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.125" tuning plates

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    .125" tuning plates

    I know everyone uses .25" steel for tuning plates. What's your take on .125"? I have access to this from work. I have cut some to size so I can try to tune the Tejas. Would like some input from others. I'm going to try regardless. Any thoughts?

    #2
    I think I have that in my cheap offset. It is reverse flow, but still works great. Makes a great platform for a sausage rack.

    I know for sure I'm not anywhere close to 1/4", that's for sure.

    But 1/8" sounds about right.

    Comment


      #3
      I was kinda wondering if the .25 had something to do with heat conducting. All its doing is basically rerouting the smoke/heat more towards the center right,?

      Comment


        #4
        It depends on its actual use. Are you talking about actual tuning plates, rectangular/square plates spaced out every so often? Or are you talking about a single long formed tuning/heat management plate? Anything will divert the convection (hot air) & smoke toward the far end if used in a reverse flow application. Thicker steel just adds thermal mass and helps prevent temp fluctuations all the more, plus 1/4" is very unlikely to warp at high temps if used in a formed single plate application.

        Comment


          #5
          It is rectangular pieces butted together. They are mostly 7" x 16.75. A few I had to cut more narrow because the shear caught and bent them lol. It is hot rolled steel. I don't think I'll a problem with it warping. I guess I'll just try it out see what happens. All the more fun. Just another reason to fire up the pit!!!!!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Pit-for-Brains View Post
            It is rectangular pieces butted together. They are mostly 7" x 16.75. A few I had to cut more narrow because the shear caught and bent them lol. It is hot rolled steel. I don't think I'll a problem with it warping. I guess I'll just try it out see what happens. All the more fun. Just another reason to fire up the pit!!!!!
            Pit-for-Brains it'll be 1000% better than not having any. Might take a bit of tinkering to see if you need space, and how much, etc. Can you set up your signature to include your gear? That said, what are you using these plates on?

            Comment


            • Pit-for-Brains
              Pit-for-Brains commented
              Editing a comment
              I did update my signature. Check it out I hope its considered appropriate. ;-)

            • David Parrish
              David Parrish commented
              Editing a comment
              Works for me!

            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              Pit-for-Brains Lol, nice one. Same here.

            #7
            Pit-for-Brains it's ok I'll move it. Most general questions are fine here, but if yours is specific to stickburners, we can move it to the logs subchannel. I remember reading your post of acquiring that beast, congrats! I'll head over to that post to check it out further...

            Comment


              #8
              OK, reviewed your pics. Standard flow (mine is too), six of one half dozen of the other. The hot smoke still goes from side A to side B, really what's the difference... Once you learn to control your temps how you want, reverse flow or standard flow is all a moot point if you think about it objectively.

              You will want some spaces in your plates. Forgive me if you already realize this. Small spaces at first (from firebox) gradually getting larger. Less smoke & heat coming through on hotter side, more on cooler side.

              Nice machine!

              Comment


                #9
                Thanks Huskee! I really had my heart set on a Lang and was 90â„… sure I could afford the one I wanted next year. My buddy was looking for a new pit before he just bought it to work and welded up guts. I came across the Tejas looking for him and my wife said just get it! I have done two dry runs and cooked on it three times and I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! lol I figured I would cut my teeth on this for a season or two and get my Lang but I see no need for it now. I am sure I will want a different one eventually and get a Lang. Probably when my son gets his own place I'll hand him the Tejas.

                Comment


                  #10
                  We are cooking up 6 or 7 pork butts Sat for the youth group fund raiser BBQ. That's mainly why I wanted to tune it to evenly distribute the heat as much as possible. I like having the hotter side for chicken, sausage, and pork steaks etc. But need to utilize as much space as possible this time. I have been cooking on a 55gal drum homemade pit for the last 16+ years. Replacing the barrel as needed.
                  Last edited by Pit-for-Brains; March 25, 2015, 03:27 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Huskee
                    Huskee commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Perfect plan! I often tell people you can use the temp differentials to your advantage, but when cooking all the same muscles yeah you want as even as possible. I think you'll have a great system with your homemade plates!

                  #11
                  For what it's worth, I find that I only dial back the firebox vents when it's just way too hot. Usually though I keep them between 3/4- full, and I control the overall flow, and thereby the heat at the far end, with the chimney cap. When it's hot and flowing wildly I can put the cap at 1/3 and keep fairly even temps. If I open it wide open the chimney side will actually get a little hotter than the firebox side. Obviously that's on a different cooker and they each have their own system of management, but the point is don't be afraid to play with both to find what to do.

                  I also will put one or two bread/meatloaf pans of hot water down on the plate under the food grate. I find this help a lot as well with temp steadiness.

                  Lastly, the BBQ Dragon is a lifesaver on certain occasions. When the wood isn't as dry as you want, or there's a lack of breeze to naturally fan the flames the BBQ Dragon sure comes in handy.

                  Comment


                    #12
                    You can keep the tuning plates. I did not care for the flavor of the smoke from the fat and juices that dripped on them. It IMO almost ruined 60 pounds of pork butt! It was still good and temp control across the board was nice but I can definitely live without those.

                    Comment


                    • Pit-for-Brains
                      Pit-for-Brains commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I wonder if it had anything to do with the .125" vs.25" thickness???? I have read others comment on the black smoke they encountered and didn't like it. I too had same results.

                    • Martyjmc
                      Martyjmc commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I wonder if the grease drips and then burns on the plate? That would add bad flavored smoke wouldn't it?

                    #13
                    Originally posted by Pit-for-Brains View Post
                    You can keep the tuning plates. I did not care for the flavor of the smoke from the fat and juices that dripped on them. It IMO almost ruined 60 pounds of pork butt! It was still good and temp control across the board was nice but I can definitely live without those.
                    Pit-for-Brains Interesting. Thanks for the feedback. I can't imagine the thickness having anything to do with it, once the metal is heated up it's heated up, unless it just needed a good cleanoff first? I can only suggest that should you leave them in and they get 'seasoned' with some buildup it's not likely to be as big an issue down the road. I have my heat plate covered in foil, but that's for ease of cleaning. But it sounds like they may not be necessary in your case after all.

                    Comment


                    • Pit-for-Brains
                      Pit-for-Brains commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Ya I did a couple dry runs to adjust temp. and try to season them. They were caked with crusties after a 8 hour cook. We cooked 80 pounds of pork butt and I decided to cook two butts on my old grill. The flavor was totally different. The flavor of the briskits I cook was excellent without the plates as well. I figured my grill was built and designed the way it was for a reason. So I will no longer use them. Thanks for the input though.

                    • Handyfan
                      Handyfan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      @PfB: I know you told me that you don't use water in the bottom of your Tejas barrel, but I wondered if you (or anyone else out there) have tried it just to measure the difference in temp spreads. Water is an awesome heat sink, and almost perfectly suited for BBQ cooking temps. Plus, Tejas is one of the few manufacturers I've seen that specifically encourages/recommends using the bottom of the pit as a reservoir while cooking (Lone Star Grillz is another). I just assumed that Tejas did it because their 20" pits are 3/16" instead of 1/4" and that 5 gal. of water in the bottom would just about even out the weight difference. But I'm really curious about this because it seems like such a natural fit. Plus clean out would be great - just drain out the warm water into a bucket. Love how it works on my 22" WSM except for what a pain it is to handle the water pan because it's vertically stacked with no drain.

                    #14
                    I have given it some thought but it just seemed to be a pain to dispose of the nasty water with grease on top. I don't have much of a temperature difference from side to side with the 2040. It would however give you enough room to do a couple more butts if you needed to cook six at a time. I think the major benefits of 1/4 vs. 3/16 plays more of a factor if you are cooking in freezing weather to minimize temp fluctuations. I can't stress enough how much I love this pit! The only drawback is it taking so long to get it to be ready to cook so you have good clean smoke. I assume most stick burners are similar to get ready to cook.

                    Comment


                    • Handyfan
                      Handyfan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      OK, thanks. I'm pretty much a rural guy, so the water disposal's not really an issue. For me, I think it would be much nicer than cleaning out a big hunk of steel at 10 below. Of course, I wouldn't want to forget to drain it while it's still warm . . . That could be bad.

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