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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 03-28-2012, 11:42 PM   #91
swamprb
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My Bandera has moooved on to a new home. I shed a tear as I helped load it up and wave buhbye!
Good luck to John & Ray and your new smoker!
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Unread 07-10-2012, 11:29 AM   #92
PitRow
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Dear Brethren/Sistren, please help me with my fire control in my bandera.

I've had my Bandera for a little over a year now, and lots of successful cooks in it, but it seems like my fire control is a bit out of whack with what most people say, so I'm looking for tips on what I can do differently, mostly looking for longer burn times.

I don't have a charcoal basket (yet), so I have a grate up on the lowest rack setting in the firebox to hold my charcoal. Lump charcoal is dang near impossible to find around here, and when I can find it, it's very expensive, so I use good ole kingsford blue, haven't had any problems with off flavors or bad smoke, though the excessive ash kind of sucks.

My typical routine is to fire up about 3/4 of a chimney (off brand, slightly smaller than a webber chimney) with KB. Line the bottom of the firebox with about 1/2 a chimney of unlit briquettes and when the chimney is ready dump those on one side of the firebox. It takes about half an hour to get up to temp, with the top damper fully open and the intake about 1/4 closed. By this time most of the charcoal is fully lit and going strong. Food goes in, temp drops, comes back up to temp. About this time I start dumping in 1/2 to 3/4 chimney loads of unlit briquettes, alternating sides, about every half hour. The intake damper needs to be about 1/2 closed or sometimes even 3/4 closed to maintain temps in the 225-235 range. Smoke is always thin blue, except for about 5 minutes after I add the briquettes it gets a little heavier but then settles down to thin blue again. Sometimes I can get it to go 45 minutes to an hour before I need to add more coal, but that's usually if I've thrown in a stick of maple for smoke.

I would like to be able to extend the time between adding more coals if possible, but it seems like if I add more briquettes then I just get a bigger fire and temps spike out of control, even with the intake fully closed. I tried a minion method attempt once, where I loaded about 2 chimneys full of unlit in the fire basket and added a couple lit briquettes (maybe 8 or 10) on top, and that worked for a little bit, but after a while all the briquettes were going and temps were way out of control.

Any ideas for me?
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Unread 07-10-2012, 07:44 PM   #93
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PitRow,
A couple of things... When I first got my bandera, I used it with no mods for quite a while. I was feeding it pretty frequently also. Temp control got easier as it built up more ash, as the ash kept the fire from breathing as well. I did a fire grate mod and WOW. Temps took off because of the better ventilation. I could run 235 - 250 with top all the way open and intake almost closed. I would suggest you build a fire basket. I almost fill it with K blue and wood and light about 1/2 to 3/4 of a chimney and dump it on the smoke chamber side so the fire has to burn back towards the vents. I usually cook at 275 to 300 now and have no problem holding those temps with the intake 2/3 to 3/4 shut. Nice clean fire and I get 4 to 6 hours of burn time depending on outside conditions.
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Unread 07-10-2012, 07:48 PM   #94
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Here's a couple of pics of the basket.
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Last edited by campdude; 09-06-2014 at 10:33 PM..
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Unread 07-11-2012, 04:02 PM   #95
PitRow
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Guess I really need get on building a basket then. Thanks!
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Unread 07-14-2012, 01:36 PM   #96
sskyking
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One thought on the types of wood NOT to use. If you are cutting your own and you see an otherwise perfect tree with a hairy looking vine on it... stop and walk away! That may be a poison ivy vine and it is very hazardous even to cut, let alone smoke with!
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Unread 07-16-2012, 04:39 PM   #97
Kennyland901
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Default Doubled Bandera

Has anyone ever heard of or tried adding an additional smoke box to the opposite side of the fire box with success?
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Unread 07-28-2012, 10:13 AM   #98
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I believe in fire/oven bricks as well. The first time I was introduced to them was when I rented a a whole hog rotisserie. It was doulble walled with oven bricks between the walls. Getting to 250 degrees was easy once the bricks were heated and it would stay there for a long time. Believe it or not, I could get a 12-13 hour slow burn ought of just 2 to 3 - 16 .lb bags of Kingsford. It was awesome but a damn heavy grill.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 08:42 AM   #99
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I have a bandera smoker in Milwaukee wi. If anyone needs one it is in pretty good shape. There is some surface rust on the firebox, but that's the norm. For a bretheren member, they can take it home for 50. I built my own grill/smoker this year so this didn't get used this summer.

Email me @ wasilvers1074@gmail.com
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Unread 02-15-2013, 12:14 PM   #100
Big Portagee
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Default Bandera Mods

I have a Brinkman Smoke' N Pit Smoke King deluxe, that looks like the Bandera but smaller. Would those Bandera mods work on my smoker as well?

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Unread 02-15-2013, 10:09 PM   #101
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yes... definitely. Same mods, and since the SKD was made a little cheaper(china), some of those mods are even more important.
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Unread 02-15-2013, 10:43 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Portagee View Post
I have a Brinkman Smoke' N Pit Smoke King deluxe, that looks like the Bandera but smaller. Would those Bandera mods work on my smoker as well?

The Brinkman on the forum is sometimes referred to as "The Left Handed Bandera"...do a search sometime for that and it will open up all kinds of Mods for it!! That is the smoker I started with...sometimes I wish I still had it too
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Unread 02-20-2013, 11:03 AM   #103
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Great tips. Ill have to try a few of them. Im digging the fire basket. Never thought of that before.
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Unread 04-15-2013, 12:12 PM   #104
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OK, so i found the bandera 101 document and man is it full of great stuff! One question though, I saw on a previous thread that someone added a piece of stainless to the firebox lid and it was included in the 101 doc. I can't find it for the life of me, if anyone has any info that would be great.

Thanks!
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Unread 04-16-2013, 11:39 AM   #105
T-BONE AND THE RIBLETS
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Have not decided yet
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