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Galvanized steel

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by wally3128, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Galvanized steel inside for shelf brackets in the smoker ????

    I'm thinking  NO...but...what's the general thoughts????

    Aluminium OK or NO ?


  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Anything that touches meat or gets hot and could emit vapors that could touch meat should not be galvanized.   Aluminum is ok? (recent reports of aluminum cook pot exposure causing early onset Alzheimer's)  but steel is better
  3. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Galvanized can be really bad stuff.

    I personally think it would be pretty tough to get it to turn to vapor in a smoke chamber.

    If it was me and it was the only thing I could come up with, I might try it but its better off to play it safe and not use it.

    I would never use it as a grate to put the meat on, for sure.

    If you ever get a chance, watch someone weld on galvanized. It actually makes a pretty green smoke, not thin blue smoke like we all are so fond of.

    One last thought, if its dip galv, and you have small pieces you can use muratic acid and clean the material.

    I would only suggest this after in depth research as to the process.
  4. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What Tom said, Galvanized is bad all around ,in my book! It's not a smoker friendly metal  [​IMG]
  5. Thank you friends!!! You confermed my thoughts, just wanted to be sure!!!

    BOO on GALVANIZE !!! Not smoker friendly!!
  6. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    I have been in the fabrication business for over 20 yrs. From personal experience I would not want anything galvanized even closet to anything I'm going to eat.  As Galvanized metal heats up it will vaporize or burn off to a zinc gas, which unless you ever have had galvanize poising you will not understand, but you would not want your worst enemy to have a dose of this...Flu like symptoms, fever and body ache that you would not believe........ Please be cautious about using galvanized material around your food. SB     
  7. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Maybe we can get a mod to build us a sticky in the build section stating some of the common and possibility deadly possibility's.

    1 being the galvanized.

    2 don't ever use any type of brake clean or carb cleaner before you weld. Off the top of my head I can't remember the name for it. But when the chemical turns to vapor its deadly.

    3 well now I'm having a brain fart but I know there's more.
  8. I'm not sayin yes or no, but before stainless, meat hooks were galv (no rust). I personally know a beekeeper (2000 hives) stores honey in 500gal. galv tanks (wholesales to Sue Bee Honey). Have seen galv pans for boiling maple sap. I know welding or super heating is bad I got sick off the smoke. I think using common sense as to the application i.e does it contact food, is it super heated (chip bowl)  or low heat such as angle for a shelf.  I know the plenum (galv.duct) right above my furnace burners gets as hot as my smoker. Stick a therm in your furnace ducts.  Does it mean I blow a dangerous gas throughout my house ?   Just some thoughts.   
  9. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think that you would be fine using galvanized brackets as shelf supports.

    Zinc melts at 787F, and doesn't gas until it reaches 1665F.  Considering that temps in a smoker very rarely reach 400F, I can't see zinc fumes being an issue.

    Having said that, I would not use zinc plated material as a cooking surface, not because of gassing issues, but because there may be chemical reactions  caused by food contacting the zinc.

    As for aluminium, I think you would be even better because it melts at 1220F & doesn't boil until 4566F.  As for being concerned about aluminium causing alzheimer's, I wouldn't worry, most scientific studies minimize the correlation.
  10. Was just looking thru a LEM catalog and their little smoker gives the discription of the inside and it said the bottom was galv. They must know it's safe?
  11. As a recipient  of Zinc overload and Metal Fume poisoning, I strongly say stay away from the galv. plated materials. We learned through the process that it starts giving off vapors at very low temps. We know this low, but why chance it. My experience was when I was prototyping my smokers, I decided to see if I could buy a part rather than make. I found a part at local sporting good chain that was sold as a replacement smoker plate for another brand of smoker.I misidentified that plating for bead tumbling. Big mistake. Long story short, after cooking once a week for 11 weeks, enough food to warm for 5-6 days of eating each cook, I consumed enough Zinc to almost die. Almost is the key word. Also by the time I was thinking straight( it dissipates with time), my blood levels had gone to non lethal level. Which means harder to prove. Next up is later stages of Metal Fume disease, breathing problems later. After 18 months of trying to find representation, 44 firms total here and and overseas, six told me that they did not want to fight the parent company, one of our largest retailers. They also said my estate would gain big money should I have passed. We now use fresh 3/16" to 1/4" steel. laser cut, NO plating. One reason I bring all of this up is my experience partly, but think about all the people buying that part grilling the meal for the family and shortly after getting sick, going to doctor, all they focus on is food poisoning not the real problem. Sorry for the rant, that subject touches my nerves. Stay safe. Steve.
  12. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Steve, I understand were you are coming from and that is what I was trying to say in not so many words.....Shoneyboy
  13. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What temps would that be?

    The science says that zinc doesn't melt( i.e. from solid to liquid) until 787.15F, and doesn't vaporize(from liquid to gas) until 1665F.
  14. What was explained to me is that the metal doesn't change form, but starts giving off a gas or smell when warmed. To test this, we used an oven to warm one of these plates I bought, warmed in oven , smelled area before and after heating, and tried to notice any change when heated. When we opened door after 10 minutes of 200* we smelled an off odor that I wouldn't want on my food. That I would suspect is start of off-gassing I spoke of. Not complete degradation of original form, metal to gas. I know it's not scientific.  I also know I was sicker than ever with no idea why and my grate temps were never over 275*. My point is avoid galvanizing around food areas. Steve.
  15. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The zinc coating is some bad stuff, but only when it vaporized into a gas.  That said, I personally would not use it next to food.

    When we designed my little gadget, we looked at cold rolled steel & chrome plating, galvanized steel , stainless steel and aluminum for fabrication.  The supplier assured me that galvanized steel would be OK at the temps we were operating at, but why take the chance?  Even though stainless steel is considerably more expensive, we opted for 304 stainless steel because it's known to be safe and durable.  Aluminum was my 2nd choice and then chrome plated cold rolled steel.

    I agree that there should be a WIKI about the use of galvanized metals.  Maybe someone more versed in the safety issues of using galvanized products can step up and write one.

  16. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    I have no input, but want to follow this thread.

  17. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What you may have smelled is some sort of chemical residue that was on the steel.

    According to the USDA that is what seems to be the problem, not necessarily the zinc coating. This from their website;

    "Using a Smoker

    Cook food in smokers made of materials approved for contact with meat and poultry. Don't smoke foods in makeshift containers such as galvanized steel cans or other materials not intended for cooking. Chemical residue contamination can result."

    Here's a link to the page;  http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Smoking_Meat_and_Poultry/index.asp

    Personally, I wouldn't have an issue using either galvanized bolts or small brackets to support a cooking grate in a smoker, but I wouldn't use a galv grate, just because I'd be more concerned with possible reactions between any acids in the food and the zinc.

    blue hill likes this.
  18. doddzy

    doddzy Newbie

    My door panel is galvanized. Brackets are too. Should I replace them with aluminum?

    Plus, the temperature only gets to around 350 maximum. Isn't that to low of temp to worry about gas fumes? My racks are steel grill plates, so the food doesn't actually touch anything galvanized.

    This is the making and about ready to do a test run to line the inside with soot. I sure in the heck don't want any type of poisoning.
  19. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm with AK 100% on this one. I also would never use the galv for the food to touch. But every smoker I have ever looked inside of has a nice covering of what ever you want to call it. I do intend tho to read the info located at the link AK provided.

    At this point in time I would have to say that I would leave the door as is, get a test burn or two on it and then let the smoke roll and enjoy the goodies that it produces.But thats just my opinion.
  20. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Different people will tell you different things about galvanized steel or zinc in general.

    Some say stay away from it, even with screws and washers.  Others will say it has to do with high temps only. 

    For myself, I say why mess with it?  How hard is it to stay away from that stuff and be safe?