Char Broil Bandera

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by rodneylenton, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. rodneylenton

    rodneylenton Newbie

    Hey all
    New here and just recieved first real smoker for an early x-mas present. Wife had one string attached, I had to use it to make the x-mas ham this year[​IMG]

    So I was looking at the inside and the opening beween the fire box and the smoker area looks like it might not be postioned the best for the water bowl.
    Does this look like it might need to me moded. Or could it be as easy as moving the bowl up on set of hangers. I just want to keep as much cooking area as possible

    Remember I have yet to cook on it and unfortunatly I don't have time to do a test run and see how it heats[​IMG]
    So any ideas are more than welcome, and I will post pics when ham is done
    Happy Holidays

  2. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to SMF !!!
    Without a test run you may want to keep Pizza hut on your speed dial !!!
    Honestly, without a test run it is very difficult to know where you can keep you temps. Hopefully there will be a member along shortly that uses that model smoker. Might help to post where you are located to get an idea what kind of outside temp you may be smoking in.
  3. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    you really need a baffle to direct heat down.....

    you really need to season this smoker first to burn off any manufactures residue machine oils.........

    but is still a more than a week mossy best be doing a trail run.....maybe a boston butt, they are very forgiving..........

    and DON"T rely on the thermo thats in the door, they are NOTORIOUSLY inacurate......get a good digi to at least know what you really cooking at.......maybe wait and do a ham for new years if this is too daunting to do before aweek from tomorrow

    but DON"T be afraid to ask any and ALL questions you may have......we are here to help
  4. gypsyseagod

    gypsyseagod Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i've read from others that on them that they are fuel hogs. make sure ya got plenty of coal/wood whatever on hand. congrats on your new tool & be sure to post qviews if ya can.
  5. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not many Bandera users here, myself included. Everything I have seen about them says they use a lot of fuel.
    You need to fire it up and condition it before you cook in it. Follow mfgrs. instructions. That will give you some idea of how it runs.
    You should also keep a smoking log. Scroll down to "Top Downloads" below and open "SMF Smoking Log PDF", download it and use it.
    A pre-cooked ham is an easy first smoke, check this out from Jeff - and the pineapple/honey mop is outstanding -

    Smoked Ham
    Most folks who do not cure their own hams (quite the long process by the way) will purchase a pre-cooked ham and throw it in the oven according to the directions on the package.
    Well let me tell you how to take it to the next level, pop that baby in the smoker and keep it around 225 degrees and surrounded by smoke from your favorite wood for a few hours and you will have influenced the flavor of that ham in a remarkable way.
    I do not think you need to take it all the way up to 160 or it may dry out too much on you but you can smoke it to around 140 or so and it will be extremely flavorful and delicious.
    Make a mop out of 1 part pineapple juice and 3 parts honey and mop the ham generously every 30 minutes as it smokes.
    Attach pineapple rings with toothpicks all over the ham and mop with pineapple juice every 30 minutes while it smokes.
    You can do the mustard and rub (coat the ham with a thin coat of mustard and then coat it with rub)
    (Smoke to temp.,140 deg.F, use remote thermometer, about 4-6 hours?)
    Everyone will be asking for your smoked ham recipe even if you use a pre-cooked one.
  6. rodneylenton

    rodneylenton Newbie

    Thaks all for the tips
    I did'nt get to research the smoker it was just hey Merry Christmas now cook, LOL
    I did the season burn as per the instructions actually did it twice over the weekend
    The download as some good tips in it.
    I plan on using a pre cooked ham (the kind you normally get from the super market) and follow Jeff's tips.
    Oh I am more than eager to ask questions and listen to others with more knowledge.
    I have done plenty of turkeys and hams on my old Weber Kettle over the years but this new
    Because messing up a dinner can be costly considering the time involved, and hey come on we all have seen that face your friends make[​IMG] when something did'nt turn out to well
    With the thermometers I purchased this on from a shop online since mine did not have one
    on the weather it looks like it will be md to high 40's for x-mas day
    If I get time to test with a Boston butt, any suggestions on where to place the meat, since I have plenty of height to work with.

  7. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    now THATS a thermo............

    i cannot answer as too where.......i do not have a verticle like yours.....but just my guess......middle rack?

    other folks will be along answer
  8. Rodney, Congrats on the new smoker. I had one of the earlier models when they were made by New Braunfels. What I would suggest doing on this first run, especially since its Christmas Dinner is to test your thermometer with boiling water test and then place a shelf as close to the level of the thermometer as you can. Place the ham in the middle of the shelf. I didn't notice if you're planning on using the water pan or not. If you do place an aluminum foil tent on top of the ham, (I used to suspend mine with toothpicks). This will prevent condensation from staining the ham. I looked over the modification link earlier in this thread and it looks good. The most important two are;

    1. the baffle coming out of the firebox. Foil will work fine for this. I used the reynolds heavy duty folded to triple thickness.
    2. Not really a mod, but raise your fire grate up to the second lowest setting so ash buildup doesnt interfere with air supply.

    Another mod I used and I felt it helped was to take foil and wrap a shelf leaving about 3/4 to 1" around the edges and placing in the next level above the meat. Then I would foil another shelf and foil it leaving about a 6" square in the middle and place this below the meat. I also used the water pan in the second to the bottom slot. In my mind this made the smoke run sort of a maze to get out rather than being able to escape quickly.

    As was mentioned earlier these models are fuel hogs. I never really fully enjoyed mine until I started burning wood.

    Hope this helps some. Enjoy getting to know your new smoker.

  9. rodneylenton

    rodneylenton Newbie

    That is darn good way to test the accuracy of the new thermometers, so simple yet I had'nt thought of it, thanks
    I was undetermined yet as to weather or not to use the water pan, BUT I am glad you mentioned the foil umbrella so to speak. I thought the water pan would help in keeping the meat moist.

    Hey kind of off this subject but when would not want to use the water pan, I kind of thought it was an essential paet of the smoking process using this type of smoker[​IMG]

    yea going to bend up the baffle tomorrow at work, raise the grate and if I can find them some fire bricks for the smoke chamber.
    I was looking some where, but can't remember where I saw someone had fabricated acouple of plates they inserted in their up right smoker.
    The plate fit in the grate racks and had a concave cut out of them on one side to kind of chanel the smoke / heat in certain sides of the smoker.
  10. Whether or not you use the water pan is up to you. I always used it at first thinking that the water would absorb extra heat from a fire that is too hot and give up heat from a fire that is too cool and that is true to a certain extent, however I just couldn't see 5lbs of water making a big difference in a 200+ lb smoker so I quit using water in the pan but kept it in the smoker to help distribute the smoke and to catch and sear the drippings from what I was cooking. This, in my opinion gave the meat a little extra flavor and made cleanup easier.
    Another reason to use water is to add extra moisture to the meat. This seems to be a divided issue with strong feelings on both sides. All I can say is that given that you're not going to find fuel, briquet, lump charcoal, or wood out there that has 0 percent moisture in it. So you are getting steam production from your fire anyway. I'm not an expert, nor have I ever cooked in a competition and there are a lot of people with more cooking experience than me here on this board. All I know is the way I'm describing works for me..... I'm fat from eating my own cooking so I think I'm doing something right. The great thing about this hobby, sport, passion is that you get to do what you and your family like. There are very few absolute right and wrongs.

    bigace likes this.

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