So, I tried using a copper (I bought 2nd hand recently) pan to brown some beef. The lining is melting and bubbling.

Am I not supposed to use it for this?

Or has it been lined with something other than tin?


I am worried to eat from it now.

  • 6
    I'm trying to understand the type of pan you experienced this with (so I don't have something similar happen). Is it a solid copper pan with a tin exterior lining? Do you have a link to a description and an image of the pan, or a similar one? Apr 19, 2020 at 23:36
  • 1
    Hi, it's a copper pan with a tin interior. They look like this: (i.ebayimg.com/images/g/JWwAAOSwD0NdUcy5/s-l1600.jpg) I had them over a high heat for searing - a lesson learned!
    – am4ci
    Apr 21, 2020 at 13:48
  • Thank you for the description and image. I'm not sure I've ever seen a pan with that type of construction. Interesting! Apr 21, 2020 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


You overheated it, tin melts at 450 F . It may have a few per-cent of other metals in the tin that would raise the melt temperature slightly.It should be fine now except if the surface is now rough ,it will be difficult to clean. The tin can be remelted and smoothed. Unfortunately that requires some skill/experience. I have retinned at least one, I added some pure tin (not commonly available- no solder is pure tin.). I managed to get an OK result, not as good as the original very smooth surface.

  • Thanks! The tin did not get too rough, so it should remain usable for now. I should have realized as I did this to another pot of mine, it went dry when I wasn't looking. I think I can get pure tin on ebay. I don't think I have a hot enough heat source to do re-tinning. I will use cast-iron for searing from now on.
    – am4ci
    Apr 19, 2020 at 22:34
  • 7
    A stove top ( gas or electric ) easily get hot enough to melt tin .The tin" wants' to wet the copper, it will tend to smooth itself, but not a mirror finish. Apr 20, 2020 at 0:53
  • 1
    To the point made by @am4ci about not having a heat source to do re-tinning, You don't need too much heat to work with tin. While I haven't tried re-tin my own copper yet, I have melted bars of tin in a cast iron pot for casting projects using nothing more than a $10 hibachi and BBQ charcoal. Apr 20, 2020 at 19:41
  • This is really interesting, I will certainly try it at some point. @blacksmith From what I have read there are a few additional ingredients required, such as a flux and something to strip the original lining, did you use these? or did you get workable results without? I've seen videos: one using tin pellets melted in the pan and another using a small bar wiped around the inside.
    – am4ci
    Apr 21, 2020 at 14:07
  • 1
    The tin and copper do not oxidize (much) at the low temperature so I did not use flux Apr 21, 2020 at 14:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.