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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 07-07-2011, 04:10 AM   #76
LVBBQMan
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I ordered a Char Broil Bandera and it arrived with major damage. When Char Broil would not replace the entire unit but only the pieces that were most obviously damaged, I just disputed the charges with Master Card and got my money back. Since then I have been searching for a Bandera alternative. This week I talked to the folks at Old Country about making their Bandera clone for me since I live over a thousand miles from the nearest Academy and Academy does not list the Old Country Bandera clone one their website so that I could order it from them . Although it is not part of their standard package for Academy, the people at Old Country said that they could do what the baffle was designed to do spreading the heat and smoke by installing a plate on one of the lower racks that has holes drilled in it of varying diameter with the smaller holes nearest the opening from the firebox and the larger holes furtherest from the opening. I have no idea what the range in hole diameters is or how many holes per row there are but the concept would seem to work over a wide range of hole diameters considering the baffle designed for the Bandera is a pretty gross method of control. A bigger concern that I had is that with the thin gauge firebox welded to the smoke chamber, it would seem the installation of fire bricks in the firebox would be essential to preserving the firebox from burnout because once it goes, the whole smoker is likely toast.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 09:05 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LVBBQMan View Post
the people at Old Country said that they could do what the baffle was designed to do spreading the heat and smoke by installing a plate on one of the lower racks that has holes drilled in it of varying diameter with the smaller holes nearest the opening from the firebox and the larger holes furtherest from the opening. I have no idea what the range in hole diameters is or how many holes per row there are but the concept would seem to work over a wide range of hole diameters considering the baffle designed for the Bandera is a pretty gross method of control.
If you go this route, please post some pics of the baffle! I've done all the mods noted here on this post, and it did indeed make a big difference in the cooker. I use a grate w/ aluminum foil over it, and knock a whole on the opposite side of the cook chamber to reduce the chamber space, which also helps cook more efficiently. Hadn't thought of a lower plate, since i use the water pan. Interesting though!
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Unread 08-11-2011, 10:31 PM   #78
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I just picked up a used New Braunfels that needs a little love. This is a great place to start. Thanks.
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Unread 08-11-2011, 10:34 PM   #79
LVBBQMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stglide View Post
If you go this route, please post some pics of the baffle! I've done all the mods noted here on this post, and it did indeed make a big difference in the cooker. I use a grate w/ aluminum foil over it, and knock a whole on the opposite side of the cook chamber to reduce the chamber space, which also helps cook more efficiently. Hadn't thought of a lower plate, since i use the water pan. Interesting though!
Bill:

I did not go that route. Bought a Backwoods Fatboy instead.
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Unread 08-22-2011, 12:18 PM   #80
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Needing some help here. I made a charcoal basket for my Bandera. I have read where guys have these and are able to smoke for up to 4 hours without messing with it. I have only smoked once (this weekend) and I have no idea how anyone could do this. If I filled the basket enough to leave the fire unatended for that long I would have jerky! I constantly had to jack with the fire to keep the temps where I wanted it. Much fuel at all and the sucker would jack to over 300. How are they doing this because I would love not to mess with the fire so often?
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Unread 08-22-2011, 01:47 PM   #81
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Which basket are you using(open or maze), and how did you do the initial lighting?
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Unread 08-22-2011, 02:06 PM   #82
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Open basket. I started lump in a chimney.
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Unread 09-03-2011, 05:25 PM   #83
reeltor
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I have had my Bandera for many years, learned so much on this site it isnít funny. I welded up a basket for the firebox the other day and will try it for the first time tomorrow. What is the best way to use the basket? This is heavy gauge expanded metal, no channels (yet, just saw that mod and may end up making a maze) My understanding of the process is: Start the briquette in a chimney and place them closest to the smoke box and then put unlit briquette in so that the fire will slowly expand and burn for a long time. Wonít the unlit charcoal briquettes smolder and create white (bitter?) smoke as it starts to burn? I normally use aluminum foil as a baffle, a sheet metal one is on the list. Thanks for any help
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Unread 09-04-2011, 05:27 PM   #84
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Read some more on the fire control and used the charcoal basket for the first time. Great mod. well worth the effort to make one.
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Unread 10-31-2011, 06:08 PM   #85
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I posted my frame off New Braunfels Bandera restoration in Q-Talk, but it seems appropriate to post the pics here instead. I bought this from seattlepitboss for $75 in 2009, it was in pretty good shape, but I immediately set out to clean it up and do some Mods.







I bead blasted, wire brushed and sanded down to bare metal as much as I could.















































Some of the mods that went into the restoration include:

Firebricks for cook chamber and firebox
Folding shelf brackets for the table
Baffle mod with water pan cut out
BGE felt/Permatex silicone door gasket
12"x12" perforated steel charcoal basket
custom cook grates from seattlepitboss
New spring door handle
fitted cover

























Looking for ideas or input from anyone that has installed a Guru or other ATC to the Bandera.
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Unread 10-31-2011, 06:50 PM   #86
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First of all, let me say yummm. I need a large napkin to wipe the drool off. Second, great job on the resto. Is that a flip-up shelf?

Second, regarding the Guru. I recently modded my Bandera to add a BBQ Guru. Unlike others, I did added it to the side door rather than the bottom from corner of the firebox. I figured that, if I had to undo the mod, it would be cheaper and easier to replace the door than the firebox. I also like that the fan is blowing across the length of the grate rather than across one end of it and into a wall. But that's just me.

First, I removed the sliding baffle and pin. I bolted on a 1/8" steel plate that covered the slots. I drilled my 1 3/8" hole for the Guru fan adapter in the plate (also had to remove one "baffle" on the door behind the hole so that the fan's airflow would not be obstructed). By adding the plate, I was able to locate the fan adapter at whatever height/centering I wanted to rather than some awkward location above/below or to the side of the baffles. Worked great on the temp, but I had an issue.

I was starting with a chimney of charcoal followed by cherry chunks all day long. I never really seemed to get to the blue smoke. Seemed like it was always grey. Also, the inside of the firebox (in fact the inside of everything) got covered with a glossy coating. I almost want to call it a creosote coating. Not sure what it is.

I was using the 10 cfm fan. I had made previous mods, such as sealing the main door and firebox lid that made this s pretty tight smoker. Is it possible that the fan was simply not big enough? That the fire not enough oxygen? Or was it something else. Has anybody ever had this issue?

Thanks
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Last edited by texasmfp; 10-31-2011 at 07:14 PM..
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Unread 11-01-2011, 07:44 PM   #87
swamprb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasmfp View Post
First of all, let me say yummm. I need a large napkin to wipe the drool off. Second, great job on the resto. Is that a flip-up shelf?

Second, regarding the Guru. I recently modded my Bandera to add a BBQ Guru. Unlike others, I did added it to the side door rather than the bottom from corner of the firebox. I figured that, if I had to undo the mod, it would be cheaper and easier to replace the door than the firebox. I also like that the fan is blowing across the length of the grate rather than across one end of it and into a wall. But that's just me.

First, I removed the sliding baffle and pin. I bolted on a 1/8" steel plate that covered the slots. I drilled my 1 3/8" hole for the Guru fan adapter in the plate (also had to remove one "baffle" on the door behind the hole so that the fan's airflow would not be obstructed). By adding the plate, I was able to locate the fan adapter at whatever height/centering I wanted to rather than some awkward location above/below or to the side of the baffles. Worked great on the temp, but I had an issue.

I was starting with a chimney of charcoal followed by cherry chunks all day long. I never really seemed to get to the blue smoke. Seemed like it was always grey. Also, the inside of the firebox (in fact the inside of everything) got covered with a glossy coating. I almost want to call it a creosote coating. Not sure what it is.

I was using the 10 cfm fan. I had made previous mods, such as sealing the main door and firebox lid that made this s pretty tight smoker. Is it possible that the fan was simply not big enough? That the fire not enough oxygen? Or was it something else. Has anybody ever had this issue?

Thanks
I would love to see which Guru adapter you used and the placement on the firebox door.
I'm wondering if the "glossy coating" you described is from the Guru fitting? My BGE is a straight shot and the WSM has a deflector that blows downward. I have noticed some gray ash in the interior on some of my BGE cooks.
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Unread 11-01-2011, 08:16 PM   #88
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OK, I'll try and snap a few pix this weekend. I used the Bulkhead Adaptor (800-1001-015).

Just to be clear, I referred to grey smoke and to a thin black oil-like coating on the metal surfaces. I did not find grey ash anywhere.
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Unread 11-02-2011, 08:31 PM   #89
stglide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasmfp View Post
OK, I'll try and snap a few pix this weekend. I used the Bulkhead Adaptor (800-1001-015).
Definitely try to post! I would be interested too. I've wanted to do something with a controller unit, but I too wasn't keen on putting the fan on the side of the unit. Would rather have it on the door, since I thought that would provide the most direct method of forcing the air into the cooking chamber. Only issue I see there is if it blows ash into the chamber where the indirect may not....

@Swamp... Nice work! Good look'n grub too!
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Unread 11-06-2011, 04:21 PM   #90
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OK: Here are some shots.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCF2153 resized 2.jpg (40.5 KB, 498 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF2154 resized 2.jpg (54.2 KB, 493 views)
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