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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 07-06-2006, 11:38 AM   #1
offa1a
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Default Brethren advice please

Looking into getting my first smoker/grill. I like the Brinkman pitmaster, but what do I know. How about the CB Bandera? I can't wait to start some real smoking with some real knowledge. I've done it all guess work so far. Any input into my first baby would be appreciated. I could read these threads all day. So much knowledge so little time. My boss just doesn't understand.
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Unread 07-06-2006, 12:01 PM   #2
Bigmista
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We need some info about you to give you a good answer.

What is your budget?

Do you have access to lots of wood or will you be using charcoal?

Do you enjoy the challenge of managing a fire or do you prefer the hands off approach?

How much space do you have available?

How many people on average do you plan to cook for?

Will this be a stationary cooker or do you want something portable?

Answering these questions will allow us to be more helpful to you.
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Unread 07-06-2006, 12:08 PM   #3
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Yeah... What Mista said!

Give us some guidance on what you want to do with it, Kurt, and I'm sure you'll get more recommendations than you want!
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Unread 07-06-2006, 12:46 PM   #4
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I know nothing about the Bandera, except the guys that have them really like them.
I DO know about the Brinkmann PitMaster. I have used mine 3 times a week for about 12 years. You can get one for about 150.00. It is a GREAT smoker and I would rather use it than my 3000.00 Lang!!!!!!!!!!
Smoke On!!!!!!!!!!!!
PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Unread 07-06-2006, 12:56 PM   #5
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Default WoW !! ... kickassbbq ... you got my attention!

.... I continue to consider adding this 'style' cooker and your comment certainly gets my attention. If you had to rank the 'typical' range of products in terms of the Brinkman's strengths/weaknesses, where does it shine versus doing 'just ok' (brisket, butt, ribs, chicken, fish, ....) in your lengthy experience ?

Do you turn to the Lang mainly when cook amount requires it ??
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Unread 07-06-2006, 02:22 PM   #6
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We need some info about you to give you a good answer.

What is your budget?- No set budget but being my first want it to be decent

Do you have access to lots of wood or will you be using charcoal?- I know charcoal is a given but being close to GA I know I can get some PECAn and other good woods

Do you enjoy the challenge of managing a fire or do you prefer the hands off approach?- I think I like the hands on approach

How much space do you have available?Good amount of space in the back yard but my neighbors love seeing me grilling out in the driveway in our hood. What can I say I'm still a Philly boy at heart

How many people on average do you plan to cook for?Just sharing with friends and family to start . 4 - 15 (to big a range)

Will this be a stationary cooker or do you want something portable?I can go with either but I like the idea of portability.


I'm thinking if I go bigger and don't cook a lot at once it will mean a lot of wood/charcoal use for nothing, but than Starting out small and than needing to upgrade right away isn't good either. Is there such a thing as a middle of the roader??
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Unread 07-06-2006, 02:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offa1a
We need some info about you to give you a good answer.

What is your budget?- No set budget but being my first want it to be decent

Do you have access to lots of wood or will you be using charcoal?- I know charcoal is a given but being close to GA I know I can get some PECAn and other good woods

Do you enjoy the challenge of managing a fire or do you prefer the hands off approach?- I think I like the hands on approach

How much space do you have available?Good amount of space in the back yard but my neighbors love seeing me grilling out in the driveway in our hood. What can I say I'm still a Philly boy at heart

How many people on average do you plan to cook for?Just sharing with friends and family to start . 4 - 15 (to big a range)

Will this be a stationary cooker or do you want something portable?I can go with either but I like the idea of portability.


I'm thinking if I go bigger and don't cook a lot at once it will mean a lot of wood/charcoal use for nothing, but than Starting out small and than needing to upgrade right away isn't good either. Is there such a thing as a middle of the roader??
One of the biggest complaints I hear about any cooker is lack of capacity. If budget allows go a little bigger than you think you need to.
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Unread 07-06-2006, 03:05 PM   #8
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That's my thinking. It's the same with any hobby passion you do. Anytime I start out with th ebase model i'm quickly wanting to upgrade
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Unread 07-06-2006, 05:55 PM   #9
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I have a 1996 Bandera and a 2006 Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM). I bought my Bandera at Sam's in the winter and got a great deal on it; plus, it's better built than today's models. It's produced some great Q.

My reason for buying the WSM was that it's just my wife and me. While the Bandera can cook a heckuva lot more meat, it's a fuel hog and has to be tended every hour or so. That can be a good day with friends and beer, but more times that not I felt shackled buy it. Plus, after that much fire tending I was often ready for a Big Mac instead.

I debated buying a WSM for about a year mainly because.... it just didn't look cool like a big heavy guage smoker. Silly reason, but it's the truth. There, I said it. I know, looks don't affect the meat - guilty as charged.

Well, I've used the WSM twice and love it. I can cook ALL DAY on 10 pounds of charcoal and only have to check on it every four hours or so. It takes up less room in the garage (although I'm not giving up the Bandera). I suppose I'll only get out the Bandera for big jobs. Otherwise, the WSM is more enjoyable for me. Quicker fire-up time, longer smokes, less fuel, stable temps.

The best price is at http://grill-doctor.stores.yahoo.net/18smmo.html
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Unread 07-06-2006, 07:09 PM   #10
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There is a pretty darn good chance that your first wont be your last so dont over-think it. It seems to me that budget should be the driver here and there are many choices for entry level cooks. Its just heat, meat and patience. I can tell that most of these guys are really good at what they do and I am sure that most could cook great bbq on just about any operable pit. As you improve your technique you will get a better feel for what you need.
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Unread 07-06-2006, 07:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeBo
I have a 1996 Bandera and a 2006 Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM). I bought my Bandera at Sam's in the winter and got a great deal on it; plus, it's better built than today's models. It's produced some great Q.

My reason for buying the WSM was that it's just my wife and me. While the Bandera can cook a heckuva lot more meat, it's a fuel hog and has to be tended every hour or so. That can be a good day with friends and beer, but more times that not I felt shackled buy it. Plus, after that much fire tending I was often ready for a Big Mac instead.

I debated buying a WSM for about a year mainly because.... it just didn't look cool like a big heavy guage smoker. Silly reason, but it's the truth. There, I said it. I know, looks don't affect the meat - guilty as charged.

Well, I've used the WSM twice and love it. I can cook ALL DAY on 10 pounds of charcoal and only have to check on it every four hours or so. It takes up less room in the garage (although I'm not giving up the Bandera). I suppose I'll only get out the Bandera for big jobs. Otherwise, the WSM is more enjoyable for me. Quicker fire-up time, longer smokes, less fuel, stable temps.

The best price is at http://grill-doctor.stores.yahoo.net/18smmo.html
EXACTLY what he said... except some by some strange occurance a WSM showed up at my door one day...
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Unread 07-06-2006, 07:58 PM   #12
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Sounds like a lot of great advice. I had a WSM some years back and it seemed difficult to add more coals as well as having to remove racks if I was wanting to turn something a rack down. I need to go out and start lookin
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Unread 07-06-2006, 08:04 PM   #13
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Dude, everyone has great points. You cannot go wrong with the Bandera, it does not sound like you are cooking for 50 people, Go with the Bandera.
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Unread 07-06-2006, 10:43 PM   #14
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I gotta admit, one of the best points made was queball who said, "I am sure that most could cook great bbq on just about any operable pit."

Heck, my dad has a buddy that made a smoker out of a farkin' casket. Yes - the thing used to bury dead people. Says it's well insulated, plenty of room, and makes great Q.
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Unread 07-06-2006, 11:27 PM   #15
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Have a look and see if you can find a Brinkmann Smoke King Deluxe. It's the mirror image of a Bandera, and the general consensus is that of the current versions of the 2 the BSKD is of a bit higher quality.

Either one will serve you well as an entry level cooker, plenty of capacity (plan on ordering some extra shelves) for larger cooks, will do some grilling and isn't such a fuel hog that you can't fire it up for a couple racks of ribs.

No matter what cooker you end up with, this is the place to learn how to use it!!
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