Oklahoma Joe @ HomeDepot

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Original poster
Feb 13, 2011

I've enjoyed smoking in my back yard over the last couple of years and now I'm ready to buy some better equipment.

Right now I have a chargriller pro that I have modified with additional thermometers, a horizon charcoal basket, and a horizon convection plate (for the 20" model).

Its worked okay (made 5 slabs today with a whole smoked salmon) but I'm looking for something that will hold heat better, not leak, and last quite a bit longer.  What I really want is a Lang 48 Patio.  I don't mind paying 1000-1500 for a smoker but what gets me is that it'll cost 500$ to have it shipped to California.  No one out here makes these things and I'd be willing to drive out far as Arizona to pick one up because I travel there enough for business to make it a weekend trip.

I was looking at home depots website the other day and noticed they started selling the Oklahoma Joe for 499$.  I went to my local store and sure enough it was there.  It looks quite a bit more durable than my COS POS but it still doesn't look like it has the build quality of a Lang or a Horizon.  But at 500$ it seems like a good deal because the metal seems to be at least 3/16" thick  and the welding looks okay.

My budget is about 1000$ including shipping or pickup.  For 1500 I'm willing to fork out for a Lang but no pay shipping.

Has anyone had a good amount of time with a Oky Joe?  For someone who smokes every other or third weekend would the home depot special suffice?

Any advice would be appreciated.


If i only smoked every thrid weekend i wouldn't spend that kinda money for a lang!!! I bet the okjoe would work just fine for that amount of smoking...Unless ya got money to burn! To me that seems like buying a sports car,then never driving it. I have a 3 smokers and the oldest one is 3 yrs and is a cheap 80 brinkman that i still use all the time!! Just my .02 cents.
I have to agree with Les, if you only use it every other weekend or every third weekend I sure would not spend that kind of money on a Lang.  I have seen the Oklahoma Joe and it appears to be a well built and sturdy piece of equipment.  I have not used one but it should not be something you would have to do a lot of mods to and looks like it will last a long time so I think  I would save some money and drive down to Home Depot and pick one up.  I have used a heavily modified Brinkmann SnP for about 8 years now and it is still ticking, I still have my ECO Brinkmann water smoker but have retired it but could fire it up in just a few minutes and I have a brand new Master Forge Propane 2 dr. vertical smoker. Unlike some, I clean up my smoker with a steamer, (not a steam jenny) and some easy off at the end of every summer, and about every two or three years I use  some stove polish or heat resistant paint on all but my old ECO Brinkmann.  Then if I want to use it after then I just do a quick seasoning, basically I build me a good fire in it as I have already sprayed the entire inside with Pam after steaming it clean. I can then use  it all winter long if I want to.  I have used the ECO Brinkmann and the Brinkmann SnP for several years now and they both still look and cook good, we will have to wait and see how the Master Forge, (purchased at Lowe's) will do for me as I think it will get a lot more use than the others. Now all of that is just what I would do or my opinion, think about it and then buy whatever makes you happy and that you will be comfortable with. One final though....I would think that you could have a smoker of your design built by a welding shop for less than a Lang???  Think about it!!!

Your SMF Friend,

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From someone that owns the new Lang 36 it is well worth the investment.  The 36 will hold more food than anything you will buy at the Depot, with stable temperatures and even cooking.  If you have never smoked on a quality piece of equipment like the 36 you can't compare it to others.  I have, I owned a $ 500 Okie Joe with the heavy steel and enjoyed it immensely for 6 years but got tired of having to watch it constantly to keep the cooking temps in range.  If you have the budget I recommend you buy the best you can, you will end up using it more than once a month simply because you will enjoy the experience so much more than you did with a smaller smoker.

Search for my review and the comments made by other Lang users.  I found the best way to control temps on the Okie Joe was to use predominently charcoal, which gets expensive.  If you have access to a supply of wood for fuel and if you like the taste of wood smoked meat you need to consider the new Baby Lang.

$  850 plus shipping $260 to SE Louisiana


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I have to agree with Al on this one. I don't own a Lang. I just think why not spend the extra money & get something that will probably last you a lifetime. Even if you don't use it very often, why not have the best when you do? I have never heard a bad word about Lang smokers. Maybe someday there will be one sitting on my patio too.
I just spent $1700.00 (originaly $2000.00) for a gas grill that will be used once a week during the winter and maybe more during the summer and I love it, overkill? maybe for others but not for me. I am also the kind of guy that will not buy a soda from a vending machine because Its too expensive.

Everyone is different but one thing remains the same for most of us....money matters.

If it were me and I used it 3 or 4 times a year I would buy the Lang, but that's me.

My neighbor who is new to the hobby would buy the Home Depot model even if he smoked every day.

Our lifestyles are different, I enjoy my home and being home and entertaining, my neighbor would rather go out to dinner and don't like to entertain.

So you see, no one can answer that question but yourself. Here's a few questions that may help you with your purchase.

If I buy the Lang will my wife kill me?

If I buy the Home Depot model will I look back and say I wish I had a Lang?

Are you willing to pick up the Lang?

But looking at your original post it seems you made up your mind already on purchasing a Home Depot model.

I believe you will be happy with either purchase.

I was in the same boat as you not long ago. I looked at all of those smokers at the big box stores, and I just couldn't make myself pull the trigger.  The quality just wasn't there and I knew I wouldn't be happy in the long run. After doing a bunch of homework, I had a smoker built by Craig Bell in Tulsa (www.bellfab.com) for around $750.  It cost me $350 to have it shipped to Louisiana, so for a little over 1K I have a smoker that will be producing good Q long after I have departed this earth.  Conversely, I could have spent 500 at Lowe's and had a low quality smoker that I would have had to replace in 5 years.  It just made sense to me to spend the extra bucks. I figured I would be cooking on this thing for the next 40 years, so an extra $12.50 a year over the life of the smoker didn't seem like all that much. I haven't regretted my decision for one second.

Something else to think about.  Cabela's is a Horizon dealer.  If you have one near your home, you could probably have it shipped there for nothing and pick it up instead of making a cross country haul in the pickup.

Good luck and let us know what you decide.
I have to agree with SQWIB on this one. Go with what will make you happy.

A year ago I paid $1800 for a Cookshack AmeriQue ordered from Cabella"s . This was my second Cookshack purchase from Cabella"s.

The AmeriQue is about as near to “set it and forget it” as you can get.

Prior to this purchase I was smoking every couple of months and/or on special occasions on a Cookshack Smokette, also a very good smoker.

The AmeriQue makes the whole process from smoking to cleanup so enjoyable that for the last year I have used it at least once a week and sometimes as much as 3 days a week. It is so easy now I find myself making up things to smoke. I have had up to 5 different things lined up to go in the smoker as soon as I can get whatever is in the smoker out of it. Back to back smokes for 3 days running, and not loose a minute of sleep.

Go for what will make you happy and don’t look back 

Check this link for reviews http://bbq.about.com/lr/smoker_reviews/35548/1/
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Thanks for all the replies!

I'm going to give Lang a call tomorrow and see if I can get the "Al" deal where they make the smoker completely out of 1/4" steel for what he got it for.  If not, I'll pick up the oakie joe.

I started out a few years ago smoking on a propane weber using foil packs, apple juice trays, etc.  I progressed to a 22.5" weber grill with the 'smokenator" offset plate and finally bought a Chargriller at Walmart after seeing it for 150$ on sale.  Its been pretty good to me (added extra thermometers, a horizon convection plate, modded firebox, etc) but its showing its age.  Keeping the temperature at 225 is a pain in the ass unless I have a chair and a cooler of beer.

I'm looking forward to stepping up the game. 

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