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Need some help!!!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I was just given an old stand up freezer to make into a smoker they told me it's from the sixties but I've heard you cant use gallvanized metal. Can anyone help me find out how to detect galvanized metal??? Any ideas how to conver this freezer into a smoker???
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
Still lookin for help
post #3 of 9

There are 2 main methods to galvanize metal;

 

1) hot dip galvanizing and

2) electrogalvanizing.

 

Hot dip galvanizing gives the large, kinda blochy crystal structure or pattern that is most readily identified as galvanized metal. Think of steel culverts as an example. Electro-galvanizing is very popular it puts a thinner and more controled layer down on the steel and cosmetically looks better.  Most galvanized materials have been passivated with a tri or hexa valent chrome compound which is very unhealthly also.

 

Look at the finish - if it is dull or looked primed, it is likely just painted steel.  If galvanized, it will be shiny and you can usually see a crystaline structure.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
And if I'm correct you can't smoke meat in anything galvanized because it will make u sick correct?
post #5 of 9

I would not want any chromium gassing out and getting on my food. that is the really toxic stuff.  Zinc (the main material used to galvanize metals) is actually good for you in small amounts.  It is only toxic in large quantities, but the real issue I would watch out for is the stuff the Zinc was mixed with (e.g. Chrome or other materials).  Without knowing exactly want went into the galvanization process, I would stay away from it.

 

If you ever saw the movie Erin Brockovich - the basis of that movie plot was the release of hexavalent chromium into the drinking water

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
So I guess my question is how do I really know what this feezer is made of
post #7 of 9

Look at the finish - look for shiny & crystalline or rough finish.  You are concerned with the internal panels. Below image is the typical look, but I have seen large walk-in freezers build with galvanized and painted panels

 

The paint may hide the galvanizing.

 

You could just pull the panels and replace them if you are not sure and really want to use the freezer

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yeah... thanks for the info
post #9 of 9

I had another idea for you.  See if you can find an industrial paint/powder coating company in your area.  Take one of the panels from the freezer to them.  They should be able to tell you quickly if it is galvanized AND if there is a coating you can apply that will protect your food from Chromium outgassing if it is galvanized.

 

I suspect that there are some good coatings available out there that would give you a good seal and protection, I just don't now what would be best.  A Powder coating company usually deals with all sorts of metals and plastics and coatings for all sorts of purposes.

 

Just a thought - if you can find someone like that near you - it might be worth a visit.

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