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badly double-burnt pot problem

leeau Dec 11, 2006 04:03 PM

My mom got me an IKEA/365+ pot with steamer insert (both stainless steel). While steaming my chestnuts, I let the water completely boil off and the inside and some part of outside of the pot got burnt soot-black.

After trying many ways, it seemed like baking soda + water paste was working better than any. I liberally covered the burnt inside with the paste, and because I thought heat would speed up the process, put the pot on weaker heat.

But alas, I forgot about it again!

When I ran into the kitchen, the pot was again very very hot, and filled with dry baking soda. I noticed some of the bottom parts had turned SHINY like brass, with bright brown color and and some touches of GREEN hue.
After I washed the pot off cursing my carelessness, the initial blacks came off, but the bottom is now blotchy with dark brown spots and some shiny black parts. There is also a greenish black ring left on the side.

What have I done? I am worried that the pot is no longer safe to use. Should I just get a new pot? Should I consult a chemistry forum board?
This is my only pot and my yams, corns and sweet potatoes have been waiting for a long time now.. please help if you have any idea. Thank you!

  1. b
    Buckethead Dec 11, 2006 06:02 PM

    I'd just get a new pot, the IKEA ones are not expensive and you can probably replace the pot without replacing the insert. You probably won't poison anyone by cooking with it, but it sounds like the pot has been weakened by the high heat, at least.

    1. s
      Sam Harmon Dec 11, 2006 06:52 PM

      Try barkeeper's friend.

      1. a
        Atlantis Dec 11, 2006 06:55 PM

        While you're at it, buy a timer, and set it when you put anything on the stove or in the oven. A good, loud, old-fashioned timer will do.

        Then, carry it with you while things are cooking.

        You won't forget any pots again, I assure you.

        1. julietg Dec 12, 2006 02:53 AM

          You may want to consider an electric steamer, if all you intend to use your stockpot for is veggies.

          They can turn themselves off!

          here's one that's not too pricey


          1. andreas Dec 12, 2006 01:10 PM

            If it's stainless steel then you have nothing to worry about. Heat doesn't change steel into a harmful substance. Get rid of all residue and you'll be good to go. A domestic stove will have a very hard time weakening a steel pot.

            If you ever get to work in, or visit, a commercial kitchen you'll see that most pans will be dinged, blackened, stained. It's perfectly normal.

            1. j
              jerry i h Dec 13, 2006 01:13 AM

              Your pot is just fine. Just wash and use normally. About half of my pots and pans have been boiled dry at one time or another, like All Clad and Calphalon. They work fine.

              However, cosmetically, your pots will always have that weird color thing. This comment applies only to SS lined pots; non-stick pans that have been boiled dry must be discarded.

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