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Bigger than I thought it would be!!

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    Bigger than I thought it would be!!

    I've a mixed bag of feelings about my new Bronco. Might be returning it.

    It takes up more of my 8x12 patio than I expected. I'm going to fiddle around with some positioning this morning but as it looks now - pulling out the Bronco into a usable position pretty much prohibits any other use of the patio. Not sure I want that.

    That said, it's a beefy built cooker than looks like it will last forever. With the ash pan, porcelain coated grill grate and heat shield, I expect cleanup will be about as easy as it gets for a UDS.

    Assembly was straight forward. Just tighten 38 screws, two independent nuts, a cotter pin and the screw in thermometer. Everything is pre-drilled in such a way that you can't install things incorrectly with the exception of the grate supports. They can be installed upside down. OKJ could solve that with an alignment pin. And I wish OKJ had chosen hex head screws instead of just round head. Otherwise, a fool proof install.

    I noted 3 flaws on my smoker. The most important being chipped porcelain on the charcoal grate. The barrel had a repaired scuff. And the lid had an scuff that it's possible I did during assembly but I don't think I did.

    If I had a bigger patio, I'd be ecstatic about my new smoker.
    Attached Files

    I took off the shelf, moved the handle to the other side and rearranged some stuff. I think I have an arrangement that will work. It's a lot of black when everything is covered though. Trying to decide whether to start the burn in or not. Hmmm...
    Attached Files


      Congrats on the new cooker? It looks like time for a deck expansion.


      • Dan Deter
        Dan Deter commented
        Editing a comment
        Mine as well. It is obvious, after all. More cookers == bigger deck!

      • Dalmore
        Dalmore commented
        Editing a comment
        Man - If only!!!! It's a condo and 8x12 is all I'm ever going to get.

        I've started the burn in so I'm planning to keep it.

      • Potkettleblack
        Potkettleblack commented
        Editing a comment
        @Dalmore: The ultimate MCS purchase is moving from a condo to a single family house with a yard for more grills. My condo had a bigger deck than yours, but also a restriction on charcoal. Now, the OKJ fits nicely between the Genesis and the Grilla.

      I believe someone makes an UDS that is slimmer and a fine cookin machine.... let me think a bit and try and remember its name.

      Last edited by HawkerXP; May 25, 2021, 08:11 PM.


      • Dalmore
        Dalmore commented
        Editing a comment
        Yea, the PBJ would fit the space better...

      • barelfly
        barelfly commented
        Editing a comment
        I’m sorry....but I cant’ quite see what that name is......

      It does have big honkin wheels, so’s it’ll go anystwhare. That’s just it’s sleepin area. Git that thing out & burn baby burn! Enjoy!


        I have the OK Joe smoker because for some bizarre reason Wally world had them on sale at some dirt cheap price. I'd have to look back but it was SUPER cheap. I have been happy with mine as a "4th" smoker... It is number one in my book for chickens though. About every week I smoke 2 birds on that baby and am very happy with the result.

        As to the crowded situation I feel for you. I built on an extension to my roof to add square feet.


        I hear that all the time


        • Panhead John
          Panhead John commented
          Editing a comment
          You beat me to it. 😂

        I bet you can make it work.
        Main concern--fire on a wooden deck. 😳
        Here in the Portland OR area, only electric BBQ is allowed in apartment complexes.
        Some local laws, some homeowners agreements have restrictions.
        Sorry, I do not mean to sound like a Debbi Downer.

        Happy grilling to you and BBQ too


        • Dalmore
          Dalmore commented
          Editing a comment
          Concerns noted and that's why you see the heat shield behind the Weber. No HOA concerns for sure. And no local fire code concerns as far as I know. And it's concrete patio with vinyl flooring. Wonder how fire resistant vinyl flooring is? Anyway, with the Bronco, the fire is pretty well enclosed. Still, I should look into vinyl flooring and fire safety.

          Edit - Quick read of a few Google references - Seems vinyl is fire resistant, difficult to ignite and quick to go out when heat is removed.
          Last edited by Dalmore; May 20, 2021, 11:03 AM.

        Dalmore I am glad you found an arrangement you could make "fit" the available space. Just keep the shelf and other stuff for when you move to somewhere with a bigger patio!

        I think with the vinyl planks on concrete there, that you are probably better off with the OKJ Bronco than you would be with the PBC, unless you put some pavers down under a PBC. The bottom of the PBC and the fire seem a little closer to the ground than in the OKJ.


          I'll give a plus 1 to Jim's comments. You made your choice, in part, based on the value equation of having the added components of a shelf, wheels, additional grate mounting points, etc. that come with the cooker originally. The irony is, that the lesser equipped option might be a space saver with your current situation, were you to move to larger quarters later you might end up doing as others here have done and spent extra money and efforts adding those items to the tune of upwards of a couple hundred bucks. Now that you've made the decision to keep the OJB you'll have those options going forward already.

          Just a short comment on the heat thing, it's more imagined than real. Part of the OJB design already having an ash pan elevates the fire bin (in smoking position) further up the interior which slightly mitigates the bottom temp. I've put plastic hubbed ball bearing wheels on mine because it helps this ageing bod of mine move 140 lbs of cooker. On the OJB Facebook group someone imagined that I'd have difficulty with the wheels melting. So I cranked up the heat to the 400 degree range and shot the part of the barrel nearest the wheel as well as the axle with my IR and showed the temp there to be around 200, just below the melting point of the wheels material. But, in the absence of experience some folks can imagine all manner of negatives.

          I'll attach a couple chicken cook pics just for fun since that's entered the convo. Don't get hung up on the hardware, I have lots of toys to play with that aren't always critical, just interesting to me. The arms that come with the OJB will function just as well. The skewer is the OJ optional variety, but any similar device will work. I choose to let the bird " hang loose" rather than trussed to a tidy bundle for the sake of my belief that it cooks more evenly that way. The sharp of eye might also note that I have a Hunsaker vortex deflector which sits closer to the fire leaving more hanging space (though not necessary for birds it is marginally helpful for long rib racks) which mitigates that potential drowning of the fire with excessive fat drip.
          Click image for larger version

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