oklahoma joe's highland

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by reklisbs469, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. Alright guys, I'm new to this. I have bought the Oklahoma Joe's highland, sealed doors, put on door latches, sealed firebox, added baffle/plate, and a charcoal box. my first smoke was last week without the charcoal box and baffle plate. temps where around 215-255. so yesterday I put the box and plate in for another smoke, and I had a lot of trouble keeping the temps high. couple of questions. I have a small gap between the plate and firebox wall I'm not really wanting to put more holes in the smoker so should I seal the gap with tinfoil or should it be ok? next is I tried the Minion method in my charcoal box and it seemed like I was fighting it the whole time, should I raise the box up more? any help would be great.
  2. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Try the tin foil. If it doesn't work you can take it out. I personally like the baffle right next to the FB. You need at least 2-3" below the basket, more if that won't bring it above the bottom of the air intake damper. Getting air beneath the fuel is a must. Also, are you using any wood? Use the charcoal to get a good bed of coals and then switch over to wood splits. I like to use lump charcoal for the coal bed. It's hotter and doesn't create as much ash as briqs.

    Good luck and good smokin', Joe
  3. Thanks for the response. Currently I'm just using charcoal briquettes and adding a little bit of wood for smoke. Should I try using all hardwood lump? Or buy split wood? Does using all wood add to much smoke flavor?
  4. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I build my fire with Royal Oak lump charcoal. When it is burning good, I add a couple of oak splits. When my pit is up to temp, I add a couple more splits and put my meat in. Then, I put several flavor chunks for the smoke I want. I keep flavor chunks in the fire for about 2 hours and then just the oak for cooking heat.
  5. davidski

    davidski Smoke Blower

    ok.. so heres the deal. im guessing you bought the premade tuning plate from bbqsmokermods ?

    that gap youre speaking is due to 2 screws from he firebox being in the way. the way around this is to take those 2 screws out, have someone hold the tuning plate on the inside, and drill through those existing holes into the tuning plates. Once the holes are drilled, return the 2 nuts and bolts, but now include the tuning plate, when screwing them all back together. 

    What no one tells you on these forums is that the OKJ have bad airflow, especially the highland. this is one of the reasons everyone tells you to put a 3" elbow onto the inside of the smoke stack. have you done that yet?

    by any chance, did you put seal between the top and bottom halfs, where those 4 bolts hold the box together?

    Youll have folks on here that dont know OKJs tell you to weld or seal it, i tell people not to. These units struggle to breathe. 

    answer a few of the questions i have asked, but with the tuning plates installed now, youre defiantly going to need a 3" elbow and to throw the smoke stackfull open to get the air flowing. the elbow helps keepign the smoke in the can longer since the cap of off. 
  6. Thanks! I did not seal the 2 pieces of the fire box, however I did seal the firebox to cc, I already installed an elbow down to grate level. What do you burn wood? Charcoal?
  7. davidski

    davidski Smoke Blower

    Both. Royal oak for the heat, local wood for the flavor. 

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