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EVEN HEAT DISTRIBUTION (tuning plates and water pan) questions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Kevin Haynes, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Kevin Haynes

    Kevin Haynes Fire Starter

    Screenshot_20190711-175400_BBQ Go.jpg Screenshot_20190711-175400_BBQ Go.jpg 20190711_175448.jpg I'm running an OC Pecos smoker with oak and an inkbird 4 probe testing the heat differences in 3 different places if the cooking chamber. 1st probe is farthest to the left by the chimney at grate height. 2nd probe is dead center of the CC at grate height and the 3rd probe is far right closest to the firebox at grate height. About 2 inches away from the water pan with water in it. Included is pictures of above my tuning plates(I hope you can see it well enough) and the other photo is of probe 1-3 across my cooking chamber. I have 5 tuning plates(4 dirty and 1 clean. Just added it) the first one if you cant tell Is butted up against the heat deflector plate off the FB. And the others are spaced as seen in the photo. I'm curious to know why the middle of the CC is so much hotter than the outsides 1 and 3....does closing the gap of the tuning plates lower the heat in the center(#2)? Or at least bring it closer to leveling out with 1 and 3?....also #3 stays right at or around 232°-235° pretty steady...is this because water pan so close? How can I bump that up closer to the 250 range? Just seeing if anyone else has run across this or if to close the gap cools it off and widening it heats it up and so forth. Any tips or suggestions will help tremendously. I will be happy if 1-2-3 can all be within 15 degrees of each other. Maybe even 20! Thanks guys!
  2. Kevin - I use an older Oklahoma Joe Longhorn. The CC is 40" long. When I first installed the deflector on the FB bulkhead the temps were very uneven end to end by about 30 to 40 degrees. I spent about 4 hours and a bag of lump experimenting. When I opened up a 1" air gap between the bulkhead and the deflector it evened out. I ended up with the deflector and 2, 4" wide plates with the first plate butted up to the deflector. I also put 1 of the extra tuning plates on top of the deflector. When I cook now once the pit is up to temp there is usually never more than 5 to 10 degrees max difference end to end, many times they are exactly the same. I cook with sticks and keep a Heat diffuser and tuning plates.jpg water pan above the deflector plate. I hope this helps.
  3. Kevin Haynes

    Kevin Haynes Fire Starter

    "When I opened up a 1" air gap between the bulkhead and the deflector it evened out. I ended up with the deflector and 2, 4" wide plates with the first plate butted up to the deflector." What exactly did you mean by this? Haha I'm sorry. What is a bulkhead?
  4. A bulkhead is a wall or divider, sorry, its a Navy term. Look at the right side of the picture. The far right is the firebox wall, then the air gap, then the heat diffuser, then two plates.
  5. Kevin Haynes

    Kevin Haynes Fire Starter

    Oh okay I see. The Pecos has the heat diffuser welded to the firebox with no air gap so the heat comes directly from after the deflector. I'm thinking about widening the gaps and giving her a shot
  6. forktender

    forktender Smoking Fanatic

    I found the exact same thing with my old Oakie Joe L.H. after moving plates around I was able to get both sides of cooking surface within 5 to 10 degrees of each other. Which was fine, I actually like having one side that is a little hotter than the other.
    I load the hotter side with the larger cuts of meat which helps stabilize the whole cooking surface. I'm not concerned with 5 to 10 degrees. I think people get a little wacky over dead even temps, which will drive a guy crazy if he's using an offset smoker. With fire on one side, you are going to be hard pressed to get even heat in the smokebox on a lot of smokers. And in the end it doesn't really make or break a smoke in most cases. If you're worried about it just rotate your meat each time you spritz.:emoji_thumbsup:
    Kevin Haynes likes this.