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I have recently purchased a stockpot and I have been using it for making pasta on an electric stove. The first two times I used it, everything was fine, but tonight I put it on the stove to make pasta on a high heat, and there was a weird smelling smoke coming from the bottom of the pot. Can anyone advise me on why this pot was smoking and how I can solve this problem?

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    Could there be residue on the bottom of the pot? Maybe on the outside, from something it was set on, that is burning from direct contact with the stove.
    – Megha
    May 22, 2017 at 6:43
  • What kind of hob? Cast iron electrics, for example, are really great at collecting grease and distributing it across pot bottoms... May 22, 2017 at 7:31
  • @rackandboneman OP stated it's an electric hob.
    – kettultim
    May 22, 2017 at 8:45
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    There are a handful of types of electric hobs - cast iron, open coil, glass ceramic.... May 22, 2017 at 9:36
  • smoking pot. :)
    – Alaska Man
    May 22, 2017 at 17:10

2 Answers 2

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Did the water from your pasta overflow the previous times you cooked? If water from cooking pasta spills and then dries, the residue left behind after evaporation can smoke or even burn. Alternatively something could be stuck on or under the burner itself, and it can be hard to notice depending on the type of electric stove. For example on my ceramic cooktop it's hard to notice residue stuck on the burner unless I look at it from a really shallow angle to get light to reflect off of it.

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Because thin stainless steel stock pots simply do not work with electric/glass stovetops. The base is too wide which causes heat to get trapped under the stock pot and burn the thin metal. It can handle 25 min on high heat, after that the bottom will start to burn. I know it sucks, I'm having the same problem. Whatever you do, never heat sugary foods/milk in a thin stock pot on an electric/glass stove top. It will burn a hole right through the pot if the sugars condense on the bottom of the pan and overheat. Always use the double boiler method with these pots and never keep heat on high longer than 25 min. Your second option is to purchase a thick walled stainless steel stock pot (make sure it's flat bottomed, flat is better for glass/electric stove tops) , but also be aware of the weight you're placing on the electric/glass stove top. Too much weight can break the glass.

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    1: stockpots generally have thick bases, so your argument is rarely applicable. 2: I've had one of those stoves, and used many. If you don't boil the pan dry, it won't come to any harm. 3: it's not going to melt steel. Never. The melting point of steel is far too high for something that gets merely red hot. The element would have to be white hot to get to steel's melting point.
    – Chris H
    Jul 15, 2023 at 16:35

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