Welcome!


This is a membership forum. As a guest, you can click around a bit. View 5 pages for free. If you would like to participate, please join.

[ Pitmaster Club Information | Join Now | Login | Contact Us ]

There are 4 page views remaining.

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Oklahoma Joe Bronco - Considering Buying

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Oklahoma Joe Bronco - Considering Buying

    I'm considering buying an OJB. I saw a youtube video where the OJB (pro) was maintaining temperature in the winter in 30 mph winds so I imagine the regular OJB would work the same way. I get some decent winds in the winter in New England and it seems like it will be usable without a windbreak.

    My first question is does what I think I saw on the video with the wind match up with your experience of using an OJB in some wind? Even a 10mph wind in the summer can mess with the temp on my weber kettle.

    I'm kind of on the fence on whether to buy the OJB or the OJB pro. If I do a full packer brisket it looks like I can hang it in the OJB. I could probably do at least 3 spatched chickens at once (hanging).

    My main concern is how hard it might be to refuel during a cook if I do have that brisket or 3 birds hanging?

    Uncle Bob I know you have a lot of experience with the OJB and mentioned that some concerns folks have with the OJB aren't real world issues once you use the cooker.

    #2
    Nice to see you're giving the Bronco, in either form, a fair consideration. My comment you referenced was largely about some speculation on these boards a year or two back from folks who had never used one, but still felt it necessary to speculate some negatives. In practice it does everything comparable small barrel/bullet style cookers do and many better due to better sealing around the lid, and better temp control over a wide range because of the two dampers. It has wheels already standard, and needs them because it is heavy, so yields lifting portability to the other choices. Ash control is built in, and the fuel bin is a good size. There are a couple folks on YouTube who have gotten well beyond the 10-12 hours of steady cook time that OKJ claims, one somewhere near 20. I haven't tried to replicate that, but can say the 10-12 is pretty realistic for the smaller version. The Pro has double the capacity in the fuel bin so should give near double the time......and there's a bonus in that. The diameter of the ash bin, air flow ring is the same on both Bronco models, so you can buy the fuel bin from the Pro and it's a drop in for the standard model.........costs around $40. Both models come with one cooking grate, but have brackets for two grate positions, so you can buy an extra grate to double the cooking area. The Pro has the bonus of being in the 22" range so Weber kettle accessories are a fit, as well as much of the components offered in the UDS world. The Pro does cost twice as much as the standard, but when compared to other manufactured barrels of comparable size with similar features, say Hunsaker or Gateway, it's $300ish less.

    I haven't experienced any significant wind issues, but then my patio is protected on three sides, so that might be the mitigating factor. Likely, if there were an issue, it would be draw caused by the wind blowing across the exhaust stack on the lid. What I've seen some folks do online who did experience that added draw from the wind is they would put a fire starter chimney over it as a side wind block that still allowed air flow upward. Clever and easy.

    As for hanging brisket or rib rack, IIRC it's about 21" from the hanger rod to the top of the fuel bin on the standard and about an inch more on the Pro. Large racks or briskets might need some trimming if hung, or choking up with the hanging hooks as there is a couple inches of head room above the hanging arms.

    Any other questions just ask away, there are several users on here with plenty of experience and likely alternate view points.
    Last edited by Uncle Bob; October 14, 2021, 10:06 PM.

    Comment


      #3
      Uncle Bob Great information. Thanks!

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Uncle Bob View Post
        The Pro has double the capacity in the fuel bin so should give near double the time......and there's a bonus in that. The diameter of the ash bin, air flow ring is the same on both Bronco models, so you can buy the fuel bin from the Pro and it's a drop in for the standard model.........costs around $40.
        If I were to add the fuel bin from the Pro to the original Bronco model, would that create higher internal temps? I imagine it might reduce the space a few inches for hanging meat, but really that shouldn't affect ribs and chicken. I would likely spatch a turkey and put it on the grate so really it might just affect full packer briskets.

        I watched a video from a gentleman who used to make an increased capacity fuel bin called the Beast Basket for the Bronco in the pre-Bronco Pro days. His charcoal burned for 30 hours and he didn't seem to have any space issues hanging meat.

        Edit: I just thought of one more important question. It seems like the coal basket is fairly elevated off the ground when considering the ash basket and wheels. I'm thinking of using this on a trex deck. Do you think that would work?
        Last edited by MtView; October 15, 2021, 06:16 AM.

        Comment


          #5
          Yeah, the Pro fuel basket will be a shy 4" taller, so would knock the hanging length down to 17ish " which would likely interfere with full spare racks, but they can be cut in half. A chicken would depend on your hanging device and the size of the chicken. But both those cook in relatively short time windows so the added capacity of the Pro basket really wouldn't help any.

          On the temp concern I actually have data on that. I put dolly wheels on mine to get roller bearings since I'm old and feeble . The wheels are plastic, and I got a comment from one online group member expressing concern about them melting from the "intense heat". Well, I hadn't had any problems so I decided to document reality for the online doubters. I ran a 400 degree (at the grate) fire and then took temp measurements with my IR gun. The brackets that hold the axle, which are bolted to the bottom of the barrel, registered 200 degrees, below the melting temp of the plastic material of the wheels. You'll need to check what the melting temp of Trex is, but I suspect it's not vulnerable. There's a bit over 4" of clearance under the barrel, so the deck surface temp is likely going to be below that 200 temp by a fair bit.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Uncle Bob View Post
            Yeah, the Pro fuel basket will be a shy 4" taller, so would knock the hanging length down to 17ish " which would likely interfere with full spare racks, but they can be cut in half. A chicken would depend on your hanging device and the size of the chicken. But both those cook in relatively short time windows so the added capacity of the Pro basket really wouldn't help any.

            On the temp concern I actually have data on that. I put dolly wheels on mine to get roller bearings since I'm old and feeble . The wheels are plastic, and I got a comment from one online group member expressing concern about them melting from the "intense heat". Well, I hadn't had any problems so I decided to document reality for the online doubters. I ran a 400 degree (at the grate) fire and then took temp measurements with my IR gun. The brackets that hold the axle, which are bolted to the bottom of the barrel, registered 200 degrees, below the melting temp of the plastic material of the wheels. You'll need to check what the melting temp of Trex is, but I suspect it's not vulnerable. There's a bit over 4" of clearance under the barrel, so the deck surface temp is likely going to be below that 200 temp by a fair bit.
            More great information and thanks for taking the time to measure the temp under the barrel when you did!

            Comment


              #7
              I am enjoying seeing what Uncle Bob has to say about the Bronco, as I've looked at these quite often at my local Lowe's, and have been trying to talk my son into buying one. He wants a smoker, but I think he wants me to give him one of mine, haha.

              Personally I would bet you could get most cooks done without needing to refuel the smaller Bronco, without needing a larger basket. The things you would want longer cooking times for would only be butts or brisket. For butts, the 4 inch taller height of that larger basket won't matter so much, and I would probably do those on the grate anyway, but I think it will matter for brisket. You don't want to have to cut the brisket down too much if you decide to hang a full packer. That said, at worst case, you pull the meat out, lay it on a pan, dump some fresh charcoal in the bottom, and re-hang things. Folks do that with drum smokers all the time I imagine.

              I would going to suggest using a temp controller to get the most burn time out of your charcoal, but cannot find any adapter for fans like the Pit Viper or such that will work without modifying the Bronco. After looking at it, I think you would have to drill a hole down low, install a ball valve, and use a ball valve mount for the fan. And close down the normal intake vent totally of course when using the fan. Maybe you could wedge the BBQGuru ball valve mount adapter for the pit viper into the intake of the Bronco somehow, but then again, maybe not. All that said, I've been cooking all year on my SNS Deluxe Kamado without a fan controller, and don't really miss it.

              Anyway, now that I've interrupted the discussion long enough, I do want to chime in and say that the Bronco Pro to me seems like the ultimate version of a full sized drum smoker, with its 22 inch diameter and 2 levels of grates plus hanging capability. It would open you up to multiple levels of grated briskets and butts or ribs, in addition to the hanging methods that you would be forced to use on the smaller Bronco with its 18 inch grates, that just can't fully handle a full slab of ribs or the length of a brisket.

              Comment


                #8
                jfmorris Thanks for going through this for me. It sounds very doable. I would spring for the Pro myself, but the Finance Committee isn't buying the double the price thing. The original Bronco looks like a great smoker.

                Comment


                • jfmorris
                  jfmorris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I agree. The regular size Bronco to me seems like the best value in a charcoal smoker right now. And I'll also point out that I've been doing more and more of my brisket and butts at 275 to 300F, to get them done faster. That might also get you done on a single load of fuel if you just bump the temp a bit.

                #9
                @jfmorris your idea of a fan/controller is not uncommon. Personally I learned enough fire management ability from my kamado days that I don't find it necessary, but I also don't do many long cooks as would happen with butt or brisket. It would be easier to hook up a controller though than what you describe. Since the intake tube enters the barrel at bottom dead center it's best to use that as a portal. On the Bronco FB group there's a guy who prints adapter sleeves and resells controllers for those folks who can't or won't learn how to manage the fire. But a clever DIY'er could rig their own with a PVC coupler (the intake pipe is either 1 1/4 or 1 1/2" IIRC) after removing the bolted on factory flap. Then it's a simple straight connection with a reducer to match whichever fan is used.

                MtView, too bad you're not in Ohio. There's a member on the FB group who bought a Pro last month then found out his family won't eat smoked meat (unclear whether it's any or just his). He's put it up for sale at $350.

                Comment


                • Panhead John
                  Panhead John commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I agree on the “no need for a controller” on the Bronco. Anyone with a basic understanding of fire management should have no problem holding steady temps on it.
                  Last edited by Panhead John; October 15, 2021, 12:36 PM.

                #10
                I have the OJB (I got it on a giveaway price at Walmart one day --99$ new) and I mainly use it for chickens since it does such an amazing job... it holds up fine under winds--- at least to cook two or three chickens...

                Comment


                  #11
                  EDIT: I wrote this totally missing the fact Uncle Bob already mentioned 2 cooking levels in his first reply. Carry on. 😵‍💫


                  I’ve also got the regular size Bronco and love it! Unless you’re smoking large amounts of meat, it should suffice for most of your cooks. Yes, it’d be a tight squeeze to fit a small packer brisket on one grate, unless you hang the brisket, you might have to cut it in half. Uncle Bob has given you excellent information on the Bronco and it’s capabilities. The only thing I can add to that, is the regular size Bronco does come with the ability to use TWO cooking grates on the same cook. They only supply you with one cooking grate, but you can always buy an extra for more space. 5” below the top grate is another row of tabs to support an additional grate OR to move your food closer to the coals when grilling.

                  Pictured is my cooking grate on the lower level. 5” above that grate you can see one of the tabs for the upper cooking level.

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	D32CFDD2-C436-4497-AF0C-BC14B90CC057.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	2.71 MB ID:	1110357

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	9F017E13-F5BA-4586-A60A-1529B96B7FEB.png Views:	0 Size:	443.3 KB ID:	1110361
                  Last edited by Panhead John; October 15, 2021, 12:38 PM.

                  Comment


                    #12
                    Please post the video,
                    Thanks in advance.

                    Comment


                      #13
                      I keep thinking about the regular one too. It seems very nice and rock solid in performance and even if you pay MSRP, $349 is reasonable. The 22" version would be nice, but not for 2x the money. If it was, say, $549? I could do that. But $700 feels like too much money for the difference for me since I don't really need the extra hanging and second rack capacity.

                      Comment


                        #14
                        MtView, too bad you're not in Ohio. There's a member on the FB group who bought a Pro last month then found out his family won't eat smoked meat (unclear whether it's any or just his). He's put it up for sale at $350.

                        Uncle Bob
                        Ooof. I feel for them because I could easily see something like that happening to me. I know I'm on safe ground if I keep the smoke light. I was hoping the pellet grill would do that for me, but eventually it drove me bonkers that I couldn't taste any smoke so I'm picking up a Bronco.
                        Last edited by MtView; October 15, 2021, 01:37 PM.

                        Comment


                          #15
                          Originally posted by bbqLuv View Post
                          Please post the video,
                          Thanks in advance.
                          https://youtu.be/s_X96z5xkYw

                          The video was made with a Bronco Pro, but it looks like the Bronco and Pro are made the same way.
                          Last edited by MtView; October 15, 2021, 02:45 PM.

                          Comment

                          Announcement

                          Collapse
                          No announcement yet.
                          Working...
                          X
                          false
                          0
                          Guest
                          500
                          ["pitmaster-my-membership","login","join-pitmaster","lostpw","reset-password","special-offers","help","nojs","meat-ups","gifts","authaau-alpha","ebooklogin-start","alpha","start"]
                          false
                          false
                          {"count":0,"link":"/forum/announcements/","debug":""}
                          Yes
                          Rubs Promo