Oklahoma Joe Original tuning plates question

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by jwcnj4502, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. jwcnj4502

    jwcnj4502 Fire Starter

    I recently got an old Oklahoma Joe smoker. It's not the big Longhorn model. Its got about a 30 " long cook chamber and has a16" round body. I would like to add tuner plates. My question is how much below the grate should the plates be? There is an angled baffle that covers part of the firebox opening. If I build off this baffle I will be about 2 1/2" below the grate. I can raise the grate another inch if I have to. Is that enough clearance? I don't want to put the plates any lower in the chamber because I don't want to resrict the heat flow under it too much. There would be about 3 3/4" at the lowest part of the chamber clearance this way. Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. jburn244

    jburn244 Fire Starter

    I don't think it's all that critical, I had plates cut for my offset (different cooker), it has a baffle over the firebox opening so I just had them cut the same width as the baffle.
  3. jwcnj4502

    jwcnj4502 Fire Starter

    Thank you. seems like it is more a trial and error issue than anything. So with that in mind I will start tweeking the improvements. Off set smokers are new to me but I really like the challenge of "trying" to get it right.Gonna have fun and frustration trying though.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would have the tuning plates long enough to be ABOVE the angled baffle..... as to not restrict the air flow of the smoker... That would allow for you to cut off part of the angled baffle to get more air flow... If need be, is there room to raise the food grate...
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  5. jwcnj4502

    jwcnj4502 Fire Starter

    I may not have explained it well but what I planned on doing was using the bottom part of the baffle as the starting point to lay out the tuning plates,thus not restricting the flow. The baffle is not very wide only about 2" so it would not need to be cut. And yes I can raise the grate up about an inch for a little more clearance. Thanks for the advice.

    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  6. smokeburns

    smokeburns Smoke Blower

    Let me know know how yours comes out. I also have a oklahoma joe. My diffuser plates work great on those low and slow smokes, but if I'm smoking poultry and need those temps at about 275/300 range I have to remove my tuning plates. I'm starting to wonder if my plates are too low below the grate. Mine are about 4" below grate. I'll have to measure to see. Also made mine from ceramic tile and foiled them for easy clean up. I'm either going to replace mine with diamond plate like my baffle or get steel sheet and drill holes bigger to small . I'll wait to see how yours work out.
  7. jwcnj4502

    jwcnj4502 Fire Starter

    Got the plates cut today but have not installed them yet to try it out. Hope to try out this weekend
  8. smokeburns

    smokeburns Smoke Blower

    Well good luck. Look forward to see how yours does.
  9. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  10. jwcnj4502

    jwcnj4502 Fire Starter

    OK so I put my plates in and spaced them out from the fire boxfirst plates were 6" wide with no gap between.The rest of the plates are about 3" wide. After that at approximately 1/4" for the first two 3/8" next 1/2".Fired it up last night as a dry run and measured temps approximately 1/3 from the firebox and 1/3 from the exhaust which was lowered to about 2"above the grate.Still had about 25 35 degree difference from side to side. So today I tried to space them differently. I still have a solid 6" first plate. Then the rest of the plates were spaced out using an angled pattern like a 'V' shape sort of with the first two about 1/4" at the widest part then 3/8" etc. This results in kind of a zig zag pattern across the cook chamber. Doing it this way the temp difference was made to be 7 to10 degrees most of the time. Smoked some Pastrami today that way and it turned out good. Hope this may help someone since this is still new to me. Try to do pics if I can figure them out.


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