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Old Country BBQ Pits Pecos Owners Thread

Smokin Okie

Smoke Blower
82
19
Joined Jun 27, 2018
Do any of you use fire brick in the firebox? I don’t know if it’s worth the trouble or not. I haven’t even lit a fire in mine yet since we’re moving in a week and it’s still at my in laws, but the suspense is killing me.
Funny you should ask. I just put fire bricks in the FB of my Brazos and I did a short four cook yesterday to try them out.

First, I don't use the grate in the FB. I build the fire in the bottom. For that purpose, the fire bricks worked well. They protect the bottom of my FB and also change the angles inside the box. That made for a better coal bed and how the splits lay across the coals. I like that aspect.

They also do provide insulation. As to acting as a heat sync and evening out temps, I don't know yet. It will take a few more cooks and especially, some long cooks to conclude.

But I did get a better coal bed and that's worth a lot.
 

Quintin

Newbie
8
10
Joined Feb 24, 2020
I see that it's been a few months since someone has posted in here. I am looking at getting a Pecos. I will be upgrading from a RiverGrille. In my research it looks like everyone has their own specific modifications that they prefer to do. Some look rather simple (Converting the Fire box racks to plates in the main cook chamber) to (Converting your drip hole to take a water hose and use the bottom portion of your main chamber to hold water).... I love BBQ but i'm still really new to a stick burner. Any advise on what Mods are necessary and what are for show to be able to get this rig up and running right, as soon as I get it?

Thanks in advance!
 

Kevin Haynes

Smoke Blower
100
32
Joined Nov 4, 2018
I see that it's been a few months since someone has posted in here. I am looking at getting a Pecos. I will be upgrading from a RiverGrille. In my research it looks like everyone has their own specific modifications that they prefer to do. Some look rather simple (Converting the Fire box racks to plates in the main cook chamber) to (Converting your drip hole to take a water hose and use the bottom portion of your main chamber to hold water).... I love BBQ but i'm still really new to a stick burner. Any advise on what Mods are necessary and what are for show to be able to get this rig up and running right, as soon as I get it?

Thanks in advance!
It's an excellent beginner rig. I actually did get some tuner plates that helped. Takes a lot of finagling and messing with to get it right for you but man is it fun! I had the pecos for about 3 months before I ordered a 500 gallon on a trailer haha. Nothing wrong with the pecos. I just need room for 25 briskets. Not 2. You will love it!
 

Quintin

Newbie
8
10
Joined Feb 24, 2020
It's an excellent beginner rig. I actually did get some tuner plates that helped. Takes a lot of finagling and messing with to get it right for you but man is it fun! I had the pecos for about 3 months before I ordered a 500 gallon on a trailer haha. Nothing wrong with the pecos. I just need room for 25 briskets. Not 2. You will love it!
Thanks Kevin,

I keep hearing about these tuner plates and I have a ton of questions. I saw on a video where I can contact the company and they actually sell a set vs. going to a fabricator and asking them to make some 1/4" steel plates for me. 4 run too hot on the stack side, 3 is just right. Anyone able to tell me how much these things cost? I know there are many more expensive rigs out there, but this feels like a big investment for me, but I also want to think about if this $400 smoker, needs an additional $250 in plates to be good.... maybe I should change my mind.


I think i'm over thinking it at this point.
 

Kevin Haynes

Smoke Blower
100
32
Joined Nov 4, 2018
Thanks Kevin,

I keep hearing about these tuner plates and I have a ton of questions. I saw on a video where I can contact the company and they actually sell a set vs. going to a fabricator and asking them to make some 1/4" steel plates for me. 4 run too hot on the stack side, 3 is just right. Anyone able to tell me how much these things cost? I know there are many more expensive rigs out there, but this feels like a big investment for me, but I also want to think about if this $400 smoker, needs an additional $250 in plates to be good.... maybe I should change my mind.


I think i'm over thinking it at this point.
No. You always have to weigh the pros and cons and go what fits your budget best. I bought I think 5- 1/4 plates from the metal fab guys over here for like $40. Dont pay $250 for tuning plates haha. I'll ship you mine before you do that! And yes only 3 have worked best over having 4 or 5. You could always not even use tuning plates and just find out where your hot spots are (if any) and just study your rig until you got it dialed in to work right everytime and you wouldn't need a set of tuning plates. The pecos for $400 is a solid choice for that price range and if you are wanting to learn to start smoking and getting used to the basics
 

Smokin Okie

Smoke Blower
82
19
Joined Jun 27, 2018
Pecos is a great for starting with a stick burner. Most important thing about a first offset, is finding out if a stick burner is for you. Not everybody enjoys feeding splits. Your investment is not that large and where I live, there's always a good resale market if you find out its not for you. You could easily get half of what you pay or more back. So its not a big risk.

And if you find you really like stick burning, then the Pecos can be moved easily when you buy that better smoker.

Course, there's always being patient and looking for a used Pecos or Brazos on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Find the right one, and you could easily flip it for what ya paid for it.
 

Quintin

Newbie
8
10
Joined Feb 24, 2020
No. You always have to weigh the pros and cons and go what fits your budget best. I bought I think 5- 1/4 plates from the metal fab guys over here for like $40. Dont pay $250 for tuning plates haha. I'll ship you mine before you do that! And yes only 3 have worked best over having 4 or 5. You could always not even use tuning plates and just find out where your hot spots are (if any) and just study your rig until you got it dialed in to work right everytime and you wouldn't need a set of tuning plates. The pecos for $400 is a solid choice for that price range and if you are wanting to learn to start smoking and getting used to the basics
My wife and sister purchased the RiverGrille from Home Depot (I think thats where they are from). About 4 years ago, during a 22 hour brisket cook over the weekend, my firebox burnt completely out. I couldn't find any replacement boxes, or even a website for RiverGrille, leading me to believe that it's the in house brand from HD. I cut my teeth initially on a Weber Kettle and loved it. The only draw back to indirect heat on that set up was the lack of cooking area to be able to do multiple slabs or anything else for that matter. After this weekends travesty, my wife took me to Academy and told me to pick out any sub $500 smoker for my bday coming up in a few days. I like the weight of the Pecos and the fact that it's not a bolt on smoker. We didn't pull the trigger yet, I wasn't ready and hadn't done my research yet. In researching though it seems like there are a ton of mods that can be done, while watching the videos my wife looked at me and asked if all of the modifications were because it wasn't really a good smoker, after that conversation and explaining sometimes you have to tweak the really good to get to great. I think i'm ready to pull the trigger, but was curious about which mods people feel like are necessary vs. which ones are beneficial.


- Sorry for the long drawn out post.
 

Kevin Haynes

Smoke Blower
100
32
Joined Nov 4, 2018
My wife and sister purchased the RiverGrille from Home Depot (I think thats where they are from). About 4 years ago, during a 22 hour brisket cook over the weekend, my firebox burnt completely out. I couldn't find any replacement boxes, or even a website for RiverGrille, leading me to believe that it's the in house brand from HD. I cut my teeth initially on a Weber Kettle and loved it. The only draw back to indirect heat on that set up was the lack of cooking area to be able to do multiple slabs or anything else for that matter. After this weekends travesty, my wife took me to Academy and told me to pick out any sub $500 smoker for my bday coming up in a few days. I like the weight of the Pecos and the fact that it's not a bolt on smoker. We didn't pull the trigger yet, I wasn't ready and hadn't done my research yet. In researching though it seems like there are a ton of mods that can be done, while watching the videos my wife looked at me and asked if all of the modifications were because it wasn't really a good smoker, after that conversation and explaining sometimes you have to tweak the really good to get to great. I think i'm ready to pull the trigger, but was curious about which mods people feel like are necessary vs. which ones are beneficial.


- Sorry for the long drawn out post.
I honestly have only used the tuning plates and then I just run my fire on the absolute bottom of the firebox. Both the coal grate thingy and slide out shelf of the firebox are laying in the yard next to the smoker. Never used them in the smoker. When you are doing your first fire to burn all that chemical crap out and seasoning it, try to keep an eye out for where smoke may be seeping through the cooking chamber door. Then hit amazon for some of that fire gasket tape stuff and just go around the lid with it and boom. No more leaks. I wouldn't use it on the firebox, it will just get too hot and fall apart or fall off
 

Quintin

Newbie
8
10
Joined Feb 24, 2020
Where does everyone source their wood from ? I think I understand using 7inch splits about forearm wide, I am used to using the bagged chunks, but am curious where these logs come from.
 

pbclown

Newbie
9
5
Joined Apr 22, 2018
The mods that I have done to my packs is to put fireblack gasket around the cook chamber, never have been able to get it to stay on the fire box, and put in a Horizon smoker convection plate http://www.horizonbbqsmokers.com/accessories-1/16-convection-plate. I tried 2 different sets of tuning plates and could never get them to perform that well. I run the chimney wide open and the door vent between 1/4 and 11/2 open. That gets me +-5 degrees fire box to chimney. As far as wood, I get mine from Market street, they sell bags that are already cut down to 6-8 inches and just split it to the size I want.
 

Kevin Haynes

Smoke Blower
100
32
Joined Nov 4, 2018
Where does everyone source their wood from ? I think I understand using 7inch splits about forearm wide, I am used to using the bagged chunks, but am curious where these logs come from.
That's about the size you will need but being impossible to find anyone who will do that for you and bring it to you without them charging an arm and a leg, you may just have to go on craigslist and find someone who can get you some oak in smaller than average splits amd maybe do the rest yourself. Maybe get a cheap log splitter or a splitting axe. Or you can actually go to central market grocery store (or market street, I get them confused) and they sell PERFECT size little splits in a bag for like $14. Depends if you want to spend that much money on such little amount of wood
 

Smokin Okie

Smoke Blower
82
19
Joined Jun 27, 2018
Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace is a good place to source smoke wood.

I'm fortunate here in Oklahoma City there's a woodlot that caters to stick burners. He cut the splits down quite a bit. But I still found the need to purchase a Kindling Cracker and a miter saw.

Kindling Cracker gets used a lot. Well worth the money spent.

I found the miter saw on CL, it was almost new and I got it for near half the price of a new one. Don't need a lot of saw, just the basic miter or chop saw.

I've also purchased a cheap electric chain saw from Harbor Freight, but I only bought that due to people I know cutting down trees, like pecan and apple.
 

Quintin

Newbie
8
10
Joined Feb 24, 2020
Thanks for the input. I have a miter saw, reading the forum I saw someone say they paid 90 bucks to have it delivered. Which is 9 bags of chunks and a steal imo. Maybe I need to edit my search words on CL. I'm finding a bunch of firewood but no fruit wood.
 

Smokin Okie

Smoke Blower
82
19
Joined Jun 27, 2018
Don't know where your located , but I can't find fruitwood in OKC. We just don't have the orchards close. They grow peaches in southern Oklahoma, but the logistics of that are not good. We have plenty of pecan and hickory , but oak is rare.

For me, a search of " BBQ " on CL will turn up wood.
 

Quintin

Newbie
8
10
Joined Feb 24, 2020
Anyone have any photos of where they installed their therms at on the door? I plan on placing one on each side and would love some input as to where you guys have put yours. Also is there a difference in regards to stem length?

TIA
 

Smokin Okie

Smoke Blower
82
19
Joined Jun 27, 2018
I did that on my Brazos and I regret it . I prefer to use digital probes, Thermoworks Smoke.

I put two Tel Tru analog gauges on both ends of the door, they're 11 " from center of door handle to center of the gauge. But I don't use them. First reason is they read 20 to 30 * cooler than my digital probes on the grate. I don't understand that, but even on my WSM where I installed an analog gauge, they read cooler.

If I were going to do the gauges again, I would move them a bit further apart. If you look at Aaron Franklin's backyard offset, he puts on gauge in the lower left corner. But his smoker exhausts differently than a Pecos or Brazos, he has a large collector across the end. The MIll Scale backyard offset is modeled after Franklin's design, and they do the same.

But me, I go digital and not mess with analog gauges. In fact, I'm geting ready to install a probe port on my Brazos.
 

daveman92789

Newbie
25
22
Joined Feb 12, 2015
I also have a pecos smoker. I made a convection plate with holes drilled in it & it worked really good. Temps within 5 degrees from side to side but in order to get it up to 275 I had to build a large fire which I didn't like. I got to looking at LSG cross flow technology & was very impressed with the design & wanted to see if it could work in a pipe smoker. I cut out the heat diverter & rigged up a plate just to see if it would work. I was shocked. I will be welding up a plate so I won't need a baffle plate or tuning plates.... I didn't have much time so I haven't tested to see how warm I could get it but with the little fire I had I was able to hit 230.
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