3

A month ago I foolishly left a pot of water on to boil WAY too long. It was a small pot and all the water was gone (though it had been covered) and it continued to sit on the stove burner with the flame on until I remembered much later on.

When I realized, I let it cool down and heard crackling as it did (which I'm told was the sediment deposition on the bottom). The pot (All-Clad, stainless steel) was discolored (though looked kind of cool) and with some advice from here and other sites, I cleaned it as best I could (white vinegar, barkeeper's, dishwasher). The pot still looks discolored but has worked fine, though the water appeared to boil strangely at times (with unusual bubble patterns that hadn't been there before), but no big deal.

I only use the small pot for boiling water. But today, about a month after this happened, I put about half a cup of hot water from the faucet in it and i heard a loud pop. Thinking this unusual, I thought maybe I misheard and I heated up the water as normal. Then I heard a few more (but softer) pops. Finally, the water was boiled, I took the pot off the flame, and left it to cool on a cold burner. POP another strong one!

My thinking/hope was that the pot was ok because it's stainless steel and based on what I've read, permanent damage was unlikely after my initial over-heating incident. But I have no explanation (nor can find one) about this new popping, long after this happened. And I'm worried that the pot might split or shatter, or that it might be dangerous in another way.

Any information or advice?

Thanks!

  • a steel pot will not split or shatter, don't worry. Can you post a pic of the pot? Depending on design, the noise likely comes from a failed weld spot (or even a friction point on two opposing surfaces) that now slips when heated. This can be on the handle, a logo plate, or a bimetallic feature. – dandavis Jul 27 at 16:09
  • I'd throw it out & get either a proper electric kettle [safest, cheapest & fastest unless you're on 110v] or a stove kettle with a whistle. – Tetsujin Jul 27 at 17:05
  • I appreciate your response, dandavis. Trying to figure out how to take a post a pic on here as i’m new. :) while i figure that out, i noticed the handle feels securely fastened (but who knows if there’s something is more invisible to the eye). However, looking at in the sunlight, I just noticed that the bottom of the inside of the pot has a giant raised welt in the shape of a crescent that is almost similar to a welt you get after hitting your own skin. The bottom of the outside of the pot still seems flat as normal. So it seems the inside bottom is separating from the base at least in a part. – KSmith4964 Jul 27 at 17:20
  • thanks Tetsujin. yeah, thinking the whistle pot might be good for the future. Just hoping I can salvage this stainless steel pot regardless for other uses. – KSmith4964 Jul 27 at 17:27
  • 3
    @dandavis If the pot has a multilayer welded bottom, there is definitely some risk! – LSchoon Jul 27 at 20:35
1

If you heated the metal to the point where you get rainbow colors on the surface after cooling, you'll likely have tempered and nontempered areas on the pan bottom. These areas 1) have different coefficients of thermal expansion and 2) can move around with subsequent heating. The pops are likely the bottom of your pan buckling as it adjusts to different parts of itself expanding/contracting at different rates. I wouldn't worry about it.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    I would worry about it. cooking.stackexchange.com/a/58192/67 – Joe Jul 30 at 15:17
  • I've never used any of those multilayer pans. Gas is not really amenable to pans with big thick bottoms. You are right, if that's what the pan in question is, it's time to junk it. – Wayfaring Stranger Jul 30 at 15:40
  • He was starting with a tri-ply pan (All Clad), but once it delaminates, one side is effectively bimetal. The tri-ply might still keep moisture from getting in between the delamination, but there's still the possibility of bad things happening from the bi-metal. – Joe Jul 30 at 15:46
1

I would recommend that you stop using this pan.

As you mention it's All Clad, it's a "tri-ply" pan, made from three layers of metal, with a more thermally conductive metal sandwiched between stainless steel.

As you mention that there's a "raised welt" inside the pan, it's a sign that some delamination has occurred, so you either have three separate layers, or you possibly have a single layer + a bimetal layer, which can potentially be dangerous. And as Wayfaring Stranger mentioned, you may have annealed the pan, changing its thermal properties non-uniformly across the pan.

You might still be able to use it for processes that don't require heat (brining, mixing, etc.), but I would recommend that you stop using it for cooking.

You can try contacting All Clad, but I suspect that they'll deny a warranty claim, as they exclude:

  • Damage arising from thermal shocks, drops, improper use, failure to follow the use and care instructions, or an unauthorized modification or repair.
  • Discoloration, warping, or metal separation due to high heat or prolonged heat exposure when empty, or non-stick deterioration that occurs from misuse or abuse
| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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