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Top 10 Offset Smoker Mods, Jun(2024)

I am listing out here the 10 Oklahoma Joe Reverse flow Smoker Mods that worked like charm for me.

Although these modifications are done particularly for Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Smoker…

It can pretty much apply to any offset smokers…

I’ve addressed some queries, such as,

  • Sealing Oklahoma Joe Smoker Joints.
  • Sealing doors or lids.
  • Using Baffle plates or diffuser tuning plates.
  • Using L bowed duct pipe and more on.

Recommended Reading:

List of best offset smokers in all categories: Check out my latest comprehensive guide that ranks the top offset smokers across various categories. It’s a must-read if you’re considering an upgrade or a new purchase.

Oklahoma Joe Reverse flow Smoker: I’ve spent countless hours with the Oklahoma Joe Reverse flow Smoker, and I’m excited to share my in-depth insights and experiences with you.

Oklahoma Joe Accessories: Enhance your smoking game with my handpicked selection of Oklahoma Joe Accessories that promise to elevate your cooking experience.

Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Smoker Mods: For those who own an Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn, I’ve compiled a list of mods that can transform your smoker’s performance.

Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Review: Get my honest take on the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Smoker. I’ll walk you through its features, performance, and how it stands out in the crowded smoker market.

Best Reverse Flow Smoker: If you’re curious about reverse flow smokers and why they’re a game-changer, you won’t want to miss this article.

Top 10 Oklahoma Joe Reverse flow Smoker Mods

# Problem 1: Difficult to maintain a constant temperature for longer periods.

– What is the reason behind it?

This is because of the thickness of the wall of the Oklahoma offset smoker.

Usually, the high-end offset smokers have ¼ inch walls.

Whereas Oklahoma Joe’s wall thickness is almost ⅛ inches.

This means it is almost the half of other high end smokers.

Another problem is due to leakage through the joints.

These are the joints between the metal sheets. 

It might not be welded properly or there can be some gaps in the area of joints..

We need to fix this….,

How to seal offset smoker? Multiple ways..

# Modification 1: Sealing Oklahoma Joe Smoker Joints.

– Material Used:

Food Grade NSF FDA RTV Silicone Sealant Adhesive Red High Temp 10.3oz (Standard Version) (Standard Version)
  • Food Safe (NSF & FDA Food Grade approval) 650F high temp
  • Impervious to all weather conditions
  • Bonds to All gaskets and all surfaces
  • Waterproof
  • Self cureing, easy to apply

– Steps To Follow:

  1. Preparation :
  • Clean the surface well and make it dry.
  • In the case of an old smoker, it is important to get clear from rust.
  1. Action :
  • Seal the Cooking area.
  • Seal the Firebox  area.
  • Seal the Screw joints. 
  • Sealing the joints between the firebox and the cooking area.
offset smoker modifications
Image of sealing joints.

#Modification 2: Sealing the doors or lids.

For this, we need to put gaskets around the edges of the door closing…

– Material Used:

LavaLock Firebox Gasket Tape, 1/8″ x 5/8″ x 8′ self Stick 1000F – LL_GANL
  • Perfect for Fire boxes
  • 1000F
  • 1/8″ x 5/8″ x 8′
  • plenty for most jobs
  • quick ship.
FireBlack 125 Black Nomex Self Stick Replacement for Big Green Egg Gasket High Temp w/LavaLock LG XL
  • ✅【WONT MELT】 FireBlack125, 800F flame fire proof up to 2,300F
  • ✅【15 FEET LONG】 180″ x 7/8″ x 1/8″ (15 feet long) – Plenty for most smoker door projects
  • ✅【SELF STICK】LavaLock gaskets feature Ultra-Temp self stick backing
  • ✅【BLACK COLOR】Won’t burn or melt like inferioir bbq gaskets. Black bbq gaskets are the best looking and only flame proof BGE gasket.
  • ✅【MADE IN USA】 Expert USA product support and Made in The United States.
Smoker Toggle Latch, BBQ pit lid clamp. Front Flat mount 2 pk
  • 🔥 【2 CLAMPS PER PACK】 2 PACK of Front mount push smoker toggle clamps, by LavaLock
  • 🔥 【MANY USES ON BBQs】 Great for Smoker Cook Chamber Lids
  • 🔥 【RUST RESISTANT】 Heavy duty Construction. Heat resistant
  • 🔥 【MOUNTS ON ANY FLAT SURFACE】 Does not include mounting screws, as we do not know what you are mounting it on.
  • 🔥 【OTHER】 If you are looking for a Highland Clamp, check out LavaLock LL-12050, as this clamp is not ideal for that smoker

– Steps To Follow:

  1. Preparation :
  • Remove the manufacturer paint in the area to put gasket.
    The reason is that the gasket may stick to the paint instead of the metal.
    This is bad because the paint may come off and make the gasket useless. 
  • Clean the surface well and keep it dry..
  1. Action :
  • Measure the length of sides before cutting the gasket.
  • Peel off. 
  • Start putting the gasket.
  • Fix the toggle clamp to the doors of the cooking chamber.
Toggle Clamp Image.

Here is a video guide to help you use gasket…

How to use gasket in an offset smoker?

# Problem 2: Huge temperature difference between two ends of the cooking chamber.

– What is the reason behind it? 

This is a very common issue when it comes to offsetting smokers. Usually, the side which is near the firebox tends to have a higher temperature.
This is due to the nearby firebox.
Likewise, the portion of the cooking chamber which is far from the firebox will have a lower temperature.

As a result, the food that we cook may not be cooked uniformly.
Which is something every pit-master should keep in mind.

To solve this, I have followed these three modifications.
And finally, I could achieve a minimum temperature difference across the two corners…

# Modification 3: Using Baffle plates or diffuser tuning plates.

Oklahoma joe highland horizontal baffle plates are usually pieces of heat-absorbing metal(steel).

This can be used to divert the heat coming from the firebox to travel low in the cooking chamber.

The smoke which is traveling will spread upward evenly to the cooking grates..

– Material Used:

Baffle plates or diffuser plates. Get a ready-made one here…

– Steps To Follow:

  1. Preparation :

You can either :

LavaLock Tuning System Oklahoma Longhorn
LavaLock Tuning System Oklahoma Longhorn.

The ready-made baffle plate is a sheet of metal with multiple holes. The holes are in rows.
It also has a curved area.

This curved area is responsible for redirecting the heat and smoke coming from the firebox.

The size of the holes keeps increasing as it moves farther away from the curved area.

  • Make Yourself :

If you plan to make it yourself you can take multiple rectangular sheets.

Each dimension 19 inches in length and 5 inches in width

This is perfect for Oklahoma Joe’s Highland to have a perfect flow channel for a smoke.

  1. Action 
  • Place the baffle plates inside the cooking chamber.
  • Close the upper gaps between the firebox and the cooking chamber properly.
  • In the case of self-made, Keep a gap between the plates in such a way that the gap becomes bigger as it moves away from the firebox.

Here is a video to help you put baffle plates…

# Modification 4: Using L bowed duct pipe.

After the installation of the baffle plates, the smoke tends to travel maximum toward the chimney.

With the increase in smoke, it may be a good idea to give a proper exit to the smoke.
Otherwise, it may lead to too much smoke. 

We can use a pipe to suck the smoke from the grate level itself. .

So, as soon as the smoke reaches the other end it can get an easy exit through the chimney..

– Material Used:

Duct Pipe ( L shaped)

– Steps To Follow:

  1. Preparation : 
  • Make the hole edges clean..
    This is the hole area  inside the cooking chamber where the smoke exits. 
  1. Action :
  • Place the duct pipe in the hole.
  • Seal the joints between the hole and the pipe.
    Keep it in such a way that it is very close to the cooking grates.

# Modification 5: Using a can of cold water.

– Material Used:

A steel can or bowl to store cold water.

– Steps To Follow:

  1. Preparation : 
  • Keep the bowl of water ready.
  1. Action :
  • Place the bowl on the grates.
    This should be placed toward the higher temperature area.
    The idea is to lower the temperature and balance the whole cooking temperature..

# Problem 3: Inaccurate thermometer display.

– What is the reason behind it?

Let’s talk about Oklahoma Joe Thermometer accuracy.

Oklahoma joe thermometer is not always accurate.

Sometimes the variation is so huge that it can give bad results while smoking. 

Therefore, It is best to have multiple good quality thermometers.

One to check the temperature on the right side of the cooking grate and another on the left side of the cooking grate. 

It is also a good idea to have a thermometer for measuring the internal temperature inside the food item such as pork butt..

# Modification 6: Getting better quality thermometers.

– Material Used:

A good and accurate thermometer is required.

Here are some of the best offset smoker thermometer in the market :-

ThermoPro TP07 Wireless Meat Thermometer for Cooking, Digital Grill Thermometer with Temperature Probe, Smart LCD Screen BBQ Thermometer for Grilling, Oven Safe Food Smoker Thermometer for Kitchen
  • 300-Ft Remote Range: ThermoPro cooking thermometer lets you easily monitor your backyard grill from your living room. Use this meat thermometer’s wireless function to stay connected
  • Highly Accurate Meat Thermometer Probe: Digital food thermometer features a 6 1/2″ food-grade stainless steel meat probe that is accurate to ±1.8°F within a temperature range of 32 to 572°F
  • 10 Preset Temperatures: This kitchen thermometer is programmed with 10 adjustable USDA-recommended preset temperatures and 5 doneness levels to help you Cook Like a Pro
  • Smart Backlit Display & Alarms: Grill thermometer features 3 backlight colors to provide a visual indication of your cooking progress; once the meat has reached its set temperature, this BBQ thermometer will beep and flash
  • On-Screen Timer: This meat thermometer for cooking and grilling displays the temperature and timer at the same time without the need to press any buttons

ThermoPro TP-07 Wireless.

ThermoPro TP20 500FT Wireless Meat Thermometer with Dual Meat Probe, Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer Wireless for Smoker BBQ Grill Thermometer
  • 500FT Remote Range: Compared with those Bluetooth meat thermometer on the market, this meat thermometer digital wireless equips itself with radio frequency technology that will ensure you stronger signal and more stable connection from up to 500FT
  • Hassle-Free Setup: No synchronization or APP download required, the upgraded wireless thermometer receiver clearly displays both food and oven temps simultaneously with built-in backlight, say goodbye to the tedious setup steps
  • Kitchen Timer: Food cooking smoker thermometer features count up and countdown setting that is perfect for long-time cooking or vegetable side dishes; Receiver will beep and flash once reaches preset temperature
  • Restaurant-Quality Dishes: Steak thermometer comes with USDA-Recommended temperature settings for 10 types of meat and their respective doneness levels; All the preset temps can be reset to your desired tastes
  • 2 Probes Monitor: Wireless meat thermometer for grilling and smoking features food-grade stainless steel probes with step-down tip design allow users to get readings more precisely and quickly, acurrate to 1.8°F; Probe wires can withstand up to 716°F

ThermoPro TP20 Wireless.

3 1/8 inch Charcoal Grill Temperature Gauge, Accurate BBQ Grill Smoker Thermometer Gauge Replacement for Oklahoma Joe’s Smokers, and Smoker Wood Charcoal Pit, Large Face Grill Temp Thermometer
  • This BBQ Grill Smoker Thermometer perfectly fits for Oklahoma Joe’s smokers and most smokers or grills with 13/16 inch opening or hole.
  • with extreme accuracy, extra 3” long stainless steel probe rod for accurate temperature readings and precisely measures internal temperatures of food with a quick 3 to 4 second response time.
  • 3 1/8” large 3 color coded zones grill thermometer with enlarged degree scales and numbers, easy data reading, allows you to grasp the temperature at a glance even at night. Face reads 100 to 550 °F
  • This grill temperature gauge is made out of stainless steel, which is sturdy and rust resisting, a safety and durability for your family.
  • Just insert the stem through the hole on your grill, and attach the kit included. This temperature gauge is designed to be mounted at the outer of grills, if utilized in liquid or environments with a good deal steam, may additionally fogged up with condensation, but the condensation will disappeared after some time.

3 1/8 inch Charcoal Grill Temperature Gauge

Maverick XR-40 Wireless Extended Range.

Wireless Extended Range Thermometer
Wireless Extended Range Thermometer.

– Steps To Follow:

  1. Preparation : 
  • Inserting a thermometer directly through the door is a common practice.
  • But if you do not want the wires of the thermometer to get hurt, you can make a separate hole to the side. 
  • You can then pass all the wires through these holes thereby protecting them from the door.
  1. Action :

# Problem 4: Need to visit the smoker frequently to check the temperature.

– What is the reason behind it?

Smoking is a time taking process.
Lots of hours are spent to get that perfect smoked butt.

This may be very tiresome if you have to go and check the temperature every hour.
Especially when you have a thermometer from the manufacturer which is embedded into the smoker.

# Modification 7: Using wireless thermometers.

– Material Used:

A wireless thermometer that has a remote display. Now watch TV while your smoker is at work..

– Steps To Follow:

  1. Preparation :
  • Only you may have to prepare a hole for inserting the wires..
  1. Action :
  • Fix the probe to the ends of the cooking grates.
    Also on the meat, Relax and monitor the temperature from the comfort of your room.

# Problem 5: Cleaning the grease waste from the cooking chamber.

– What is the reason behind it?

The cooked items usually meat releases their waste product in the cooking chamber.

The waste then exists through the slope inside the cooking chamber.

If not collected well this grease can leak and make the floor dirty..

# Modification 8: Fixing a can to the bottom of the cooking chamber.

Use any metal can that can hold heat.

– Material Used:

Any metal can of a good size to hold the grease..

– Steps To Follow:

  1. Preparation :
  • Make sure the slops inside the cooking chamber are proper.
  1. Action :
  • Fix the can to the bottom on the exit of the grease.
  • Once the grease gets collected, you can clear it after use.

# Problem 6: Firebox wall paint damage.


# Problem 7: Airflow problems in the firebox.

– What is the reason behind it?

As the use of coal and wood increases, it also leads to more ashes. Any accumulations would finally lead to the improper flow of oxygen into the firebox chambers. 

This can be easily solved by:- 

# Modification 9: Using Charcoal Box or Basket

– Material Used:

You can either buy directly from here LINK or make yourself one.

To make yourself here is a tutorial to help you..

How to make a charcoal basket?

– Steps To Follow:

  1. Preparation : 
  • Measure the size of the firebox door. Based on that you need to get the charcoal basket.
  1. Action :
  • The charcoal Basket needs to be placed inside the firebox. 
  • Now you should be putting the charcoal and the wood into the charcoal box.
  • This will also prevent your wall paints from being damaged.

# Problem 8: Not able to slide out cooking grates or less cooking space.

– What is the reason behind it?

This smoker comes with a cooking grate which is not slidable. Sometimes you may want to directly slide out the cooking grate and check the meat to the corners.
This is difficult with the default design from the manufacturer.

This is one of the best modifications I have seen so far for Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Smoker.

However, you may lose some side edges of the grates as we need to slide out.

But in turn, get more space to cook a large quantity of food.

# Modification 10: Adding a new set of self-designed cooking grates.

– Material Used:

• Some new cooking grates made from steel. 

  • A Holder for the cooking grates.
    (This holder should be easily pluggable and temporary holdings.)

– Steps To Follow:

  1. Preparation :
  • Measure the cooking chamber properly for making the cooking grate..
  1. Action :
  • After getting ready with the cooking grates and the holders. Place the holder inside the cooking chamber at both ends each.
  • Then place the sliding cooking grates into the holder.

Here is a video that exactly shows how its done..

Design your own cooking grates| Offset Smoker Modification.

# Accessories

  1. Offset Smoker Charcoal Firebox Basket
  2. Lid Clamps
  3. Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Offset Smoker Cover
  4. Drip Bucket
  5. Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker Cover
  6. Temperature Gauge
  7. Meat Smoking and Wood Flavor Guide
  8. Grommet Kit with Drill Bit
  9. L bowed duct pipe
  10. Gasket

# How to properly use a Oklahoma Joe Smoker?

Here is a checklist to properly use a Oklahoma Joe Smoker :-

  • Try to maintain the temperature at around 225 degree Fahrenheit when grilling.
  • It is best to start firing up with charcoal. If not use wood.
  • Air intake into the firebox should be checked and controlled.
  • Use Oklahoma Joe deflector plate or Baffle plates to even out the temperature across cooking grates.
  • Prevent leakages by proper sealing. Also check this while grilling.
  • Use Wood Chunks to add flavors. Avoid excess use. This will leaves ashes.
  • Cleaning out the ashes regularly is a good idea.
  • Don’t forget to use charcoal basket. This will extend the life of your firebox.
  • To protect it from rains or different weather conditions I prefer it to be covered when not in use. This will prolong the smokers life.
    Here is a decent quality cover..
Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker Cover,Black
  • Custom-designed for a perfect fit including two smoke stacks with the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland reverse flow smoker
  • Durable heavy-duty polyester fabric with PVC coating on the inside
  • Velcro cover stores The smoke stack not needed, protects it from filling with water
  • Protects the smoker from dust, wind, rain and snow
  • Measures 69.25″ L x 59.5″ H x 39.5″ W

# Are reverse flow smokers worth it?

Yes, a reverse flow smoker is worth it
The following are some of the advantages of reverse flow smokers :

  • A reverse flow smoker allows you to cook at a more consistent temperature.
  • This prevents your meat from overcooking due to the intense and direct heat, especially the meat closest to the firebox..
  • If you’re new to smoking food or simply want to be a more consistent smoker, this is the way to go…

# Conclusion

In conclusion, modifying your offset smoker can considerably improve its performance and the smoking experience for you. You can get more stable temperatures and better smoke distribution by putting the recommended changes mentioned in the article into practice, such as sealing air leaks, adding tuning plates and installing a baffle. Don’t be afraid to update your offset smoker and raise the level on your barbecue..

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