Need help getting even heating

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jun 28, 2006
As you can see from picture I have an offset smoker box and two smokestacks. When a fire is roaring in the smoker box the fire and heat shoot through the opening and make the area near the fire box significantly hotter than the rest of smoker. I have thought about putting a pizza stone 6-10 inches from the opening of the firebox to the smoker to deflect the heat and distribute the heat more evenly. Does anyone out there have any opinions of this? Better ideas? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.



Yes, a heat deflector would help.

Tuning plates would be ideal, you could regulate the temps all the way across your smoker.
Nope, I just use a deflector :)

But, they are just steel plates cut to fit in the bottom of your smoker, just above the inlet from the fire box. Using a series of plates, the space you leave between them determines the amount of heat and smoke that rises up. So the plates are very close together near the firebox where its already hot and get farther apart at the other end of your smoker. This helps channel the heat and smoke farther away from the firebox, heating the entire cooking chamber more evenly.
That's a great picture. I'm going to start looking for some plates to use. My heat deflector helps a little, but I still have a pretty big difference in temp from one side to the other.
Just noticed the name and I love it RubMyMeat. I've seen plates in the bottom of big dogs with holes drilled in them. None next to the firebox inlet then more and more as it moves out away from the heat. I'm think maybe 1 inch holes spread out on a grid. On my char-griller I've set briqs out on the grate real dense next to the firebox then opening up more and more as I move away from the box. Seems to help distribute heat and also hold the heat better.

I have two propane strips running lengthwise down my smoker. Each one is covered by a 90 degree angled piece of heavy steel point upwards to shield the strips from dripping fat. These strips may actually allow me to rig some sheets of metal to distribute the heat more evenly. i could hang the sheets from the strips and play around with the configuration until I have achieved perfect heat disbursement. I am just worried that the sheets would have to be as wide as the smoker or else all the heat will head to the corners of the smoker.
I put some 1/8" steel plates in the bottom of my Pitmaster over the weekend. Still tough to get even temperatures across the cooker.

I'm thinking that I need to replace my heat shield with steel. The original that I made is out of a piece of aluminum flashing.

I should just buy a fancy rig that is already tuned!
Don't buy one. Keep doing what your doing. Tell us more about your rig. Post some pics. Mine has been an ongoing project for about 9 years. And everything I do improves it a little more. I like to fabricate and weld and whatnot. It helps if you have access to metal working equipment.
I replaced the heat deflector yesterday with steel, and it is working pretty well! A lot better than before, at least.
Great news.
When I added the deflector and tuning plates, I had to open the passage from my fire box to the cook chamber up a little more. Actually a lot more, since the deflector is somewhat restrictive. I also added a cast iron damper.
I had to open up my opening also after redoing the heat deflector. On the tuning plates I could not go the length of the barrel. My stack is on the end and the opening is cut under the grates. With all the plates it choked down the heat and smoke, so I had to back off to half way down the barral. I still get smoke thru out and the heat is pretty even havent had a mild day yet to get a good run but am satisfied so far. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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