Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Review: Smoked Meats Two Ways

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Last Updated on August 12, 2021

Doug Stephen

Doug Stephen

Doug is a hardcore barbeque enthusiast and connoisseur. While he spends most of his time on editing and research, he sometimes moonlights as a product tester for particularly interesting things he comes across.

Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Review: Smoked Meats Two Ways

Looking for a more versatile smoker with plenty of room to take your brisket to the next level? Then take a look at the combination traditional and reverse flow smoker from Oklahoma Joe: the Longhorn.

What does “reverse flow smoking” even mean, and why should you care? Let our grill gurus explain. 

First, here’s a quick overview of how traditional smokers work before we get into what reverse flow is. The usual setup is a main smoke chamber with a separate firebox on one end and a smoke exhaust pipe on the other.

When properly sealed, smoke travels from the side firebox into the smoke chamber to cook and smoke the food, then out the other end.

The reverse flow comes in with a few additions to the traditional setup. By placing porcelain-coated panels underneath the cooking food and opening the secondary smoke stack located on the same side as the firebox.

The panels direct the heat and smoke to flow first underneath the food to the far end, then over top and all the way back to the smokestack next to the firebox. 

This technique results in a much more even temperature across the smoke chamber. And the radiant heat from the panels also helps cook the food faster and more evenly. That means more smoke and more aroma, tastier food, and a more efficient cook time.

In this Oklahoma Joe Longhorn review we’re going to give you a well researched rundown of the quality and performance, a huge list of specifications, as well as a look at pros and cons.

Because there are a lot of grill and smoker products out there. So, let us help save you a buck by helping you figure out which one is best for your backyard BBQs.

Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Review

Oklahoma Joe Longhorn: Review & Breakdown

We’re big fans of the versatility of the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Reverse Flow Offset Smoker. For the price of one you’re not just getting a traditional smoker, but a reverse flow smoker as well.

And it doesn’t take a grill master to appreciate the differences in operation. Using traditional or offset smokers are some of the most reliable and quick cooking instruments for smoking. While, reverse flow is great for faster and more precise recipes, with a little extra prep and clean up.

Total beginners to grilling may not need something as specific as a dedicated smoker. But the exceptional size of the cook space will appeal to hunters, caterers, and home BBQers who love to entertain.

Something to be aware of is the lack of a tight seal to the smoke box. When smoke and heat can escape from a smoker the heat becomes impossible to keep at a consistent temperature. 

Lack of a seal means food often takes longer and requires more attention to cook well. Also, fuel efficiency can become a problem. To avoid the possibility of somewhat less efficient smoking, some modification is necessary.

Luckily, the modifications are simple enough. To get a good seal on this smoker you can use silicone caulks or sealants to stop up the gaps and prevent leakage. And a few handy grill clips will keep the lid snugly set during cooking.

There are also reports of peeling paint after a handful of uses. To remedy this you can pick up some high temperature paint. But prevention is always more effective than fixing after the fact, so we recommend covering the Longhorn after it cools down every time.

Those with simpler smoking & grilling needs may be better served by choosing a no-frills, cheap little charcoal grill that can achieve a tight seal.

But for professionals, neighborhood grill master, or serious smoked meats fiend the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn is one of the largest and most versatile smokers available for the price.

Check out also Oklahoma Joe’s Smoker Grill Combo Review.

Specifications

  • Weighs 226 lbs
  • Stands 55.5 inches high
  • Measures 64.3 inches wide and 35.5 inches deep
  • Total primary cooking space of 751 square inches, secondary of 309 square inches
  • Massive size fits up to 8 lbs of pork shoulder or brisket, or 6 sets of baby back ribs
  • Charcoal fueled grill and smoker
  • Optional smokestack allows choice between reverse flow and traditional offset smoking
  • Porcelain-coated wire cooking grates don’t get food stuck to them
  • Generous, stainless steel charcoal basket included inside firebox for an efficient burn, easy fire tending, and super easy clean up
  • Built in, professional temperature gauge so you don’t need to open the lid to check
  • 2.5mm cold rolled steel construction for superior heat resistance and durability
  • Cool touch handles allow you to use the smoker without gloves or fear of burns
  • Smoker covered in high temperature paint so it stays looking great through use
  • Wide metal shelf on bottom and front for tools and ingredient storage
  • Wagon style wheels are large to allow hassle free repositioning
  • Small warming area on top of firebox to keep finished foods the perfect temperature before going on your plate
  • All parts, including lid and firebox, under 2 year warranty

Pros

Versatile, allows for traditional or reverse flow smoking.
Huge total cooking space, feed the whole neighborhood.
Helpful design elements like shelving, storage space, and warmer.
Stable, heavy duty wheels and frame.
Easy to clean, keeps coals contained in fuel basket.

Cons

Requires modifications to perform consistently.
Variable quality on the smoker box and paint.
Doug Stephen

Doug Stephen

Final Thoughts

Overall, the specificity of use and modifications necessary to give consistent performance does not make this a budget friendly choice for smaller families, new grillers, or casual outdoor cooks.

But for folks like caterers who need heavy, regular use of a smoker the enormous capacity of the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Reverse Flow Offset Smoker may be just right!