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About that OKJ Longhorn

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    About that OKJ Longhorn

    Howdy everyone. So about a week ago I decided to use the main chamber in my CharGriller Pro to cook some burgers. Usually a couple or three times a year I'll actually have my fire in the main chamber instead of the firebox, and while I will get a bit of a fire now and then from the old grease, this time was a bit more extreme.

    About 2 hours extreme to be a little more precise. I think the only thing that really got toasted (besides some hair on my arm) to the point of damage was the thermometer, as it doesn't have a reading past ~550F. While there is definitely some burnt off paint and a few scorch marks on the wood working area, my only real concern is there was a painted area on the inside of the main chamber that was part of that whole roasting experience. And because of all the soot and stuff, can't really tell if that started peeling or not. Which means I'm not so convinced it's safe to use for cooking since I went way beyond the mfg recommended heat tolerance. How do I know if it's still safe?

    So, now not so sure I should trust doing more smokes on this, I'm thinking of upgrading to the OKJ Longhorn since it's got a few extras. Things like tuning plates, thicker steel, stuff like that. The one thing I'm not so crazy about at the moment is ceramic coated grates instead of cast iron. But besides that, well, it also being out of stock everywhere near me, what has your experience been?

    Obviously I'll be going new, so the questions are more about is it worth the money? I can't afford the higher end stuff, and really would like to stick with the offset types.

    Any and all advice appreciated. Sorry for taking so long to say "I'm thinking about getting a new smoker...".

    #2
    I'm not a fan of using the smoke chamber for grilling. If you grill that much, check out the Judge.

    https://amazingribs.com/ratings-revi...harcoal-grill/

    Comment


    • DesertRaider
      DesertRaider commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, up until a couple of years ago I had a gasser as well. It's pretty old now, and needs lots of parts to be safe and work well. I decided at the time that the risk of possibly blowing up my house was greater than it burning down from the "little bit of grease" that would build up. Of course this time, I almost got to use my fire extinguisher! At the moment, the smoker is the more pressing of the two.

    #3
    Is there a reason why you are committed to offsets?

    Same money can get you a far more enjoyable cooker like the Masterbuilt Gravity 560.

    Or you can go for the Platinum rated OKJ Bronco if you want to stay with OKJ.

    Comment


    • DesertRaider
      DesertRaider commented
      Editing a comment
      There's a couple of reasons. First and foremost, I've gotten used to all the work involved with the offset. Get's me out of my chair every half hour or so, but, I'm now keeping really steady (for me) temps. The other is, even if the power is out, or especially if that happens, I still want to be able to cook.
      Honestly I'm at a point where I'm just tired of fixing stuff, and electronics will need fixing at some point.

    #4
    I have had my OKJ Highland fer in excess of 5 years,runnin; never had me any reason to be unhappy with it...

    Longhorn's jest a touch bigger, is all; same difference, I'd haveta reckon... check my posts, or mebbe I can skeer ya up some, later; I have had total success, keepin 5°-10° degrees F, side to side, as evidenced by my pics...COS, indeed (Harrumph)
    Last edited by Mr. Bones; July 6, 2021, 07:43 PM.

    Comment


    • DesertRaider
      DesertRaider commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for that Mr. Bones. It was your posts that started pushing me in that direction. As for COS, yeah, not exactly Cheap, but not in the same category as a Lang Of course I still need to check and see if the paint, or remnants of, are safe or not. Been to hot here lately to do any serious work outside. Or not so serious. It's been hot.

    #5
    If I'm reading your opening comment correctly your concern is paint/paint emissions on the inside potentially contaminating your food? I don't have personal experience with CharGriller, but the norm in the cooker industry is to not paint the interior of grills/smokers for just that reason. Are you sure yours has been painted inside, or is what you're seeing a build up of fire/food byproducts (soot/creosote/fat/etc)?

    Comment


    • DesertRaider
      DesertRaider commented
      Editing a comment
      That's about right. And what I've found out to this point hasn't really reassured me much, because of more unknowns.
      I decided to go check for myself at the not so local Lowes. Found what now passes for the model I have, looked inside, and instead of seeing bare steel I see black on the end caps of the chamber. So today I call Char Griller and ask them, are the insides painted. They were emphatic in their "no", but couldn't tell me why the end caps are black. So I'm not really much wiser here.

    #6
    Hope the char griller isn’t done for. The longhorn oughta be a really fun cooker if you’re already in the offset mindset. More people should give low cost offsets a try.

    Comment


    • Mr. Bones
      Mr. Bones commented
      Editing a comment
      Yup.
      They missin out.

    • DesertRaider
      DesertRaider commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks jhapka. I'm waiting for the weather to cool a bit, then take the vacuum and steel brush to it so see how things look. Of course I might also order a new smoker at the same time. Now that I've finally figured out how to get decent results, I don't really want a steep learning curve on my next adventure. And yes, these less expensive offsets certainly have a place if you got the patience. I've really grown to like them.

    #7
    Unless you burned through the metal or damaged it, paint damage does not render a cooker unsafe. And there should not be regular paint on the inside anyway unless it is some sort of porcelain coating like Weber or PBC use. If you see something peeling it is probably layers of soot buildup from cooking.

    I would just scrape it down, wash it out with hose and soapy water, build a fire in the firebox to dry it all out, and get back to cooking. I've had some major grease fires in different grills over the years, and never got rid of a grill because of it. It just led me to perform more regular cleanings. And that is my process for my offset is to hose it out with soap and water, brush it with a stainless welding brush, then put a few lit chimneys of charcoal in the firebox and let it dry things out before I cover the grill back up. I do that at least once per season.

    Comment


    • DesertRaider
      DesertRaider commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi Jeff, and thanks. I tried scraping it, and it was still black underneath, which is what lead to my adventures above in the reply to Uncle Bob. And while I should have been more diligent about cleaning, I'm still not feeling the love as it were. There is one area that does have paint which is the chimney, but, no fire got in there. And yeah, I would have noticed that one I might try cleaning, just to see. Still too hot outside to do anything strenuous. I don't have AC, so no escape.

    #8
    You mentioned there was a painted “area” inside the cooking chamber. Are you the original owner of the smoker? If so, did you paint it yourself? Are you sure it’s paint and not a soot buildup? They can begin to harden and flake, to where it might “look” like paint, but it’s not. As others have mentioned, there shouldn’t be any internal paint on the smoker. Manufactures just don’t do this, or at least none that I know of.

    Comment


    • DesertRaider
      DesertRaider commented
      Editing a comment
      Panhead John, Yes, no, and yes. But, I'm befuddled as to why they would use "black" steel when everything else isn't. Took a steel wire brush, and nothing came off, so, it seems it's the color of the end caps. But on your last part, I did find that the pellet poopers I looked at have some kind of finish inside. I don't know if it's a hardened type of special finish, or porcelain, or what. Right now I'm telling myself "learning experience".

    #9
    An update to the original post.

    I tried scraping, called the company, looked at what's in the stores now, and it comes down to the end caps are coated with something, though I have no idea what. The company denies putting anything on them, even after I pointed out that steel is not naturally black in color, and, some of the paint peeled off one of the ends, and it's clean steel. So it could be considered evidence that somethings on there.

    So now I'm awaiting the arrival of my new OKJ Longhorn reverse-flow smoker. It's supposed to arrive tomorrow sometime between 0600 - 1800 hrs. I'm not sure who does delivery at 0600, but they must get lots of coffee to do that!

    Does anyone have any technical advice (or non) when I assemble it? I mean beyond the obvious of "tab A into slot B".

    TIA, and hope you all are doing well.

    Comment


    • IFindZeroBadCooks
      IFindZeroBadCooks commented
      Editing a comment
      Search for some YouTube assembly videos if you can. Sometimes the manual can be awful and a quick video might do the trick.

    • Jazfish
      Jazfish commented
      Editing a comment
      I have that exact same pit. I can tell/show you the mods I’ve done to mine if you’d like.

    • DesertRaider
      DesertRaider commented
      Editing a comment
      Jazfish How do you like the pit? Have you don'e all the mods? Do you have it configured in the regular or reverse flow?

    #10
    As a fellow OKJ Owner / Operator, I jus hope this all comes out to th Good, an yer Satisfaction....
    Last edited by Mr. Bones; July 26, 2021, 10:04 PM.

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