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Decided on the old country Pecos smoker from Academy. Now what!?

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by Kevin Haynes, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. Kevin Haynes

    Kevin Haynes Fire Starter

    So I made my decision on my smoker and will do my first ever smoking. I know the rig will need to be seasoned and taken care of so what would you guys suggest doing or using to properly get this thing ready to roll. What kind of oil, how often afterwards,how can I tell it's ready, and any other suggestions on how to keep it protected and clean for its entire life.(will buy matching cover and eventually will be sitting under large awning) but if NOT under awning and exposed to the outdoors, what would you do? Thanks guys.
     
  2. 73saint

    73saint Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Keep it covered, keep it seasoned and keep it clean. It’ll serve you well. There are several seasoning options but name of the game it to use an oil with a higher smoke point (peanut, flaxseed, canola) are good choices. Lodge has a cast iron seasoning spray, i just bought a case of 6 on amazon for $55.

    How often you need to season will be based on how vigorously you clean it, and also how often you use it. Typically one good seasoning should last a while if you clean after every cook, or shortly thereafter.

    Typical protocol is it coat the entire cooking chamber and racks with oil, then heat her up for a good hour or so, then shut your vents most of the way and let it smoke cure until the fire runs out. I’m sure there are other ways but that how I roll. Cleanup will be based on your rig. I steam clean but I also have a grease valve in my Langs which allow for proper drainage of all moisture.

    Keep it clean, seasoned and free of rust by covering when not in use. My Lang patio has never been under cover but you can’t tell it because of how I care for her.

    By the way your decision to get an old country was a good one. They make a fine stick burner.
     
    Kevin Haynes likes this.
  3. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'll just add , don't coat it to thick with oil to start off , or it might turn into a sticky mess .
     
    Kevin Haynes likes this.
  4. Kevin Haynes

    Kevin Haynes Fire Starter

    Just a soft coat over it all? Not dripping off I suppose? Haha
     
  5. JWFokker

    JWFokker Fire Starter

    A VERY thin coat. Canola, vegetable, flaxseed, peanut, sesame are all good. Run it at 400F for an hour.
     
    Kevin Haynes likes this.
  6. Twangin

    Twangin Newbie

    Only had my OC Pecos for a month and I’m loving mine! Have you cooked in yours yet?
     
    Kevin Haynes likes this.
  7. Kevin Haynes

    Kevin Haynes Fire Starter

    Just seasoned it and have not cooked yet. Temperature was all over the place when I fired it up to season it...its scaring me lol every little adjustment on the door and stack makes a ton of difference it seems like...any suggestions on keeping it steady? Tuning plates?
     
  8. Twangin

    Twangin Newbie

    I’m working on fire management as well.. as a matter of fact I just posted a question on this topic in the ‘Wood Smoking’ section.. hopefully some experienced folks will chime in there.

    As for my experience so far, yes, the airflow is very “lively” based on adjustments you make at the firebox side. I think (and hope) it’s just a matter of learning to build a better coal bed and letting the flames go away before you put the meat on. Then maybe it’s a matter of finding one spot with the intake and leave it there.

    One free mod that I’ve done (and suggest) is taking the slotted firebox tray (bottom one) and putting it in the cook chamber butted up against the inlet side baffle all the way to the right. Then use the mesh firebox too grate as the bottom grate to hold your fire. What I achieved with this was only an approximate 20 degree difference from far right side to far left side of the cook chamber. I think that’s really good for a budget smoker and not having tuning plates.
     
  9. Kevin Haynes

    Kevin Haynes Fire Starter

    Well I have the tuning plates in hand. I may as well give them a whirl. Is using the cooking grate on the firebox side for the coal bed, not too high off the bottom of the box? Seems to me like the fire would be right level with the baffle hole. Not sure if that is the goal. I do understand that it allows more airflow/oxygen up under it which is nice. I also kind if wanted to save that grate for possibly using it to cook on
     
  10. Twangin

    Twangin Newbie

    I’ve wondered myself whether it was too high in the firebox or not.. buts definitely not level with the baffle. I definitely like it for the good airflow. My plan is to maybe get tuning plates, then take the original fire tray, add more holes to it for airflow, and place it back into the firebox.

    Where did you get your tuning plates?
     
  11. Kevin Haynes

    Kevin Haynes Fire Starter

    In Irving tx. A shop called WESTERN SHEET METAL. I have 5 quarter in steel plates at 4 inches wide by 14 ³/4 long. $40 even. Familiar with Irving Tx?
     
  12. Twangin

    Twangin Newbie

    I’ve heard of that area but being from NC and never having been to Texas I’m not familiar. I may start calling around to some of the metal works shops around here.
     
  13. Kevin Haynes

    Kevin Haynes Fire Starter

    Oh my you need to come to Texas my friend. If you are ever in the dallas/fort worth area holler at me. Or just go to central Texas if you want bbq that will knock your socks off. I was told by my guy at the sheet metal place that 3/16 steel would be a little cheaper and pretty much same results but I went ahead and went 1/4inch.
     
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  14. Twangin

    Twangin Newbie

    Awesome, will do man! It’s definitely top 2 in my next places to visit. Dying to see how that TX bbq stacks up to the old school Eastern NC bbq scene around here. Seems that it’s absolutely exploded around your parts out west, and that’s awesome!
     
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  15. Kevin Haynes

    Kevin Haynes Fire Starter

    And I want to see what all the craze is about out your way...farthest bbq I have had your way Is Alabama. (ROLL TIDE!) we have beef ribs the size of your arms down here and they are sent straight from heaven. I frequent Austin Texas a lot and everytime I visit I stop at Franklin's and have been first in line everytime. (Arrive at 330am) maybe if the times add up I will save you a spot.
     
  16. Twangin

    Twangin Newbie

    Austin is exactly where we plan to visit! The beef ribs I see on Instagram from the TX folks look AWESOME! Our claim to fame around here is Sam Jones BBQ/ Skylight Inn BBQ (which is the original joint ran by the same family). I guess you could say whole hog bbq over wood coals is king around here.. probably equivalent to traditional brisket in TX.
     
  17. Kevin Haynes

    Kevin Haynes Fire Starter

    Oh wow! Adding it to my list. Top 5 in Texas to hit are arguably-
    5- Blacks bbq (Austin or Lockhart Texas)
    4- LaBarbecue (Austin)
    3-Cattleack bbq(Dallas)
    2-Franklins bbq(Austin)
    1- Snows bbq (Lexington)
    Would also add "Heim bbq" (fort worth) in between 4 and 5.
     
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