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Archive | 2017

What to do when the handle falls off your Revere Ware skillet

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is how to reattach a handle that has separated from a pan, right where the spot weld attaches it.

Unfortunately, there is no good solution.  A machine or weld shop may be able to braze it back on for you, but it probably won’t look that great and might be expensive, if you can even find someone willing to do a small job like that.

However, we recently came across this unique Revere Ware piece for sale on eBay:

That is a tarte tatin, or quiche pan.  Turns out, when the handle falls off your pan, you can easily turn it into a win-win situation by just getting a set of grabbers.

Something like this will work even if you want to continue to use your pan on the stove top (some of us are nostalgic like that).

I call this a win-win because Revere Ware pans with Bakelite on them do not do well in the oven as the Bakelite can degrade from the heat and emit a very foul odor; but people seem to love using them in the oven nonetheless.  If your handle falls of, why not embrace it and turn it into a tarte tatin or quiche pan?

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Revere Ware find of the week – vintage Revere Ware sets from eBay

Last week we wrote about the value economics of buying a new set of Revere Ware vs a vintage one.  Our conjecture is that, it costs about the same to get a nice set of vintage Revere Ware from eBay, which will last for decades more, instead of mere years for the poor quality newly manufactured copper bottom Revere Ware.

Along these lines, there are often full sets of vintage pieces that are available for a reasonable c ost. Take this 12 piece set.

Or this 16 piece set.

Both sets (and the many more like them) are comparable to the per piece cost we outlined in the previous post.

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Determining which size 2-screw style replacement handle you need

In an attempt to make it easier to determine the proper sized replacement handle of the 2-screw variety, we’ve expanded the detail in all our 2-screw handle product listings.  This seems to give people a lot of difficulty, so it is worth pontificating on it here.

We sell small, medium, large, and x-large size of the 2-screw style handle.  It is fairly straight-forward to determine the proper size handle based on the height of the metal spline (the metal part the two handle halves go around) , the distance between the centers of the two holes, and the overall length of the Bakelite part of the handle.  If you check your measurements and cant’ find a match, please contact us to ask for help before purchasing.

Size Metal spline height Distance between hole centers Overall Bakelite length
Small 3/8″ 2.75″ 4.5″
Medium 5/8″ 2.6″ 4.6″
Large 3/4″ 3.1″ 5.25″
X-Large 3/4″ 3.7″ 5.7″

If you aren’t sure what the quote (“) means to the right of the numbers in the above table, it is shorthand for inches.

If you aren’t sure what the spline is, or how to measure the height, here is a graphic that should help.

It should be noted that cookware requiring the small handle is very rare in the wild.  If you think you need the small handle, make sure.  This is our most frequently returned part. 

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Order ahead for holiday delivery

Just a reminder that if you want to order from us for delivery by Dec 25th, make sure you order early enough.  We ship primarily by USPS First Class Mail, which typically takes 2-3 business days to anywhere in the continental US.  However, as we get closer to December 25th, everything takes longer.

We can’t make any guarantees, but suggest ordering December 18th at the latest for delivery by Christmas.

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When food sticks to the inside of your stainless steel pan

Customer Paul writes:

I was wondering if there is a way to cure my frying pans. The food.I cook seems to stick too easy no matter if I use oil or butter in the pan.

We can think of a few things that might be happening.
If you have ever used steel wool, that can leave little bits of itself stuck to the stainless steel and promote food sticking and rust.   Cleaning as outlined below will likely help with this.
If you have hard water, an invisible layer of hard water deposits can definitely cause food to stick.  Give it a good soak in 50% vinegar and water and then scrub the inside thoroughly with a green Scotch Brite pad.
You can also try using Bar Keepers Friend to polish the inside and try to get food to stick less.
Other than that, we just recently wrote a blog post on seasoning stainless steel.  We haven’t had the chance to try it yet, but are really curious if anyone has success with this.
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Should you buy a new set of Revere Ware?

If you’ve read just about anything on our site, you likely know that the quality of today’s Revere Ware pales in comparison to that made in the pre-1968 era.  We’ve heard lots of stories of quality issues like the copper bottom falling off.  But let’s say you don’t care about the quality and just want a set of Revere Ware cookware because you like the look.  Is it cheaper to get a new set, or a used set from eBay.

Here is a new set on Amazon.com.

This set costs $95.55 with free Amazon Prime shipping an option if you are a Prime member.

Here is what we put together from eBay:

4.5 quart Dutch oven with lid: $33 shipped
9″ skillet with lid: $31 shipped
1.5 quart sauce pan with lid: $$20 shipped
1 quart sauce pan with lid: $20 shipped

That gives us a total of $104 shipped.  Withe the tax you’ll likely pay on Amazon.com, and the potential to find better deals on eBay (there are lot of Revere Ware pieces listed at any given time) we’ll call the costs roughly even.

If you wanted to replace all the handles and knobs, that would run you about another $50, although all the items we found on eBay had Bakelite handles and knobs that were in reasonable condition.

If you scoured your local thrift stores, you could likely find all the vintage Revere Ware items for much cheaper, but there is a time cost involved.

It seems to come down to preference – buy a set that will last a few years before it starts falling apart, or buy as set that will likely last many more decades and has a strong history to it.

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The history of Bakelite

I recently came across this great historical video from 1937 about Bakelite, which, apparently is not pronounced bake-lite, but bake-a-lite.  Apparently, in its day, Bakelite was quite the material and was (and might still be) used in quite a few industrial and consumer applications.  The use of Bakelite in cookware was just but one of its many uses.

In a number of places it shows the high pressure / temperature molding process with hydraulic presses; our parts are still made this way today, starting with a powder that is formed into the parts. For a little about the chemistry of Bakelite, here is another video.

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Guide to finding the correct size sauce pan or skillet handle

We sell two different sauce pan and skillet handles.

Single screw style

The single screw handle was made post 1968.  It has a single screw, or, more likely, rivet through the metal part of the handle that holds the handle to the pot.  Any size of these handles will fit any pot, so you really can’t go wrong unless you put a small handle on a very large pot or vice versa.  The best wy to size this handle is just to measure the overall length of the Bakelite part of the handle.

5.4 in long Bakelite – X-Large
4.8 in long – Large
4.3 in long – Medium
4.1 in long – Small

Two-screw style

These were made before 1968 and have a screw at either end of the handle.  Note that very early ones has two screws near the front, and another around the hanging hook in the back.  If you have one of those, there is no exact replacement.

There are two ways to size these up.  The easiest way is to start with the spline height.

3/8 in – Small
5/8 in – Medium
3/4 in -Large or X-Large

If you have a 3/4 in spline, then check the distance between the centers of the holes to determine which handle you have.  Alternately, you can just start with that measurement.

3.7 in – X-Large
3.1 in – Large
2.6 in – Medium
2.75 in (and with a 3/8 in spline) Small
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Can stainless steel be seasoned?

In our kitchen, we have a great fondness for our cast iron pan, which has been nicely seasoned for years.  It holds a permanent spot on our stove top and gets used almost every day.  Most of the time, I simply scrape the bottom with a metal spatula and wipe it out with a paper towel.  About every third time I cook, I also add a little water and scrub it with a nylon brush (but no soap).  It stays nicely seasoned and food, for the most part, doesn’t stick.

I recently found a video that shows how to season a stainless steel pan to make it nonstick, and it it pretty simple.

I am going to try this with out of our Revere Ware skillets and report back.

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Can a dryer sheet help remove burnt food from a pan

This seems almost too good to be true, that simply adding adding a dryer sheet to a soak for burnt on food will magically soften it.  I’m afraid my wife hasn’t been burning too much food lately so I am at a disadvantage for being able to test this.  If someone has a chance to test this, it would be interesting to try it with soap along and with soap and the dryer sheet.

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