If you are new to the world of BBQing, you must have heard a few common bbq tips thrown around by seasoned grillers.
Those tips are such as you should not check the temperature while cooking frequently or use wood chips to get an amazing smoky flavour.
Also, always preheat your grill, and not to use galvanized sheet metal while cooking on a grill.
You might be confused about why so many people do not recommend the method of using galvanized sheets for cooking on a grill?
Is cooking on galvanized sheet metal really dangerous and should be avoided?
If you ask my opinion, then I will certainly “Yes”.
The answer to the above question is yes, you should not use galvanized sheet metal while you cook your food on a grill or a smoker.
Let me explain why.
Galvanized sheet metal is a type of metal that is coated with zinc which provides it with anti-corrosive properties.
However, that also means that when you cook something on galvanized sheet metal, it releases toxic zinc fumes that can come in contact with the food you are cooking on that grill.
These toxic fumes are capable to make you and your family sick.
Some of the common symptoms of zinc poisoning include vomiting, fear, and diarrhea.
And these symptoms can worsen if not taken proper medical care immediately.
Also, burning zinc releases zinc oxide vapor in the atmosphere.
When you inhale these zinc vapors for a long period of time while cooking, then it can cause metal fume fever or commonly known as MFF.
MFF is common amongst galvanize steel welders and can cause considerable damage to your lungs.
Other symptoms may include pain, dizziness, nausea, fever, and chills.
Even though the chances of anything serious happening is rare, it would be in your best interest to avoid galvanized sheet metal on the cooking grill.
This is an important thing to follow in order to maintain your and your family member’s health.
I will further explain more details why you should avoid using galvanized sheet metal and what are the disadvantages of using on in your cooking grill.
I hope you will find this article useful and will follow the precautions during your cooking.
Table of Contents
- FAQ Related to the Use of Galvanized Sheet Metal on a Cooking Grill
- At What Temperature Does Galvanized Steel Become Toxic?
- Can You Put Food in Galvanized Metal?
- At What Temperature Does Galvanizing Burn off?
- Can Galvanized Steel be Heated?
- Can You Cook on Galvanized Sheet Metal?
- Is Galvanized Sheet Metal Safe for Fire Pit?
- Can You BBQ on Galvanized Steel?
FAQ Related to the Use of Galvanized Sheet Metal on a Cooking Grill
At What Temperature Does Galvanized Steel Become Toxic?
Galvanized steel can endure heat up to 392 degrees F after which it becomes toxic.
After reaching a temperature beyond 392 F, the galvanized metal starts releasing toxic zinc fumes.
If you inhale these fumes in large quantities, then it can cause dizziness, nausea, ache, fever, and chills.
So, it is best to avoid this type of steel for your cooking.
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Can You Put Food in Galvanized Metal?
Yes, most food items can be stored safely in galvanized metal-coated utensils.
This storage method is safe and it has been also approved by FDA, USA.
The zinc coating on the steel provides a protective environment.
Because it doesn’t rust and can be used for safe food storage for a long period of time.
However, acidic food items like fruit juices, pickles and tomatoes shouldn’t be stored in Galvanized metal.
When zinc comes in contact with these acidic food items, it turns into a zinc salt.
This zinc salt can be easily absorbed by the human body and it can cause health issues later on.
That’s the reason you must avoid putting foods with acidic properties in a galvanized metal pot.
At What Temperature Does Galvanizing Burn off?
It takes roughly around 5 to 6 hours to burn off galvanization, if you are burning it off at 1000 degree Celsius.
One way to remove galvanization from the metal you using is soaking it in vinegar.
It is an easy process and doesn’t involve sanding or grinding like other common methods.
All you have to do is:
1. Take a large bowl and fill it with vinegar.
2. Take the metal you want to remove galvanizing from and put it inside the bowl.
Make sure that the entire metal is submerged in the vinegar.
3. Leave the metal inside the bowl for a couple of hours.
This will remove the zinc from the metal gradually.
4. After a couple of hours, take it out and brush the metal with a non-stiff wire brush.
Can Galvanized Steel be Heated?
No, I would not recommend doing so.
Because when heated, galvanized steel can release toxic fumes in the air.
Please note that when not being heated, galvanized steel is Safe to store food items for a long time, except for acidic food items.
But when you heat it, it releases zinc fumes that can make you and your family members sick.
Hence, it is recommended not to heat up galvanized steel utensils.
Can You Cook on Galvanized Sheet Metal?
No, it is not a good idea to use galvanized sheet metal for cooking food as I have explained in the beginning of this article.
It is recommended that you should use regular steel utensils rather than galvanized sheet metal pots for cooking food on a grill.
While galvanized sheet metal is known for a number of qualities, it is definitely not meant for cooking.
Inhaling the fumes coming out of the galvanized sheet, or eating the food that has been in contact with the sheet metal while cooking can make you really sick.
Some of the common symptoms of zinc fumes poisoning are chills, fever, headache, damage in parts of your lungs, and dizziness.
In some extremely rare cases, it can also cause death if medical care is not taken on time.
So, it is best to avoid galvanized sheet metal for any cooking purpose.
Is Galvanized Sheet Metal Safe for Fire Pit?
No, in reality, galvanized sheet metal is not at all safe for using in the fire pit.
As already mentioned above, the safe temperature range for zinc burning is around 392 degrees F.
Once you cross that temperature, the galvanized sheet metal starts releasing toxic zinc fumes in the air.
These toxic fumes can not only make you sick with symptoms like chill, fever, dizziness, and diarrhea but can also damage your lungs if exposed for long period.
That’s why experts advise against using galvanized sheet metal for cooking.
And, burning galvanized sheet in a fire pit is extremely dangerous as the temperature there easily crosses the level of 392 F.
After that, the fumes start coming out of the pit which can affect your health badly.
Can You BBQ on Galvanized Steel?
It is not at all recommended to bbq on a galvanized steel pot.
Galvanized steel contains a coating of zinc to protect it from rusting and to maintain its quality as well as durability.
However, it is the zinc that releases toxic fumes when heated or cooked upon that can make people sick.
And that’s why even boiling water in utensils with galvanized steel coating is not safe, let alone cooking on it for hours.
The benefits provided by using the galvanized steel is definitely outweighed by the risks that comes with it.
There are various alternatives in the market that you can use instead of galvanized steel for bbqing.
One such alternative is to use stainless steel utensils for cooking on a grill.
Stainless steel is not only rust resistant and durable just like galvanized steel but it is also safe to use for cooking.
It can even be used to store food items and has been approved by the FDA for long-term usage.