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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all...I recently purchased an aluminum grease pot from Wally World that a lot of people on the forum use. I was planning on making it into a billy can/mess kit to use for heating food etc. When I opened it up I noticed it had gray dust inside. I just assumed it was from a manufacturing process and it should wash off. So I wash it, still there...wash it again, more comes off. I take a steel wool pad to it, it turns the water in the can gray while washing. So I assume again it is coming all off. After another washing with a soft dish towel I let it dry, only to find out after I test it again I still have this stinking gray residue that wipes off the aluminum.

Is this normal? More importantly, is this safe to be eating out of? I purchased another one and have the same results. I don't know if there is a food grade aluminum and this just doesn't meet those standards or what. Any help/ opinions appreciated....thanks!!
 

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Don't cook/prepare food out of or in anything that visibly sheds!
if you are already questioning this, drop it.
There are too many viable, products that are intended to cook in, that will serve.
Besides, aluminum is already implicated in Alzheimer's, so why ask for trouble?
 

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reluctant sinner
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Bare aluminum will oxidize in seconds. Find a thin stainless steel sauce pan with a lid. Get one that has a screw holding on the handle. Good reason to hit the yard sales or 2nd hand stores.
 

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I have both the IMUSA 10 and 12 cm mugs from Walmart, and the Stanco grease strainer from Kmart. I've never seen anything like what you've described from them, nor have I heard of it until now and all 3 of these are very popular in the lightweight backpacking community and among AT hikers.

These items are so cheap, I'd just go buy a different one. Whatever is coming off of there can't be good for you. The Kmart grease strainer holds about 1.5 liters, weighs 2.9 oz. (without the lid and strainer), and costs about $7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mine is the IMUSA grease pot. I can take a wet paper towel and scrub the inside of the pot and get a gray residue. When I first washed it I could see the residue on my fingers. Guess after the steel wool it removed a lot of it. I'll keep trying, maybe the more I wash it, the less that will remain.
 

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Mine is the IMUSA grease pot. I can take a wet paper towel and scrub the inside of the pot and get a gray residue. When I first washed it I could see the residue on my fingers. Guess after the steel wool it removed a lot of it. I'll keep trying, maybe the more I wash it, the less that will remain.
I see what you are saying. There have been some on other forums saying that there was a residue when they first bought the pot. The recommended procedure was to boil water in it for about 40 minutes till the entire inside had that darker gray tint. I did it with mine and now I can't see any residue coming off on a paper towel.


Besides, aluminum is already implicated in Alzheimer's, so why ask for trouble?
This is one of the most heavily challenged and researched medical theories in the last 50 or so years, and it appears to be unfounded. In the original study that started the controversy, most of the aluminum found in the brain samples was found to have come from the lab during research and storage of the tissue samples and no studies since have found any link at all. All major Alzheimer's organizations and research groups agree that there is just no evidence to support the theory.

That being said, I don't want any more of any metal going into my body than I need to. I don't use these pots except when hiking, so it limits any exposure that might be there. I do try to be realistic about it though. We get far more exposure to aluminum from using deodorant, toothpaste, some shampoos, and many other everyday products.
 

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Aluminum is in the air,water,soil,plants,animals,foods and household products. More than half of the cookware today has Aluminum in it an dis made of Aluminum. To the evidence of aluminum causing Altimeter there has been no evidence of this disease linked to it as once thought. A person using uncoated aluminum pans for all there cooking ans food storage every day would take in an estimated 3.5 milligrams of aluminum says the 9 Clemeson Cooperative Extension). What one has to look out for are those products made in other country's like Mexico, china, ect, if you can! Do to the lax of regulations of there manufacturing of there products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I haven't tried boiling water in them yet. Hopefully that will take care of it, because I'm really liking the size and weight of the pot, not to mention the fact it's super cheap.
 

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All Murican!!
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Thats integrated altzheimers seasoning. No big deal if you dont mind forgetting everything in a few years. Like others said, stainless or nonstick. I have a 1qt non stick sauce pan I bought and cut the handle off a 2". Works great. I refuse neked luminum.
 

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Thats integrated altzheimers seasoning. No big deal if you dont mind forgetting everything in a few years. Like others said, stainless or nonstick. I have a 1qt non stick sauce pan I bought and cut the handle off a 2". Works great. I refuse neked luminum.

So you are willing to ingest the known carcinogens produced by the heating of polytetrafluoroethylene (the non-stick coating) for which there is a great deal of evidence, but refuse to eat from neked aluminum for which there appears to be no evidence in support of your claims?

By the way, stainless steel is actually a combination of nickel, chromium and molybdenum, all of which are suspected in various health disorders and all of which leach from cookware.

I appreciate the desire to stay healthy and avoid substances that are bad for you, but there is a point where trying to avoid these things goes beyond what is reasonable, especially considering the everyday substances we use without giving them a second thought. I have no doubt that just about everything is going to be linked to some disorder as time goes on, but for now the things that should be avoided are the ones that have evidence to support it and for which we have safer alternatives. Otherwise, we will likley find that in many cases, the alternatives we've been using have actually been doing us more harm. When I was a child, they were linking excess sugar to heart disease and diabetes (which is true), so they were suggesting "safe" alternatives like Saccharin and later Aspartame, only to discover later that those appear to be far worse than sugar ever was.
 

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Avid Indoorsman
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Two things you shouldn't skimp on is your fire and food.
Probably best to go straight on the item anyway.

I had one of those cans for it's intended use and the grease was never good out of it.
I guess now I have a clue as to why.

Aluminum is going to be your least durable choice for a kit.
Nice for the casual camp, but it's more prone to burning through is you have to use it with nothing but rocks and coals to put it on.

I'm fussy and consider the Billycan more fad than function.
For about 20 bucks (Sears and Kmart) you can get a stainless Texsport Mess Kit that's like the old BSA 3 piece kit.

You get the equivalent (smallish) Billy that's just flatter.
The kit is a pot, frier, plate/cutting board, double boiler, oven,
and with a bar magnet from the hobby shop, it's even a compass if you float the plate in the frier.

Considering the cost of a Billy, there's a lot of value in the Texsport kit.

Another possible option for you is the canister section.
See if they have a Sugar or Coffee can that's stainless and useable for what you want.

Still more, consider the amount of gas you burn up in your car as you trip around to find a "cheap" option.
Shop smart.
 

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M.R. Not
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I haven't tried boiling water in them yet. Hopefully that will take care of it, because I'm really liking the size and weight of the pot, not to mention the fact it's super cheap.
Those of us that brew... probably started out in an aluminum turkey fryer pot, the solution is not to scrub the pot, let it turn dark, boiling water in it probably will work, it hasn't bothered me yet... what was the question?

Rancher
 

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Aluminum is going to be your least durable choice for a kit.
Nice for the casual camp, but it's more prone to burning through is you have to use it with nothing but rocks and coals to put it on..
This is true. I have dozens of meals cooked in my IMUSA mug, but mine is usually used for liquids where there no danger of burning through. It is the least durable and they definitely crush easier than stainless, but its still pretty easy to avoid. If you are talking about a survival kit, stainless may be more prudent. For backpacking, aluminum is more than durable enough and with a little care it will last you a lifetime.

Another possible option for you is the canister section.
See if they have a Sugar or Coffee can that's stainless and useable for what you want.
This is one area where you may want to be a little careful. Most all of these cans are lined with a plastic lining that leaches carcinogens when heated. May not be a big deal to you when you consider that most all food cans are heated as part of the pasteurization process so you are not really getting exposed to any more than you normally would by eating a can of soup, but its there nonetheless. I have a DIY Fosters Pot with ridges in my collection, holds 24 oz and weighs less than an oz. But it definitely is not durable and I don't often use it.

Still more, consider the amount of gas you burn up in your car as you trip around to find a "cheap" option.
Shop smart.
Cheap is less of a concern to me than lightweight and functional. It just depends on the balance that I want to find between the two. Stainless, titanium, and aluminum can all meet some balance of this and I have all 3 in some form of cook pot/mug, although titanium is not very cheap. I almost always end up going with the aluminum for the weight benefit.
 

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All Murican!!
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So you are willing to ingest the known carcinogens produced by the heating of polytetrafluoroethylene (the non-stick coating) for which there is a great deal of evidence, but refuse to eat from neked aluminum for which there appears to be no evidence in support of your claims?

By the way, stainless steel is actually a combination of nickel, chromium and molybdenum, all of which are suspected in various health disorders and all of which leach from cookware.

I appreciate the desire to stay healthy and avoid substances that are bad for you, but there is a point where trying to avoid these things goes beyond what is reasonable, especially considering the everyday substances we use without giving them a second thought. I have no doubt that just about everything is going to be linked to some disorder as time goes on, but for now the things that should be avoided are the ones that have evidence to support it and for which we have safer alternatives. Otherwise, we will likley find that in many cases, the alternatives we've been using have actually been doing us more harm. When I was a child, they were linking excess sugar to heart disease and diabetes (which is true), so they were suggesting "safe" alternatives like Saccharin and later Aspartame, only to discover later that those appear to be far worse than sugar ever was.
You tellin me aluminum leaching from cookwear has no ill side effects??? And that stainless aint any healthier???
 

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Tell the truth, coward.
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I would boil it for 1/2 hr with a splash of vinegar. throw anything at it you can to see if it oxidises it. have another go boiling it after that with 1tbsp salt.

I defy anything to bother you after that lot. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I would boil it for 1/2 hr with a splash of vinegar. throw anything at it you can to see if it oxidises it. have another go boiling it after that with 1tbsp salt.

I defy anything to bother you after that lot. :)
I tried boiling it today for about 45 minutes, nothing but water. After letting it cool I tried it again with a paper towel and it seemed a lot better. I'll give it try tomorrow with the vinegar and see if it helps. Thanks for the suggestion:thumb:
 

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You tellin me aluminum leaching from cookwear has no ill side effects??? And that stainless aint any healthier???
Actually, I said neither. I was only addressing your comment that it was "integrated Alzheimer's seasoning" and that he'd forget everything in a few years, both of which are simply untrue. Alzheimer's is a subject that hits close to home for me. My mom is in an Alzheimer's ward and I am her caretaker. When she was first diagnosed, I tried to learn everything I could about it, and one of the first things I wanted to investigate was what so many people were saying about a link between aluminum and Alzheimer's. I read books, looked at websites, etc. I found out about the study that started the controversy and how it has perpetuated since then. In the end, all of the reputable Alzheimer's resources stated that after 50 years of trying to find a link between the two, they were unable to find any evidence tying aluminum to Alzheimer's. The websites that did say that there was a link were all from outside of the Alzheimer's community (more of general health, environmental, or new age type sites) and none of them gave any evidence for their viewpoint, nor did they state where they got the information.

Regarding other ill side effects of aluminum, I'm all but certain that there are other health issues caused by excessive amounts of aluminum, just not Alzheimer's.

Regarding whether or not stainless is healthier, the answer is simple....I don't know. I also don't know the health risks of titanium. We simply don't ingest that much of either stainless steel or titanium. On the other hand, aluminum is everywhere. Its the most common metal in the earth and you cannot eliminate exposure to it, even by living the full survivalist life and living completely off the land. Chances are, every one of us has taken aluminum into our bodies today. If you've brushed your teeth, put on deodorant, washed your hair, used sunscreen, put on cosmetics, eaten table salt or anything with added salt which would include almost all fast food or canned goods (not sea salt), eaten any baked goods, pickles, Pizza, or a multitude of other things, you have ingested or absorbed aluminum.

I have actually gone to using aluminum free toothpaste, deodorant, baking powder, and a few other things simply to reduce my intake. Any one of these likely reduces my intake by more than what I am exposed to in the trace amounts that come from cooking/eating from an aluminum mug maybe 15-20 times a year. My annual intake is likely a lot lower than most who take care to avoid aluminum cookware but do nothing else.
 

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Cheap is less of a concern to me than lightweight and functional. It just depends on the balance that I want to find between the two. Stainless, titanium, and aluminum can all meet some balance of this and I have all 3 in some form of cook pot/mug, although titanium is not very cheap. I almost always end up going with the aluminum for the weight benefit.
Do brag about anything you find because it's an ongoing quest for me.

What I need is a light, tall, 2 or 3 quart pot with a bail and flat lid that can flip into a frier.
They don't make one.
They have enamelware with a lid I can flip over.
The need is to have something I can put a rock on to make a low pressure cooker out of.
And I want the to flip the lid over on a boiling pot for low temp cooking and melting of whatever I need to melt at 190 to 200 degrees.
It's D*MN frustrating.

I'm completely off aluminum now, though.
For my emergency kits, I want the water loaded and ready to, and my 1 Liter aluminum canteens fouled the water I had stored in them.
And that was a product MEANT to have "food" in it.
Aluminum just continues to fail one way or another.

I would like to be more positive, but I think we're both cornered into Stainless.

Two things I'm now convinced of is that you can't short yourself on Fire and Food. Both of those kit pieces have to be a home run. They can cover some things you might forget on a trip or need in a bad time.

Anyway, I appreciate the thread.
Give up on that aluminum piece of crap grease pot.
It might look nice with some flowers in it.
My negativity on it is now limitless. It ruined a LOT of good bacon grease.
Ruining bacon drippings is enough for a guy to have an emotion about.
 

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gagged
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Boiling water in it will most likely stop the residue. I have not tramp camped in 20 years but back in the day we used a well seasoned coffee can. We carried 2 one bigger one for water and onw smaller one for food. Burn out the inside to be sure no coating js in there. Season w olive oil and boil water, dump and repeat a few times and you have your camp pot. If you lose it crush it or damage it, drink some coffee and start over.
 
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