Offset needed

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Jun 6, 2012
Jacksonville, FL
Well looks like I cant find a smoker to rent for Labor day which leaves next best thing and buying new. Planning to do whole hog around 120lb live weight with head and feet removed. Original plan was OK Joe longhorn reverse and do the mods. Dad decided to jump in and said lets do it right with quality cooker. Below is what looking for

offset with preference on RF unless temps relatively even
Big enough for whole hog-min 40” main grate
Insulated firebox or 1/4”
Reputable builder
If have shelves they need be removeable
Patio style model
Price point would like stay under $3k

looked at Yoder and Kingman is only one may work but prob be close to $4k after delivery. Pitmaker sniper is an option but again $4kish.

looked at variety of others but nothing peaking my attention. What brands are out there now?
Build one from cinder bock. Easy and cheap. No need for grout or a mason. Dry stack the blocks and use charcoal for heat.
Should be able to find a good smoker on CL down that way with a little luck, maybe find a Lang. Of course you'll need to be willing to drive a bit, have a truck, and some friends to help load it. RAY
The guys that cook whole hog in a cinder block rig might take issue.
Cinder blocks stacked in a rectangle shape that is large enough to hold a whole hog will be the same size or smaller than an offset cooker.
In fact with the coals directly under the hog, there won't be a firebox sticking out one end.
You would however need a burn barrel to create hardwood coals for the optimum smoke flavor.
Lots of quality builders out there, but you will not be able to get a new one by Labor Day, backlogs for all the reputable builders is months. Your best bet would be to get on a list to have one built and use a block pit for this year to cook your hog.
I got my 24x48 3/8" offset from Bell Fab last year in about 3 weeks from initial contact. I think he is reputable. $950 with modified exhaust.

<------This one over here.
I went with OK Joe Longhorn RF for now. If we so enough gatherings we will upgrade to a $3k-$4k cooker later. There is a few Yoder Wichita here but way too many issues with them

now fun begins with the Mods. Below is what plan is and could use some help with smoke stack and firebox

Seal everything up gasket and high temp seal
Latches on doors
Extra thermo grate level
New diffuser plate from bbq mods
Lower and weld firebox to cook chamber (anyone know how low? Seen that top of firebox needs be at grate level)

Future mods
Make it side loading only by cutting bigger door and notching out firebox. This way can wrap with weld blanket. May use the 55gal drum wood furnace door
Move smoke stack down grate level and increase size. Prob use jambo style. If it will still work well on back of cooker Ill move it first thing
Ball valve on drain pipe. Should center of stack be at grate level?

I see a lot of standard mods but none of more advanced. Anyone can provide input on lowering FB and Smoke stack would be help
Reached out to our works fab shop and they have a 1/2" 18x24 plate that I can have as well as spare pipe lengths for new exhaust. Would it be beneficial to line the bottom and top of firebox with 1/2" plate to increase longevity of smoker or use this steel somewhere else?

Also, anyone have any good links about dropping firebox down and how to tell if it is needed. Wondering if the OKJ would benefit from it or just close up part of the opening to the size based on feldon calculator.

Is the smoke stack at grate level beneficial for both reg offset and reverse flow? is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.