That said, it's kind of a pretty pattern
May 30, 2011 6:01 PM   Subscribe

Is this scorched pot still usable? There's nothing to scrub away...

Pot on stove. Forgot. Everything boiled away.

Because it was just water, there wasn't anything to scrub away. Now the pot looks like this:

Is this still safe to use? How would you make the decision? I've got enough health problems, would prefer not to take the risk.
posted by veryblue1 to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It's just overheated steel. If scrubbing with Barkeeper's Friend doesn't get it off, it's not going to do anything to your food.
posted by WasabiFlux at 6:08 PM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

It looks like the pan got pretty hot and formed a very thin later clear layer of most likely a metal oxide on the bottom. You can probably remove it was a strong abrasive like metal wool. It wouldn't bother me to leave it there.
posted by Long Way To Go at 6:12 PM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Not a problem. If you're worried, take some steel wool to it (or a copper scrubby thing) like Long Way To GO suggested.

If you scrub it, though, it's going to be "stickier" for foods - you can polish it back mirror smooth with some brasso or something and it won't be as sticky.
posted by porpoise at 6:19 PM on May 30, 2011

I would keep using it. If you're worried, toss it and get a new pot.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:25 PM on May 30, 2011

I'm with WasabiFlux on this one. Try Bar Keepers Friend. This is exactly what it's made for.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 6:46 PM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

The metal itself looks fine. But you should make sure the bottom isn't deformed. The last time a pot of boiling water was left on in my house, the bottom of the pot warped substantially. With a gas range this wouldn't be much of a problem, but with a ceramic top electric stove you must ensure good contact with the whole surface; a warped pot or pan is garbage.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:03 PM on May 30, 2011

A warped pot is a food's frustration.
posted by flabdablet at 8:06 PM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

What everyone said. Bar Keepers Friend it, and use it with no worries. If the Queen of England is cooking with you in your kitchen, use a prettier pot.
posted by trip and a half at 8:08 PM on May 30, 2011

Best answer: Bar Keeper's Friend is a must-have in the kitchen and it's only $1-2/can. Between that and rock salt, you don't need anything else to wash your pots and pans.
posted by kcm at 9:39 PM on May 30, 2011

Best answer: I managed to boil dry my Revere Ware steamer and it turned slightly blue. I scrubbed it with Barkeeper's Friend (srsly, this stuff rocks AND it keeps my dish sponge from mildewing!) and it's still a little pitted. I don't worry about it, though, and I still use the pan. If BKF can't get it off, it ain't coming off.
posted by workerant at 8:03 AM on May 31, 2011

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