View Full Version : Anyone cooking?? "Maiden" voyage started!

01-15-2005, 11:10 AM
Hey, guys the day has finally come and I have got the beast going! Man the fire control is a pain in the *ss with the wood. I was able to cut the wood size down some with a spike and sledge hammer. Still probably too big. I put the baby back ribs on around 2pm, on smoke for 2 hours, now in foil and will finish back on smoke. I put the BBR on bottom rack with a foil heat shield above. I just now put the 13lb shoulder on and will cook it all night. I will put the brisket on later tonight or might put above a heat shield now. I found some whole Quail in the supermarket out in town and think I will put them on for a snack tonight. Any suggestons on the Quail?? Oh yeah, I have a fatty that should be ready right now. I will post more later.....

01-15-2005, 11:15 AM
Any suggestons on the Quail??

Needs higher heat than the brisket and shoulder. you need to get poultry to 140* internal in 2 hours or you risk food poisoning. With quail being small, it might not be a problem. if you know where your hotspot is, that's where I'd put the quail........

01-15-2005, 11:51 AM
Michael, Sounds like you're getting your cook on!! Congrats Bro!! As the quail are small you should be fine, key with those will be getting them off when they are done so as not to overcook and dry out. Maybe next time you can brine them. They should be quite tasty!! Best of luck hope it all turns out great!

01-15-2005, 12:35 PM
Sounds like a great start to a first cook. I'm hoping to do some ribs and probably chicken sometime this weekend.

RE fire control on the Bandera: Yep - it's a bear! Even, Tim - kapndsl - an ardent stick burner, has started coming around to a charcoal basket and chunks rather than all wood - that way we can get some sleep at competitions! Hang in there - it's a learning experience. :D

01-15-2005, 02:32 PM

I've found that what these farkers say about the size of their wood (small :mrgreen: ) really is the best way to go for heat control AND a decent temperature. If you're burning nothing but big stuff you'll have trouble with spikes and low temps.

01-15-2005, 03:00 PM
michael, Dunno quite why your using the heat shield if you got 3 shelves going at once.. I only used the heat shield to reduce temps above it for warming. But if you got ribs, butts and briskets going along with quail and fatties, i would be using the whole chamber. Maybe heatshield way up top to use above it as a warming area. Its just my .02..

I cook quail the same as cornish hens. Lower shelf, towards the right where its a little hotter. dont cookem long cause they dry out in a heartbeat. When internal is at 130, i would take the entire rack out and put in in the firebox(high rack)over the coals to crispy up and finish off.

Great start..... Enjoy todays bounty!!! And say hi to you buddies for us!

01-15-2005, 03:33 PM
Michael - fire control (temperature and cleanliness) is probabaly the hardest thing about smoking. Depending on your outside air temps, altitude, etc. your fire size needs to be adjusted to keep your pit in the right temperature range. Here in SoCal and in during the summers in MD, I can keep 225-240 degrees on a very small fire. Most would think the fire is surprisingly small. However - when your talking about q'ing in 20-30 degrees, coupled with weather elements, the fire needs to run a little bigger.

Best of luck to you today. Hope everyone enjoys it.

01-15-2005, 07:44 PM
michael, Dunno quite why your using the heat shield if you got 3 shelves going at once..

I was using the heat shield earlier when I started the BBR by themselves, then added the shoulder later and removed the heat shield. BTW, the ribs were very good. I think I can do better but for a first cook I was very happy with them and so were the folks over here eating them up!

As the quail are small you should be fine, key with those will be getting them off when they are done so as not to overcook and dry out

I guess it is better to be lucky than good. I timed those suckers perfect. They were very moist and tasty. I put some bacon on a couple and they were really good.

The fire control is still a work in progress but I'm doing better now than I was 12 hours ago! I hope to pick up the charcoal basket mod next week from the guy who made my fire grate (which is working great!) I will be able to fully appreciate that mod once I use it!!! The shoulder is looking good so far, rub was put on last night and spraying it when I open the door. I guess about another 10 hours to go. I will keep an eye on internal temp and "feel" as I get closer to being done. I decided to wait until Monday (Holiday) to do the brisket. Thanks again for all the help and I will keep you posted. My internet connection died earlier and is back up now so hopefully it will keep working.

01-15-2005, 08:33 PM
Great report - let that shoulder go low and slow. Take her to 180 or internal - wrap tight in foil (here I go again), put back in the chamber and take her to about 195. Remove, wrap in a towel and drop into an insulated cooler for a couple hours. Take her out and the farking bone will twist right out (that is if it didn;t already fall out when you pulled it from the chamber at 195.

01-15-2005, 08:57 PM
It is 3am here now. I watched the Steelers barely beat the Jets and now the Falcons are playing the Rams. I hope everyone favorite wins today. My Cowboys sucked again this year! This 7 hours difference (from central time) is a b*tch during football season.

The shoulder is still doing well, but I'm fading fast. I don't have any temp alarms and I am afraid I won't get up once I fall asleep. Would it be a terrible sin to wrap this shoulder and put it in the oven until I wake up and then if needed put it back on the smoker?? Internal temp is approximately 150 degrees now. Forgot to mention earlier that the fatties were excellent, as advertised here.

01-15-2005, 09:18 PM
done quite a few pieces of meat that way. Not a sin as long as you don't tell anyone...

01-15-2005, 09:37 PM
The meat has taken in most or all of the smoke that it will. You can finish it in the oven but I would probably take it to 160 before doing so. Wrap it good in foil before putting it in the oven - 240 is good. Either way - no worries. Catch some zzz's

01-16-2005, 01:26 PM
THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME!! I watch Alias & Lost which means 'I Know Suspense'! Now the 7hr time difference murder on me!! Cannot wait 'til the next report.

I just thru on two racks of BBRs. Should be done by the end of the 2nd qtr of the Colts vs. Pats game!

01-16-2005, 10:28 PM
hey Mike, aint nothing wrong with getting sleep.. Its taken on enuf smoke now anyway, so as soona s you feel ya need a break, put the roast on some foil, drizzle some honey on it and spray it real good with whatever your spraying with. Then wrap it tight in foil and then wrap it again and put it in the oven at 210-220. I wouldnt go higher than that if your gonna be down for more than a few hours. Keeping the temp at the 215 range will let the roast climb slow and you get some needed sleep.

01-21-2005, 10:50 AM
Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to ya'll on my first bandera cook. My internet connection over here has been screwed up for the past week and they don't have any concept of customer service over here! Anyway, I just wanted to tell everyone again THANKS for all the help so far. Everything came out great!

I did "cheat" by putting the shoulder in the oven, then when I got up I put it back on the smoker, got the internal temp up to 190, coolered (is that a word??:-) ) it to 130 and the whole shoulder bone lifted right out of it! The brisket I cooked for about 12 hours, over-shot the internal temp to 210 (busy watching the Patriots vs Colts at the neighbors, mucho cervezas!), coolered down to 130 and it was a little dry but not bad, I was the only one critical of it! I also put on 2 racks of spare ribs using the 3-2-1 tech spraying with apple juice/Jack Daniels mix, man they were good! As mentioned in a post above the BBR and quail turned out great and the guys who were here that night loved them. I forgot to take pictures that night, but it was only a couple folks over. I heated up all the left overs in the oven and took it to work. I left a scent trail from the front door to the second floor operating room. That had people coming from all over the hospital trying to find out where the BBQ smell was coming from! I must have fed about 20 people and they all said it was some of the best BBQ they have ever eaten and to tell all of you THANKS. I took some pictures I will attach below. Thanks again for all the help and I look forward to firing up the Bandera again!

01-21-2005, 10:55 AM
Congrats on a great cook!

They look like "Happy Campers" :lol:

Sharing is what it is all about.

Good Job.


01-21-2005, 10:58 AM
Great job and report. I was wondering what happened to you.

01-21-2005, 11:00 AM
Just looking at the pictures made me hungry for more BBQ! I guess there is a 5 file upload limit because I could not add anymore pictures. I picked up my charcoal basket mod today and they did a really good job making it. Thanks Al for the posted pictures. There is no way I could have told the guys out in town what I wanted made in Spanish! I just showed them your pictures and it looks pretty good. They did not put the tabs on the bottom, so I will just put it on top of the fire grate mod so I can move it to whatever level I want it in the fire box. I can't wait to give it a try, especially now that I know what a pain in the *ass an all wood fire can be to maintain for a long time. I will attach pictures of the new basket mod and the fire grat mod below. Joining this website has been amazingly helpful in getting started using my Bandera. Thanks again for everything!

01-21-2005, 11:03 AM
Sounds cool. Thanks for the pic of everybody getting fed.

01-21-2005, 01:19 PM
Prepare to be the most popular guy on the base. 8) You also need to some buddies to help you tend the pit. We call them "pit bitches." :shock: You probably already have some of them. The trick is to find ones that are consciencious and keep the pit at the appropriate temp.

01-21-2005, 01:50 PM
Man, that looked like fun!! Congrats!

01-21-2005, 02:14 PM
We call them "pit bitches." You probably already have some of them. The trick is to find ones that are consciencious and keep the pit at the appropriate temp

Never heard of them :roll:

01-21-2005, 02:49 PM
I can't wait to give it a try, especially now that I know what a pain in the *ass an all wood fire can be to maintain for a long time.

Ahh, but when you are married it's the perfect excuse to get out of any errands....."Honey, I'd love to go, but I gotta tend the fire!....now where'd I put my beer?...."

01-21-2005, 04:43 PM
Great post, Michael. I really enjoyed the pictures. Isn't it a good feeling, knowing you got about 25 guys have your back when you're cooking?

Word of advise..........the charcoal basket is NOT going to make your Bandera a "set it and forget it" cooker. You will get extended burn times, but you are going to have to learn what and what not you can do with it. Lighting one side and loading the other 2 chambers is going to cause all 3 to be lit in about 3 hours and a fire you can't control.
The way it burns differs from location to location. With my basket, I have to be 2 hours into a cook in the first compartment before I can add charcoal to the second, or I've got a 350* fire. Learn what your basket will do under YOUR conditions..............Have fun!

01-21-2005, 04:49 PM
Looks like you have some fans at the hospital!

BBQ has a way of drawing folks out! :D

Good job.

01-21-2005, 06:11 PM
Grats, dude!

01-21-2005, 08:53 PM
Man what a beautiful post. Reading this and seeing these pictures brought tears to my eyes. (Dick Vermile mod)! Seriously, I'm a very emotional full blooded Italian American and reading this has touched my heart, soul, and stomach. That's right, #1 emotion is hunger. Congratulations on a superb first cook Michael. My best and prayers go out to you and your fellow servicemen and women. Thank you for sharing the experience.

01-21-2005, 08:56 PM
Looks awesome! Good job!

*wondering if he can get some leave for the bash*