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I was boiling water and completely forgot about it. The stove was on high. When I found the pan, the bottom was all black on the inside and the outside was covered with ashes. It is a stainless steel pan with copper on the outside bottom. Can it still be used?
By Tex from Archbold, OH
As long as it's not Teflon coated you most certainly can!
I use mine, and it happened years ago. If I remember right I just scoured it with the finest steel wool I could find. It is still discolored.
I boiled water in my 2 gallon stainless pan with a copper bottom. I forgot about it and all the copper was burnt off. Is the pan still safe to use or trash it?
Is the pan truly copper? I know it's really hard to cook/scrub/scrap the copper off of those pans. What's important is what the inside of the pan looks like. If it is smooth and still fresh steel/stainless then you are ok. The worst that can happen is that the pan may cook a little uneven so remember that with sauces and thick soups unless you can get the outside of the pan the same thickness. If using a sealed top electric stove be sure the bottom is very even or you may crack your stove.
I have cleaned the outside of a few pans with a drill and a wire brush to make them even and it never changed how they looked or cooked on the inside, especially where you have to use them all the time (in a restaurant).