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Oklahoma Joe's Highland Offset Smoker $199

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rated:
This is the first smoker I've owned in 20 years, and this isn't the Oklahoma Joe from that era.  With less than $75 and a couple of hours work, you can make it into a very decent smoker.  I've also used the small firebox for grilling.

Smoker 

The sale price is good thru June 28th.  You may get it slightly cheaper in Aug or Sept.  However, it may not get much use unless that global cooling thing takes a break.

<edited to include end date>

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rated:
can you expand on the type of work you would do on this to improve it ? I have a lyfetime pit that has thicker plate, im presuming you would enhance the firebox to handle more ? Im looking at a second pit to split between friends at the deer camp and wondering if this would be durable enough for using oak or other wood that are cut bigger than the small chunks shown in their video.

rated:
Short answer - I don't think this is what you want. 

1 beer long answer:

The only smoking that I do is is primarily with lump charcoal and a couple of small logs or big chunks.  That's the background on the work that I was talking about it dealt with three main issues:

1.  The durability of the firebox.  If you don't make some changes, it will burn through the lower sides and bottom, or rust through everywhere else.  I bought a small sheet of grill grating (I don't recall it's actual name) and bent it into a cube shape to act as a coal box.  This keeps the coals from directly touching the sides and bottom of the firebox.  After two long, hot, seasoning sessions, a lot of the paint had bubbled.  I cleaned, sanded, and repainted with high-temp paint.

2.  The fit and finish of the entire unit.  Both the firebox and smoke chamber lids don't seal very well.  Some high temp silicone for the smoke chamber solved that part of the problem.  I also used it between the smoke chamber and firebox, just because I had some silicone left over.  The firebox gets too hot for silicone, so I used oven rope.   It has held up decently.

3.  The huge temp difference between the two ends of the smoke chamber.   Strategically sized and placed sheet metal helped to spread the temp out so that I've only got about a 10 degree difference between the ends.  Prior to the sheet metal, the temp difference was greater than 40 degrees.

A wild guess is that you're in south LA or somewhere else near the gulf coast.  If so, maybe look at scavenging an old propane tank to build your smoker from the ground up, or find something like a 50 - 100 lb tank to replace the OK Joe firebox.  If you are not near a high water table, I would look into a smoke shack.  On costs alone, a fairly small shack is feasible.  

Good luck and feel free to send any venison chili or jerky this way.

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