View Full Version : Old Country Over/Under Newbie Questions

12-12-2017, 11:46 AM
Hi all! Been browsing this forum for a few years but here goes my first post..."First time caller...Long time listener".

I am fairly new to the smoking game but it has become my favorite hobby. I have a Char-Griller duo with the firebox that I have been using for a while now. I've been a charcoal and woodchip smoker so this will be my first experience going with primarily wood.

My wife has let me pick out a new smoker for Christmas. I've had my eye on the Over/Under for a few years now and pulled the trigger. I ordered it as my local Academy's had all their over/under's on display..filled with trash or rusting outside. So I paid for the shipping and it will arrive at my doorstep on Wed. Dec. 20. I'll keep the Duo for grilling.

I've read a lot about the O/U on this forum and another, watched the youtube video's etc but am looking for best practices from the pro's on here. I understand that these are subjective questions...

1-When you season the smoker is there an oil that would be best to use? And WD-40 on the outside?

2-Is there a good place to look for wood? I primarily use apple and cherry with some occasional hickory from time to time...I just bought some bags of logs at Academy but don't know if there is a primary place you guys get yours.

3-When starting the initial charcoal...in a chimney or in the firebox...or does it matter.

4-Are there any "Best Practices" for using the O/U? Old Country doesn't seem to offer up any.

5-Anything else you guys can offer up to a newbie on both wood smoking and the over/under.

Thanks! Looking forward to posting some pics in the future!

12-12-2017, 12:08 PM
The fire grate doesn’t have enough slits for ash to fall and it will warp. Best to brace it with angle and add slots or cut Center out and add 2 layers of expanded metal cross crossed. It will work as is but you will have to move ash around and stoke fire more but it will warp or twist. Bludawg said he likes a fire dead center, intake 1/2 to full open and exhaust 3/4 to full. Some use WD 40 on outside but most don’t. You can use cooking oils on outside as it cools after a cook but sometimes it makes it sticky. Most just wire wheel , treat with metal rust preventer/conditioner and repaint as needed.


Most of use buy wood off Craigslist

12-12-2017, 12:09 PM


12-12-2017, 12:18 PM



12-12-2017, 12:37 PM
Thanks! I've watched a number of the Mad Scientist BBQ videos...Is that you?

12-12-2017, 01:16 PM
Thanks! I've watched a number of the Mad Scientist BBQ videos...Is that you?


12-12-2017, 06:15 PM
1- Like Smitty says, some folks use canola or peanut oil on the outside, as with the inside, to season it. I would not use WD-40.
2- Best method is to buy hickory, pecan, oak, etc., by the rick or half rick; the expensive route is to buy it at Academy or BBQ's Galore, particularly if you're not smoking that frequently.
3- Use a chimney if you need to use it to start the fire, or just pour in the firebox and hit it with the weed burner.
4 & 5- I don't know that smoker. But my experience with offset stick burners is to start with the air intake and outlet fully open. Try to manage the fire and temp by putting in more wood/less wood; you can even cut the wood up into smaller chunks to make that more manageable. If the fire nonetheless gets too hot and you must adjust to lower the temp, close only the input a little at a time to bring the temp down. I try never to close the outlet because I find choking it back in that fashion causes creosote and bad smoke, which gets on the food.

Good luck, it will take you a few cooks to learn how to manage a consistent fire and temp in your smoker, but that's the fun stuff!

12-13-2017, 09:30 AM
I keep a supply of different size splits on hand, makes it easier to maintain my target temp in my over and under. I bought the cheap gauges from Academy, but about all they're good for is to tell if I have the fire centered up good and temps are even from side to side. Back when it was warm out, they would run about 50 degrees cooler than my grate probe, now that it's cold out they're all over the place.

I got mine back in July and started by trying to stay within 50 degrees of my target temp and can hit it pretty easy now and stay within 15-30 degrees once I get it stabilized.

When I add a split, I keep the firebox door open just long enough for the new wood to ignite and almost stop smoking, then close it and leave the clean out door on the side open until I I get thin blue coming out of the stacks. I can then usually close it, set the intake vents at about half and keep the stack vents about a quarter to a third of the way open, depending on how windy it is. I've found that this is the best way to minimize temp spikes and have never had over smoked or creosote on my food. If anything, I wish it would give food a more smokey taste.

It's a $500 smoker. It's not a Shirley or a Lang. It's made out of thinner metal and it's going to leak.

I don't get hung up on it and let it leak. The firebox is plenty big enough to overcome this.

I agree that the fire grate needs some work, but it hasn't forced me to do anything about it yet. Every once in awhile I just reach in through the clean out door with a pair of tongs and bang it around some to knock some of the ashes through. I'll make a new one one of these days.

The quality control still wasn't the best when I got mine, had to make some adjustments so the grates would slide easily and had a weld break on one of the fire box hinges.

I would've recommended that you pick out one from the store that had the best looking welds and such, and not worry about small stuff like rust. At least you'd know what you're getting.

Overall, I love mine, it does everything I need it to do.

Here's hoping you get a good one!

12-13-2017, 10:24 AM
Some pics.

12-13-2017, 05:13 PM
That’s all fantastic stuff. Thank you! The wife...who paid for it...made me order it. So I’m not complaining about not being able to pick it out. Have always wanted a wood smoker, looking forward to many days of dialing it in and making good Q.