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Why Copper Utensils Turn Black ?

Copper is an excellent conductor of heat and distributes it evenly during the cooking process reducing the chances of burning the food. It also cooks the food much faster and without drying it out. Over the time, copper cooking pots may develop a black coating. This coating does not affect the quality of the pot in any way and can be cleaned easily.Copper is an excellent conductor of heat and distributes it evenly during the cooking process reducing the chances of burning the food. It also cooks the food much faster and without drying it out. Over the time, copper cooking pots may develop a black coating. This coating does not affect the quality of the pot in any way and can be cleaned easily.

Copper Pots

Copper reacts with certain food items. Usually, unlined copper pots are not recommended for cooking as they may react with the food and result into copper toxicity. Lined copper pots are a better option as compared to the unlined ones as this creates a barrier between the food and the copper material. Usually, copper pots are lined with nickel, tin, silver and stainless steel.

The most common reasons which may turn copper utensils black are as follows:

Oxidation- Oxidation is a chemical reaction which takes place with copper in the presence of oxygen and may turn the copper pot black. When copper is heated it develops a layer of copper oxide which is brownish black. This further reacts with the moisture in the air and forms copper carbonate. Though the oxidation is not deadly, it may make you fall sick.

Dishwasher- Never put your copper pans in the dishwasher. Though copper pots are considered dishwasher safe, the moisture and heat from the dishwasher and the chemicals from the dishwasher soaps may speed up the oxidation process and tarnish the pot permanently.

 Lacquer coating- Copper utensil manufacturers sometimes add a thin coating of lacquer seal which protects the copper surface while it is still in storage. When you receive your copper pot, clean its surface with acetone to prevent the burning of lacquer. You can also remove this lacquer by placing the copper pot in boiling water with washing soda in it. The lacquer will peel off with this method.

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