Oklahoma Joe has been building smokers since 1987, and since then he’s gone on to produce many a winning grill, including the Jack Daniels World Championship, and American Royal Championship.
To put it simply, this is one guy who knows his grills!
The Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker is a large grill that uses a side box to produce all the heat and smoke. That’s great as it means you can keep on cooking long after the first embers have died down, you can keep on feeding the fire long term.
In this review, we’re going to look at the Longhorn Smoker to see if it’s going to be a great addition to your yard.
Features of the Oklahoma Joe
The cooking area of this smoke is unbelievable. At 1,060 square inches, the Longhorn is designed to pump out the meats for a serious party.
Of that 1,060 square inches, 751 is dedicated to the main smoking chamber, while the remaining 309 is in the offset smoke box container. This is about standard for this style of smoker, and most cooks will love the amount of space in the grill section.
As always, there’s the usual thermometer in the top of the hood, plus a neatly built rack at the front for storing meats just before grilling them. The wheels and carry handle are also exceptionally well made, and point to a smoker that can be moved around your yard easily.
One of the remarkable things about the Longhorn is that reverse flow system mentioned earlier. Put simply, it takes the heat from the smokebox and gently distributes it around the grill. This means that wherever you put your meats, they’ll be cooked evenly. That must be a good thing on a grill setup for serious catering!
Setting It Up
As with most Oklahoma Joe’s, there’s not a massive amount of assembly to do before first grill session. Unlike many grill manufacturers, they’ve never skimped on quality either, so what little there is to put together, takes a couple of minutes, with everything neatly pre-measured.
The wheels, lower base, and smoke chamber are the mains parts that need assembly, and as I just said, they only take a few minutes to put together.
If you’re worried about the detachable smoke box, don’t panic! Once fitted, the seal is airtight and does stand testament to the quality of Oklahoma Joe’s manufacturing. You’ll also find the wheel fit snuggly, and all the latches close properly too.
You can fire this smoker up using a variety of fuels, yet for this test, we used wood pellets to lower the grill. They only cost $1.50 per pound, and if you’re an infrequent cook, you’ll find they store quite nicely.
Upon further research, you will discover a number of mods that the grilling community have created. In the video below you can see a number of strategic mods to the firebox and grill itself to distribute heat more effectively. Aftermarket modifications should only done if you know what you are doing. Even something like the clamps can help and are easy to implement.
Reverse Flow Smoker In Use
In use, the Oklahoma Joe holds its temperature nice and steady. That reverse flow system does evenly distribute heat, with meat cooking regardless of where on the grill it’s placed.
It’s a real shame that we couldn’t test this grill with many more people! Our party consisted of 6, yet this smoker could easily cope with way more than that! We believe this grill would easily deal with parties of 20 guests, maybe even more if you’re organized!
As for negative points, there aren’t that many to think of. The wheels are good, fit and finish is excellent for the price point, plus it cooks so evenly it’ll be a winner for larger groups and parties. The main issue is going to be portability, which we’ll cover next.
Oh dear, this is really where everything falls for the Longhorn. To be fair, the lower stand and smokebox do come apart, so transporting this smoker isn’t going to be impossible. Even so, it’s a massive beast that’s designed to be installed in one yard.
The grill is also 196 pounds in weight, which is a two person lift any day of the week and far more than most small cars could hope to carry.
If you’re going to be transporting this beast, you’ll need to get handy dismantling it, and lifting it into your pickup truck!
Final Thoughts on the Oklahoma Joe Reverse Flow Smoker
The Oklahoma Joe Longhorn is a proper party grill, that’s been built for a respectable price. Quality is excellent, and we had no trouble getting parts to fit smoothly against each other.
We genuinely couldn’t come up with any negative points about the grill. Sure, it’s substantial, and you won’t be transporting it about too much, yet for those who just need a decent grill for the bottom of their yard, it’s going to do well.
Personally speaking, this grill is going to work well for people who cater to multiple guests during cookouts. This grill would easily feed 10+ people, and would probably top out at something like 20, depending on how you organize things.
All in all, it’s a great grill, and should be a real asset for enthusiasts and weekend warrior cooks alike! If you aren’t sold on this smoker grill combo, we have several others you may find interesting.
Pros: Well made, reasonable price, exceptionally even grill temperature, wheels, and handles make for an authentic outdoor grill that can be moved about easily. It also looks extremely impressive, the same model as you would see rocking out a grill championship!
Cons: The only negative is the size. At 196 pounds, you’ll be fitting this into a yard or garden and forgetting about it! If you need real portability, then look elsewhere.
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Last Updated on May 3, 2019 by Judith Fertig
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