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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 07-28-2011, 06:58 PM   #1
LVBBQMan
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Default My Smoker Nightmare Is Over

After I ordered a Bandera from Charbroil and spent several weeks unsuccessfully trying to deal with CharBroil to replace it and then spent several more weeks of searching for an alternative, I finally placed an order today for a Backwoods Fatboy today.

Thanks to all of the Backwoods dealers I spoke with to find out about their smoker and select the right one for me. But particular thanks to fellow Brethren Andy Bangs who is a Backwoods dealer from Gainesville GA. With little chance of originally expecting to receive an order from me, Andy was promptly forthcoming with the information I needed to make choices from the first time I contacted him almost a month ago. As another Brethren had said on a post here, Andy was friendly and more than willing to share what he knew. When I finally decided on a Backwoods smoker earlier this week but found out that the factory delivery was 12 weeks, Andy came to the rescue being one of the few Backwoods dealers to carry a wide inventory. I was able to order from him and pay no more than I would have if ordering from the factory despite the fact it would have to be shipped a second time. Andy had all the time in the world to talk which was very important to this smoking newbie. If a Backwoods smoker is in your future, I would whole heartedly recommend you talk to him first.

Once the Fatboy arrives, I will post pictures until we get the first Q out of his doors!
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Unread 07-28-2011, 07:09 PM   #2
NorthwestBBQ
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Please do!
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Unread 07-28-2011, 08:56 PM   #3
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Congrats on the smoker! Question for you. How did you go from buying (or trying to buy) a Bandera to buying a Backwoods. Quite a price and quality difference between the two. Just curious?
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Unread 07-28-2011, 09:01 PM   #4
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Congrats!
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Unread 07-29-2011, 01:35 AM   #5
LVBBQMan
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Not the first time I have been asked that. I first got interested in smoking meat shortly before I retired and moved from Houston to Vegas and I ate some Q a long time friend of mine in Houston made. It was some seriously good stuff. Got curiouser and curiouser but moving was in process and did not have the time to devote to it. Big Mistake No.1. Don't ever assume that smokers are equally available all over the US. In Houston there were builders everywhere. In LV they are non existent.

Moved in in LV and had an outdoor kitchen built with a gas grill. Cooked outdoors more in two months than in the last ten years. Tried to smoke a tri-tip on the gas grill with wood chips and it was a nightmare. The grill which was so good for steaks and burgers struggled when setting at 250 degrees as the desert winds kept blowing out the gas burners. To make matters worse the temperature gauge was way off. Temperature consequently yo yo'd. The meat was dry when we pulled it out. I called CharBroil and they said the only thing you do is to turn the grill so the wind would not affect it. Hard to do when it is installed in an outdoor kitchen with gas hard piped. So I started investigating smokers and quickly dismissed the many El Cheapo's carried in most of the Big Box stores. Decided to try a Bandera because my friend in Houston had one. But his was a New Braunsfels made model. After researching the Bandera I found it was no longer made by New Braunsfels as they had been bought out by Charbroil. I also found that even the NB Banderas required mods to make them reliable. But I felt I could make the necessary corrections required to the CharBroil Bandera to correct its short comings. So I ordered one from CharBroil. Big Mistake No. 2. It arrived as I said in my first post badly damaged in shipping. CharBroil would only replace the obviously damaged parts and when I tried to tell them it was likely the other pieces were tweaked making an already leaky smoker worse, they still would not change their position. I spent a month negotiating with them. During that time I started to see who else built a similar model design. After reading even worse things about the Brinkmann Bandera style model, I began to look at serious pitmakers who might make make a similar model. The price quickly jumped to the $2000 level plus shipping of $500 since most of these makers were in Texas. I considered doing a WSM but held that in reserve as an option. As I considered options, a neighbor's grandaughter got badly burned on the smoke chamber of his offset smoker with 1/4" steel plate. With grandkids of my own I began to worry about their safety. Additionally my neighbor told me how he was frustrated with what happened because he had been considering getting rid of it because it was so difficult for him to hold temperature in our cold windy winters. So I began to consider the advantages of an insulated smoker. It was certainly a lot more money than I had initially planned to spend, but not a lot more than the better fabricated Bandera styles I had found. And it was impossible to place a dollar value on the safety of our grandkids. So then it became a matter of which insulated smoker to buy and the rest is history.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 01:47 AM   #6
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I like stories that have a happy ending. Congrats!
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Unread 07-29-2011, 01:51 AM   #7
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Congrats on your Fatboy! Sounds like you put a lot of careful thought into it and made a sound decision. Enjoy!
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Unread 07-29-2011, 03:14 AM   #8
LVBBQMan
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To make the happy ending better, not getting anywhere negotiating with Charbroil, I called MasterCard which I had used to pay for the Charbroil Bandera and told them what had happened. They gladly reversed the charges.

I now have all the pieces of a Bandera which I cannot get Charbroil to take back. They said I was free to dispose of them. But before I do, I don't think I will be able to resist trying to beat out the dents in the CharBroil and seeing if I can make it work. I am retired and the thing I have most of on most days is time and I love a good project!

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Unread 07-29-2011, 06:23 AM   #9
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sounds like in the long run you made out ..... keep us posted with pics of both the fatboy and the fix of the charbroil
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Unread 07-29-2011, 08:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LVBBQMan View Post
After I ordered a Bandera from Charbroil and spent several weeks unsuccessfully trying to deal with CharBroil to replace it and then spent several more weeks of searching for an alternative, I finally placed an order today for a Backwoods Fatboy today.
Something similar happened to me. I bought a bicycle for transportation but the hills were killing me and it sucked in the rain. I ended up replacing it with a Ferrari and things are much better now.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 09:38 AM   #11
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Congrats on the new purchase. Those are nice cookers.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 10:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qnbiker View Post
Something similar happened to me. I bought a bicycle for transportation but the hills were killing me and it sucked in the rain. I ended up replacing it with a Ferrari and things are much better now.


Congrats on the Fatboy!
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Unread 07-29-2011, 01:03 PM   #13
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Congrats on your Fatboy, I'm sure you will enjoy it. I've got a couple bubba kegs and appreciate the fact they are insulated. You'll reap the benefits that it provides, I'm sure. Don't forget to post the pics when you get that nice cooker.
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