The two biggest complaints with pellet grills is that they aren’t good at searing and they don’t produce enough smoke flavor. According to a patent filing, Oklahoma Joe’s may have a great solution to both of those problems with a combo pellet/offset smoker that they developed.
How it Works and Benefits
As you can see from the illustration included in the patent, it’s a smoker that on one side has all of the pellet smoker tech and on the other side is a traditional fire chamber that you’d find on an offset smoker. It’s designed to work as just a pellet smoker, just an offset smoker or with both fuel sources at the same time.
The patent doesn’t get into all of the details, but on a basic level, pellet grills regulate temperature by reading the cook chamber temperature with a probe. That information is then relayed to a control unit that modifies the auger speed to increase or decrease the rate that pellets are fed into the fire pot, in conjunction with regulating fan speed for air.
Traditional pellet grills work almost too well for their own good. Through forced air from a fan, they automatically burn a really clean fire with wood pellets. The combustion is so efficient that there isn’t that much smoke produced from the fire.
Oklahoma Joe’s simple, yet brilliant solution combines two products they sell, offset smokers and pellet grills. This allows you to utilize all of the technology with the pellet grill to control temperature, so all you have to do is make a small fire for flavor. It leverages the benefits of the ease of a pellet smoker with the flavor of an offset, without the downsides of either. To control which fuel source you’re using (either or both) there are doorways that can be open or closed. They mention in that patent that they could be controlled remotely or wirelessly through actuators.
Oklahoma Joe’s offset smokers also have a grill above the fire chamber, so you can grill on them. You can see that included in the patent, so it also solves the problem of not being able to sear on a pellet grill without other accessories.
As noted into the patent, there were challenges with creating this design. Combining the two fuel sources didn’t work without modification to the cook chamber. They found that the pressurization that occurred from the pellet grill fan made it so that the smoke from the offset side didn’t get to the food enough.
They solved this through the use of venting, as labeled as 702 on the diagram above. When opened, these vents relieve the cook chamber pressure and allow the smoke from the fire chamber to reach the food.
A patent filing doesn’t mean that we’ll ever see this product, but we hope it comes to market. Not only does it solve problems with pellet grills, it also will introduce more consumers to offset smokers without the headaches and by lessening the learning curve.