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candy or tea tins for pots?
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Travis Naibert
(travisn) - F
candy or tea tins for pots? on 03/10/2009 16:17:46 MDT Print View

I was at the thrift store the other day and I found a round tin that is 5 inches in diameter and 2.5 inches tall with a lid. It originally held loose leaf tea, though it is similar to the decorative tins that gourmet candy or cookies sometimes come in. It was 50 cents, so I brought it home. It holds just short of 3 cups of water and seems really light, but stronger than my beer can pots.

I am wondering if anybody else uses something like this for their pot. How can I tell if it is aluminum or stainless steel, as I am slightly worried about heavy metal poisoning from mystery metals. There is no lining. It feels very light and weighs 86g. I am thinking about trying to submerge it in water to calculate density.

I tried this pot with a side burner alcohol stove and it boiled 2 cups in just over 5 minutes without a windscreen. My kitchen is about 50F degrees today and the tap water was 41F. I like the idea of using this tin as a cook pot instead of a beer can pot because it works well with a sideburner stove and I like the lack of pot stand. I have lately been bringing a 16oz paper coffee cup to drink from anyway, so there might be advantages to bringing a wide pot.

Any info is appreciated!

Scott Littlefield
(sclittlefield) - F

Locale: Northern Woods of Maine
beware tin on 03/10/2009 19:29:11 MDT Print View

If it is actually "tin" rather than aluminum - beware. It will not weather well, and you will have extremely large amounts of metal contaminants in your water. Most tins like you mention are food grade, which means the tin plating over the steel will not rub off on your food... but that's not considering adding heat and liquids. Over time (and likely not much time) the heat applied will cause a separation of the tin plating from the steel underneath. As soon as that happens, you'll have rust everywhere.

But then, maybe it's aluminum. Distinguishing between the two can be awfully difficult. I suppose, if, for $0.50 you can get another you might want to cut it or drill some holes through it and submerge it. Let it sit outside for a while an see what happens.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: candy or tea tins for pots? on 03/10/2009 23:09:50 MDT Print View

My stove was made out of this kind of thing. It rusted eventually.

I recently bought some salt that came in one of these tins. The tin was lined with plastic as I imagine the salt would corrode the metal. In fact, it already was corroding the lid shortly after opening the tin.

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F - M

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: candy or tea tins for pots? on 03/11/2009 07:27:41 MDT Print View

It's not that hard to tell the difference between stainless, tin plate and aluminum. However, it is hard to explain how to tell the difference. It's tinned steel if you can pick it up with a magnet. If it's not strongly attracted to your magnet, go to the store and find a stainless steel pot and an an aluminum pot. You will note the difference in color and luster and should be able to identify your can from there.

As for toxicity of tin plating, I don't think it's toxic. Solid copper pots are plated with tin on the inside to prevent toxic copper from contaminating the food.