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convection plate
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Smokinfunk
BBQ Super Fan


Joined: 15 Apr 2007
Posts: 445
Location: Pensacola, FL

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01 08 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WARNING: READ THIS POST ONLY IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE EXCRUTIATING DETAILS. OTHERWISE JUST BUY THE CONVECTION PLATE.

1st report - Seasoning:

Yesterday since I knew that the new convection plate needed seasoning, went ahead and grabbed a wire brush, cleaned out & oiled up the whole smoker because it could stand a re-seasoning as well.

During the process I had two oven thermometers in the chamber, one towards the firebox side, one towards the cool side..

And was sorely disappointed to see a heat delta of between 50 and 70 degrees between the two ends of the cook chamber. But this is where re-seasoning the whole smoker was the best thing I could have done, because this morning I go out to a cool smoker that has a nice glossy black new coating inside, which CLEARLY showed where there were two heat plumes escaping around the convection plate where it meets the firebox (just like the mods from Alien's pictures where he clearly anticipated this effect).

So..haven't given up hope. Have used foil to seal the two corner holes, and some more to seal the narrow gap between the upper lip of the plate and the firebox wall. Right now have a load of coals heating up in the chimney for the chicken that's going on in a short while. (Looks like Hurrican Gustav won't be a problem for us today..just some wind to contend with). Just doing one bird, putting in the cool end of chamber (just in case my foil mods have no effect I don't want it at the 50-degree hotter end). That way, even if there's still a problem with uneven temps my bird will still turn out fine. Got my two thermos back in the chamber ready to test.

Will report back as events progress..

UPDATE: Coals are hot, smoker's up to temp. Finished oiling/rubbing the bird. Just went out to put it in the cooker..and I'm tickled to death that I see only a FIVE degree delta between the hot and cool ends...MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

So, if you have a 16" offset, uneven temps, no tuning plates, and don't mind fiddling around with some aluminum foil for maybe five minutes work filling the holes mentioned above, then BUY THIS CONVECTION PLATE!!

I'm still surprised that those tiny gaps made that much difference.

Can't wait for the next cook, when I can finally load this puppy up with meat for the first time without having to worry too much about moving it around during the cook.

ADDITIONAL UPDATE: Now this is interesting, but not cause for concern. The results I've reported are based on the temps from the two thermos I put in the cook chamber. Well, during this whole process, I haven't paid any attention to the external hood thermometer. In the past (pre-convection plate), as you might expect, my hood thermo always measured 15-20 degrees hotter than grate-level temps (at the cool end). Well, in the past few minutes I've been looking at the hood thermo and comparing to the internal thermos - and now my grate-level temp is actually 15 degrees (on average) hotter than the hood temp!! This is a first. So it must be that the convection plate is doing such a good job of distributing and carrying the heat along the bottom of the smoker instead of allowing it to flow across the top, that I imagine now most of the residual heat leaves the cool end of the convection plate and escapes through the chimney, rather than "pooling" in the upper half of the cooker. Whatever it's doing, I'm loving the stability of temps all across my cooking grates.

(Late-breaking observation) Or maybe because the convection plate is 1/4" steel, it has absorbed and is radiating heat such that the grate level temps are higher because of this radiant heat. (added this thought later after hearing the occasional droplet sizzle when hitting the convection plate) I'd drop an oven thermo right onto the plate to verify, but this would be too much of a PITA with the bird already in there cooking.

ONE LAST UPDATE:
At 3:00 (2.5 hours) into cooking I must correct my earlier findings, just for purposes of being precise: I'm seeing variations of up to, but no more than, 10 degrees between each end of the cooker. Average seems to be 5 degrees. (I'm writing the fluctuations off to the really-gusty winds I'm fighting from distant Hurricane Gustav..the winds here are hitting 20-30 mph. I've got braced sheets of plywood setup all round the smoker to fight this) And because I know the analytical types will be curious as to exactly how I'm making this determination, here's the cooker setup:

- 1 spatchcocked 6.7# bird sitting about 2/3 of the way between firebox and end of offset cooker.
- 2 "el cheapo" oven thermometers sitting on cooking grates, one toward each end of chamber, about 3" from each end.
- 1 remote digital thermometer with probe in chicken
- 1 dual-probe remote digital thermometer (for keeping the el-cheapo's honest). Each probe in a piece of cork, sitting on the cooking grates right next to the oven thermometers, double-checked to be sure probe tips are in the air not touching metal.
- all 3 probe wires run up my smokestack to the remote sending units (which sit on an improvised platform consisting of my wife's camera tripod at full height which places it at the same height as the top of my smokestack, with an aluminum pie plate, hole drilled in center, screwed onto the lug of the tripod that usually holds the camera, with the remote units sitting on the pie plate)

..you know, I really should take a picture of this setup (my wife laughed her ass off every time she peeked out the back door), but the camera is with the wife who's now gone visiting friends. Trust me, I don't typically get this anal with my setup, especially with digital and oven thermometers, I just wanted to be really sure of my conclusions with this new variable in the equation.

Anyway..in months of using all these items I've never seen more than a 7 degree variation between the digitals and the oven-type thermometers. Usually the variance is only 4-5 degrees.

So even with a 10-degree variance, I can with conviction say I'm darned happy with the stability I'm seeing from this convection plate.
_________________
============================
WSM 22.5", Digi-Q ATC
Brinkmann Cimarron Deluxe offset smoker
Weber One-touch 22.5" grill
============================

If God hadn't meant for us to eat animals, He would not have made them out of meat!
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ou812warford
BBQ Super Fan


Joined: 08 Jun 2007
Posts: 422
Location: Wylie,TX

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02 08 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info. I used mine for the first time yesterday and saw the same things you did. I was a little disappointed in the varition like you. I found 50 degree difference between the ends. I will try the tin foil sometime soon. I did notice the fire seems to burn longer now. I cooked a 13 lb brisket and it cooked in 8 hrs. I don't know what happend there but it was good. Later I warmed the brisket that got done early and 11 ABTs and then temps from one end to the other seemed closer. I was busy drinkling beer so I did not pay close attention. Also noticed that the gauge in lid was about 15 degrees different then the grates. The guage in the lid use to run at 290 and on the grate it was 250. Now at 240 the grate at that end is 225. The temps come up slower now and I need more pratice with the plate in and the fire size. So far I am pleased with my purchase and am sure after more smokes I will even happier. Next purchase may be a charcoal basket.
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Oklahoma Joe 16" traditonal
weber gold 26 3/4"
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DaveNC



Joined: 13 Nov 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12 09 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to Smokinfunk for some in-depth reporting! I received my plate from Horizon today and now know exactly what I need to do before I fire up my Cimmaron on Sunday. Convection plate assisted rib & fattie p*rn to follow............
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