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Old 01-29-2014, 12:49 PM   #1
birgey
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Default Thoughts on Oklahoma Joe Longhorn? HELP

Greetings Brethern!
So, I finally talked the wife into letting me get a new smoker, and since I can't afford a trailer grill (or to buy everything and make one), I think I've settled on this Olahoma Joe Longhorn that's sold by Lowe's. The website shows that it's a Char-Broil Longhorn, but the actual box shows it's Oklahoma Joe,along with the metal plate attached to it.
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Char-Broil Longhorn 1060-sq in Charcoal Horizontal Smoker

Item #: 131736 | Model #: 13201747




It's $429 (but, I get a discount ). It seems to be made with high quality/thick steel. The firebox on this weighs almost as much as the whole Char-Griller Pro grill,if you have any experience with one of those. I've spent some time on Google, and based on my past experiences with cheaper models, I know there's gonna be a few things I'd want to do...
- I found a site,BBQGaskets.com, that sells a gasket kit for the smoker lid and the firebox lid. Will definitely get this.
- I've seen where some people have order a tuning/convection plate, but figured I could by 16GA sheet metal and fashion it to deflect the fire/heat down into the smoking chamber. Possibly even make the opening from the firebox to the smoking chamber smaller as well?
- Install a 90degree elbow,or possibly use an aluminum dryer vent to get the exhaust down lower inside the grill.

- Possibly not even use the temp gauge it comes with, and order 2 good quality ones (since it has 2 spots for gauges).

- Here's where it gets tricky...since I can't make it a reverse flow, I could put the deflector plate in, then how would you recommend making a plate? Get another 16GA piece of sheet metal and drill holes in it (smaller holes on the right side, then gradually get a little bigger as you go to the left)? How would you mount it in the chamber? Weld it? Use nuts/bolts and drill through the chamber?
- I've heard some people will line their firebox and/or smoking chamber with firebricks. Do any of you do this? It makes sense as it would help insulate and cut down the use of wood/charcoal, but I could be off base here.




So, anyone have any thoughts on this grill and potential mods for it? I want to make sure that it's as air tight/insulated as I can get it, so I was thinking about when assembling it maybe using some type of high heat caulk or something to put where the firebox attaches to the smoking chamber. Good/Bad idea? What would you recommend?


I appreciate any thoughts and feedback!
-Birgey
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:01 PM   #2
luke duke
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Why don't you cook on it first before you redesign the whole thing?
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:05 PM   #3
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You are not too far away from the Academy Sports in Madison TN. You may want to check out the Old Country BBQ Pits Pecos or Wrangler for that price point. They are welded and have thicker metal depending on the pit. Wrangler is thicker than the Pecos.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:07 PM   #4
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Cuz them things NEED those mods.

What are you used to cooking on? I prefer verticals myself.

Check with these guys and see if they can work one up for ya
https://m.facebook.com/kybbqco?id=14....com%2Fkybbqco
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:11 PM   #5
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FWIW, I bought this smoker maybe 8-10 months ago - same model, from Lowe's also. It was same price ($429) but took the floor model with a couple exterior scratches on it and they let it go for $380 out the door.

It is a solid cooker, not without it's limtations. It is my first smoker, so take this will that grain of salt.

I find that it burns sticks primarily much better than running on all charcoal with wood chips, etc added. I do have to keep an eye on the temp, to make sure my fire is going strong -- probably adding wood every 45 min or so.

I've done no real modifications yet. However, I *always* put a half sheet disposable aluminum pan full of water on the grate directly adjacent to the firebox -- this (aside from the obvious humidity benefit) really seems to deflect the heat well and even out the temps from right to left (though there is still some variation - it's just 5-15 degrees, as opposed to 40ish degrees without the water pan).

I do plan to add a gasket to the door at some point to seal it a bit better, but I just haven't gotten around to it. Anytime I've had to do some modifications, I end up just cooking on it instead.

The stock temp gauge is not accurate, but it is reliable -- so I set a wired probe next to grate level and get an accurate pit temp, and I can read the temp gauge on top and see how much the difference is so I can estimate with a quick glance if I want.

All in all, the price was right for me...and I'm learning to use it quite well. Family hasn't turned down any Q yet. I'm very happy with this smoker (though I know what could be done with others that were outside of what I would spend for a first cooker).
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:13 PM   #6
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Thanks for the quick replies!

I figured if I was going to do any mods, might as well do them as I'm assembling it,right? Plus, from about everything I've read, the grill needs those gaskets. Plus, from what I've used in the past, I hate having to have food 6-8 inches away from the firebox. Figured with a deflector plate or something I would gain even temps throughout, plus gain more useable space in the grill.

And I've been using the Char Griller Pro with the offset firebox for a few years now. It's decent enough (for first actual offset smoker), but loses so much heat/smoke. Lids have gaps, and the metal throughout is rather thin.
I'll look into that JPS11. Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmittyJonz View Post
Cuz them things NEED those mods.
no, they dont need all those mods.

I have one

I know.

tuning plates are all I would do

the rest of the stuff I would wait on

I agree with the suggestion of firing it up first, then make any changes you think might be needed

All I did was tuning plates and another thermo

thats it.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:15 PM   #8
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ButtBurner, what did you use/do for a tuning plate?
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:21 PM   #9
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I don't own either one but haven't looked at that one and the old country wrangler several times and I would go with the wrangler all it needs is tuning plates
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:31 PM   #10
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Just called the Madison Academy. They do not have any OC pits in stock. I have looked at the OK Joe pit as well. An upgrade from a Brinkmann, to be sure, but I think I would save until I had enough for a 1/4 inch steel pit. That's what I'm doing.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:46 PM   #11
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I used 1/4" steel plate since that is what I had. You dont need it though.

I have lots of info and tips I can help you with

bottom line is get it and fire it up.

you can PM me if you like I would be more than happy to help you out

then you will be able to cook this
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:55 PM   #12
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Have you considered a used thick steel offset from Craigslist?
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:11 PM   #13
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Looks good!

And I haven't had much luck locating one on Craig's list or eBay.
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:16 PM   #14
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Ooops
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:16 PM   #15
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Had mine about a year, only thing I did was take a baking sheet (the one with all the holes in it) and kind of place it in the chamber at a angle in front of the fire box as a bit of a deflector. I start with some lump then feed it chunks or sticks, runs at about 275 with everything open pretty consistent, just adding wood ever 1/2-45 min.
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