BRADLEY SMOKER | "Taste the Great Outdoors"

Bradley Smokers => The Digital Smokers (BTDS76P & BTDS108P) => Topic started by: Kane on January 12, 2008, 09:20:22 AM

Title: My setup
Post by: Kane on January 12, 2008, 09:20:22 AM
hey guys,

well I finally had a lil time to go to menards and get my DBS vented. The 4 inch vent hose from the top of the unit to my roof peak is about a 15 foot run to a adjustable elbow and out. I burned a puck and everything is working great as is. Ill smoke something tomorrow and get a better test. it was working so good during my short puck test that Im thinkin I may not even need a inline fan. we shall see. spent about $25 on this project.(http://a747.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/92/l_ea513051db31ed4002df082384c32492.jpg)
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 12, 2008, 09:30:16 AM
Excellent Kane! 8)

The only other thing you may want to consider is if you open the door to do a rack rotation or spritz/mop during the "smoke" time you will still get a burst of smoke in the garage. This was one of the reasons I used a range hood. I guess the solution is not to open the tower until the smoke portion is complete.

Keep us posted!

Mike
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on January 13, 2008, 01:37:03 PM
Got some sage and onion stuffed chicken breasts going right now and the setup is working great. Got the doors all closed up with My heater on, NFL playoffs on the tv and icey cold beer in the fridge. no smoke in the garage at all and no moisture leaking from the door. all I need is a bed and Ill have no reason to leave the garage.  ;D
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on January 13, 2008, 04:01:36 PM
hey guys,

just got done eating some chicken. I hit these breasts with a hour of cherry. didnt really care for the flavor. I liked the pecan smoked breasts I did last weekend alot better. I had trouble getting the temp above 220 for some reason. I dont believe it was any electrical issue. I kept the unit running after I pulled the chicken and hit 300 with the vent closed in a matter of minutes. does adding a brick help maintain temps while cooking???
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Gizmo on January 13, 2008, 06:54:58 PM
How many racks of chicken did you have?
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on January 14, 2008, 01:53:53 AM
just one rack with 4 Big pieces on it
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 14, 2008, 02:53:43 AM
Chicken with skin will produce a lot of moisture. So if your breasts had skin on them, and they were four large breasts, that is almost equivalent to 2 small chickens. A lot of moisture will be release, when that happens it takes a lot of energy (heat) to convert the water into a gas; this will keep your temperature down. If you do not have the vent open enough, most of the moisture will be trapped preventing the cabinet from heating up. The moisture will also worsen the texture of the skin. When smoking/cooking chicken with skin, you should have the vent 1/2 - 3/4 open when you start. After a while when most of the moisture has escaped, you can move the vent opening to a smaller setting. I generally start with the vent about 2/3 opened.

Also if you don't open the vent wide enough, a lot of that moisture will collect and flow out the bottom of the door. If you have the digital, you only need to worry about staining your deck, or floor. If you have the original, you need to worry about moisture seeping into the heating circuit. Some of us raise the front of the smoker about 1/4" to prevent any possibility of moisture flowing out of the front of the cabinet.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on January 14, 2008, 02:46:37 PM
ok, I did some adjusting to this exhaust setup today. It seems I had such a strong wind pull from my roof vent that it was sucking the heat right out of the unit. I right away thought about Mike's setup and how he has notched PVC. I raised the vent hose up about 1 1/2 inches off the BDS . I still have perfect ventilation with no heat loss.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 14, 2008, 02:53:58 PM
Right on Kane....

That's exactly how I figured it out!  ;)

Mike
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on January 15, 2008, 05:53:49 PM
thanks Mike. Im sure glad I did this. Im entertaining this weekend. smoking a pork butt and a turkey. its suppose to be very cold here. single digits but I have a nice heater in there so its all good.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on January 20, 2008, 01:23:35 PM
tweaked things a bit. was getting smoke in the garage from down drafts to my roof vent. added a 80CFM vent fan and completely enclosed it against the vent. solved that issue.

(http://a202.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/74/l_a5a1f2aeef83b3af1e11951a26035331.jpg)
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on January 20, 2008, 01:26:55 PM
.(http://a598.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/120/l_54e47e341fd866d4ac09f508c76d0295.jpg)
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on January 20, 2008, 01:29:14 PM
venting raised up 1 1/2 inches off the unit to prevent heat loss

(http://a579.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/122/l_9bcecfea5b86e9ba2e195817fbd73e5a.jpg)
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Mr Walleye on January 20, 2008, 01:47:39 PM
Ingenuity!  8)

Looks great Kane! And I see you kept your fluids up during the build!  :D

Mike
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on February 05, 2008, 01:44:51 PM
Has ordered a BBQ Guru - DigiQ II and a Raptor for my setup. I just had to do it.  :D

Ill keep the thread updated with pics and reviews once I get it up and running. As most of you know the 2007 Bradley has a different plug than previous models. I have talked to BBQ Guru on the phone and also through email. They have no solution to the connection problem as I speak. Im gonna use a computer power cord as was suggested here. BBQ Guru actually asked me what I was gonna use and where they could get em. I did give them a link where power cables that will work could be ordered.

Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Mr Walleye on February 05, 2008, 02:02:00 PM
Kane

Sounds great. I look forward to hearing your report. I just haven't pulled the trigger yet but I've definitely been sniffing at it.  ;)

Mike
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: car54 on February 05, 2008, 02:13:39 PM
Kane, I am sure that the red jugs underneath your bench are full of BBQ sauce for basting.

Brad
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on February 05, 2008, 04:00:38 PM
laughs. how'd you know that car54?    ;)

dont worry. only 1 tank has gas in it and Ive moved it everytime I smoke.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Jimbo on February 06, 2008, 09:58:54 AM
Is this the type of conversion plug you need?

http://www.winfordeng.com/products/pwradp.php
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on February 06, 2008, 10:53:18 AM
no, this is what you need

http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat%5Fid=914&sku=03129
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on February 08, 2008, 04:01:23 PM
well, got the Guru all set up but hasnt had a chance to really test.   

(http://a952.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/72/l_71a0c7867a8d3182ade9fd65372bd08f.jpg)
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Mr Walleye on February 08, 2008, 06:08:19 PM
Kane

You will have to give us a report on the DIGIQ after you get a chance to use it. I've been thinking I need one but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

Mike
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on February 08, 2008, 06:25:51 PM
Had a few beers and played with this thing for about an hour.  I hooked my Maverick up for comparison. Set the DigiQ for 200 degrees, the raptor light came on and brought the pit temp up.  Got the Maverick up to 205 than I had a drop in temp to about 187 to 190 but quickly recovered to 205 again than had another slight drop in temp to 201. Seems the DigiQ learned enough at that point and the temps seemed to hold steady. no other major temp swings.

I decided to raise the pit temp to 210 and see how DigiQ would respond. The temp was over shot and got to about 220. Im sure this was because the extra juice the raptor was providing to the tower. The temp did come down to 210 after a few minutes and stabilize.

just playing around with this thing for a little bit it appears to be doing what I wanted.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Gizmo on February 08, 2008, 11:43:43 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if the swings are less when you get a load in there as this will act as a heat sink and consequently buffer or average out the swing.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Habanero Smoker on February 09, 2008, 03:01:15 AM
I'm very surprised at the temperature swings. Did you have the generator on. With it being indoors and empty, the bisquette burner could be the cause of it over shooting. That is the only time I have that problem, and if I need temperatures under 180°F, I use the cold smoke method.

Other then that I don't have any swings either with the cabinet empty or filled. When you are measuring the temperature swings, is the DigiQ also reading those same temperatures as the Maverick? The thermocouples of the DigiQ II are much more accurate, and very fast reading. I believe it registers temperature changes within 3 seconds.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on February 09, 2008, 04:18:20 AM
hey Hab.

when I raised the temp set point from 200 to 210. the temp was over shot on the maverick and the DigiQ. Both got to 220. I was using the smoke generator. during my quick little test before I raised it up to 210. The DigiQ always stayed at the 200 set point and the Maverick would tend to go from say 201 up to 205. but... with the Snap to target feature did the DigiQ really stay at 200 or was it floating a couple degrees as well?  Anything within 5 degrees of the setpoint and that snap feature kicks in.

also, being that you have more experience with this setup. what should my settings be for the open lid feature and the ramp feature. right now I have em both disabled.  It sounds to me that the open lid feature is more of a control a fire feature. I understand what the ramp feature will do but are you using it?


Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on February 11, 2008, 03:46:58 PM
ok, so I decided to smoke some pork tenderloin so I could take a better look at this DigiQ in action.

It was very cold outside. My garage was about 40 degrees with heater running full.

I set the DigiQ for 300 degrees so the Raptor would supply full power during preheat.
At 250 degrees I loaded the tenderloins and the cabinet temp dropped down to 195.

It stayed at 195 for a few minutes than started a slow climb which I expected would happen. Once the temp hit 210 I reset the DigiQ from the initial 300 degree preheat set point down to 210. It held there for a few minutes than started to drop. Temp fell all the way down to 182 than started back up. temp than stalled between 190 to 193 for about 15 minutes and than went from 194 to 205 in about 4 minutes. The "snap" to set temp feature kicked in to show 210 and it held at 210 for the rest of the process.

During the last hour of cooking I played with raising the temp up to see how things would respond. Adjusted the set point from 210 up to 220 and within a couple of minutes it was there with no over shoot. Than I went from 220 to 225 with the same result.

Overall Im happy with My decision to add this. It seems like it just needs a few minutes in the beginning to learn your pit.   I dont care for the Snap to set temp feature at all. I emailed BBQ Bob to ask if there was a way to disable it and he didnt respond.  I also checked the calibration and it was several degrees off on the high side. no big deal, at least its adjustable.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Habanero Smoker on February 12, 2008, 02:46:22 AM
Sorry for the delay, but the forum was driving me crazy. Every time I would type a long response, it wouldn’t post. It seems to be working better this morning.

I've never experienced the sporadic readings you are getting. I’m not sure what the “Snap to Target feature” is. That may be a new feature he has added, or something that I am not aware of. What version number is displayed when you turn it on? Can you describe the “Snap to Target feature”? The temperatures displayed on my DigiQ II are the actual pit and meat temperatures. It wouldn't make sense for Fred to have a device that will not show the actual temperature reading. When the DigiQ II is over shooting did you notice what are the pilot lights on the raptor and the blower status light on the DigiQ II were doing?

The open lid is for charcoal/wood burning smokers, so I have it disabled. The ramp mode I also leave disable until I need it. The ramp mode comes in handy for unattended smokes when you know you will not be in the area or unavailable when you expect the meat to be done. Or if you want to use the smoker to keep your food warm, but I generally just lower the pit temperature to 140°F when I am using the smoker for that purpose.

When you enable the ramp mode it will greatly lengthen the time that it will take to cook the meat to the set meat temperature. I use it most often for overnight smokes, when it may seem that the food won’t get done until 2 or 3 AM. I will engage the ramp mode so I don’t have to get up that early to take the meat out of the smoker, and I can stay in bed until 7 AM without fear that the food will overcook. The ramp mode for the DigiQ II will hold the pit a little above the set meat temperature, so to compensate for that I will lower the meat temperature before retiring for the night or leaving the area, and if necessary I will turn it back up in the morning.

When you are calibrating the boiling point, if it is off you need to keep in mind elevation and the current barometric pressure. This site has a calculator you can use to determine your boiling point for your elevation and current barometric pressure; if you know them.

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm#calibrate

Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Mr Walleye on February 12, 2008, 06:28:29 AM
Habs

Here is a description of the snap back feature from the review on the same site in your post.

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/productreviews/digiq2/digiq4.htm

We noticed something unusual, and we bet you will too if we don't tell you about it. But we'll tell you about it and save you the trouble. When the cooker is rising towards the target temperature, it will probably rise in 1- or 2-degree increments. When the cooker gets close to your target, you may notice that it jumps by 3 degrees. This is a feature called "Snap" which "snaps" the readout to the target temperature if the reading from the cooker is within three degrees of the target. This is to eliminate having the readout going back and forth by 1 or 2 degrees when the cooker is stable. If the cooker is within 3 degrees of the target the unit will display the target temperature. You probably don't need to care about this, but certain @nal types like us notice these things and ask why.

Kinda makes me ask "why" as well! I guess I qualify as @nal

Mike
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on February 12, 2008, 10:54:35 AM
Thanks Mike,

thats exactly what I was gonna post to describe it. and it isnt 3 degrees as was tested in the article, the snap feature on mine is set at 5 degrees.

In calibration. Barometric pressures change constantly and with that the accuracy of the DigiQ will change as well.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: brotheryyy on February 12, 2008, 11:28:20 AM
Ive read this entire thread, where am I missing the discussion on the plugs?
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Habanero Smoker on February 12, 2008, 02:06:26 PM
Mike;
Thanks for the link. I'll read it latter.

Kane;
Yes. The barometric pressure changes frequently. The thing that will remain or should remain constant is the elevation. It just a tool to use when someone is going through the steps to calibrate, or to check the accuracy of the instrument you are testing.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Habanero Smoker on February 13, 2008, 02:55:03 AM
Mike;

Thanks again for that link. I haven't seen any documentation on the "Snap To" feature.  I wasn’t aware of the “Snap” feature. I’m not one to watch the display constantly; so I would not have ever caught it. :)

I can see that being an important feature for wood/charcoal smokers, where the control is not as precise as with a small electric smoker. With the DigiQ II high accuracy thermocouples, and taking a reading as frequent as it does, it may be annoying to some to see the temperature bounce back and forth. As the article states, +3°F is minimal, especially for a wood/charcoal smoker.

But even with the “Snap” feature it is easy to tell what the DigiQ II is doing by looking at the Blower Status Indicator. By looking at that light the DigiQ II will indicate if it is applying heat, and at what rate. At a longer distance you can tell to some extent of what the DigiQ II is doing by looking at the pilot light on the Raptor.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: brotheryyy on February 14, 2008, 04:49:27 AM
Hey guys, this is the first im really seeing of the existence of these modifyers and im really interested but hesitant as to its real functionality.
  Has there really been a major improvement in your products since making these changes? Whats the biggest factor, besides accuracy does it help the unit rebound quicker? In that one photo it looks as if your not using the units original heater element at all is that correct?
    I was hoping this system might help when I load the smoker full at work, i mean when all 4 shelves are full the unit takes forever to reach the designated temp. Will the raptor package make it more feasable to pull off larger smokes with more coordination? or does it only streamline the variable once it GETS to temp? I hate blowing money for anything frivilous i guess I would like some scenario testimonies. any help?
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on February 14, 2008, 11:55:40 AM
hey brotheryyy,

being that I just upgraded to the DigiQ/Raptor I dont have much experience with it yet. Im sure Hab will jump in on this as well. but this setup is not gonna help you reach set temps any faster when you open the Bradleys door or when your doing a fully loaded smoke. The benefit is you wont see the BIG temp swings. The DigiQ will hold within a couple degrees of your target temp.  The extra power cable needed to make this work will plug into the back of the Bradley tower and than into the Raptor and what happens is the Raptor supplies power to your heating element when its needed to hold your target temp where you want it.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Habanero Smoker on February 14, 2008, 02:21:00 PM
Hi brotheryyy;

You did not mention which smoker you have. I have the original. With the DigiQ II I can set it to full power and not have to worry about adjusting the temperature control; but the Raptor/DigiQ II will not provide more heat than your unit can produce. It can make it almost as close as set it and forget it as you can get. Many of us use the temperature control devise to obtain more precise temperatures for smoking sausage, bacon, hams, fish etc.; so in that respect it is very much an important functional accessory. While others want more precise, and consistent temperature. It's a personal judgement if a temperature control devise is necessary.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: brotheryyy on February 15, 2008, 04:01:12 AM
Oh, my bad. I have the 4 shelf digital model and I havent done any cured meats YET. I  actually just got my prague powder and etc to do , well first a pastrami then id like to do some bacons. So the temp flux can vary the finished product? even just the couple of degrees huh?
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on February 15, 2008, 01:29:03 PM
"Snap mode" can be shut off by holding the down key and pit key at the same time when the pit temp is displayed.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on February 16, 2008, 01:40:18 PM
got some chicken breasts going for dinner here and the setup is workin great.  Im very happy with my decision.  Once the temp got back up after loading DigiQ is holding +/- 1 degree off my 210 set temp
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Mr Walleye on February 16, 2008, 02:23:55 PM
Kane

Glad to hear you got it dialed in. Are you using it without the "Snap Mode" or with?

Mike
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on February 16, 2008, 04:15:59 PM
I have the snap mode off.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Habanero Smoker on February 17, 2008, 02:40:11 AM
Mine must have been shipped with the snap mode disabled. I was watching closely my last two smokes when I was smoking some Bratwurst, and Canadian bacon. My DigiQ II was showing actual temperature readings.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Kane on February 17, 2008, 06:50:39 AM
The DigiQ has a built in diagnostic mode that can be enabled by pressing the DOWN and PIT keys simultaneously while displaying the pit temperature. The diagnostic mode provides the following two functions: Provides chirp a when the control has done an adaptation calculation and a more sensitive display of the pit temperature.
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Mr Walleye on February 17, 2008, 06:54:57 AM
Habs

I wonder if it was a software update that included the "snap" mode that wasn't available until after you purchased yours?

Is there any was to read the software version or may be just try turning it on to see if it's there. Around the time when you bought yours I don't recall ever reading anything about the snap mode. It was more recently that I read about it.

Mike
Title: Re: My setup
Post by: Habanero Smoker on February 17, 2008, 02:17:58 PM
Yes;the version of software is displayed. When you plug the DigiQ into an outlet, as it boots it will display 000. The next screen will briefly display the version. My version is V07. The DigiQ will only boot after the power has been disconnected then reconnected, it will not display that screen by just turning it on and off.

At the time I ordered Fred said that would be the version for some time, because he had been testing the DigiQ in the field for 5 years (I believe that is what he said). He may have changed the default settings after receiving some feed back by customers. If new versions of software are developed, I will have the option of sending my unit back for an update; I sure there will be a fee. I wished he had included a mini USB port so that customers could update the software themselves.