Is a stainless steel pan pitted by salt safe to use?

Is a stainless steel pan pitted by salt safe to use?

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  2. The short answer is yes, a pitted stainless steel pan is safe to use.
    The slightly longer answer concerns the matter of pitting in stainless steel generally, and the fact that stainless steel (SS) is not, as it’s name implies, entirely corrosion-proofed.
    SS is primarily steel, i.e., mostly iron smelted with a bit of carbon. Steel is not an alloy since carbon is not a metal, however carbon added to iron in the smelting process produces a unique crystalline metallic lattice of iron that has completely different working properties.
    Depending on what specific formulation of SS is at issue, other metals will comprise the alloy, chief among them chromium. Chromium alloyed to steel indemnifies the element iron, which is easily oxidized (corroded), especially by contact with many kinds of salts. However, common impurities in smelted iron, such as residual sulfur, cause incomplete alloying of chromium and steel, leaving micro-pockets of pure, unalloyed steel. These tiny intrusions of unalloyed steel in the complex crystalline lattice of SS are susceptible to superficial pin-point corrosion, commonly referred to as pitting.
    The appearance of pitting is considered random across a given surface of SS, but pin-point corrosion has been known to enchain within SS, which can lead to micro-fractures within the lattice. In a solid SS pan this is less of a concern than it is in a SS-lined pan, in which the lining quite thin. Micro-fractures can permit liquid penetration leading to unseen small cavitations of corrosion in the bond between the lining and the base or sandwiched metal. Repeated heating and cooling causes expansion and contraction within the cavitation at a rate different from the surrounding metals, stressing it it and possibly resulting in ruptures, which can sometimes be violent.
    If a pan is solid SS pitting may be unsightly and it does contribute to the tendency of a SS working surface to stick – inconvenient, perhaps, but not necessarily unsafe. In as much as salt is necessary in cooking it’s almost impossible to perfectly protect against pitting in SS, but complete rinsing following cleaning to remove residual salt and caustics commonly found in household dish detergents is as strong a recommendation as can be made.

    10 Pcs Non Stick Cooking Set w/ Frying Pans & Saucepans

  3. Pittted stainless will release greater quantities of nickel a known carcinogen. Certain people have a hypersensity to nickel increasing the risk for health issues. Chromium and other heavy metals may leach to food. Avoid allowing undisolved salt crystals from contacking the pan when cooking. The chloride ion causes corrosion which is progressive and expanding beneath the tiny hole seen on the surface.

    Non-Stick Cookware Set, Pots and Pans – 8-Piece Set


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