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Help! Pastry bottom stuck in stock pot!

I've tried heat, I've tried cold.

How do I get the pastry ring bottom out of my stainless stock pot?

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  1. I'm trying to figure out how your bottom got into this predicament. What are you up to?

    1 Reply
    1. re: pikawicca

      I don't even know what a pastry ring bottom is, much less why it was/is in a stock pot.

    2. Julie,

      One suggestion is to slightly heat up your stock pot while putting ice on your pastry ring bottom. The idea is that your stock pot will expand slightly while your pasty ring will shrink a little. At the very least you want them to be at different temperatures. Then, try to use a very thin object to dig in between the two metals. Do not push the pan further in to the stock pot. As long as you can "tilt" the pastry ring slightly and get a handle, then everything is easy. If you don't have anything that is thin to dig in between, then you may just have to invent the stock pot and slam it a carpet floor or a sheet of towel in hope the pastry ring will pop out.

      If this does not work, then you just have to ask a professional to cut/destory your pastry pan.

      By the way, if your stock stainless steel and your pastry pan aluminum. If so, is there any nonstick surface on the pastry pan?

      6 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Neither is non stick. The pastry pan is shiny, and quite thin.

        This was a sink accident- the stock pot was sitting in the sink and the tart-pan bottom slipped into the soapy water in the pot. They are the exact same size.

        If I can't do it, should I take it to the knife sharpener?

        1. re: julietg

          Do you have a tiny crochet hook? If so, you might be able to work it under the tart pan bottom and break the seal.

          1. re: julietg

            Hi Julie,

            Sounds like our previous methods did not work. There are few other options. One is to put the pastry pan in extreme heat and cold cycles, like heat and cool and heat and cool. This may get the pastry pan to loosen up. The other is based on chemical. If you know the pastry pan is made of aluminum and the stock pot is made of stainless steel, then you can use strong acid to eat up some aluminum and loosen the pan, but that only works if the stock pot is really stainless steel and the pastry pan is really aluminum. Don't do it if you are not sure.

            At this point, I feel it may be easier just to take to someone who can cut the pastry pan and get it over with. I don't think most knife sharpeners have the right tools. Is the pastry pan sink all the way down to the very bottom and stuck there, or is it in the mid way. If it is in the middle and pot stuck, then you can just have someone drill a hole in the pastry pan and hook it out. If it is stuck at the very bottom, where the pastry pan touches the stock pot bottom, then I am not too sure. I were thinking about a dremel cutter like this to cut the pan, but now I don't think that will work because it is impossible to make a clean cut inside the pot.


            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I've been wondering about heat and cold also but in a different way and not sure how it could be done at home. But heat expands and cold contracts, right? Is there any way to apply cold to the stuck piece while applying heat to the outside? What about upside down? Put the whole thing in an ice bath except for the bottom which would then be the top. Then apply heat to the top which used to be the bottom :)

              1. re: c oliver

                Hi C_Oliver

                Yeah, I were thinking about that. In a earlier respond, I asked julietg to heat the stockpot (to expand) it while placing ice cubes on the pastry pan (to shrink), but it didn't seem to work. That is why I were wondering if it may work better by just constant heating and cooling the pastry pan to distort its original shape.

                It may just be easier to cut the thing out now. Oh well.

            2. re: julietg

              I'm thinking that what you need is an artist's palette knife. They are flexible and Very thin. One may slip between the 2 surfaces more easily than other implements.
              Here's a picture:

              I suggest the pointed ones...

          2. Try a blowtorch. Flip the stock pot over and get the bottom as hot as possible. The pastry ring should (might?) drop out. Careful, it's hot.

            PS - it's March. All of our bottoms are pasty. Unless you live in the southern hemisphere, the adjective is superfluous.

            2 Replies
            1. re: alanbarnes

              Haven't heard from the OP as to whether the problem's been solved, so here's another possibility if she doesn't have a blowtorch handy.

              If the stock pot is all metal (no plastic handles, etc.) and will fit in the oven, put the broiler on and let it preheat fully. Then put the stock pot in the oven upside down, with the bottom as close to the broiler element as possible. Again, the pastry ring should drop right out.

              1. re: alanbarnes

                what about a blow dryer? Wouldn't damage the steel as much as a blow torch or broiler. But also might not be hot enough . . .

              2. I'm dying to know why the pastry ring bottom was in the stock pot to begin with.....A new technique I haven't heard of?

                1. Is it tight like you had to press it into place or did it just sink to the bottom? The reason I ask is if it is wedged into place you probably have to cut (drill) an opening in the pan bottom to get something under it. This will probably mar the bottom of the stock pan but not affect it's usefulness. Another option to try is if you have or know someone with a fairly strong magnet. Most SS is not magnetic. Check side of cake pan to test with refrigerator magnet.

                  If it's not too tight try adding some water (2-3") and bring to a boil. The formation of bubbles under the pan bottom may lift it enough to get a long handled fork or knife under it. Also, stock pot will expand from the direct heat while the water will keep the pan bottom at about 212F.

                  Good luck.

                  1. Just an idea, based on nothing: lay pot on its side and rap the bottom (at the highest point) with a hammer. Not really hard, but repeatedly, in quick succession. I am thinking this might dislodge the ring and cause it to start to slide. If not, maybe doing the same thing with the pot upside down, toward the edge of its bottom, not in the middle.

                    Or, heat up the pot with an eighth inch of oil in it. The oil might get under the ring as the pot heats - you know the way oil heated in a skillet migrates to the sides, leaving the center of the pan dry? (There's a name for that which Harold McGee wrote about.)

                    1. Heavy Duty suction cup(s)...might even try the ones window washers use.

                      1. Usually something stuck from a "dish-washing accident" can be unstuck by the same soapy water that got it there in the first place. I've had it happen with breakables where drilling is out of the question, and eventually it gets loosen with soap and water...usually the less force the better.
                        Good luck!

                        1. Duct tape is very sticky and can be highly entertaining:


                          Maybe a couple of strips folded to provide "pulling tabs" would get you enough purchase?

                          1. It would really help to know the material of the stock pot. If it is a Le creuset then we'd want to take measures to protect the surface.

                            You could always try a tupperware citrus peeler such as this http://www.amazon.com/Tupperware-Citr... or try a very thin metal bar like they use then you lock your keys in your car. Get two of those. Bring water to a rolling boil. Then set the stock pot on the floor and try to get between the ring and the pot on opposite sides and 3 and 9 o'clock. Perhaps you will be able to shimmy it up. Or have a second person hold a blow torch to the affected area when you try to shimmy it out. Another option would be a soldering iron to heat up the ring so that you could bend it easily and pull it out.

                            The tart ring is a lost cause but hopefully the stockpot won't be a total loss.

                            1. Hot water and lots of soap. The lubricant will get under the pastry bottom with some agitation. Good luck

                              1. Julietg, please advise. What, if anything, worked?

                                1. It sits on my counter and shames me.

                                  As for the metals, it's an All-Clad Ltd pot, so stainless on the inside, yes?

                                  The pastry bottom is flimsy and shiny. Aluminum?

                                  They have formed a seal- there is water trapped in between them.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: julietg

                                    1) try spraying the pastry bottom with compressed air (this will chill the pastry ring -- and some air just might get in to break the seal) while the pan itself is on a warm burner? Once it's chilled try to use the suction cup trick to lift it out?

                                    1. re: julietg

                                      Is it stuck all the way down or in the middle of the stock pot? If it is the middle of the stock pot, then just drill a hole in your pastry bottom or something and pull it out.

                                      1. re: julietg

                                        Don't be shamed, use the broiler. The stock pot should expand first, loosening up the connection between the two. But if that fails, the water will boil, turn to steam, and expand, pushing the pastry bottom out.

                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                          I really like the duct tape idea. That would be 366 uses!

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            Heck, the OP could even super glue some handles to the pastry pan. Acetone should remove the residue, but if that doesn't work she's no worse off than if she tried to drill through it. Lots of good solutions.

                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                              This is probably one of the easiest approahes to implement.

                                          2. re: alanbarnes

                                            This suggestion by Alan is the first I would follow. Easy to do and no damage. At the very least it will force the water out. The only downside is that as it cools it may suck your pasty bottom even harder. Please pardon any inappropriate mental image.

                                        2. I can't recall any previous CH post eliciting such creative suggestions. It's been a blast. Hope something works for the OP.

                                          1. I've had enough sleepless nights......What happened please?

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Robin Joy

                                              I haven't found a magnet strong enough to pull the piece out of the pan.

                                              It continues to mock me.

                                              I am loathe to use super glue (which I bought and then chickened out on). You see, I never got to use the pastry ring.

                                              1. re: julietg

                                                Okay, one last suggestion: go to a business that installs granite countertops and ask to borrow/rent one of their super-strong suction devices. Just as good as super glue (perhaps stronger) and no damage done to pastry ring.

                                                1. re: julietg

                                                  Use the super glue. It's pretty brittle when dry, and anything that doesn't chip off easily can be removed using nail polish remover (acetone).

                                                1. re: julietg

                                                  Ah ... see how the image flips back and forth, left to right, convex and concave? They're trying to tell you to press hard on the pan so it flips inside out, releasing the pastry piece.

                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                    Convexity, concavity. Dude with the curves, that was Sam.

                                                    1. re: FoodFuser

                                                      I had not seen this thread when it was current. As I was reading through the posts I thought of what I would have done in this situation. It turns out my solution worked. What I would have done was ignore the problem until it went away all by itself. The next time I boiled pasta in the pot it would have come loose and surprised me at the same time.

                                                2. So now that we all have a frame of reference- see? They fit perfectly! And because I have never used the (probably $20 at stupid Sur La Table) pastry plate, I don't want to ruin in with glue or tape (the shiny surface would be ruined and thus its non-stick, no?) The magnets I got aren't strong enough. I tried heat, and leaving it in the snow overnight.

                                                  Will try the broiler method this weekend, I guess.

                                                  Just for you, RichardM.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: julietg

                                                    That surely doesn't look like non-stick. Super glue that sucker (or h-d suction cup it) and pull it out already.

                                                  2. Actually Julie, I personally promise to buy you another pastry ring if you wreck this one. So go on, do your worst.

                                                    1. This has been going on so long that I'm tempted to recreate this disaster in my own kitchen, just to see if I can resolve it.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                        And then write an article about it. Win-win :)

                                                      2. Hi Julie

                                                        Put water in the pot and let it sit overnight.
                                                        Next day, pour the water out and then put the pot on your stove *upside down*, and turn the burner on high. Alternately you can put it in the oven upside down, with the oven at 450-500 degrees.

                                                        The water between the pastry bottom and pot should flash to steam, pushing them apart. With the pot upside down you should get at least one side hanging down a bit, enough so that you'll have some space to get a knife tip between the sides and pry it out.

                                                        1. Have you tried just putting some water in it and boiling it? That might dislodge the pastry bottom.

                                                          1. I DID IT!!! Just put the pot on the stove on high. It popped right out. I dumped the water in the sink and the ring went with it.

                                                            The ring burned or rusted a little line around the pot, but I will try some Barkeeper's when the pot cools down.

                                                            Boy, do I feel silly for being such a ninny! Thanks so much for the advice everyone!!!

                                                            7 Replies
                                                              1. re: julietg

                                                                Taaa daaa ... the end of a sordid, perplexing, saga.

                                                                1. re: julietg

                                                                  Huge relief, now I won't feel compelled to do a repeat. Thanks for posting the finale.

                                                                  1. re: julietg

                                                                    In your original post you said you had tried heat and cold. Do you mean to say that you never heated the pot on the stove until NOW?

                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                      No. At the time I had tried heat, there was no water in between the two. Sitting in the sink for a day changed that...

                                                                      1. re: julietg

                                                                        This is late in the game, but since there was water in the bottom, you could've put it in the freezer. The expansion would have loosened it, I think. (I didn't notice if anyone suggested freezing.)

                                                                  2. Put some water in the pot, bring it to a boil and then try and brush the bottom with a nylon scrub brush.