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60 degree difference upper to lower rack smoker

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
i have new offset smoker. A big backyard type. Thermometers on chamber even with upper tray. I put my remote digital on bottom tray 10 inches lower. Lower temp is 40-60 degrees hotter than upper. Is that normal?
If I put my digital on upper tray all thermometers read same. Please help or explain.

Here is a photo showing the lower shelf digital over 330 while the upper is showing 230. Say what? What's going on here?

Edited by stevegibbs - 11/23/14 at 10:29am
post #2 of 14
If I were you I would post my question here:
Probably get a good responce there.
post #3 of 14

Do you have baffling? This helps direct the heat to the opposite end and causes Radiant heat to come off the Baffle. I have tuning plates and have no prob. (may be 10* to 20* diff.).


  I have therms. all over and use my Probes to make sure everything is good (calibrate).


Takes some playing with your Smoker , but worth the trouble.


Put some Brats on as you do it for some energy. :biggrin:


Have a good Holiday Season and as always . . .

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have one metal plate under lower shelt about a 14" wide that I can slide to route the heat to about the halfway point. Is that what you're calling a baffle.? It helps balance heat from left to right. It doesn't seem to do squat for temp top to bottom.

I smoked a chicken bottom shelf and ignored lower temp analog thermometers mounted up high. Listened only to digital thermometer with higher temp measurement on lower rack with chicken. Three hours later chicken still not up to 165 degrees.
Next time I made spare ribs on lower shelf ignored digital temps next to ribs and used upper mounted lower-reading analog temps you see in picture. Ribs were done too early and meat fell from bones.
It's like they're all wrong.

Thought hot air rose. Expected any discrepancies would show upper shelf hotter.

Upper analog thermometers are $4.99 each came with smoker.
Digital thermometer I got at Amazon - Maverick Remote Smoker Dual Probe Wireless Thermometer ET-73 $37
Still like I said when I put both analogs and the digital at same height they all three agree. When I move digital to lower shelf it climbs 60 degrees. In picture with my ribs inside my lower shelf temp difference is 108!!!

Still confused.
Thanks for advice. I see you've got a substantial smoker yourself
Edited by stevegibbs - 11/24/14 at 7:18am
post #5 of 14

Don't feel bad bro, I just got a Horizon side firebox, depending on the stage of the fire, I'll have a 100-200* swing from one end to the other. I don't have a baffle/convection plate. Without one I can't really use that end of the smoker. Those plates should come standard but no, if you you order from Horizon you gotta wait months to get one. Rant over :)

post #6 of 14

Baffle plate


Tuning plates

post #7 of 14

Baffle plate firebox side. My pictures are a Oklahoma Joe Longhorn

post #8 of 14

Your firebox is mounted way lower on the cook chamber then my Okie is. Show us some pictures of the inside of your FB and CC

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
So the baffle routes the heat upward as soon as it enters the chamber rather then routing it across the bottom underneath the tuning plates. Is that right?
post #10 of 14

My thought is the baffle keeps firebox end from getting to hot. Tuning plates allow you to direct the heat where needed.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm going to revisit the guy the welded this for me and ask him to provide. I know he has a stack of plates in his little shop. This smoker is one of a kind.

Funny I saw the email alerting me that you replied to my post just now because I was about to stand up and go outside and begin smoking some chicken.

I'm going to do more experimenting. Any readers of this thread, don't think the problem is solved. I'm still curious how I could have 100 degree difference between two shelves only about 10 inches apart. Seems extreme.

Steve in Benicia CA

post #12 of 14

It would  be helpful if you could post pics of the inside of the firebox and cook chamber like Dockman requested.


You may have an airflow problem. The firebox looks like its mounted so low that there is not a big enough opening to the cook chamber, really hard to tell without bigger pics.


You should also run your dimensions through the Feldon pit calculator



post #13 of 14
One thing with a box that low is that the heat can be very concentrated, and is coming out a narrow hole. When a person installs a wood stove, the exhaust flue near the stove is usually going to require a 20 degree upward angle to keep the exhaust gas moving and from concentrating at the top of the stove pipe and cutting the top metal of the pipe over time like a torch can cut metal. You may care to put two baffles that have a spacer between them or use thicker metal that is robust in the close proximity to heat to help keep it from overheating that one area. Thin metal will begin giving off heat quickly in a high emission idea whereas thicker metal will tend to behave as a lower emission of heat material, allowing more time to shunt the hot gas stream to the far side of the cc as you even up the heat distribution.
post #14 of 14
Have you figured out anything?
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