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1st cook in my O.K. Joe

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I bought an original O.K. Joe Longhorn this summer. since it's usually just the wife & I, I usually smoke in my weber performer/Cajun bandit. I'm getting ready to smoke my 1st brisket so i'm doing a trial run in the O.K. Joe with some whole chickens, a rack of ribs, & a pork butt. the fire is started & i'm waiting for the wood to reduce to coals. the meat was brined & is covered with rub & waiting for the fire. once the fire is ready how often does it need to be checked? everything I've read says these wood burners need a lot of tending.

also- I was at bass pro yesterday & got a good look at the horizon offset smokers. they are exceptionally well made. there's a sealing flange around the doors & the firebox dampers are tight. really nice units. if I was still looking i'd go that route. for fit & finish i'd say they are even slightly better than the Yoders that I've seen.

post #2 of 3

For your first smoke you will want to sit by the smoker the whole time.

Once you get the coal bed you will probably need to add a split every 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

Make sure you don't loose the coal bed, add the wood when the temp starts to drop just a little.

Don't fool with the vents too much, adjust them & see where the smoker temp settles in at.

Then you can give them a slight adjustment, but don't be too concerned if the smoker wants to run at a different temp than you like.

My Lang likes to run around 260, so I just let it.

It is definitely a learning experience, and the more you use your offset the easier it will get.

You will know just when to add wood & what size split to use.

Have fun & relax by the smoker with a few cold ones!


Good luck!


post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

I already see a modification I want to make. i'm going to weld a pair of washers on the inside of the lid at each end so I can use them to hold the probes of my maverick thermometer. i'm also going to buy a 2nd thermometer. i'm seeing a 20* difference from 1 end to the other. I do not have a baffle at the firebox yet but I did line the bottom with firebrick & installed a smoke shelf. I haven't installed gaskets at the lid yet as I plan to sand blast & paint it. so far I've been able to maintain 225* at the center of the cooker.

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