Baffle Plate - to drain or not to drain

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kschitoskey

Newbie
Original poster
Jan 18, 2021
6
9
I'm knee deep in a smoker build heavily influenced by the experts on this site. Amazing collection of talent here. Here's my question - I'm working on the design of my baffle plate. I've seen two schools of thought regarding whether or not to place a drain. I wanted to ask those of you that have them - do you consider them a must-have? Do you ever really use yours? I'm about to cut up some 1/4" plate and am wondering if it is really worth the trouble.

Thank you
 
I'm of the mindset it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
 
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It is a must!!!! I use it every smoke!

FYI, smoking a pork belly will render LOTS of oil
 
Whpen you cook 15-20 butts, you will figure out how much you need it.... A grease fire will ruin a lot of meat...
 
Yes put a drain in it. My Lang came with a drain & when I’m done cooking I just spray the inside down with a water hose & shut the lid & crank the temp up to 350, & it steam cleans it’s self.
Al
 
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I'm knee deep in a smoker build heavily influenced by the experts on this site. Amazing collection of talent here. Here's my question - I'm working on the design of my baffle plate. I've seen two schools of thought regarding whether or not to place a drain. I wanted to ask those of you that have them - do you consider them a must-have? Do you ever really use yours? I'm about to cut up some 1/4" plate and am wondering if it is really worth the trouble.

Thank you
I believe it is a must have .. I went with 3 in channel in the middle with a drain at the end ..its a little more work but you will be happy you put it in
 
If your baffle plate(s) are easily removable, I suppose you can scrape or scoop out after a cook. Might make a case you won't drip on a nice patio if there's no opening down there. But if it's welded, your only scrape option is to reach in from the fire box end--what a hassle!

Either way, I like the logic that it's better to have it and not need it than want it and not have it. You can just design in a cheap pipe plug now and if you find it's a time-saver, convert to a more expensive valve approach later.
 
Last edited:
Thank you all for your advice. I will be adding a drain and some sort of channel to the plate.
 
glad to hear you are on board with the drain….now make sure it is large enough. I would recommend a minimum of 1.5”. Some builders try to cut cost by using a smaller diameter drain only to find out how easy it is to plug. Personally, I use 2” schedule 40 black pipe with a brass ball valve on the bottom. Have never had a problem with plugged drain. I also install a separate 2” drain for the CC chamber. I find the CC drain to be very useful when cleaning the lower half of the CC.
 
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I'm baffled, see what I did there? Lol. My RF plate is sloped towards the end of the CC. What good would a drain do? The bottom of the CC has a drain just past where the RF plate ends.
 
Going to need to see a picture to understand what you have.😉

I've got a Bubba grills 250 gal RF. The RF baffle itself has no drain. The drain is in the bottom of the cook chamber. Just not understanding a drain in the FR baffle itself.
 
A drain on the rf plate keeps the majority of grease and crud from getting into the lower cc. Anyone who tells you it is fun and easy to clean baked on crap in the lower cc on a rf cooker with a fixed plate is either lying or been laying in the sun too long!
 
You don't want all the grease etc. to bake in the bottom pf the Cook Chamber.... It could catch on fire and ruin your day...
Weld a dam across the end of the RF plate and install a drain... The bigger the better...
 
A drain on the rf plate keeps the majority of grease and crud from getting into the lower cc. Anyone who tells you it is fun and easy to clean baked on crap in the lower cc on a rf cooker with a fixed plate is either lying or been laying in the sun too long!

Assuming the drain is continuous from the RF plate through the bottom of the CC?

The only part of my CC that gets any grease is the last 12" or so. I use a pressure washer to clean that area.
 
Assuming the drain is continuous from the RF plate through the bottom of the CC?

The only part of my CC that gets any grease is the last 12" or so. I use a pressure washer to clean that area.

That is correct....Like below....
coppotdrain.JPG

coppotdrain2.JPG
 
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It definitely makes sense. The only issue I see is my grates extend beyond the FR plate by a few inches. Doing a whole hog, I sometimes need that extra room, but its only been once. If I had a boat load of pork buts I could see some grease getting to the CC. But for most cooks, this would definitely be a fantastic mod to my pit. Thanks for the eye opener.
 
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