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First Mods to my Oklahoma Joe

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I decided to go ahead with a couple of mods to my Joe before I started smokin in it. I didn't like the way the exhaust is situated on the end. I also want to add a baffle to deflect the heat as it comes out the firebox. I had my brother make me up a false wall and I have wedged it in to make sure it works the way I'm hoping before I weld it in. This way the exhaust pulls at grate level all the way across the end of the smoker.

I also made up a basket for charcoal out of expanded metal. Just bent it where I wanted it and put in a few bolts to hold it.

I did a test burn and loaded up 18 pounds of charcoal. I'm going on 4 hours now and the only problem I'm having is it is burning too hot. Staying at 290 to 300 degrees with the damper closed all the way. I think I'm going to have to seal it up better. Must be pulling air from somewhere. I found that with this exhaust setup the temps from one end of the smoker to the other only vary a few degrees after the smoker evens out. I'm still gonna put a small baffle in to deflect the radiant heat from the firebox. I'm amazed at how well this thing works. I couldn't stand it and ended up throwin in a couple of hamburgers for supper.

Threw a little swiss on em and ate em up. I'm gonna have to work on getting these temps down. I think this thing will burn 5 or six hours on a load of charcoal if I can choke it down enough. I know there are a few horizons and Oklahoma Joes out there. Any advice is appreciated.
post #2 of 16
Nice job. Man those burgers look good. is it too late to go fire up my smoker? dang now I am hungry
post #3 of 16

ok joe

Great smoke ring on the burgers. I think you are right about the air leaks, seal it up and I think you will have the temp problem solved after you build a baffle between the firebox and the smoke box. Great looking mods so far.
post #4 of 16
Nice! If you have time, would you post a pic when you install the baffle? I'm real interested to see how that might look.

The burgers look awesome!


P.S. That is a great looking pick-up! icon_lol.gif
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Sure. be glad to. I can't stress how much lowering that exhaust helped to acclamate the temps in the smoker. There were times that there were only 3 degrees difference in each end. I'm going to install a small baffle to deflect the radiant heat but as far as the temps go the exhaust is what made the difference. I'm going to have to work on getting the cooking temps down. Smaller fire = less heat. The intake vent on this thing is really sloppy so I'm going to fix that and see if it doesn't help with the overall temp control.
post #6 of 16
When I tried an all charcoal burn (minon method) with my Horizon I also had a hard time with keeping temps down. From there I started using wood for fuel and have had very good luck. That's if ya don't mind tending a fire, which I don't.

I would like to get a better look at how ya built the exhaust deflector, it's an interesting concept.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

Finishing up my Mods and getting ready to smoke.

I finished up the mods I had planned for my Oklahoma Joe today. I took a piece of stainless steel and made a small deflector plate to keep some of the radiant heat off the end of the smoking grate. As I mentioned before... there was very little difference in the temp from end to end after placing the exhaust plate in the left end of the smoker. This plate is there to keep some of the radiant heat directly from the firebox from burning the meat right in front of it. I may have made it too small but we will see.

I went ahead and welded the exhaust plate in place. This seems to work really well. Not sure why they don't incorporate this into the smokers design. I decided it didn't need a solid weld and a few tack joints would be enough. This holds the heat and smoke in the upper part of the smoker and pulls the exhaust at rack level.

The last thing I did was to grind the back of the intake damper where the pin was and punched it out. Replaced this with a bolt and a couple of nuts on the backside to hold it in place. Gives me a much better damper without the slop it had before.

I think I'm ready to fire her up and smoke the devil out of her tomorrow. Have some ribs..... a corned beef..... and maybe a fatty or 2..... aaaaand some abtz.
post #8 of 16
Nice job. The Horizon comes with a bolt and nut like you just installed. You can buy a Horizon convection plate for it too. With the plate installed you can get even temps from side to side with no other mods required.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks! The Oklahoma Joe had the bolt and nuts already in place. I just built the plate to fit. The convection plate from horizon runs close to $80.00 with the shipping and I've only got some time in this.... plus I like messin with it. So far I have $200 dollars in this smoker.
post #10 of 16
Only $200.00 in it? You should be ashamed of yourself biggrin.gif
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yep.... good ol craigslist. Guys father in law gave it to him after using it a couple times. Said he didn't like it. Rest is scrap and a little time. Even gave me the leftover high temp paint. Watched Craigslist for months waitin on it. Ha!
post #12 of 16
Found my Bandera on Craigslist also. $100.00 and worth every penny.
post #13 of 16
Ya both should be ashamed of yourself, ya both stole those smoker.
post #14 of 16
I'm so ashamed I cry when I use it. Tears of joy! biggrin.gif
post #15 of 16

Great modifications you have made so far.


I have an idea of how to reduce the radiation form the firebox.


Why don´t you make a second false wall and mount it 180 degree rotated so the opening will be at the top. I have an idea that it will reduce the radiation, and even out the temperature, as the warm smoke will heat up the false wall evenly.


Just my 2 cents...

post #16 of 16

I just bought a brand new Bandera for $160.  the handle wasn't working, but that was an easy fix.  I'm curing the smoker now.  Can't wait to cook some varmints!!!

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