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Jan 4, 2011 10:29 PM

Giant Stain on my Stainless Steel Pan

I went to a restaurant supply store and got myself a brand new stainless steel frying pan. Three hours later I am now the proud owner of a brand new stainless steel frying pan with a large brown stain on the interior, courtesy of heating my oil too long to the point where it was smoking (at least I think that's what caused it). Should I be worried about it? Would the discoloration affect the performance of the pan? I'm not really concerned about appearance. FYI, it's a cheap $12 pan, doesn't even have a brand, it just says "made in China." Thanks.

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  1. Do you have a photo? I am wonder if you got a oxidation stain or a burned oil stain. If it is a burned oil stain, you should able to feel it when you run your fingers across the stain surface. If so, then there are many methods ranging from mild method of "baking soda solution and scrubbing" to aggressive method of "oven cleaners like EasyOff"

    If it is an oxidization stain, you should not able to feel the a difference. You can try Bar Keeper's Friend or plain white vinegar for removal:

    To answer your specific question about performance impact: oxdization stains have no impact, burned oil stain has mild impact. Hope this help.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      Thanks for the reply. I'm pretty certain it's a burned oil stain. When it run my fingers over it, it feels kind of sticky and gross; there's definitely a difference.

      1. re: aesir

        Try to put some baking soda with a little water in the pan, bring the solution to boiling for a few minutes, and then toss the solution and scrub the stain.

    2. if it's oil, try warming the pan up first then scraping with an old credit card?

      I like the Cameo stainless steel cleaner. It does seem to have a mild scrubbing effect until the powder dissolves, then it does it's chemical thing too. Not abrasive, but it does seem to help with that cloudiness that rice and other things leave.

      1. I agree, it sounds like an oil stain. All the suggestions may help in removing the stain, but I think you will find a slight taint in flavor depending on what you cook in it. To prevent this from happening again, a stainless steel pan needs to be "treated". I always rub my new stainless, blue steel or french steel pans with oil. I oil the entire thing, inside, outside and handle. The steel pan I purchase have no rubber handle cover. They are oven capable. After oil-ing I bake them at 200* for a couple of hours and then let them cool. I never wash with soap, as it pulls the "seasoning" out of the pan. I treat them like I treat my cast iron pans. I love the steel pans for their quickness to heat and the sear they give my proteins.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Jussayin

          Oh. I didn't know SS pans needed to be seasoned. I thought you only needed to do that for cast iron? I just treat SS the same way I treat anodized aluminum.

          1. re: aesir

            Never heard of "seasoning" a s/s pan. Barkeeper's Friend will take that oil residue right off, and using it everytime after use will make the pans look like new