Finished my tuning plate mod

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by jjmrascal, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. jjmrascal

    jjmrascal Smoke Blower

    I finished the tuning plates I have been thinking about for several years. Wasn't that hard and I didn't even need to hire a welder. I got rushed into a big cook job for church before I could take a photo so I will post one tomorrow. I am cooking 6 boston butts today and 4 more tomorrow.
    I have some playing an learning to do but I can tell a significant difference in how that thing cooks now. I always hear a sizzle from the fat dripping onto the plates. I have to play with it and tune it more, but WOW! temps are really close to each other now! I keep thinking something is wrong. The smell is also a bit different...very pleasant. I know that is from the "sizzle effect". The plates are 1/4" thick steel and are about 3" below the grate level. I may still put in an elbow to get the exhaust lower. Don't know. Will post more tomorrow with Qview!
  2. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    >>>I may still put in an elbow to get the exhaust lower.<<<

    this will help a lot, especially when it comes to airflow and smoke coverage.

    keep us informed and good luck!
  3. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Congratulations! Now you are wondering what the heck took you so long? [​IMG]

    Welcome to the side of happiness, the one with mods! [​IMG]
  4. jjmrascal

    jjmrascal Smoke Blower

    I just pulled off the first 3 boston butts and it is INCREDIBLE! I never knew those plates would make such a difference. The meat cooked to 180* in only 8 hours and I have always had a difficult time doing that without oversmoking the meat (I am a bit traditional and do not foil). No I cannot believe that I have cooked for 10 years on this thing and have not done this mod yet. As I said, will post Qview tomorrow. Thanks for the comments.
  5. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The plates do make a huge difference. I have a Horizon (basically the same as the OK Joe) and with the convection plate I can get the temps pretty much the same the entire length of the smoking chamber.

    I don't see the need to mess with the exhaust if your temps are within a few degrees from one side to the other. Mine is still stock and I find no need to do so.
  6. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Gotta love the sizzle!! [​IMG]

    That 1/4" steel will radiate a lot of heat. Probably helped a lot with recovery time to I'd bet.[​IMG]

  7. jjmrascal

    jjmrascal Smoke Blower

    My G-Dawg, my BBQ buddy likes the mod!

    Critics like it too!

    These are the plates the day after the first cook. I was just happy I did not need to hire a welder to do this. I spent five buck on the scrap metal from work and six more on some good sabresaw blades. The rest was my time one afternoon. Gotta love it! They cleaned up well after the photo too.

    Thanks for all the comments and advice, especially DDave. You may not remember me talking to you about it a while back but you helped a bunch.
  8. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well if G-Dawg and the critics like the results, then I guess you are good to go! Congratulations! [​IMG]
  9. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice to see it worked out well for ya.
  10. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You are most welcome.[​IMG]

    Glad I could help.

  11. rhaugle

    rhaugle Smoke Blower

    I noticed this thread is about 7 years old now, and you may not even have this smoker anymore.. But if you do have it, can you take a pic of your baffle plate and how it is connected/mounted? If you don't have it anymore, can you explain how you mounted it? I see the 2 bolts through it, but it does not look like it is bent at all... Thanks!
  12. jjmrascal

    jjmrascal Smoke Blower

    Hey there, Rhaugle.  I have not been on this forum for a couple of years now.  Guess life got busy as the kids (a.k.a. the Critics) got older. 

    You are correct that I do not have that pit anymore.  I traded it to my buddy after I upgraded to a Lang 60D.  It was hard to let it go but I needed the mobility for some stuff I do at the church and other places.  On a side note, that modified OK Joe cooked every bit as well as my Lang.  Great results! 

    As far as your question is concerned, I just cut the plate to be a tight fit in the barrel body.  It was 1/4" bending there!  (I did have to cut about an inch or two off of my grill supports at the end to allow it to fit properly).  To be sure I got it correct, I had actually cut some templates out of some old 1/4" paneling I had just removed from the house.  Same thickness and easier to work with and mess up if needed.  That let me cut the steel one time and ensure it was done properly. The bolts were just to hold it in place.  It actually sat there, wedged in, with no problems. 

    I hope that helps.  Let me know if you have any other questions.  I will check back more often now.

    BTW, my dog is almost all gray now.  I cannot believe she used to look that new!



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