The Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco Pro Drum Smoker has become my favorite tool in my BBQ arsenal. The box showed up about a month ago here at the house and so far, I have had the pleasure of grilling and smoking just about anything I could get my hands on with the Bronco Pro Drum Smoker.
When something comes in a box and you are forced to put it together, do you read the instructions? I generally don’t, but upon opening up the box, I could not make heads or tails of all of the parts so I read the instructions. I am glad that I did because once I read them the entire thing came together in about 30 minutes with the help. This entire system fits together like a dream.
The seals on it are as tight as can be, ensuring it does not leak air, smoke or grease anywhere. Once we had the entire smoker together, we seasoned it with a simple charcoal cook. We lit up about four lbs. of charcoal like the instructions said and I set it to seasoning. I let it get up to 300 degrees and let it run for about two hours. I started to play with the intake and chimney on the grill to increase and decrease the temperature. With a little practice you can make micro adjustments in the temperatures on this drum smoker. I couldn’t let that charcoal go to waist, I am not a heathen. After a quick trip to the fridge, we threw some chicken thighs on the grill and let them cook.
We brought them up to temperature, pulled them off and had our first successful cook on the Bronco. Honestly, this is the part of my job where I tell you openly, I LOVE MY JOB!! The first several tries on this grill were done with the cheapest charcoal you can buy, not because I like cheap charcoal but t was all we could find locally. Apparently charcoal had a run in Lincoln, NE. The thing is, after switching to Kingsford, it hardly made any difference whatsoever. Meat that is cooked in the Bronco Pro tastes fantastic.
We have played with smoking, we have grilled hamburgers, we have cooked whole chicken, chicken legs, thighs, fajitas, beef ribs, pork ribs, pork chops, pulled pork from a bone-in Boston butt, short ribs as well as tri-tip and venison backstrap. The only thing I have not cooked on the bronco is a ribeye or steak. Not necessarily because I don’t think the grill can handle it, but I have had so much fun cooking other meat I just haven’t taken the time to buy steaks to cook on this grill. When I can pick up a Boston Butt Roast and throw it on the grill for less than $10.00 and it comes out with enough meat to feed a family with plenty to share, I am going to go with that over a $12.00 single ribeye most of the time. I do still like a great ribeye when we have company, but lately there just aren’t a lot of guests.
I purchased a Thermoworks MK4 to make sure that we were hitting the temperatures that we needed to while grilling and smoking on the Bronco Pro. It helps me to make sure that the meat we are smoking hits the right internal temperatures. Other than that tool, cooking on this grill has been basically a dream because it is so easy.
Cleaning the grill is just a process of emptying it and washing out the internal parts that get dirty like the diffuser plate. Once I take out the ash pan and the coal reservoir and the diffuser plate, I run the blower and blow out any ash.. It’s a pretty clean grill but after a cook you’re going to get a little dirty cleaning it out and preparing for the next cook. The trade-off is that food coming off of the Bronco Pro just tastes a whole lot better than the food coming off of our gas grill.
The grill is 21.5 inches and holds about 16 chicken thighs, 3 pork roasts and you can cook about 9 racks of ribs on the grill. I prefer to cut the racks in half and hang them off the meat hooks. This allows me to cooks 3 racks of pork ribs and 1 rack of beef ribs simultaneously. I liked that it was easy to rotate the grill inside the Bronco Pro without having to move the food around on top of the grill plate. I am looking forward to smoking trout on this grill, that’s for sure.
The wheels on this wagon-style grill are metal and it is easy to move around. I like the rubber handle for lifting the lid as it never gets hot. The gasket on the hinged lid works extremely well and smoke only comes out the chimney. The grill is heavy duty, and it looks like it would handle anything you could throw at it. We got the cover for it as well. We have received some praise from some of the people who have seen our photos on Instagram. Several have suggested to store it inside as rain might cause rust which would be an issue in the long term. I have not seen any issues with rust, but we store our grills inside during the winter months anyways.
The Bronco Pro is as solid as it gets. With the micro adjustments you can make on the intake pipe it allows you to quickly and easily make the adjustments you need. This ensures that you make the perfect meal whether that is 9 hours at 200 degrees for a perfect pulled pork or 15 minutes for the perfect hamburger. The Bronco Pro retails at $699.00; on occasion you can find them on sale. I would seriously take a look at buying them via Amazon or finding a local retail store to buy one of these as shipping this heavy duty grill is prohibitive.