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Oklahoma Joe's Bronco unboxing and setup

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    Oklahoma Joe's Bronco unboxing and setup

    Currently I have a Napoleon natural gas grill built in to a bar on my patio and a Weber kettle with the slow n sear. Of course, since I am a subscriber, it's obvious I am afflicted with MCS. So for a while I have been looking at drum smokers. I also was hoping I'd win the monthly Sweepstakes and get the Good One Open Range...but I see that's not on the list anymore. I saw the OJB and really got interested in it. I didn't even look at one in person, but I know the other OJ grills and smokers I've looked at before are really well built.
    I then came here to see what my bbq brethren (and sisters) thought of this machine. With good reviews, I went shopping. OJ had 10% off on their website, but $150ish shipping. No Lowe's or Academy had it in stock. Then in my Google search list, an ad for Ace Hardware came up. $50 off and additional 10% for Ace Rewards members. Ok, what's the shipping. Free ship to store and go pick it up. OR free ship to store and they deliver to my house for free! Is there even a question...bring it to my house.
    It was delivered Friday and I unboxed and set it up yesterday. I did my seasoning burn yesterday. There's just going to be 3 of us for dinner today, so I am going to make 1 rack of ribs, some hot dogs, and some balogna. I'll post up results of that later.
    My only comment or complaint about assembly is that randomly over the grill there was a nasty sticky residue. It wasn't where the stickers were...the adhesive holding them on is very hard and pops right off the metal surface leaving no residue. y
    You can see some of this reside in the 2nd pic next to where the chimney bolts on.
    I am not sure if this is from heat in a warehouse and the foam or something else in the packaging, but some I wiped everything down with Purple Power degreasing and it took the sticky residue right off so all is good. I sprayed it down with some Olive Oil and lit er up.

    The included thermometer is close at 300, but later when the Maverick read 350, the thermometer read about 320. The probe was more in the center now that I think about it, so maybe today I'll try to get the tip right next to where the thermometer probe it.

    So without further ado....

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    That's a great smoker and an awesome deal. Thanks for the unboxing pics.

    That is weird on the residue. I guess I would have thought it would have burned off during the initial burn-off.

    Ribs up first?


    • STEbbq
      STEbbq commented
      Editing a comment
      I read that but wondered if that step was needed.

    • Panhead John
      Panhead John commented
      Editing a comment

    • droopie69
      droopie69 commented
      Editing a comment
      Ribs and ring balogna.

    Still the greatest value in small barrel cookers. Enjoy the versatility.
    OJB, OJB, OJB............


      Great unboxing photos. I remember being very tempted by the OJB when I was trying to decide between it and the PBC a few years ago, but the OJB had just hit the market and the user experiences just weren't out there yet. I have to admit, I am often jealous of the versatility the OJB brings at that price point.




          I'll add some additional commentary on the "residue" thing discussed above. Note that the interior, as with most responsible smokers/cookers, is bare metal. I say responsible because using a typical high heat paint (as opposed to say porcelain) the manufacturer runs the risk of toxic off gassing from paint when exposed to cooking temperatures. To keep the bare metal from rusting in transport and storage (warehouses/stores) the manufacturers will often coat the product with a wax or oil. If you look at the inside of the lid above you can see some drip lines from that application, so likely some of that product ended up on the outside on the painted surface.

          Personally, knowing what I do about the above described process and products, I normally do a two stage "burn in". First I wash down the coated bare metal surfaces with a petroleum solvent to remove whatever protective material was used as I/we don't often get told what the chemical nature of that product is. Then I do a burn in to cook off any remnants of their product I might have missed as well as any residue from what I used to clean the protectant material off. Then second I coat the bare metal interior with a cooking oil of choice (avocado oil these days for me) and do a second burn in to polymerize that cooking oil, or season it as is often said. Now, I'm in the minority on being that particular I realize. Most folks don't do my step one and just go to coating the factory applied sealer with their seasoning oil of choice. I don't hear any reports of people who've done it that way getting sick from toxic off gassing, but I feel better for taking the extra precaution.
          Last edited by Uncle Bob; June 20, 2021, 12:58 PM.


          • Panhead John
            Panhead John commented
            Editing a comment
            I did 2 burn ins also. I didn’t wash it down the first time, but just sprayed inside with canola. I’ve always done 2 burn ins on any new cooker I’ve had over the years also. Not that it’s needed, but I’m like you, I just feel better doing 2.

          • droopie69
            droopie69 commented
            Editing a comment
            I wiped down the insides with that Purple Power stuff, then sprayed it down with Olive Oil, and dumped about 1/2 a chimney in and put everything except the hooks in it and let it run wide open til it died.

          Ok, so the first cook results were kinda...sorta...AWESOME. I have to say I got a little lazy because the wife stayed late at the pool at the gym, and my stepson, his wife, and new grandbaby were running late. I then got busy doing stuff with my son who came over early. So the ribs were on about 4.5 hrs. At first I ran them at 275-300 because I thought we were eating at 4. Then I realized everyone wouldn't be ready til 5.30, so I backed it off to 230. I did two racks...whatever was cheaply marked down at Kroger yesterday. Both were rubbed with mustard. One had MMD and the other Meat Church Holy Gospel Served with Rufus Teague honey bbq sauce. I thought they may be on the dry side, but these were some dang good ribs. Everyone loved them. I didn't touch them once they were hanging....no spritzing, no saucing. I like dry ribs. Although I think next time I will glaze them with some sauce for a new experience.
          The ring balogna my son brought back from Michigan last month. Since it's tied together with a string, I just hung it on the hangers.
          Everyone loved it all. Dinner was completed with corn on the cob, some macaroni salad, and some chips n cheese dip.

          My son got me an InkBird 4 channel bluetooth thermometer. Worked great. I only used the smoker temp probe. I put it pretty close to my Maverick temp probe and close to the OJB probe. There was about 20 degrees difference between the InkBird and Maverick. The Maverick probe is pretty carboned up, so maybe it's off. I guess one night this week or next I'll get some ice water and boiling water and test all the probes on both units and see what's what.

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          • Panhead John
            Panhead John commented
            Editing a comment
            droopie69 Good job and congrats on the new cooker. Pretty sure I already know the answer, but how was the temperature control with the Bronco? Was there much fluctuations in temps during your cook?

          • droopie69
            droopie69 commented
            Editing a comment
            Panhead John This thing is super easy. I put about 2/3 of the charcoal basket full of B&B lump and then filled half my chimney with KBB. I put a few chunks of cherry in, dumped the KBB in and opened the top fully and the bottom to 4. I wanted about 275-300 to start the cook and when it got to around 240, I closed the top to 3 and the botton to 2. Going off the inkbird, it settled at 293, then rose to 309 and pretty much stayed there for 2 hours. I reset and got it down to 245 and it stayed.

          Mine is being delivered today by Fedex. I bought it online from Walmart for $299.99 plus tax and free shipping. Thanks for the write up and pictures. Did you notice any leaks on your burn ins or cook? I bought some food safe hi temp silicone sealant. I plan to put a thin coat between the two barrels sections as well as the two intake sections. I also have some silicone stoppers that fit the thermometer port. I am thinking of drilling a small hole through the stopper and inserting the grill temp probe through the stopper to measure internal temperature the unit with my Thermoworks Signals unit.
          Last edited by lbyer; June 21, 2021, 07:22 AM.


          • Panhead John
            Panhead John commented
            Editing a comment
            It does work very well running probes under the lid. The pre-installed Kevlar gasket does a great job of not crimping the cable, as well as preventing any smoke leaks.
            Last edited by Panhead John; June 21, 2021, 08:45 AM.

          • rickgregory
            rickgregory commented
            Editing a comment
            I would not do any mods to a new bronco. Learn the cooker and see if it NEEDS mod first.

          • droopie69
            droopie69 commented
            Editing a comment
            It has a very thick gasket so just run the wires into the smoker. I took my impact and lightly tightened all the factory fasteners. I didn't notice any smoke leaks. I need to go see if there was any condensation or 'juice' leaks around the seam between the top and bottom pieces. One thing I do think would be a big help...a charcoal chimney with a remote lever to dump it out the bottom. But I doubt they make one with the hole in it for the BBQ dragon. I love that thing.

          Say hello to my little friend...

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            Congrats, lbyer and droopie69 on your new OJBs! It's always so much fun to try out a new cooker. Let us know how your next cooks go, droopie, and how your first (and subsequent) cooks go, lbyer.



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              Originally posted by fzxdoc View Post
              Congrats, lbyer and droopie69 on your new OJBs! It's always so much fun to try out a new cooker. Let us know how your next cooks go, droopie, and how your first (and subsequent) cooks go, lbyer.

              Here is my first Chicken and BabyBack ribs. My wife said these were my best ribs ever...


              • fzxdoc
                fzxdoc commented
                Editing a comment
                Wow, that was snappy! You didn't waste any time firing that baby up. Nice job. The food looks amazing. Thanks for posting the photos.


              Glad to see you jump in with both feet and enjoy the positive results in conjunction with your abilities. This is such a capable cooker with a broad range of versatility. Much more than just a small barrel cooker....................


              Here is my latest for family "ribfest" 3 slabs of baby backs. Hickory wood chunks, Memphis dust rub, B&B briquets , Meathead's KC sauce, 4 hours at 275* sauced and closed both vents till I pulled them out. Everyone said they were my best ever.

              Attached Files


                Well it's been a long hot summer. I've spent my weekends either at real work or working on my 62 Falcon in the garage. Tomorrow will be my second cook on the OBJ. Got a nice pork shoulder at Kroger... Nice meaning the only one they had left, some brats, some beers, buns, slaw, and beans. I trimmed that fat boy up and he's resting in his dry brine now. I put some fresh cracked pepper on him too. In the morning he will get doused with some MMD and go on about 235-250. When he hits 160, I'll wrap him in foil and he will set sail to 203-206. Then I'll take him off and wrap him in a warm blanket and snuggle him in a cooler so he can rest up until dinner time. Then he will get shredded and mauled by a hungry hoard. Dead pig walking.

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                  This morning I rubbed it with MMD and threw it on the OBJ. I'm slowing getting my vent settings dialed in. Next time I'll be in the ballpark much quick. It's been running between 225-300, but after 3 hrs, I pretty much got it dialed into 250-260 right where I wanted it. When it hit 160, I wrapped in foil and threw back on. It's been back on about 1.5 hrs and it's at 199 right now. Somewhere between 203 and 206 the magic happens. I'll pull it and wrap it in a cooler to hang until the people are ready to eat!

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