Scorched Titanium?
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Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Scorched Titanium? on 12/09/2013 09:50:01 MST Print View

Does anyone have first-hand experience of scorched titanium pots, for example when melting snow without first adding any water, or otherwise?

If so, what actually causes the burnt taste, why does it persist and can it be eliminated?

I have read accounts of this happening, but some (Roger here) have suggested this is a myth and I don't want to ruin a good pot if he is proved wrong!

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
... on 12/09/2013 13:42:53 MST Print View

I can't imagine why this would happen actually. Unless there is a coating on the pan that is burned off ... when water is in the pot you're going to max out at about 100C until the water burns off.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Scorched Titanium? on 12/09/2013 13:47:12 MST Print View

I sometimes scorch some oatmeal onto bottom of pot. Can't really get rid of it till I get home and really work at it. Cleanser like Bon Ami might be required.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Scorched Titanium? on 12/09/2013 14:05:50 MST Print View

I often put the cup from my Snow Peaks Ti Mini Solo on the bottom of the cook pot to act as a double boiler to avoid burning the food in my cook pot (creates a double bottom). The cup has nothing in it (other than the pot) so it burns quite badly. After many burns, it's a nice blue/black color but it's never caused a problem for me. Since it's my drinking cup, if it tasted of anything burnt I'd notice. Never had a problem.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Scorched Titanium? on 12/09/2013 14:33:22 MST Print View

> what actually causes the burnt taste, why does it persist and can it be eliminated?
Well, if you heat titanium up, all you are likely to get from it is titanium dioxide. TiO2 does not have a 'taste'.

However, if your pot is not scrupulously clean, then the residual dirt on it can and will burn and have a burnt taste. Even traces of stuff will do this, and it may be hard when out for a week to keep your pot really clean if you use it for frying etc. Not so hard if you just boil water and cook dehydrated food.

But remember, burnt food on a Ti pot will probably taste extremely similar to burnt food on an aluminium pot or on a stainless steel pot. What you are tasting will be burnt food, not burnt metal. The solutions are obvious.

Now, snow.
If you want to melt snow and have no water to 'prime' the pot, just start with a very low flame and a little bit of snow, to make a little bit of water. Then work up from there. All pretty easy, really.

Cheers

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Scorched Titanium? on 12/09/2013 14:45:50 MST Print View

I've melted snow in a titanium pot before. The problem that I see is that snow has all sorts of little bits in it, especially pine needles and pine pollen. Pine needles are big enough to see and fish out. But pine pollen is tiny, and it will eventually melt out of the snow and can end up burning on the pot bottom. It is certainly not hazardous. If it gives your water a taste, then why not build up a soup recipe around it?

--B.G.--

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Scorched Titanium? on 12/09/2013 14:56:33 MST Print View

Mike - this is interesting but I'm confused by your description, is your pot (containing food) inside your Ti cup?

Roger - "the residual dirt on it can and will burn and have a burnt taste". That would help explain why this 'feature' is often attributed to Ti pots - the thin sheet and poor conductivity could give localised (very) hot spots, more than for Al.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Scorched Titanium? on 12/09/2013 15:36:21 MST Print View

>> I'm confused by your description <<

Unfortunately, I'm not at home so I can't post a picture...

The cup nests on the bottom of the pot for storage but I often leave the cup nested on the pot while cooking. Food burns easily in a Ti pot and leaving the cup on the bottom of the pot prevents the direct transmission of heat to the pot and prevents burning. It uses a bit more fuel but there is nothing worse than having to eat burnt food! The cup is heated very hot to transfer the heat to the cook pot and the cup is dry (just the pot with the food is in the cup). A bit weird, but it works for me and hasn't done anything but discolor the cup.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Scorched Titanium? on 12/09/2013 15:57:57 MST Print View

"But pine pollen is tiny, and it will eventually melt out of the snow..."

Why is it that melted snow water has a weird taste? Maybe pine pollen?

Not a big deal, but noticeable. Not as bad as tanin in water draining off swampy area.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Re: Re: Scorched Titanium? on 12/09/2013 17:57:03 MST Print View

Was the snow a little yellow? ;-)

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: Re: Scorched Titanium? on 12/09/2013 18:04:58 MST Print View

Yeah, Roger answered the problem directly. Snowmelt has all sorts of dust, pollen, spores, etc in it. Even the mineral deposits left by differing waters can leave strange tasts if overheated.

Most "Ti" pots are an alloy of aluminum and titanium. Most produce various oxides when exposed to air, or even the disolved air in snow. Acid has a real bad effect on Aluminum pots and pans in general. They often leave a tinny taste. I almost always use Aluminum simply because there is no pots of the same capacity I can use for camping. 3.25oz including a top for a 1L capacity is light. I have used ti, and the bubbles and localized heating of the mineral scales can easily exceede 100C. Mostly the oxides from ti are flavorless and not very soluable in water. Same for Aluminum. Acids can change that with Aluminum, not so much with ti. Both can suffer local overheating from mineral scales.
Anyway, here is a pretty good reference on ti and it's oxides.
http://www.keytometals.com/article24.htm It has a good overview on ti and it's oxides. Note that mostly, this looks at pure titanium, not the typical alloy in use for pots.

Aluminum is a better conductor of heat. Generally there is little measurable difference between camping pots, though, usually ~3%, per Rogers figures. You have to have a pretty good set up to see any difference. I am guessing this is due to the aluminum component. Heat exchangers can be added to aluminum pots. Not so much with ti, since they really need high heats to work with the metal. This can add about 15% more efficient heat transfers for a typical aluminum pot. With ti, this isn't feasable for most of us. You need a press and a set of dies, really, to do ti stuff.

Ken Strayer
(TheRambler) - F
re scorched Ti on 12/09/2013 20:33:12 MST Print View

IMO it has nothing to do with scorched TI or any other pit no matter the material. Its the scorching of the snow that causes the horrid taste. Scorched snow tastes like poo.