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Archive | 2010

Brands, now and then

An article in the latest Consumer Reports brings to light the sad state of another vintage brand, Pyrex, which is also owned by World Kitchen, which owns the Revere Ware brand.  While the cheapening of Revere Ware began long before World Kitchen owned the brand (the good stuff was made before 1968 and World Kitchen purchased the Revere assets in 1998) this article goes to show that World Kitchen definitely isn’t about honoring the spirit of the brands it owns.

In the case of Revere Ware, today’s cookware is made with a much thinner layer of stainless steel and copper than the vintage cookware was.  The thinner copper layer is not nearly as good at spreading the heat as the thicker layer in the older cookware, resulting in more hot spots and burned food.  Here is an example of the difference:

(Image courtesy of Classic Kitchens and More and The Shine Shop)

In the case of Pyrex, today’s glassware is made of tempered soda lime, while the vintage glassware (and current European glassware) is made of borosilicate.  Borosilicate glassware handles temperature changes much better than soda lime glass does.

Exactly when the changeover occurred is still up for debate, but there is some evidence that it happened about when World Kitchen took over the Pyrex business.


1970's era 1574 & 1576 pressure cooker gaskets now available

We’ve been adding new parts fast and furiously here and the latest addition to our inventory are gaskets for the 1970’s era Revere Ware 1574 and 1576 pressure cookers, which we’ve received quite a few requests for.

1574 4-quart pressure cooker

1576 6-quart pressure cooker

These pressure cookers are characterized by the pressure regulator weight that is similar in shape and size to a Revere Ware lid knob.  You can find the 1574 gasket here and the 1576 gasket here.  These pressure cookers also have a helper handle that is the same as the single screw handle we sell replacements for.


Keeping the tradition going

As a child I can clearly recall my mom using the familiar copper bottom cookware and I have high hopes that my daughter will be able to get as much use and enjoyment out of a nice Revere Ware set as I do.  She’ll probably get a set when she goes away for college. 🙂

That exactly why we started making parts and providing manuals and information, so that future generations can continue to use the great old cookware.


Small vintage 2-screw replacement handles now available

We’ve been hard at work developing new replacement parts and the latest addition to our catalog is the small-sized handle for the older 2-screw vintage era pots and pans.

As with all our parts, they come with the necessary replacement hardware set, which is also sold separately.  If you are looking for a replacement hardware set only, please note that the small handles require a different set than the medium, large, and x-large 2-screw handles.


New FAQ section

We started this business to help people (including us) get more use and enjoyment out of their Revere Ware cookware.  In addition to selling parts, we’ve made a point to try and collect as much vintage information, such as product manuals, and make it available for people.

But we also help out in another way, which is in answering any and all questions people send us, regardless of whether it has anything to do with our actual business.

To make these questions and answers available to a wider audience, and possibly keep us from answering the same questions over and over again, we’ve added a FAQ section (Frequently Asked Questions) to our website and will continue to add questions answers as they come up, such as where to find Revere Ware resources, fixes for common problems, where to find certain parts, and where to get Revere Ware warranty replacement.

That last question has been a bit perplexing for us, as, despite prominent statements on our home page, on our support page, our contact page, and several posts in our blog that we are not the company that makes the cookware and do not provide warranty support, people continue to ignore all that and contact us for warranty replacement for their Revere Ware cookware.

So just to clarify one more time, we are not affiliated with the Revere Ware brand or the company, World Kitchen, that makes the Revere Ware cookware.  Our name includes the words Revere Ware because we make parts for, and only for, Revere Ware cookware, a brand we have been particularly fond of out of all the brands of cookware over the last 70 years.


Overheating Revere Ware

I came across a question recently about overheated Revere Ware:

How to remove a gray stain on interior of Revere ware Copper bottom stainless steel 7inch fry pan

The gray stain was caused by heating the pan for over 5 minutes after the boiling water in it was boiled away because I was momentarily (5+ minutes) distracted away from the cooking range.

Is there a method and a special compound/solution which I can use to restore the appearance to its nearly new shine instead of the dull gray look? Is the pan still usable in its present state? Will there be release of any metallic toxins because of the overheating of the pan in its dry state?

I’ve also had people contact me directly with the same problem and concerns about any ill health effects.

To answer her last question first, it is worth noting that it is unlikely that anything related to the stainless steel will cause health problems.  I have friends that are nervous about stainless steel because it has chromium in it, but the type of chromium used in stainless steel, chromium III, which provides the corrosion and discoloration resistance stainless steel is known for, is completely unlike the very deadly hexavalent chromium made famous by the film Erin Brockovich.  In fact, chromium III is required by the body in trace amounts for proper digestion of sugars and fats.

In terms of the health of the cookware, it is always a bad idea to heat a pan without anything in it for an extended period of time, because this will likely warp the bottom of the pan, effectively ruining it.

To determine an effective repair for any discoloration, I set out to duplicate the problem.

Heating the pan without anything in it for a good 15 minutes didn’t cause any discoloration at all, but it had a pretty harsh affect on the copper bottom.

The extreme heat caused little pieces of the copper bottom to flake off and made the bottom rough to the touch.

Next I tried the experiment with some water in the pan, let the water boil off and heat for a good 10 minutes after the water was gone.

This time there were burned on hard water stains and some iridescent discoloration.  As we don’t have particularly hard water where I live, I suspect this would be much worse where there was very hard water, and probably the cause of the discoloration in question.  I have gotten pans in such shape from thrift stores and the solution below also did wonders on them.

While any warping caused by such heating will likely be permanent, the stains and discoloration on the inside of the pan are fairly easy to correct:  simply scrub well with a Scotch Brite pad (never use steel wool or SOS pads) and then polish with some Bar Keepers Friend.  Looks much better.  It is important to note that a Scotch Brite pad should NOT be used on the outside of the pan as it will dull the finish.  The inside of any pan will become dulled anyways from use, so a Scotch Brite pad won’t hurt it any worse.

The bottom was more difficult to polish; I tried Bar Keepers Friend and copper polish, but the roughened surface due to the over heating made it more difficult to get good results.

There is one more danger to overheating pans; the Bakelite handles can break down at high enough temperatures.  This particular test resulted in some slight breaking down of the Bakelite material where it touched the metal.


Single screw rivet-style handles now available

We now have handles for newer style Revere Ware cookware available in our store.  These handles are one-piece with an embedded metal spline and can be further identified by the single rivet or screw holding the handle to the skillet or saucepan.  Some examples of this style of cookware are shown below.

We have all sizes, small, medium, large, and x-large that covers the entire range of copper bottom and tri-ply Revere Ware cookware of this style.  We also sell the replacement hardware (a barrel nut, a screw, and a washer) separately for those that need to fix loose rivets or damaged (rusted or stripped) hardware sets.

While some of these original handles are held on by a screw, most of them are held on by a rivet, which must be removed.  We have detailed instructions on removing the old rivet here.  A drill, a 5/32 drill bit, and a pair of pliers are the required tools.

Note that some newer Revere Ware cookware has somewhat similar one-piece handles that are permanently attached to the pot; there is no way to replace handles on this type of cookware and these handles will not work.


Bar Keepers Friend cookware cleaner

About a month ago I discovered a new type of Bar Keepers Friend, one of the better all-around cleaners for stainless steel cookware and many other household cleaning tasks.  I wondered how Bar Keepers Friend cookware cleaner would compare to the regular version.

Whether this is a recently introduced product, or I just havn’t noticed it before is a mystery to me, as the company that makes Bar Keepers Friend hasn’t returned my email about this.

First let me say that Bar Keepers Friend is one of my favorite all-around cleaners for cookware, and if I had to choose only one cleaner to have around, it would definitely be Bar Keepers Friend.

So it is with those high expectations that I compared the two cleaners side-by side on several pans with burned on grease, dulled and scratched stainless steel, and tarnished copper.

First, I tried them on a couple of copper bottom skillets.  The results are below, showing the regular version on the left and the cookware version on the right.  In the middle is what the cooper part looked like before.

I had trouble finding any difference between the results of the two.  Note that the the above results are not exhaustive.  I probably could have gotten almost all of the burned on grease and tarnish off had I done an exhaustive cleaning.

Below is a Revere Ware tri-ply skillet that had a particularly tough coating of cooked on grease on the bottom.

The results are pretty impressive, as either version was able to cut through the grease with only a moderate application of scrubbing, although getting the corners and inner edges clean requires a bit more work.

Seeing no difference between the two as far as I can tell, and given the slightly higher price of the cookware version (about 15% more), I would guess this is more of a marketing distinction than anything else.


Overall, this product easily removes copper tarnish, burned on grease, heavier burned on food (with plenty of scrubbing), and does a pretty good job of bringing a nice shine to dulled stainless steel.  Note that it won’t remove deep scratches, but I wouldn’t have expected that.

I recommend sticking with the regular (cheaper version) of Bar Keepers Friend.  Just follow the simple directions on the packaging and it might be a good idea to wear gloves when using it, as it is a bit hard on the hands.


How we make replacement parts

About one out of every several hundred customers that buys a lid/cover knob from us complains that it didn’t come with a screw.  The reason is that, as far as we can tell, Revere Ware pot/pan covers had a permanently attached screw since day one.  I think the 0.3% of people who have covers where this is not true probably have a non Revere Ware cover that someone put a Revere Ware knob on, or their screw broke off and their lid was retrofitted to use a separate screw, as we outline here.

This issue is valuable as it highlights the process we have been going through to create replacement parts for Revere Ware cookware.  It seems that replacement parts have not been available from Revere Ware (now World Kitchen LLC) since 1986, according to World Kitchen’s website.  This has created not only a lack of parts for customers, but lack of unused parts for us to model ours after.

To create replacement parts, we attempt to find a wide enough sample of the cookware and parts to represent all possible variations that exist out there in the world.  It is not always easy and often times all we can find are parts that are well used and not exactly in their original shape.

With knobs in particular, there is a wide variation in the length of the screw and the actual knobs themselves have had at least 10 variations over the years, some with metal inserts, including aluminum and brass, some without, and with varying depths of screw holes.  With handles, there seems to be slight variations in hole separation.

Overall, if the number of complaints about problems is any indication, we’ve done a pretty good job; we receive about 2 or 3 complaints for every hundred parts we sell.  In many cases, a little bit of do-it-yourself effort, like widening holes in the metal part of a handle, can solve the problem.

Probably the largest hurdle and the reason people are upset when their parts don’t fit, is that we are often confused with the Revere Ware company, and as such, people expect the parts to work perfectly, unaware of the trouble we have had to go through to actually create suitable replacement parts.  While our name helps people understand exactly what we provide, people seem to skip past the numerous disclaimers on our site that we are not affiliated with the Revere Ware company or brand.

So, just to clarify, we are not the company that made the cookware and we have had no help from them in creating these parts.  You can find World Kitchen LLC, which owns the Revere Ware brand, here.


World Kitchen moves further away from the Revere Ware brand

World Kitchen, the owners of the Revere Ware brand seem to have moved further away from treating the Revere Ware brand as anything special by abandoning a Revere Ware specific site; they now include Revere Cookware with all other brands on their site.  Another sad milestone in the modern day story of the once revered (pun intended) brand.

Here is the site from a few years ago:

Here is where you get redirected when you go to now:

Unfortunately they have also removed any mention of the history of Revere Ware and made their contact page and information about their warranty very hard to find.  Their contact page can be found here and their warranty links are all listed at the bottom of their FAQ here.

They do have a FAQ now about lack of availability of replacement parts:

Where can I get knobs and handles for my Revere cookware?

We discontinued our Revere repair service in 1986 and we no longer have the replacement handles, knobs, or hardware for your cookware. We are sorry for any inconvenience.  Revereware does carry a 25 year warranty and we may be able to provide you with warranty service.  Please call our Consumer Care Center at 1-800-999-3436.

And how about this FAQ that claims the new Revere Ware with less copper is as good as the old stuff:

Why does my older Revereware seem heavier than my newer cookware that looks the same?

Through research and testing, we’ve learned that the same cooking results were achieved when using lighter materials.

By making this information harder to find, we can only assume that World Kitchen is wanting to make it harder for customers to receive warranty replacement of cookware under their warranty.  Prior to this, they had a very low reply rate on emails sent to them with warranty questions.  I personally received responses to one of five emails.

We continue to support the older (and newer) Revere Ware by making replacement parts available and will be introducing more handles, hardware, and gaskets in the next month.  Also be sure and try our Ebay categorization tool for Revere Ware to find replacement cookware.