New Oklahoma Joe With Mods

Any type of purchased BBQ Pit.

Moderator: TBBQF Deputies

Old Smokey
Pilgrim
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 8:29 pm
Contact:

New Oklahoma Joe With Mods

Postby Old Smokey » Sat May 18, 2013 9:54 pm

First post. Bought a new OK Joe a couple of months ago after researching here. Fired it up as soon as I got it off the trailer and managed to smoke some decent ribs right out of the box. A few problems were apparent. It burned charcoal like crazy, ran too hot, and the charcoal grate is too close to the bottom of the fire box.

My previous smoker was an 18.5" Weber Smokey Mountain. Pretty thrifty on the charcoal, so I decided to use the charcoal grate and ring from the WSM in the OK Joe. Two bricks in the fire box on top of the OK Joe grate support the WSM charcoal grate perfectly. Much better on the charcoal use but it still tended to go up to 300 degrees too easily. There were some gaps around the fire box door so I just decided to cover them with aluminum foil. I left the gap in the top of the firebox door for a little air flow. The firebox vent stays closed. With a half a bag of charcoal, I can now get a 5 to 6 hour burn and the OK Joe hits a solid 220 degrees and stays there without tending the fire. The bricks elevate the grate so ash piling up only becomes a problem after an 18 to 20 hour burn. At that point, I just open the firebox vent to increase the air flow. Another benefit is that charcoal doesn't touch the outside wall of the firebox, so I am not burning the paint off it and causing rust.

Another problem was smoke leaking from the pit door. I tried to season the gaps to seal them up but that wasn't working. Read on another thread about using high temp silicone to seal the gaps. Ran a bead of silicone around the lip of the door and covered it with waxed paper, then just closed the door and let it dry over night. Tried it out today and it worked great. I get a little leakage here and there where I didn't use enough silicone but it is a much better seal. I can get smoke to come out the drip hole now. I use that as a gauge to adjust the chimney vent. I open it until smoke stops comming out of the drain hole. I had some silicone left over so I used it to seal the gap where the chimney goes into the pit.

I tried the chimney elbow mod to lower the opening of the chimney closer to the grate. Not sure if I like it. With the other mods, the temperature across the grill stays pretty steady until you get close to the firebox. A tuning plate would solve that problem but I like to use the extra heat there to finish off stuff like crisping chicken skin. It gets about 350 degrees right above the firebox opening but about 12" into the cooking chamber, it is back to 220 degrees.

My OK Joe has 1/8" steel, which is more than adequate. It will hold 220 degrees with outside temps in the high 30s. Overall I am very happy with my OK Joe. Nice to have the extra room and it does a better job than my WSM after I swapped in the fire grate and ring from the WSM. I'll try posting a pic tomorrow after I clean it out.
Attachments
WSM Grate.jpg
WSM Grate.jpg (97.62 KiB) Viewed 8689 times
Last edited by Old Smokey on Tue May 28, 2013 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
limey
Deputy
Posts: 3161
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 7:10 pm
Location: Burleson,Texas
Contact:

Re: New Oklahoma Joe With Mods

Postby limey » Sun May 19, 2013 9:26 am

Big Welcome, I also have a OK Joe. I have raised the fire grate and put a deflector on the firebox opening. I also put a foil pan with water under the grates next to the firebox and it does help. Th OK Joe is a good stickburner and it produces some excellent Que, it is a lil different than a WSM. You will have to keep an eye on the fire and it does use more wood. Looking forward to some food pics in the future.
How bout some more beans Mr.Taggert? I'd say you've had enough!
R & O Custom Trailer
Weber 22.5 Gold
Weber 22.5 Smoky Mountain
Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Edition
Limey BBQ Co. Competition Team
Old Smokey
Pilgrim
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 8:29 pm
Contact:

Re: New Oklahoma Joe With Mods

Postby Old Smokey » Sun May 19, 2013 11:40 pm

limey wrote:Big Welcome, I also have a OK Joe. I have raised the fire grate and put a deflector on the firebox opening. I also put a foil pan with water under the grates next to the firebox and it does help. Th OK Joe is a good stickburner and it produces some excellent Que, it is a lil different than a WSM. You will have to keep an eye on the fire and it does use more wood. Looking forward to some food pics in the future.


I am going to try the foil pan with water. The OK Joe cooks great pork butts but tends to dry out ribs. You don't need to keep an eye on the fire any more than a WSM if you use the WSM charcoal grate and ring. I ordered a new fire box from Horizon but cancelled the order after trying the WSM charcoal grate.

Another trick for the OK Joe. Buy an oven thermometer. The OK Joe thermometer doesn't give you the temperature at the grill level. With an oven thermometer, I was able to adjust the factory thermometer to give me the temperature at the grate. The OK Joe thermometer has a lock nut, just losen it and grab the shaft with a pair of vice grips. You can then twist the body of the thermometer until it agrees with the oven thermometer. I'll try to post pics tomorrow.

Here is a pic of the fire door. Lots of daylight there.
Attachments
OK Joe Fire Door.jpg
OK Joe Fire Door.jpg (78.65 KiB) Viewed 8689 times
Old Smokey
Pilgrim
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 8:29 pm
Contact:

Re: New Oklahoma Joe With Mods

Postby Old Smokey » Tue May 28, 2013 11:59 pm

Finally managed to get the pics posted. I tried the water pan but didn't see that any evaporated. I think using a good mop worked better than the water pan. next time I will tr it without it to see how it goes. One good thing about BBQ is you get to eat your mistakes.

Return to “BBQ Pits - Offset and Vertical Smokers”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest