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Jan 2, 2010 09:11 PM

Using A Hand-Mixer In Stainless Steel Pots

+ Hello Dearest Hounds +

I own a Calphalon "tri-ply" stainless steel 6-quart saucepot, and I'm wondering if it's safe for use with an electric hand-mixer (aka "beaters"). The reason I ask is that my mother likes to use an electric hand-mixer when she prepares whipped potatoes and she'll soon be using this saucepot for the job.

At home, my mother uses an old stainless steel pot that has all sorts of visible interior dings, scrapes and scratches, and I'm hoping to avoid that with my shiny, handsome pot! That said, if I give her the go-ahead, and indeed my pot is left with scratch marks from the beaters, is it any more than a cosmetic concern? Or do these scratches hinder the performance of the pot?

I'm also curious if I should avoid using metal utensils in general in my stainless steel cookware set (i.e. metal spatulas).. I have an uncle who goes a bit berserk if he sees someone stirring with a metal spoon in one of his beloved stainless steel pots.. Should I be similarly concerned with my own?

Thanks as always for any and all help -- much appreciated!

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  1. I know the feeling.....Nice expensive new toy......Must look after it.

    However, I'll bet that in a few months it will just be "the big one in that cupboard". Much of my SS comes from a range which date stamps the bases and my earliest (1992) shows many swirly scratches from having poatoes creamed exactly how you describe, but it's nowhere near having its performance compromised. It's good for many decades to come. An occasional going over with specialist SS cleaner really helps their exteriors look good though.

    6 qt. of creamed poatoes! You have the local Football Team coming for dinner?

    1. Sanangel

      Well, I have a Calphlon Triply sauce pan. As you know, the interior surface of the Tri-ply is brushed, so small scratches will not be visible. You should not worry about using metal utensils. However, electric hand mixer is a different beast. It will be more aggressive and will leave visible scratches. This will not affect the performance, so it will be cosmetic decision.

      1. You will have to decide how shiny you want your interior. I cannot see anything leaving dings in any reasonable quality pan. I do not care if the inside earns a brushed effect. Mine are cleaned with stainless steel scourers. Have been for years.

        The outside is a different matter. They are shiny and I do not use abrasives on them.

        1. Thanks for the replies, everyone... I appreciate your insights.

          One question: your replies seem to indicate that you're fine with using metal utensils and/or an electric mixer in these pots, and even use steel scourers to clean your pots.

          Why then do the care instructions that accompanied my cookware set advise against using things like Brillo pads, steel wool, and so forth on the interior?

          My girlfriend once used a Brillo type pad on one of our pans and it definitely left scratches on the cooking surface..

          3 Replies
          1. re: sanangel

            (IMO) Because they do permanently damage a shiny mirror finish. Many other people would strongly advise against the use of steel scourers. I'm not one of them.

            1. re: sanangel


              Brillo pads will scratch your interior surface but not much. Steel wool is another matter. There are stainless steel wool and the more common carbon steel wool (cheaper and can rust). From what I have read, if you use a carbon steel wool to scrub your stainless steel cookware, some of the carbon steel fragment can be embedded into your cookware and you can end up with a cookware which rust. I have not personally experienced this.


              "Do not use steel wool to clean stainless steel, as it may leave behind carbon steel fragments that will rust into the stainless steel surface. Use a nylon or stainless steel wool scouring pad instead."


              1. re: sanangel

                Try BarKeepers friend on your stainless steel (not sure about the mirror finishes). I use Bar Keepers Friend (it is like a powder cleanser) on my Viking Stainless steel and it makes the pot look like new. I use metal utensils - I use a hand masher (don't make 6 qts worth) so I am without a strong opinion on the electric beater. I am thinking ... no.