One of the leading offset smokers on the market, the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow brings heavier construction, more effective design and a sturdier build to the masses. Produced by parent-company, Char-Broil, the Oklahoma Joe brand provides a welcome step-up from their more flimsy and budget-conscious offset smokers (see our full review of the Char Broil range). Oklahoma Joe’s have won competitions while also popping up in backyards across the nation, making smoked meats an every day pleasure in many homes. If you’re considering buying one, read on for all the details in our Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse review.
- Strong 2.5mm steel body
- Reverse flow design creates more even heat and smoke distribution
- Chimney vents out the side offering better air flow
- Large cooking capacity
- Sturdy feel to the whole design
Ease of use:
- High-quality dampers are easy to use for fairly precise temperature control
- Accurate temperature gauge
- Porcelain-coated grates are durable, easy to clean and rust-resistant
- Removable baffle plates make cleaning easy
- Large wheels are strong enough to make moving the unit easy
- Large swing-open firebox door gives good access for cleaning
- Grilling grates for the firebox
- Option to set up as a regular offset smoker
- Allows you to convert the whole cooking chamber into a large charcoal grill
- Extra bung to add another temperature gauge if you want
- Charcoal basket to keep coals tight for added efficiency
In-Depth Review of the OJ Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker
If you’re in the market for a quality offset smoker that doesn’t break the bank, the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker is a solid choice.
Crafted with a heavy-gauge, all-steel body, the Longhorn Reverse takes the original offset design up a notch by adding baffle plates to create superior air flow for more consistent results.
So, How Does the Reverse Flow Design Work?
The Longhorn Reverse comes with 4 baffle plates that sit below the cooking grate. When smoke from the firebox enters the cooking chamber, it’s guided along the bottom of the cooking chamber, underneath the baffle plates before reaching the end where it rises and fills the entire cooking chamber. This process creates a more even distribution of smoke than you’d get in a regular offset smoker (see the diagram).
But, by acting as a heat sink, the baffle plates also help to create a more consistent temperature throughout the long length of the cooking chamber. More even heat and smoke distribution makes it easier to consistently create great results without having to plan and move meat around based on hotter and cooler spots.
Read our article ‘what is a reverse flow smoker‘ more details.
The Versatility of the Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Reverse
But, reverse flow smoking isn’t the only option you get with the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse. There’s actually two locations you can set up the chimney in. And, the baffle plates are removable too. So, for the times when you want different temperature zones or are after more airflow for a cleaner burn, simply convert the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse to a traditional offset setup.
Another handy feature of the Longhorn Reverse is that you can set the entire cooking chamber up as a large charcoal grill. Just whip the baffle plates out, throw the included charcoal grates into the cooking chamber and away you go.
Or, sear yourself a quick steak or burger for lunch with the firebox grilling grate. There’s a heap of options.
Using the Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker
Offset smokers are known for being more difficult to use then most other types of smokers. But, for your effort, you can create some of the best smoked meats with a well-developed smoke profile. And, Oklahoma Joe have made things as easy as possible.
Starting with the dampers, we were impressed. They’re easy to slide to make the small adjustments you need for precise temperature control. And, the built-in thermometer we found to give a pretty accurate reading. There’s also an extra bung so you can install another temperature gauge closer to the firebox if you want the extra feedback that provides.
Also included with the Longhorn Reverse is a high-quality charcoal basket. This helps to keep the charcoal tightly packed for a more efficient burn. And, because the firebox is so large, you can use pure wood to smoke with instead of charcoal. After getting it going, we simply chucked in some small logs for that extra smokiness.
In terms of cleaning, the large, swing-open firebox door makes it really easy to clean out the ash. And, the fact that the baffle plates are removable means that cleaning the usually difficult reverse flow interior isn’t a tough chore. Even the grates themselves are easy to clean being that they’re durable, porcelain-coated wire.
Capacity of the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Reverse
The Longhorn Reverse is the largest smoker in the Oklahoma Joe’s lineup. Offering 751 square inches in the smoking chamber plus 309 square inches to grill on in the firebox, it’s definitely large enough for most backyard use.
What that means in terms of how much you can actually fit on it, expect to do 6 racks of baby back ribs laying down, 6 pork shoulders or 3 whole briskets at a time.
If that’s too much for you, the Highland Reverse is just a smaller version of the Longhorn Reverse. It still has all the same features.
Pros of the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Reverse
- Even heat and smoke distribution thanks to the reverse flow design
- Option to use as a regular offset smoker as well
- Smokestack exits through the side of the unit for improved air flow
- Quality dampers are easy to use and give precise temperature control
- Grilling space in the firebox
- Can be set up as a large charcoal grill
- Accurate temperature gauge
- Charcoal box holds coals tight for improved burn
- Easy to clean with large ash door and removable baffles
- Stronger, thicker steel construction than most mass produced offset smokers
- Looks the part
- Easy to move
Cons of the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Reverse
- Paint peeled off the firebox after the first few cooks for us. Maybe we didn’t season well enough…? We sanded it back and resprayed with high-heat bbq paint and didn’t have a problem from then on
- Does leak a bit of smoke on joins and around doors. We didn’t think it was significant enough but you could fit a gasket and seal with high-heat silicone if you wanted to tighten it up
Specs for the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker
Barbecue type: Reverse flow offset smoker
Fuel type: Charcoal or wood
Barbecue material: Painted 2.5mm steel
Grate material: Porcelain-coated wire
Cooking capacity: 751 sq in primary + 309 sq in secondary
Price guide: $$$
Dimensions:64.25″(W) x 35.5″(D) x 55.5″(H)
Warranty: 2 years
Q. Can you use wood to smoke in the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse?
Yes. You can use wood only, charcoal only, or a combination of both.
Q. Is the firebox big enough to smoke with wood only?
Yes. The firebox is about 14 inches long so you can fit pretty large logs into it for a good low and slow burn. We still like to get it going with some charcoal though.
Q. What is the difference between the Longhorn and the Longhorn Reverse?
The Longhorn Reverse comes with removable baffle plates plus a different chimney position which changes the movement of the smoke from going straight through the smoker to being directed under the baffles and back over the meat before exiting through the smokestack. Follow the link to our article for more information about the difference between regular and reverse flow offset smokers.
Q. What is the difference between the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse and Longhorn Reverse models?
The Longhorn Reverse is simply a larger version of the Highland Reverse. Other than that, they’re the same.
Q. Do you need to season the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse before you use it for the first time?
Yes. Seasoning it is essential to cure the paint and protect the smoker body. It also helps to reduce any unwanted by-products of the production process.
Q. How much does the temperature vary from one end of the Longhorn Reverse to the other?
We’ve found a max of about 15 degrees Fahrenheit between the two ends.
Our Verdict on the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Reverse
Large, effective and durable meets affordable when it comes to the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker. The Longhorn Reverse is seriously impressive for the price. It’s strong enough to withstand a backyard beating while consistently delivering results that will make you proud.