I am trying to find a way to boil 1-2 quarts of water for 10 minutes and want to be absolutely sure that the pot doesn't leak any chemicals into the water. I have tried 3 stainless steel sauce pots but they all rusted (and one rusted after a single use). What kind of sauce pot can I get that is guaranteed not to rust or break due to temperature and not leak any chemicals into the water? Price is less important than finding the right item (I'm only going to buy 1).

  • 2
    If your stainless steel rusted then it isn't stainless steel. True stainless won't rust.
    – GdD
    Nov 14, 2017 at 9:49
  • 4
    @GdD actually, this is not so. "Stainless" is a bit of a marketing name - all steels (from blue steel to steel high in chromium) have some degree of rust resistance, but will rust under certain conditions. Stainless steels just rarely rust when exposed to air under typical home conditions. We cannot know if the OP bought three separate fakes or is treating normal pans in an unusual way.
    – rumtscho
    Nov 14, 2017 at 11:35
  • What brand can I buy that isn’t guaranteed to be quality? I bought 2 cuisinart and they rusted, then some other brand that rusted on the first day. They were only used to boil water. Dishwasher washed and hand washed with sponge.
    – Alex
    Nov 14, 2017 at 14:50
  • I meant is guaranteed to be quality
    – Alex
    Nov 14, 2017 at 15:04
  • 1
    This question seems very far fetched, unless your water isn't water.
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 15, 2017 at 3:49

3 Answers 3


Just use a glass pot, Corningware make some decent ones that can be used on a stove. But any glass pot designed to work on a stove with direct heat/flame exposure should work in this case.

If you are worried about uneven heating or hot spots on a gas range due to less conductive glass, you can use a cast iron or aluminum heat diffuser plate under the glass to even out the heat.


Quality austenitic stainless steel* should certainly not rust from boiling plain water (excepting MAYBE some rust in places like handle weld spots - the metallurgy is upset in these spots, and usually they don't touch the food anyway.), given that cookware is made from it that is perfectly dishwasher proof, and won't rust if salted water is boiled in it. If such items quickly rust, assume there are aggressive chemicals (eg from a cleaning product you use) or electricity (eg insulation being marginal on a stove, and stirring cook+metal/wood utensil providing a ground path) involved. In some odd cases, keeping the cookware in water with items made of very dissimilar metal (eg bare copper) could accelerate corrosion due to the whole setup acting as a battery. Another possibility is getting rusty water from cleaning non-stainless things onto stainless surfaces - think of stainless steel more as a material that usually doesn't start rusting but can rust once it started.

Alternatively, consider ceramic coated nonstick pots.

*There are a few basic kinds of stainless. The other major type (in kitchen applications), martensitic, is used for things that need to either keep an edge or resist permanently bending (knives, graters, springs...), and is far more prone to corrode. However, there would be zero reason to make a saucepan out of it.


Aluminum won't rust. I threw away the ceramic (Corning) pan I had as it was slow to heat and would burn anything but water. A non-magnetic stainless steel pan ( austenitic / 18-8 ) will not rust when used in a kitchen for food. If used to boil hydrochloric acid or boiling salt solutions down to a mush-like consistency , you can get rust . One can get rust spots at a spot type weld; this is caused by sensitization near the fusion line ,especially when the stainless has high carbon and low chromium . I have never seen it in cookware but substandard stuff from China may have this problem.

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    Let me clarify China products : An American MBA says ' where can I get the cheapest SS pot?" The Chinese representative says "the best material is 304L. The MBA wants something cheaper, Chinese- 304, MBA wants something cheaper. Chinese says 302L , MBA -cheaper, Chinese 302, MBA- cheaper, Chinese says 301 is the very cheapest SS . American MBA says "that is just what I want. And an order is placed for substandartd stuff from China. Nov 14, 2017 at 23:36
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    Uncoated aluminium is actually controversial regarding leaching issues, and aluminium compounds are probably far more of a health concern than iron. And I could think of more things that corrode aluminium (dishwasher) in a kitchen environment than austenitic stainless ... Nov 15, 2017 at 11:39
  • My attempt at humor since aluminum cannot produce the iron oxide that was a concern. Nov 16, 2017 at 4:33

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