PDA

View Full Version : Woohoo! Got my 'Dera, got my charcoal basket- I'm ready!


JasonF
02-22-2005, 03:17 PM
Well, not really...

I did get my Bandera last night- father-in-law bought it in Birmingham on Tuesday while there for business and brought it home to me in Atlanta.

Today Spicewine's charcoal basket arrived- it looks great!

The bummer is though, I know I won't get to put it together till at least Sunday- and then I've already made myself a list of "to-do's" including:

1. door gasket seal
2. drain valve
3. interior baffle

Plus, I have to get a few more probes & remotes- I burned up a couple in my Thanksgiving day cook (the one that destroyed my ECB), so I need to replace those as well...

But at least there is a Bandera in my garage. I'm one GIANT step closer to a good smoker- even if it is still in pieces in the box! :D

Bigdog
02-22-2005, 03:44 PM
Nice Jason. You will soon know the joy of cooking on a bigdog smoker.

parrothead
02-22-2005, 03:45 PM
Yee-hah! You will enjoy

G$
02-22-2005, 03:57 PM
Well, not really...

I did get my Bandera last night- father-in-law bought it in Birmingham on Tuesday while there for business and brought it home to me in Atlanta.

Today Spicewine's charcoal basket arrived- it looks great!

The bummer is though, I know I won't get to put it together till at least Sunday- and then I've already made myself a list of "to-do's" including:

1. door gasket seal
2. drain valve
3. interior baffle

Plus, I have to get a few more probes & remotes- I burned up a couple in my Thanksgiving day cook (the one that destroyed my ECB), so I need to replace those as well...

But at least there is a Bandera in my garage. I'm one GIANT step closer to a good smoker- even if it is still in pieces in the box! :D

IMO, do not let lack of a drain valve, door gasket, and even baffle keep you from doing a first smoke.............

Mark
02-22-2005, 04:02 PM
So you got a virgin Bandera huh? Above all else, and before you "break it in," I highly recommend first modding the inside bottom of the firebox wtih firebricks and some stainless steel sheet scraps as heat shields for the sides & top.. That way, the thin-guage firebox will last much longer and much more heat will make it into the smokebox.

nucleargeek
02-22-2005, 04:41 PM
Don't wait on the modifications to smoke some meat. I smoked 4 or 5 times before I put any mods on. They help, but not extremely necessary. It's a fine smoker straight outta the box (but assemble it first)!!!! :lol:

tommykendall
02-22-2005, 04:56 PM
IMO, do not let lack of a drain valve, door gasket, and even baffle keep you from doing a first smoke.............


I'd at least go with a baffle - even a temporary one made of flashing material if necessary.

Mark
02-22-2005, 04:57 PM
The problem is, once you use it, youv'e started corrosion events in motion. These "events" can be minimized upfront with the aformentioned mods. OTOH, there's certainly something to be said about producing some quality Q without delay. Just my $0.02 ; you're gonna do what you're gonna do.

jt
02-22-2005, 04:57 PM
Jason, you can make a temporary baffle out of heavy duty foil if you want to smoke before you do the other mods. I smoked with a temp baffle about 4 times before I put in the permanent one.

You're gonna enjoy the beast! Looking forward to hearing about your first smoke.

Arlin_MacRae
02-22-2005, 05:17 PM
Congrats, Jason! I had to keep mine in the garage overnight one night, too, and it about killed me.

I remember the wife yelling at me to quit staring at it and CLOSE THAT GARAGE DOOR! <grin>

Saiko
02-22-2005, 06:22 PM
I live in Kennesaw just up the road from you and have a ton of seasoned cherry wood that is just over a year old. If you want some of it just let me know, I have more than I need.

JasonF
02-22-2005, 09:40 PM
I live in Kennesaw just up the road from you and have a ton of seasoned cherry wood that is just over a year old. If you want some of it just let me know, I have more than I need.

Saiko-

Awesome! I just might take you up on that because until now I've used wood chunks (mesquite & hickory) in my ECB, but I've been wanting to try some other woods since reading all the interesting options available out there by everyone here.

I'll shoot you a PM sometime and see if I can stop by, that would be awesome. Thank you for the generous offer Saiko!

tommykendall
02-22-2005, 09:56 PM
Saiko-

Awesome! I just might take you up on that because until now I've used wood chunks (mesquite & hickory)


Jason - without any question whatsoever, take Saiko up on that deal. Cherry is great cooking wood and I've seen photos of Saiko's wood pile. Great looking cherry wood.

Arlin_MacRae
02-22-2005, 11:04 PM
TK takes pictures of Saiko's wood.

Pass it on.

SoCalCraigster
02-23-2005, 01:33 AM
Those mods are great but the dera performs awesome without them.

So just toss some meat into it and go for it.

BigBelly
02-23-2005, 07:59 AM
Congratulations!

One thing after doing your mods, which I highly suggest, is to make sure you season that bad boy up real nice. Don't be afraid to oil her down from top to bottom, and inside and out.

But I would have to agree with the previous few that recommended that you at least do your baffle for better heat flow, door gasket to retain more smoke and heat, as well as doing some fire brick or steel for better heat retention. The wheel and drain mod can be done later if not at all.

Sounds like you are one step closer to true BBQ bliss!

Good Luck and be sure to post pics!

417bullelk
02-24-2005, 12:47 AM
I would do the wheel mod soon. I put mine together in the garage and one wheel fell off by the time I rolled it out on the driveway. The other wheel fell off when I went to move it back in the garage. It's about a 15 minute fix that will save you lots of grief.

Congrats on the 'dera. Season her up and let her rip.

BBQchef33
02-24-2005, 01:21 AM
skip the drain mod.. drill a 1/4 inch weep hole in each corner of the smoke chamber and drop a few foil wrapped fire bricks in the bottom. Water drains thru the holes and ya didnt have to beat the brains out of the bottom with a sledge hammer.

jeffsasmokin
02-24-2005, 05:51 AM
IMO, do not let lack of a drain valve, door gasket, and even baffle keep you from doing a first smoke.............


I'd at least go with a baffle - even a temporary one made of flashing material if necessary.Congrats, Brother Jason! I have to agree with TK on this one.............my first smoke on the "Dera w/o the baffle mod gave me very erratic chamber temps. As he stated..........even if it's a temporary one.

Mark
02-24-2005, 08:53 AM
The door gasket mod is another one best done while the Bandera is clean.

Solidkick
02-24-2005, 05:47 PM
Nice job guys! All valuable info for Jason! Makes me proud!

Neil
02-25-2005, 04:44 AM
Congrats on your new pride and joy. I'll be celebrating my first anniversary as a proud NB Bandera owner next Thursday.

JasonF
03-05-2005, 11:30 AM
Whew.... it took me longer than expected to get to it, but I finally got the 'Dera built last night. Sunday afternoon and/or Monday I'll do the mods I need, and hopefully have the first cook on Wed or Thursday!! Woohoo!

jeffsasmokin
03-05-2005, 01:16 PM
Congrats on your new pride and joy. I'll be celebrating my first anniversary as a proud NB Bandera owner next Thursday.Way to go, Neil! Brisket with Candles!!!

JasonF
03-12-2005, 06:57 PM
Well, I decided to skip the door mod for now- I thought I might as well see how leaky it is before I start monkeying with it!

I'm doing my "curing" burn right now, and giving the charcoal basket a first try- and I must say, so far, it's working like a champ!! AWESOME!

Hopefully I'll actually get to cook something next week....

Jorge
03-12-2005, 08:05 PM
Enjoy it Jason. I have a blast and look at least a year or two younger after every cook. Then I wash the smoke off, deal with the beter half, and look 1 yr. older. Keep smoking, and keep living, that's my new motto! :D

cabo
03-12-2005, 09:52 PM
Been tryin to catch up on some posts, and ran across this one.
Always nice to hear about a guy (or gal) getting a Bandera, be it N.B. or Charbroil. I’m not saying that the “Others” are inferior. They are not by any stretch of the imagination. Hell, I wish I had the Gelt to have an armada of smokers. I just like the design of the Dera. I got mine about March of 2003. Had a heck of a time getting it home, and unloaded from the pickup. The thing weighs 225 lbs. out of the box (that’s before it’s seasoned and cooked in a lot). Probably weighs in at closer to 240 lbs. now.
I had to unload it in pieces to carry it all.

You have way more patience than I. (More power to ya). The first thing I read when I unpacked the instructions was “Do not try to assemble by yourself” Yeah, right!!!!!!!!! Two and a half hours later I was seasoning the “Beast”. I’ve had some really successful cooks, but then again I’ve had what I consider some real stinkers.
Funny thing is most people keep coming back for more!! Go figure.
Enjoy