Author Topic: Cooking temperature too low  (Read 21654 times)

Offline jayhawk fan

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Cooking temperature too low
« on: December 20, 2009, 12:12:29 pm »
Since I've owned  by stainless, non-digital Bradley smoker I cannot get the inside temperature above 175 degrees F in the summer, and 150 degrees F when it's cool  outside (around 65 F)--and that's after several hours of not opening the door. I keep the smoker outside but blocked from the wind.

I would like to smoke this week but the outside temps are not expected to get out of the 40's so I doubt I  can get the smoker above 125 F.  Most of the recipes I see call for at least 220 degrees. Is this normal for the  Bradley smoker not to get any hotter? Is there something else I can do? Thanks.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cooking temperature too low
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2009, 01:48:26 pm »
Hi jayhawk fan;

Welcome to the forum. Can you provide us with more information.

What are you using to monitor the cabinet temperature?

If you are using a temperature probe, where is it placed at?

What is your vent opening set at?

How large of a load (how much meat) are you smoking at one time?

Have you tested to see how high the temperature will get without any food in it.

This link may be of some help.

Bradley Smoker FAQ's


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Offline KyNola

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Re: Cooking temperature too low
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2009, 06:43:32 am »
Is the main heating element working?  Sounds like your only heat source may be the puck burner.  I would check the main heating element.  Also, some OBS have experienced a dead spot with the slider pushed all the way to the right.  I think someone said they had corrected that problem but just to be sure, push the slider all the way to the right and then back off just a tad and see if that makes a difference.


Lastly, check all your connections.

KyNola

Offline ArnieM

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Re: Cooking temperature too low
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2009, 08:58:51 am »
Hi jayhawk fan.  Welcome to the forum. 

You should easily get to 220+.  Unplug and replug all of your external power cables.  Make sure they're fully seated.

Are you using an extension cord?  If so, how long and what gauge wire?
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Offline smokey dog

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Re: Cooking temperature too low
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2009, 12:35:53 pm »
I experianced the same problem in manitoba where the temp could be minus 20 . I sloved it by adding an extra element just above the one that comes with the Bradley. purchase from Bradley for about $18.00 You will void your warranty but will be able to get the temp up. If you decide to do it make sure you wire it separately , with its own electrical cord as you will blow the circuit board if wired to the original element.

Offline jayhawk fan

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Re: Cooking temperature too low
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2009, 12:11:56 pm »
Thanks for your reply. Normally I keep the vents open about 1/4 to half. I usually slide the temperature control all the way to the right. Typically, I will load up the smoker pretty full with meat. I  plug in the smoker directly to the house without an extension cord.
 As far as temperature measurement, I use the temperature gauge built in to the door to ascertain the cabinet temperature. I use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. I always have to finish cooking the meat in the oven to get the internal temperature high enough.
I have not tested the smoker without meat but will do so soon. We got hit by near-blizzard conditions here on the plains, so I opted sit by the fireplace with my egg nog instead of smoking.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cooking temperature too low
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2009, 01:56:30 pm »
I see two things that can keep your temperature actually low, and one that thing that may make you think the cabinet temperature is low.

Loading the smoker with a large load, will keep the temperature down. The more meat (mass) the more heat will be absorbed, thus keeping the temperature low until the meat temperature begins to rise. Second, the thermometer in the door is not very accurate when there is food in the cabinet. This is especially so if there is meat very close to the end of the temperature probe. Water evaporating from the meat will cool the area around the meat, at the beginning when the meat is just beginning to cook, the difference between the temperature near the surface, and the actual temperature can be as much as 40°F.

A third; that I'm just thinking about could be too much moisture, therefore you will need a wider vent opening. With a large load, that much meat will give off a lot of moisture. Opening the vent to 1/2 to 3/4 open will allow more moisture to escape, and improve your temperature. Trapped moisture in the cabinet will actually keep the temperature down.

The best way to monitor and control the cabinet temperature is to use another type of probe thermometer, and place that probe underneath the bottom tray. Many of us use the remote Maverack ET-73. Try to smoke less amounts of meat, and experiment with your vent opening, to see which setting works best. Rotate your racks so that the meat cooks more evenly.


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Offline ToeNail

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Re: Cooking temperature too low
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2011, 07:36:12 am »
I have two smokers.  One original and one stainless.  I cook on the stainless one all the time since it is the one i keep at the house while the other is at our lake house.  I have trouble keeping the temp up too.  Even with larger loads without opening the door, the temp still will not get over 175 after 6 hours of smoking.  I'm very upset about my purchases of the two smokers.

Offline Tenpoint5

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Re: Cooking temperature too low
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2011, 07:57:03 am »
I have two smokers.  One original and one stainless.  I cook on the stainless one all the time since it is the one i keep at the house while the other is at our lake house.  I have trouble keeping the temp up too.  Even with larger loads without opening the door, the temp still will not get over 175 after 6 hours of smoking.  I'm very upset about my purchases of the two smokers.

Where do you have the vent setting at? If your closing the vent to "Keep the heat in" you may actually be trapping the moisture in and keeping the heat down.

 How long have you had the smokers? There was a period where there was a manufacturing problem with the heating elements. You may have bought your units during that time and have bad heating elements.
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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cooking temperature too low
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2011, 12:57:24 pm »
Hi Toenail;
Welcome to the forum.

Also what are you using to monitor the cabinet temperature with? If you are relying on the door thermometer that reads lower then if you place a probe under the lowest rack.

 


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Offline ToeNail

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Re: Cooking temperature too low
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2011, 07:44:00 am »
Thanks guys.  As for temp, I do use the door thermometer if I'm not cooking a big cut of meat. 

I purchased both of them around Christmas about 4 years ago.

Offline muebe

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Re: Cooking temperature too low
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2011, 08:53:13 am »
The door thermometer is not a reliable way to get true cabinet temps. When I was smoking two 7 lb butts in my OBS the cabinet door thermometer read 150F while my PID was at 225F and my Maverick ET-732 was at 232F. You should be taking the cabinet reading just below the lowest rack with meat on it. I think that door thermometer only works when nothing is in the cabinet. So you can use it to set the temp before placing your meat in the cabinet....after that ignore it ;)

Get yourself a good wireless thermometer to take proper cabinet temps ;D
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OBS(Auberins dual probe PID, 900w finned element & convection fan mods)
2011 Memphis Select Pellet Smoker
BBQ Grillware vertical smoker(oven thermostat installed & converted to natural gas)