HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Mar 15, 2010 03:57 PM

Stainless Steel Splits Open?


For the second time in as many years I've had the experience of a stainless pot kind of rupturing. It was explained to me how this can happen (different metals expand at different rates), but I don't find a lot of info on the web.

Has this happened to anyone else, or am I under a dark stainless steel cloud?



  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Has not happened to me, but then you may have been cooking heck a lot longer than me. All I can say is that it has not happened to my mom either and she has been cooking for a long time. Best wishes.

    1. That's weird. Can you be more specific?
      How old was the pot? What were you cooking? How high was the heat? Did you boil it dry or not have anything in it? Were the two pots the same brand and/or manufacturer?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Dimwit

        Whoops. Missed this one.

        I don't want to name the manufacturer, but I spent serious money on the last pot about 10+ years ago. The first one was a hand-me-down from my mother, and would have been 25+ years old.

        It was simmering roasted bones, and I noticed the split after about 1.5 hours. I finished cooking, but lost faith in the pot after a couple more uses.

        I've gotten a couple of theories about laminated metals, but as far as I know the first, older pot was of all stainless (so the differing expansion rate theory would not apply). Of course, it's no longer in my possession, so I may be mis-remembering.

        1. re: Maria G.

          Ive never ever heard of this happening. Ive cooked/baked professionally and I love to cook at home and fort a free meal program and this is the first time that I have heard of a SS pan splitting open.

          Where on the pot did the crack occur, what kind of range(electric or gas), how much heat were you using, what is the pot's history, and what kind of pot was it?

          1. re: Kelli2006

            Hi, Kelli2006:

            Just because it is not within your experience doesn't mean it doesn't happen. SS pits under certain conditions. When the cooking layer of even well-made clad pits through to the next layer, the propensity to delaminate increases dramatically.

            One such condition is allowing undissolved salt to sit at the pan's bottom; the coarser the crystals, the longer the salt sits there before going into solution. Even Falk has an exception to their warranty for this.


            1. re: kaleokahu

              With all due respect I have never heard of an instance of an All-Clad pan wearing though the stainless cooking layer and Id be very eager for any information that anyone could provide of this happening.

              This statement by Falk says nothing about the stainless layer wearing though.
              "Avoid letting salt solutions stand in your pans for extended periods of time (hours). Salt will pit stainless steel over time. Add salt to your pasta water just before it comes to a boil."
              Ive seen many instances of pitted stainless but those in the culinary enviroment were only asthetic.


      2. Yes I've had that problem with a 1 quart sauce pan. No trade mark but made in India. I only paid $9 for it and I suspect overheating was the cause.