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cooking in brass kettle

 
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nwtradegun
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Joined: 09 Jul 2007
Posts: 78

Real Name: bob morrison

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:42 pm    Post subject: cooking in brass kettle Reply with quote

i just got an unlined brass kettle 2.5 gallons. aside from acidic food items are there any other concerns with cooking in it.
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Mike Ameling
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brass is just copper with some other metal alloys mixed in. So it is similar to copper.

Just keep it CLEAN. That "green crud" (or tarnish) is the nasty stuff to end up mixed into the food you are eating.

Don't "store" food in it. Cook it and then put any left over food in another container.

People got that "copper poisoning" because of the WAY they used it. A common practice was to start a pot of stew, and then keep it warm over the fire. For the next meal they would add a little more of whatever they had on hand and heat it all up to eat. They often kept this goind for days - until it all got eaten up. THEN they would clean the kettle and start over.

Remember that old nursery rhyme - "Peas Porrige hot, peas porrige cold, peas porrige in the pot, NINE days old!" That means the food had been ... simmering ... in that pot for 9 days without cleaning the pot! That's a lot of time to ... leach out ... some of the metal into the food, but also plenty of time for that "green crud" to also form on the kettle.

The other concern is how often you cook and eat in that brass or copper kettle. People "back then" would be cooking and eating out of that same kettle every day for months or years. That's a whole lot of ... exposure ... to possible leached metal.

Personally, I cook chili in my un-lined copper kettle without any worries. But it is CLEAN to begin with, and the chili is only in that copper kettle while it is being cooked or heated back up. I NEVER store the chili in it. The amount of any possible leached metals from that occasional use does not worry me.

But that's my personal view. Other's will vary. I just don't have that "terrified horror-striken knee-jerk" reaction to use of an unlined copper or brass kettle. And I am not hyper-sensitive to copper. And if it is a concern of yours, then don't try to "share" my food.

Just my humble thoughts to share, and best used in conjunction with your own research.

Mikey - that grumpy ol' German blacksmith out in the Hinterlands

p.s. On a funny note, just think of all those people who wear copper bracelets on their wrists - to help their joints. They ... absorb ... copper through their skin, and it is supposed to help relieve some pain and stiffness in their joints. But they are terrified about cooking in an unlined copper or brass kettle - because the ... might ... absorb a tiny fraction of copper from it. Yeah, seems kind of funny to me.
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KarlK
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Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 287
Location: Grand Portage, Minnesota
Real Name: Karl Koster

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:28 pm    Post subject: Yep Reply with quote

Mike's got it right on as usual...unlined pots of brass or copper are fine. Just keep them clean and you're okay with about anything historic ya cook.
Karl
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nwtradegun
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Joined: 09 Jul 2007
Posts: 78

Real Name: bob morrison

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 4:08 am    Post subject: brass pot Reply with quote

thanks for the info. i ve used cast iron for yrs but weight has become a
problem . i have cleaned it out till it shines and oiled with veg oil
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Ben Coogle
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Years ago when I was home brewing I did a really stupid thing. I took the works out of an old water fountain and used it to dispense beer. Thought it was a great idea! Wrong!!

The tank was copper, great for plain water not good for beer. The first time I used it I got VERY nauseated. Not realizing what was happening I did it again a week later, 'bout the third swallow I felt it coming back and figured it out! That experiment went into the trash!
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Loyalist Dave
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Joined: 21 Aug 2008
Posts: 293

Real Name: David Woolsey

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was the storage, not the copper, as beer is properly brewed in copper kettles, but they are cleaned before and after use. Apple butter is one of the high acidic foods out there, but it is also made in copper kettles. Verdigris, the green oxide, is the toxic stuff.

LD

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