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blackening stainless steel pots

 
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Hello all!  
this is only indirectly about cooking, sorry.
I am building a solar cooker and have a couple stainless steal pots/casseroles I´d like to blacken permanently so I can use them in there. Does anyone know a natural/non-toxic way to PERMANENTLY blacken them on the outside (so I can clean them without having to blacken them again)?

thanks so much for any advise...
 
pioneer
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I'm assuming you mean you want to *season* your pots.  I don't think stainless can be seasoned.  Cast iron yes, carbon yes, stainless I believe stays shiny.  If it's not silver, it's dirty.



*Edit*. Oh, now I understand, not necessarily seasoned but blackened, on the outside.  I missed that part the first time.

Same answer though!  I don't think there's a practical way to blacken stainless.

*Another edit!*.  John mentioned black engine enamel below.  I have used in the past, high-heat black spray paint for use on barbecue grills.  Made by Krylon, called Krylon High Heat Black Spray Paint.  *Of course* don't paint the inside, but this may be a good option for the outside.  The Krylon stuff is used for grills, may not be as chemical laden as the engine enamel.
 
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I saw this about black cookware for solar oven
https://permies.com/t/77531/black-cookware-solar-oven

ive never done it but saw video of someone baking food in a very simple portable solar oven, nothing was perfect on it it appeared bent and twisted almost, the food was cooked in a new aluminum pan. I was amazed, I was thinking that stuff must get pretty hot in there , but then again when I slow cook on smoker I'm only cooking at 225-250 degrees F. and everything ive smoked is done in 4 hours or less some stuff even got way overdone after more than about 2 hours.
 
master gardener
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I can only think of approaches that I would not want to do ... such as sanding and black engine enamel. ....or the use of an LP torch.   Rather than potentially harming my stainless, I would shop the junk shops for appropriate cookware for the solar.
 
steward
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If you burn a sugary substance on there it might turn black permanently.  I'm not sure if it would eventually wash off but it might work.
 
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If I were trying to make a solar cooker and didn't have any cookware other than stainless steel then I would make something with black fabric and elastic to cover the bottom.

These threads are recommending using Graniteware or Enamel Cookware which I like because I have a turkey roaster that would work.

https://permies.com/t/65217/DIY-Solar-Oven#553765

https://permies.com/t/77531/black-cookware-solar-oven#808224

Seems to me that buying this type of cookware is probably the best route to go rather than trying to find something to blacken stainless steel.

Or using cast iron.
 
pollinator
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Cook over a wood fire a few times.  Bonus points for using pine.  Gently wash the outside of your pot when you get done.  Some amount of soot will be left.  Rinse and repeat until it is as black as you desire.
 
gardener
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Not sure of anything that will permantely stain stainless. Granite ware works great. We use small dutch ovens, black enamel ware from Dansk.  Hard anodized camping pots.
 
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