So last week I put in a leave request at work, the email went something like this:

Please can I have Monday off? I'd say it's something important, but really I just need to sit in for the delivery of a new smoker...

I think I probably understated the excitement at my latest purchase: The Oklahoma Joe Highland. Having made good use of my existing Weber kettle and WSM, I felt the need for a new challenge, in the form of an offset smoker.

Offsets tend to have a bit of a shaky reputation in the UK, and having had a chat with Alex from Voodoo Q, I settled on the Oklahoma Joe Highland from Asda for a very respectable £299.

After witnessing the delivery guys struggle to move the box up the road on their trolley, I put this beast together (with the help of housemate Jack), and it really struck me that this is a serious piece of kit.

No burn is complete without at least one beer.

The Joe is heavy, weighing in at thirteen and a half stone, and constructed of thick, high carbon steel. Yes, there are some gaps that I plan to close up with some high temperature silicone sealant, but on the whole, it feels sturdy and like it'll last (fingers crossed).

I started off by seasoning the Joe for a few hours as recommended, during which it didn't seem to struggle too much getting to (and staying at) temperature.

Of course, the test will be for a proper long cook. I'll post back here with the results!

Oklahoma Joe Highland