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Roll Call - Page 12

post #221 of 235
Originally Posted by Steve Johnson View Post

Hi joe & welcome there's plenty of videos on you tube with mod ideas for brinkman smokers. Enjoy

Cheers Steve. I'll have a gander!
post #222 of 235
I started out with a cheap tec take one off amazon had some good results wit a few mods. Be sure to use heat beads and get one of these https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B009ALK3K2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
post #223 of 235

Hi there, I am a smallholder in West Wales who has been keen to try cold smoking for some time. Have built a hanging chamber in an old galvanised metal dustbin and am looking to do my first burn this weekend. Have cured a loin of pork and purchased the little Pro Q cold smoke generator so fingers crossed!

post #224 of 235
Hi welcome to the UK Forum, I have posted a welcome on the main forum Roll Call.

Just a little bit concerned about the Galvanised Dustbin! Are you Cold Smoking with it? or Hot Smoking?

You have to be really careful heating Galvanised and Zinc, as it gives of harmful gases.

Al little bit more information and pictures, (we love pictures) of your set up would be great.
post #225 of 235

It looks like it would have to be very, very hot smoking  for zinc to give off fumes. According to the following web page - around 900º C




Which says:


"When zinc is raised to a high temperature (at or above its boiling point around 900C), it burns and forms zinc oxide smoke. Like any kind of smoke, zinc oxide will irritate the lungs, leading to difficulty breathing: This is not a dangerous situation and it clears up immediately when you move away from the source of the fumes. People exposed to high concentrations of zinc oxide over a prolonged period of time can also develop a condition known as the "zinc chills", "metal fume fever", "brass-founders ague", or a number of other colorful terms. This involves fever, tremors, and other unpleasant symptoms."



Disclaimer - I have no prior knowlege of the subject and cannot verify the validity of this website, so best to do your own research.


BTW I have used a galvanised incinerator bin in the past and saw no evidence of fumes being given off during it's use and you would have thought they would have been banned if they gave off dangerous fumes during normal use.

Edited by molove - 10/6/16 at 7:18am
post #226 of 235

There is a lot of paranoia about using zinc in smokers/BBQs and it is something that is often quoted on forums as being a dangerous thing to do. When you try to find evidence of any potential danger or any official food safety guidelines it becomes evident that most of what is posted is actually urban myth and usually only re-posts of other peoples posts.

The only official guidelines I have managed to find regarding the use of zinc in is that it should not come in direct contact with the food or be where liquids can splash onto it and then drip back onto the food.


You do need to ensure that the racks that you place the food on are not zinc plated and, especially when cold smoking, ensure that there is no galvanised metal directly above the food where moisture from the smoke could condense and then drip onto the food below.

post #227 of 235

Hello Wade.  Nope!  You knew I would see this buddy.  I gotta disagree as you know.  We have been here before.  I agree TOTALLY with your facts.  You can find NO evidence, etc..  Then you start the disclaimers: "You do need to ensure that the racks that you place the food on are not zinc plated and, especially when cold smoking, ensure that there is no galvanised metal directly above the food where moisture from the smoke could condense and then drip onto the food below."  My response remains the same: IF I have to make sure of x,y,z.  IF  I shouldn't use it on a Tuesday;  WHY would I put it in my smoker AT ALL??  Why take that chance with family and friends?


I'll give you an example of my argument that supports your position; believe it or not:  I'll bet you and many other U.K. members would be HORRIFIED to learn that all the while my 2 children were growing up I kept 2  fully loaded guns in my house AT ALL TIMES.  OUT IN THE OPEN.  1 was under my mattress.  The other hung above our bed.  ( BTW; don't mess with my EX.  She could shoot you in the eye at 20 meters with a handgun; with a rifle, you weren't safe at 300 meters if she could see you. :icon_biggrin: )  Now I can quote you disclaimers but many of you will NEVER agree that I was doing a right thing.  Just to say; there were precautions and those were EXTREMELY tested. Just sayin.


The argument works the same in both our minds; WHY TAKE THE RISK?  Just my opinion.  NO / ZERO scientific fact.  Keep Smokin!


post #228 of 235

Hi Danny -  There are no disclaimers in my post - I am just stating what the official documentation on the subject supports. The only official limitation of the use of zinc is that it should not be used on utensils or surfaces that will come into direct contact with the foods or can drip onto the foods.


If someone can come up with good evidence that using galvanised metal on non food contact surfaces in a smoker is hazardous then I will happily review my position on it, however the fears people express here (and on some other forums) currently appears to be mostly urban myth. You ask "Why take the risk?" and I counter that with "What risk?"


We cannot recommend avoiding the use of something in a smoker just because we cannot find anything that says it IS safe. If so we would ban a lot of things that we currently routinely use today. On the other hand there is evidence out there that the smoke itself is hazardous. A good example of this is in the US National Library of Medicine - Smoked food and cancer https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7447916. Should we therefore also recommend that people do not use smoke in their smokers? Search in Google and you will find any number of credible sources that warn of the hazards of smoking and curing but there is very little when it comes to the hazards associated with the use of galvanised components in smokers or ovens.


If the use of galvanised material was hazardous enough for us to be that concerned over then you would expect that there would be a lot of official information out there warning us about it. Unfortunately that does not appear to be the case. In fact there is a lot of documentation regarding where it IS used with food


The FDA's own documentation talks about the use of galvanised surfaces in food production and describes the limitations for its use as 

"4-101.15 Galvanized Metal, Use Limitation.

Galvanized means iron or steel coated with zinc, a heavy metal that may be leached from galvanized containers into foods that are high in water content. The risk of leaching increases with increased acidity of foods contacting the galvanized container."



In the Association of Food and Drug Officials.  2002.  Food Code: Pocket Guide for Regulators, the use of galvanised metal is described as being limited to certain foodstuffs only

"Materials for Construction and Repair – Galvanized Metal (4-101.15)
•    Galvanized metal may not be used for utensils or food-contact surfaces or equipment that are used for beverages, moist food, hygroscopic food, and contact with acidic foods."



The American National Standard/NSF International Standard have the following to say about coated metals in their document on "Food Equipment Materials" http://standards.nsf.org/apps/group_public/download.php/3941/nsf51-97.pdf



"4.2 Food zone materials shall not contain lead, arsenic, cadmium, or mercury as intentional ingredients, except where brass and bronze are specifically permitted for use under 7.3.2.

4.3 Coatings containing lead as an intentional ingredient shall not be used on food equipment surfaces, including splash zones and nonfood zones. Coatings with an unintentional lead content (lead impurity) greater than 0.06% shall not be used. Materials shall be corrosion resistant in the intended end use environment. Protective coatings may be used to render a material corrosion resistant, except as prohibited in 7.4, 7.5, and 7.6. Protective coatings shall remain intact under use conditions and shall conform to the applicable requirements in 7.4, 7.5, and 7.6."



They are being very specific here about the hazards associated with a number of metals (including lead) but there is no mention of  zinc or galvanisation being one of them. It does however say where zinc coated materials cannot be used - which suggests that in other situations it can be....


"7.4.2 Zinc coated materials. Galvanized materials and other zinc coated materials shall not be used on surfaces intended for direct food contact"


This is what is referred to as the "Food Zone" which is defined as


"3.5 food zone: Equipment surfaces intended to be in direct contact with food and equipment surfaces that food may contact and then drain drip, or splash back into food or onto surfaces that are
intended to be in direct contact with food."


Yes, there are limitations as to where zinc can be used with food, however this is not a basis upon which we should recommend it not to be used when it is used appropriately. 

post #229 of 235

We won't argue my friend.  I am in total agreement with you and the scientific evidence you use to back your opinion.  You CAN use galvanized metal in a smoker.  I said it.  I have a good idea.  This is the wrong place for this discussion.  I'll post a thread on the open forum and then you, I and others can discuss this and offer our explanations and opinions.  This has been going on for a long time and I think there should be an agreement as to how we as a Forum should handle this question.  Keep Smokin!


post #230 of 235

Thanks everyone. I am only using the galvanised bid as a cold smoking chamber. The meat was suspended from stainless steel butchers hooks from a stainless steel threaded bar bolted through the top of the bin. The Pro Q smoker was then put in the bottom of the bin and provided smoke for 10hours with no noticeable increase in the ambient temperature of the bin, and no evidence of any condensation. The bacon tasted great but I may try 20 hours next time. The 2nd picture shows the difference in siz and colour of the smoked and unsmoked part of the loin.



post #231 of 235

Thank you Smoking Monkey. Been a long time away from Smoking. I'm in the UK and I only Cold Smoke in the winter, so cooling is not a problem.

Realised the mesh was galvanised, so did blowtorch it, should have mentioned that - Important SAFETY NOTE!. It was like a firework display - great fun!

Now waiting for the Whole Salmons to be at the 'Special' price and away we go...

post #232 of 235

Thank you Smoking Monkey. Been a long time away from Smoking. I'm in the UK and I only Cold Smoke in the winter, so cooling is not a problem.

Realised the mesh was galvanised, so did blowtorch it, should have mentioned that - Important SAFETY NOTE!. It was like a firework display - great fun!

Now waiting for the Whole Salmons to be at the 'Special' price and away we go...

post #233 of 235

Thank you Wade. Being in the UK and only Cold Smoking (CS) in the autumn to spring, for that simple reason cooling is not normally a problem for me. For anyone starting out, my cabinet was home made with untreated timber, so quite cheap to build for a lot of space - you can tailor-make one to suit your space. As the cabinet is permanently outside, the exposed outer wood is carefully treated (with an animal friendly one) so as not to let any treatment seep inside. I have added a 'Shelter' from the fence, which helps keep me dry when it rains and does protect the Smokers from the worst of the weather.


I modified it to use the Metal Ducting which helps conduct heat away from the smoke more effectively. Also, being flexible, it allows for a decent length for smoke cooling. With the Firebox just below the level of the Cabinet, but NOT underneath it, the 'hot' smoke rises into the ducting and pushes the smoke along the transverse ducting, cooling it, until finally turning up into the base of the cabinet. Inside the cabinet there is a raised board to spread the smoke evenly around the cabinet.


My suggestion of using ice bags was to place them along the metal ducting, cooling the metal, to assist cooling the smoke as it passes through, if the ambient air temperature is above 68f (20c). We have those Ice Cube Bags you fill from the tap in the freezer, if they were needed. Not thought about putting it inside the cabinet though. Personally I've not needed to do that yet. In my video, the air temperature that day was 54f (12c) and inside the top of the cabinet was 59f (15c) after several hours.  I bought a Ground Thermometer and inserted that at the top of my cabinet, as another modification, to monitor the cabinet temperature and aim for around 60f (15c).


Using the 'Maze' system for the shavings & sawdust (a combination) in the Firebox has definitely made Cold Smoking more efficient. There is a longer constant smoke with less 'topping-up'. I do have to keep an eye on the fire-box occasionally, just in case it goes out - it does sometimes, other times it burns perfectly - must be just getting the right amount of pressure on the fuels when loading it. A 'clip-on' computer fan (using bit of stiff wire) is useful if the firebox needs some encouragement. Starting early in the morning lets me sleep that night...  Even if it goes out there is cold smoke in the cabinet for quite a while. 


The cabinets are in the shade and you're right, I don't normally CS and HS at the same time, so won't worry about a screen between them.


With the Hot Smoker (HS), I now use the meat cooking thermometer pushed through the lid joint at the top. The default one, as you say, is pointless. I inherited both these Smokers from my father-in-law and only do a small amount of HS Smoking, mainly with sausages and chicken, or small meat portions and would agree that it would be wise for a serious HS user to invest in something more efficient. Definitely agree not a good idea to cold smoke bought sausages.


---  For anyone who's not seen it, the video is at:



When Dry Curing the Salmon (for CS), after brining it is pressed (using a wooden board and kitchen weights) and 'fridge' chilled on grill trays that allow water to drain away into the drip tray overnight. So far it has been quite firm and nicely moist but not wet. So, I guess I: 1-Increase the salt levels, 2-reduce the free water content and 3-reduce the bacteria with the smoke. When thinly sliced and vacuum bagged, it freezes well.  All consumers still upright!

The cheeses were popular and were kept for a week or two before using. Had to try a taster straight away, but agree smoked cheese needs to rest for at least a week and absorb flavours before tasting. Froze some and that seemed to work well.


Thank you for the tip on shellfish - I might give some a try this winter.


On the Sawdust and Shavings - From our open fire indoors, I know a local Tree Surgeon/Log Supplier. I give him a few packs of frozen Smoked Salmon and I get Oak, Maple and Alder trunk logs (40cm dia. x 25cm length), for me to plane or circular saw. I use an electric planer (Lidl-Parkside) which is brilliantly adjustable. Attach an old vacuum cleaner hose to the planer and the shavings are fed into a closed bin, which I empty into labelled individual tree type tins for storing until required. Sorry! commercial suppliers...


1. The cut surfaces of the trunks are discarded to avoid using any possible contamination from any chainsaw oil. Never use chainsawed sawdust - it will contain oil.
2. The bark is discarded to avoid any contaminants that the tree has kept outside of its nice inner wood. Bark collects all sorts of nasties we don't want smoked.

Obvious, but thought it good to post that.


Hope this is helpful to others starting out.

post #234 of 235

Great video and helpful tips


post #235 of 235
Yeah, great video and some good tips!
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