Tuning plates

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by prestonk08, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. prestonk08

    prestonk08 Smoke Blower

    Good afternoon everyone. I have been searching older threads and haven't come up with a height for tuning plates to the cooking grate. I know that you should put them above the baffle plate and opening but I'm not sure the distance from the plates to the grates. Right now in my build they are sitting at about 4 inches to the grate. They are 5" wide by 1/4 thick. My cooker is 20" by 52". Any recommendations? Thanks.
     
  2. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just above the opening from the FB to the main smoke chamber is fine.
     
  3. prestonk08

    prestonk08 Smoke Blower

    The distance to the cooking grate doesn't matter? Just to be sure.
     
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  5. prestonk08

    prestonk08 Smoke Blower

    Thanks again Dave you are a wealth of knowledge! I understand how the tuning plates operate so I guess what I took from that post is it kinda depends on your baffle plate and size of smoker. So as long as it's not too close to the grate or too far away a happy medium is the way to go. Is that correct?
     
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Near as I can tell you are correct... The baffle directs the heat flow downward, in smokers that need that baffle, then the spacing of the plates lets the heat/smoke rise toward the food... The plates also heat up and heat the food...
    Tuning the heat in the CC is something that needs to be adjusted by the spacing of the plates... A non-contact IR therm can help with that.... Check the temps of the plates....
     
  7. prestonk08

    prestonk08 Smoke Blower

    Great I was hoping I read that right. I have read too close and the IR will over cook things from the bottom and too far away doesn't take advantage of radiant heat from the plates. A mix of rising therms and smoke and radiant heat is the sweet spot. I love it when a plan comes together! Que ATEAM theme song. Thankyou sir.
     
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You are welcome.... anytime.... Dave
     
  9. rhaugle

    rhaugle Smoke Blower

  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The picture is actually from a 2007 thread on this forum...  It appears, the baffle plate covers the opening of the FB/CC and redirects the hot air and smoke downward to continue under the tuning plates....   don't know for sure, but that's what it appears to me...   AND I'm going to assume it is just set in there...  could be tack welded...  or bolted...

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/54542/building-an-italian-offset-smoker
     
  11. thesmokist

    thesmokist Meat Mopper

    They are just set in there so you can adjust the gap to try and get an even temp all the way across.
     
  12. prestonk08

    prestonk08 Smoke Blower

    That's what I am in the process of doing with my new smoker. I've just laid them in there on the rail I made and when I get it figured out I'm gonna weld little stops in mine so I can take them out and clean them and use my smoker as a big ole grill. It's all really fun! Good luck.
     
  13. joel11230

    joel11230 Smoke Blower

    What is the ideal thickness for tuning plates?
     
  14. prestonk08

    prestonk08 Smoke Blower

    In my opinion in my smoker 1/4 thick does really well and really holds heat. But, my smoker is pretty thick and heavy so they work well. My charbroil offset that I used before this one had a convection plate that I made that was 1/8" and did well. That smoker isn't as big as my current smoker so the fire wasn't quite as big when I cooked and did great. IMO 1/4" works the best for me.
    Ken
     
  15. joel11230

    joel11230 Smoke Blower

    Thanks ken, I was thinking either 3/16" or 1/4"
     
  16. pdm163

    pdm163 Newbie

    Is there an ideal height of the bottom the plates should be?  
     
  17. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The tuning plates should be just above the opening between the Firebox and the Cook Chamber...
     

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