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My very first smoker. A blast from the past.

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    My very first smoker. A blast from the past.

    I will follow up with a little more information if anyone is interested.
    20 plus years old, and in remarkable condition.
    Oklahoma Joe Tailgater.
    It was sold back then as a portable smoker/ grill but you better bring help if you want to move it.
    I used the hell out of it for about 5 years, then bought a Big Green Egg and it got parked under a tree in the backyard and kind of forgotten about.
    Going to dig it out and get it fired up again.
    Pretty remarkable shape for its age and the neglect it went through.

    Attached Files
    Last edited by Cheef; October 4, 2020, 09:14 AM.

    #2
    A shot of the serial number plate. I dont know if Oklahoma Joes still does this or not?
    Attached Files

    Comment


    • Uncle Bob
      Uncle Bob commented
      Editing a comment
      Yep, they still put the S/N on a metal tag on each unit.

    #3
    That looks like a pre-Char-Broil OKJ. Is it made with1/4" thick steel?

    Comment


      #4
      Yes it is. They really built well back then. That is the original paint after setting under a tree uncovered for years. I need to lube the hinges to get it to fully open, and I will post some more pics.

      Comment


        #5
        And it has been so long since I used it i will need to ask for help and advice to fire it up again. I seem to remember it wanted to run hot as hades but I believe I always loaded it up way too much.

        Comment


          #6
          I keep reading all the bragging the stick burner guys do and was kind of jonesing after a stick burner. I figure what the hell. Put this old guy back to use and try it out.

          Comment


            #7
            That's like finding a $100 bill in a pair of jeans you haven't fit into for years.
            Should be good to go after some clean up and a good burn to clean out the spiders.
            Probably been some improvements over the years but a stick burner is a stick burner.

            Comment


              #8
              Great plan Cheef. Fire that dude up and enjoy.

              Comment


                #9
                Wow looks in great shape after sitting under a tree for 20 years. You better name this one "Rip Van Winkle"

                Comment


                • HawkerXP
                  HawkerXP commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Its called Lead.

                • Cheef
                  Cheef commented
                  Editing a comment
                  HawkerXP I believe you have just christened him. Thanks.

                • Cheef
                  Cheef commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Well? If is is lead I'm NOT scared as long as it is on the outside. I figure just oil it up and do a burn in cook and no worries. Inside isn't painted and I will have to wire brush it out and oil it down also.

                #10
                I just took some measurements off of it. It was advertised as a Tail Gater. Small for a stick burner I believe?
                26" tall from foot pads to top of cook chamber
                Cook chamber 12 1/2"OD and 24" long
                Fire box 12 1/2" OD and 12" long
                Stack is 2 1/2" OD and 21" tall
                Kind of a mini smoker/stick burner.
                I'm kind of looking forward to firing it back up and seeing how it will perform if I get it tuned in.
                Last edited by Cheef; October 4, 2020, 10:18 AM.

                Comment


                • Mr. Bones
                  Mr. Bones commented
                  Editing a comment
                  How very cool, never seen me no OKJ in such a diminutive size....Super Interestin.

                  Kinda a TwigBurner, more or less...

                #11
                My biggest complaint with it when I used it was the 26" height. I had always planned to build it some kind of table to set on. Might have to see how I end up liking it and putting that idea back in the works.

                Comment


                  #12
                  Got the hinges squirted down with GIBBS, and loosened up really well. I will let them soak tonight and they should be good. I plan to go over the whole outside with Gibbs tomorrow before firing it up and bake it on. For those unfamiliar with GIBBS? Toss away the old standby WD-40 and try it out. Bonus? GIBBS is an all in one gun cleaner also and the only product in my gun cabinet. The gunsmiths at Nighthawk Customs recommended it to me a few years ago when I bought a Custom GRP.

                  More good news on Rip Van Winkle? Original thermometer still working, and spot on with a check against a thermopop.

                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                    #13
                    “Pretty remarkable shape for its age and the neglect it went through“
                    This is what my kids say about me !!!!!!
                    Looks like a fun cooker project coming back to life

                    Comment


                      #14
                      I just found an old thread on BBQ Brothers forum from 2012.
                      A member on there had found a used tailgater and dug up some info from Oklahoma Joe.
                      They made them from 1988 to 1992.
                      Then made a decision to begin making them out of lighter weight material to allow more economical shipping to big box stores.

                      Comment


                        #15
                        Loaded Rip Van Winkle up this morning and fired it up.
                        The wood box door and adjuster is still stuck and I'm continuing to GIBBS it and work it loose. I just loaded it from the top.
                        Good news is It has been holding a steady 250 all day with a few extra loads of wood added. I found a local BBQ store here who carries 1/4 splits that fit the mini fire box perfectly.
                        Might be time for some chicken to go in tomorrow.

                        Comment

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