20/20 Charcoal Basket

Slimpicker

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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:

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


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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:

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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.

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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.

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Slimpicker

Slimpicker

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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.

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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.

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

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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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JohnMcD348

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I'll vouch for that mod. I did that very same thing with my Bandera and my SKD and used it for awhile until I got a friend from the Brethren website to build me a regular, heavy steel basket with baffle plates so it would keep the coals closer together.

What you can do with your basket there, is to buy steel plate and cut out 2-4 sheet the width and depth of the basket and fit them in so that you can condense the coals together once they start burning well. You can then add unburned charcoal to the end of the basket closer to the air intake end and keep it separated to a degree. It will add to your burn times and and help you control your temps easier. I also, used heavy steel sheets to place over the top of the firebox(where the cooking grill is usually placed) and it will better channel the heat into the smoker box and not escape through the lid. Look up Bandera Mods on the net and find the template for the smoke chamber baffle too. It'll go a long way to better heat and smoke distribution in the chamber, instead of traveling up the side and out the top. I used to cook with both of mine, side by side and loved them.

I just got older and decided my time was better spent sleeping overnight when I'd do briskets.
 
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