damaged. Luckily both of these can be reversed. The surface of stainless steel is self healing from exposure to heat and oxygen and once you remove the offending finish your cookware will be as good as new.

To repair the finish, first scrub the inside of the pot or pan with a Scotch Brite pad. Note that you should never use a Scotch Brite pad on the outside of your cookware as it will dull the stainless steel shine. As the inside of cookware gets naturally dull from use anyways, using a Scotch Brite pad will not change the already dulled look. After using a Scotch Brite pad, polish the inside of the cookware with Bar Keepers Friend cleaner, which will remove any of the discoloration remaining and help polish the stainless steel.

 

Overheating a stainless steel pan will not cause any ill health affects. While stainless steel does contain chromium, it is in a form, chromium III, that is harmless and is actually required by the body in trace amounts. The dangerous form of chromium made popular by the film Erin Brockovich is hexavalent chromium, or chromium six, and is unrelated to the chromium used to make stainless steel.

 

https://www.reverewareparts.com/faqs/i-overheated-my-cookware-and-now-the-inside-is-grey-or-iridescent-looking/

 

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DH is a naval architect and he works with metals for a living.  He said that there is no way you are going break down SS at a temperature you could reach at home.  It might warp the pot or cause discoloration but that would be the extent of the problem.  

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I have never dried my SS on stove, I just dry it with a kitchen towel and set on stove to put away later.  As for my cast iron, after washing it and reseason it if needed, I turn on oven to 250* and then turn off and leave the pan in oven till dry.  Just the way I have always done it. 

I am thinking if the pan is not cracked but just marked inside it should be ok. Hard to say without seeing a picture of it.

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Thanks for the replies ladies. I think I will boil some water and add some vinegar to see if that help the "stain." If not, I bought some "Barkeeper's Helper" yesterday and I will try that. I am just glad to hear that the only issue is a "cosmetic" one. :hapydancsmil:

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Mom, If you use white vinegar and baking soda and heat on stove that should also take out anything in the pot. I have done that to get the black that forms in my pressure cooker from canning.  cleans it right up. the mixture will start bubbling up and pull out anything in there. You can keep adding baking soda at times when it stops bubbling if needed.

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