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OK Joe's Highland Reverse Flow Conversion Started

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Just recently joined the forum, but have already gotten some great info! On Memorial Day weekend, I bought an Oklahoma Joe's Highland smoker for $250. I did a trial run just to see how off the temps were, and they were pretty bad. There was a 50 degree difference between the two sides of the roaster chicken I was cooking. I originally was going to just make some small mods, but after researching, I've decided to convert it to a reverse flow smoker. I got started this weekend, with some help from a fabricator friend from work, and some design help from @totallybasted. Didn't get too far along, but the baffle plate is fully constructed and looking good.

I will post more pics as I continue the project. I'm definitely catching the building bug right now lol :-)
post #2 of 25

Welcome SmokedOut, warning, the building bug only gets with time......:icon_eek:

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

I can only imagine :icon_lol:

post #4 of 25
Originally Posted by xxSmokedOutxx View Post

... I'm definitely catching the building bug right now lol :-)


Welcome to the forums and to your new addiction.


That RF plate looks like a work of art.

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I'm fortunate to have some talented fabricators as coworkers. I can't wait to get the rest on Saturday. More pics to come.

post #6 of 25

Off to a good start



post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 

It's been a little while, but finally finished! It's been a learning process with some links left to work out. I tested it out with some St. Louis pork ribs and a whole chicken. They were amazing! You can see in the pics that I installed the baffle plate, fabricated/installed a gasket surface for the firebox vent door, moved the smoke stack to the firebox side (a little too close to the firebox door, it prevents the door from opening all the way), and built a firebox basket. I got to use an old artillery shell to create the open space for the hot coals (I used the minion burning method). Overall I'm happy with it, but may make a few additional changes.
post #8 of 25

How much space is between your cook grate and your RF plate?

post #9 of 25

I've been considering something similar with my OK Joe.  Great work, just wondering how high and stable you are able to keep your temps using the minion method.  With my highland, I seem to have a hard time getting to and holding 225.

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
@JCBigler I will have to measure it when I get home. @Spokes I only have some backyard grill brand thermometers from Wal-Mart right now, but they did read slightly low for awhile. I think if I just keep my intake vent open all the way from the get go it will maintain ideal temps. I'm saving up for some good thermometers, so I'll let you know when I get some more accurate readings.
post #11 of 25
Looks great smoked out what gauge did you use for the rf plate?
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by JAnnis View Post

Looks great smoked out what gauge did you use for the rf plate?

It's 1/8"

post #13 of 25
Thanks I have some stainless at work I would like to make a rf plate with do you think that would work?
post #14 of 25
The reason I'm asking is when I ran the laser at work mild steel would be much hotter than stainless when I cut it so I didn't know if that would effect temperatures inside the smoker. If you couldn't tell I'm completely new to this so any help is much appreciated!
post #15 of 25
I think SS expands more than mild steel and warping would be a problem....... I've seen folks use SS on the top of a wood stove, so they could cook on it, and it warped something terrible... could have been because it was thin... dunno...
post #16 of 25
Really it must have been thin when I was cutting stainless it was much harder than mild steel.
post #17 of 25

Dave is right on this one, stainless expands 50% more than mild steel in the temperature range of smoker operation. It is also much harder to cut than mild steel making it tougher to work with if you don't have plasma, laser, or very fine tooth blades. I think the old rule of thumb was at least three teeth engaged when saw cutting, but I heard that several decades ago.... If you weld it to mild steel you need to use 309 for filler rod/wire and it is still prone to crack at the junction if subjected to heat cycles. I have a love hate relation with stainless, I grew up in a salt environment so I love the corrosion resistance but it is a pain to work with. The upside, is it welds pretty if you can lay a good bead.

post #18 of 25
Thanks guys I really appreciate the feedback I think I'm gonna try it I made a program at work sof
post #19 of 25
Sorry little one just jumped on me and posted that what I was saying was I made a program so that the sides will be broke so that there will be minimal welding just on the corners which I'll have one of the pros at work do.we have lots of scrap at work so if it fails I'll just make one out of carbon thanks again for the input.
post #20 of 25
Smoked have you gotten a chance to use your highland any more?
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