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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 08-09-2009, 09:59 PM   #1
txschutte
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Default Tuning plates for 6' Horizontal offset

Would someone please school me here? I know thy why's, I just dont know the how's. I am planning to build a horizontal offset with a cooking chamber of 6' x 32". The question is tuning plate placement and positioning. Pics are of great appreciation.
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Unread 08-10-2009, 11:09 AM   #2
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When i added mine i called Klose and talked to Daves brother in the plant.
He suggested 2 plates 8 inches wide the same thickness as first baffle (1/2 inch, in my case)
Then step down in size to 6 wide and 3/8 material.
Spacing as follows, first plate tight, then open up spacing in 1/8 inch increments.
I had small handles put on top for easier removal during cleaning.
Some pits have rails to slide the plates on. Mine just sit on the sides of pit
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Unread 08-10-2009, 12:54 PM   #3
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I would build rails. Clean your plates with a pressure washer.

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Unread 08-10-2009, 03:31 PM   #4
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Shane, just add the baffle. You may not need plates with a nice big tube like that. We had them in our big Gator. A good buddy of ours suggested we try cooking without them. We did and never looked back.

Let me qualify this. Our tube is 6' x 30" single door with a large upright at the end. We cook for comps only. The pit is never jam packed with meat. We never use the upright. If we wanted to start using it we would have to put the plates back in to help get the temp up in that section. We also have a 30x30x30 firebox and that helps too as the fire is futher away from the end of the baffle.

The benifits have been:

Our pit reaches cooking temp much quicker, like an hour plus quicker.
We use less wood (It seems it takes some energy to keep all that steel hot).

Otherwise we can cook all our comp meat right in the middle to left without ever moving it.

The drawbacks:

If you have to fill your pit full of meat the hot spot may require you to move meat around. I find that I have to do that anyway with a full pit plates or not.
At that point you may want to install the plates. Try it first before you spend the money on all of that steel.

It's been my experience that tuning plates work best in a 24" - 26" tube with an upright. Straight horizontals can do with out them if you have the space at the other end. 5-6 foot offsets are great that way. I have heard by many that the are almost worthless in smaller diameter shorter pits.
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Unread 08-10-2009, 03:40 PM   #5
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Shane, didn't the Mistress teach you any thing?

Make it a reverse flow and you'll never have a problem....
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Unread 08-10-2009, 03:43 PM   #6
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He's a Texas boy. He don't flow in reverse. Besides he don't need a wood hog.
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Unread 08-10-2009, 07:10 PM   #7
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I've had reverse flow. Remember LOLA? I found that I actually miss having temp ranges for the different meats that I cook. Chix over the hot spot, then briskies, butts then ribs.
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Unread 08-10-2009, 07:49 PM   #8
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Every body is talking about tuning plates and tuning a pit. But no one is giving any specific details on how this all works. Cmon you guys give up the info.
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Unread 08-10-2009, 09:06 PM   #9
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Tuning plate placement and adjustment cannot happen until you get a fire it the finished pit. Build from 1/4 plate, Start 1/4" 1/4" 1/4" 1/2" 1/2" 1/2" on inititial adjustment.

Also when laying out the pit make sure you don't end up with a gap just below the thermometer probe. That one will always read hotter.

The fine tuning happens while cooking. I would not make the plate more than 8" wide due to weight. As described above, weld #1 to the baffle. For mobile pits weld a wingnut to the side of the pit and thread a bolt through it to hold the plate in place during travel.

The plates should lay 2"-3" below the cooking grates. They sit on a peice of 3/4" - 1" angle welded to the side of the trailer.

That's all you need to start.
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Unread 08-10-2009, 09:28 PM   #10
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Tuning plates divide the hot spot up a little bit. It's still going to be hotter down by the firebox but it won't be a dangerous hot spot.

That being said, the tuning plates get hot and end up throwing off radiant heat back to the food. You need to get used to this too.

Like I said in the post above, if you have a large tube and build a big firebox you may decide you don't need it.
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Unread 08-10-2009, 09:30 PM   #11
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Have you thought about using the Geer design?
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