Metal questions

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by 1894, May 7, 2008.

  1. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I just got my c/g super and side fire box set up and want to add a baffle and some kind of tuning plates to help even out the heat from end to end.
    I just want to make sure about metal types before I run the risk of poisoning myself or anyone. I have some aluminum in the .070 " range , some 10-15 guage galvinized , and one small piece of steel that is not galvinized. Any problem using the galvinized steel ?
  2. bigun

    bigun Fire Starter

    Galvanized is bad stuff. It releases Zinc, I believe, if it gets above a certain temperature. The aluminum should be good however, but plain carbon steel is the best.

    ETA beat me to it texashunter
  3. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Thanks , glad I asked [​IMG] , I thought I read something , but couldnt find it with a search. I'll see what I can do with what I got and the keep an eye out for some more steel down the road .
  4. invader q

    invader q Smoke Blower

    Watch the aluminum too. It becomes brittle when hot, and melts at a fairly low temp compared to steel. Likely not an issue if it's not too close to the fire, but I'd stick with stainless steel if it were me.
  5. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Indeed Q. I melted some the other day...on purpose for another a steel can setting in a pile of lump. 600° ish degrees...
  6. invader q

    invader q Smoke Blower

    Cool Richtee! I've got the stuff to try casting bronze if I ever get the time to set everything up. Casting metal is wild.
  7. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Been havin' some fun with this so far. Good point about the alum melting / burning easy , I remember that lawn chair that gave up on me at a bonfire here a few years ago , still have the melted down chunk [​IMG] .
    Startin off simple and easy , took the two cooking grates from the fire box and set them across each end of the cooking chamber. A peice of 1/4" steel about 12" x 30" sitting on top as a heat holder to help keep the temps even . And the charcoal tray from the cooker is upside down over that and pushed tight to the fire box side. Got my 2nd ever charcoal fire going now and we'll see how it works out. Gave me a good reason to use up that cowbow lump I had.
  8. chargrilled

    chargrilled Meat Mopper

    Just "tuned" the CG by using 18" wide 10 guage steel plates(2), they were 6or8 " wide. With minimal wind I keep 5-7* different side to side so it does work!! I used 18" measurement as it sits perfectly in the bottom of the chamber just covering the opening from the SFB. I believe I got that measurement from this forum somewhere.

    Make sure you use 2 accurate therms for each side to check temps. I moved my plates around a bit creating a gap between the plates to get the best result from looking at the temps.

    Also with the galvanized stuff, if you HAD to you could burn off the gal with a torch. Several of my friends have done it with sucess but they are iron workers and know what they are doing. Knowing me I would burn it off and get sick from the fumes trying to remove it!!!

    Good luck and keep us posted.[​IMG]
  9. bigun

    bigun Fire Starter

    This thread got me thinking and researching. As nearly as I can tell zinc begins to peel from galvanized at about 200° C thus allowing it to become aerisolized and possibly contaminate food. Aluminum while it can deform and melt real low,as previously stated, as nearly as I can tell dosen't pose any more toxic danger then cooking with aluminum foil or any other aluminum untensils (which may be dangerous in and of itself the jury is still out). unless it is heated to approx 1000° C when, if its oxide layer is compromised it can combust and lead to aluminum poisoning. I am still researching this, and right now the only sources I have are wiki and uncited newsgroups which don't make the greatest sources. can anybody confirm or deney this, I am trying to figure out if I need to take the aluminum baffle in my SNP out immediatly or will it work until I better decide on my tuning setup.
  10. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Bigun , since no one else answered , I'll go out on a limb and make a semi edumacated SWAG regarding your baffle. If wrong , I hope I'm corrected .
    Unless you are cranking out smelting pot furnace temps from your sfb , you have no worries about burning or melting the alum. baffle.

  11. Gonna have to say that the aluminum is safe. It take some high heat to melt it. And if you get your smoker that hot, your not smoking anyway.
  12. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    So , as I posted , I'm trying the cheapest and easiest mods to start with. No need to add to the great char-griller mod threads , but thought I'd show pics of what I tried to esplaine yeasterday of what I'm starting with.

    The two cooking grates from the sfb in the cooking chamber:

    Chunk of 1/4 " steel to help hold the heat from bouncing up and down too quickly. Yes , I centered it beter before the next step. The section of alum tent pole raises the far end of the charcoal tray.

    Switched out this one bolt and reversed it to hold up the fire box end of the charcoal pan inverted.

    Sets on there nice.
  13. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Cont. ....

    Looks like this from the fire box.

    Till I get expanded metal and hang a charcoal basket from the cooking grate rails , I took one cooking grate from my gas grill and set it on top of the ash pan putting the bottom of the charcoal tray about halfway up the damper opening.

    Seasoning and test run yesterday showed lots of promise. No fast temp spikes , and held between 200 and 250 pretty easy. As I learn the basics of proper fire tending for smoking , I'm sure that I will narrow down that window of range. The end to end temps seemed to be pretty close so I'm thinking I'm off to a good start. Now on to much more learning and smokeing [​IMG]
  14. I'm sorry if I missed it, but have you extender the chemney down to the grates yet? It's a cheap easy mod most people do with offsets. Some use dryer exhaust vents, others use some type of metals.
  15. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I do have one , cut and fit it when I was putting the cooker together. But I read a post that mentioned that the inverted charcoal tray without holes in it and the vent seemed to suck a lot of the heat out. I'll watch things today and if I think it won't hurt , I'll put it back on. Right now , I'm thinking that without , the heat and smoke will rise better from all around what I have set up for now.
  16. chargrilled

    chargrilled Meat Mopper

    I would still go with the chimney extension. If it is "sucking too much heat out" you can dampen the chimney down a little (I have never had to do this). But you want to get that heat down to your food, ya know.

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