Rust on water bath canning pot

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

cedar

Assistant Cook
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
3
Location
peterborough
Hi helpful folks!
I've done water bath canning now for some time with my Dad's old pot which has a bit of rust on the inside. Although i understand i don't want rust ANYWHERE INSIDE MY ACTUAL CANNED GOODS, i've always been ok with this because by my thinking the water bath water doesn't actually go in to my goods.
But... i must admit that mentioning rust and canning in the same sentence gets me a bit weirded out. Do I have any reason to be concerned???
I'll add that i do not sanitize my jars in this pot because of the rust. So... only my full jars ever go into the rusty pot..
Many thanks!
 

cedar

Assistant Cook
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
3
Location
peterborough
rust removal

Hello and thank you! Ignorance is my main reason for not doing that so far! It had not occurred to me but sounds like a great idea. What would you season the pot with? It's just a standard water bather - the only kind i've ever seen, big black pot coated in some kind of enamel?
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
7,527
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
Hi Cedar and Welcome to DC!

My canner is probably exactly like yours and I too have spots, especially on the bottom where the wire rack rests. I just scrub it out at each use with an SOS pad. Dry well and when I go to store it away for a while I just give it a light coat of vegie oil. Very light - other wise it could get gummy with age and that in itself is difficult to scrub off!

I wouldn't worry about it - and just don't use those words together in the same sentence again :LOL: . Besides, no one needs to know :rolleyes: .

ps
I also use this same pot for lobsters - and they've always tasted just fine!
 
Last edited:

WhateverYouWant

Sous Chef
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
609
1.) Remove the rust with steel wool, sandpaper, or the abrasive of your choice, and rinse well. Dry with towel and put on medium heat for a few minutes to make sure all water evaporates.

2.) Add a few drops of canola or other high temp oil, spread around with a cotton towel or old tee shirt and buff out all visible oil, and use the same cloth to rub the outside as well (it should look and feel dry).

3.) Return to stovetop (or better the oven if it is oven safe) and heat to about 425-450°F for an hour or two.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 occasionally, depending on whether you use the dishwasher or hand wash (more often for dishwasher cleaning). The pot will get a slightly yellow tint to it as it is seasoned.
 

cedar

Assistant Cook
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
3
Location
peterborough
Thanks!

Thanks so much Dragnlaw! Thanks for taking the time to reply. Yes... intuitively i feel that i have bigger problems to worry about than those little rusty spots, but i'm happy for the shared perspective and also for the tips on how to maintain the pot for the long run. Your reply made me laugh, picturing the lobsters in there! Thanks again, happy canning.
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
28,769
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
Are we talking about the kind of water bath canner with the blue enamel coating? The one with lots of tiny white spots (they are part of the enamel)? I would be very careful of using any kind of steel wool on that. I would try some kind of less abrasive scrubber first. If it was mine, I would look into rust remover, like for bathtubs.

I wouldn't worry too much about leaving the rust.
 
Last edited:

GotGarlic

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
26,925
Location
Southeastern Virginia
Rust is just iron, which is an essential nutrient ;) Remember that part of the canning process is expelling air from the jars to create a vacuum seal, so that pressure will keep anything from getting into them. I wouldn't worry about it.

Btw, the current guideline from the National Center for Home Food Preservation is that sterilizing jars before processing is not necessary if the product will be processed for at least 10 minutes.
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
7,527
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
Rust is just iron, which is an essential nutrient ;) Remember that part of the canning process is expelling air from the jars to create a vacuum seal, so that pressure will keep anything from getting into them. I wouldn't worry about it.

Btw, the current guideline from the National Center for Home Food Preservation is that sterilizing jars before processing is not necessary if the product will be processed for at least 10 minutes.

I remember reading an article about how "modern" women (define modern?) do not get the iron that women did in the "old" days as pots and pans have changed. And I'm pretty sure that I read that a good 40 years ago...

processing - thank you GG, you mentioned that once before and I was, and still am, grateful. Timing the sterilization of the jars and the cooking of the foods had always been a bug-bear for me. Always did think it was an unnecessary step, :mad: I mean minimum processing is 10 min and one often does 15 (or more).

taxy, one is just scrubbing the rust off, not understanding why you worry. If the enamel is gone, it's gone. SOS pad isn't going to damage what's not there. You need to make sure the rust is gone as otherwise it will keep on eating thru the metal and then you have a hole.

They do make great planters for keeping mint under control tho! Holes provide drainage!
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
28,769
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
...
taxy, one is just scrubbing the rust off, not understanding why you worry. If the enamel is gone, it's gone. SOS pad isn't going to damage what's not there. You need to make sure the rust is gone as otherwise it will keep on eating thru the metal and then you have a hole.

They do make great planters for keeping mint under control tho! Holes provide drainage!

It depends. Is there a chip in the enamel? I have seen rust spots in those, even when there is no visible chip in the enamel. That's when I would worry about damaging the enamel with an SOS pad or other steel wool.
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
7,527
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
Well, I could be wrong, but I believe it is called porcelain enamel. Steel wool isn't going to hurt it much. I used SOS pads on my porcelain painted stove top, no harm. I also use them on my SS stove top.

And if you can see rust, then there is obviously a crack or chip in the enamel.

You could be thinking of the warnings they give for interiors of ovens. If you scrub REALLY hard or scrape with a knife, to get some of that crud off, yes, you could scratch the enamel and then with the high temp of cleaning function is used, there could be more damage.
 
Top Bottom