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Old 03-18-2010, 11:37 AM
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O'fieldTex O'fieldTex is offline
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Default Tuning plates question.

Ok,I'm a new member & what I know about Queing is just enough to get you hurt but I do have a friend that has been cooking up some good Q for awhile.I have a LyfeTyme knock off built by some guy in Uvalde who supposedly used to work for Lyfetyme.Got a 20"x40" chamber(two door) & 20"x20" round firebox.Grill closest to the firebox(according to temp.gauge)is 30-40 degrees higher than stack grill.I know I need some tuning plates to even the temps but where do you find such an animal?(Or) I am handy enough to build myself(cracker box welder but no torch) but need a design as to not screw things up.Any suggestions?
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:20 PM
Will32Rod Will32Rod is offline
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I have a Gator Backyard Classic, which is 20"x32", and do not have any tuning plates. I really do not think you would need tuning plates until you get up to 48" or more. Somebody with more tuning plate knowledge will let us klnow for sure.
I would take advantage of the temp difference, and learn to cook on it like it is. Cook meat such as brisket or butt on the cool end and chicken and sausage on the hotter end.
There maybe some things you can do to even out the heat such as make sure it is getting good air flow and use proper fire managment. Check and see if it has a full size heat deflector as well.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:41 PM
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A quick search for "tuning plate" will turn up some links to pictures - those will answer most of you're questions. You'll need to tack on some angle iron rails for the plates to sit on. If you transport or move your pit frequently you'll have to add some locking nuts/bolts to hold the plates in place once adjusted properly. The plates are just sheared/cut rectangles but straight/parallel edges are a must.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:12 PM
cappy cappy is offline
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I agree with Will32Rod that a 20" diameter pit can be less amenable to tuning plates than a 24" diameter pit.

The most immediate issue would be that the tuning plates would most likely be fairly close below your bottom meat grate, and contribute radiant heat to the bottom of the meat, so the bottom of the meat might be exposed to more heat and require more flipping and management.

Even on a 24" diameter pit, there can be radiant heat concerns, depending on how high the plates were installed.

PitBull has a 24" diameter pit, but had issues with radiant heat (due to the tuning plates being installed 3" below the bottom meat rack):

http://forum.texasbbqrub.com/showthr...t=radiant+heat

Which he addressed with this modification:

http://forum.texasbbqrub.com/showthr...t=radiant+heat

To me, tuning plates are best matched when you are cooking a large volume of similar meats and basically filling up your pit. Of course, if you're mixing different meats, sometimes it really is more advantageous to put meats that prefer a hotter temp closer to the firebox on a pit without any tuning plates. It can also take some experimenting to get tuning plates right, and particularly because from what I understand, pits "tune" differently when they're empty, partially full, or full of meats. So it would seem to me that they would be best when a person is cooking the same consistent batch of meats (quantity and type) over and over again - i.e., more like a caterer or other large diameter pit used for big gatherings.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:44 PM
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Thanks for the information,I appreciate your help & I do have a full size heat deflector.I did try putting a piece of S/S grating I had laying around.It's like woven wire with 1/4"between weaves.The firebox side seemed to get hotter when I had it in so I took it out.Thanks again!
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:12 PM
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bigwheel bigwheel is offline
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See if a person was cooking as the Good Lord intended (upright and direct with or w/o the optional water pan) they wouldn't bees needing to worry about all the exotic gizmos over which you is stressing. Simple huh? Hot air rises. Obeying the Law's of physics is always a good plan. Take out your torch and cracker box and fix it to where it cooks good nose down. That should work good.

bigwheel
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:37 PM
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Thanks bigwheel! Now thats funny,I don't care who you are!Just flip er on end.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:32 PM
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bigwheel bigwheel is offline
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Just a feeble attempt to turn the old sow's ear into a silk purse

bigwheel
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwheel View Post
Just a feeble attempt to turn the old sow's ear into a silk purse

bigwheel


Hey old man your killin me over here!!! Lets go meet and have a chili meeting?
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:54 PM
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Dang you just missed the big weekly chili meeting last night at Bronco's. We had fun I think or at least as far as I can remember. Seems like maybe recalling you mighta got voted into some kinda promotion and new set of obligations. I got it all wrote down on a napkin if I can find it.

bigwheel
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