Author Topic: Tuning Plates  (Read 4338 times)

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Offline don

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Tuning Plates
« on: July 13, 2007, 05:52:24 PM »
I just sort of stumbled onto this website.  Glad I did, there is a lot of good and useful information.  I have a 16 x 24 smoker my Dad gave me.  1/4" steel all around.  Here's my problem.  I have to constantly reposition what I'm smoking to prevent it from burning.  The product closest to the baffle has to be repositioned every hour or so.  Would tuning plates help in this instance?   

Offline Zilla

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Re: Tuning Plates
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2007, 06:10:44 PM »
Hell Don and welcome to the forum.  I'm afraid that tuning plates in small pits don't have very much effect.  Moving your food around is the only option as far as I know.  Lets see what Ritch says though.  Stick around and enjoy the forum.  T-up
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Offline serialgriller

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Re: Tuning Plates
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2007, 08:33:00 PM »
i had a 16 x 24 smoker with an upright that i had tuning plates for.  like zilla said, they didn't seem to make much of a difference in the horizontal but they did seem to help get higher temps in the upright.
Iz yo mama Catholic and can she make a roux? -? Unknown cajun

Offline Brew BQ

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Re: Tuning Plates
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2007, 07:47:39 AM »
Welcome to the forum!  Can't help with that question but I'm sure you'll get plenty of opinions on what to do!  2fun
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Offline Gator Ritch

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Re: Tuning Plates
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2007, 08:42:01 AM »
Like Zilla and SG said, they are less effective on smaller pits.  You will see a small difference but on a small pit the costs far outweighs the benefit unless you manage to do it yourself and then again, you won't see much difference in the hot spot.  In fact, you will more than likely move your hotspot and once the tuning plate gets hot and starts radiating heat, you now have a larger hot spot.  Tuning plates work best in minimum 20" diameter pit that are at least 48 inches long on the food chamber.  Not to say that a 20" in a shorter lenght won't benefit from tuning plates, but you really start noticing the "even" effect on longer and larger diameter pits.
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Offline don

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Re: Tuning Plates
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2007, 03:22:27 PM »
So, I realize it's a small pit.  Probably smaller than I would have purchased.  It's really difficult to do more than 2 racks of ribs and a couple of chickens.  If the tuning plates are not the answer, how do you avoid having to monitor the cook so closely?  I've read some things on temperature in the cooking chamber.  Maybe the answer would be to monitor the temperature at the baffle and then again at the opposite end to ensure the temperature reading is accurate in the middle of the chamber.  The chamber may be getting hotter than the thermometer reads.  What do you think?

Offline Gator Ritch

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Re: Tuning Plates
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2007, 09:31:06 AM »
In most pits, if not all, the internal temperature at the food grate is always hotter than what the external temperature gauge is ready.  This is especially true on larger pits.  Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot you can do on a small pit.  Putting a full size heat deflector may help some.  I don't know what you have in the pit currently.
Ritchey Robin
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Gator Pit of Texas
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Email: info@gatorpit.net
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Offline serialgriller

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Re: Tuning Plates
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2007, 02:07:02 PM »
if you haven't already, grab you a couple of oven thermometers from wally world and place them in the middle and end of your horizontal to see what temps you're really cooking.  not sure there's an answer as far as not having to monitor your cook pretty closely on your pit.  on the 16 x 24 i had, i pretty much had to baby sit that pit constantly. :(
Iz yo mama Catholic and can she make a roux? -? Unknown cajun