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Jan 22, 2010 02:11 PM

Amber discoloration on stainless steel

I've got a sort of 'reverse' type of discoloration on a Calphalon ss fry pan. 1st time I used it to saute steaks, it developed a lovely (really!) sort of amber gold finish, everywhere EXCEPT where the steaks and oil touched. Including the entire exterior.

I've used it since, of course, because it's not got any burned bits or gunk anywhere, just this weird color. I'd like to make it look like my other pans if I can. any ideas?


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  1. how high was the heat? stainless steel often gets a rainbow hue/effect from high heat, but the most noticeable hue for that type of [dis]coloration is blue. your amber issue sounds to me like you may have scorched the pan, since it was limited to the exposed areas that didn't contain oil or meat to absorb some of the heat.

    no biggie - just search the board (or even Google) for scorched pan remedies. you'll find suggestions to use everything from white vinegar to baking soda to Barkeeper's just depends on your preference.

    1. Duffy,

      I have Calphalon Triply Stainless steel and don't remember this has happened to me. I have bluish or rainbow discoloration and those are due to overheating, but you have something different. Did you wash the cookware before its first use? I am wondering if there is some sort of coating or something on it.

      Anyway, it should be very easy to restore the shiny surface. Try something vinegar or Bar Keeper's Friend.

      1. I'd suggest scrubbing it with some Kleen King Stainless Steel and Copper Cleaner on a soft sponge. I just discovered this stuff, and it's the best I've found for removing stains from stainless steel. It was the only thing that would get rid of some stubborn white spots on the bottom of my SS pasta pot. Check out the Amazon reviews - all the reviewers give it 5 stars and say that they have used it for like 40 to 60 years. It really is good.

        PS. The rainbow color change of stainless steel looks like it's in the metal itself, but it's easily removable with some gentle scrubbing with a cleanser like KK.

        1. Thank you for your replies. I saw the Kleen King at the market today, bought it and bingo! No more amber color. Well, I had to apply it first. Note - for the amber scorching (ghg got it just right) I had to wet the pan, sprinkle on a heavy coat and let it sit for an hour or so. But it was cheap and it worked, so I'm happy. Again, thank you all.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DuffyH

            Thanks for posting the thoughtful follow-up. Glad to hear that KK did the trick for you, too :)