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Oklahoma Joe Bronco - Considering Buying

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  • Uncle Bob
    commented on 's reply
    Nope, they're the same, diameter and height.

  • MtView
    replied
    I just thought of another question about the charcoal bin. If I use the Bronco Pro charcoal bin in the original Bronco, do I also need to get the Bronco Pro ash bin? I couldn't find any specs on the ash bins.

    Leave a comment:


  • Uncle Bob
    replied
    Originally posted by MtView View Post
    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.
    He was reluctant to give details, so knowing the cause is not possible. Based on other examples experienced most people who say they dislike smoked meats have likely been served acrid smoked meats. Wrong smoking woods, not waiting for the smoking woods to "settle down" to good combustion, or overloading the quantity of smoking woods are the typical culprits. Even with all the help available online it's still an experience thing to "get it right".

    Leave a comment:


  • MtView
    replied
    Originally posted by bbqLuv View Post
    Please post the video,
    Thanks in advance.


    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • MtView
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • rickgregory
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • bbqLuv
    replied
    Please post the video,
    Thanks in advance.

    Leave a comment:


  • Panhead John
    commented on 's reply
    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.

  • Panhead John
    replied
    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.

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  • fracmeister
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • Uncle Bob
    replied
    @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.

    Leave a comment:


  • jfmorris
    commented on 's reply
    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.

  • MtView
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • jfmorris
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • MtView
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:

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