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Just got a new braunfels vertical smoker

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I purchased a vertical smoker over the wkend and tried her out today. Im new to smoking meat but love grilling and the outdoors. Well my qeustion is how do I get a good fire going to increase temp and and good smoke flavor. What are some of you guys secrets. I have hickory that Ive just started to collect but need more info on whta types of charcoal if Im to use charcoal. And how do I get a good hot smoky fire
post #2 of 5
I own 2 of those if it's the Bandera...

one secret is to elevate the charcoal grate to allow air to always flow in underneath. Then I would make yourself a charcoal basket and fill that with any charcoal, using wood logs or chunks as a secondary fuel and for smoke.

The MAIN control on a Bandera is the INTAKE. ALWAYS keep your exhaust open 75% at least and don't use that to control your heat. Use that Slide intake to make the fire hotter or cooler...

Pic of my Charcoal basket in my New Braunfels Side Fire Box of a horizantal, but I use it in the Bandera too...

In the Bandera, I push the basket either to the front or toward the intake and I put small logs outside the basket touching it and they will burn nice and slow!!!
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have never maid a charcoal basket. It doesnt seem easy.How can I go about startiing to make one? Materials... etc...
post #4 of 5
TOTALLY EASY, I have to leave for the afternoon but I will explain with PICS later today.
post #5 of 5
OK CWalk,

I call it the 20/20 Charcoal basket... $20 and 20min of assembly is all it takes.

First you go to HomeDepot and buy one of these:

Then you get a tape measure and a black marker, lay the mesh down so the diamonds are running left to right:

Then with a straight edge and the marker draw a line right down the center of the 'intersection' that is 6" in from each side:

From the bottom up and the top down, using a good pair of 'snips', CUT threw 6 intersections following the line you made. Only go 6 cuts up and 6 cuts down. Those pieces of MESH are universally made the same so I've done this to 2 pieces already and it works great.

Lay something Heavy or clamp something across the piece from left to right 6" up and now BEND all 3 pieces up. OVER BEND the center piece and bend it back to a 90*, leaving the 2 other flaps bent just short of a 90. Do this to the bottom and the top.

Now take a pair of pliers and bend the ends of the flaps IN so that when you form the basket these 2 bends will go into the side piece.

It is hard to explain but BEND up the end piece and INSERT the lower bent flap into the bottom diamond hole pushing it down all the way also insert the TOP bent flap into the hole at the top. This eliminates the need for any metal ties or attachments of any kind. The whole thing just stays together this way by itself.

Do this to BOTH end pieces and you should have something that looks like this:

Now you have a 12x12 charcoal basket that fits right into your Bandera or just about any side-box smoker...

AND YES, it is heavy duty enough to last threw the heat. I've had one of mine for a whole season now

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