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Unread 07-05-2013, 07:17 PM   #1
Mrdeville
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Arrow Oklahoma Joe Offset smoker

Does anyone have a Oklahoma Joe Smoker? How do you like it? Do the ashes leak out of the side firebox door?
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Unread 07-05-2013, 07:33 PM   #2
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I have an original. The oldest one I have seen so far (Serial Number 4858 ). I love mine. Can't speak too much regarding the new ones made by Charbroil..
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Unread 07-05-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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You don't have any problem with hot ash spilling out the side door
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Unread 07-05-2013, 07:49 PM   #4
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No, I had someone make a fully welded fuel basket for it. I only use a combo of lump and wood. It works great.
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Unread 07-05-2013, 08:21 PM   #5
Mrdeville
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Would you mind posting a pic of the basket? Did you have to use any gaskets or silicone to seal gaps? I had a brinkman limited edition which is very similar. I had to seal firebox with silicone. Main cooking chamber leaked around the doors and didn't bother to fix it. Oklahoma joe is definately larger and a bit more heavy duty. It's at lowes for $429 I am thinking about purchasing it.
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Unread 07-05-2013, 08:58 PM   #6
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I will post you a pic in the morning. I have to get it from the storage shed. My Okie Joe is 1/4" thick. It holds the heat very well with very minimal leakage. I do not need a gasket on this smoker. I did have a New Braunfels Black Diamond. On the Black Diamond I did mod it with a silicone gasket. It worked great!
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Unread 07-05-2013, 09:06 PM   #7
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I have a newer OKJ, but older than the one Lowes sells now. They get built cheaper and cheaper each change. Mine looks like the original, but it's a Char-broil built. I don't get and ash to come out of the door unless I open it to add a split. If you are thinking about putting it on a deck, don't. Stickburners should not be on decks. That is just an accident waiting to happen.

The newer versions are cheaper looking and built than even mine is. So I can't help you there. The cheap OKJ are a good, inexpensive stickburner and good to start learning Q on, but you soon come to find it's lack in build quality can really make things tough on you. If you lived closer I would offer to sell you mine.
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Unread 07-05-2013, 09:12 PM   #8
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As you can see there are many iterations of OK Joe smokers. Which one are you asking about?
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Unread 07-06-2013, 08:46 AM   #9
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I have looked at the one currently at Lowes on several occasions out of curiousity. Here are the things that I have noticed about it, good and bad...

Good:
Generous cooking size area
Pretty thick metal, claims 1/4", this helps even the heat out through the cooker
Cooking chamber door seems to seal up pretty good
Price versus what you get, I think it is a pretty good deal if you want an offset cooker

Bad:
The thing that really comes to mind is that the firebox door doesn't seal up at all, visible air gap there that could make controlling the fire a bit of a pain, I feel confident a little work could fix that though.

As with most common offset smokers, a few small modifications could turn this into a great smoker. It has the basics from the factory, thick metal, good size cooking area. Sealing up the firebox door, making a nice charcoal basket if you intend to use charcoal, definitely a heat deflector where the firebox enters the cooking chamber to help even out the heat difference between the two sides, you could go as far as tuning plates if you wanted, but a heat deflector will probably suffice. Two thermometers installed in the door, near grate level, one at each side, to help show you the temperature difference and help you know where you want to put the meat you are cooking.

All in all those mods are simple to a non metal worker, and inexpensive. I think this looks like a solid cooker that will last a very long time.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 09:41 AM   #10
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I seen one at my local HD and was quite impressed with how thick the metal was. 3/16 or 1/4", the smoker itself is quite heavy. I'm sure their are some gaps/leaks that would need to be taken care of. At first glance this OK Joe is light years better than the cheap-O Brinkmanns that I learned to smoke on . If they go on clearance at the end of the season I may pick one up.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 10:34 AM   #11
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i have 2 of the competitor models 20". found both on craigslist. these had an ashpan which all though convenient, doesn't seal up as well as it could. note piece of wood under ashpan to help it seal. i just adjust my split size to get the required temps. i will probably do away with the ash pan on the older one, as the pan is pretty well rusted out, and put a solid sheet of curved 3/16 steel in the bottom of the firebox. these do have all stainless doors, trim, prep table, handles, and pull out grease drain tray. for my purposes they work well. gave $280 for one that had been used about 3 times ( still had label on prep table), and $200 for the one with a little rust, which just needs a little crisco. they both came with 3 stainless steel charcoal pans and grates each for grilling in the main chamber. they are 3/16" steel which should last me 'till i can afford a lang.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 10:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajstrider View Post
...
Pretty thick metal, claims 1/4", this helps even the heat out through the cooker
...
Not sure how they are claiming that. The port where you slide the stack into is the only 1/4" on the whole thing. They are maybe 1/16" with a good seasoning on them.

Believe me, my Yoder firepit is 1/4", the new OKJ's aren't even close.

Again, having said all I have said, it's a good starter if you don't want to spend a lot of cash. It has served me very well and has done pretty fair at comps even. If I had more money, mine would have been upgraded to a Yoder stickburner after a year.
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