Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

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bsooner75
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Re: Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

Postby bsooner75 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:31 pm

Txdragon wrote:[quote="bsooner75"]

They don't make the Oklahoma Joes like they used to. Just give it the knock test and then do the same to the Old Country.

The OC is heavy but it will last.


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My first OK Joe was about 2 years ago. Did they change quality control since then? If not, it was a great rig.[/quote]
No, it was. Further back than that. I think the original OK Joe company is now Horizon. If you were ok with it 2 yrs ago I imagine little has changed. I just wasn't impressed with the ones I've seen at the store.




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Re: Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

Postby marvda1 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:55 pm

Txdragon wrote:I'm torn between an old country and oklahoma joe. I have had the OK joe and loved it. The old country looks even beefier than the joe BUT, it also appears to be all welded up. I can't haul that in either of my vehicles given we have a honda civic and mazda 6.. lol

rent a truck from home depot. then you could buy my old country
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Chasdev
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Re: Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

Postby Chasdev » Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:55 am

I have to vote no after working with mine since last summer..
It may be my ignorance/stupidity/hardheadedness but I can not keep the temps even (or anything approaching even) across the cook surface.
So far I've tried tuning plates, different wood/s and three different fire grids and grid heights, the one it came with, none at all (tried to copy Frankin) and a higher version that allows more airflow.
It is possible to cook good Q on it but it needs constant tinkering and adjustments depending on the "age" of the fire to keep the temps anywhere near where you want them.
The exception perhaps is if you WANT it to run 350/375/400 at the grate, that it will do.
Keeping the grate temp down to 275 is a LOT of work and IMHO, forget about 225 unless you keep a fire pit going to provide the next fully lit stick at just the right time.
If you let the fire in the firebox get low enough to read 225 at the grate, there's not be enough coals to start the next stick without getting a bunch of "bad" smoke, so every time you add fresh wood (even preheated sticks) you get bad smoke.
And while that is normal, the size of the fire is so small that you have to use cut down pieces (to around 6x4 inches) to keep it from running away to over 300 (again)..and each time you add you get the bad smoke until the chunk gets going which over a 8 hr 10 hr cook is too much.
In addition, different air adjustments will swap the hot end from right to left, and different stages of fire require different airflow adjustments so a fresh hot fire needs less exhaust flow to keep the right end from getting too hot but when the fire is about half way done, the exhaust has to be opened and the intake restricted or the left end will go hot and leave the right end cold. (with once again more bad smoke from not enough airflow in).
Perhaps a raised cook grate would help and in fact that's probably my next move since I'm going to own this sucker for a LONG time...I'll post up if I find the cure..and for the money I should not complain, it was cheap, but I got what I paid for.
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Re: Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

Postby BladeRunner » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:26 am

Chasdev wrote:I have to vote no after working with mine since last summer..
It may be my ignorance/stupidity/hardheadedness but I can not keep the temps even (or anything approaching even) across the cook surface.
So far I've tried tuning plates, different wood/s and three different fire grids and grid heights, the one it came with, none at all (tried to copy Frankin) and a higher version that allows more airflow.
It is possible to cook good Q on it but it needs constant tinkering and adjustments depending on the "age" of the fire to keep the temps anywhere near where you want them.
The exception perhaps is if you WANT it to run 350/375/400 at the grate, that it will do.
Keeping the grate temp down to 275 is a LOT of work and IMHO, forget about 225 unless you keep a fire pit going to provide the next fully lit stick at just the right time.
If you let the fire in the firebox get low enough to read 225 at the grate, there's not be enough coals to start the next stick without getting a bunch of "bad" smoke, so every time you add fresh wood (even preheated sticks) you get bad smoke.
And while that is normal, the size of the fire is so small that you have to use cut down pieces (to around 6x4 inches) to keep it from running away to over 300 (again)..and each time you add you get the bad smoke until the chunk gets going which over a 8 hr 10 hr cook is too much.
In addition, different air adjustments will swap the hot end from right to left, and different stages of fire require different airflow adjustments so a fresh hot fire needs less exhaust flow to keep the right end from getting too hot but when the fire is about half way done, the exhaust has to be opened and the intake restricted or the left end will go hot and leave the right end cold. (with once again more bad smoke from not enough airflow in).
Perhaps a raised cook grate would help and in fact that's probably my next move since I'm going to own this sucker for a LONG time...I'll post up if I find the cure..and for the money I should not complain, it was cheap, but I got what I paid for.


Dang Chas-
I'm starting a cook this afternoon. I'm not as excited about that as I was 10 minutes ago.

I'll see if I have a similar experience.
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Re: Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

Postby BladeRunner » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:28 am

marvda1 wrote:
Txdragon wrote:I'm torn between an old country and oklahoma joe. I have had the OK joe and loved it. The old country looks even beefier than the joe BUT, it also appears to be all welded up. I can't haul that in either of my vehicles given we have a honda civic and mazda 6.. lol

rent a truck from home depot. then you could buy my old country


LOL marvda
:laughing7:
That Brazos you have though is something.
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Re: Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

Postby Chasdev » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:38 am

I dropped a 12lb brisket on mine at 3:30 this morning, trying to beat the heat this afternoon, and tomorrow, and the day after, and...well, you get the idea.
Today I'm trying out a new angle. I'm going with a full split after working up a bed of coals and after it catches, I'm running the exhaust from halfway open somewhat less to control the heat.
Also, when it does try to run away, I'm propping the firebox door open an inch and venting heat there to keep the cook grid as close to 275 as I can.
A few times when the coals run out and I go to "over stoke" to get more coals built up, I also prop the cook chamber open a little.
Seems like I have to fuss with it less if I get a larger fire going and close the exhaust down and be ready to vent excess heat through any means I can..
Even doing these things, I still swapped ends on the brisket to try to average out the hot and cooler ends..
Oh, and no beer yet either, maybe that will help me pay attention longer..
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Re: Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

Postby Chasdev » Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:07 am

A few more thoughts..one is I have to burn dry wood, and I mean dry. Wet or under cured wood burns hotter and is harder to get lit, producing extra bad smoke while it thinks about catching.
I found some super dry post oak (white oak) that catches quick and has a great smoke smell.
Here's my custom fire grate, it was a big improvement over the OEM unit.
Here also are my 4 temp probes, two on each side of the brisket, all on the grate.
The crossways position is a new idea, trying to prevent one end from cooking at a different speed than the other.
Here's my temp gauge readings at almost 7 hours in, finally got the thing where I want it..first three hours I was jumping out of my chair every 10 minutes to tinker with the vents or stir/re-arrange the burning logs.
One more thing..if you close the fire box door almost all the way, say leaving two inches air gap, you can increase the chamber temp due to it reflecting the heat back inside.
Found this out when I got too much heat from the fire on my pale self and pushed it somewhat closed.
Here's the size wood I use..
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Re: Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

Postby GRailsback » Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:34 am

You must be an engineer.
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bsooner75
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Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

Postby bsooner75 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:35 am

Chasedev is correct in the fact it requires some babysitting. Also a willingness to find a nice temp range and not expect it to lock in like an oven. I've considered the tinkering as part of the fun. At some point I'll finish my UDS for a more set and forget experience.

I still think it's about the best you can expect for a store bought.


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Re: Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

Postby Chasdev » Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:46 am

GRailsback wrote:You must be an engineer.



Just a retired machinist/auto tech..but I did build car and motorcycle race engines for around 30 years..won a few $7.00 plastic trophies too! :salut:
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Re: Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

Postby GRailsback » Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:55 am

Then this BBQ thing shouldn't be so difficult for you. Stick burners require attention, all of them. Mine is top of the line, but it doesn't run itself.
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Re: Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

Postby Chasdev » Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:11 am

Not quite the same thing as setting lobe centers on a 15,000 rpm Yamaha or measuring bearing clearances at just above .001.
Only reason I posted up too much info is because guys with top end smokers don't need to go through the extra baby sitting these Peco's require and I seek, if possible, to shorten his learning curve.
I know mine was steep, and tossing "how to" questions at the high skill level and high quality smoker level users around here may or may not produce readily useful tips for a guy in my (former newbie) position running an entry level (but legit) stick burner.
I'm stuck with mine, it will be here until it falls into bits, and I have a handle now on how to drive it, and it DOES produce good food, just with more than a little effort.
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Re: Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

Postby GRailsback » Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:18 am

It is a legit pit you have. I am not sure your learning curve was really that steep, but maybe your expectations were a bit high. That pit will put out just as good of BBQ as any other. Next year you want anything else to cook on.
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Re: Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

Postby Chasdev » Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:48 pm

This is my smoker, there are many like it but this one is mine...unless/until I find a better one used and for pennies on the dollar..
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Re: Old Country Pecos Any thoughts?

Postby Txdragon » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:46 pm

To add upon the car analogies; you can own a Lamborghini but it's useless if you can't drive it.. All pits will have a learning curve. Some will require more attention than a bipolar teen girl. To say a pit puts out (fill in the blank) BBQ is a very generalized blanket statement. If you are familiar with whatever it is you are using, you can put out good 'que. If you're having problems after several cooks, it's not your pit you should reevaluate but your strategy. What works for one pit may not work for another.
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