varying temps from side to side

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by flyweed, May 19, 2011.

  1. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    Hey guys, as you know I just bought a used offset (sidefirebox) smoker, the heat box is 19" x 19" by 24" tall

    and the smoke/cooking chamber is an 80 gallon air compressor tank.

    The firebox is on the right side, and my temps are reading 25F cooler than the temps on the left side which is further away from the firebox...and the side that the smoke stack is on.

    Here is a photo of the inside:


    the guy that built this did a great job..but not sure why he put the two extensions off the firebox into the smoking can see them above.  I'd like to get a more even heat in the smoke chamber...any suggestions????

  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Plenty of suggestions for this common problem. The easiest and quickest fix is tuning plates. These are steel plates placed along under the grates that move the heat from the firebox side and distribute it more evenly in the cook chamber. Search "tuning plates" for pix and illustrations.

    You can also install a baffle in the cook chamber right next to the firebox to direct heat along the cook chamber bottom for part of the way. This is usually set at a 45 degree angle, if I remember correctly.

    Firebricks lining the bottom of the cook chamber also provide more even temps once heated.

    I also build my fire as far away from the cook chamber as reasonably possible ( near the side door of the fire box).

    A more involved modification is to make your unit a reverse flow, but that requires moving your chimney and adding solid plate almost all the way across the cook chamber under the grates.
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  3. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    yes..I understand the principles of heat baffles, and tuning plates..however my problem isn't Higher temps nearest the cooking surface has higher temps over near the smokestack side (opposite the firebox)...the side of the cooking chamber with the smokestack runs 25F hotter than the firebox side of the cooker.

  4. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

       Fly weed.try drill a few holes into the longer pipe,1/2".This will relese more heat(flows up) into the SFB end of the smoker.

    I would 2 or 3 to begin with and checkout the temps.It looks as if he was trying to do this,but didn't allow for the gradual heat excape.

       Your smoke is probably going further in  and is not concentrating as much at the FB end.

    I'm not cooking on one of those,but I looked at and thought abuot that Mod. on my NBRedRiver(16"X36").I opted for a full reverse flow.

    Happy cooking and keep us informed[​IMG].

    Stan      aka      oldschool

    and don't forget to,
  5. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks OldSchool...I'll start out with 3 holes and see how that goes first..and then proceed from there.
  6. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    update.......Ok....I drilled (3) 1/2" holes in the right end of the pipes...and I am now getting a temp difference of 15F from the left and right...should I knock some more 1/2" holes into the right side?

  7. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    I drilled 3 more holes I'll have to get it up to temp again today and see what she does.

  8. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

    Good Luck with the smoker

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