Posts tagged "pan"

How can I reuse or recycle an old cast iron casserole dish/pan?

Good friend (and bully ;) ) of Recycle This and The Really Good Life Su has emailed with a question:

Me again! With an actual, proper reuse question!

My much used enamelled, cast iron casserole dish has died. Proper died, a large section of the enamel has come off the bottom & I dropped the lid on the stone flagged kitchen floor & it broke into 3 pieces!

Me & that casserole have been together a long while & been through many culinary adventures, I know that I could put a plant in it, but wondered if you or anybody else had any idea how I might reuse it?

You might be able to get a replacement lid – I see branded ones popping up on eBay regularly – but I suspect the enamel coming off is the bigger issue. There seem to be a few enamel repair products for chips on ranges or stoves but which wouldn’t be suitable for cookware. Some people on Chowhound recommend continuing to use it if it’s not flaking – the cast iron will eventually season like non-enamelled cast iron – but I could understand other people being unwilling to risk contamination.

Away from cooking, unfortunately the wear to the enamel would stop it being useful as a small dye bath or a soap making pot since the newly exposed iron would react with the dye or raw soap. (The latter is a particular shame as the heavy iron would be useful to help maintain the desired temperature during hot process soap making.)

I can completely understand Su’s desire to keep it around – it’s one of those things that seems like it would be really useful – but I’ll admit to being at a bit of a loss about what I’d do with it, other than for storage (a fun fruit bowl? or for craft bits or knick knacks?) or the planter than Su mentioned.

What would you do with it? How would you reuse or recycle it?

How can I reuse or recycle (or repair) a stove top kettle?

We’ve had an email from long time Recycle This-er Alice in Blogland:

I just killed my stainless steel on-the-hob kettle! Left it on the hob too long – I forgot about it ‘cos the whistle broke ages ago.

They do burn through eventually but I’ve never seen it happen before. It’s started leaking at the seam around the bottom where the sides join the base, and I’m a bit stuck for either re-uses or how to recycle it. Anyone got any ideas?

I think kettles with removable lids look mighty cute as plant pots but with the leak, you might want to put the pot on a plastic saucer in the kettle to catch overspill water – or it might be easier to seal the leak if you know it doesn’t have to be heat-proof too (for example, some waterproof silicone sealant might do the job well enough to use it as a plant pot but would make your tea somewhat plasticky and poisonous…).

Any other ideas for reuses? What about kettle that you refill through the spout so have less reuse-as-a-pot potential?

Anyone got any repair advice or words of caution?

How can I reuse or recycle old bread machine pans?

Bread panWe’ve had an email from Chris, saying:

I searched the archives, but didn’t find any mention of what to do with breadmaker pans. Mine had the teflon coating peeling off, so I got a new one. I am looking into where to find a scrap metal place, but any other suggestions would be appreciated…

As I might have mentioned before, we have rather eager scrap metal collectors around here so if it was us, we’d probably just have to think about getting rid of it and a telepathic scrap metaler would appear on our doorstep a second later. I suspect our local tip (household waste collection site) also has a scrap metal bin.

But we’re all about reuses here so anyone got any other suggestions? Most breadmaker pans I’ve seen have an annoying extrusion on the bottom (where the mechanics click in) and a short stick thing in the middle on the inside (where you put the turning blades) so they don’t automatically lend themselves to the usual plant pot etc options.


How can I reuse or recycle … saucepan lids?

saucepan lidWe’ve had an email from Sue, asking:

What can I do with spare saucepan lids? I’ve just cleaned out my cupboard and I’ve got loads of old ones that don’t match any of my current pans – some of them are probably older than my teenage children!

Well, firstly Sue, you can give them to me! We’ve only got one lid so have to juggle it around if we’re cooking multiple items that need lids. There are probably a large number of people in a similar position so you could probably Freecycle them in your local area. Lids are great for making cooking more efficient – saves all that excess heat escaping into the kitchen – and recycling them between people that need them means it better for the environment on two counts.

But aside from that, any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle … old frying pans?

Frying panA couple of months ago, John read something about how poisonous Teflon is when it gets scratched and starts flaking – and immediately our two old frying pans were cast from the pan cupboard onto, well, the dining table where they’ve sat for the in-between weeks waiting for me to take a photo of them for use on here. I’m not the promptest girl in the world.

Researching it now, I can’t find anything to support the poisonous claim – most sources say flakes will pass through the body without being absorbed but super-heated (237°C – the sort of hot hot heat you might use to fry up a thick steak) Teflon can give off dangerous fumes (particularly for birds in the vicinity – so no more letting the budgie cook up bacon unsupervised).

Either way though, these frying pans are a pain to cook with in their current state given they’re half non-stick, half-stick. So any suggestions for bringing them back to life? (Is wire-wooling off the remain Teflon an idea?)

And failing that, reuses? recycling suggestions?