How to Use Oklahoma Joe Smoker: The Best Guide for Beginners

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You do not know how to use Oklahoma Joe smoker. Then, it becomes a useless bulky thing even when you choose the best and most expensive product on the market.

But there is no need to worry much about it. Our user guide will help throw your trouble away.


How to use Oklahoma Joe Smoker?

In comparison with other types like kettle grills, smoker grills are more complex to use. However, with proper usage, the device can deliver surprisingly tasty results. 

Now, let’s follow the simple seven-step instruction below to make it real!

Step 1: Setting Up Temperature

225°F is an ideal temperature that you should keep it stable when grilling.

Cheaply-made smoker grills with only one temperature probe often require you to track the temperature fluctuation carefully. It is not a story for the Oklahoma Joe versions due to their a couple of digital temp probes.

We suggest you drill a small hole at the position near the cooking chamber’s end. The closer the hole is to the food, the more excellent results you will get.

Step 2: Firing Up the Grill With Charcoal

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With this step, all the food that you are about to grill must be ready. Especially for meat, frozen meat can absorb smoke better than the room-temperature one.

Next, use a chimney starter to light all the charcoal needed. If the coal is not available, the wood will be the best supplement. Both of them give you excellent food flavors. However, wood fires may leave some ash on the meat.

In general, the second step can take you about 15 minutes.

Step 3: Controlling the Oxygen Intake

The oxygen intake is an important part that helps the smoker run as a heat maker. The better you can control the flow of oxygen, the more stable your Oklahoma Joe smoker’s temperature will be.

Firstly, you keep two baffles, including the intake baffle and chimney baffle, fully opened. Secondly, add some fuel into the smoker, wait for it to heat up, and then adjust the baffles. Then, filling the firefox with coals will be the next step. And you add the meat into the smoker only when the temp reaches the desired level.

Unlike the baffle, both the firebox door should be closed to reduce the temperature fluctuation.

Step 4: Maintaining the Temperature

In Step 3, we have already mentioned two baffles that will do different functions to maintain the temperature. The heat is under the control of the intake baffle while the baffle at the chimney controls the smoke. When the temperature starts to decrease, it is time to replenish the smoker with coals.

Step 5: Adding Flavor by Wood Chunks

As for wood chunks, it will be better to choose large pieces for smoking instead of small chips. For every cooking cycle, about one or two pieces are adequate to infuse smoke into the meat.

Moreover, if you love to add more tasty flavors into the meat, some wood types like hardwoods and fruitwoods come as potential options. Plus, soaking wood chunks is unnecessary before adding coals since moisture can affect the burning coal.

Step 6: Adding Some Moisture

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In this step, you can add some moisture to gain a deliciously smoky taste without affecting the burning coal.

You can do the step in two ways.

The first way is to use a metal frame on the coal layer along with a water pan. The steam from the pan will provide the extra moisture for smoke and then for the meat.

In case that the meat dries out while smoking, the second way will be worth trying. You can spray some mineral water or fruit juice into the meat to keep it juicy and add some additional flavors.

How to Clean the Oklahoma Joe Smoker?

Even when your Oklahoma Joe smoker comes with high quality, it cannot last for long without proper care. And cleaning properly and regularly is one of the most important things to lengthen its lifespan.

1. Maintenance

After smoking, it is a must to remove all of the ashes on the smoker. If you skip this step, the ashes, along with humidity, will cause the rust for days. So, you should wait for the ashes to cool and sweep them out.

Then, you moisten a cloth with warm water and wipe sauces and marinade left on the smoker. For grates, you can use a nylon bristle brush to clean them up.

Also, in the cooking chamber, there may be some grease off the meat. In this case, a four-inch putty knife can help. In terms of starting-rust spots, buffing with some high-temperature cooking oil will be the best solution.

2. Cleaning

Now, we turn to a deep and thorough cleaning task.

A clean burn is an optional solution in which you use a kitchen torch to burn off all the residues left. You must keep the smoker away from combustible materials during this step.

The cleaning will be more efficient with warm water and degreaser detergents (if needed). Next, you let it air dry.

Tips for Smoking With Oklahoma Joe Smoker

In this final section, we would like to share with you some useful tips. After reading this article, let’s give them a try and you will see surprising results.

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  • Don’t over smoke: While cooking, you had better maintain a thin white or blueish smoke to make the perfect meat color.
  • Spray to keep moist: As we mentioned above, you can spritz apple juice or cider vinegar to retain the meat juiciness. But with too much moisture, the top layer of spice will be washed away.
  • Calculate smoking time: There is no need to prepare a clock. We recommend you use one wood chunk for every hour of cooking.
  • Don’t peek: Opening the lid will lengthen the cooking time. Consequently, it may affect the perfection of the smoked food for both taste and color.
  • Use peach butcher paper: This tip is to keep the moisture of the meat while smoking. You wrap the meat with an FDA approved peach butcher paper and place it again inside the smoker.
  • Use a water pan: Filling an aluminum foil pan with water and putting it into the smoker will help keep the temperature between 225 to 275°F.
  • Use a marinade injector: You use this tool to inject the meat with beef or chicken broth.
  • Collect dripping: Never waste the marinade sauce dropping on the grill. You can use it later for gravy or au jus sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Oklahoma Joe a good smoker?

Definitely YES! As you will find, the Oklahoma Joe smoker is excellent, but grill as well.

Moreover, the smoker offers you complete flexibility in fuel. Unlike other smokers, which offer only one of coals or wood pellets, the Oklahoma Joe smoker allows any wood, gas or charcoal. Hence, you will see various chambers, rooms and burners for any kind of fuel for more convenient use.

You can check the reverse flow design as well and see what advantages regarding the cooking area and smoking benefits it offers. Moreover, the various models of Oklahoma Joe smokers deliver quality, performance, design, and other multiple services, so you shouldn't skip them.

Are Oklahoma Joe smokers made in the USA?

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YES, they are.

Namely, their story begins in 1987 when a manufacturer Joe Davidson created the first model of Oklahoma smokers and knew that he had to invest in design to succeed and surpass the competitors.

Thus, he introduced the first model at the Oklahoma State Fair the same year and received more than a hundred orders. After a while, he was the #1 producer, and his product is the best in the state and even more comprehensive.

Once their products were ready for massive production, Joe and his coworkers started their business across the whole country and worldwide. Therefore, we have Joe smokers as the top products on the US market.

How to cook on an Oklahoma Joe smoker?

There are six steps for a proper cooking process.

  • Firstly, you need to set the right temperature. It should be around 225°F degrees.
  • Then, you need to fire up the grill with the charcoal and then use a chimney starter to light it for proper use.
  • Next off, you need to control the oxygen intake. As you moderate the oxygen flow, you will maintain the appropriate temperature.
  • The fourth step is to maintain the temperature. It would be best if you kept the temperature at the right high temperature to prepare your meals correctly. If you notice the temperature decreases, recharge the smoker with coal.
  • The fifth step is to add your favorite flavors for more tasty meals by using wood chunks.
  • The last one is to add moisture and obtain the right taste as well.

How to season Oklahoma Joe smokers?

There are 6 steps for this process as well. Thus, you should follow the following procedure:

  • Use grapeseed oil or canola to coat the entire interior part of the smoker, including walls, racks and lid.
  • Use a fire starter and light the charcoal in one chimney. The charcoal should burn approximately in then minutes if you follow the process correctly.
  • While your chimney is heating, you can add more charcoal to the smoker's firebox. Next off, pour the lit coals into the firebox once the chimney ultimately ignites.
  • Ensure the intake and exhaust are entirely open for total airflow and circulation. Your smoker will have a slightly higher temperature than commonly used when smoking.
  • Your smoker needs to reach between 275 and 300°F degrees for two or three hours, so let it be. This way, you will be confident the leftovers - solvents and chemicals burn entirely off and disappear.
  • Before you cook your favorite meals, let the smoker cool down completely.

What is the best Oklahoma Joe smoker?

Well, there are plenty of models on the market; however, you might choose the Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Reverse, Flow Smoker, as your top choice.

As you might find, the smoker contains maximum versatility and flexibility; therefore, it will provide the most convenient use. Also, the thermometer, design, performance, and quality make this smoker the most superior among other models.

Every BBQ lover wants the perfect food without burns. Therefore, the smoker offers a reversible design, which directs the smoke from the smokebox to the grilling space to distribute the heat uniformly to the whole cooking area.

Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Reverse Flow Offset Smoker - 17202053*
  • TYPE: The Longhorn Reverse Flow Offset Smoker provides the best for you outdoor cooking needs. With optional smokestack locations you choose between reverse flow smoking and traditional offset...
  • FUEL: Charcoal fuel allows you to grill with high heat or cook low and slow.
  • SIZE: 751-square-inches of primary cooking space; 309-square-inches of secondary cooking space.
  • MATERIAL: Heavy-gauge steel construction ensures durability you can trust.
  • CONTROLS: Professional temperature gauge for accurate monitoring.


Do you have any question about how to use Oklahoma Joe smoker? If you do, we are willing to give you tons of helpful answers, then.

In this guide, we have walked you through usage, maintenance, and tips for better use. Let’s explore and try them together!

How exciting it is to wait for your picture sharing of tasty smoking meat with amazing Oklahoma smokers! See you all with dozens of fascinating topics!

4 thoughts on “How to Use Oklahoma Joe Smoker: The Best Guide for Beginners”

  1. Hi, been using OJ 5 times chicken wings, ribs ,brisket .the cooking time I’ve seen on u tube is a lot less than what i have keep my meat on and it is never done. Its about to go in the LAKE. VERY DISGUSTED.

    • I have found, being new to smoking meat, patience is need. Don’t go be time temperature is the most important thing. Don’t give up. When done correctly the reward is worth it. Wrapping the meat for the last part helps too. Also invest in a OJ fire basket.

  2. Just bought a OJB,worked with it before my first cook, cant get my temps down under 290 and that is setting 1/2 of 1 setting almost closed on both baffles


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