To Thrift or Not to Thrift: Bake that rust right into that cake!


Every time I see a cute loaf pan or yet another cupcake tin at the Bins, I can't help it: I grab it and stick it in my cart, thinking about what a bargain I'm getting. Then I get it home, stick it in the dishwasher, and a few weeks later, find myself with a bowl full of dough and this pan. I look at it. It looks just a little rusty. Oh, it can't hurt, right? I butter and flour, dump in my dough, and into the oven it goes.

The next recipe instruction could be: Bake 45 minutes, let cool, and discover myself shaving rusty crusts off my delicious-sounding ginger pound cake. Cupcakes look lovely, until you follow the recipe for your favorite corn muffins (which calls for baking them without liners) and I discover the discoloration is not due to the authentic stone-ground cornmeal I'm using.

I'm pretty sure that the doctor did not order up a dose of various oxidized metals with your home-baked goodies. Don't eat your metal when you don't want to. Buy baking tins brand-new.

This post was written as part of a series on how to thrift shop smarter. Read more on what to buy, and not to buy, at thrift stores.