Maybe I wasn't clear on where it is. It sets in my shop on my shop
woodburning stove and is used to humidify the room. It is a conversation
piece to some minor degree but earns its keep as a humidifer. I also do
some cooking in the shop from time to time on the woodburning stove and
would like to get it where I can make a cup of hot tea from the water in the
kettle (just for the heck of it, I have a microwave in the shop that works
well for that). The rust doesn't hurt the function of the kettle but I
would like to get rid of it mainly because it shouldn't be there. I try to
keep all of my tool is working condition and the rust just doesn't seem
I would use an unglazed pottery dish for humidification, or a Pyrex one
if that is available (much easier to clean than poetry, but the effective
evaporating area is much smaller - pottery/terracotta "sweats".
Switch to the teakettle if you want to make tea, but otherwise keep the
cast iron dry.
All free advice guaranteed or triple your money back.
In actual usage, the kettle would have been dried between uses, not left
w/ standing water, hence the rust would not have sufficient time to
form. As you've noted, boiling water for sufficient time will remove
the protective grease in the pores of a previously seasoned skillet or
other cast iron utensil.
The only real suggestion I would have if you want to try to use it as a
continuous evaporator would be to use one of the zinc-converting
treatments on the inside to minimize the rusting potential. Of course,
I would then no longer even consider using it for cookware.
I think using the tea kettle is basicaly a lost cause because of the rust.
I will try to coat the inside one of these days. I am not familiar with the
zinc process could you give more information? I agree that zink is not a
good for cookware.
On Sun, 18 Nov 2007 08:51:04 -0600, "Curran Copeland"
If you wonder why you're having a problem with rust, go back 100 years
and research steam locomotives. Steam (and the production process
leading to it) is extremely corrosive. There are lots of pictures
around of the insides of boilers (not just locomotives) in need of
overhaul. They are not pretty. The battle against the effects of steam
on running gear was constant. You should expect nothing less with your
I guess my suggestion (as others have) would be to retire it, season
it, and let it sit out for your conversation piece without actual use.
Find another vessel or method for humidification.
By the way, if you actually do use it occasionally for tea preparation
ignore any of the advice to coat the insides with WD-40 or the like.
Petroleum distillates are not considered "good eats."
You can use marbles or pea gravel.
Any pot that is used as a humidifier, will form calcuim desposits in the
bottom of the pan as a residue formed by the evaporation process.
The marbles roll around the bottom an prevent the deposits from clinging to
the bottom of the pot.
My guess is to prevent the rust, you will not bel able to let the pot go
The Japanese have been using cast iron teapots called Tetsubins for
centuries. Cast iron is still the teapot of choice for the Japanese
tea-drinking purist. It seems that the small amount of iron
introduced into the water improves the flavor.
All the use and care instructions for Tetsubins I have seen warn to
empty the pot and dry thorougly after each use to avoid rust. They
specifically warn against leaving water standing in the pot. If there
were an easy way to avoid the problem, I'm sure they would have found
it by now.
"In theory, theory and practice are the same, but in practice they are
Thanks everyone for the answers, I think my best move will be to find the
old enamel teapot I put up some where, put a few lose marbles in it, if I
can find mine, and retire the cast iron one for the time being.
If you like the look of the cast iron tea kettle, you could always try
to find a stainless steel cylinder of an appropriate size that will
fit inside the mouth of the kettle, and just put the water in the
Granted it probably won't work so well as a water-pourer, but it
should maintain the aesthetics of the shop and keep the inside of the
pot from getting rusty.
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