Best paint for side smoker box

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Original poster
Oct 10, 2005
I have the Char-broil grill(barrel type) with optional side smoker box. I love it! However, the side box keeps burning off the paint on the top and then it rusts. I have used hi-temp grill paint but no dice. Anyone have any ideas? Please email me. Thanks
bobodean, your problem may not be so much with paint as with surface preparation. I am no expert on high temp applications but I do know that you can most likely find an intelligent and proper answer to your problem in any well equipped and properly staffed automotive supply store. If that suggestion fails then go to an autobody shop and ask a few questions. Obviously if your side smoker rusts then it is steel. So go to the guys and gals who know how to protect it.
Best I can suggest!
Good luck!

PS Please post your results! THX
Howdy bobodean.

Most folks with a side fire box experience the same problem your having with the paint burning off. I have the same problem on my bandera. I've talked with several folks and what a lot of them are doing is rubbing the exterior of the firebox with lard or peanut oil after use while it's still warm. The oil protect the firebox from the elements and "seasons" it like you would a cast iron pan. One fellow commented on how nice his "paint job" looked because as the oil seasons the metal it turns as black as if it were painted. The other option of course is to sand and repaint every year or two.
Most "hi_temp" paint are not rated high enough for the cookers, usually only abt 450 degrees or so.

There is suppose to be one good for 1300 degrees but I have not seen it yet.... you might want to check in a regualr paint store...

This is what I did with my New Braunfels. I brushed the outside of it with a light coat of new motor oil. Unlike your cooking oils, motor oil doesn't break down at 400 degrees and it sticks to the outside of the grill and will keep it from rusting pretty good. Now I know what your thinking, but it don't run into the inside of the grill if you put it on thin and it keeps the smoker looking like new.
i went to Lowe's this afternoon after work. They had RustOleum grill paint good for 1200 degrees stacked in the charcaol aisle. I didn't pay any attention to the price.

Clean it off with a wire brush. Light a fire in the box, and spray light coats on it while it's hot as hell. The heat will cook the light coats in to the metal. I used a cheap 2 dollar can and the stuff stuck awesome.
As stated above, If you keep the metal oiled after every cook, you will not need paint. Of course, if you don't cook often, it will still rust... Here is how we keep the 1/2" plate firebox on the 8' x 30" offset nice and pretty..

My smoker is about a year old now and I had to repaint the fire box too. I found some paint in the automotive section at walmart that is good for 1400 degrees, and it has ceramic in it. dont know how well it works yet, Ive only done one cook with it so far, but Ill keep ya posted.
I am new enough to this hobby that I don't claim to have any answers from first-hand experience yet. However, I was told to rub my smoker (inside and out) after each use with olive oil in order to keep it clean and cure the metal. While I am not sure if this will extend the life of the paint, it sure does look nice.
I use Rustoleum on the cooler parts, and Crisco on the fire box. Here is a pic a couple of weeks ago, and you can see the difference in the finish:
Guys that operate old Steam tractors use the motor oil trick and then rub powdered graphite into it. Works on the boiler which isn't as hot, but works on the firebox too. The graphite makes it last longer and more water repellent. It makes it look more silvery gray than black. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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