How to Rescue a Rusted Out Smoker or Grill Using Dollar Store Supplies

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Grills and smokers are fantastic additions to any backyard, but they can become rusted over time if left unattended. In this step-by-step guide, I will walk you through how to fix the rusted bottom of a smoker or grill using only Dollar Tree aluminum trays and aluminum tape. This is an affordable solution for anyone looking to restore their outdoor cooking appliance.

Materials and Tools

Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Dollar Tree Aluminum Trays: These trays will be used to cover the rusted areas.
  • Aluminum Tape: This is used to secure the aluminum trays and seal up any holes.
  • Scissors: To cut the aluminum trays.
  • Power Washer: For cleaning the smoker.
  • Razor Blade: To cut holes in the aluminum.
  • Gloves, Mask, and Eye Protection: For safety while cleaning and handling the rusted parts.

Step-by-Step Process

Step 1: Inspect and Clean

  1. Inspect the Damage: Look at the inside of the smoker to determine the extent of the rust and damage.
  2. Clean Thoroughly: Put on gloves, a mask, and eye protection. Remove all dust, loose chips, and debris.
  3. Power Wash: Power wash the smoker to clean all the flakes. This step was performed in the rain, so be sure to have it properly dried.

Step 2: Apply Aluminum Trays

  1. Measure and Cut Trays: Measure the rusted area and cut the aluminum trays with scissors to fit over the rust.
  2. Apply the Aluminum Tape: Use aluminum tape to secure the trays to the smoker, covering all holes and gaps.

Step 3: Seal the Holes

  1. Apply Foil Tape: Use foil tape to seal any holes, chips, and gaps in the bottom.
  2. Add Aluminum on Both Sides: This helps in keeping the layers together and covering up the holes.

Step 4: Final Touches

  1. Cut Holes for Burners: Use a razor to cut out holes where they belong.
  2. Add Additional Foil: If needed, add more foil to cover any other areas.
  3. Restore the Rest: Paint with high heat paint, season with oil, and replace any old bolts.


This DIY solution is an affordable and easy way to restore your rusted smoker or grill, making it functional and ready for cooking. Using everyday items from your local Dollar Tree, you can fix the rusted out bottom, and enjoy smoking or grilling delicious food for friends and family once again.