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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    102

    Default Tuning Plates or Reverse Flow?????

    Well, what do you guys think. I'd especially like to hear from guys that have had either or both. I'm starting to see the merits of a reverse flow. I'm thinking of revamping my smoker, and ditching the tuning plates. Not that they don't work, but adjusting and cleaning and this and that, can be a pain in the butt. Seems to me that a reverse flow would be a bit less work. Maybe I'm just getting lazy.
    Tom

    Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything. --Wyatt Earp

    Smoker:
    Homebuilt using 150 gallon side water tank from concrete truck.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    3,035

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    Well, what do you guys think. I'd especially like to hear from guys that have had either or both. I'm starting to see the merits of a reverse flow. I'm thinking of revamping my smoker, and ditching the tuning plates. Not that they don't work, but adjusting and cleaning and this and that, can be a pain in the butt. Seems to me that a reverse flow would be a bit less work. Maybe I'm just getting lazy.
    Tom,

    I think your going to hear it from both sides my friend. I love tuning plate, easy, consistent (as far as adjusting for the weather/wind direction and speed) but Do not own a reverse, nor have cooked on one. So
    MEMBER: BERGIE BBQ team 2011, 2012.




  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Glen Rose Tx
    Posts
    171

    Default

    Never owned a reverse flow, have had several friends with them ...they liked the way they operate, personally I was always a little scared about getting stale smoke. I have always been a tunig plate guy, I think it is the best way for my stlye of comp cooking...


    PS...Whichever way you go , it doesnt matter as long as you produce the best Q possible...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Haltomcity Texas
    Posts
    136

    Default

    Well first off Hello Gunny haven't seen are heard from in quite a while. Hope all is well at the gunslinger homefront. I don't know much about the reverse flow either had thought about trying just to see. But the way I have mine set up with the tunning plates and the temps I'm getting between both ends(around 10 to 15* ) I'm staying with the plates.
    Proud Member Of Pop's & HoppinMama Smoke Pit Bar-B-Q.
    Equipment: Home Made Custom Stick Burner The General Lee.
    Also Hot mama's other half

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Southern MD
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by msmith View Post
    I'm staying with the plates.
    How thick are your plates Marvin?
    Randy
    ________________________________________
    Char-Griller Horizontal Offset Smoker.
    Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse.
    About 500 lbs of Cast Iron cookware.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    102

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by msmith View Post
    Well first off Hello Gunny haven't seen are heard from in quite a while. Hope all is well at the gunslinger homefront. I don't know much about the reverse flow either had thought about trying just to see. But the way I have mine set up with the tunning plates and the temps I'm getting between both ends(around 10 to 15* ) I'm staying with the plates.
    Hey Marvin. I've been around, but you haven't.
    I understand what you're saying about the tuning plates. I also get pretty close from end to end with them. But they are a pain to clean, and the rounded bottom of the smoker is also a pain. So I was thinking a flat bottom would be easier to deal with and if the temps are consistent from end to end, then maybe I'll revamp it.
    You know this thing has been an ongoing project for about 12 years. Maybe I just have a need to tinker with it all the time.
    BTW, mine are 1/4 inch plate.
    Tom

    Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything. --Wyatt Earp

    Smoker:
    Homebuilt using 150 gallon side water tank from concrete truck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Haltomcity Texas
    Posts
    136

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GoFish View Post
    How thick are your plates Marvin?


    Randy I'm using 1/4" plates now the ones I had before were 1/8 and were getting to hot.
    Proud Member Of Pop's & HoppinMama Smoke Pit Bar-B-Q.
    Equipment: Home Made Custom Stick Burner The General Lee.
    Also Hot mama's other half

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Haltomcity Texas
    Posts
    136

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    Hey Marvin. I've been around, but you haven't.
    I understand what you're saying about the tuning plates. I also get pretty close from end to end with them. But they are a pain to clean, and the rounded bottom of the smoker is also a pain. So I was thinking a flat bottom would be easier to deal with and if the temps are consistent from end to end, then maybe I'll revamp it.
    You know this thing has been an ongoing project for about 12 years. Maybe I just have a need to tinker with it all the time.
    BTW, mine are 1/4 inch plate.
    Tom my plates don't run the whole length of the barrel due to the stack being cut in below grate level it was chocking off the fire. I'm running just under half way of the barrel. I do put foil in the bottom to catch what the plates don't burn off and that makes for easy cleaning. Did you ever get the firebox combination oven built on your's yet?.
    Proud Member Of Pop's & HoppinMama Smoke Pit Bar-B-Q.
    Equipment: Home Made Custom Stick Burner The General Lee.
    Also Hot mama's other half

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of Peculiar, MO
    Posts
    6,176

    Default

    So................. do you tune them to, like say, maybe a B flat?
    What pitch produces the best que?

    OK. Nuff.
    There are a lot of Lang cookers out there so I'd say there are a lot of folks who like the reverse flow thing. I have experienced the Lang and had some mighty good que off it. See a lot of them at comps.
    Now. Not trying to pi$$ anyone off, but - I think tuning plates are a mark of poor initial smoker design. They are an attempt to correct a problem that should not have been there in the first place if the smoker had been built right. ALL smokers have a hot spot. But that has to be taken into account in the original design so it is minimized and heat is moved through the smoker evenly. You need that "swirl" as it passes through.
    And you have to remember there are several other good smoker types out there that work really well.
    Bottom line - it's your choice, you have to please yourself. It all comes down to what you want. If you don't please yourself you will never be happy with what you get.
    "If you can't smell smoke it ain't a barbeque joint" peculiarmike

    TQJ Plankowner

    "Life's tough.....It's even tougher if you're stupid."
    - John Wayne

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    102

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peculiarmike View Post
    Not trying to pi$$ anyone off, but - I think tuning plates are a mark of poor initial smoker design. They are an attempt to correct a problem that should not have been there in the first place if the smoker had been built right. ALL smokers have a hot spot. But that has to be taken into account in the original design so it is minimized and heat is moved through the smoker evenly. You need that "swirl" as it passes through.
    And you have to remember there are several other good smoker types out there that work really well.
    While on the surface, this may seem like a relatively good explanation, especially to those that don't have clue about BIG wood burning smokers, it really isn't a good explanation at all. I have seen very few, if any conventional BIG wood burners with side offset fireboxes that don't have tuning plates. Unless they are of the reverse flow design. Even the commercial smokers at BBQ joints.
    This may be an accurate explanation about mine though. MAYBE.
    I saw a small Brinkman offset about 13 years ago. I didn't take pictures, I took no measurements, and I didn't have a clue as to what the physics of that smoker or the like were. So I set out to build one from that. Again, it's an ongoing project, and it may be that way for ever. I certainly hope not. One things for sure though; I've never had a failed meal from the very first chicken to the last bit of jerky I did on that "poor initial smoker design." I called that very first chicken a sacrificial chicken, and it ended up being the best chicken I had ever eaten at the time.
    The statement didn't pi$$ me off, but I do take exception to it. If you haven't built one like it....................Nuff said.
    Tom

    Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything. --Wyatt Earp

    Smoker:
    Homebuilt using 150 gallon side water tank from concrete truck.

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