What Can I Do With Old Pots And Pans?

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey

Buying brand-new and high-quality pots and pans is a major step into adulthood and culinary ambition. You have moved up from jarred pasta sauce and grilled cheese and are ready to make some gourmet meals with your fancy new cookware. But to make room for this shiny and pretty new culinary equipment, you might have to get rid of your old and used pots and pans. As you take them all out of the cabinets, you might find yourself wondering what exactly you can do with old pots and pans.

If you have old pots and pans, consider donating them to a charitable organization, or gifting them to someone you know, like a college-aged family member. You can also repurpose your pots and pans by using them as planters for an herb or succulent garden. Consider saving them to use for camping or for particular messy DIY projects like candle making.

If you need to find a new home for your old pots and pans, try not to make that new home the trash. If your used cookware still works perfectly well and is safe to use, then its life should not be over. Even if the cookware is no longer functional, there are still some possible uses. Keep reading to uncover the top 10 things you can do with those old pots and pans.

Top 10 Things To Do With Your Old Pots And Pans

1. Donate Them To A Charitable Organization

If you have old pots and pans, the last thing you should do is throw them out. That is, of course, unless they are completely ruined beyond repair. Instead of tossing them in the trash, you should box up your old pots and pans and bring them to a donation center. You can choose a religious organization or even your local Good Will.

This is a great way for those in need to have the basics to cook with, which are essential tools after all. You can even get a tax credit when you make these types of donations, so everyone wins.

2. Gift Them To A Young Family Member

As you shop for new pots and pans, you might want to ask if anyone you know is in desperate need of some. Often those who have recently graduated high school are in dire need of cooking equipment. Also, young people tend to be less picky. This means they are likely to be quite thrilled with the hand-me-down pots and pans.

3. Use Old Pots And Pans For Camping

Before you toss your old pots and pans or even consider giving them away, remember that you might still need them for other purposes. If you are a fan of camping, or cooking over a fire, then old metal cookware can be handy. This is especially true if you don’t care if it gets a bit tarnished when it’s put on an open fire.

Old pots and pans are often great for camping, making it possible for you to whip up some great meals in the great outdoors. If you ever cook on your bonfire, save your old cast irons and such, as they can come in handy as a vessel when you want to do a bit of potato or fish baking in foil.

4. Make Them Country Kitchen Decor

If your old pots and pans have a nice vintage charm to them, consider repurposing them as decor. This is especially true if you have old cast iron, paint-speckled pots, or lids with cute vintage wooden handles.

You can hang old cast iron skillets. Use a vintage old pan as shelving decor, or even use it to house wooden spoons and whisks. The options are endless. These old pots and pans can add a welcome and authentic contrast to the walls in the kitchen. You might even consider painting the old pots and pans to help them match your decor.

5. Use Muffin Tins As Organizers

Old muffin tins that show signs of rust and warping might seem useless, but this isn’t true. Old muffin tins are actually fantastic for organizing all sorts of little objects. From change to buttons and everything in between, muffin tins can have a great second life as organizers.

If you have a craft room, hang on to these old tins. You will certainly find things to fill them with soon enough.

6. Turn Them Into Planters

Your old pots and pans can even find a whole new purpose as homes for your plants. Pots and pans can be quirky and fun planters. You can use large frying pans to create a lovely succulent garden. Small and large pots make great planters for herbs gardens and even vegetables.

Imagine planting a small tomato plant in the pot that you used to make big batches of tomato sauce. This is a fun and practical way to give your old pots and pans a new life.

7. Use Them For Messy Craft Projects

Another option is to reserve these old pots and pans for particularly messy projects. Whether you have children or like crafting around the holidays, some projects are messier than others. Some can even ruin your household equipment if you aren’t careful.

So, save some of your old pots and pans. The next time you make candles, or melt crayons and sparkling glitter, you don’t need to use your new fancy equipment.

8. Use Pot Lids As DIY Kitchen Hooks

The pots and pans themselves are not the only parts you can repurpose. You can also find separate uses for the lids of your pots and pans. In addition to saving one larger flat metal lid as one-size-fits-all lit when you are in a pinch, you can save others and use them as decor.

One fun way to use old kitchen lids is to hang them side by side on the kitchen wall and use them as hooks for things like an apron, kitchen towel, and oven mitt. This is a fun DIY project that brings some function and a clever idea together.

9. Bring Them To A Scrap Metal Facility

If your pots and pans are truly unusable, then you might just want to get rid of them. Sure, finding new purposes for your pots and pans is great, but if you aren’t planting a garden any time soon and you have all the decor you need, it might just be time to say goodbye to your pots and pans.

Just make sure when you get rid of your pots and pans you don’t just throw them in the trash. Instead, take your pots and pans to a scrap metal facility. This will ensure they are recycled to the best of their ability. Some flimsy pans might not be able to be salvaged, but metal pots and pans will be gladly accepted, even if the metal is a bit rusted.

10. They Might Be Worth Maintaining And Saving

Remember that just because something is old, or even a bit rusted, it doesn’t mean it’s useless. Before you get ready to get rid of old pots and pans, make sure you take a full inventory of kitchen equipment.

You should always have some backup. If you only have one large pot in your new set, consider saving your old one, and give it a good scrub to bring it back to life. If you have enamel cast iron cookware that is old and possibly chipped, consider giving it a little love and have it repaired.

This cookware, especially Le Creuset and other fancy French cookware, is quite expensive and should last a lifetime. In fact, you might want to see if some of your old pots and pans have a warranty.

Wrapping Up What To Do With Old Pots And Pans

Buying new pots and pans is a great way to usher in a bold new culinary era in your kitchen. But this also means you need to find a new home for your old pots and pans.

You can give your old pots and pans to a family member or friend in need, or also bring them to a charitable organization and receive a tax credit. Try repurposing them as kitchen decor or as planters for an herb or succulent garden. If you think your pots and pans need to be disposed of, bring them to a scrap metal facility instead of tossing them in the trash.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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