Smoking Grate, Baffle, & Fire Box

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by toekneemac, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. I have a heavily modified SnP and the placement of your smoking grate looks fine to me.  It also looks like you might have a baffle installed buy typically the exit of the baffle should be lower than the smoking grate.  It's hard to tell in this picture if that's the case.  Also, do you have an internal extension on your smoke stack - the extends the smoke stack to the level of the grate?

    Another thing to balance out the heat in these things are tuning plates... keeps the heat lower and more even across the whole cooking looks like you may have them installed based on the second picture

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  2. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    that is low. you have a picture of inside of smoker? grate should be above the opening
  3. It seems to me that with all the heat in the fire box and with the baffle and tuning plates, more heat should be moving toward the end opposite the fire box for equal heat distribution.  But I looked at the grate level in relation to the fire box and it seemed to leave only a small opeing for heat.  Although, I think most heat leaves through the fire box itself in the form of radiant heat, instead of through the smoker.

    Also, what you saw in the first pictures was not the food grate, but another set that came with the smoker, which i laid my tuning plates on.  That doesn't make it right, but it was a good starting point.

    Thanks for the replies..keep em coming!  lol  I need help!

  4. Also, I posted more pic, but since I am new, they are awaiting moderation.
  5. OK, I went and got my glasses [​IMG]and after taking another look, jrod62 might be right.  It's kind of hard to tell exactly where the smoking grate is...and a shot of the inside - as jrod62 says - would clear this up quick.  I'm wondering if that grate isn't the one you can use to hold charcoal inside the cooking chamber to make the whole thing a charcoal grill?

  6. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Do you have a problem at this moment with the heat in your smoker ?

    can you take a photo from a distends so i can see the size of the smoker ?
  7. I am sure that's what it is for.  But does that mean that my tuning plates still may be too low in relation to the fire box?
  8. 1)  Yes.  I get high heat near the fire box and much lower heat opposite it. 

    2)  Sure, gimme a few.  And also, they are still moderating my posts, so bare with me.

  9. ok, camera batter is dead.  However, I did find a similar one to mine here:

    I also saw their stock baffle here:

    Though mine does not have that, (older version) their baffle is at the top of the fire box!  I think that may have answered my question, but you guys' imput is still sought after.  Thanks
  10. This is how high mine sits.

  11. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi first your low grid blocks some of the heat . the smoking grid is in the right place,and you have too many tuning plates it does not allow the heat to create  swirl

     i would start from zero. is your low grid one piece ?if not i will move it to the opposite side 2 inch so i will have more heat in the smoking area put only on (the big one) tuning plate

    and measure the tempe  in this smoker it will never be the same tempe but it will be close.ahh don't put the drip pane in the smoker(the aluminum one).

    if the low grid is one piece just move the tuning plate till the lip. so more heat will go through.

    let give it a try.
  12. Alelover, maybe I'm just being a bit dense today on this one but... it that a shot of your charcoal basket sitting inside your firebox or a shot of your actual smoking grate inside the smoking chamber? 
  13. Funny, I actually DID use drip pans!  lol  I will remove them.  My low grid is in two pieces.  I will remove a tuning plate...the smaller one farthest from the fire box.   I am doing a smoke as we speak and have raised the lower grate an inch or two to allow more heat into the smoker and not just out of the fire box via radiant heat.  And actually, so far so good.  Still have a 25 degree temp variance, but I did manage to allow more heat into the chamber.  Since I am mopping every hour, I rotate the food somewhat.  It's looking good.  I'll send a photo when done.  Spare ribs by the way.

    Oh, I do think that I need a very full basket to maintain temp for 5 hours.  I filled 3/4 full today and had to add more after 2 hours.  But, all in all, it's looking good. Just a little more tweaking.  Thanks
  14. Ok  All done with my spares.  

    1)  I used the 3-2-1 method.  Perfect.

    2)  I burned a whole basket of charcoal.  Plus a split log.  Plus some left over lump charcoal.  All for a 6 hour burn.  Is that much...normal?  My area temp outside was, hmmm, 70-75 degrees maybe.

    3)  The far end opposite the fire box held 220-225.  The fire box end held 250 or so.  I read the thermometers and moved the meat accordingly.  Lifting my tuning plate level up, seemed to allow more heat into the chamber AND, was better able to control the temps.   I will remove the last tuning plate and I may be able to equalize the temps even better.  I need to re-work my baffle and secure my tuning plate height in a more permanent way, but that did seem to help.

    4)  The ribs came out perfect, even juicy in the thickest area. I basted it with my sauce every hour, top and bottom.  I need a better rub, because the only downside to the whole thing was the rub.  It's a bit tasting.  I need a more straight shootin rough hewn rub, lol

    5)  Horrible pictures.  And we ate was a half slab lol

  15. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It looks great .you knew what to do you just needed to regroup well done.
  16. Shouldn't the exhaust be at the other end fo teh smoke area?  It looks like the smoke comes into the smoke area and the directly out the stack.  It does not seem to swirl with the meat at all.  Maybe I just do not understand the mechanics of the smoker

  17. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    You got it now . Ribs looks good.Thumbs Up
  18. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Valid point Bud

    But it really depends on how the extended stack affects smoke flow.  With the stack at grate level there is a possibility the smoke swirls around the top of the smoker and over the food before exiting.

    If the tuning plates and shield are going to prevent the smoke rising as it enters the cook chamber, forcing the smoke to the end of the smoker where the exhaust vent is there is a possibility that you will not get "rolling" smoke.   Just my opinion, but I am always looking for moving smoke.  The tuning plates heat up providing a more even source of heat in the smoker which in itself is a tremendous advantage over standard offset smokers

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