Galvanized parts in smoker

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by senorkevin, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. senorkevin

    senorkevin Smoke Blower

    What are your thoughts on galvanized parts in a smoker?
  2. bill1

    bill1 Smoke Blower

    Zinc is a heavy metal and considered toxic. If you use it in a cool part of the smoker (so it stays shiny) you're ok.  But if you see it turning grey or white, it's starting to oxidize and that powder is not good to ingest in any way.  

    Best to use stainless steel.  Remarkable how cheap SST plumbing fittings from China are getting on ebay.  
  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I know there is a lot of people that will say it's fine because smokers don't get hot enough to cause the zinc to off gas. My opinion is why risk it. Stainless is safe and only a little more money so better safe than sorry.
  4. Hello.  By asking the question, it shows you are concerned.  If I cite a bunch of scientific data saying you will be fine , OR if I cite a bunch of scientific data saying it is dangerous; will you feel better either way?  This concerns the people you love.  Why would you gamble?  If you have to ask about a metal coating or a particular wood, why chance it?  The members are pretty sharp and usually right but I just would not take the risk.  Just my opinion.  Keep smokin!

  5. senorkevin

    senorkevin Smoke Blower

    The reason I ask is because I live in Mexico and it is hard to find.
  6. E-Bay.  Many folks ship all over the world.  The extra postage is worth it for peace of mind.  Keep Smokin!

  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have not seen any credible evidence (apart from other members posts on forums) that there is actually any danger - even from using galvanized sheet. The odd galvanized nut or bolt in an area that is not in contact with food is unlikely to be a significant hazard however, personally, I would not use it in any of my smokers.
  8. senorkevin

    senorkevin Smoke Blower

    Or what if I covered the galv nuts and bolts in high temp silicon?
  9. So; in a third world country you can readily get high temp silicone but not stainless bolts???  Now that's interesting.  Wish you all the best with your smoker build.

  10. senorkevin

    senorkevin Smoke Blower

    I'm buying most from Amazon, but just seeing what the possibilities were. Cheers. I'll post a pic when it is finally done!
  11. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Some of you may not want to look at this if you squeamish about using using galvanised nuts and bolts in your smokers...

    Yes - it is a fully galvanised oil drum smoker that is on sale on ebay. From the amateur looking photos it looks like someone is making them in their garage... I am not convinced by the arguments against using zinc in your smoker but I don't think I would want to buy this one !
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  12. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Morning Wade.

    That thing looks REALLY deadly. Sad thing is there are a lot of people out there who don't know about the dangers of galvanized and might buy one of these.

  13. raff76

    raff76 Newbie

    I was wondering if I use the galvanized steel to build the top cover for a caja china will that make the contaminate the pig inside?

     I only need to know if I make the top lid where the charcoal is put out of galvanized steel would it be ok. the pig going inside the box for 3 to 4 hours. I am not sure of what temperature does the metal reach on top.
  14. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If there is a chance that any juices from the pig are likely to come in contact with the the lid and then back in contact with the meat then that is not advisable. From what I can see from your picture this is likely to be the case. I think you would be better to use something like stainless steel or ordinary steel.
  15. bill1

    bill1 Smoke Blower

    Not real familiar with a caja china but it appears like there's hot coals as a heat source on the top.  I suspect you'll find white powdery ZnO on the inside after a couple uses.  The powder falling down on your meat is what you worry about.  I don't see how juices can be running through it.  On the bottom, where ther might be more galvanized metal, I suspect it's cool enough you don't need to worry.  After all, flowing juices are great coolants.  

    For most smoker parts, the temperature doesn't get hot enough to form ZnO.  Those temperatures greatly exceed silicone's smoke and burn point.  Burning silicone is more toxic than zinc (imo) and it will make the meat taste/smell bad. So covering galvanized hardware with high-temp silicone is no solution at all.  
  16. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The issue is not about where the juices run, it is about whether it is likely that juices can come in contact with the galvanized surface and then come in contact with the meat. With the coals on the top it is highly likely that the juices and fats closest to the heat source will boil and spit, come in contact with the galvanized lid and then drip back down over the meat.

    In the American National Standard for Food Equipment Materials it says that  Galvanized materials and other zinc coated materials shall not be used on surfaces intended for direct food contact. It defines the food zone as 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.

    As bill1 says it may also be possible for flakes of the upper galvanized coating to come away and fall into the food. The temperatures inside the lid are unlikely to become hot enough for the zinc to form zinc oxide unless you intend to eat pork ash.
  17. raff76

    raff76 Newbie

    The meat does not come in contact with the galvanized steel. The wall are made of stainless steel.

    the pig sit inside and the top is the only part that get heat which is made of galvanized metal sheet.
  18. I know some iron workers that talk about how sick they have gotten after cutting and welding galv steel, and its just from breathing too much of the smoke produced even in an outdoor environment.  They arent directly ingesting any metal flakes or the like.

    I would be especially worried if it is where you are directly placing the coals that it will burn some of the zinc off and that smoke get into your meat 
  19. raff76

    raff76 Newbie

    the inside temperature never really reach above 400° Fahrenheit. The galvanized top how ever it does radiate heat from the top and reflex back to the meat providing an even heat source. I was thinking on getting a stainless steel top but is so expensive.  
  20. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Raff76. How do you intend to ensure that hot fat and juices from the top of the meat do not spit and splash against the galvanized lid and then fall back onto the cooking meat?

    We cannot prevent you from using the galvanized lid but we do need to advise you of the US government recommendations.
    The temperatures involved here (even where the metal is in direct contact with the coals) are nowhere near as high as you get when cutting or welding and so it is not an issue in this situation.
    raff76 likes this.

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