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Tin coating worn off pans are they safe to cook in

I have several copper pans that the tin interior coating has worn off. First are they still safe to cook with? If not can they be re-tinned? Can I do it or to whom would I take them to be redone?

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Here's what I found:

To Re-tin Pots:

1. Only do it outside, don't try it on your electric stove

2. Use heavy leather gloves to handle the pots Use extra heavy cloths to protect your hands also wear eye protection

3. Use only N-F grade bar tin

4. Clean the pots very well to remove grease and carbon deposits

One option is to put pots in dishwasher with Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) 1-2 oz. and some regular dish washing compound. Put on "pot and pan wash" and do it twice

5. scrub pots with steel wool and rinse well, then put pots in 5-10% solutions of either hydrochloric acid (Muriatic) or Sulfuric acid. (Do outside and do not Heat) for about 20 minutes

6. Use either natural rosin or zinc chloride flux depending on your position on using chemicals

7. The item should be hot enough to melt the tin at all parts you want to work on, it should not be so hot that the tin oxidizes too rapidly.

Brush some flux around the pot

8. Melt some bar tin in the pot and swirl it around

Immediately begin wiping with a heavy cotton cloth

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Found out that I need a "Tinker", a man who tins pots. Have called the University art dept to see if I can find one.

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Bought some tin on eBay. Will do the job myself. Thanks for the help!

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Another very interesting question. +

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Hey Mayer,

So I was curious too and found a good resource for you (I think). Firstly, they do mention that since it is a copper pan you are talking about you may not want to re-tin it in certain cases:

In the case of copper, the tin prevents reaction with acidic foods. If you're not cooking acidic foods, then it's not necessary to have a tin lining. Also, if the copper pot is going to be subjected to very high temperatures, such as for making hard candy, the copper needs to be bare in order to support the high temperatures. And bare copper is desirable in making meringues, because of its reaction to egg whites, which makes them peak faster and longer.

  • The previously quoted paragraph was found here

So yes, they are still safe to cook with, it seems.

However, if you want to re-tin them then you could use this form and send your pans to Fantes.com (based out of PA) to get your pans re-tinned. The cost is variable but here is how you calculate it:

  1. Measure each pan's width and height then add those 2 numbers together and divide by 2 for each pan you want re-tinned. that gives you the total inches (according to fantes).
  2. The cost per inch is $4 so multiply 4 by each inch.
  3. shipping is $10 for the first pan + lid, then $5 per each next one (pan or lid, i believe)
  • Lids are to be measured and counted separately i believe.

There might be cheaper places out there, some additional searching could be done.

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+ for the research, a link to the resource you quoted from would be helpful

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there you go boss

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+1 I do like that answer :) good job Eric. Acidic foods are bad for you anyway.

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You got to love this kind of research. +

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Thank you so much. I have been looking for an answer to this question for a very long time. I have some old tin bakeware bundt pans and pie plates that sort of thing. I recently came across an old hand mixer with tin plated blades and bowl that desperately need to be refinished. thank you again. I will look into having it done.

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