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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 01-23-2011, 01:42 PM   #1
texasmfp
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Default Best $40 Bandera Mod

Hi:

I wanted to share an awesome mod I made for my Bandera. To be honest, I got the mod from some online forum maybe 10 or 15 years ago. I didn't see it on the Bandera Paper, so I thought I would share it.

I went to Home Despot and bought a water heater jacket. The kind with the reflective foil on both sides ($24). I also bought some metal tape. I used the extreme temperature version (about $15). I spent about 2 hours carefully cutting and fitting a winter jacket for the outside of the smoke chamber. The water heater jacket is almost a perfect fit. I have attached some pix of the finished product. Make sure to seal all edge and joints (you would not want fiberglass to end up on your meat).

I started taping it to the smoke box on the side where it meets the firebox and wrapped it around from there. I made a "hat" and taped everything together with the metal tape. Measure and poke the thermometer through and screw in. Remove and put metal tape over hole on both sides. Cut out hole again with exacto knife. Replace thermometer. Between the "hat" and the thermomoeter, it pretty much just hangs in place. However, you need to tape the vertical start and finish to make a good flat seal to the box. I would also tape the bottom edge to the smokebox for the best seal/effect. You'll notice that, even though the jacket is thin, if it doesn't sit flat in the area where the firebox lid opens, the lid will graze against it and start to wear it away. Simple place some meta tape here as a barrier, or go back to Home Despot and but a small piece of aluminum sheet and tape that in the area. Also, obviously you can't tape the top edge where the door opens. Just allow a little bit of overhang on the "hat" to make a decent seal. Tape the end to the door where it ends and cut out a small slit for the door handle.

How did it work? Like a dream. I smoke a turkey and some pork shoulder two weeks ago in temps at or below freezing (Wash DC). Not only did I have no problem maintaining temps, but I used a lot less fuel (cherry) than I used in September with no jacket and air temps in the 60s/70's.

Priot to my September burn, I also did several of the mods mentioned in the Bandera sticky. I can tell you that the High Temp silicone cement is a winner. Works great on the doors. Worked OK on the firebox at first, but the latter did have some meltage. I can also tell you that using blue painters tape is way better than using wax paper (unless you like spending a 1/2 hour picking bits of wax paper off the dried seal).

Firebricks worked great. One box of 1/2 height from Ames nearly filled both smoke box and firebox. You would need a part of a second box and a hack saw to fit the rest.

I use a pizza stone on the top rack to help keep the heat in and force the smoke to move around things to escape.

I hope this helps some folks. Cheers
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg DSCF1599.jpg (48.0 KB, 373 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF1600.jpg (41.9 KB, 371 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF1601.jpg (52.2 KB, 375 views)
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Unread 01-23-2011, 02:05 PM   #2
Johnny_Crunch
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Nice job!
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Unread 01-23-2011, 02:19 PM   #3
bigabyte
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Looks like a good mod!
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Unread 01-23-2011, 05:34 PM   #4
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Very cool and much classier than Phil's lawn chair cushin mod.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 10:18 AM   #5
texasmfp
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Thanks. Of all the mods, I've done (baffle, beefier firegrate, firebricks, sealed door with high temp silicone, and insulation), this insulating jacket is by far the most bang for the buck improvement, as well as biggest overall improvement. The reduced fuel requirement and the improved temperature stability are much more dramatic than any of the other mods.

Now if I can just find a used Stoker at a reasonable price....
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Unread 01-24-2011, 12:58 PM   #6
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This mirrors my experience putting blankets around my drum.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 01:17 PM   #7
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Wool and welding blankets on my offset year round... similar results.

(Last year... wrapped the BSKD in 2 terry cloth bathrobes... no joke)
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Unread 01-24-2011, 05:53 PM   #8
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Here is Phil's lawn chair cushin mod. poobahniceslippers.jpg
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Unread 01-24-2011, 09:56 PM   #9
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Nice Mod! The slippers are a nice touch too.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 12:08 AM   #10
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Hmmm, that looks great. What about buying an insulation blanket for a bradley smoker and just cutting a hole in the top for the smoke stack. If it worked you could do it for about $30.00 and several hours saved.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 08:56 AM   #11
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Nice Mod, think I'll try it on mine. Thanks.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 09:21 AM   #12
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Nice Work
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Unread 01-25-2011, 09:45 AM   #13
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I have a Southwest Smoker of similar design. I really like your mod but have one question. Is the jacket removable with ease or is it more permanently held in place with the tape?
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Unread 02-01-2011, 11:18 AM   #14
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A company called Aubers sells inexpensive stokers that work great.

http://www.auberins.com/index.php?ma...index&cPath=14
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Unread 02-13-2011, 02:27 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=texasmfp;1522235]
Priot to my September burn, I also did several of the mods mentioned in the Bandera sticky. I can tell you that the High Temp silicone cement is a winner. Works great on the doors. Worked OK on the firebox at first, but the latter did have some meltage. I can also tell you that using blue painters tape is way better than using wax paper (unless you like spending a 1/2 hour picking bits of wax paper off the dried seal).

Firebricks worked great. One box of 1/2 height from Ames nearly filled both smoke box and firebox. You would need a part of a second box and a hack saw to fit the rest. [QUOTE]

TX...
Can you show close up of the door and the seal you did? Maybe a little more explanation on how you went about it. I've got a BSKD that I'm starting to work on and noted your comments. Especially the painters tape suggestion....

Would love any feedback and further input!
Tks!!
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