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Good tea kettle maintenance

A customer recently asked:

My kettle boiled dry and a bunch of stuff came out of the inside.  Is it ruined?

Unless it is leaking, your kettle probably isn’t ruined.  Because the bottom is solid copper, it tends to oxidize from exposure to the air, which will carry a blue tint.  Also, as most municipal water has some level of hardness, this builds up on the bottom (mostly) of the kettle.  What likely happened is that the boiling dry precipitated some of these deposits to flake off which is what is coming out.

It is a good idea to periodically add some pure vinegar to your kettle, boil it, and let it stand.  Then pour it out and rinse thoroughly.  That water that comes out should have lots of hard water chunks and will be very blue.  This cleans off  the deposits.

For more about Revere tea kettles, see our information page.

We sell replacement caps and triggers, and handles, for the 2 1/3 quart kettles.

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Can the copper layer on the bottom of Revere Ware cookware be repaired?

A customer wrote us with the following question:

Can my 62 year old Revere Ware “pasta-pot” be copper re-coated ?  I had boiled water dry.

The short answer is no, not that we know of.  We have never heard of a service (or a process) that does this.  There is something somewhat similar for copper cookware, called re-tinning, but that is a very different process and doesn’t apply here.

We have done tests specifically where we heated a dry pan to see what would happen.  And indeed, some of the copper came off.  However, the older, well-made cookware (and 62 years old fits squarely in that category) has a pretty thick copper layer:

1091664622118_cladding5

In our experiment, the amount of copper that came off was minimal given the overall thickness of the layer.

Having said that, if you are seeing stainless steel through the copper layer, I would thank your pan for many years of good service, and find yourself a vintage replacement.  You can find a robust market for used Revere Ware cookware on eBay, and using our helper site, can likely find a replacement for just about anything.

 

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Our new Website

old_vs_new_sites

We started selling Revere Ware replacement parts in 2008.  In the 7 years since then the web has changed quite a bit.  Recently, we felt that our website started looking outdated and became increasingly hard to manage as compared to today’s more modern platforms.  Additionally, the USPS recently changed their interfaces and it broke our international shipping.

Earlier this year we embarked on a redesign and upgrade.  I am happy to say that we are now live with the new site, and shipping to Canada is working again.  Other countries will follow in the coming months.

If you compare our old and new sites, you’ll see quite a few changes in aesthetics as well as more convenient organization of information.  For example, we now include all relevant content related to a part right in the product details for that part, as well as links to other related parts; if you are looking for the correct size of 2-screw handle, you can easily navigate to any other size of that handle right from the product page.

We’ve done our best to migrate all user account and order information. If you have any issues using our new site, please contact us and let us know.

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Help identifying some Revere Ware cookware

Customer Zach is curious what line his Revere Ware might be part of, see pictures below.

Zach writes:

Hello! I just picked up a beautiful RW 3qt copper-bottom saucepan and a matching 10″ skillet (with vertical sidewalls) at Goodwill. I love them, but am having trouble determining the line with which they were produced. They are similar to the Chef Request line and the Chef Preference line’s descriptions on your “Revere Ware History” site, but I don’t quite think that’s what they are because that line was made in Indonesia and these are made in China.

Is anyone able to identify these pieces as part of a particular Revere Ware line?

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Make your Revere Ware look like new

We offer plenty of cleaning tips, but unless you are obsessed with cleaning your cookware, inevitably over the years it will look like ours did, with lots of crud stuck in the nooks and crannies around the outside of pots and pans, black burnt on spots on the copper bottom that just won’t come off, and lots of deep scratches that no amount of Bar Keeper’s Friend can get out.

Now you have a new option for complete restoration.  Classic Kitchens & More offers a restoration service that (along with our replacement parts) will have your Revere Ware looking almost like the day it was made.

Some close-ups show the amazing difference even better.

The results are pretty close to perfect; there are still a few “love” marks in the cookware from deeper scratches and some deeper pits on he inside (most likely from acidic foods or someone used oven cleaner to clean out some burnt on food).  I prefer them this way so they retain a little bit of their history.

Please contact Classic Kitchens and More (www.classickitchensandmore.com) for a quote.  Note that they can also do small repairs where the handle comes away from the pot/pan, as long as it hasn’t separated in such a way as to leave a hole.

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Taking off old 2-screw handles

Sometimes, handles that have been in use for years can be very difficult to get off so you can replace them with new ones.  Frequently, screws and nuts will rust together, making them impossible to get apart (the nut simply spins).  Take this one for example.  Years of grease make even the handles reluctant to separate.

Unfortunately, in this case I had to break apart the handle to expose the screws so I could twist them apart, and the screws themselves broke off rather than unscrew.

In this case, I used a screwdriver to pry the handle halves apart until one of them broke off.  I tried prying the rest of the Bakelite off, but the handle spline started to deform.  So I placed the handle against a hard surface (concrete) and repeatedly hit it with a hammer until all the Bakelite was off.  Then I used two pairs of pliers to try to unscrew the screws, which broke off.

Sometimes it simply isn’t possible to save the old handle or hardware when removing them.

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Melted Revere Ware Tri-Ply Cookware

Customer Jim sent us these pictures of his destroyed try-ply cookware.  It offers a cautionary tale of using too high of a heat and/or leaving your cookware unattended.

We’ve shown before that even for copper bottom cookware, it is unwise to heat the pans for an extended period of time as it can damage the copper layer.

If you do overheat your cookware, LET IT COOL SLOWLY BY ITSELF.  If you douse a hot piece of cookware with cold water, it will almost certainly warp the bottom and it won’t sit flat any longer.

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Vintage pressure cooker indented bottom mystery

Some of the vintage pressure cookers come with an indented bottom, while some are flat.

Revere Ware originally came out with these pressure cookers in 1946 (see the Revere Ware history site).  The original design had a pressure gauge and there was a small rubber gasket underneath.  This proved problematic and in 1948 they came out with a revised design that used a dial gauge.

The manual for the original pressure gauge model shows a flat bottom.  I have two specimens that also have a flat bottom.  We can presume that the indented bottom variety came out after 1948.   Looking at all available vintage pressure cookers on Ebay (that have pictures of the bottom), plus my own specimens, they clearly come with the indented and non-indented bottoms:

Indented bottom: 7
Flat bottom: 3

The vintage gauge-style pressure cooker manuals do not discuss an indented bottom or show pictures of the bottom, so there is no help there.  From the relative quantities of indented vs flat bottom pressure cookers in the wild, I would presume that at some point earlier in the full production life of these pressure cookers, they switched to the indented bottom because it was preferable for some reason.

Does anyone know when they might have made the switch and what might be better about the indented style bottom?

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