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Oct 25, 2011 06:51 PM

Safe to cook in a galvanized pail?

I was recently at a chicken barbeque that was using a galvanized trash pail to boil their corn. My initial response was horror. My gut reaction was no way! When I was offered an ear of corn my reply was a polite "No thank you." Are there any chemists out there that can confirm or deny the safety of using galvanized receptacles for cooking food?

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  1. From a mechanical engineer- -not a chemists!
    I do not know at lower temperatures, <300*. But at high temps, galvanizing will off gas zinc fumes that are poisonous! Some galvanizing also may contain small amounts of lead. Not too good either.

    1 Reply
    1. re: subal

      The lead was the first thing that I thought of -- it's likely present in the weld flux in the joints, too.

      Thanks, but no thanks.

      Even the fraternity brothers in college would line the trash bin with a trash bag before mixing up "Jungle Juice" (Everclear and Hawaiian Punch) -- although I half believe it's because Jungle Juice just might have dissolved the trash can on contact....and I'm pretty sure, in retrospect, that the plastics weren't all that great dissolved in alcohol, either.

    2. Hell no you're not supposed to cook in those. Growing up I would hear of people who worked in a nearby window and door factory who got the "zinc shakes," which was poisoning from the zinc oxide coming from the heated galvanized metal.

      1. You can buy ungalvanized garbage cans for cooking~~ I have a hobo dinner every year. They are purchased from Andersons. So when your at a party that is cooking in them just ask the host (( if they say they don't know )) then you have to worry!!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: gibbons5

          Thanks, I'll look into them.

          Anderson's? None in my area.