Maintaining Your Oklahoma Joe’s Tahoma 900: Everything You Need To Know

Maintaining Your Oklahoma Joe's Tahoma 900

Are you wondering what is involved in maintaining your Oklahoma Joe’s Tahoma 900? Proper care is not just about keeping it clean; it’s about ensuring longevity, performance, and the unbeatable flavor of your smoked meats.

From navigating weather effects to understanding essential maintenance frequency, this guide covers everything you need to know. Whether preparing your smoker for the seasons, replacing parts, or optimizing performance, we’ve got you covered.

Dive into these top maintenance tips to ensure your Oklahoma Joe’s Tahoma 900 delivers delicious results every time.

Section 1: Familiarizing Yourself with the Tahoma 900

The Oklahoma Joe’s Tahoma 900 is a premium smoker known for its auto-feed charcoal system and robust construction. Key components such as the temperature control system, auto-feed mechanism, and spacious cooking area play pivotal roles in its operation.

  • Design and Components:
    • Auto-feed charcoal system
    • Digital Temperature Control with wifi
    • Durable construction materials
  • Areas Requiring Attention:
    • Firebox, ash pan, and charcoal hopper
    • Castiron main grates and coated upper grate
    • Exterior housing and shelves
    • Damper airflow controls

The Tahoma 900’s innovative auto-feed charcoal system simplifies the smoking process by automatically adding charcoal during the cook. Its temperature control system is crucial for low-and-slow cooking, allowing for precise heat management. The heat is controlled by a variable fan that increases in speed to stoke the flames and increase the burning temperature.

Constructed from thick steel and other high-quality materials, the smoker is designed for durability and longevity. Regularly maintaining the ash pan, charcoal burning grate, and firebox is essential to ensure easy lighting and good burning.

The cooking grates should be cleaned after each use to prevent food residue buildup. Additionally, a light coat of spray oil can reduce the chance of rust forming on the castiron cooking grates between uses.

Understanding the Tahoma 900’s design, components, and maintenance needs is fundamental for optimizing its performance and lifespan. Regularly attending to its key areas ensures a seamless smoking experience.

Tip: During a cook, regularly check the auto-feed fuel shute to see that charcoal is feeding in a normal manner, large lump charcoal tends to jam more frequently than briquettes.

The ash pan or ash drawer of the Oklahoma Joe's Tahoma 900

Section 2: Routine Cleaning and Care

2.1 After Each Use

Routine cleaning after each use is essential for maintaining the efficiency and longevity of the Oklahoma Joe’s Tahoma 900. This involves addressing the grates, firebox, ash removal, and auto-feed Fuel shute.

  • Clean the grates to remove food residue.
  • Empty and clean the ash pan, charcoal burning grate, and firebox.
  • Check and clean the auto-feed mechanism to ensure smooth operation.

The steps should be divided into two post-use steps, immediately after use while still hot and after the smoker is completely cool. Items that should be cleaned immediately after use include cooking grates and exterior surfaces. 

Cooking grates should be brushed clean of all food debris and allowed to remain hot for thirty minutes to evaporate any liquids. Exterior surfaces, including shelves, smoker body, and charcoal hopper, should be wiped down with a hot wet cloth rag. Finally, empty the grease pan located under the side shelf. Use care because it can be hot. 

Once the smoker is completely cool, empty the ash pan into a fireproof container. Then, insert the tray and brush the inside of the charcoal shute, firebox, and hot air passages. Next, remove the ash pan and charcoal burning grate at the same time. 

Clear any ashes that didn’t land in the ash pan and empty the ash pan again. Reinsert the burn grate, then the ash pan, and you will be done cleaning the burning system. Post-use maintenance is a simple yet effective routine that keeps your Tahoma 900 in prime condition, ready for its next use.

Tip: coat the cast iron grates with spray oil to reduce the chances of rust. It is best to do so while the smoker is still warm but not at high temperatures above 250° f. 

inside the charcoal bin of the Oklahoma Joe's Tahoma 900

2.2 Monthly Maintenance

Monthly maintenance of the Tahoma 900 involves a thorough inspection and deep cleaning. Focus on the smoker’s component connections, moving parts, and the interior of the smoking chamber.

  • Inspect joints between components for gaps where hot smoke could be leaking.
  • Check moving parts like wheels, lid, or adjustable shelf; tighten or clean as required to restore movement.
  • Perform a deep cleaning of the smoking chamber to remove grease and buildup.
  • Remove buildup in the charcoal bin.

Over time, screws may loosen during normal use with heat expansion and contraction. On the Oklahoma Joe’s Tahoma 900, many of the important screws are located inside the fire chamber housing. However, you should tighten all the screws you can access from outside the housing, inside the charcoal bin, and inside the smoker’s main chamber. 

For moving parts, I am mostly talking about wheels and hinges. Place the smoker on a block between the swivel casters and make sure they are firmly tightened. The larger wheels should not require maintenance; only a quick inspection is needed because they are secured with cotter pins. 

Check the hinges for normal operation by opening and closing the doors. If any doors are hard to open or squeaky, use a brush and hot soapy water to clean the hing as much as possible. Then, add a few drops of all-purpose oil and work the door to spread the oil; repeat if necessary. 

Inspect the inside of the smoke chamber for grease, food, or smoke creosote buildup. Use a soft brush and vegetable oil to clean if heavy debris is present. Avoid soap if possible. Use apple cider vinegar if mold is present. This is also a good time to scrape the heat manifold. When you are done cleaning the inside, apply spray oil to all the surfaces and reseason the smoker for at least two hours.

The charcoal bin does not need to be clean; it is free of heavy buildup, notably the shute or slanted surface. This area must be clear of anything preventing the charcoal from sliding freely. Brush or even scrap the buildup, but use care not to damage the shute.

Finally, check the bin seal to make sure it seals completely. During operation, you might see smoke escaping from the lid if the seal needs attention.

Tip: Place a large piece of foil in the smoker’s body during cleaning. When you are done fold up the foil with all the debris and dispose.

Section 3: Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is crucial to ensure your Oklahoma Joe’s Tahoma 900 remains in top condition for years. This involves strategies to guard against rust and environmental wear.

  • Preventing Rust and Wear:
    • Regularly inspect and clean all parts of the smoker.
    • Treat any signs of rust immediately with appropriate rust-removal products and protect surfaces with high-heat-resistant paint.
    • Apply a light coat of cooking oil on metal surfaces after cleaning to create a protective barrier.
  • Protecting from the Elements:
    • Use a smoker cover when the Tahoma 900 is not in use to protect it from rain, snow, and sun exposure.
    • Position your smoker in a sheltered area away from direct elements if possible.
    • Store indoors during off-season.

Regular attention and care can significantly extend the life of your smoker, maintaining its aesthetics and functionality. These preventative measures will keep your Tahoma 900 looking great and performing well.

Tip: Schedule a monthly routine maintenance day to check for potential issues and perform needed upkeep, ensuring your smoker stays in perfect condition.

Section 4: Troubleshooting Common Issues

Handling common issues promptly can keep your Oklahoma Joe’s Tahoma 900 running smoothly. Key areas include temperature management and the auto-feed system.

  • Temperature Fluctuations:
    • Ensure the firebox is clean and nothing is blocking the air intake fan.
    • Verify the use of consistent quality charcoal for even burning; avoid store brand.
  • Auto-Feed Jams:
    • Regularly inspect the charcoal bin shute for suspended charcoal briquettes or jammed lump charcoal, and break up large pieces before loading.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning and maintenance to prevent jamming.
    • Ensure your smoker is properly leveled to encourage charcoal to slide smoothly down the chute, preventing potential auto-feed jams.

Addressing these issues not only enhances your smoking experience but also extends the lifespan of your Tahoma 900.

Tip: When leveling the smoker, shim the bin side slightly higher to encourage charcoal to side down the shute.

Note: An auto-closing louver is located between the air intake and the burning chamber. If the louver cannot move freely and close completely, you cannot lower the temperature. 

Seasonal Maintenance of the Oklahoma Joe's Tahoma 900

Section 5: Seasonal Maintenance

Preparing Your Smoker for Heavy Use Periods, Like Summer BBQ Season:

  • Conduct a thorough inspection and cleaning of your smoker.
  • Stock up on essential supplies like charcoal and wood chunks.
  • Check all components for wear and ensure they are in optimal condition for increased usage.

Winterizing Your Smoker:

  • Clean the smoker thoroughly to remove any grease or food residue.
  • Apply a protective coat on metal surfaces to guard against rust.
  • Cover and store your smoker in a dry, protected area to prevent damage from the cold and moisture.

Tip: Long-term moisture can destroy your smoker. Metal parts may rust, but big issues can be that moisture intrusion can ruin electronic controls.

Section 6: Upgrades and Replacement Parts for the Tahoma 900

Optimizing Your Tahoma 900: Enhance performance and longevity with strategic upgrades and timely part replacements. This section highlights essential enhancements and where to find compatible parts.

6.1 Recommended Upgrades

  • Stand-alone Digital Thermometer: A digital thermometer with multiple probes is invaluable for precise temperature monitoring. It ensures consistent results by accurately tracking the smoker’s internal and meat temperatures.
  • Smoker Cover: Protect your smoker from weather damage with a durable, snug-fitting cover. It keeps the Tahoma 900 clean and shields it from rain, snow, and sun.
  • Grilling Accessories: Long-handled, heat-resistant tools like tongs, spatulas, and brushes enhance safety and ease of use during extended cooks.

6.2 Finding Replacement Parts

  • Genuine Parts: Prioritize genuine parts from Oklahoma Joe’s website to ensure compatibility and maintain performance.
  • Authorized Sources: Authorized dealers and reputable online marketplaces are reliable for obtaining authentic parts.
  • Maintenance Insights: Regular inspections can help identify parts needing replacement, such as the firebox grate and temperature probes. Staying proactive with replacements avoids unexpected issues.


Maintaining your Oklahoma Joe’s Tahoma 900 is essential for ensuring its longevity and performance. Establishing a regular maintenance routine can prevent common issues and keep your smoker in top condition.

Regular care, including cleaning and inspecting, prepares your smoker for seasonal use changes and enhances your overall experience. Remember, a little effort in maintenance can lead to many rewarding smoking sessions.

For a deeper understanding of how the Oklahoma Joe’s Tahoma 900 performs, consider reading my detailed review. It offers insights into its features, usability, and how it stands up to expectations. You can find the review here.

Additional Resources:

For even more in-depth information on maintaining your Tahoma 900, check out these resources:

Writer’s Note:

As a grilling and smoking enthusiast with over 40 years of experience, I have used various smokers, including popular models like the Weber Smokey Mountain and the Char-Griller Offset Smoker. This diverse background allows me to provide a well-rounded perspective on smoker maintenance.

I have also created a YouTube playlist showcasing my Tahoma 900 cooks, featuring everything from classic dishes to adventurous smoked cheese. These videos offer a glimpse into the smoker’s capabilities and the results you can achieve. Also, I have a minor modification article that will take this smoker to the next level.

I hope this comprehensive guide empowers you to maintain your Oklahoma Joe’s Tahoma 900 with confidence and enjoy countless successful smoking sessions!