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lonelydragon's avatar

Silly question: can this copper bottomed tea kettle be saved?

Asked by lonelydragon (7750points) December 16th, 2009

I was making tea tonight, and after pouring out the hot water, I got distracted by something else and forgot to turn off the burner (I still can’t believe I did something that dumb). So most of the copper on the bottom of the kettle was burned off. Can I still use this tea pot, or will I have to replace it?

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14 Answers

butterflykisses's avatar

Are you sure the copper was burned off/ or is it just blackened?

lonelydragon's avatar

@butterflykisses I’m pretty sure it was burned off, because when I scrubbed away the black stuff, I just saw the gray base metal.

SeventhSense's avatar

It was probably a very thin layer of copper but I think you can still use it. The base metal is probably aluminum which won’t melt under 900 degrees. Just down use it in the fireplace :) You won’t find the beneficial properties of copper though which is a nice even distribution of heat due to its impressive conductivity, but it should still be useful.

butterflykisses's avatar

ACK! I would imagine you could still use it. The copper must of been a very thin layer. Just keep an eye on it until you know for sure. I don’t want to say 100% because I can’t see the pot.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I’m sure that it will be fine. The copper on the outside of the kettle is more ornamental than anything else (it wouldn’t be safe to cook with pure copper, which is why the copper is on the outside), and it’s not a pressure vessel, in which case the thinning of the pan bottom because of lost copper is not much of an issue. I wouldn’t give it a second thought.

Seek's avatar

@CyanoticWasp is absolutely right. I’ve burned more kettles than I can count that way. They will work just fine until you split them. Then, not so much.

lillycoyote's avatar

You should be able to still use it. It’s a tea kettle so it shouldn’t be problem. I think one of the problems with burning a copper/copper bottomed pot is that it creates hot spots and the pot will no longer conduct heat evenly across the pan. That could be a problem for a sauce pan or a saute pan for example, but shouldn’t be an issue for a tea kettle.

Buttonstc's avatar

Since it will never be hanging from a pot rack like other types, just keep using it till it wears out. It’s fine.

However, if it’s aluminum on the inside, I personally would toss it and take the opportunity to buy a new one with either enamel or stainless steel on the inside.

john65pennington's avatar

Throw it away and buy another. they could not be THAT expensive. chances are your tea pot was made in China, what do they know about tea pots? next time you make tea, just remember to remove the tea pot off the burner, before you are distracted again. this was not a dumb move on your part, it just happened. thank goodness you did not burn down the building. now, that would have been a dumb move. john

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@john65pennington LOL… “What do they know about tea [pots] in China?”

Good one.

SeventhSense's avatar

chances are your tea pot was made in China, what do they know about tea pots?
Well for once I’m siding with China.
Not that this was made for “his eminence” of course.

lonelydragon's avatar

@john65pennington Your answer made me laugh. I have been more careful since then.

Since the pot was only burnt on the outside, I’m just going to keep using it for now. So far, the tea doesn’t taste any different, and I haven’t croaked yet.

robaccus's avatar

Natural Theology


I ate my fill of a whale that died
And stranded after a month at sea. . . .
There is a pain in my inside.
Why have the Gods afflicted me?
Ow! I am purged till I am a wraith!
Wow! I am sick till I cannot see!
What is the sense of Religion and Faith :
Look how the Gods have afflicted me!


How can the skin of rat or mouse hold
Anything more than a harmless flea?. . .
The burning plague has taken my household.
Why have my Gods afflicted me?
All my kith and kin are deceased,
Though they were as good as good could be,
I will out and batter the family priest,
Because my Gods have afflicted me!


My privy and well drain into each other
After the custom of Christendie. . . .
Fevers and fluxes are wasting my mother.
Why has the Lord afflicted me?
The Saints are helpless for all I offer—
So are the clergy I used to fee.
Henceforward I keep my cash in my coffer,
Because the Lord has afflicted me.


I run eight hundred hens to the acre
They die by dozens mysteriously. . . .
I am more than doubtful concerning my Maker,
Why has the Lord afflicted me?
What a return for all my endeavour—
Not to mention the L. S. D!
I am an atheist now and for ever,
Because this God has afflicted me!


Money spent on an Army or Fleet
Is homicidal lunacy. . . .
My son has been killed in the Mons retreat,
Why is the Lord afflicting me?
Why are murder, pillage and arson
And rape allowed by the Deity?
I will write to the Times, deriding our parson
Because my God has afflicted me.


We had a kettle: we let it leak:
Our not repairing it made it worse.
We haven’t had any tea for a week. . .
The bottom is out of the Universe!


This was none of the good Lord’s pleasure,
For the Spirit He breathed in Man is free;
But what comes after is measure for measure,
And not a God that afflicteth thee.
As was the sowing so the reaping
Is now and evermore shall be.
Thou art delivered to thine own keeping.
Only Thyself hath afflicted thee!

Rudyard Kipling

SeventhSense's avatar

Not sure if it’s germane to the topic lest lonelydragon be railing against the heavens that is, but Kipling never fails to please.

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