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Help on cold smoker revamp


Joined Jun 17, 2015
So I tried cold smoking cheese last Christmas. Gave some to family and friends. Big mistake. Everybody loved it. So I'm using a mailbox and a 15 gallon trashcan. Going to a 31 gallon can. I bought new shelves for it, but I got charcoal grates instead of grill grates because they were cheaper. The grates are not plated but rather they are oiled. My question is how can I get the oil off and use them to cold smoker food on them


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 27, 2008
Get them good and hot to burn off the mill oil, then scrub them with hot soapy water. Brush or wipe vegetable oil onto grates and heat up to the smoke-point of the oil (varies depending on type of oil) to begin the seasoning process. Put into smoker and apply smoke for several hours to coat the grates with smoke. Between the oil and smoke film it will keep you from experiencing metal to food contact and the possible oxidation which can result in off-colored grate marks on the food. Do not scrub off the protective film you produced on your food grates or you'll need to do it all over again.

Don't worry about not using chrome-plated grates...they're over-rated. If you scrub them occasionally you end up wiping the chrome finish right off of them anyway, and that exposes a cooper-clad under the chrome (nasty results when contacting meat)..eventually bare metal will be the end result...been there...I'm not a chrome cooking grate fan at all.


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