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Brinkmann Tutorial Series – Tuning Plates

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Home BBQ Smoker Tips Brinkmann Tutorial Series – Tuning Plates
Published on April 17, 2015

This is the fifth video in my BBQ Tutorial Series featuring my Brinkmann Trailmaster Limited Edition Smoker. How setup tuning plates, adjust and sizing on a BBQ Smoker.


  1. WhirlyBird Images, LLC

    Thanks K-Ray. Looking forward to buying one of these soon and your videos
    are going to help me a LOT. 

  2. Charles Washington

    Will JB Weld work to hold the BP and TP together? And where is a good
    place to get these plates?

  3. Steven Davis

    Where can i get tuning plates like that KRay?

  4. Jesse Herrera

    Hey K. Ive watched a few of your vids. I have tbe chargriller duo and added
    the firebox option to turn one side to smoker. Now im getting ready to move
    to the trailmaster LE for more cook space. I saw your vid on baffle plates.
    My question is can I use the 1/4 plate solid across the bottom after the 45
    degree offset and then drill a bunch of strategic holes from 1/4″ to bigger
    as I go down the plate? Ive seen this method done on the bigger smokers
    made out of 1/4 steel pipe. But wonder if same method will work on the
    Trailmaster LE. THANKS

  5. Haden McCormick

    Thanks for the baffle project and other ideas. I picked up a Trailmaster
    from Home Depot on Monday. Away from home so I didn’t have resources to get
    1/4″ plates so I pieced up three pieces of thin steel at HD that I hand
    rolled into arches to pick up heat out of the off set box. Worked really
    well directing heat and smoke on up the chamber. Also made a no-weld basket
    out of a 24″ x 24″ piece of expanded metal with only an angle cutter,
    folding and bending. Thanks for all the inspirational ideas, had a great
    first cook with a boneless port butt.

  6. ucfkid67

    hey there K ray! Best videos ever! great job! I do have a question
    for you… I am building plates right now. Is there a particular reason you
    went with 1/4 steel plate? better for heat than thinner metal? and..why did
    you go from 15 to 14.5 inches long? I measured mine and it looked like 14
    1/4 would work all the way down for me? thanks!

  7. Lou Orellana

    Yo K Ray… when you seasoned (cured) your trailmaster smoker… did you
    also leave the tuning plates in there or used them after the curing

  8. Phil Billy

    K-Ray my OK joe is a lot like your smoker do u use or do you suggest using
    a 90 degree elbo on the inside of the stack I see a lot of people doing it
    Is it worth it and what do you gain from it thanks 

  9. rsc406

    Great info. Thanks

  10. Jeff Ridler

    Hey K-Ray…bought this same smoker this summer. Used the RTV at anyplace
    that metal touches metal, don’t seem to have any leaks. Made the tuning
    plates very similar to yours here. To help control the heat from one side
    to the the other (only 5degress different on a digital thermometer) I have
    place 4 fireplace bricks that I wrapped in aluminum foil on the bottom of
    the chamber under the tuning plates. Placement of the bricks varies from
    cook to cook, haven’t figured out why yet, but works very well. Going to
    being giving my first go around at a brisket next weekend. Thanks for all
    your advice!!

  11. Robert Phillips

    Thanks for all your videos especially the ones on tuning plates. This is
    one of those, DUH, why didn’t I think of that. Thanks again!

  12. Dave Nuzzetti

    Hi K-Ray I made the tuning plates on my Brinkman Trailmaster, they work
    GREAT have to ask do you ever clean them ?

  13. Alvin Campbell

    Thanks K Ray!!! I have no experience at using a smoker, I grill a lot, but
    never used a smoker. This summer, I’m going to step my game up and buy the
    Brinkman Trailmaster. Your video’s are on point, and gives me some
    knowledge and confidence to become a great smoker!!!

  14. StephenRIP

    Hey K-Ray I need your advice. I just received my Trailmaster Limited
    smoker. I put it together today and went to the metal supply and got tuning
    plates. I was wondering if when I cure the smoker for the first time if I
    should cure it with the tuning plates inside and if so if I should rub
    cooking oil on the plates to. Any other tips on the curing/seasoning
    process? Thank you for all your videos and great tips. 

  15. carey canada

    Quick question K, I’m about to purchase a new smoker. I’ve watched your
    video over and over and I’ve talked myself into the Brinkmann Trailmaster.
    Is this a good choice for a beginner? Hope you can help me out

  16. 612alb

    Thank you Sir,for your reply. The tiles can stand the heat. I having a
    problem keeping a consistent temp. I have noticed that the coals are
    burning to fast, this the first time I used Kingsford charcoal. I have
    always used lump, so i’m going to try with lump instead.This is a brand new
    pit. Temp is varying from 285 on the right side to 240 on the stack side.
    How can I keep it closer to one temp across. Thank you for your help. You
    should be on BBQ PItMasters. I did make a Charcoal Basket, you help me with
    that also.

  17. 612alb

    Hey Mr. K Ray great video’s. I have a ? can you use porcelain tiles cut to
    the same size as tuning plates.I know that they can handle the heat. Please
    let me know.

  18. raman Larkin

    Hey K-ray I made the tuning plates on my Brinkman Trailmaster, bro I gotta
    tell ya this smoker is a POS, even after I siliconed all the seems this
    thing still leaks like a sieve. The firebox has a quarter inch gap on the
    lid and smoke and heat escapes so badly I cant maintain the heat in the
    chamber, did you have these similar issues with your brinkman?

  19. Gregory Giles

    K-Ray, I just bought a Trailmaster and cooked ribs last night, way
    different than my old $199 barrel smoker. Thank you for all the info. I
    will make the mods over the next week and be cooking on the weekend. Greg.

  20. raman Larkin

    K-Ray this is some good info on the tuning plates, I have the same smoker
    and I will make these plates according to your video. Thanks very much for

  21. MxKrack3r

    Hey K-Ray,did you use steel or aluminum? 

  22. psychoboxingfan

    yo k what shop did you get these at? im in the houston area too


    Very informative K-Ray. Nicely done brother!!!!

  24. TangoSpiceCompany

    Yeah, this has been in the stable a long time. One of the reasons I kept it
    is that back then they made it out of heavier steel than what is available
    in an ‘el cheapo’ offset.

  25. TCnDAHSE

    Great idea…to double up on the those 2 tuning plates to hold the 1st
    plate at an angle. I like it….no welding, bolts, etc….how much distance
    or gap is at the other end where there is no tuning/baffle plates? What if
    you had tuning plates all across with small gaps…Do you see this being a

  26. K- Ray

    Your Welcome Tom, Thanks for checking it out.

  27. K- Ray

    They are 1/4″ steel metal plate, and you can get them from a local metal or
    welding shop and they will cut them for you. Thanks for subscribing.

  28. K- Ray

    Awesome man I appreciate it. I put the water pan on top of the plates close
    to the firebox because all of the plates are together. I wouldn’t suggest
    putting them where they are gaped because it will hurt your heat
    distribution in that area.

  29. TangoSpiceCompany

    This is a great series. The Brinkman I have has been inuse on and off
    (mostly off) since it found its way into the back yard in 1996. It has been
    under a cover for a few years after being passed by with other cookers.
    After watching your vids it has been brought back out into the sunlight and
    has seen some great cooks over the last few weeks. Bravo!

  30. Mike Wong

    Thanks for all your great videos!! I have s couple questions. Does the
    water pans go on top of the plates or below the plates? And what kind of
    logs do you use?

  31. texashardhitter44

    What kind of metal are the plates and where did you find them did you have
    to cut them yourself?

  32. MrMacBBQ

    Awesome information.

  33. K- Ray

    Oh yeah they make a world of difference and your pit is a lot more
    efficient and your food will be much better. I’m glad it helped. Thanks for

  34. K- Ray

    Hope it helps you out bro, Thanks for watching!!

  35. 02BlackStallion

    Have you heard of anyone using ceramic plates?

  36. K- Ray

    Yeah, one of my subs did and he said they worked perfect.


    Thanks for all this info K-Ray! I’ve been using a Traeger pellet smoker for
    some time now. I like it and it’s easy to use, but don’t feel like I get
    the smoke/bbq flavor I’m looking for that a offset stick burner like this
    should do. I’m going to be picking up a Brinkmann T-Master and adding your
    mods. Can’t wait!

  38. lockguy707

    great info getting one of these pits

  39. K- Ray

    Thanks bro glad it helped, gotta represent H-TOWN!!! PEACE.

  40. K- Ray

    Thanks, I’m glad it was helpful. I appreciate you subscribing to my channel.

  41. K- Ray

    Your Welcome, my pleasure

  42. Harold Timm

    Got the tile plates in and are working great. Would still prefer the steel
    plates you suggest but I just could not find a reasonable source for the

  43. SBY sparky

    Thank you for the tips!

  44. food jazz

    Great tutorial!

  45. Slippery Chicken BBQ

    Nice tips K-Ray thank you.

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