Deano’s answer to: “Is it safe to use sterno in a closed grill?”

After a little research, I found a brief reference on Wikipedia* to the following:

methanol is added to denature the product, which essentially is intended to make it too toxic to be drinkable

This would seem to indicate at least slight toxicity – nothing significantly dangerous for an open-air burn, but which may create a toxic residue when used in a smoking-type application.

Even so, it's unlikely that "Sterno Smoked" food would be any more toxic than food slow-cooked in a cheap non-stick pan, for example…

Given how "generally unsafe" your rig sounds in terms of avoiding potential ignition of the wood chips, or insulating the surrounding environment from the heat buildup, I wouldn't recommend it. Smokers aren't that expensive, and the overall regulation/predictability they provide will do wonders for increasing your smoking skills. Once you are more experienced, it'll also be easier to think up optimal improvised smoking rigs for the inventor/survivalist in you.

(* Source:

Is it safe to use sterno in a closed grill?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.