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upgrade question/advice

fxsales1959

Fire Starter
34
13
Joined Dec 17, 2019
morning Y'all,
thank you for your help and advice previously. As with most, I've been working on a restricted budget due to circumstances. I've been getting along OK with my department
store DynaGlow vertical smoker, all sealed up and modded as much as possible. I've been thinking about upgrading to an offset stick burner, per'se' to increase capacity.
I know in these forums there will be haters of all brands so please go easy. After tons of video and reviews I'm looking at theOklahoma Joe highland. my big question for today is: is the reverse flow option with the extra money? I understand the physics, and figure if i buy he regular model I will at least have to add a tuning plate and better fire box. I've also heard the "baffles" on the reverse model are not all thatgood. My main concn will be even heat if I get involved with a ginormous cook.
If there's anything else I should look at in the Sub$500 range I'd gladly listen.
thank you
john
DynaGlow vetical wood/chrcoal
Masterbuilt 140 digital electric:
 

JLeonard

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Apr 17, 2020
If you have a Academy in your area look at the Old Country offsets. I've compared the OK Joe to the OC and I like the OC better. But you will get many varying opinions on here.
Jim
 

PPG1

Smoking Fanatic
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286
Joined Aug 22, 2020
My last smoker before MBGF was an old country. Served me well for a long time. When i did not want to babysit all night I would stick a banjo burner through the firebox vents and on top of the firebox of the firebox grill would be a cast iron skillet with wood chunks for smoke. Held temp and I could get a couple hours of sleep between wood chunks. I also could line the cook chamber with cast iron grates and dump charcoal in it for a large cookout with burgers and hotdogs. Great smoker/grill
 

civilsmoker

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If you end up getting one (either brand), you may want consider this upgrade.....I would also get a couple more toggle clamps and add a gasket for the fire box because the biggest draw back to the top side fire box lids is leakage of heat.... On cooler or windy days a welding blanket will also be your friend. I would also gravitate to the brand that has the thickest gauge steel (as long as it is built tight)……..

As a side note you can always add baffles to an offset at any time, this can be thin gauge metal (simple & can be cut with tin snips) and effective. If you double up with a slight air gap between the sheets (one cut a bit smaller than the other) on the fire side it will help even out the heat.
 

Chasdev

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Jan 18, 2020
I started out on a DynaGlow and while it had shortcomings, I was able to cook some great brisket and ribs (once or twice).
I moved up to an Old Country Pecos and had lots of issues with temp differences from right to left.
Added tuning plates (two different types) and it turned out that there was not enough room under the cook grate to the top of the tune plates.
Once fully heated they radiated all the unwanted heat to the underside of the meat which sort of negated the whole idea.
If buying another stick eater I would find one that had the cook grate as high up as possible in the cook chamber to try to limit the cooking energy to hot smoke only and with as little radiated heat from metal parts as possible doing the cooking.
I ended up with a Masterbuilt 560 and have found my last style of cooker, that is a digital controlled gravity feed charcoal and mini stick burner.
Best of all worlds and I can do what I do best, which is to keep my pricey La-Z-Boy chair from floating up to the ceiling.
And also to keep a close eye on my central air system's ability to freeze my wife solid.
Every four or six hours I have to go check on the cooker's progress, so I guess it's not quite perfect.
 

fxsales1959

Fire Starter
34
13
Joined Dec 17, 2019
thank you all, and some other things to think about collectively when i take the plunge. i wish i had an Academy ithin 100 miles since the pussies at dicks quit selling guns. As with all things inpulsive that cost money, i am slowing my roll on this one. this all started when i totally screwed the pooch and let the wife "buy the ribs." Ended up with a true "spare rib" cut about12' long and not trimmed like St Louis. all was good until i tried to fit it in my dynaglow without di-secting them. I've ctually gotten quite proficient in turning out first class meat with my vertical. I"M very patient andwill wait for a floor sale at Lowe, as I'm there daily. It also pisses me off that anybody would build and sell any utensil that needs modifications out of the box. I guessif my cheap ass would buy a yoder or similari could quit whining. I've got a jeep buddy down here that had one custom made for well over $2500, but he's a you tube smoker/caterer and I'm not. over-and-out IMG-1593.JPG
 

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gmc2003

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
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Joined Sep 15, 2012
If there's anything else I should look at in the Sub$500 range I'd gladly listen.
You may want to look into the 22" WSM. I know it's not an offset, but it will fill your needs and will last a very long time.

Chris
 

civilsmoker

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You may want to look into the 22" WSM. I know it's not an offset, but it will fill your needs and will last a very long time.

Chris
Chris has a great point here.....they work great out of the box and if you add a bbq controller they keep very good temp with little messing with.

for that money you could also get a 22" kettle with a vortex, slow & sear, & Cajun bandit rotisserie and you will have lots of cooking styles available. If you want more room you could also upgrade to the 26" kettle....

The other thing to note is when it comes to fabrication....you get what you pay for....It takes time to get good fit and finish on offset/reverse flow smokers and the labor time/cost is much more than the material cost so they keep that time down. They do work out of the box but they can easily be improved as long as you are willing to spend the labor time. The improvements noted above will just make it work better in marginal weather conditions. If you have a $100 brisket inside and the weather comes up, if your smoker stops working and you end up ordering pizza for your get together, it can make for a very bad day...…….
 

fxsales1959

Fire Starter
34
13
Joined Dec 17, 2019
thanks again guys(and gals)
I'm in Ft Lauderdale so weather is not and issue, except maybe a few days in hurricane season, and if that happens we'll all be intecoursed anyway. Good ideas here, but I do already own a volkswagen sized Napolean SS rig with industrial strength rotisserie. after visiting my local home improvement store to pick up flag accessories, I looked at the highland non-reverse offset again.
I think I'm going to have to mute my OCD tendencies and shop a little more carefully for St Louis or BB ribs and split them when I want to do multiple slabs and stick to my well sealed vertical. Will definitely look at old coutry on my next business trip near an Academy. ( don't even get me started on 18"max heavy duty tin fole.)Thanks for a spirited and resourseful discussion. I got a pork belly to cure and a boat to fix.
Happy Memorial Day!
 

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