New to Smoking Meat - Restoring/Modding Bandera - D/FW, TX (Lots of pics)

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by bvbull200, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. bvbull200

    bvbull200 Smoke Blower

    Hello all.  I was referred to this site by another new member of yours, who happens to be my best friend and ALSO happens to be working on a little smoker project of his own (which I'm sure he'll share at some point).

    I've grilled for a number of years on a Weber kettle grill and added a Master Forge charcoal grill a little over a year ago.  I'm no expert at grilling, but I've always cooked over charcoal and do a pretty good job, I think.  At any rate, I've decided to put the effort in to learning to be skilled at the "low and slow" method of cooking.  To start, I needed some equipment and, after doing some research, decided to buy used and restore/modify it to my tastes.  I happened across a New Braunfels Bandera that I scored for $75 on Craigslist and have been modifying slowly over the last couple of weeks.  It is almost ready for paint, then off to start cooking.  Below is where I'm at so far.  Pretty excited about learning this craft.  

    Here is what I started with:

    So far, we have done the following;

    1.  Added heat deflector/baffle

    2.  Replaced rear wheels/axle with casters

    3.  Replaced front casters with steel legs/feet

    4.  Built a (badass) fire-basket

    5.  Cut a plate to reduce the size of the cooking chamber (removable)

    6.  Sealed some joints that could potentially leak heat/smoke (inexpensive factory assembly)

    Still have a few more things to do like add a shelf to the outside and make a little covered mount for the wireless transmitter (I bought a Maverick ET732), but it is almost ready for paint.


    Fire-basket.  The divider is removable and the whole basket is pretty stout.

    Here is the removable plate for reducing the cooking chamber size.  This should make it a little more efficient when BBQing/smoking smaller amounts.  The "exhaust" is in the back left.


    Legs/feet.  This caster/legs/feet combo raised the smoker by about 3 inches, which is good for a taller guy like myself.

    Here are a couple small gaps we filled in:

    Looking forward to reading more on the site and learning from the more experience/skilled grillers/smokers/BBQers on here.
  2. Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
    About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
    and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
    We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions Post it
    and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is because their
    are so many different ways to make great Q We all have our own taste.

    Happy smoken.

  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Welcome to the forums!  This is the best place I know for sharing ideas on smoking, grilling, curing, etc.  There are plenty of friendly, knowledgeable folks who really enjoy helping one another.  Just ask when you need anything, and someone here will surely have the answer.  I always liked the looks of those Banderas, and it looks like you've made some great improvements on yours.

    Good luck and have fun!

  4. bvbull200

    bvbull200 Smoke Blower

    Thanks, guys.  I've found plenty by searching already.  It will take a little time to get used to the forum layout (seems pretty fragmented), but it looks like there is a wealth of information everywhere you turn.
  5. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    :welcome1: to SMF!!! We're happy you found us! You've come to the right place, we have over 50,000 members who just love to share their experience and over 1,000,000 posts describing it! Yea that’s right over 1,000,000!

    We have an ”Articles” section that is full of great information about smoking to include a lot of recipes and instructionals. Check it out there is a lot to learn in there!

    Would you do us a favor and add your location to your profile, it helps others to know where you are when they offer advice, Thanks!

    You might want to check out ”Jeff's Free 5 day E-Course”, it will teach you all the basics plus a whole lot more!
  6. bvbull200

    bvbull200 Smoke Blower

    Thanks!  I'll check out the E-Course.

    Location has been added.
  7. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    From your pics, you've done a great job on refurbishing that smoker. Looking forward to the q-view that will be coming off of that thing. Love the charcoal basket, should keep that smoker running quite awhile.

    Enjoy the Smoke!
  8. mrbarbecuenet

    mrbarbecuenet Newbie

    Hi fellow barbecue master.

    I recently purchased a New Braunfels Bandera verticle smoker on craigslist for $20

    It was a bit rusty as you can see from the photos; I did the following.

    I sanded, and scraped the entire inside of both the fire box, and smoke box.

    Painted exterior, replaced caster inserts, made a new coal basket.

    I still need the wood table built, and sanding rust from bottom of grill stand.

    sorry the photos didn't show in proper order.

    I have a question about the mod you did inside the smoke box?  What is it for?  I have seen this online a few times.


  9. mrbarbecuenet

    mrbarbecuenet Newbie

    I forgot to mention....

    I seasoned the smoke box 3 times with charcoal, and hickory.  i'll upload a photo later.  It's beautiful, and black.

    I used a grinder with a wire brush, and fine #4 waterproof sand paper, then washed with water.  after drying, sprayed vegetable oil inside, and wiped with towel, heated up, and seasoned like you would a cast iron pot or wok.
  10. mrbarbecuenet

    mrbarbecuenet Newbie

    Does anyone have any techniques for using a vertical offset smoker like mine shown above?  New braunfels bandera smoker.

    I have been smoking on my Traeger electric smoker for the past year with great success, now that I have the off set, I'm getting some seasoned oak wood for the weekend.

    Please hit me up with a reply, i'm brand new to the forum, and look forward to sharing my successes, and learning tips, and tricks from other.

    Thank you,


    Mr. Barbecue
  11. Hello and welcome from East Texas, search through some of the forums and threads, Lost of information there. Don't know if there is anything special you do for that type, I have a RF, but using charcoal and wood is pretty much the same in all smokers, I control my heat to the Cook chamber using the damper on the fire box, I keep my chimney damper Wide open when I am smoking. A good temp gauge is a must, That way you will know what your CC temp is getting to. You may have to play with the amount of Charcoal and wood to get the desired temp.

    Gary S
  12. mrbarbecuenet

    mrbarbecuenet Newbie

    thanks for the tip Gary!  I'm going to pick up some seasoned oak from a guy in West Palm Beach tomorrow; I'll let you know how things go.

    In regard to a mod on the opening to the smoke box; I've seen several post on here about controlling the air flow, but no details as to why you would want the mod.

  13. burger

    burger Newbie

    ​i see im late as hell to this thread but better late than never, huh? I have this smoker and the reason for the baffle is heat distribution. the heat tends to role out of the fire box and straight up the cooking chamber wall making one side much hotter than the other.

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