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JohnMcD348 01-28-2005 05:30 AM

Need insight on Bandera and Brinkman Smoker
I am new to the "whole Hog" method of smoking and am wanting to graduate from my littl Brinkman water smoker (modified straight from the box) onto one of the larger dual box type smokers that Bandera has. I have been eyeing the Brinkman that looks almost identical at my local Lowe's store but I have not really been able to find out anything good or bad about them. they do not appear on the Brinkman website and the only discussion I have been able to find has been on the website that had 3 seperate short discussions on them about difficulty in getting to and maintaining heat levels above 220. I have not seen a Bandera unit anywhere around my area but I have seen online ads that were nearly twice as much as the Brinkman. I don't really have the finances to spend more than around the $250.00 the Brinkman is sold for but if it is an unusable item, I wouldn't want to waste my money either.
Is there anyone out theere who can give me some definative advice on this matter?

John T McD.

kcquer 01-28-2005 05:40 AM

John, I have a Brinkmann Smoke King Deluxe. For all practical purposes its a Bandera, same critter just reversed on the layout. The difficulty you read about is common to both units without some "mods" to the firebox. The mods can be found in our 101 document on the home page. Just click on the flame on the lower part of the page.
Either is a great little smoker and hard to beat for the price since they'll hold as much food a much larger units but will cook smaller batches just fine.
Welcome and best of luck on your search, there's lots of fun and friendly advice here no matter what cooker you decide to buy.

chad 01-28-2005 05:54 AM

KC - nicely done!

John - I'm sure you'll get an ear full by the end of the day!

Take KC's advice and download the 101 document - it outlines the modifications and methodology of getting the most from the Bandera (or Brinkmann).


racer_81 01-28-2005 11:24 AM

John - go over to Cattle Call and introduce yourself.

Welcome to the site!

BBQchef33 01-29-2005 09:20 AM

The bandera and smoke king do have problems getign to temps, but thats out of gthe box. 1 simple modification, raising the firegrate will eliminate that problem. The existing grate can mbe raised by using a few lava rocks, or fire bricks, or even better, back a reinforced grade out of expanded steel and be done with it. Its simple to do. Next mod is a bagffle to get the heat out and under the waterpan for better heat distribution, otherwise it runs up the inside wall of the chamber and that causes higher temps on one side. Baffle Template is on our files section. Fairly easy to make out of a sheeet of aluminum, or even a cookie sheet.

Like KC says.. grab Bandera 101 from our home page.

jpfeifer 01-29-2005 11:50 AM

John- The Brinkmann is good for the price. Several mods needed- first thing is to ditch the low fire grate. I took angle iron and made a shelf for some expanded steel that I use for the fire grate. I had some problems out of the box- 2 shelves, the water pan, and the thermometer were bent and paint was chipping off. I called Brinkman and they mailed replacements to me in about 2 weeks. I would also recommend buying the cover- it's about $45 from Brinkmann, but it's pretty good quality. Also, I'm not sure where you are located, but you can find the smoker on sale for less than $200. Check online, Lowes did a price match when I bought mine.

JohnMcD348 01-29-2005 08:10 PM

Thanks Guys for the insight. I went down to the Lakeland Pig Festival today and actually saw a couple of those types in use. Didn't get to talk to the guys that were using it becuase they were to busy with the competition and were not there to market their meat. I think the beer they were swilling didn't help their demeanor either.

I do have one delima about the Brinkman. It is not on their site. I have tried to contact the company via Email and have not gotten a response. I wonder if they are discontinuing that model of smoker in favor of the horizontal barrel type that seems more common?

BBQchef33 01-29-2005 08:47 PM

dont we have a side by side comparison somewhere on the site... KC and/or Solidkick did it i think.

kcquer 01-30-2005 07:22 AM


I have tried to contact the company via Email and have not gotten a response.
Tried several times to get info from brinkmann via e-mail on their site, never got a response. I got good service from their #800 customer svc dept. The BSKD has never been on their website (don't know why) but they were too glad to send me grates via the phone.


dont we have a side by side comparison somewhere on the site... KC
We have the Brinkmann half of the comparison in the Misc Photos section, I could never get anyone to take the corresponding C/B photos.

Solidkick 01-30-2005 07:07 PM


I could never get anyone to take the corresponding C/B photos.
Sorry Bro, I thought we'd posted them side by side. I'll put here and you can move to the picture file, or start a new thread as a comparison.

vash 01-31-2005 12:04 AM

Anyone know where I can buy a bandera or BSKD online somewhere? cant seem to find any stores


JohnMcD348 01-31-2005 05:31 AM

If you gon online to , they have the BSKD there. I am seriously considering one of them myself. I am still looking into it though. I'd like to learn more about the differences between the two as far as design/size, build quality, etc.


Brian in So Cal 08-30-2007 10:41 PM

Anyone tell me where the side by side pic is?

Rub-A-Dub 08-30-2007 11:07 PM

BBQcheif33 pointed me in the right direction. See post #19 in the roadmap form. Lots of good info.

Brian in So Cal 09-15-2007 07:24 PM


Originally Posted by Rub-A-Dub (Post 453639)
BBQcheif33 pointed me in the right direction. See post #19 in the roadmap form. Lots of good info.

where is the roadmap forum?

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