Tuning Plates

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by funk, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. funk

    funk Smoke Blower

    It is finally time to retire my old Char-Griller Smoker due to rust.  I am planning on buying another Char-griller or a Brinkman offset.   I know that tuning plates and a baffle are common modification ( I did not use them in my last smoker) and I would like to know what exactly I can use that will be effective?  I am not a welder or handy in anyway.  Can I get some sheet metal or stainless steel from big box retailers?  Thank you for any help.
  2. Hi Funk. you might try to find a local welder who could cut you a few pices from their scrap pile.

    Happy smoken.

  3. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hello , Funk. I don't know where you live so no info . on Scrap Metal Yards in your area. (Fix that by going to your Profile and filling in the location ...) A Scrap yard yields a world of good material for cheap.

    For tuning plates of a carbon metal(Steel) and measure to the width of your Barrel interior ,then drop 3" to 4"below that level and get the width there...Cut about 6 to 8 plates to your width and from 6" to 5" , 4" and 3" (several and place them in the Barrel ,mark and weld an angle 1/4 X1/4 for your slides.

    Now closing the FB to the Cooking chamber , use a flat plate wide enough to fit across the FB and long enough to fit to the level of the Plates.Bolt6 this into place.

    The tuning plates can be of anything1/4" or so . Move them to target your heat.i.e.- build a fire , use a good therm. to track heat.(shoot for 250*F steady. Then test across the Grill, noting the hot and cold spots. Move the plates as needed to even the temps. across the barrel.

    Hope this helps, PM< me if you have more Q&A. [​IMG]
  4. Hello, I'm new to this site. Just bought my son a Brinkmann Trailmaster which we are about to assemble. I have a question about length of the tuning plates, since you described taking two measurements and whether 1/4" steel may be too heavy. Also, what thickness metal did you use to separare the FB from the cooking chamber. In the past I have close 22 guage sheet metal from the Home Depot, easy to cut and bend, but never lasts more than a season.


  5. rhnewfie

    rhnewfie Fire Starter

    Not too much to offer on this. My experience with scrap yards is that they leave everything out in the open and all their steel was rusted and far too much work to deal with. I found some at Home Depot but the price is crazy.
  6. A couple of min. with a wire brush and it is as good as new. Any of the box stores are going to be very high on steel. Metal dealers will be a lot cheaper. They should have drops they will sell you. Same with a welding shop.

    Happy smoken.

  7. rhnewfie

    rhnewfie Fire Starter

    Thanks David, think I will try that out.

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