By Harold McGee
Tin was probably first used in combination with copper to make the mechanically tougher alloy called bronze. Today tin is generally found only as a nontoxic, unreactive lining in copper utensils. This limited role is the result of two inconvenient properties: a low melting point, 450°F/230°C, that can be reached in some cooking procedures, and a softness that makes the metal very susceptible to wear. The tin alloy called pewter, which used to contain some lead and now is made with 7% antimony and 2% copper, is not much used today.