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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 07-04-2008, 12:07 AM   #1
DBrentster
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Default Please educate me on the Bandera Upright Smoker

OK. So I've had many cooks on my WSM, and offset but have seen quite a few teams with the upright (Bandera) style cooker - in addition to the Stickey bandera doc on this forum!

Well I'm always looking for my next pit and this one is very intriguing. It looks like it holds a lot of food and has a similar cooking style to the offset I've used. I'd appreciate any comments either good or bad - especially the amount of mods needed as I am not the most handy guy out there.

Also how heavy/hard to move is this unit. Since my team is myself and my wife we love the WSM for the ease of move, but the offset is one heavy mutha trucka and usually need some friends to help.

Thanks!
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:14 AM   #2
BBQ Grail
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I'm not sure what to say. I love my Bandera. It holds a lot of food. With the mods it maintains temp well.

I don't know about taking it to comps. It is a heavy beast. But it can be easy to move with the right mods.

Check out this thread
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:01 AM   #3
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The Bandera is top heavy – mine, made more so by the addition of firebricks, and a hefty BigAl firebasket. If I competed, I would have to consider mounting it, at least semi-permanently, to a trailer. Or buy a low trailer with ramp. Beyond that, I think I would have a new frame made of heavier-gauge steel, and the firebox and cook chamber welded to it, versus the stock bolt-on arrangement.

Of course, I could just be worrying about problems that competitors with Banderas have never experienced...so take my remarks with a dash of celery salt.

Stay away from "deals" like this.

Last edited by StLouQue; 07-04-2008 at 08:17 AM..
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:31 AM   #4
Brauma
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I love my 'Dera and would never part with it. My only complaint is that it's a fuel hog. You need to feed the beast. It stays hungry.
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:39 AM   #5
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Fuel Hog is an understatement!

I do like my Bandera but can't wait to get something a little better and easier to keep up to temp in cooler weather.
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:47 AM   #6
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IMHO the Bandera is a great stick burner for the backyard chef, which is what I am. I would not reccomend one for comps unless you have a toy hauler with a ramp. You also would want to get a charcoal basket for longer burn times. But buy doing that, you are no longer using it as a stick burner which is where I feel it is best. Also, as a stick burner, it is a fuel hog and needs to be tended every 45-60 min. which is not what I would like to do at a comp. I like my sleep. But I also love to use my Bandera on a nice day and sit outside and tend the fire. Something primal about that.

So for comps, I would stay with the WSM or a pellet pooper. And if I wanted a bigger smoker, I would get something like a Lang or a Spicewine on a trailer. The beauty of a Spicewine is that since it is insulated, weather has no effect on it.

Hope this helps. My .02 MMV
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keend View Post
Fuel Hog is an understatement!

I do like my Bandera but can't wait to get something a little better and easier to keep up to temp in cooler weather.
Here is where the Spicewine is King.
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:52 AM   #8
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Around the midwest here, I see 2-3 Banderas or that other cooker (can't think of the name but the lefty version of the BD) at most every contest. They can be a pain to move, but they are a cooking machine. We used one the 1st KCBS contest we were cooked in and took 2nd in pork and 3rd in brisket. Remember, it's not the cooker, it's the cook.....
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidkick View Post
Around the midwest here, I see 2-3 Banderas or that other cooker (can't think of the name but the lefty version of the BD) at most every contest. They can be a pain to move, but they are a cooking machine. We used one the 1st KCBS contest we were cooked in and took 2nd in pork and 3rd in brisket. Remember, it's not the cooker, it's the cook.....
All true Mr. Kick. I applaud all who use them as they are and will always be my favorite smoker. My point is that they are a bit of a pain for comps.
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidkick View Post
Remember, it's not the cooker, it's the cook.....
You don't see that point made here much anymore. Thanks for bringing it back.

Good barbecue is achievable without spending mega-bucks...you may just have to attend to it more frequently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdog View Post
...I also love to use my Bandera on a nice day and sit outside and tend the fire. Something primal about that.
That's how I barbecue – which admittedly, has nothing to do with the original question...so I'll quietly step off this one.
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:28 AM   #11
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All good points on the offset. The key aspect is to master the fire managent side of the offset (once I modified the BSKD (backwards Bandera). Won't give up my smoker now.

There were times I was not the open-minded grasshopper... was too hard headed and ignorant. Took me many months of trials and mods to accomplish 2 1/2 hours between (fuel) feedings.

It is the cook... (who has mastered his equipment) is the key. Every pit has its own personality and quirks.

That's why my offset's name is... Cybil!
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Brinkmann Smoke King Deluxe (aka the Backwards Bandera)
THAT'S IT!!! Chit.....I was brain dead this morning.....Thank you!
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidkick View Post
THAT'S IT!!! Chit.....I was brain dead this morning.....Thank you!
You were just confused because Scott always refered to it as the "queer".
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:19 PM   #14
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I love my BSKD, but it stays at home. The Lang is what we take when we get froggy... A couple of WSMs are a nice alternative to a larger smoker if you don't have the space or money for a larger pit.

I think the hardest decision that we have to make is what kind of cooking we want to do. If you mostly do back yard cooking, then a Bandara/BSKD is a great cooker. For catering, you need something large, efficient, and consistant. For comps, you need something that allows you to dial your smoker in to yeild the exact results you are looking for. Very few smokers can do all three...
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA BBQ Bandit View Post

That's why my offset's name is... Cybil!
I love it!
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