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Holy cow! It was galvanized!?

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by newb70, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. newb70

    newb70 Newbie

    I am still new to the smoking world, but I made an unbelievable mistake. Long story short, I made some modifications to my smoker and ended up using some galvanized steel for a baffler (I think that is what its called) and a couple tuning plates. I realized this HUGE error after using it about 7-8 times for brisket, pork and turkey over a 4 month period of time. Food never tasted odd, smoke never smelled odd, basically there were not any signs in any way of something wrong. I just happened to come across the "dangers" of galvanized steel one day on this forum. I obviously freaked out and have been pretty upset with myself for making such a stupid and easily preventable mistake. There are a lot more experienced and knowledgeable people here so I was wondering should I trash my smoker? Clean it by scrubbing everything? Just remove the galvanized steel? What should I do? Should I expect a tail to start growing after eating food smoked with galvanized steel nearby?
  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    If you would have gotten galvalume flu or what is called galvinize poisoning you would have felt like you had the flu .

     it doesn't last but a day or two but is not something you want.

     I woud not trash your smoker But definantly get the bad metal out of it .

     You can do a couple of good hot burns after you get the metal out.

     what the galvanize does is produce fumes when it gets hot.

     So those fumes will get burned out.

      Don't panic just do a couple of burns and get back on the horse.
  3. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd keep the smoker but just get rid of the galvanized steel.
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Definately get rid of the galvanized steel. You may have dodged a bullet because most smoking is done at a low temp. so you might not have heated it enough to make it off gas.
  5. iso

    iso Smoke Blower

    Pull the galvzanized metal out. Then take a weed burner to all the surfaces just to be sure. the heat from the weed burner will remove any lingering gas particle hanging around.
  6. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The good news is, your probably not gonna grow a tail. As stated above, chances are you have not gotten hot enough to get the bad stuff flowing into the air.

    Pull out the galv and check it out. Look for festered up white fluff on the steel. Like this.


    This is what you get after you weld on the dip galv.

    Pull the infected chunk out and run the heat up, give everything a spritz with a spray bottle of water. The end result should be close to a steam cleaning.

    Get a new piece of metal and smoke away.
  7. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have been told that if you take a torch to the galvanized pieces you can actually burn off all of the toxic stuff. I don't have a clue if that is true or not but just wanted to throw it out there and maybe someone can confirm or deny that.
  8. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If it was my own and it was not in a high heat area, I would take this route. There is a fine line you have to walk when trying to go this way.

    To stay safe, its best to just get it out of there and not worry about it any more.

    Better safe then sorry.

    You have made it this far and not been sick, like eman said if you get the fume fever you are gonna know it. And it comes on pretty fast after breathing the fumes.

    I can tell ya from experience, its not a very pleasant kinda deal.

    Lots of us weld galv, many more weld it every day, just gotta do it in a safe manor.

    If you have galv, go ahead and use it where its not around the food, legs and bracing kinda stuff is fine.
  9. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I was kinda with you on this,but did some searching and found this. Makes some very good points about removing galv materials comepletely.

  10. newb70

    newb70 Newbie

    Thanks for that picture Tom37. Good thing nothing looked like that picture shown. The metal looked coated in black like the rest of the smoker. I already removed the metal and did one good hot burn and will do another 1 or 2 just to be safe. Thanks for all responses.