Tuning Plate/Baffle Material?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by thedish, May 4, 2012.

  1. thedish

    thedish Newbie

    I did my first smoke this past Monday (spare ribs) and they turned out amazing! My horizontal offset (obviously) tends to be hotter by the firebox, its only about a 50 degree difference.

         I've been reading a ton of different threads on here about adding a baffle and some tuning plates. I Bought a cookie sheet that fit the bottom of my smoker, so before I started cooking I started playing around with it using it as a baffle, angled from the opening of my firebox opening, and found that all it really did was keep the heat on the fire box side. My temps got off by like 100 degrees. I was not using tuning plates as well.

       What do you guys recommend material wise for a baffle and for tuning plates, I've read everything from 1/8 steel plates from the hardware store to disposable tin trays from the grocery store. 

       Also when setting up the baffle and tuning plates how are they positioned in relationship to each other. I've also been reading something about a water pan, is this a necessary mod as well or should I focus on the tuning plates?

    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  2. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    With an offset smoker you will have a hot side and a cooler side. A water pan on the hot side should help. Check out reverse flow smokers for more info.

  3. pvillecomp

    pvillecomp Fire Starter

    I'm working on this as well - I was able to get 10 Gage cold rolled steel from metalbytheinch.com custom cut. 

    I bought 15 2"x14.5" plates (I expect to have spares) and a 6"x14.5" baffle for $50 including shipping. I got them in 2 days. (I'm not a metal working guy. I have no skills or resources in that department. You can see them in the Horizonal Offset Smoker Mods  thread)

    I stared with the suggested 10", 8", 6" formula suggested in the OP of the Horizonal Offset Smoker Mods  thread, but there are adjustments that need to be made. 

    The experiment continues. 

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  4. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    TheDlsh- There is no set way to lay out the tuning plates. They are laid on a set of side rails loose so that you can make the adjustments needed to even out your chamber temps. If after a number of smokes you find your chamber temps to your liking with the lay out you, go ahead and tack them in place. Just remember you're going to need to do a bit of de greasing and cleaning before you weld. For best results, try to go with plates that are made from 1/4 steel.

    Check out this post about Tuning Plate mods and notice how jjmrascal has the plates positioned.

    Here is a picture of DDaave's smoker and tuning plates. As you can see, his plates are of different widths as is the spacing between each plate.

  5. bustintires

    bustintires Smoke Blower

    double walled cookie sheets. you can bend em, smashem, trashem and then just chuckem. ask the old lady if shes anything like mine she'll use hers a couple times and then want new ones.

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