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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 10-06-2011, 09:39 AM   #1
Dave Russell
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Default Old Country 20" "Pecos.." offset at Academy?

Any of you folks got any experience or opinions yet on these $400 20" offsets at Academy Sports?

http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/st...smoker&Ntk=All
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Unread 10-06-2011, 10:01 AM   #2
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My wife bought me one 2 years ago for my b/d. I like the quality and for the price it's hard to get a better deal.The only mod i have made was to make a charcoal basket.
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Unread 10-06-2011, 10:27 AM   #3
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I'm not familiar with that particular model, but my first smoker was an offset, and I hated it. Hindsight being what it is I would have been much better off with a WSM.

I had a hard time regulating the heat in my offset, and it seemed that no matter what fuel I used (briquettes, lump or firewood) I always had to babysit it. The grates closest to the firebox always cooked hotter and it was a flat out mess to clean afterwards. These things plus it's big and heavy and was a pain to move around (not enough room on my patio).

I'm 100 times happier with my new WSM.
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Unread 10-06-2011, 10:37 AM   #4
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I like them. I bought a OK Joe from Academy 5+ years ago, before they began carring the Old Country models. If I recall the Old Country already has a small heat shield/diverter near the fire box. I had to add one to my OK Joe. The stack comes to grate level !! I had to extend my OK Joe stack down to the grate.
In other words, the Old Country comes equipped with the mods you'd need to make to the OK Joe model.

I've never used an Old Country, but it looks like it's a great first smoker.

Now onto to the 'offset dilemma'. Offsets are very TRADITIONAL smokers. While each smoker is different, offsets generally require feeding more often than the UDS/WSW crowd likes. So it's good for say ribs (4-5 hour cook), but they're lousy for butts and briskets on long 10+ hour cooks.

I have both. my OK Joe for ribs and a UDS style for Butts and brisket.


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Unread 10-06-2011, 10:53 AM   #5
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i stopped at academy and took a peak at the old countrys. this was when i was interesting in gettin a custom old country. for 400 they really are well built. in that price range while i was shopping i didnt see any good comparitable pits.
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Unread 10-06-2011, 01:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kings over Queens View Post
I'm not familiar with that particular model, but my first smoker was an offset, and I hated it. Hindsight being what it is I would have been much better off with a WSM.

I had a hard time regulating the heat in my offset, and it seemed that no matter what fuel I used (briquettes, lump or firewood) I always had to babysit it. The grates closest to the firebox always cooked hotter and it was a flat out mess to clean afterwards. These things plus it's big and heavy and was a pain to move around (not enough room on my patio).

I'm 100 times happier with my new WSM.
Happy for ya, and I know where you're coming from since I've had two cheap offsets and now do most of my bbq on a wsm. However, as much as I like my wsm, I've never been able to duplicate the smoke flavor that I can get off a stickburner. Of course, I want a better rib cooker, too. While stickburning for thin blue smoke in offsets is quite "hands on", it's my favorite way to bbq if I have the time.
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Unread 10-06-2011, 02:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpmc View Post
Offsets are very TRADITIONAL smokers. While each smoker is different, offsets generally require feeding more often than the UDS/WSW crowd likes. So it's good for say ribs (4-5 hour cook), but they're lousy for butts and briskets on long 10+ hour cooks.

I have both. my OK Joe for ribs and a UDS style for Butts and brisket.


Mark
Thanks, Mark. As I stated in my previous post, I'm well aware of the time and attention involved with offsets. I don't have any intentions of baby-sitting an offset all day or night, unless the weather was perfect and I had some help. However, it will certainly be nice for getting really good smoke on my butts and briskets before transferring to the wsm for the long haul.

I'll stick to cooking my low-n-slow chicken leg quarters on my wsm. I can get twenty pounds on using an extra rack and it's quite remarkable how even the cook goes. Ribs will be a lot more fun on a 20" offset, though; that's for sure.
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Unread 10-06-2011, 03:16 PM   #8
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The Pecos isn't a bad deal at $400, but the Brazos model they had for $999 was a much more substantial smoker. I was going to buy myself one for my birthday, but my local store was out. The manager said they would call me when they got some more in, but I never heard back from him. Meanwhile, the Brazos has disappeared from both the Academy and Old Country web sites. I emailed the manufacturer and asked what the deal was, but got no reply.
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Unread 10-06-2011, 03:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Turtle View Post
The Pecos isn't a bad deal at $400, but the Brazos model they had for $999 was a much more substantial smoker. I was going to buy myself one for my birthday, but my local store was out. The manager said they would call me when they got some more in, but I never heard back from him. Meanwhile, the Brazos has disappeared from both the Academy and Old Country web sites. I emailed the manufacturer and asked what the deal was, but got no reply.
I had to make a wood stop at an Academy down in Tuscaloosa AL. on the way down to the Labor day weekend family reunion. Anyhow, this particular store had over twice the smokers that our's up here in Nashville have, including the Brazos, and they even had a poster up with other Old Country pits they could order.

I noticed though that most of them aren't on Academy's website, but I'm curious about the new one that's gonna be for $599. I don't think there's any info on the website yet, other than than that it has TWO smoking chamber lids and is #400 pounds, #50 heavier than the Pecos. The site said that info and a pic would be "coming soon."

Know how long the Pecos smoking chamber is?
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Unread 10-06-2011, 04:21 PM   #10
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Honestly. Once u get up to 599 u might as well go to old countrys site and get one of those. They r more heavy duty than the ones at academy. They r much better made. They do jump up but if u don't need shipping u can get one for bout 800-1000. Check out the "all American" on their site. Made from 3/16 steel.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 05:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Turtle View Post
The Pecos isn't a bad deal at $400, but the Brazos model they had for $999 was a much more substantial smoker. I was going to buy myself one for my birthday, but my local store was out. The manager said they would call me when they got some more in, but I never heard back from him. Meanwhile, the Brazos has disappeared from both the Academy and Old Country web sites. I emailed the manufacturer and asked what the deal was, but got no reply.
Agreed. Pass on the Pecos and shell out for the Brazos. If your store has both you will see and feel the difference immediately. Brazos has to be twice as heavy so will retain heat much longer. If not 1/4" steel has to be close to it. I got a 1/4" offset in the summer and got rid of all my other toys including my WSM. Love stick burning. Yes, it's more work but I've never made better BBQ in my life.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 08:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireChief View Post
Agreed. Pass on the Pecos and shell out for the Brazos. If your store has both you will see and feel the difference immediately. Brazos has to be twice as heavy so will retain heat much longer. If not 1/4" steel has to be close to it. I got a 1/4" offset in the summer and got rid of all my other toys including my WSM. Love stick burning. Yes, it's more work but I've never made better BBQ in my life.
Firechief, don't know if the Brazos will even be available any longer, but if spending a grand I'll probably hold out for a small-ish trailered rig off craigslist. For some reason, unlike in Texas especially, there's plenty of craigs-listed trailered rigs here in the midsouth but decent used backyard pits are few and far between. If memory serves, I saw the Brazos in the Tuscaloosa Academy and it's probably 3/16ths like the All-American pits that Old Country sells. I can't get a stickburner until next year anyway though, (Lord willing), since my daughter is getting married in December. Just looking now, and $400 is the best price I've seen so far for a 350 lb. 20" offset, whatever thickness it is.

As to your last couple of comments, I can really appreciate your perspective, and that's why I'm going back to stickburning. However, I won't get rid of my wsm. I've read here and elsewhere of guys really happy with getting good stickburning smoke on butts/briskets for a while and then "setting and forgetting" on the wsm for the rest of the day/night. Chicken on the wsm and ribs off the offset sounds like a great bbq plan, too.

Thanks for your input. Much appreciated.
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