Old Country BBQ Pits Pecos Coal Smoker

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by mcp9, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. mcp9

    mcp9 Meat Mopper

  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I know they are made in Mexico.  Neuvo Laredo to be exact.  They are heavy and thick and look like a great product but they are still made in Mexico.
  4. This is the second Old Country I have bought from Academy.  I returned the Ranch Hand in lieu of a larger one this summer and ended up with the the Pecos.  I have smoked on it about 10 times or so since October and my initial observations are;

    1. There is significant weld quality issues between the firebox and smoking chamber with several spots up to one inch long where you can see the fire through the metal.

    2. As the temps have dropped this fall I have noticed during long smokes that since the metal is so thin, the doors on both the smoker chamber and firebox warp.  The lid on the smoker chamber then sticks or catches and the door often will not close for the final inch or so to completely seal.  The firebox lid has started doing the same.

    It has turned out some very good que, but obviously temperature management is not very effective.  I have had to add tuning plates that I had cut in order to keep the temps consistent throughout the unit.  Using twin Maverick digital probes I have seen that I am able to keep temps to within 20 degrees or so from end to end. 

    I have spoken to store management and as I no longer have a receipt, the store is going to give me a credit, which I am going to apply to the 1/4 inch steel model that runs about $1000 and looks to be of better build quality.  Hopefully the unit will function better! 

    Good Luck!
  5. I bought this grill and cannot get the heat in the cooking chamber over 200 degrees. Had to use a leaf blower on the charcoals to get the temp over 200 degrees and when i removed the blower the temp would cool off instantly.

    This grill is not for me when I am cooking for 40 to 50 people. It takes entirely too long to cook.

    There is a deflection plate inside to reduce ashes on the meat but it also deflects the heat back into the smoke box.
  6. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    With a grill this size you are going to have to use wood in the firebox.
  7. scarey

    scarey Newbie

    I bought the Pecos model over a month ago and the 1st time I used it, I also couldn't get the temp over 225. I'm using pecan wood only and the 2nd and 3rd times I've used it, I got GREAT results. I've found using the intake damper and exhaust together work great to control at 275 and 300. I bought the same brand temp gauge and then bought an oven temp gauge to calibrate it. I recently had an 11 Lb, 8 Lb, and 2 Lb brisket, along with a rack of pork ribs as well as a large pack of Meyers Jalapeno / Cheddar suagage with room left over. I started them at different time to get them ready at the same time. I smoked the 2 large briskets for 4.5 hours @ 275 and them wrapped them in foil @ 300 till internal temp was 195 at thin end. Worked like a champ. I also laid an aluminum pan under the rack where the firebox feed enters and poured in 2 cans of frozen concentrate apple juice to steam into the meat.
  8. stickyfingers

    stickyfingers Smoking Fanatic

    I bought this smoker the other day to have more room for the 4th. I made a practice run first. I have no problem running the temp up even to 350, you have to open the damper and exhaust all the way open. About half way through a 12 smoke I cleaned out the ashes for better air flow which is easy to do because of the way it is built. Does need a longer heat deflection shield as it is about 10 degrees hotter near the firebox.  
  9. gbguy71

    gbguy71 Newbie

    Aaron Franklin, the BBQ king of Austin, just posted a video on the minor modifications he made to this smoker for use in his how to make BBQ series.

    Here's the link to the smoker mods 

    So far he's only posted 3 of a planned 8 episodes.  The second one does a great job of how to prepare a brisket.

    If you don't know about Franklin, google him.  If you want any of his BBQ be prepared to wait in line for hours.
  10. gbguy71

    gbguy71 Newbie

    <inadvertent duplicate post - deleted>
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  11. I bought mine last spring and have used it at least once a week. Very pleased with it. I did make a charcoal basket which helped keep the heat longer. I would recommend moving the thermometer lower towards the level of the meat. The fire box did warp a little, but it was my fault for letting it get to hot. I am going to put some insulation tape around the doors since smoke does escape, but that's not a big deal.

    For the price and as much as I've used it, I thought it was a good value. JB
  12. I have a Pecos. Have a coal basket of expanded metal that's 12 in x 12in x 6in tall. Started a chimney of Kingsford briquets then when fully lighted dumped on top of a full.basket of unlit briquets. Got to 260° and stayed there for 3 hours but then nose dived to under 200°. I then added coals and opened dampers but never got above 200 again. Any suggestions on getting temp up to 250 ???
  13. I've never had a problem getting the temp up, was yor chimney open and have space under the basket for air to flow?
  14. I did clean out the ash and got higher steady temperature. This smoker is still new to me and have yet to grasp the techniques. Thank you for the advise.
  15. stickyfingers

    stickyfingers Smoking Fanatic

    Here is how I achieve high temps and basically start my smoker. I start with a large chimney either full or half full with charcoal. Once it is lit, I dump it in the firebox leaving the lid open and the fire box door fully open. I also have the cooking chamber lid open and the chimney damper open fully. After the fire gets going good I add a split log. Within minutes it will be burning pretty good- when it is about a half to a third burned I add another split. After it is burning pretty good, I close the cooking chamber lid the heat and smoke will then begin to track into the cooking chamber and out the chimney stack. At this point a 300 temp is easily achieved. After the coals and wood burn down a bit you have HOT coals and if you open the cooking chamber and close again your temp will rebound quickly and easily. Once the temps start to level off some, I close the firebox door leaving its damper open fully. A few minutes later of temp stabilizing I close the chimney half way. Then the firebox damper half way and keep closing every half inch until the desired smoking temp is achieved. The fire will be really hot at this point!! When I put the the meat on, the temp will rebound easily. Add a split every 30 minutes or so. If you leave the chimney damper open and open the firebox damper more the temp will easily maintain 300-350.
  16. Thanks for the explanation it's very informative. I will definitely try this. Wondering if you use rev flow modification stickyfingers?
  17. stickyfingers

    stickyfingers Smoking Fanatic

    No, not yet at least. Getting pretty good results without but may in the future. The only modification I made was with the grate in the firebox. I don't feel as though it had enough vents for airflow which could contribute to lower temps come to think of it..So I cut a piece of diamond mesh I got from Home depot to replace it. The Diamond mesh seems a little lighter weight than what is probably really needed especially when heated. So, I took the top shelf from the firebox and use that for the bottom grate now. Much improved!!    
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  18. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmmm. If they are still built cheaply (some 6yrs. after I researched them) ; I'm glad I went the way I did[​IMG]   :

  19. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Opps! another post count [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  20. stevo0429

    stevo0429 Newbie

    I was in need of a new smoker and my wife (who is from Louisiana) bought me an Oklahoma Joe's smoker. After throwing up in my mouth (I'm from Austin) I quickly thanked her for the nice gesture and returned it for an old country ranch hand. I've been quite pleased with it, and it holds a good temp from day 1 when I cured it. It is rather cheaply made, but for the price and decent longevity it can produce, I'd day it's a pretty solid buy.

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