Oklahome Joes offset?

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by stakeman, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. stakeman

    stakeman Fire Starter

    Ok, I've smoked several meats and most have turned out good. The Pork butt was excellent. I've done several briskets and I think some have gotten too much smoke. I love the taste of mesquite, but hours on end makes the taste way too harsh. Cut to the chase...most of the time the smoke is really rolling out of the stack. I know I've read about the thin blue smoke and really want to get to that point. Do I need another fire box to burn the wood down to the coals before putting in my smoker? I read somewhere that the stack should be full open and control the heat with the vent on the side of the fire box...After being a member and reading this forum for around a year I just finished day 2 of the 5 day course. I was disappointed jeff didn't address this issue.

    Anyone familiar with Oklahoma Joes longhorn specifically that can give me some input. I've controlled the temp no problem it's the incredable amount of smoke I'm getting that frustrates me.

    I'm getting ready for my first smoke, a brisket and want to get this smoke issue down before I fire it up! BTW i normally start the fire an hour or 2 before adding the meat. The fire box just needs more fuel during the long smokes, when I add the new wood I get the smoke pouring again. TIA
  2. smokebuzz

    smokebuzz Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    A small hot fire is what you want, a large smoldering fire will give you the billowing stale smoke, probly what you're experiencing.Try chunking your wood up smaller, and see if that works.
  3. stakeman

    stakeman Fire Starter

    Thanks for the quick reply Buzz. I've been buying the bags of pecan and mesquite from Academy, the logs are about the size of your forearm and around 14'' or so in length. If I split them into around 2-3'' sections and keep the length do you think that will help? I've also been pulling the bark off to keep the smoke down.
  4. smokebuzz

    smokebuzz Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    that should work fine, also make sure your wood is dry.
    How big is your smoker? OK joe and Horizons should be very similar.

  5. stakeman

    stakeman Fire Starter

    it looks very similar to the one you have pictured.
  6. cman95

    cman95 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Cut your wood down to about fist size. Syart your fire and let the white billowing smoke almost dissappear and then put your meat on. When adding wood just add small amounts at a time. Good luck.
  7. stakeman

    stakeman Fire Starter

    Thanks cman it looks like you have some time with one of these models. My plan is to load up the box, let it burn way down and add small chunks more often. I know by the end of a long smoke, my nice bed of coals is putting off some nice heat.
  8. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    good advice here so far, I think.

    I have a Bell Fab 24 x 36" w/ sfb. I take my wood splits, and split them down even more - to where they are only about 1" - 1 1/2" x 12" long.
    I end up adding one 2 or 3 times an hour.

    The issue here is one of three things:
    1 - too much wood on at once
    2 - not enough air intake
    3 - not enough air drawing in through the smoker.

    What you want, is to be able to maintain temps but still have your air intake mostly open for the whole cook - so you get good air circulation.

    Here is what I did last weekend and it worked well...

    Once you are up to temp and cruising, and it's time to add another stick...add it to the firebox and make sure your air intake is ALL the way open. As the stick catches fire, you will see a momentary increase in cooking chamber temo, but don't worry - it will stabilize soon! After about 30 - 45 seconds of the stick catching fire...back your intake down to about 25% open, instead of 100%...

    What you want to do, is reduce the flames a little on those sticks - but not put them out completely so they just smolder. That 30 - 60 second increase in target temp every half hour or so, is better than maintaining perfect temp but with stale smoke in there for long periods.

    Experiment with your smoker model because they are all different, but the main thing is to add just a little wood at once - and play with that air intake. Works for me - good luck!
  9. stakeman

    stakeman Fire Starter

    Great tips guys! Thanks to everyone for the help. One question for Bman, approx. how many sticks are you adding every 30 minutes of so? I just imagine too many at one time will give a large temp spike.. 4-6 sound around the right amount? I don't want to run short on fuel....

    As a side note I have a large creasode (sp) build up, should I scrape that off the inside before my next smoke? My guess is yes, I feel these questions are getting silly.
  10. Stakeman The first thing you need is dry seasoned wood. Thats the most important thing. Mesquite is very dense hard wood and can take a couple of years to dry properly. Top quality dry wood with no rotting is what you need. A little bit of bug damage is ok, but not to much. Your wood also should be kept out of the rain and under cover. You may want to try to find some other wood to experiment with if you havent already. I dont know if you have any oak, pecan, or other fruit or nut wood in your area but they are not as dense as mesquite.

    Look at your fire grate and make sure there are little or no ashes under it. You need to have 3-4 inches of space between your fire grate and the bottom of your firebox when you start your fire. If you dont have at least 3 inches at the deepest part you need to prop it up somehow. Air flow through the cooker and fire is second most important when burning wood for primary heat.

    For your fire you may need to take your splits or rounds and cut them so they are 8-10 inches long. I like mine to be about the thickness of a beer can, no larger. If all your fire wood is beer can thickness rounds they should be split. Cut up a bunch of kindling ranging in size from slivers to about an inch thick and around 8 inches long. Pile them up in your firebox in a teepee configuration about 8-10" wide at the base and get it burning. Keep your firebox door and all your dampers wide open. When the fire gets to its hottest point ad two or three of 1/2 beer can thick, or smaller, splits and allow them to get buring good and hot. There shouldent be much smoke coming from the fire at that point. Close the door on the firebox after the wood has been burning good and hot, probably 10 minutes of so. Keep the dampers on the door and stack wide open. After your cooker has came to 250-300* start adjusting the intake damper a little at a time to get the heat under controll. When you add fuel to the fire try to keep about 1/2" to 3/4" spaces between the pieces of wood, for air flow. You have to have lots of air flowing through you fire. You can put the splits on the fire perpendicular to the splits under them if you want to. You will most likely have to stay right there with the cooker most of the time and feed it the beer can sized, or smaller, spilts about every 1/2-3/4 hour. When the temp drops about 10* below your target temp its time to add another split or two. If there is a breeze you should have the cooker pointed so the air is blowing into the intake damper, if its going the other way it could be a challenge to get stabil temps.

    You need to keep a small, hot, efficient burning fire that has alot of air flowing through it. When you add fuel you will get some white smoke for a moment but you can reduce that by pre-heating your splits on top of your firebox. Every time you need fuel use the wood from the top of the firebox and replace it every time. The wood may get pretty warm and you might need gloves or tongs.

    Thats what works for me it should work for you. Good luck.
  11. txbbqman

    txbbqman Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like you got some pretty solid advice.

    This is my Ok Joe


    And I pretty much follow everything that has already been said.

    I just want to add, it may have been said and I missed it but mesquite is a very tricky wood to use. My recommendation and the way I cook with mesquite is that I use mainly oak and add just a little mesquite for flavor. You definitely do not want to use all mesquite.

    Good Luck and Happy Smokes
  12. stakeman

    stakeman Fire Starter

    Great info Cacus, thank you for the very informative post! Thanks Tx as well. I'll look for oak.
  13. txbbqman

    txbbqman Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Stakeman, I just noticed you are in Spring. Do a craigslist search in and around Houston for "Firewood" and you will find oak coming out your ears.

    Going price right now, up here in College Station is around $150 for a cord and that is delivered. So be looking for that price range.

    Shoot me an e-mail [email protected] or a PM if you can't find any, if you can make it up to Bryan/ College Station area I have a contact that is selling Oak / Pecan mixture for around the same price
  14. stakeman

    stakeman Fire Starter

    Thanks Tx, I'll check out Craigs list. I'm not sure I need a cord. I love smoking but my wife is on a health kick so I have to moderate the stuff that taste good....J/K[​IMG]..

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