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Cookware

Would you re-tin or cook in this copper pan?

BreadCat | Jan 23, 201912:53 PM     34

So, I saw this pan on eBay, cheap. Seller described it as vintage, great condition. Per the photos, I could see the inside was not in great condition. Dark patches, greenish areas, what looked like lots of bubbling in the tin. So, I figured it was a well used item and in need of re-tinning, but cheap so that was fair. Looked like a nice heavy copper pan in a size and shape that would work for me, with a brass handle which is what I prefer anyway.

Pan arrived yesterday. Heavy copper, 2.75 mm at the thinnest parts of the rim. No markings. Outside was not that dirty, mostly tarnished, no cooked on food or drips down the side. Handle is plain but tight. The inside was a mess. Very greenish. Kind of sticky, waxy, oily feeling. Very rough tin, but not exactly bubbled, more like drippy, bumpy and smeared. So I got to cleaning with a green scrubby, Dawn and Copperbrill. Inside and out. Also a toothbrush and bamboo skewer for around the rivets. The tarnish came off the outside and the goo came off the inside, eventually.

Now the surprise. It looks like this pan has never been used. There are no scratches on the bottom except the kind of parallel brush marks you see in sheet stock. The rim is perfect, sharp edged inside and out. Clearly no one has ever banged a spoon against it.

Unfortunately the tin is a real hot mess. There is no exposed copper anywhere, but my impression is that where it is not super thick and bumpy, the tin is extremely thin. It may not be visible in the photos but there is almost a crevasse around each of the rivets and the concentric circles on the rivets are still clearly apparent to both eye and touch, which I have not seen on a tin lined pan before. And so many bumps and dips I fear cleaning would always be an issue. Plus, who knows if this is pure tin or something else, and what the heck was that greenish goo?

Tin interior

Showing rivets

tin interior

Showing rough areas

copper exterior

Rivets and bottom

Copper pan

It seems wasteful to retin a pan that has likely never been used, but this doesn’t feel like something I want to live with. Chances are it is still heading out to get a shiny new tin lining. Anyone think it’s a good idea to use it as is?

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