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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.

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Old 05-01-2013, 01:51 AM   #1
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Join Date: 09-07-12
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Default Stainless Steel drum question

I may be getting my hands on a food grade SS drum. My question to the brethren is: do I even need to season my UDS before cooking on it? If I'm not mistaken, seasoning before use is just to prevent rust, which should't be a problem since it's stainless steal...

Less importantly, I want to know if the exposed areas of the metal that I cut will rust. Basically, are the anti-rust properties in the coating of the metal, or does all the metal just not rust?

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Old 05-01-2013, 02:06 AM   #2
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Stainless steel is stainless all the way through, it's not a coating so areas that you cut should not rust. As for seasoning I would just clean it thoroughly with soap and water.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:04 AM   #3
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A side note, If you are going to have any welding done on the drub backgas the weld site. seen too much stainless abuse in the brewery market lately on stainless
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:58 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by J'ville Grill View Post
Stainless steel is stainless all the way through, it's not a coating so areas that you cut should not rust. As for seasoning I would just clean it thoroughly with soap and water.
The amount of nickel and chromium in stainless steel is what keeps it from rusting like regular steel. Different grades of stainless have different amounts of nickel. Cheap 400 series stainless has NO nickel and COULD rust. 301 stainless has about 6% nickel and won't rust. 304 stainless has 8% nickel and 316 has 10-12% nickel. An easy way to check is to get a magnet and see if it sticks to the drum. If it sticks easy, it is 400 stainless. If the magnet pulls slightly, it could be 301 stainless. If the magnet doesn't pull at all, it is probably 304 or 316 stainless. If it is a food grade drum, I would guess it is probably 304 or 316. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:51 AM   #5
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Some cheaper grades of stainless steel can rust but a food grade stainles steel drum should be of high enough grade that rusting is not going to be an issue.

Here is my guide to making a stainless steel UDS:
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:14 PM   #6
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Be sure it is stainless. There also are zinc plated barrels.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:31 PM   #7
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As others have mentioned, there are many kinds of stainless steel, some being more rust resistant than others. I hate to call anything rust proof, because there are things that will rust that stainless steel in no time. But living in Austin which I assume is a drier air, you should be fine. Seasoning is also done just to burn out any impurities in the drum. For all you know that drum held pickles, who wants a pickle flavor in their food? Burn it out at a higher temperature than you normally cook, to get any nasty flavor out of it. You don't necessarily have to start a huge bonfire in it, load it with charcoal and open all the intakes, let it cruise up to its high temperature and sit there.

I wouldn't worry about where you cut into the drum either.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:40 PM   #8
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If it's really SS, no need to season for rust prevention.
Just cooking on it will season it.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:40 AM   #9
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stainless should not rust, however when cutting or grinding it there is a chance that the tools you use transfer material from a previous job.
to be save use a new blade or disk when cutting i would advise
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:04 AM   #10
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Not a UDS owner yet, but my first thought is:
Wouldn't you want to do a trial run with a fatty to get a feel for it before you invite a crowd and try to figure it out as you go?
Trial run with a couple beers sounds way less stressful.

Second, will all the build components be SS? If not then seasoning will help prevent rust on anything ferrous.

Looking forward to seeing the build!
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