Friday, July 15, 2022

Oklahoma Joe's Rider DLX aka "The Survivor"

 [FTC Standard Disclosure] We received no compensation for this post. 

My smoker has come home from college!  

I don't nickname many of my grills but after 2 years of service at a house with 9 college students, I've nicknamed this one "The Survivor".

When our youngest son moved out of the fraternity house and into a house in "The Fort" 2 years ago, I let him have his pick of all my grills and smokers to take with him. He didn't hesitate to pick my Oklahoma Joe's Rider DLX because he loved the convenience and the ability to switch between smoking and grilling. 

I felt bad about sending this smoker/grill to be the only grill for a house of 9 young men attending the Univerity of Tennessee. I mean....I remember the stupid stuff I did in college and could only imagine what that poor grill was enduring. Words like abuse, neglect, and mistreatment came to mind.

Look at that poor smoker. Yes, it is literally chained up outside!
[Cue Sarah McLachlan's Angel]

Damage Assessment

But now that our youngest has graduated and the Oklahoma Joe's Rider DLX returned home a few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised. 

  • Sure it had been used heavily and the interior had a lot of build-up. 
  • The bottom tray had fallen off and we only had one of the nuts/bolts left.
  • The bolt that secures the upper lid was missing.
  • The pellet tube was jammed.
  • Someone had stolen the grill cover, so the exterior was a little weathered**. 
  • Someone had stolen the pellet caddy that fits the bottom of the hopper.

Grill Rehab

I spent about an hour rehabbing the grill.

  • Jammed feed tube - This happens when pellets are left in the tube for a prolonged time, get wet, and swell. I removed the control panel, took off the hopper (total of 7 bolts), and removed the auger to clear the tube.
  • Dirty interior - I removed the fire pot housing and used a 6" putty knife to scrape out the bottom. I used a nylon brush to remove the encrusted crud from the cast iron grates.
  • Bottom tray - I went to Elder's Ace Hardware and their always helpful staff helped us find exactly the parts that we needed to re-install the tray.
  • 'Tis the Season to Reseason - I wiped the grill down with a light coat of oil, fired it up to 250°f for 1 hour and then bumped it up to 300°f for a second hour. 

Back to Action

So after 2 years of college life at a house with 9 fraternity brothers, the Oklahoma Joe's Rider DLX only took an hour of service to get back in shape.

Reseasoned and happy to be home!

The only thing I still have to fix is the retaining bolt that holds the lid in place. I just need to take the one from my other Rider to Ace so I can match up a replacement. 

The best thing you can do for a grill is to use it frequently so I've been using this Rider a lot in the past 2 weeks instead of Rider #2 in the backyard.

Making blackened chicken and sausage for an upcoming recipe post.

Yes sir, this grill has definitely earned the title of "The Survivor"! 


**WHY would someone just steal a grill cover or pellet caddy? The Fort Sanders area (aka "The Fort") is where most of the students live off-campus and is renowned for property crimes. There are car break-ins and stuff like that. But this is more like a mischievous crime - someone was probably drunk walking down the street and thought it would be funny. I picture them walking down the alleyway with the cover wrapped around them and the bucket on their head, claiming to be "The Black Night" from The Holy Grail and shouting NONE SHALL PASS!