Old Country BBQ Pits Pecos Owners Thread

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

  1. thmoker

    thmoker Fire Starter

    I don't use a basket for charcoal but I can see that it works well for others so it's worth a try. I decided against using the firebox grate (the one that slides in over the coals, meant for grilling) because it seemed to sit too high. The thin one that comes with the grill is useless...I turned it over and used it in the cooking chamber to baffle the heat toward the center of the grill. It works Ok for that purpose, but I really need tuning plates made. I actually use an old Hibachi grill grate in mine because it fit just right. There is about 1.5" of space between grate and bottom of firebox.

    There is no one best way to do anything. What works for some may not work for others. Tonight it took my grill about 1 hr to get up to temp and now I have about 15 more degrees before my tri-tip comes off. Back at it tomorrow with 2 Boston butts....good luck with keeping that temp right!
  2. slimc

    slimc Smoke Blower

    What size did you pecos owners use for tuning plates? I saw dimensions for wrangler but not pecos thanks
  3. slimc

    slimc Smoke Blower

    After looking at what you've all been doing this is what I have so far for modifying me pecos smoker. I've yet to use it after these mods

  4. jburn244

    jburn244 Fire Starter

    I didn't have any luck with a charcoal basket and the minion method. I think I have a couple posts about it in this thread. In short, I couldn't choke the fire off enough to slow the burn down but also keep the proper draft through the cooker. Just too much air in the firebox and not a good way to stop it.

    The stock charcoal grate worked for me for a while as makeshift tuning plates but then I went for the real thing. I think I went with 4x14, and did 1/4" cold rolled steel. I got 5 and they only cost me $25 from a 'metal by the foot' type place. They work nicely. But you don't really need them unless you are filling up the cooker. If it's just 1 rack of ribs or a couple shoulders just pick a side and roll with it. 

    But in the end airflow is key. This cooker needs air to draft properly, and that might mean a little more fuel in the end, but the fire will be cleaner. The color you get from smoke burning is almost worth it alone.

    I got basically the same grate as you did from Home Depot. It seems to work pretty good.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  5. slimc

    slimc Smoke Blower

    Here is the nomex I added today. I'll report back after I smoked on it to see how much it affects temps.

  6. Added two new gauges at grate level
  7. Added two new gauges at grate level
    Sorry sould not get pics to up load. I am enjoying htis thread very much....I have 4 tuning plates 1/4"x4"x15". I am wondering where to palce them to get started ..from fire box to chimney...in the middle spaced out or fom chimney to fire box,no sure. Did some hams this weekend one at FB was great but the smaller one had a little too much smoke
    a little bitter not sure what happened there,,,,How is best way to keep from too much smoke and keep heat up.any comments will be greatly appreciated ..I am a newbe
  8. jburn244

    jburn244 Fire Starter

    Start with a plate close to the baffle, say 1/2 inch or so, and then space the other three out in small, but increasing increments next to each other. It takes some playing with to get it just right.

    If you are getting too much smoke flavor you might just have too much smoke. Your fire should be clean, meaning getting a lot of air. I rarely run the inlet damper smaller than 1/2 or 3/4 open. Chimney always 100% open. You should only see thin, blue smoke if any at all. You should see almost clear heat coming out. If you see white billowing smoke your fire needs more air. 

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  9. Thanks so much .. I will try your suggestion in about two days got to do butts for my granddaughters wedding
  10. buttburner

    buttburner Meat Mopper

    Another thing when you are playing with the tuning plates is after you make an adjustment, give it plenty of time to react.

    May take an hour or 2 or even more, if you don't you will be chasing your tail and the temps

    I know, it happened to me
  11. jburn244

    jburn244 Fire Starter

    Yeah the plates work well but they take some fiddling with to get placed just right. They are kind of a pain also if you move your cooker around (I keep mine in my garage) since there isn't a good way to keep them in place aside from welding I guess. I originally didn't want to pop for one of Horizon's convection plates but I may end up trying it eventually. Just much easier to drop in and out if I need it. Sometimes the different heat zones you get without any kind of plates works to your advantage.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  12. In my Pecos I have 4 - 1/4" x 4" x 15 3/4" hope this helps
  13. slimc

    slimc Smoke Blower

    OK so I added my tuning plates, still need to play with them temps are varying left to right. I still had a real hard time keeping temps up. A couple of notes

    1. I started with 2 chimneys of charcoal. This got temps nice for getting my initial wood real hot, but the ash from the charcoal seems like it just chokes my fire, not enough air.

    2. the first pic below is the only way I can keep temps up and fire going, if I close the door at all even with the flu open the fire dies down. I learned to have the wind toward my FB and it helped alot.

    3. I bought post oak online in large splits, they were not seasoned enough and too large, wouldn't catch fire easily, I had to keep adding small pieces of random twigs to keep fire hot to burn the post oak I was using.

    4. I think i'm going to ditch the charcoal basket next time and charcoal, only use small wood to get my ember bed. It took me 2 hours of constantly keeping on the fire until the charcoal was gone and I started using real small pieces of wood that burned hot. Once I started using small wood and adding my oak splits on top the fire was finally hot and clean. I'm learning a little more every time I use it

    5. the tuning plates helped with temp rebound and the nomex tape was amazing at fixing my leak issues with the cock eyed doors on my smoker which had big gaps.

  14. buttburner

    buttburner Meat Mopper

    good idea about getting rid of the basket and going all wood. that will help

    lets see some pics of how you have the plates situated please

    its possible you have too many and its choking off the air flow causing you not to maintain a flame with the firebox door closed

    I know this from experience!!!
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  15. jburn244

    jburn244 Fire Starter

    Yeah I would for sure try and cut down your splits. 7-10" seems to work pretty well, sometimes I'll just add them two at a time. If you aren't already, do preheat your wood top of the firebox. That should help. Even then you are still looking at a split or 2 every 40-45 minutes with this cooker. 

    A good coal bed is the ticket. Still learning how to keep it consistent. 
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  16. I smoked 4 butts the other day(raining yuck)they came out great..but I had to move the around. I was about 250° at the fire box side.and about 210° at the chimney side.I have 4 tuning plates in the cooking chamber..which way do Imove them to raise the heat at the chimney side..going from the FB to the chimney side> one is about 1/2" over the defelector plate the others are about 1/4" to 1/2 " spaced to the chimney.But still a litte cooler at the chimney side HELP!
  17. jburn244

    jburn244 Fire Starter

    Where do you have your inlet damper set? How about chimney? Sounds like you probably need to space them out a little larger as you get closer to the stack side to let more heat through.
  18. I have the chimney open all the way and the FB damper 1/2 open
  19. jburn244

    jburn244 Fire Starter

    Sounds about right, you probably need to just space them out a little more as you get closer to the stack side. Takes some fiddling with. Again I'm still thinking about popping for one of the Horizon convection plates.
  20. Thanks for the suggestion I will do that..wasnot sure on spacing..Have a great holiday

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