Old Country BBQ Pits Wrangler Smoker Review

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by lphamilton1, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    You don't need the whole chamber covered, the plates would start where the baffle ends, or at least have a small overlap, and you still need space between the plates. But you could also try using 4.5" or 5" plates if it makes you feel better.
  2. jcrevz

    jcrevz Fire Starter

    right, i understand that. but if you look at iphamilton's photo of what he says is 4", the three cover much more than the 3 i bought. I have much much more space between the plates, to the point i dont think they even do anything. i moved them around and monitored temps, i didnt see it making any difference. I thought the steel supply gave me the wrong dimensions and had to measure myself, they are right on. I will take a picture tonight and post. 
  3. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    I had the same experience, but you just need to leave a small gap at the first plate, and a slightly larger gap at the second and third plate. You will have a hot spot where the stack is at the grate. You probably won't get perfectly even temps, but as long as you are within about 10 degrees you should be ok. That smoker isn't all that big so it may be hard to get things perfectly even.
  4. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Not sure if you can tell, but mine seem a little narrow as well.  However, it just took me a little longer to get them arranged properly.  If you can see them under this spatchcocked turkey, you'll see what I'm talking about.  My temps are within a couple of degrees across the board.

  5. jcrevz

    jcrevz Fire Starter

    ok yeah, this is more what mine looks like, and nearly identical as far as placement. OK cool, but how do i get a piece of that chicken???
  6. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    LOL!!  Hey jcrevz, that was Thanksgiving turkey.  It was great...and the first time I'd ever tried it.  That pic was actually about half way through the cook.  I'll never smoke one again with spatchcocking it.  It cooked evenly, was very juicy, and a lot of fun.
  7. jcrevz

    jcrevz Fire Starter

    duh, i used my reading skills but not my comprehension skills apparently. Looks great, what was the total cook time on that? I may have to try this if i can get my family to get off the deep fried crap
  8. joshdaddyjoe

    joshdaddyjoe Newbie

    That looks great! I'm in my 3 rd hour of smoking ribs and so far so good. I've been able to keep my heat 225 +/- 10 for my first cook. I read through the smoking 101 article and put a lot of it to use. Any additional tips for working with a wrangler?
  9. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    joshdaddyjoe, those ribs sound good.  Checkout this link for my ribs.  http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/...n-my-old-country-wrangler-smoker#post_1150375

    I usually go a little hotter...250* to 275* on the ribs.  My Wrangler seems to want to run a little hot anyway.  I use good seasoned post oak, and I don't mind it running a little hotter.  Now, mind that temp is with a Maverick thermometer, not the gauge on the smoker.  When my smoker gauge is on about 225*, the actual temp is about 300* on the Maverick.  And, I've tested the Maverick enough that I know it is correct.

    Here was my first brisket on the Wrangler http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/143571/new-old-country-wrangler-smoker-first-brisket#post_1017750   It was by-far the best brisket I've ever done.
  10. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    jcrevz, it took about 3 hours at 250* - 275* to smoke that spatchcocked turkey.  I had no idea how long it might take when I first started it.

    Here's the link to it:  http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/152563/spatchcocked-smoked-turkey-on-old-country-wrangler-smoker
  11. joshdaddyjoe

    joshdaddyjoe Newbie

    Outstanding job on the ribs those look delicious. Is that butter, brown sugar and honey? How long did you let them cook before you wrapped them? I was surprised when I compared temperatures and found out the dial is pretty accurate once temp is stabilized.

    This goes out to anyone and it is a bit off topic but I have a question about how everyone is cleaning their smokers? Grates, the smoker itself and the firebox.

    Right now I'm scraping the grates, cleaning the grease out of the bottom with paper towels and sweeping out the firebox. Then I'll get the temp up to 400* for an hour or two in the smoker to kill anything off. Is there anything I should be doing? Any tips or tricks you could share?
  12. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    I only swept out the firebox and cleaned the grates with a grill brush, and occasionally cleaned out the inside of the pit where everything drains. It definitely won't hurt to crank up the temp to kill stuff off of there, but I never did it and never had any problems. I found my thermometer to be terribly innacurate, and it was the ones that Academy sold. I even swapped it out for another one and it was just as off. My buddy got one as well for his wranger it it wasn't accurate either. I guess if you want an accurate one you need to get a good one like a tel-tru, or just stick with a good digital one like a Maverick.
  13. jcrevz

    jcrevz Fire Starter

    interesting - i also have a old country thermo (the big 4 incher) and it seems to be pretty accurate also when stabilized. I use the maverick ET-733 for precise measurements though.

    I really have a problem with wind blowing down the stack and cooling that side at grate level. Of course, the 2 days I have used it, started off great then about 3-4PM is when the wind picked up (one day pretty strong gusts - id put it at 10-20mph) that cooled off that side 100*+. I was thinking about fabricating a cap for it that would still allow good air movement - something like the caps on vents on the top of your house, or screening the opening to act as a windbreak. Unless someone here has a better idea/solution? 

    I grill exclusively on the wrangler also. Ive got it down pretty good and results are outstanding. takes a bit to get it going but it is worth it - i usually prep the meat while it gets going. I just make a fire teepee with 1" sticks, let it burn down and get some coals, then throw on 3 sticks at a time spread out on the bottom. The flames dont reach the meat, but cook beautifully. 

    MickHLR - thanks for the links. Great results and good documentation. I love getting ideas for next meals like this, I'm going to have to take the leap of faith and try one of those briskets. WOW! looks great. I spatchcocked a chicken  brined in orange juice last friday, everyone couldnt believe how melt in your mouth it was. Definitely a keeper. Didnt document anything I cooked, which is a shame! I will have my iPad close by next time. 

    thanks guys!
  14. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    Never thought about using just orange juice, or any fruit juice for a brine, I'll have to give that a try!
  15. jburn244

    jburn244 Fire Starter

    Hey folks, have enjoyed reading the discussion on the Wrangler, and am having a really hard time deciding between it and the Pecos. 

    I usually only cook for my wife and I, but a couple times a year my buddies and I get together for a big all day cook where we'll do several racks of ribs. I'm worried I won't have enough space for 6-8 racks at once on the Wrangler.

    I'm drawn to the thicker steel of the Wrangler, but I like the larger width of the Pecos better, seems like it would be easier to deal with when I'm trying to cook a lot at once. Anyone have any pictures of their Wrangler or Pecos chocked full of ribs for a size reference?

    I've also read a few sparse comments (on the Pecos, specifically) about the firebox warping due to high heat. Is that mostly a user error thing or is that a real possibility with either of these cookers?
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  16. joshdaddyjoe

    joshdaddyjoe Newbie

    I can get 3 BB ribs side by side, 2 Spare Ribs laying flat or 4 vertical in a rack, 2 Boston butts, or 1 8-12 brisket on my Wrangler. That includes a 4x8 1/2 water pan(Loaf Pan stolen from the wife unit) and a digital probe between the meat and the water pan. 

    Hope this helps.
  17. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    Here is my old Wranger full of ribs.

    If you use a rack like that, make sure to rotate the ribs around, I didn't and the results weren't as good as I had hoped for. I've since sold my wranger and upgraded to a Lang 48 patio and couldn't be happier. If you want thicker steel, but the larger size, get the Brazos model, it's twice as much as the wrangler, but larger and has 1/4" steel.
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  18. wwalkerbigwil

    wwalkerbigwil Newbie

    I just bought the pecos several weeks ago and I'm very happy with it. It may be because it's such a huge step up from the small Hondo that I had, but it cooks great. I've cooked a couple slabs of ribs and had room for a couple more without a rib rack. The only problem I had with getting the temp up is to make sure you don't have wood that's too green. I get perfect smoke flavor from my pecos.
  19. Ok. It's crunch time. For all those that have the wrangler, what's the bottom line? Are there any better smokers for this price? I am thinking about pulling the trigger this weekend and I want to have the opinion of those who have actually used it. MickHLR gave me some good information but additional opinions help!
  20. joshdaddyjoe

    joshdaddyjoe Newbie

    Do it. I love cooking on mine, it's been great. I haven't found a better smoker that has the dimensions or thickness of steel as the Wrangler. The next best thing above it is a Yoder Cheyenne or drop down and get a Pecos, another good option.

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