Welcome to The BBQ Brethren Community. Register a free account today to become a member and see all our content. Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!


Knows what a fatty is.
Dec 11, 2015
San Jose, CA
Hey all,
I've purchased an OK Joe Highland and am planning to mod it before embarking on learning offset stick-burning. I'm wondering if anyone here has made their own baffle and convection plate (like the Horizon or ones), and how you went about it?

How thick does the metal need to be? I'm wondering if it can be accomplished without welding or any heavy tools. I looked around but wasn't able to find any DIY guides on the subject.

1/8 - 3/16" plate and a drill and step bit, oil for bit. You can buy a $6 blade at Home Depot for circular saw to cut plate.
This is what I did for my OK Joe Highland:



Works well. Temps are very even from end to end of the cook chamber. It's all 3/16 plate. Used a press brake to bend the plate next to the firebox. Drilled a lot of holes!

Probably version 3. It took a lot of experimenting to arrive at this configuration. I started out looking at the plate that Horizon sells for the OK Joe & doing a copy of that. That didn't work at all. Had 90* difference across the cook chamber.
I bought my 1/4" plates for my smokers from a metal shop for $32 but you could go thinner for less money . mine are cut from 6" wide plates and what I did was make some test pieces out of cardboard to get the right width and they just set in there . I space the last two plates and it will even out the temps across the grate and is the best mod you can do on a OKJ .

here is a pic I did recently on a different smoker
Last edited:
My convection plate I made out of 1/4 steel for under $20.00. But I welded it.
It shouldn't be to had to come up with something .
Enjoy your new smoker.
I have the bigger ok Joe and I changed exhaust and added a Lil baffle and works awesome now.


  • 20160730_230052.jpg
    41.4 KB · Views: 416
  • 20160730_230006.jpg
    40.6 KB · Views: 412
What a great looking little smoker for cheap!!!! So how well do these work after mods?

Works fine. No plans to upgrade to a "quality" unit in the near future (Weekend Warrior here). If it dies in the next 5 years... might just go get another one.
Well, since were bumping for newbs, I figured I'd throw out another option for folks trying to even out temps in offsets. It really might be worth trying out if you are into experimenting a bit. The idea didn't come from me, it came about by reading up on how Jambo's were designed. I've cooked 5 times with this mod (each with full loads of multiple briskets or other meats), and am still quite happy with it. Here is a link to the original thread:
This idea should work in principal on other offsets.

Here was my thinking: Most offset direct flow smokers tend to give bottom heat to the meat once a draft is established, at least mine does. I had regular baffle plates on my Peoria, and it seemed to move the hot spots around, but not so much get rid of them. While hot spots can be helpful, they got in the way when cooking several briskets at once. I experimented for a while with different plate positions, struggled with some burnt bottoms, and dealt with fat smoke from grease hitting the hot baffle plates. I wasn't looking forward to experimenting with drilling multiple holes in 1/4 inch plate (like the horizon plates have), so that led to trying the current plate I'm using.

I cut out a plate out of thin sheet steel (12 bucks for a 12x24 sheet) that basically forces the hot air straight up to the top of the cook chamber as soon as it leaves the firebox. Once the heat fills the top of the smoker, then the hot air all drops down over the meat very evenly left to right, as it finds the exhaust stack.

This method will concentrate the hot spot very near the firebox, so you still lose a little bit of cooking area. However, what you lose is really not that much (Maybe 6 to 8 inches of my total cooking area, which is 48 inches long. The cooking area that is left though, has been very even, and all top heat which does not scorch when you raise the temps. I also don't get any grease smoke from stuff dripping down on hot steel.

Here are a couple of pics, the rest are in the linked thread. Hopefully this could come in useful for someone.

Looking into cook chamber towards the firebox, No plates:

Same view, but with the new 22gauge sheet, which sits about 4 inches away from the firebox opening:

Here is the sheet by itself. It's easily removable for cleaning the bottom of the cook chamber, because it just rests on the rails that previously held the 1/4 baffle plates that it had before. The little tabs on the on the sides of the sheet keep it from falling over.