View Full Version : Effects of leaving your smoker out in the Elements.

12-05-2017, 10:04 AM
So Iím just about to finish up my build on a offset smoker. Itís taken me a long time to get it built because Iím limited on free time. I used 5/16Ē steel for the cook chamber and fire box. 1/4Ē everywhere else except the door seals. Iím going to sand blast it before I paint it but I donít know what to do about painting it. I want it to last me a long time. I looked into covers and they are so expensive that I really donít want to buy one. What are my best options for paint? Do any of you guys leave your smoker outdoors all year uncovered? I wonder if any smoker can survive being outdoors all year and not take a real bad beating?

I tried to go back and edit my title because itís obviously wrong but it wonít let me. Or I just donít know how.

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12-05-2017, 10:19 AM
Mine sit outside in my driveway but we don’t get Snow.

Sid Post
12-05-2017, 10:54 AM
A covered 'carport' style structure would be a good idea to keep rain and snow off it. You could always just wrap it in a tarp from Wal-Mart. Baring any of that, canola oil in a spray bottle would work but, clean up before a cook would be bad (sand/dirt would likely require a power washer).

Good paints will hold up outside. Just look at cars and farm machinery. The difference comes with high heat when you cook. If you don't mind minor touch-ups and sandblasting, just use high quality paints and plan on doing annual touch ups.

12-05-2017, 11:16 AM
You can get HH Rustoleum in cans & use a roller & brush to paint your cooker. Touch up is EZ.

12-05-2017, 11:28 AM
I tried to go back and edit my title because itís obviously wrong but it wonít let me. Or I just donít know how.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
There is a "Edit" button in the lower right of the window, click that.
Then you will see a "Go Advanced" button, click that. You can then edit the title.

12-05-2017, 11:53 AM
I've been a bit paranoid with my Mobile Banderes trailer with the rain we had the past few months. There are some unfinished metals and exposed welds I have not painted over. I throw a tarp over it but go out and check on it every morning to make sure it is still on or if the trailer is still there. My side yard is visible from across the street and you just never know. Most times I wrap the tarp tightly enough the high winds don't blow it away, but I am on my second tarp :icon_blush:

12-05-2017, 03:30 PM
Mine in partially under cover (porch) so it get's blown rain and an occasional snow and for the most part still looks brand new. I wipe it down before each cook with a slightly damp rag and twice a year wipe the outside down with some PAM. My climate is not to different than yours in that we don't have much humidity except during the monsoon.

12-05-2017, 04:33 PM
My Lyfe Tyme offset has been uncovered outside for the last 20 years. Has not hurt it a bit. I use a 4-1/2" angle grinder with a wire cup brush to remove any rust about once a year when it needs it, and then repaint any areas that need it with high heat Rustoleum I get at Walmart. Usually just the firebox has any rust and that comes from high heat, and not rain, etc.

12-05-2017, 05:41 PM
My old 1/4" western Okla/Tx panhandle oilfield pipe smoker sits out in the weather year round.
Pics of the last time I painted it... 7 years ago...


This is the same paint job, earlier this year...



The only rust I get is where the wheels sink down into the dirt. The darned thing is so heavy, I can't move it by myself.

The paint I used was regular ole High Heat BBQ paint in the spray can.

12-05-2017, 08:39 PM
I kept my old offset outside for about a decade and most of the time it didn't have a cover. Like already mentioned only the FB rusted.

My Shirley is a different story. I kept it under a tarp for over 2 years and it drove me crazy. It kept it in really good condition though but it was a pain to keep up with the weather and always cover it before it rained.

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12-05-2017, 09:37 PM
My LSG sits in the yard year round, the only cover it gets is snow.


12-06-2017, 05:45 AM
All my cookers sit on a wood deck covered when not in use. I have to replace covers every other year. Lot of sun wears them out.

12-06-2017, 09:18 AM
All my cookers sit on a wood deck covered when not in use. I have to replace covers every other year. Lot of sun wears them out.

Replacing a cover for a couple hundred every few years isnít a option for me.

12-06-2017, 09:25 AM
I leave mine outside year round. I do power wash and spray with ultra high heat rustolim paint twice a year.

12-06-2017, 10:44 AM
I initially bought a cover and was diligent about using it with my smoker. Over the first couple years, however, I had a real problem with rust due to condensation under the cover. Since then I haven't covered it -- still get some rust, but not as much.

12-06-2017, 10:56 AM
All my cookers are outside. Covered for the most part during the summer. Fall to spring I let them sit uncovered especially the offset. I've found covers trap moisture in, especially in humid climates like here, and damage the cooker. Especially my offset so I let it breath so to speak. I've had my offset rained on but it has absolutely no ill effect on it since the paint job is solid. Rain marks just wipe off. Only issue is the firebox but there isn't really much you can do since the paint eventually goes on them due to use. So in reality I'm protecting them from the sun. My kamado and webers don't need covers at all. Enamel and ceramic don't care about heat or moisture.

Notorious Q.U.E.
12-06-2017, 11:51 AM
I'm a big believer in buying investment-grade protection for my cookers.

Bill Donohue at Grillwraps (aka Cove Point Covers) is top notch and makes a killer custom-made Sunbrella cover. He charges way more than anybody else, but BBQ is my happy place, and dropping thousands on a cooker without protecting doesn't seem right to me.

Plus, we are a mile closer to the sun and we often get that "sideways" snow that just doesn't want to quit. Worth it to me!

12-06-2017, 07:32 PM
I don't have alot of money tied up in my stuff. My flattop the most, I ordered a cover when I ordered it. I hope Santa brings a UDS and grill cover. I shuffle them around, in and out of the garage, whatever to keep them dry. I found this place https://www.the-cover-store.com . Its the link Santa has.

12-06-2017, 08:18 PM
As long as you keep up with the paint, especially on the firebox, it is fine.. mines been out for 15 years and buried under snow in the winter and has no ill effects.