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Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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looking for my next level smoker and would love feedback

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  • Taso33
    Former Member
    • May 2020
    • 4
    • New England, USA

    looking for my next level smoker and would love feedback

    Hi all,
    Long time follower of the site, trial member that will most definitely convert to paid member.
    I am a CEC and small diner owner. Ive worked in 4 countries and several major cities across the USA and Ive only ever worked in the restaurant industry. No fancy school for me. Been a dishwasher, Butcher, Saucier, Executive Chef and Owner. I know a lot about cooking so it was going to be a breeze to become a Pit Master....or so I thought. BBQ kicked me right in the onions more times than I can count but Im out the other side and better for it.

    Have used a cheap offset, built my own offset out of a 50 gallon drum, and an UDS. Im ready to graduate. Ive read every review on this site but am looking for more recommendations from y'alls experience since Im willing to part with what is a decent amount of money to me.

    Am looking for backyard offset or reverse flow, hardwood lump charcoal and small logs for fuel, 800-1000sqinch cooking surface. Was looking to spend up to 750$ but seems theres nothing in that range. its either 500$ or over 1000$. I could go over budget for the right smoker that I could get 5+ years out of. I live in the northeast so used smokers are thin pickings. Right now Im leaning towards the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn as I can make the suggested modifications to it to get the most out of it so any knowledge on that or similar models would be appreciated.

    Sorry for the long read just wanted to give some background on me because from what Ive read in these forums it seems like a nice community and I wanted to also introduce myself while I ask for free advice. You don't need to do a big review on your suggestions as I am mainly looking for smokers fitting my description that maybe I haven't heard of to research on my own. MADE IN USA SMOKERS ONLY please. Thanks!
    Last edited by Taso33; May 16, 2020, 01:47 PM.
  • mountainsmoker
    Banned Former Member
    • Jun 2019
    • 1849
    • Bryson City, NC

    You say you are looking for a backyard smoker. Will you be using it at home or at your restaurant? If you are using the Oklahoma Joe as a commercial smoker I am not sure it would last 5 years. I will let others give you ideas that may best suit your needs.


    • Taso33
      Taso33 commented
      Editing a comment
      Home use maybe a couple times a week and under 12 hour cooks. I want a larger cooking surface to maybe do some light catering for friends but that would be it. Thanks for the reply!
  • Mr. Bones
    Charter Member
    • Sep 2016
    • 9846
    • Kansas Territory
    • Grills / Smokers

      Kingsford 24" grill (Free) 'Billy'
      Brinkmann Smoke n Grill
      Oklahoma Joe Highland, gaskets, LavaLock baffle / tuning plate. 'Big Joe'
      Weber 18" Kettle ($30 CL) 'Lil' Feller'
      Weber Smokey Joe ($25 CL) 'Lil' Brother'
      Weber 22.5 Master Touch '93 P Code Blue($85) from fellow WKC member Bmitch 'Elwood'
      Weber 22.5 Bar-B-Q Kettle '69-'70 "Patent Pending" Red ($80) from fellow WKC member dwnthehatch 'Maureen'
      Weber 22.5 OTS DD Code Black ($40 CL) 'DeeDee'
      Weber 22.5 OTS DO Code Black ($15 CL)
      Weber 22.5 OTS E Code Black ($20 CL
      Weber 22.5 OTS EE Code Black ($20 CL

      Weber "C" Code 18.5" WSM '81 ($50 CL) 8-0!!!
      Weber "H" Code 18.5" WSM '86 ($75 CL)
      Weber " " Code 18.5" WSM

      Weber 26.75, $199 NFM clearance !!!
      Weber SJS AH 'Lil' Brother'
      Weber SJS AT 'Lil' Sister'
      Weber SJS DE Code (FREE) 'Lil' Helper'
      Weber SJG M Code 'Lil Traveller'
      Weber SJS AH Code 'Kermit'
      (Lime Green)
      Horizon 20" Classic, w/baffle/tuning plate (FREE)
      Good One Open Range, (FREE), Monthly Prize from AR giveaway!!!!

      Ol' Skool Bi-metal probe pocket thermo, that has checked / served ~ 1,000,000 meals in my possession, easily...
      Maverick ET-732, (Black)
      Thermopops, (Red, Yellow, Green)
      ThermaPen Mk4 (Black), THANKS!!! to jgjeske1
      Blue ThermaPen Mk4
      Orange Thermapen Mk4
      Pink Thermapen Mk4
      ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S
      ThermoWorks Smoke
      ThermoWorks Open Box Smoke
      4 Pro Series cable extensions
      Smoke Gateway

      2 Slow 'N Sears, Slow 'N Sear XL, Grill 'N Griddle
      BBQ Vortex, 2 Hovergrills, Top Deck
      Warming shelf
      MyWeigh KD-8000Kitchen Scale
      Backyard Grill marinade injector
      Acoustic Guitars/Electric Guitars/Basses/1928 National Duolian/Harmonicas/Banjo Washboard, Spoons, kazoos, pocket comb with wax paper, egg shakers ;-)
      Bear Paws
      Meat Rakes
      BBQ Dragon/Chimley of Insanity, Dragon Wing Shelves (x2 ea.)

      Probably a ton of cast iron, mostly very old...still cookin'
      G'Ma's Piqua skillet, :-)( They went out of business in 1934~)
      '60's Revere Ware (Mom's), + others found elsewhere
      60's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (Mom's) Daily driver
      50's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (G'Ma's), for a backup! ;-)
      Carpy Wally World stock pots, in approx 2 gal/3gal sizes, blue speckledty-porcelain enameled
      Tramontina 6.5 qt Dutch Oven

      Cutlery, etc.:
      Shi*-ton of kitchen/chef knives, most sharper than my straight-razors are. (Better steel!) Chicago Cutlery, Old Hickory, various, including some nice German stuff ;-)
      Dexter 12" slicing knife, 6" Sani-Safe boning knife
      Smith's Tri-Hone Natural Arkansas Knife Sharpening System
      Multiple steels, from all over the planet
      Crock sticks
      Diamond stones, various
      Lansky Sharpening System

      Daily driver:Washington Forge Mardi Gras, Navy / Cobalt Blue
      Dinner: Guests: Washington Forge, Town and Country
      Fancy / Formal: Family silverware

    Howdy from Kansas Territory, Welcome to Th Pit!
    Lookin forward to learnin along with, an from ya!

    I've had an OKJ Highland, fer nearly 4 years, bought it used, so it's likely 5-6 years old, or more, an still fine. It's kept care of, an covered.
    I've always been very pleased with it, an have vociferously made that clear to many others.

    It can produce great food, in capable hands.

    Looks like th Longhorn is $449 + $150 ship, over to Amazon. Might even be better deals to be found locally, save th shippin. At that price, I wouldn't balk a bit at givin it a try.

    I'd recommend springin fer th Lavalock Baffle / Tunin plate. Equally wouldn't go to alla th trouble to gasket up alla th doors, etc. It'll jus burn off, given time, an I see no real difference in how th cooker runs without em. Reckon I'd buy ya a cover, as well.

    I have other, much nicer, heavier, more expensive cookers as comparison. If I may be of any further assistance, feel free to gimme a holler.

    Reckon that's a good ¢2 worth, to start with, though.
    Last edited by Mr. Bones; May 16, 2020, 02:46 PM.


    • Nate
      Nate commented
      Editing a comment
      What Bones said is truth... in the right hands, with proper care, and some minor mods... you can get mileage out of these.

    • Taso33
      Taso33 commented
      Editing a comment
      Many thanks my friend! That's the best 2 cents ive ever spent!! Ill look up the Lavalock and get back to you with some more questions and maybe hear about those other cookers you got in your arsenal. Im old school when it comes to my equipment. Got time to lean got time to clean! Thanks again!
  • Nate
    Banned Former Member
    • Apr 2015
    • 3808
    • Quarantined

    First up welcome from Indiana.

    I want to preface this by saying that I completely get where you are coming from and was in the exact same dilemma some years back. It sucks with everyone telling you just wait until you can afford something nicer when you are wanting it now and knowing it could take another year or two to save what you need to in order to really make the next level jump which is really $1500... a lot more options at that price point.

    That being said I am not a fan of debt so I say this reluctantly but there are some companies out there with payment plans... maybe this helps get you into the $1500 range.

    Not knowing how much over you are willing to go per your post but here are a couple of options.

    The Good One is an interesting design and is going to be a good build quality... it can also serves double duty as grill and smoker. $1179 with free shipping (I think).

    Also the Lang 36 Patio Original is another great option and more of the traditional offset and built like a tank. It starts at $1295 plus shipping.

    Both of those have financing options as well. However they may not have the real estate in the grates you are looking for.

    That being said... the OK Joes aren’t bad smokers but you are going to need to Mod them and they are probably going to need a bit more tending and babysitting than the others... But don’t be discouraged if this is what you end up getting. Lots of folks have them and turn out excellent Q on them. Invite me over and I will eat food that you cooked on any of these.


    • Taso33
      Taso33 commented
      Editing a comment
      I was born in FT. Wayne! I guess Im on the right track because Ive looked at both those smokers and was actually referencing them in the over $1000 category. Money is definitely important as the quarantine is taking a toll on business but it is also allowing me the time to do this and get some serious cook time in. I will not rule these options out.
      Thanks man!
  • ofelles
    Club Member
    • Jun 2018
    • 2443
    • Brentwood CA
    • Yoder YS640 on Comp cart
      Klose 20x42 Charcoal Grill
      LSG Insulated Cabinet
      Jumbo Joe
      VacMaster Pro 380 sealer
      FireBoard and Pit Bull fan
      Thermoworks Signal
      Thermoworks Dot
      Thermopen Mk4

    Welcome frome the California Delta. Some gud advise above.


    • Taso33
      Taso33 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you! Glad to meet ya
  • Dewesq55
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 2096
    • The Poconos, NEPA
    • Smoker:
      Landmann Smoke Master Series Heavy Duty Barrel Smoker (COS) - With mods including 2 level rack system with pull-out grates
      Masterbuilt 40.2" 1200W Electric Smoker
      Masterbuilt ThermoTemp XL 40" Vertical Propane Smoker

      Gas Grill:
      BBQPro (cheap big box store model) Stainless steel 4 burnerswith aftermarket rotisserie.

      Charcoal Grill:
      Weber Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill 14"

      Fireboard 2 with Drive cable and 20 CFM fan and Competition Probe Package
      Fireboard 1st Generation
      ThermoWorks Mini Instant Read
      Lavaworks Thermowand Instant Read
      2 Maverick 733
      ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S Industrial Infrared Thermometer
      ThermoWorks ThermaPen Mk4 x 2
      Govee Bluetooth Thermometer with 6 probes

      Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator - 1st generation
      Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator - wifi/bluetooth connected

      Favorite Beer:
      Anything to the dark side and malty rather than hoppy. Currently liking Yuengling Porter and Newcastle Brown Ale. In a bar or pub I will often default to Guiness

      Favorite Spirit:
      Bourbon - Eagle Rare for "every day"; Angel's Envy for special occasions, Basil Hayden's, Larceny

      Favorite Wine:
      Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Super Tuscan Sangiovese (Including Chianti Classico Riserva) Brunello di Montalcino

      Favorite Meat(s):
      Pork - especially the darker meat. I love spare ribs and anything made from shoulder/butt meat
      Chicken - Mainly the dark meat and wings
      Beef Ribeye steak

      Favorite Cuisine to Cook:
      Can't list just one: Indian, Chinese, Thai, West Indian/Carribean, Hispanic/Latin American, Ethiopian, Italian, BBQ

      Favorite Cuisine to Eat:
      Indian, followed closely by BBQ.

      Disqus ID:
      David E. Waterbury

    I suggest you look at Lone Star Grillz. Awesome offsets that are pretty reasonable priced for what you get. Will last you forever.

    Addendum: I have an offset that is practically identical to the OKJ Highland. I have done a few mods to it and it makes good food. That said, it's leaps and bounds away from a heavy gauge offset as far as temp control and fuel usage among other things. I would trade up to a LSG in a minute if I could afford it.
    Last edited by Dewesq55; May 16, 2020, 04:44 PM.


    • Taso33
      Taso33 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the reply! I have never heard of them and looked them up online. Man those are some sexy cookers but definitely out side my comfort zone price wise but it was fun to dream for a minute!
  • Donw
    Club Member
    • Jul 2017
    • 3396

    Welcome from Maryland.

    I know they are out of your price range but keep the Yoders, LSGs and the rest in your mind and look for used ones online. They do pop-up occasionally and we all love it when a member scores one. Most of the really good ones are going to last a lifetime so used isn’t a bad thing usually. Unfortunately we may see even more pop up soon as casualties of the current situation.


    • Taso33
      Taso33 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks and happy to be here! I'm definitely far from living in place where a lot of used smokers are for sale. I went on Criags list and FB market place and there were a total of 4 for sale but ill keep looking as that's sound advice. I would hate to score a top line smoker as a result of someone's hardship but it would be going to a loving home for sure. Thanks again for the reply!
  • smokin fool
    Club Member
    • Apr 2019
    • 2151
    • Mississauga, Ont

    I don't recommend smokers, not smart enough, but I would suggest if your not in a hurry scan Craigslist daily and be ready to pounce on a good deal.
    I watch Kijiji here constantly for deals


    • Taso33
      Taso33 commented
      Editing a comment
      I will keep checking as I did not consider that option. Luckily we have some smart people here to help us along! Thanks for the reply!
  • RonB
    Club Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 13316
    • Near Richmond VA
    • Weber Performer Deluxe
      Pizza insert
      Smokenator 1000
      Cookshack Smokette Elite
      2 Thermapens
      lots of probes.

    Welcome to The Pit.


    • Taso33
      Taso33 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you and nice to meet ya!



Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

SOLD OUT! Secure your spot on our waitlist now. First-come, first-served!
Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis)
See more
See less
Meat-Up in Memphis


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