Problems getting temps up with a tuning plate mod?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by forluvofsmoke, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Here's what I got for smoking so much and not checking my equipment more closely for some much needed maintenance:

    The 3/16" holes drilled in this are partially to completely obstructed with meat drippings. I guess after doing this mod, and getting it dialed in, I just kept the smoke flowing and didn't give maintenance much thought.

    Little did I know,when I did a brisket and chuckie smoke last week Sunday and couldn't figure out why my chamber temps were so low for all the charcoal I was going through that day. I just returned this rig back to burning charcoal before that smoke, and with a huge fryer burner in it, temps were never difficult to achieve. Now I know! Time for a wire brush...I'll use alot less charcoal after this is taken care of.

    Lesson learned: do inspections more often with heavily used equipment. [​IMG]

    Good smokes, all!

  2. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    3/16 holes seem kind of small to me, have you thought of starting out small closest to the heat source and gradually increasing the size the farther away for the heat you get?
  3. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's exactly how Horizon makes their convection plate. I do, after most smokes, clean it to keep it in good working order.
  4. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Rick, Do you mean that they use the small 3/16 holes of use a graduated hole pattern?
  5. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sorry I wasn't clear Paul. They start out with small holes near the firebox and gradually increase the size the further away from the firebox it gets.

    Here's a pic of mine.
  6. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Rick, I was wondering because the OP said his were 3/16" and I couldn't figure using the same size all the way across because that would cut the heat on the side farthest away from the heat source...
  7. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah guys, my tuning plate holes amy seem small, and really they are. My reason for that was to do actual temp chacks of the grate in various areas as well as monitoring chamber temps for a baseline temp. I ran temp checks with a propane burner runnning in the sfb, drilled more holes as needed by temp reads and repeated until I was happy with the results.

    Long and drawn out process, but grate temps were within 15* anywhere in the smoker, with exception of less than 1" from the front/rear (cooler)and 2" from the ends (hotter).

    Ran it this way since the 1st week in May this year with some fully loaded smokes and great results.

    My plate is alot lighter than I would have prefered, with a heavier weight wire grate underneathe to help prevent warpage and act as an additional heat sink, but it works good enough for now.


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