Installation guide for Tuning Plates on Offset Smoker

What is an Offset Smoker?

24th Dec 2019
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If you're wondering about how to install tuning plates inside an offset smoker, then don't worry, many people have the same question. And right now, you're reading the correct article as I'm going to explain how to install tuning plates inside your offset smoker. But, before we proceed to know anything about installing tuning plates inside an offset smoker, we need to know what are offset smokers and tuning plates. Many of you people know these already but trust me, some of the readers aren't aware of anything like this. Therefore, it's better to start from the beginning.

What is an Offset Smoker?

This is the most vintage design of any smoker grill, and it's still available in the market. A part of its popularity is the ability to bake foods using classic methods that would give a smokey wooden flavour. Smoke from the burning wood are used inside that brings a different kind of essence to the biscuits, sausages, and marshmallows. Using timber and charcoal instead of gasoline or propane brings a traditional vibe to the food. This kind of cooking is known as Smoking, and many people like this taste.


The design of an offset smoker resembles a hollow cylinder with an additional chamber attached to any one of its sides. It is the fire chamber where premium wood and charcoal burns to produce heat and smoke that cooks the food. The foods are smoked inside the long and horizontal cylinder as wood and charcoal burns in the fire chamber, providing the necessary heat and smoke.


Inside the cooking cylinder, there are several briskets, racks of ribs and pork shoulders that hold the food on them. These are ventilated from below that allows the heat and smoke to come up. You can roast anything, including biscuits, sausages, marshmallows, chicken-sticks etc. Offset smokers are widely used during vacations, camping trips, ceremonies and special occasions. These are made of thick stainless steel and are heavy enough for one person to carry. Thus, wheels are attached in the bottom to make them a little bit more portable.

What are tuning plates inside an offset smoker?

Inside the offset smoker, heat and smoke are generated at one side of the cylinder. And then, it's carried through the air to cook the food inside the cylinder. Sometimes, the cooking process isn't even throughout the entire length of the cylinder due to the improper heat distribution system. Cooking potential stays decent to the particular side of the barrel where the fire chamber is attached. But, compared to that, the other hand remains marginally cold. It happens due to the convection heat transfer because air is a poor conductor of heat. You may have noticed this difference when cooking the same food at both ends at once. The items near the fire chamber cook more than the food on the other side.


Tuning plates are used to even out the heat distribution. These are flat sheets of stainless steel with ⅛ inch of thickness. These are positioned alongside the grills of the smoker throughout its entire length. As steel is a great conductor, this helps in proper distribution of heat throughout the cylinder. After installing tuning plates inside your offset smoker, you can immediately notice the difference.


How to install tuning plates inside your offset smoker.

Many offset smoker models come with tuning plates out of the box, and they are detachable too. It means that you can put the tuning plates inside the cylinder whenever needed. But if your current offset smoker doesn't have such tuning plate attachment, then you don't need to buy a new one. Tuning plates are available individually in the market, and you can buy one set for your smoker. They are quite cheap and comes at around $1/- for each plate. But before buying one such set, you have to keep a few things in mind. Make sure that your offset smoker has proper slots for inserting tuning plates and also check the height of the available slots. The height of the slots is usually between 20 and 30 centimetres. Therefore get those numbers before buying tuning plates.


After purchasing the ideally measured tuning plates, wash them thoroughly with a standard detergent. While manufacturing, grease and industrial oil get onto them, therefore before cooking anything on them, those residues must be removed. Now, you can insert the plates inside your offset smoker. Just put them inside the slots, one after the other. Don't leave any air gap between the plates and also make sure that they touch each other. It will ensure the proper conduction of heat throughout the entire system. And finally, enjoy your smokey wooden flavoured barbecue and sausages. Tuning plates are always welcomed inside any smoke because not only they even out the temperature inside, but also increase the efficiency of cooking. Thus, if your griller doesn't have one, you should get a set of perfectly measured tuning plates to make your dishes even more tasteful.


Best tuning plates for offset smokers

There are numerous variations of tuning plates available in the market, but most of them aren't suitable for cooking purposes. They come cheap, but in most cases, low price means the worst quality of any product. Best tuning plates for offset smoker are ideal tuning plates should be made of stainless steel and should be galvanized too. You'll notice a black unscratched coating on the plates if it's adequately galvanized. The thickness of the plates must be from ⅛ inch to ¼ inch because only in this range you'll get the best efficiency. Never buy any plate less than ⅛ inch of thickness as they may break quite soon. So, keep these in mind while a set of tuning plates for your offset smoker.


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