Maintaining temp on Old Country Wrangler

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by ruckus816, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. ruckus816

    ruckus816 Newbie

    Hello Guys,

    This is my first time posting here but I've read tons of posts here before and after purchasing my Old Country Wrangler. I've had it for a little over a month now and I've done several test cooks.  This weekend I smoked a 14 lb brisket and a pork butt. It was an 11 hour cook at 225 (actually 215-235). My problem is that I can't get the temperature to stay.  So lets say that I want the temp to actually be around 225. It will get to 225 then creep up to 226 and before long it's at 235. I can close the damper a little and it will creep down and then be below 215. Even if I just open or close the damper a hair it will end up outside of my range. I can barely leave it alone for 10 minutes. This really sucks if you are doing an 11 hour cook.  I've watched several videos and read posts but I can't seem to find the answer. Can you guys help me?

    I'm really tired! :)

    Thanks!
     
  2. roswell630

    roswell630 Fire Starter

    Hey Rucks,

    I just bought one of these about a month ago and am very happy with it.  IMO, those temp fluctuations are not bad at all.  Some people say, sticking within 30 degrees is fine.  I am able to keep it allot closer than that (5-10 degrees) with a stoker though. Depending on the condition of your seals, are you noticing smoke leak from the cooker?  You may want to use some RTV sealant around the door of the cooker, and even the fire pit if you need to. This will keep as much heat in as possible and let the cooker stabilize for longer periods of time. I did the cooker and have minimal to no smoke leaking out.  This will help keep the temps. Also, again this is all my opinion, others can chime in here. I have found messing with the smoke stack, opening, closing all the time gets me in more trouble than its' worth.  Keep the stack in one position. In my experience, opening and closing all the time, really messes with the flow of the smoker. I keep mine wide open. It takes an amount of time to re-adjust then stabilize.  If you move the stack again, you start from zero and you don't get a consistent reaction, which can become frustrating. Also there is a thought that you should keep your firebox wide open also. 

    Check out this post, it was created for Wranglers.  Other people here may be able to chime in.
    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/212338/old-country-wrangler-owners-thread/20#post_1432290

    -Don
     
  3. ruckus816

    ruckus816 Newbie

    Don,

    Thanks for the response. What kind of stoker do you have?
     
  4. roswell630

    roswell630 Fire Starter

    I have the rocks bbq stoker with the chargriller side firebox kit. Had to drill a hole but the adapter type is the one you want if you are looking. Let me know if you want some shots of my mods. It may help give you some ideas. That smoker will keep temps.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  5. ruckus816

    ruckus816 Newbie

    If you could post pics of your mods, that would be awesome!
     
  6. roswell630

    roswell630 Fire Starter

    Her are some. I took a cutting wheel to the smoke box bottom vent and cut it off and drill a hole for the stoker to screw into. Also used black RTV for the grill chamber, put was paper on top and closed the lid to cure. The wax paper stuck to it so th at was a fail. It won't affect anything though. My friend pealed off the wax paper after an hour or two and said it came off better. I let it cure for 24 hours before I tried to peel it off.
    I'll be putting a bracket underneath the shelf in front to hs the stoker control box to keep the sun and rain if any off. I also bought a usb fan to blow on the stoker control to help a bit. Also be making a coal box out of expanded steel that I just got from the wranglers forum from glocksrock. I did one before but these steps will help.
    https://u407056.ct.sendgrid.net/wf/...Iddq4elwFPmED-2FuTpzwd6t6zul4fwpR-2FmOLUF2jGW




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    - Don
     
  7. toad359

    toad359 Fire Starter

    Hello guys. Just got my Wrangler last week, my son has one so we have played with his and found he can maintain 10-15 degrees at 250-275 with no mods but it takes about 30 minutes to settle down. I have done two burns to season and learn what mine does. I had 50-80 degree difference with no mods. I fabricated tuning plates out of 1/8 steel and played with the locations and now have no more than 10 degrees from fire side to stack side. Will be cooking a butt this week and thing the temps will be fine.
     
  8. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have a convection plate in my CC and it works very well with about 10* of varience from side to side. As far as overall CC temp, an offset stick burner is not designed to hold an exact temp. There will always be fluctuations. One of the variables is the temp of the wood from day to day and the air temp and humidity. Once my smoker is settled in (about 260-275*), it cam be managed to 250* or to 325* depending on what I'm smoking. But, the 15-25* varience will remain. Also, I always pre-heat my splits before putting them into the FB. This allows them to ignite much quicker and eliminate most of the temp dip.

    I hope this helps. Good luck and keep on smokin', Joe
     
  9. toad359

    toad359 Fire Starter

    Thanks. Is your plate a solid plate or is it similar to the set up I found on this site?
     
  10. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My plate is the Horizon type. It extends from the FB approximately 2/3-3/4 of the way across the CC. It starts about 6" from the FB with a line of about 6, 1" holes and the holes get progressively larger as they approach take stack. My CC is 24"x48", so that will give you an idea. Look up Horizom convection plate to get a better idea. Mine works great. It's no trouble to install. Measure the CC width at the level that you want it and make the plate that width. Then just lay it in the CC, making sure that it's level.
     
  11. toad359

    toad359 Fire Starter

    Thanks, I'll take a look.
     

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