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I was boiling eggs and fell asleep. I think it was boiling dry for about an hour, would the pot be unsafe to cook with now?

It was clean inside but the outside is now slightly yellow tinged. Does stainless steel have any kind of coating in it that might of burnt off? I don't really want to throw the pot away as it is 18/10 and pretty expensive, but I don't want to risk my health.

Thanks

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Tangentially related: cooking.stackexchange.com/a/719/1672 If you remove them from the heat once they come to a boil, this is less likely to happen! –  Jefromi Jul 20 '13 at 2:53
    
You only discolored the outside? I wasn't tending some stock once when I was reducing some stock (wow, that stinks when it burns ... imagine burned hair), and managed to blacken the inside ... it never did scrub clean, but I put enough hours into it and a few attempts at boiling to loosen it up that I decided just to go with it ... so it's been stained for years now. –  Joe Jul 20 '13 at 4:14

3 Answers 3

Stainless steel pots are pretty much indestructable and it should be safe to cook with. Just give it a good cleaning. Some hardwarevstores (lowes) have a ss cleaner that might get rid of the yellow tinge. Otherwise, it'll look like every other well used ss pot.

18/10 ss is 18% chromium, 10% nickel, and balance in iron and stable to higher temperatures. If you didn't drop the hot pot in cold water, or the bottom is really thick, you shouldn't have warping issues either.

An egg timer might be handy next time ;)

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If you have hard water, a soak in vinegar can be helpful. A cooked on veneer of calcium carbonate, or similar water minerals, can make food stick to the surface of the pan very tightly. Vineger will dissolve the stuff completely. –  Wayfaring Stranger Jul 20 '13 at 12:36
    
My GF did this with an aluminum tea pot and melted the bottom out. She did it again a week later with one of my saucepots (because her teapot was melted), and the pan was fine, but the aluminum-core base came off. Scratch one pot. That said, I have pitted a pan with salt water used for steaming, and had a grease fire in another (GF needs to stick to salads maybe). Both are fine, and I use them all the time. –  JSM Jul 15 at 21:51

Stainless steel is not coated, and will not be permanently harmed by any temperatures achievable in the home. It melts at about 1500 C (2750 F).

It might be warped or discolored, but it is fine to use.

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If it is a non-stick pan then you definitely run the risk of health issues.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymer_fume_fever

Stainless steel is forged at a temperature far higher then what you could do in your kitchen. The issue is more with warping because it causes uneven heating. But if it's a pot filled with water it shouldn't be that much of an issue.

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I am sure the OP would have mentioned if it was nonstick. –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 20 '13 at 2:03

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