-What is Tin
-What is the Color of Tin
-How to Use Tin-Lined Cookware
-How to Care for Tin-Lined Cookware
-Re-Tinning Metal Cooking Utensils
-When Not to Re-Tin
-How to Care for Tinned Steel Cutters
-How to Renew Rusted Cutters
Use & Care of Tinned Metals
What is Tin
Tin (Sn) is a soft, malleable, silver-color metal. It is generally used
to coat other metals and to make alloys.
Tin is not reactive to acidic foods, it is not allergenic, does not rust,
and can be easily refurbished, and at a very reasonable cost, compared with
It is the preferred choice of lining for cooking utensils and molds made of
otherwise reactive metals, like copper and steel. It is also used to coat
steel used for cookie cutters, to help prevent rusting.
What is the Color of Tin
Tin is a silvery metal when new, however it becomes darker with
cooking. This is normal and in no way interferes with the properties of the
Often, the darkness caused by dried, stuck-on food is mistaken for the
bare copper or steel. To test this, wet a paper towel and gently rub a small
spot with a little cleanser. If it becomes silver in color, the color is
dried foodstuffs - otherwise you will clearly see the copper or steel, a
sign that the utensil may require re-lining with tin.
How to Use Tin-Lined Cookware
Stovetop cooking generates higher temperatures than tin's
melting point (about 450°F or 230°C), however liquid being heated in a
tin-lined pan will absorb a lot of excess heat and help keep the tin intact.
The majority of oven-baked recipes call for temperatures that will not harm
a tin lined utensil that is properly used.
Whether on the stovetop or in the oven, the principle is the same: prolonged
(and unnecessary) high heat will damage the lining. With any quality cooking
utensil, high heat is rarely necessary, and the best results come from
Use only wood, nylon, silicone or other non-metallic utensils to stir and
How to Care for Tin-Lined Cookware
Tin is a soft metal and should be cleaned with a dishcloth or sponge.
Never use abrasive cleaning materials, such as metal scouring pads or metal
As with all metal utensils, avoid using cleansers and detergents that
contain high percentages of free alkali or acid.
Tin is reactive to tri-sodium phosphate, meta-silicate and chlorine. Avoid
using detergents or cleansers containing high quantities of these materials.
Rinse thoroughly after washing and dry to avoid spotting. Tinned steel
should be dried thoroughly immediately after washing to prevent rust from
forming on spots where the tin might have worn off the steel, and around
edges where turned, soldered or welded.
Store tinned items in a dry location.
Re-Tinning Metal Cooking Utensils
Most tin coated pans will require re-lining at some point to cover spots that have been scratched bare over time. If you bring your pans to our store, we can arrange for re-lining to be done. It takes about 4-6 weeks during most of the year.
Our tinsmith does everything by hand. From totally cleaning your utensil
of built-up grease and stuck-on foodstuffs, to heavily re-coating with
tin, to polishing the entire pan.
Note: Now that there are a number of companies around the country advertising their direct re-tinning services on the Internet, we will only continue offering this service to our in-store customers and to our established mail customers.
Our established customers can call us (800-44-FANTE) for current rates, then use this order form.
When Not to Re-Tin
In the case of copper, the tin prevents reaction with acidic
foods. If you're not cooking acidic foods, then it's not necessary to have a
tin lining. Also, if the copper pot is going to be subjected to very high
temperatures, such as for making hard candy, the copper needs to be bare in
order to support the high temperatures. And bare copper is desirable in
making meringues, because of its reaction to egg whites, which makes them
peak faster and longer.
In the case of steel, the tin coating basically prevents rusting and
reaction with acidic foods. If you are using the pan for baking and you keep
it dry and well oiled when in storage, re-tinning, though desirable, is not
necessary. Any bit of rust can be scoured off.
In the case of antiques, we don't recommend retinning, as doing so is
likely to diminish the item's value as an antique. If you plan to use it,
however, and it is in good condition, then retinning may prove worthwhile.
How to Care for Tinned Steel Cookie and Other Cutters
Wash with a dishcloth or sponge. Never use abrasive cleaning
materials, such as metal scouring pads.
Avoid using cleansers and detergents that contain high percentages
of free alkali or acid. Tin is reactive to tri-sodium phosphate,
meta-silicate and chlorine. Avoid using detergents or cleansers containing
high quantities of these materials. Check the labels on your household
Dry thoroughly immediately after washing to prevent rust from
forming on spots where the tin might have worn off, and around edges where
turned, soldered or welded.
Store tinned cutters in a dry location.
How to Renew Rusted Tinned Steel Cutters
Use fine sandpaper to remove the surface rust, hand wash with hot sudsy
water, dry thoroughly, and use.
Before storing, hand wash with hot sudsy water, dry thoroughly, lightly coat
the cutters with mineral oil from a cloth or paper towel, and place in a
We recommend mineral oil over vegetable oil because it does not get sticky
or become rancid. Food grade mineral oil is readily available in
supermarkets and drug stores.
Often, the oily content of cookie dough can be enough to keep cutters from
rusting, and they need only be wiped with a paper towel if frequently used.
If used infrequently, we recommend hand washing, drying thoroughly, and
lightly coating with mineral oil before storing.
Re-tinning such cutters is not practical nor recommended.
More info on Tin from Tin Technology