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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 09-13-2011, 10:22 AM   #1
markdtn
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Default Need help deciding if this pit is right for me

I have found an older Klose pit that needs some work in another state. It is a Backyard Chef, kind of in-between current sizes. It is 33 long, 20" diameter vertical main chamber and 20x20 upright with 3 shelves. It has had the firebox removed due to rust in the firebox, but the rest has been sandblasted. All the rest of the metal looks good. By the time I call in all of my favors and ship it and buy metal and weld it up and paint it I will probably have $1500 in it. I can work out the logistics and fabricate a firebox if it is the right thing to do. I am just trying to figure out if this is big enough for me. I currently have a Bandera with 5 shelves (16x 17) so 1360 square inches of cooking space. This is 33" long in the main chamber so I would have (33 x 18 ) + (33 x 9) + 3(20 x 20)=2091 square inches. I am a weekend kind of cooker, do not intend to do any competitions, I just like to cook for family and small groups.

Here is the question. Is this "big enough" at the price or do I just save another $1500 to go with it and get a brand new 40" (or bigger) Backyard Chef? Any weekend cookers that have moved up from a Bandera, what did you get? I am just on the fence with this. I want a bigger better smoker, but how big is big enough? Not sure I want to go through all the hassle if this is not a keeper, but the lure of a Klose at 1/2 price of new is making me look hard at it. Thoughts?
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Unread 09-13-2011, 10:45 AM   #2
gtr
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First off I love my BYC. For my purposes, it's the best cooker to have. We have a good amount of parties with anywhere from 20-60 or so folks over and I can feed them easily with that thing. The vertical is great for making sausages, keeping things warm, slower smoking, etc., so a BYC is a excellent choice IMO.

Now, are you planning on keeping the Bandera? If so, you may not need a bigger Klose. I'm not sure what kind of amounts you cook, so I can't really speak to the size you need. If you have more time than money, the used one/refurb may be a good way to go.

On the other hand, If the firebox was farked enough to necessitate removal, what kind of shape is the rest of the cooker in? Are the welds still strong, the doors fitting snug, etc.? I personally would rather hold out for a bigger one, new or used (but definitely intact), but I'm lazy, I don't weld, and I'm not one to take on projects. I have a 50" BYC and I wouldn't want a smaller one - but size depends on the amounts you're cooking. I don't fire mine up for one butt or brisket (UDS for that) but when I'm doing multiple big cuts and several chix, etc. there's nothing better.

So it seems the factors to consider are would you rather save time or money, and how big are your cooks. If the 'dera is enough, then the BYC you're looking at should be enough too, you'll just have the advantage of the horizontal chamber as well.

Another thing to consider - the Klose firebox is also a great grill. It has a hinged door on top and on the side and 3 levels to put a grate in it. I love that thing.

How's that for a non-answer?
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Unread 09-13-2011, 11:50 AM   #3
markdtn
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I would have to get rid of the Bandera, I don't have enough room to keep it too. I like to cook for 20 or so people at a time, but I always fill it up and freeze what is left. A typical cook would be 2-4 butts (or briskets but my wife has a beef allergy so not very often), 4-5 whole chickens, 10# of chicken wings, 10# of chicken breasts, 3 or 6 racks of ribs, 30 bratwursts, and a few salmon fillets. If I could do more, I probably would.

I have pretty good photos and have talked to Dana at Klose. The rest of the metal is in good shape. It is sandblasted so nothing to hide. The missing firebox can be re-fabricated and he does have the door for it. I do enjoy fabricating and I have a welder. I can get the metal.

I just don't want to go to all the trouble and realize this is too small. Area wise it is 35% larger overall than the Bandera and should have better fire control, but the main chamber is smaller than the Bandera. I am having a hard time figuring how much can go in each chamber to parallel the cooking style I have now. All the bigger chicken and butts in the main chamber. Salmon, wings?, and brats in the upright. What about ribs? It is the bigger stuff we most like to freeze. I am really on the fence, I can make strong arguments for either buying this or waiting. Any thoughts are welcome. Any former Bandera owners out there? Thanks!
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Unread 09-13-2011, 02:33 PM   #4
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No thoughts? I need to make a decision by tomorrow. Just wondering what any former Bandera owners moved up to and are they happier?
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Unread 09-13-2011, 02:42 PM   #5
ggeilman
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I replaced my Dera last year and man I wanted a Klose BYC, but too costly for me. Settled for a local cooker for about that $1500 and couldn't be happier. I cook similar to what you do, loading the Dera up all the way each time and sometime multiple.
http://www.jeffsbackyardstore.com/bb...thVertical.php#
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Unread 09-13-2011, 03:28 PM   #6
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Thank you. That is very helpful.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 06:30 AM   #7
markdtn
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I have decided not to get this one. My wife told me to wait and we would find the money for a new one. She is a good one! I am going to post all the details on the pit in another post, maybe someone else might like it.
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