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Unread 04-24-2006, 05:25 PM   #1
bbqpigskin
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Default Tuning Plates

I read on another thread about tuning plates and the affect of radient head if they are too close to the cooking grill. My question is this: In a 5'x24" inch cooking chamber, do I really need the tuning plates? I know they help with the hot spot close to the firebox, but if I put a downward baffel in between the heat and cooking chambers, will that be enough?
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Unread 04-24-2006, 07:09 PM   #2
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skin, I think this question is best answered by how you want to cook. If you plan on cooking large batches of like items and want a uniform temp throughout the pit, tuning plates are for you.

If your cooks involve lots of different items, the variety of temps offered from one end to the other of an offset will suit you better and a baffle of some sort will do the trick.
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Unread 04-24-2006, 08:56 PM   #3
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Well said!
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Unread 04-25-2006, 06:06 PM   #4
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I would say yes. In my gator budget moblie which is 48longx24deep I have it plates. With the plates it will even the temp to about 5-10. With out them if you are cooking a bunch of meat you will have to rotate the meat more. If you want the temp variance you can always remove the plates. IMO would say it is better to have them. And with the plates you can tune the pit anyway you want.


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Unread 04-25-2006, 06:19 PM   #5
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Tuning plates work well in pits 24" in diameter and larger. They are not as effective in smaller pits.
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Unread 04-25-2006, 06:48 PM   #6
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how from from center should the tuning plates be? should we have a 45 degree angle baffle from the smoke box down to the frst tuning plate and say 1" angle iron ran along the pit for them to rest on?? i believe in a post i had seen in my insulated firebox post that the plates should be 8" wide? is that correct or somewhere about there?
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Unread 04-25-2006, 09:41 PM   #7
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Are tuning plates something that can be fabricated by yourself? Does anybody have any pics?
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Unread 04-25-2006, 11:04 PM   #8
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http://www.exit201.com/cyclops/cyclops.shtml

Bottom of the page, there's some excellent close ups and commentary.
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Unread 04-26-2006, 08:38 AM   #9
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Here are some more of the inside of my Gator when it was new. The baffle is at a very shallow angle, the first plate is butted up aganst it and the others get spaced according to the load in the pit, trial and error really.

http://www.kodakgallery.com/photozilla/gator_guts

There are captions under each photo but you will have to scrool down just a bit to see them.

You can make the plates your self. 1/4" plate seems to be standard and 8" wide will work fine. If they are too wide you loose something in the adjustment. The tuning plates rest on angle running along the front and back length of the pit and are full width. Also your baffle should be cut and welded so there are no gaps on the sides for flames to come through.
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Unread 04-26-2006, 10:48 AM   #10
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Wow! thanks for all of the feedback. I think that I will most likely go ahead and include the tuning plates and just remove them if I do not need them for some reason.

Thanks again,
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