• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Oklahoma joe bronco heat control

Jamesnz

Newbie
1
0
Joined Apr 17, 2021
Hi all,

Just got a new Oklahoma joe and experimenting with some cheap cuts, chicken, butt etc. Had it running with charcoal lumps and cherry wood chunks at about 235f for a solid 3 hours and all of a sudden the temp is up at 300 and only came down with both valves shut for 5 mins. Was this likely a fresh wood chunk catching?

Still figuring out the finer points of temp control with this smoker but loving it so far
 

forktender

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,099
1,319
Joined Jun 10, 2008
Yes, fresh chunk catching in that situation close down one of the air inlets and let it equalize a heat spike caused by a wood chunk isn't going to hurt a thing because the fuel from the chunk will burn down quickly.
15-20 minutes at a higher heat won't hurt a thing.
 

mike1ranger

Smoke Blower
87
45
Joined Sep 22, 2017
I have the bronco and really like it. As you suspect, the wood will cause a spike. I've learned to not fight the spike. Once you get a steady temp like you did, the spike won't last but if you mess too much try to control it you end up fighting yourself for hours. I use several small pieces of wood on top of a layer of royal oak natural then fill the basket heaping. I light it and open both dampers all the way until about 200 deg then close down the intake to a little less then 1/4". It will still climb to 250 or so and I may have to tweak the air intake a bit but I pretty much let it settle in and then won't touch it again even if it spikes. Several small (2 fingers size) results in good smoke and fewer and less intense flare-ups. Its a great rig.

By the way, a cheap hot plate from Walmart with the cord through the bottom along with the maze full of pellets keeps perfect Temps for sausage or jersey. Open bottom and just a maze with bacon hanging for perfect cold smoked bacon too.
 

bill1

Smoking Fanatic
893
311
Joined Apr 25, 2015
Pretty sure the Broncos have something called a "flame shield" (or something like that) that sits between the fire and the meat. This is exactly what it's for. It's typically a ventilated metal shield that allow hot air to flow through but is still a "shield" to flame and high infrared heat. (Ie you can't "see" through it except at extreme angles.) Otherwise, even though a short-lived flame-up of a chunk of wood may make a negligible change in the time- and spatially-averaged heat delivered to cooking meat, the meat directly above that flame would get undesirably charred.
 

SWFLsmkr1

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Group Lead
10,833
4,607
Joined Dec 25, 2010
I been thinking on selling my PB Vert pellet and getting a Bronco.
 

bill1

Smoking Fanatic
893
311
Joined Apr 25, 2015
It's hard to beat the convenience and ease of cleanup of pellet machines. Now if you're hitting retirement or something in life giving you extra time on your hands, your proposal makes some sense. But otherwise, having both is a big benefit.
If you can't afford the $ for both, you can buy drum or barrel smokers for half the price of the OJB (granted only a quarter the quality) that still allow you to develop the needed skills and then make an informed decision if you're ready to give up the pellet machine.
If you can't afford the space for both, welcome to the club. Difficult decisions indeed...cost ($ or space) vs. schedule (time & ease-of-use) vs. performance (quality/taste) seems to enter every aspect of life.
 

cody0707

Fire Starter
32
12
Joined Jul 19, 2013
It's hard to beat the convenience and ease of cleanup of pellet machines. Now if you're hitting retirement or something in life giving you extra time on your hands, your proposal makes some sense. But otherwise, having both is a big benefit.
If you can't afford the $ for both, you can buy drum or barrel smokers for half the price of the OJB (granted only a quarter the quality) that still allow you to develop the needed skills and then make an informed decision if you're ready to give up the pellet machine.
If you can't afford the space for both, welcome to the club. Difficult decisions indeed...cost ($ or space) vs. schedule (time & ease-of-use) vs. performance (quality/taste) seems to enter every aspect of life.
I just added an automatic temp controller to my Bronco. Problem solved.
 

bill1

Smoking Fanatic
893
311
Joined Apr 25, 2015
I just added an automatic temp controller to my Bronco. Problem solved.
One problem solved. But unlike pellet poopers, there's no fuel hopper on most drum smokers. There's not even a side access door to add more charcoal or chunks. Or to tend a water pan. And you pretty much need an empty work table to stage all the stuff that you build up and tear down in a drum smoker.

Now all this can be dealt with through experience...and is even part of the fun, including adding forced fans and fan controllers. But there is some effort involved that pellet machines do for you "right out of the box".

These tradeoffs are individualistic...and fuels the engine of capitalism and free markets. Hence the suggestion to keep and use both until you can make a fully informed decision as to which (and maybe it's both) are right for you.

But SWFLsmker1 is a sharp guy....he'll make a good choice.
 

cody0707

Fire Starter
32
12
Joined Jul 19, 2013
One problem solved. But unlike pellet poopers, there's no fuel hopper on most drum smokers. There's not even a side access door to add more charcoal or chunks. Or to tend a water pan. And you pretty much need an empty work table to stage all the stuff that you build up and tear down in a drum smoker.
I went with a new charcoal basket that can burn for 32 hours. I will never need to do a cook that long. You still have to tear apart each of these smokers to clean them out. I don’t know that the bronco needs a water pan. Granted with the mods I’ve done with mine I could have gotten a pretty decent pellet smoker.
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.