Charcoals in Barrel of OK Joe's Longhorn

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Original poster
Aug 7, 2022
Good morning and good Sunday.

I've tried "Googling" to find the answer to this, but can't seem to find anything definitive.

I've owned for about five years now an OK Joe's Longhorn Reverse Flow smoker. I love the thing, and very versatile from smoking whatever I desire to using the firebox for quick searing of steaks and burgers.

However, if I wanted to do BBQing of lots of items (the fire box is small) that don't necessarily need to be smoked low and slow for a long amount of time, like leg quarters and pork steaks, is it safe for the smoker to put lit charcoal directly in the barrel itself to cook the meats over? Or will doing so mess up the integrity of the barrel?

Appreciate yall's time.
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Reactions: Marknmd
I don't know about the reverse flow OKJs, but the standard flow ones like I have come with charcoal grates for the cook chamber so it can also be used as a grill. For the reverse flow, I wouldn't light a fire directly on the floor of the cook chamber or on the reverse flow baffle. If you want to use it as a grill, you'd need to remove the baffle, and get a set of charcoal grates for the cook chamber. All that said, I wouldn't use the cook chamber of my OKJ as a grill because it'd make a mess of the cook chamber with ash, and I think the heat of a fire directly in the cook chamber would probably burn the seasoning off. I think maybe you'd be better off getting a cooker dedicated to grilling like a kettle.
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Reactions: Displaced Texan
The heat and ash residue will take some longevity out of the metal, but not any faster than the firebox.
And while I'm at it , you think Oklahoma Joe products compete as well as any of the other manufacturers out there (like say, Weber) ??
Apples to oranges. OKJ is mainly in the stick burner market where Weber isn't. OKJ does have a barrel cooker which would be similar to to the WSM, but mainly they are in the offset market. Weber isn't. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.