Oklahoma joe highlander temps mods

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by rad-one, May 24, 2015.

  1. rad-one

    rad-one Fire Starter

    Ok guys a little help here would be great. I purchased a wal mart Oklahoma joe highlander.I have sealed all leaks by welding the fire box to the cooking chambers. Welded the gap around the fire box where the two pcs get bolted together and welded plate steel around the door to seal unwanted air from getting in the fire box. Welded the exhaust to the cooking chamber made a thin 22ga heat baffle. Put lava lock gasket around the cooking chamber added latches to the door a made a basket for charcoal. Did a dry run today with just some kings ford charcoal the temps across the chamber was about 30 degree higher on the firebox side also the highest temp was only 290 degrees I know that is pretty high for smoking but thought it would be much higher wide open even with the firebox door open. Do you guys think 22ga is to thing causing uneven temps? would using a pan of water on the fire box side of the cooking chamber help even out temps ? Also would putting a 90 elbow on the exhaust to the cooking grate help ? And with only getting 290 wide open today when outside temp being 86 how well will this be during the winter will I be struggling to keep temps in the 225-250 range?
  2. rad-one

    rad-one Fire Starter

  3. rad-one

    rad-one Fire Starter

  4. smokejumper

    smokejumper Smoking Fanatic

    Well, I am no expert on store bought smokers (and I didn't even stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night) but a little trouble shooting is in order.

    Try cracking open the FB door and see if your temps go higher than 290°. If so, you will need more FB air intake area (the intake looks kinda small to me).

    IMO 22 ga is way too thin, but don't worry about even temps at this point. Focus on getting the temps up and controllable.

    A 90° elbow on the exhaust will not help.

    Forget about a water pan for now. Working offsets do not need them.

    Finally, you mention that you used charcoal for fuel, but how much did you use?

    Try starting more coals in a chimney starter to get things going good.

    If you are low on temps, try a bigger fire.

    I hope this helps.
  5. rad-one

    rad-one Fire Starter

    ive already tried the door wide open and the basket I made was 3/4 full but only started one end so took a few min to get going. I'm going to try some wood next run instead of charcoal. Was thinking of adding a vent at the upper half of the fire box for more air flow. Thanks for the reply
  6. drewed

    drewed Meat Mopper

    Try placing another plate on top of the one you have on the hot side. Try both right on top of installed plate and try spacing it up about 1/4" or so with some hex nuts as spacers.  

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