Old Country Wrangler Vs. Wrangler II Backyard Smoker

If you’re in the market for a new backyard smoker, two popular models you may be considering are the Old Country Wrangler and the Wrangler II from Old Country BBQ Pits.

But what exactly are the differences between these two smokers, and which one is better for you?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the size, build quality, features, cooking space, and price of the Old Country Wrangler versus the Wrangler II. We’ll also overview pros and cons of each smoker to help you decide which model best fits your backyard barbecue needs.

A Brief Comparison Table

SpecsOld Country WranglerOld Country Wrangler II
Cooking Surface915 sq. in992 sq. in
Dimensions45.5” x 26.5” x 45.5”57” x 33” x 57”
Steel Thickness1/4-inch1/4-inch
Weight205 lbs340 lbs
Firebox Size17” x 17”20” x 20”

Overview of the Old Country Wrangler Smoker

The Old Country Wrangler is a classic offset smoker design made from heavy gauge steel. It provides a decent 915 square inches of primary cooking space in the main chamber. The firebox is located on the side for indirect heat cooking.

Here are some key features and specifications of the Old Country Wrangler smoker:

Old Country Wrangler Smoker
  • Cooking Area: 915 square inches
  • Dimensions: 45.5″ x 26.5″ x 45.5″
  • Weight: 205 lbs
  • Firebox Size: 17″ x 17″
  • Heavy gauge steel construction
  • Offset firebox for indirect cooking
  • Larger models available

The Wrangler has a simple but effective design perfect for everyday backyard smoking.

It’s crafted from thick 1/4-inch steel to hold heat well and last for years.

The offset firebox lets you easily add charcoal and wood for smoking, while keeping the heat source away from the main cooking chamber.

Many users comment on the excellent heat retention and temperature regulation of the Wrangler smoker. Its hefty build quality helps it maintain steady temperatures for hours on end. You can routinely smoke meats low and slow at 225-275°F once you get the hang of managing the airflow.

Overview of the Old Country Wrangler II Smoker

The Wrangler II is very similar to the original Wrangler, but with a few extra upgrades. It provides a bit more cooking space at 992 square inches in the main chamber.

Here are some key specs and features of the Old Country Wrangler II smoker:

  • Cooking Area: 992 square inches
  • Dimensions: 57″ x 33″ x 57″
  • Weight: 340 lbs
  • Firebox Size: 20″ x 20″
  • Heavy gauge steel construction
  • Larger offset firebox
  • Additional cooking racks
  • Thermometer on hood

As you can see, the Wrangler II offers a larger main cooking chamber and bigger firebox compared to the original Wrangler. It also comes with additional racks, providing more usable cooking surface.

The most noticeable upgrade is the heavier 1/4-inch thick steel construction. The Wrangler II weighs in at a hefty 340 pounds, giving it tremendous heat retention. The cooking chamber does an excellent job of maintaining steady low and slow smoking temperatures.

Just like the original, the Wrangler II utilizes an offset firebox for indirect smoking. Overall, it offers a little more cooking flexibility compared to the Wrangler.

Key Differences Between Old Country Wrangler And Wrangler II Smokers

  • Heat Retention and Temperature Performance

One of the most important performance considerations for any smoker is its ability to retain heat and maintain steady temperatures. This allows you to precisely control smoking for hours at low temperatures like 225°F.

Old Country Wrangler II Smoker
Old Country Wrangler II Smoker

The heavier steel construction of both the Wrangler and Wrangler II provides excellent heat retention.

However, the Wrangler II’s beefier 1/4-inch steel gives it an edge for temperature stability.

The Wrangler II’s larger 340-pound body simply retains heat energy more effectively.

Many users mention they can easily maintain +/- 10°F temperature fluctuations or less when smoking low and slow. This level of precision is hard to beat for perfectly smoked meats.

The Wrangler is no slouch either though. Its 1/4-inch steel still provides decent heat retention for steady smoking. You may just have to account for slightly larger temperature swings as the thinner 205-pound body won’t hold heat as consistently.

But it can absolutely handle low and slow smoking when managed properly.

  • Ease of Use

Both the Wrangler and Wrangler II smokers have a similar ease of use thanks to their classic offset smoker design. The side-mounted firebox makes it simple to add charcoal and wood chunks for indirect cooking and smoking.

The Wrangler II does have a few extra convenience features that improve the overall user experience. The built-in thermometer in the lid lets you easily monitor cooking chamber temperature.

The additional racks also provide more flexibility for arranging food.

The larger Wrangler II can be a little trickier to maneuver thanks to its extra size and weight. But overall, both smokers are straightforward to operate for beginners and smoking veterans alike.

Consistent temperature control simply comes down to practice no matter which model you choose.

  • Durability and Construction

A high-quality backyard smoker needs to hold up to year after year of heavy usage and outdoor exposure. The thick steel construction of both the Old Country Wrangler and Wrangler II means they can take anything you throw at them.

The 1/4-inch steel cooking chamber, lid, and firebox are built like tanks. Owners mention these smokers can easily last over a decade with proper care and maintenance.

The heavier build of the 340-pound Wrangler II gives it a slight edge for long-term durability. The thicker metal can resist damage from bumps and weather degradation better over time.

But both smokers are undeniably crafted to last. Many customers consistently praise the Old Country brand for making affordable smokers that still feel commercial-grade.

  • Cooking Area Size

The Wrangler II offers a slightly larger cooking surface at 992 square inches compared to the 915 square inches of the standard Wrangler.

Those extra 77 square inches give you a bit more flexibility when cooking for larger gatherings. You can smoke a few more racks of ribs or an additional pork butt thanks to the increased capacity.

But the standard Wrangler still provides ample space at 915 square inches to handle backyard cooking demands. You can comfortably smoke around 5 racks of ribs or 3-4 pork butts for serving large groups.

So while the Wrangler II has more total cooking capacity, the standard Wrangler is still no slouch. Unless you routinely need to smoke large quantities of food, the original model has plenty of usable area for most purposes.

  • Price and Value

When comparing the price of the Old Country Wrangler vs. Wrangler II, the standard Wrangler is clearly the more budget-friendly option.

The Old Country Wrangler can be found for around $600-800. The Wrangler II is priced closer to $1,000-1,200 brand new.

For the higher price tag, the Wrangler II provides extra size, thicker construction, and increased durability. For many grillers, those upgrades justify the added cost for a smoker built to last a lifetime.

But the standard Wrangler still represents an incredible value at its lower price point. It can deliver the same flavorful smoking results with nearly the same heavy-duty build. And it still has plenty of cooking capacity for most backyard needs.

So the Wrangler II may make sense if you demand the very best construction. But the standard Wrangler remains the best bang for your buck if you want great performance without overspending.

Pros and Cons of the Old Country Wrangler Smoker


Old Country Wrangler Offset Smoker
Old Country Wrangler Offset Smoker
  • Excellent heat retention from 1/4-inch steel
  • Holds steady low smoking temperatures
  • Large 915 square inch cooking surface
  • Offset firebox for indirect cooking
  • Classic and durable construction
  • More affordable price point


  • Temperature regulation takes practice
  • Less cooking space than Wrangler II
  • Prone to larger temperature swings
  • Can be difficult to transport

Pros and Cons of the Old Country Wrangler II Smoker


  • Unparalleled heat retention from 340 lbs of steel
  • Maintains precise smoking temp control
  • Very large 992 square inch cooking surface
  • Heavy-duty construction built to last
  • Additional racks provide more cooking flexibility


  • One of the more expensive offset smokers
  • Bulkier size and weight
  • Overkill capacity for smaller smoking jobs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How big is the Old Country Wrangler?

The Old Country Wrangler has dimensions of 45.5” wide x 26.5” deep x 45.5” tall. The total cooking surface is 915 square inches.

How thick is the steel in Old Country Pecos?

The Old Country Pecos smoker is constructed from 1/8-inch thick steel. This is thinner than the 1/4-inch steel used in the heavier Wrangler and Wrangler II smokers.

How thick is the metal on the Old Country Wrangler?

The Old Country Wrangler smoker is handcrafted from thick 1/4-inch steel for maximum heat retention. This allows it to precisely maintain low smoking temperatures.

How thick are old country smokers?

Old Country smokers are known for their thick, heavy-duty steel construction. The Wrangler and Wrangler II use an extra-thick 1/4-inch steel for excellent durability. Other lighter models like the Pecos use 1/8-inch steel but are still high quality.

The Verdict

When choosing between the Old Country Wrangler vs Wrangler II smokers, the Wrangler II is the clear winner if you demand the absolute best construction and temperature precision. Its heftier size and mass help it maintain precise heat control.

But casual backyard grillers get an incredible value from the standard Wrangler. It still provides excellent smoking performance with well-crafted thick steel.

So consider how often you plan to use your smoker, and the quantity of food you need to smoke. The Wrangler II is ideal for frequent smoking and large cookouts. But the original Wrangler has more than enough capacity for the average user.

No matter which Old Country smoker you choose, you can rest assured you’re getting a well-built backyard workhorse that will provide sticky, smokey barbecue for years on end.

Both the Wrangler and Wrangler II represent the quality and value that makes Old Country a go-to brand for offset smokers.

Ralph Wade

Hey...Ralph is here! So, did you find this article useful? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. If not, please tell me how I can improve this article. Your feedback is always appreciated. Take love :)

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