Old Country BBQ Pits Pecos Owners Thread

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by thmoker, May 16, 2014.

  1. jburn244

    jburn244 Fire Starter

    Looking good!

    I'm using the Maverick ET-732. It's really nice, although I'm a little concerned that after a few uses with this new cooker the leads will go bad due to being pinched over and over again. 

    I may end up putting thermometers on each side close to grate level. I would love to do Tel-Tru's but man those are pricey!

    Started looking around and these River Country's seem pretty good for the price. All good reviews it looks like.

    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
    john0091 likes this.
  2. I have a maverick et733. Helps with not having to sit outside. But it will drive you crazy as you see the real grate level temps ! Anyway I used three tuning plates this past weekend. Did two separate cooks on the same day due to the wrangler size. Did two St. Louis racks and the after that did a 11 lb butt. And yes I added a split or half a split every 30-45 mins depending on how big that wood was. Used pecan. Let's say I didn't get much sleep at all. Until I threw the pork butt wrapped in foil in the oven at 2 am and let it go till about 6 am.

    From what I hear with a bigger smoker we can load up the bigger firebox and place the meat further away and it should hold the same heat for 4 or so hours! But the quality of flavor we are getting from truly burning sticks is worth the hassle.
    john0091 likes this.
  3. And brisket looks good!
  4. john0091

    john0091 Newbie

    Tel-Tru's are pricey indeed. I have an Old Country thermometer in the pre-drilled location in the center of the lid. The temp on that thermometer vs the ones I had placed on the grate were about 15-20 degrees apart. I'm very weary of buying a maverick because I've read a lot about the probes going bad after only a couple cooks. I really like the features, I'm just a little hesitant to spend $90. How long have you guys had your mavericks?

    I'm wondering if I can drill a hole closer to the grate and put my thermometer down there. It's 3/16" steel so not sure which bit to use.

    As far as meat temps, I have a friend who is a chef at my work. He uses a thermapen and swears by it. Only problem is it's $100.


    I agree. The hassle is well worth it. I'm wondering if I use bigger logs, it will keep me from having to add every 20 mins to keep a steady 250. Do you have a thermometer on the lid? What are the grate temps vs the lid?

    How did your Ribs and Pork come out? And thanks for the comment on brisket. I got lucky pulling it off at the right time and it came out great. Like I said, I'm a total brisket novice. I'm going to do a couple pork butts for the 4th for my friend's party. He came over and ate the brisket so now I've been recruited! But I told him I'm not staying up for 11 hours before the 4th! Hah.
  5. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    The maverick probes are fine, I've had mine for quite a while and only had to replace the temp probe once. If you place some high temp silicone or rtv around the probe where the wire enters that will help keep moisture out and it will last longer that way. But replacement probes aren't too expensive should you need one at some point. The maverick is well worth the money, you won't regret getting one.
    john0091 likes this.
  6. jburn244

    jburn244 Fire Starter

    I had the ET-73 or whatever the cheaper one is called for 3 years, probes were fine and just finally crapped out on me after that period of time. The little on/off switch also broke finally on the ET73 so I decided to upgrade to the 732. I like it a lot. So I got 3 years out of the $30 Maverick unit. For that price I don't think that's too bad.
  7. pork ribs came out great john. i did 2-2-1.5 during the foiling period i did brown sugar, honey, and squeeze butter. No BBQ sauce needed! this was a sweet tasting rib. so if you like salty spicy might need to change it up. 

    Check this youtube vid out. Franklin in Austin TX drilling and putting in a thermo in a old country smoker. 

    im still working on my brisket but my pork butts have been going routinely well. smoke till IT of 165. foil it and go till 195 IT. then probe test/toothpick test it. let it rest in the cooler. 

    I smoked my last 11 lb pork butt over night. I smoked it from 8pm to 2 am. I wrapped it at 2 am at IT of 165. It probably could have been at 165 earlier than 6 hours but i fell asleep and when i woke up my maverick said smoker temp of 171 and internal meat temp of 165. Here is my trick for getting some sleep. when i wrap it in foil at IT of 165 i put little apple juice in it stick it in the oven at 250 to 275. depending how long you have. i did 250 so i could sleep some more. my maverick has an alarm on it so it beeped at me when it hit 10 degrees before 195 and at 195. woke up and probe tested it. nice and soft. so i threw it in the cooler. went to church and came back pulled it out of the cooler. Temp tested the meat just in case, i was afraid it couldve dropped below 140. it was still at 145. pulled it apart and it was great. 
  8. jburn244

    jburn244 Fire Starter

    The other night I ran a bead of high temp silicone around the cook chamber and firebox. I was bored with about an hour of daylight left last night so I decided to fire up the cooker and see how I did with the seal. In the end my seal job was terrible and I'll have to redo it. I didn't get a thick enough bead in most places.

    I decided to make the fire in the bottom of the firebox and use the charcoal grate as a tuning plate. I made a really small fire, not trying to get into cooking range necessarily, but proportionate to the fire size, it held right about an hour before I would have added another split. The heat seemed more consistent. There was no wind so I just kept the door closed and ran the damper wide open. I did notice that when you run with the door open you do lose some heat from firebox side of the cook chamber. I think I got the tuning plate positioning at least close, I had both sides under 10 degrees from each other and holding.

    Planning to try some ribs for realz this weekend and see how we do. I liked the coal bed I had with the fire on the bottom of the firebox but I wonder whether it would completely burn through over time.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
  9. i thought about the RTV silicone. can you add to those places that did not get enough silicone? or do you have to start from scratch. i decided to leave my wrangler as is besides the tuning plates. Too  much to worry about. It is a good smoker. maybe i got lazy haha.
  10. thmoker

    thmoker Fire Starter

    I had an opportunity to purchase a Lang at a significant discount price a few days ago. I thought long and hard about it, and after discussing it with my wife (who gave me the green light), I decided against it. The Lang is a brute, to be sure. I guess I'm getting used to this "old school" Pecos smoker and am enjoying the learning curve. It was a close call, and I was very tempted. That Lang fire box is super stout! 
  11. glocksrock

    glocksrock Smoking Fanatic

    If you are happy with the Pecos, no need to get something different. Which Lang were you about to get? I went from the Wranger to a 48 patio and couldn't be happier with my decision. The thicker steel and the extra space are what I really like, plus the fact that it's reverse flow and maintains temps more evenly.
  12. jburn244

    jburn244 Fire Starter

    That's some dedication to the Old Country right there. Lang is definitely intriguing but I just can't spend so much on something that sits unused except a couple times a month for me.

    One thing that seems lacking on the Pecos is heat recovery and overall radiant heat efficiency. When I open the lid to tend/spritz, the cooker seems to have a tough time recovering properly. I put some of the bbqgaskets.com nomex gasket around the lid, I've only cooked on it once since, not sure whether it's helping or not. I also used a mix of lump and briquetts on that cook and did see a longer lasting coal bed and steady heat. For some reason lump alone doesn't seem to keep a great coal bed. Not sure why.
  13. jburn244

    jburn244 Fire Starter

    So I wanted to try the charcoal basket and minion method with this cooker as I have a yearly big party coming up in a month I am cooking for and I will need to run the smoker all day. I bought two of the 12x24 expanded sheets from Lowe's and bent them in half and fastened them together in a square. No bottom. So the basket is 12" tall and fits perfectly in the firebox. I filled it almost all the way up, took a whole 20 lb bag of Kingsford, minus the room 2 8" splits took up.

    I had the two splits leaning in opposite corners, basically meeting in middle of the bottom of the basket. I lit 15 briquets and put them in one corner, on top of the split opposite the intake. 

    Overall I got 5 hours of burn and could have coaxed more. Took me an hour to get the temp steady, because that first split fully ignited and probably cut significant time off my burn. Once I got it steady, it held temp really well, and recovered well after tending the meat. I only added a couple more small splits during that time for additional smoke.

    Most important lesson I learned will be to use chunks next time instead of full splits. I think that will keep it from running away from me at the beginning. Even with that happening, I got 5 hours easy, and could have coaxed at least another hour out of it @ about 235. I still had a coal bed after 8 hours, so I could have added more wood and kept it going. I think by using chunks I should be able to get a 7-8 hour burn no problem.
  14. thmoker

    thmoker Fire Starter

    I would like to see some photos of that setup if you can get them, JBurn.

    Last weekend I smoked a smallish BButt using a new (to me) method that produced results that my wife and sister-in-law are still talking about. I smoked between 225-275 until internal temp hit 201, then pulled the butt off, wrapped it in foil and towels and put in a cooler for one hour. I unwrapped and pulled it and was actually shocked...It was without a doubt the best meat I've ever smoked. Never opened the cook chamber until ready to take meat out. Rub ingredients aside, if you want your pulled pork to have maximum burned ends and flavor...try foresaking the foil and leaving the meat in until you hit the magic number. I was concerned that it would be too much smoke, but my wife confirmed that was not the case. BBRibs without foiling is my next endeavor. Should be interesting.  
  15. 1ray

    1ray Fire Starter

    I have a Pecos Has anyone made a convection plate for the pecos that works well or is tuning plates the only way?
  16. jburn244

    jburn244 Fire Starter

    One of Horizon's drop in convection plates might fit this (the 16"?) Although I haven't investigated. I just went with tuning plates as it was a cheaper option.
  17. 1ray

    1ray Fire Starter

    Whitch way did you put the fire grate in the cc I can't tell by your pick
  18. upside down and long ways. 
  19. jburn244

    jburn244 Fire Starter

    Well I loaded up my cooker to the max for the first time yesterday, 9 racks of spares trimmed down to St. Louis plus most of the rib tips and skirt meat cut into chunks. The Pecos cooked like a champ. Most everything was cooked evenly even though I had to use rib racks. Great color all around, and still moist even though I didn't foil. I had'nt not foiled in a long time and now I kind of remember why I used to not ever do it. I kind of liked the texture and definitely the color more letting them ride through the smoke. No bitter taste at all so I guess that's a testament to my clean fire!! Took about as much wood as I had budgeted but I did have to add a few fistfuls of charcoal to keep my coal bed going. I could tell the full cooker was was impacting the fire.

    Nothing real sequential here just some randoms:

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  20. 1ray

    1ray Fire Starter

    Do any of you pecos have trouble controlling the temps in your pit ? I can get it set around 225 and walk away for 30 min and it will be 325 to 350 so bump the intake very little check in 30 min and it is 175 the stack is wide open any help would be appreciated .I can post picks if yall need to see all the mod I have done. I am also using a maverick temp gage.

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