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Mar 31, 2011 07:12 PM

Discolored AC LTD saucepan safe to cook in? Pls advice....

Hi all-

This is my very first question here on this forum, though I have been a lurker here for quite some time. I recently won an AC original LTD 3qt saucepan w/lid for peanuts ($30) on ebay. The seller did not provide any detailed descriptions and the one photo that was provided showed an extremely clean, well-maintained steel interior. I assumed that it was an older SS saucepan, since the exterior was invisible in the picture. But to my dismay AND delight, it was an AC LTD pan, very thick and clean (interior), but the exterior surface had deteriorated and streaked so much that instead of the dark anodized surface, all that is visible is an aluminum finish, similar to AC MC or MC2.

Upon searching past queries, I sprayed Dawn Power Dissolver, left it on for about 35 min and then wipred it and washed it but nothing has changed. It is still discolored and looks more aluminum than when I recd it with uneven ugly streaks.

My concern is about the actual functionality of the item. In short, will it be okay to use it for cooking, or is it money down the drain? Pls help!!


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  1. It sounds like it was run through the dishwasher. Dishwasher detergent will remove the anodized surface on the exterior of the pan, exposing the bare aluminum.

    It may not be as pretty as the original anodized exterior, but it should be OK to cook in.

    1. Hi, kateinucci:

      I think you got a good pan that already has a little character. That's great.

      Perfectly safe, I say. And if the appearance bothers you, sand/scour off the outside anodizing completely, and it'll still be a good pan.


      1. You're not cooking on the outside, you're cooking on the inside which you say is clean. My AC MC2, over time, has deteriorated on the outside. But it's the outside, which has no effect on what is cooked. It may not suit your aesthetic sensibilities, but the outside is irrelevant.
        Your pan is functional; enjoy it.

        1. Thanks for all the helpful responses! Yeah, other than for health reasons, the outside really did not bother me at all. It is an awesome, thick sturdy saucepan. Apparently, the seller bought the AC pots/pans from an Italian restaurant that closed down, hence the surface is ruined due to the commercial harsh detergents, just as BruceMcK said.

          I thought maybe the "fumes" from the exposed aluminum might be hazardous when used on the gas range! I know it sounds quite silly but I am paranoid that way! ;)

          1 Reply
          1. re: katetinucci

            All-Clad sells an entire line of cookware with an exposed aluminum exterior, MC2. They wouldn't sell that if it were harmful. Enjoy your new saucepan. It's fine to cook in and cooks great!

          2. Like everyone said, it is perfectly and it does not affect the cooking performance.