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View Full Version : Offset & reverse flow on same pit


Countdown Cookers
11-29-2016, 01:15 PM
I tried searching and came up with nothing so please direct me to the right thread if I missed it.

I am about to start making a new trailer mounted pit and was debating reverse flow vs offset with tuning plates then thought what about both. I was thinking if you put a smokestack on both sides with vents to shut off one of them, couldn't you run tuning plates and if you wanted to run reverse flow you could push all of the plates tight together and shut one stack and open the other?

Just wanting to hear all of your opinions because in theory I feel like it would work but there are much more experienced people than me out there.
Thanks in advance!

DownHomeQue
11-29-2016, 01:17 PM
yes you could.. no reason why you couldn't.. Just make sure both exhaust are big enough to operate independently I am partial to traditional offsets but this way you could have the best of both worlds!

rwalters
11-29-2016, 01:23 PM
I like it! Can I be your 1st customer?

Smokin J's PIts
11-29-2016, 02:49 PM
I have built many like this, it also helps if you fab a drip pan out of 10Ga kind of like a cookie sheet to slip in on top of the tuning plates in the event that you want to add water or just ease in cleanup.

Countdown Cookers
11-29-2016, 03:11 PM
Thanks for the quick responses! DownHomeQue I enjoyed looking through your builds and rwalters we're already up and running with our smaller trailer but were building a bigger one with a sink and everything to hopefully be health department certified and start doing it for real but if you come down to Texas we'll make sure to get you some good barbeque!

sparctek
11-29-2016, 03:20 PM
There is a gentleman that goes by K.A.M. on the Texas BBQ Forum that has a smoker just as you describe. He calls her Bahama Mama and is his competition cooker on a trailer. KAM is a super nice guy and frequently helps answer questions about building cookers. You may want to go to that board if you haven't already and post your question there.

dwfisk
11-29-2016, 03:57 PM
When I did the original build on my 24"X72", 150 gallon propane tank smoker that is exactly what I did. Offset square firebox on the propane tank with exhausts on both ends. I welded angle to the inside of the tank to hold tuning plates. I think they were about 1/4" thick X 17 inches long and sat about 5"-6" below the main cooking grate. If I wanted to cook in a traditional offset mode I would space out the tuning plates (or skip them alltogether) close the exhaust on the firebox end (RF exhaust) and manipulate the exhaust on the opposite end. If I wanted to cook in RF mode, I would lay the tuning plates in tightly together to make a solid plate, close the exhaust opposite te firebox and manipulate the exhaust near the firebox. Worked fine in either mode with lots of temp zones in traditional offset mode or relatively uniform (+/- 10*) in RF mode.

FWIW, I found myself almost always cooking RF so when I reconstructed/restored my pit I made it straight RF.

guero_gordo
11-29-2016, 04:42 PM
I'd think you'd pick your poison, tune it, and leave it alone. Don't see what you gain for the extra parts and labor.

4ever3
11-29-2016, 05:27 PM
Sure, you could do anything you want as long as it flows right, but I don't think it would be worth it in the end. If you wanted to to an offset cook, what would you do with all of the tuning plates? They would be nasty! My vote is figure out what kind of cooker you want, offset (hot spots to use to your advantage) or reverse flow (more even temps end to end), build it and learn to cook on that cooker.

BBQ Freak
11-29-2016, 06:14 PM
I got a old Brinkmann I modified but I just cook in the reverse flow mode .

dwfisk
11-29-2016, 06:16 PM
If you wanted to to an offset cook, what would you do with all of the tuning plates? They would be nasty!

That is funny! When I rebuilt my pit and abandoned the tuning plates I threw then into the junk steel pile I haul into a recycler every few years - took they 2-3 years in the weather to start rusting!

TuscaloosaQ
11-29-2016, 06:32 PM
There is a gentleman that goes by K.A.M. on the Texas BBQ Forum that has a smoker just as you describe. He calls her Bahama Mama and is his competition cooker on a trailer. KAM is a super nice guy and frequently helps answer questions about building cookers. You may want to go to that board if you haven't already and post your question there.





Kam is a good friend of mine.... He has forgot more about cookers than most would ever want to know.... He is a gentleman... A tremendous cook... Heck of a fabricator... And yes what you are talking about canbe easily done... Make darn sure you have a grease bridge coming out of the firebox into the chamber if you are going to go this route.... Or else you are asking for a major grease fire!!!!

Kam has this setup.... And it works flawlessly!!!!

Countdown Cookers
11-29-2016, 09:27 PM
Sure, you could do anything you want as long as it flows right, but I don't think it would be worth it in the end. If you wanted to to an offset cook, what would you do with all of the tuning plates? They would be nasty! My vote is figure out what kind of cooker you want, offset (hot spots to use to your advantage) or reverse flow (more even temps end to end), build it and learn to cook on that cooker.

I hear what you're saying but I have a 250 gal smoker I built that is direct flow with tuning plates. Just the other day I did a cook with half brisket and the other half was a ~40 lb wild boar we rubbed and put on there whole. My point is it was nice to be able to open up the plates on the pig and run a little hotter there than on the briskets.

I don't find the tuning plates too hard to move even during a cook to move around temps if I want to but i was thinking if I put the time into building this new trailer, part of me wants to try something new with reverse flow but part of me thinks that I've already got a system that works with offset so just wondering if anyone has made a pit that can do both and let me choose which I wanted to use on a cook by cook basis.