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All questions

Food safety

I have a stone pot. But got it at a consignment store. Any opinions about its safety?

Meg is a trusted home cook.

asked 11 months ago
45 answers 1278 views
88afa98e fd9c 4e61 af72 03658638b6cb  eight ball 600px
cv
added 11 months ago

Here is my opinion: if you heat it to a high enough temperature for cooking and don't use harsh chemical cleaners, it'll last a long time, just like similar vessels have successfully been used for millennia.

Voted the Best Answer!

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

I'm going for a longer life expectancy than people had millennia ago.

88afa98e fd9c 4e61 af72 03658638b6cb  eight ball 600px
cv
added 11 months ago

Fair enough.

The Japanese don't take any special measures with their stone/ceramic cookware and they have the longest life expectancy on the planet.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 11 months ago

Do you mean like this or true stone?

http://www.amazon.com/Korean...

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

It looks like true stone w am wooden handles. I soaked the wood w water before I put the dish in the oven. It has a beautiful stone top as well.

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 11 months ago

While I don't have experience owning one, I do know the reason they glaze the pots that I have is that the true stone versions had quite a few health risks. Lead, arsenic..and more. Unfortunately, I don't know if that's common with all stone pots or the ones from Korea. I know just enough to know that I'd want some very specific feedback. I'd check around until I found someone who knew for sure.

It sounds lovely. Can you post a photo?

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 11 months ago

Okay...food52 is haunted. My email says you responded and said "photo is up...etc." I don't see your response here and no, I see no photo. Weird.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

Tried uploading the same photo as a new question. We may need food52 editorial expertise.

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 11 months ago

So odd. I have noticed my email sometimes says there's a new post and what the post is and poof..it's not there when I go to look. Doesn't happen often.

Can you see your photos? I looked at the new post, but it's not there either.

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 11 months ago

Hello Meg, I wonder if it is a Brazilian soapstone like the one in the picture. I cured mine with olive oil that is why it is black. If new it should be light gray. If it is, I am happy to tell you more about it and how to cure it. I use them all the time and the food is fantastic.

C67d6c72 772b 46e2 9b6e 9c15d0bf7f9c  soapstone pots 3

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

The picture is of the pot.

092efd1a f34b 461d 89b1 f3e76e0ce940  dsc 0028
added 11 months ago

I see both photos.

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 11 months ago

here is when they are new
http://www.whisknyc.com...

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

Not this brand but looks similar. It is dark inside. I can't see a photo from you but followed the link.

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 11 months ago

I don't see a photo from Meg. I see mine.

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 11 months ago

It seems odd that your pot is light outside and dark inside. It would be helpful to see a picture. Probably the picture you load earlier was too large. Can you reduce it and try loading it again?
Otherwise put some olive oil on a paper towel, pass it over the pot and see what happen. If it is soapstone, light grey like the one in the picture, it should become dark like the inside.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

Trying to reload a smaller sized picture and also tried to tweet it. So far hasn't sent to my email so that I can upload it. Hasn't showed up on my twitter stream either. Thank you!

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

Here is a smaller, I hope, image.

259048c8 d390 42e3 8eae 711068eaca4b  photo

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
ktr
added 11 months ago

That looks like soapstone to me but it's hard to tell from a picture.

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 11 months ago

It looks like a soapstone, very similar to mine. You covered the wooden handle but they look the same. It is excellent for cooking stews. Never wash with soap, the stone is very porous and and will absorb it. Always clean with oil and keep it moist. I don't put mine in the oven as the wooden handle are not safe, plus you don't need to. When you cook just keep it covered and the heaviness of the stone will create the oven heat. Just as a curiosity, it is the same stone the Christ statue of Rio. More later, need to go for school run

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 11 months ago

Sorry another very important fact about soapstone, it does not react well on sudden changes of temperature. Let it cool off naturally. Don't put it in a hot oven. Let the heat build up with it.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

I know you asked our help, but this process seems tortured, with all the photo & long distance aspects.
Is there possibly someone local you can consult, with the pot in hand?

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

If I had someone close I would ask them. Could always take my pot to a cookware store but we just had 27 inches of snow and parking is next to impossible. Don't follow the thread if too awkward. I am finding it so helpful and appreciate all the comments.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

Not objecting to the thread. Understand about the snow. Just wondered if someone knowledgeable could help by seeing it in person.

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 11 months ago

Meg, you can email me directly. You have a precious kitchen tool in your hand!!!!

1097a5b5 1775 4eec a8ea 7421137b65dc  image 2 apples claire sullivan 2
amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

Can't identify your pot, but just to correct one bit of misinformation here - soapstone isn't porous. One reason its become popular for kitchen counter tops (and was used in labs for years) is because being nonporous, it resists stains and bacteria doesn't grow in it. It's also why it doesn't require sealing and resealing, like marble/granite (just an occasional oiling to keep it pretty.) If you're interested, Vermont Soapstone's website has some good info - not about cooking pots, but some - like about caring for it - might be helpful: http://vermontsoapstone... (I don't work for them ;D Have just used it in several kitchens.)

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 11 months ago

Amysarah, if you are referring to my comment, I was referring to Korean Bibimbap bowls (not their true name, but it's what I use mine for) and not soapstone bowls. I am not sure what kind of stone is used, but levels of arsenic etc. we're found which is why I chose a glazed version. This was early on in the convo before soapstone was brought up. Just clearing up the misinformation you mentioned.

1097a5b5 1775 4eec a8ea 7421137b65dc  image 2 apples claire sullivan 2
amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

No, Susan W, was referring to something Guardian Chef's mentioned. (I just skimmed this thread - actually, didn't even see your comment.)

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 11 months ago

Oh good..just didn't want anyone to rush out and buy the stone pots I'm referring to until they look into the claims. Apparently, these pots are/were made from a porous stone.

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 11 months ago

Thank you Amy, I did not know. I was told not to wash with soap, I wonder why?
Here I found a pdf download with instruction how to use it and cure it.
www.soapstones.com/pdf...

1097a5b5 1775 4eec a8ea 7421137b65dc  image 2 apples claire sullivan 2
amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

No idea. Again, I only have experience with soapstone as a building material - I'm just guessing it's the same kind of soapstone...I'd listen to the experts! ;)

That said, besides looking lovely, it's often used for counters exactly because, compared to many stones, it's pretty impervious - to staining and burn marks. And easier to maintain - non-reactive with acid/typical kitchen soaps...actually, they make great looking sinks with it too. But oiling it does give it that nice, dark sheen - maybe it has some other purpose for a pot too.... Sorry that's pretty much all I know about soapstone! The pots are interesting though....

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added 11 months ago

I'm noticing that some comments, like the photos, aren't always appearing here. This might be because the Hotline app is wonky and no longer being supported, if that's what some of us are using. Anyway, Meg, I think it was you who mentioned Broadway Panhandler. Have you seen the news that they're closing this spring? NYTimes ran a story.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

Yes. I have only been there once but always felt confident knowing that it was around.

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 11 months ago

I have been using soapstone for the last 4 years, the pizza stone and the pot. With the pot I make delicious stews: Irish stew, lentils, ratatouille, minestrone....With the heavy top, the food is locked inside and the flavour retained and enhanced. Never washed with soap and always cleaned with oil before storing it to keep it moist. I was told to do so by a Brazilian lady, I don't know why but it works fantastically well.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

Hi, made delicious Boston baked beans in my soapstone pot. Thanks to all!

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 11 months ago

I really kind of want one now. I looked on Amazon for fun and they have none. That's pretty rare. I'll have to take a look on eBay.

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 11 months ago

Very difficult to find, I got mine in Brazil. May be FOOD52 should think about selling them. Soapstone pot and pizza stone would fit perfectly in a "Babette Feast" type of kitchen, #2 in the Best Movie Kitchen
https://food52.com/blog...

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

Original Soapstone of Vermont, Uncommon Goods and Viva Terra all sell soapstone pots and pans.

092efd1a f34b 461d 89b1 f3e76e0ce940  dsc 0028
added 11 months ago

Kaufmann Mercantile has some, too.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 11 months ago

2 things you should watch out for. ARSEN and LEAD. both are used in CHEAP kitchenware. so if you are not sure it comes from a reputable dealer, make enquiries. i do not know where you live, but there are customer organisations in the yellow pages or on the Internet who can help you.

Ad98e06c 39d8 45fa 8f6a 9bdd1ac0d423  lucys drawing cat 001
added 11 months ago

Tests to ascertain the lead content of your item are easily available online and in shops. They are not expensive or hard to use. It looks like a nice pot, but it can't hurt to be careful, either. (When they are being kind my nears and dears call my Captain Safety Pants...less kind moments I am called Killjoy)

05ecb292 9c62 4e50 b630 a898cae237ad  laura avatar s size
added 11 months ago

Soapstone is a metamorphic stone, like marble, and the pot is carved in it. Any other components are the handles. It was used for cooking already by the Native American. It is not cheap, unfortunately.