Old Country BBQ Pits Wrangler Smoker Review

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by lphamilton1, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Hey Ed, thanks for your service to our country.  I agree with you...Lance started a great thread here, and we've gotten a lot of info from a lot of folks.  I've learned so much about stickburning in the past two weeks, and learned a lot from this one thread.  It is FUN! 

    So, did you end up getting that custom-made smoker in Uvalde?  Or, did you get an Old Country?  I don't think you could go wrong with either one.  That sounded like a great price on the custom job.  If I could've found a custom made 1/4" smoker in the Tyler area, I would've jumped on it.  But, I couldn't and needed delivery, so I got the Wrangler...and love it. 

    I ordered mine online, as the Tyler Academy was out of them...the one I looked at was in Texarkana.  Would you believe Academy flew that smoker from Georgia to Dallas.  Then, had a trucking company deliver it to my house from Dallas...and I live a good hour and a half to two hours from Dallas.  The shipping cost me $89...but no-telling what it cost Academy.  :)  It was bolted down on a pallet, and all wrapped up with that black shrink wrap stuff...and didn't have a ding anywhere.  No bad welds, nothing.  I know...I got lucky, as I could tell a big difference in some of the ones I looked at in Texarkana.  The ONLY thing is the bolt that holds the firebox vent in the back...they put it on too loose, so it's hard to adjust the vent.  And, with it being welded and no adjustment, I will have to cut it off and then put a normal bolt on it, so I can tighten it down.
  2. MickHLR,

    I actually decided to order mine from Yoder up in Hutchinson, KS. They have an entry level offset smoker called the Cheyenne which fits my needs. I already have their pellet smoker which is the YS480. It is also a 1/4 inch steel. Uvalde makes a good smoker but I would have to wait 8 weeks. In the mean time, Yoder will be shipping mine on the June 18th. They are a very good company and have been around a very long time, made in America. Fit and finish is very nice. I am looking forward to going through the process just like you. I already bought a gallon of peanut oil to begin the seasoning process.

    Thank you for you service.


  3. shark180

    shark180 Newbie

    I just bought the same pit at Academy also. I found one with a poor finish on the top (looks like a sticker of some sort was taken off improperly) so Academy dropped $200 off price and threw in a thermometer. This pit had been on the show room for about 6 months with no takers at 10% discount. After showing it to the manager, Mike, he gave me this great price.

    I just smoked / grilled some chicken breasts and whole jalapenos using a couple of hickory sticks. Considering I'm new to cooking on a small off-set smoker, it came out pretty good. Great smoked flavor but it got a little over cooked due to the experimenting with the temperature. I haven't checked the temp differences in the box yet, but it was easy to control and seems to burn wood good & slow.

  4. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Shark180...Wow!!  What a great price for a Wrangler!!  I think you'll have fun though.

    I have the same problem playing with the temps.  And, my first smoke was much better than my second.  Maybe I got a little cocky when my tenderloin, sausage/jalapeno roll, and sausages were so good.  Next thing I tried ribs and a whole chicken.  Ribs were always my specialty.  However, I either smoked them too long, or my fire stayed too hot, because they were over-cooked.  I tried the 2-2-1 method with baby backs at 275*, and they still tasted good, but a little dry, and just not what I was used to putting out with my old GOSM.  I put the chicken on when I covered the ribs, and it turned out very good.  So, trial and error...I'm confident my next ribs will be better.  Still debating on trying a brisket tomorrow...or ribs again. 
  5. I bought a Wrangler and had it delivered. Academy's store delivery was $85 but on-line the delivery was $35.Even though we bought it on-line in the store. Go Figure.
  6. I bought an adjustable width grill and wrapped it in foil. Fit over the baffle and lengthwise almost to the chimney. I ended up poking holes in the foil to let more heat through as I was cooking - it's still a work in prograss. It made a nice place to set the drip pan.
  7. Purchased my smoker on Wednesday, cooked with it on the 4th. I couldn't get my temp above 175. I started fire with coal added three sticks of hickory another 2 after about two hours but temp never got above 175. What can I do to resolve this?
  8. Wht type of cooker do you have, my advice is to openall dampers, to smoke chamber and fire box
  9. grillin_all_day

    grillin_all_day Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    That's very strange. I use lump charcoal to get a coal bed and then add a Western mini log and have had no problems maintain temps between 225-275 or higher.  In fact, there's been a few times where I've had to cut a split in half to keep the temps from climbing too high.  How big are the splits you're using?  Are you taking temps with the therm. on the door, or at grate level?  I have a 25 degree difference between the therm. I installed on the door versus grate level.  As mentioned though, keep the exhaust dampener wide open, and try running your dampener on the sfb wide open.  
  10. try this it worked on mine great! i removed the slotted plate and i cut a piece of expanded steel to raise the fire about 4 inches. i was having a problem with mine till i did this. now it does better then when i had my basket in there i would post pics but i have no camera atm. btw im using a old country ranch hand. its a bit smaller and only 1/8" thick but it helped tremendously. plus i can remove it when i need to grill something on the sfb. i start my fired with royal oak  lump then after my coal bed is established well i switch to straight pecan splits about fist size. (btw splitting pecan is a royal pain is the asteroid!) 
  11. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    What size splits do you use? I'm going to buy a Wrangler Friday night and am looking for pre-split wood. I'm seeing a lot in the 15-17 in range and am wondering if that is too long.

    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  12. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    kingt36, that's about the size of my fireplace post oak, and I use a lot of it to smoke with in my Wrangler...I just cut it down to about half that size.  I'm still playing with mine and getting better each day.  But, with enough adult beverages, it is fun! 

    Below are some spare ribs I smoked this weekend.  They were amazing!  WAY better than my first rib try on this new smoker.  Smoked ‘em at about 250* for 3 hours…took ‘em off wrapped ‘em tight in foil, with a strip of brown sugar, honey, and butter on each side in the foil.  Put ‘em back on the smoker for 2 more hours in the foil.  Took ‘em out of the foil, glazed with my homemade BBQ sauce, and put back on the smoker for about 45 minutes…turning a few times to just get that perfect glaze.  They turned out pretty danged good…look at that smoke ring.  Very tender, very juicy…cut like butter, but weren’t falling apart from being too done, as they say on Barbeque Pit Masters.  J   I actually did ‘em just like I’ve seen them do on the show, and I’d never wrapped ‘em with the butter, brown sugar, and honey before…but will from now, on.  I think I used to always over-cook them, as I always cooked my ribs low and slow until they were falling apart…didn’t know you weren’t supposed to.  But, then again, I didn’t know you could get them this tender, unless they were falling apart.  LOL!!

    kingt36 likes this.
  13. Mine's a little on the cool side too - it's a problem I've never encountered. I think I have it resolved by keeping the chimney wide open and leaving the damper vent on the door open. I keep adding wood so there is always a flame. I don't think just a bed of coals is hot enough. I'm going to add some bricks as a heat sink on my next cook this Friday. It's cook #3 and brisket #2.

    I plan on perfecting this even if it takes every weekend for years to come.
  14. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper


    Thanks for that...would you think that a 5 1/2 or 6 inch split is too short, or would you just use 3 at a time instead of 2?

    Those ribs look mighty tasty! I need to know more about this butter, brown sugar and honey mix...
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  15. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    kingt36, I've used shorter splits, and longer splits, with no problems...I'm by no means an expert on these stick burners, but getting better every day.  And, I don't think it makes a lot of difference if you have a good bed of coals.  I still have a problem every time I add a stick...and it usually takes 10 minutes to get back to normal.  But, I either get it too hot for a few minutes, or get thick white smoke when not giving it enough air. 

    LOL!!  On the butter, brown sugar, and honey...I've seen 'em do that on Barbeque Pitmasters when they wrap 'em...so, I thought I'd try it.  Just run a strip of brown sugar down the foil, about as long as your rib, then I went down and back on that brown sugar with honey, then did the same thing with squeeze butter.  Put a rib in the foil...and did the same thing on the up side of rib.  Then, wrapped 'em up tight in the foil.  If you like sweet-tasting ribs, this is how you get that sweet taste...they were awesome! 

    Hey, here's a link to the first brisket I got lucky with on this thing:  http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/143571/new-old-country-wrangler-smoker-first-brisket#post_1007616

    You can see in the pics the different sizes of my pecan splits that I used on this brisket.  And, I have to say it was the best brisket I've ever smoked. 
    kingt36 likes this.
  16. grillin_all_day

    grillin_all_day Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I'm not sure how well you can see the splits, but those are the size I usually use and have not had any issues with temps.  If I throw two on, I have issues w/ the temps being too hot.  I'll throw one of those one, leave the door open for about 5-10 mins w/ no heat loss and to avoid excessive white smoke, leave the exhaust dampener wide open.  When I close the door, I'll adjust the SFB vent open to about a quarter of the way open and can maintain 225-275 degree temps with ease.

    On a side note, if you feel you're getting too much white smoke, try keeping a couple of splits on your SFB to dry them out a little before throwing them in.  I had an issue w/ the kilned dried wood I was using because of the humidity here in LA.  Tried doing that and it helped a little.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
    kingt36 likes this.
  17. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    Good stuff!
  18. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    I've got someone cutting some splits for me in the 9 to 12 inch range..I'm planning to pick them and the smoker up on Friday...if it's not raining all day Saturday, I'll get it seasoned then..
  19. Hi, enjoyed your comments on the Wrangler pit. I purchased one last week for July 4th and really like it. I'm interested in you idea to add the plates for more even heat distribution.  I see the dimensions you provided but was trying to visualize how you laid them out in the pit.  I suppose given they are ~15" long you put them end to end in the pit from the firebox over to the stack side and left a gap between the plates?  Is that about right?

    kingt36 likes this.
  20. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    Hey grillin_all_day, looks like I'm using about the same size splits as you are in my Wrangler.  But, I think you just told me my problem whenever I add a stick of wood.  When you say "...throw one of those on, leave the door open for about 5-10 mins..." that's what I haven't been doing.  I always leave my exhaust wide open.  But, when I add a stick of wood, I've been adding it from the top (keep that firebox grate out) and maybe leave it open for a minute, as most of the time my splits start burning quickly.  And, I adjust my air input by opening it a little.  But, every time I either get it too hot for 10-15 minutes, or I get white smoke for 10 minutes or so.  It may not be that long...but I'm a perfectionist, and it sure seems that long before it stabilizes again.  :)   Now, when you say "leave the door open" are you talking about the top door to the firebox?  Or, are you talking about the end door where the inlet vent is?  Either way, sounds like I'm not leaving mine open long enough when I add a stick.

    Talking about doors, brings up another question:  Is your nut holding your intake damper vent too loose?  Mine is entirely too loose, and it's hard to get the vent to stay in the same position I want it.  The problem is the dang nut is welded on to the bolt.  I need to cut it off and put my own bolt and nut on there, so it will be tighter and stay in position.  My son has an Old Country Pecos, and his is the same as mine. 

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