Oklahoma Joe Longhorn (considered wood or charcoal?)

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by peavley, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. peavley

    peavley Fire Starter

    Hello everyone,

    Is the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn considered a Wood burner? I was not sure where to post this but I figured yall would tell me if it were in the wrong section. Here is my delima...
    I have gotten a good handle on boston butts, fatties and beans, but I am interested in smoking as much meat as I can in this thing. I guess what I mean is...all of the pictures I see of yall with these rigs filled to the gills looks awsome but how do you cook so many different things at one time? I know the obvious answer is to simply start every item according to the anticipated cook time with reference to the desired eat time. But I am talking more specific. For example: can the meat touch each other? How in the world do I ever use the entire cooking chamber? because it is extremely too hot once I move the meat to the center or right side of the cooking chamber (fire box on right). One other problem that I have been thinking about is this:
    To cook these boston butts I ussually go 9hrs in smoker and 6hrs in oven then a few hrs in cooler. How in the world do yall, if you go somewhere and smoke on site, how do yall incorporate the boston butts in with everything else like chicken and brisket? In other words I usually hit the sack when the butts go in oven at midnight. But if I am on site somewhere, I will have to be up for 18-20 hrs straight...I do not believe I will be ready to party after that. I apologize for rambling, but these things were just on my mind and I really want to step it up a notch and see exactly what the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn can do if you know what I mean. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I'm afraid I'm not familiar with your brand of smoker post us a pic or two. It is very simple tho do you burn wood or charcoal for fuel? As far as filling up the smoker just remember poultry on the lowest shelf. Try to leave a little space between items so the smoke can get all the way around it. The hot spots can work to you advantage place poultry on them so the skin gets more heat. If doing the same type meats just rotate them thru the hot spots to try to keep the cooking times about the same. When doing multiple meats the cooler is your friend foil it towel it and rest it. Things will stay hot for a long time in a decent cooler if you are concerned about it tho just leave a thermo in it and check it once in awhile
  3. davidmcg

    davidmcg Meat Mopper

    Peavely listen to what Pineywoods said here, it couldn't have been said better. By the way, you want to sleep when you compete? Not much of that going on at any competition. Don't let the term "quiet time" fool you. Anytime you get a group of people together its never quiet. Especially when all this heat, meat and beverages are combined.
  4. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Took a look online..that would be a charcoal smoker. Now..if ya preburn the wood to coals, you COULD burn wood. Of course so could an ECB. Use lump for heat.
  5. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That thing will take logs straight up? I mean you have one- I'm not sure...but really?
  6. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Huh... OK. Guess I din't get the scale of it. Like any stickburner, or charcoal unit... ya still have to have the coals.
  7. bigsal51

    bigsal51 Smoke Blower

    I have loaded mine with a total of 10 slabs 2 butts and some abts. Make the plate to dispurse the heat evenly. I havent done the elbow off the stack but that is next. Here is a pic of of a couple slabs and a butt and some abt's. I agree with the charcoal for heat and a little wood for smoke.
  8. peavley

    peavley Fire Starter

    Thank yall for the responses.
    Texas Hunter- How thick is your baffle plate? Does it have to angle up on the far right to fully cover the hole? Could you please post a picture of your mods if you do not mind. The only two that I am not sure on is the baffle plate and the basket you mentioned. Thanks again.

    Davidmcg- I guess I am not too worried about sleeping, but more confused as to how some of yall cook a pit full of ribs, butts, brisket and chicken when they all have different cooking times and the chicken especially has a higher cooking temp.

    Pineywoods- Thanks for the advice about using different hot spots to my advantage, but I do think that some spots are too hot. Maybe after I do the baffle plate thatTexas hunter mentioned it won't be so bad.

    Thank yall again for the help, I guess I need to stop worrying about it and go ahead and fill that bad boy up. I suppose the butt would be the first thing that I put on right? Oh and another thing that I just thought about, if I use rib racks, and everything fits but it is tight, how am I going to wrap the ribs in foil and put back in there? Do they ahve to be wrapped individually or can I pile them up?

    Thanks, Steve
  9. peavley

    peavley Fire Starter

    Wow Texas-Hunter thanks for the info. So with the baffle plate you are able to cook meat on the far right? That is awsome! I am definately going to do those to mine, I will post pics after.

    Thanks again, Steve
  10. motorhedd

    motorhedd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Great info,TH...ever since reading soflaqer post on a coal drum...think my C/G Pro is gonna be an ember burner.
  11. meyer

    meyer Newbie

    I have an old Oklahoma Joe, and has been used Heat Beads briquettes, but had big problems controlling the heat. I then realized that the fire chamber is built like an old stove, so I did a test only firing it with wood.

    I filled it with beech logs, and made a fire, and after one hour the temperature was right and the smoke was blue, it was much easier to control, the reaction time was approx 5 minuttes.

    When using briquettes the oven has be almost air tight, so you can control the incomming air, like a WSM kettle. The Oklahome is known for not beeing air tight, so I am pretty sure that it was designed for wood only.

    I will only fire my Oklahoma with wood in the future.......

    Kind regards

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  12. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    I have an Okie Joe and use lump charcoal and splits in it as my fuel source.  I like the lump because it is a consistent burn,  I add the splits to modify the fire and introduce smoke flavor.  The secret is to not add too much fuel at any one time.  I like to bring by smoker to a high temp with lump   when I first start,  Clean the grates and then dampen down the fire until the steel is heated up and the temps regulate.  I load the cook chamber and add a small split of oak or pecan.  

    The Okie Joe reacts very fast to temp swings and I have been know to crack open the cooking chamber lid to release some heat when it gets out of control but the goal is to regulate with the firebox dampers only.

  13. coacher72

    coacher72 Smoking Fanatic


    I agree with alblancher. I have a Yoder Wichita (20") model smoker that is very similar to the old Oklahoma Joe's pictured here.

    I also purchased a convection plate that has helped regulating temp. across the cooking chamber.(picture here).

    The third purchase I made was a charcoal basket.(Sorry no picture). That has help me run a longer burn (minion method) before I need to add more lump. I'm like Alblancher in that I use a good lump charcoal as a fuel then I use wood splits for smoke. When the chamber gets to temp, I wedge a split between the charcoal basket and side of the firebox near the opening to the cooking chamber. I got this idea from someone on this forum. Before doing it this way it was hard for me to get and maintain the thin blue smoke like everyone wants. I'm still learning. I just made this purchase last March. But like a lot of people say here on the forum "welcome to your new addiction".

    Hopes this helps.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  14. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks like the only difference between the smokers is the shelf on the bottom.  Also looks like the non-wheeled legs are straight instead of on an angle. The steel on my cook chamber is 5/32 of an inch thick.  Seems like an odd number but that's what the tape says.  Like the idea of the convection plate.

  15. coacher72

    coacher72 Smoking Fanatic

    The Yoder smokers, as I understand are made by a man that used to work for Oklahoma Joe's. After his non-compete claus ran out he began making these smokers. They are made of 1/4 in. steel. They have several models, some larger, some smaller and those ready for competitions or catering large groups. Been pleased with so far.
  16. jdt

    jdt Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    check out horizon smokers, thats actually the brother of Joe Davidson, they got the convection plates like the one pictured for sale for their common smokers as well as the cheaper thinner oklahoma joes from academy, I think all you need to know is if your pipe diameter and if the firebox is bolted or welded on.
  17. meyer

    meyer Newbie

    Thanks for all your answers!

    I will try using charcoal next time, and use the trick of placing the wood in the charcoal box facing the smoke chamber.

    Kind regads

  18. meyer

    meyer Newbie


    I have done a lot of testing using real charcoal, and have found a solution that works for me.

    I am using a Weber Style Vegetable Basket to hold the charcoal. Once the temperature is right, I add the smoke wood, and get the most beautiful blue smoke. It might be an expensive solution, but the holes in the basket seems to give the amount of air required to the charcoal.

     I did moink balls the other day, and everyone loved them.

    It is much easier to control the temperature, but I only add the wood when I have a constant temperature. If wood is added and then the air intake is regulated, the smoke changes from blue to grey.

    Just my two cents

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
  19. I use natural charcoal briquets started in a Weber chimney to get it going, and then add split and de-barked hardwood (oak/ash/maple) up to a max of 16" long. I also will somtimes continually add baseball size mequite chunks for flavor, and sometimes add lump charcoal if it's a long burn and there's a need to feed...  
  20. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

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