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Feb 2, 2010 04:11 PM

burnt cast aluminum pan

Forgot this swell, favorite pan on high flame, dry. Inside burnt various colors, various oils i suppose. Scrubbed with salt. Believe the original seasoning oils in the pores of the metal burnt out. Surface still smooth. Must i reseason? Scrub-wash first?

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  1. I don't think you need to season it if it's just straight aluminium.

    The colours were probably various compounds in the water?

    1. Are the colors sort of like a rainbow? Bluish & pinkish hues? That's from the heat, Is there a whitish "dust/powder" on the surface? That's from the minerals in the water that evaporated.
      If this were my pan, this is what I'd do:
      First, call the manufacturer and see what they say - (I've had (2) items replaced in the past 30 days, much to my surprise! - one at low cost, the other completely free, including free shipping! WOW!)
      Next, do whatever the manufacturer may instruct you to do in the way of remedying things.
      Next, I'd fill the pan with acidic water (tomatoes / vinegar / spaghetti sauce / apples / cream of tartar + plenty of water - the chemical reaction will only occur as high up the sides as the liquid, you know. '-)
      Next, I'd let that come to a hard boil, then let simmer for 30 minutes - 1 hour.
      Next, I'd put some baking soda in the drain and pour the hot water down the drain.
      Next, I'd immediately rinse and wash the pan as usual, looking carefully at the results after towel drying real quickly.
      Next, I'd try a scour with Cameo aluminum powder ( white plastic shaker down by the Ajax & Comet & Bon Ami, etc)... Under $3 and _so_ "worth it".
      I'm 99% it will look "good as new" at that point, but if not & desperate...
      Next, I'd wad up a ball of aluminum foil and scour (dry) the interior of the pan very well, but I've only seen this in action once, in 1969, when a neighbor was "polishing" their bumpers/fenders(?) ~ I've only heard-tell of it being effective & am not sure... Like I said, only last-ditch effort before offering the pan on FreeCycle and getting to work researching a best replacement pan.
      NOTE: Do not disregard the acidic boil and simmer - if let go too long, or allowed to "sit around" it _will_ "pit" the aluminum, compounding problems _for sure_.
      As a matter of fact, I think I'd go straight for the Cameo before even trying the boil & simmer step - (I've been vacillating on the order of those 2 steps throughout!) ;-)
      BTW: I find the Cameo to be excellent for washing all aluminum and enjoy the knowing the area under my handles is immaculate because a simple unscrewing provides access to clean them of wayward food before drying and screwing them back in place. My c. 1982 Vita-Craft set looks as unmarred today as the day they came out of their packaging! :-)
      I hope you enjoy the same results.
      By the way: How do you "season" your aluminum pan? I'm of the school of "Hot Pan-Cold Oil, Food Won't Stick", Frugal Gourmet (on PBS in the 80s for me, now R.I.P.). Maybe see some of his videos, if still available, or read his Frugal Gourmet cookbooks, if encountered? "-)