Author Topic: 4 hours at 220 and still not done???  (Read 4584 times)

Offline Bigbirdoffroad

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4 hours at 220 and still not done???
« on: May 03, 2011, 12:07:43 pm »
OK, so I'm trying to get used to this 6 rack digital smoker. ??? I set the temp at 220F, let the smoker come up to temp. I reset the timer for 4 hours and my chicken leg quaters only had an internal temp of 140F. I let them go for another hour and finally came to 160, pulled them out and let them rest for 15 min to get to an internal temp of 165F. When I checked the temp at the 3, 3 1/2, 4 and 5 hour marks, the chicken skin was so much like leather, I couldn't even puncture it with my thermometer. There wasn't even any pink smoke ring in the meat. Am I doing something wrong????
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Offline muebe

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Re: 4 hours at 220 and still not done???
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2011, 12:14:14 pm »
Chicken skin does not turn out well in a smoker. I suggest next time you smoke to a IT of 140F and then finish in the oven to crisp up the skin.

Also make sure your vent is wide open. Smoked Chicken is not going to have a smoke ring but will get a pink color to it from the smoke..

How many hours of smoke did you apply?
Natural Gas 4 burner stainless RED with auto-clean
2 TBEs(1 natural gas & 1 LP gas)
OBS(Auberins dual probe PID, 900w finned element & convection fan mods)
2011 Memphis Select Pellet Smoker
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Offline Bigbirdoffroad

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Re: 4 hours at 220 and still not done???
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2011, 12:20:05 pm »
I had the smoke going for 4 hours. I dont really care about the skin because I don't use it. As far as the vent, open full the whole time.

I never have a problem with my Masterbuilt propane smoker getting a nice penetration of pink, at least a 1/4 inch into the meat. I was lucky to get 1/64 of penetration.
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Offline muebe

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Re: 4 hours at 220 and still not done???
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2011, 12:39:04 pm »
I would suggest also setting the temp to 250F when smoking chicken and maybe going to a lower rack. 4 hours of smoke should have been plenty....
Natural Gas 4 burner stainless RED with auto-clean
2 TBEs(1 natural gas & 1 LP gas)
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)

Offline RAF128

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Re: 4 hours at 220 and still not done???
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2011, 02:12:15 pm »
I've got a 6 rack and I learned that you can't rely on the  temp readings of the unit.    Get a seperate temp probe and hang it just under what ever you're cooking.    You'll get a far more accurate reading and find out that what the bradley says is higher than the actual temp.   I had all kinds of things that were taking way longer than expected to cook to the desired IT.    I eventually went to a PID and that solved it.

Offline OU812

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Re: 4 hours at 220 and still not done???
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2011, 02:19:55 pm »
You wont get a smoke ring in an electric smoker.

The smoke ring comes from combustion, like burning wood or burning propane.

If you get a thermometer and place in next to the temp sensor, that little round thingy on the back inside of the smoker about half way up, I bet your Bradley is reading 10 to 15 deg hotter than it really is.

I cook all poultry at 250 F

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: 4 hours at 220 and still not done???
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2011, 02:25:00 pm »
What was the actual cabinet temperature, when you set it at 220°F. Did you reach the 220°F. Most of us use a temperature of about 250°F.

I've never gotten any pink color on chicken from the Bradley that can be attributed by smoke. Smoke ring is not cause by smoke, but by nitrogen dioxide produced by burning organic fuels, such as wood, charcoal or propane. This gas dissolves on the meat and create a reaction similar to what sodium nitrite does. But pink ring is flavorless, and is not an indication of smoke flavor. Outside of the barbecue circles it is called pink ring. You can get a pink ring form your propane or natural gas kitchen oven if the meat is uncovered and you cook at barbecue temperatures.

The Bradley does not heat the bisquette hot enough to produce enough nitrogen dioxide to produce the pink color associated with the "smoke ring". The pink color you see in chicken from the Bradley is cause either by the low temperature you cook it at (which allowed some myoglobin to survive), and/or the chicken itself. Today's chickens are slaughter much younger then they use to be, so even when fully cooked there may be some pink areas, especially around the bones.

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What OU812 says.  :)


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Offline Bigbirdoffroad

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Re: 4 hours at 220 and still not done???
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2011, 03:15:45 pm »
This is some really good info. I was miss informed about the "smoke ring". I think it's really cool to know where it comes from. I bartend and now I have some cool info to "wow" my customers......Thanks!!!!

I've always cooked chicken and pork at 220F on my propane smoker. I guess I'll have to kick the temp up on the new smoker.  That's probally why the skin got as tough as leather. Hell, even the exposed meat got tough as leather....LOL

I don't know the exact temp of the unit. I figured spending the extra money to buy the digital smoker would have solved the problems inherited to the older Bradley smokers. So let me know again.....why is the digital smoker better????? Why do I have to spend an extra $200 on a PID to make my $500 smoker work properly?
I'm not the smartest peanut in the turd!

Offline RAF128

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Re: 4 hours at 220 and still not done???
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2011, 03:57:36 pm »
Your last question is a good one and I can't answer it.   I had an OBS and bought the 6 rack for the extra height for hanging sausage.   I thought the digital was a good idea but "it ain't what it's cracked up to be" ;).   It took a while to realize could be improved.    Also the temp swings with the digital was a concern.   I decided I needed better temp control and accuracy and opted for a PID.   I opted for the single probe which works great and does almost everything I want.   The dual probe would be nice if only to turn everything off when the IT I want is reached and I`m not there.   
Any, good luck and good cooking

Offline Bigbirdoffroad

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Re: 4 hours at 220 and still not done???
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2011, 04:25:48 pm »
Hey RAF, thanks for your input!!!! I want to make sausage and hotdogs too.

What do I need to buy to make this thing work the way I thought it was going to work??? Not too sure what PID I need for the BDS. Like I said, I thought the "Digital" fixed the problems. I guess it only makes your problems more expensive.

I'm really disappointed that I need to spend $200 more on this smoker to make it work properly. And looking at the heating element problems, an extra $45 plus shipping to make sure the heating element doesn't burn out on me. I'm really upset with my purchase. I am having a hard time recomending a Bradley smoker to anyone. Being an active duty Enlisted Soldier, I can't afford to make this smoker work the way it should. I could but I could hardly afford the smoker by itself. I just hoped to have a little taste of home at my own home.

SSgt "Upset" Schultz

« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 04:33:07 pm by Bigbirdoffroad »
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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: 4 hours at 220 and still not done???
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2011, 02:21:37 am »

Even if you use a higher temperature for chicken, you still may find the skin on the chicken that come out of the Bradley may still be a little rubbery. That is why it is best to finish the chicken over a grill or in the oven.

Once you have used the smoker a few times, you will begin to understand more on how to use it. Also ask a lot of questions, and you will receive a lot of useful information. If you are not going to make sausage those temperature swings are not going to effect smoked foods like chicken, brisket, butts, roast etc. Before the PID became popular, and prior to the digital models; many were making sausage in the unmodified oringinal. If you are not going to add the PID, the advantage the digital has over the original is that you don't have to keep adjusting the temperature. With the OBS you had to manually change the temperature throughout the cooking period.



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Offline Bigbirdoffroad

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Re: 4 hours at 220 and still not done???
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2011, 06:32:54 am »
Habanero Smoker, It wasn't just the skin that was rubbery. The exposed meat had an outside texture like leather. That might be due to the low temp. It was weird because I couldn't even puncture the skin with my thermometer.

I'll keep at it. I want to be happy with this thing. My wife almost killed me for spending $500 on a smoker and now she's really upset with me. Gotta figure out how to come up with the extra money to buy the PID without her knowing about it.  ;D
I'm not the smartest peanut in the turd!

Offline TedEbear

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Re: 4 hours at 220 and still not done???
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2011, 08:46:58 am »
I'll keep at it. I want to be happy with this thing. My wife almost killed me for spending $500 on a smoker and now she's really upset with me. Gotta figure out how to come up with the extra money to buy the PID without her knowing about it.  ;D

Try smoking a pork butt next.  They're easy to do, hard to mess up and turn out great.  Your wife will then begin to see the value of what you bought.   ;)



Offline RAF128

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Re: 4 hours at 220 and still not done???
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2011, 12:34:39 pm »
I wouldn't be too unhappy with your Bradley.    As stated there is a bit of a learning curve.    You'll eventually love it.   I've done a lot of different things in mine and learned that with the digital I just set the temp higher and then got what I wanted.     Because I like to make sausage I wanted tighter temp control and decided to get a PID.    I bought the single probe.    Seems it ran about $148 at the time.    As I said the dual would be nice.   It would turn on the smoker when the desired IT was reached and there have been a few times that I had to go out and when I got back I had passed the desired IT but usually only by 1 or 2 degrees which isn't a big IMO.
About the heating element.    I've never had a problem with mine.    A lot of members have had problems but that was fairly recently and Bradley has adressed it.   IMO it's something that happened with a recent production and not the older ones or the ones being produced now.   It depends if you were lucky or unlucky enough to get one of the ones affected.    I personally don't have any plans to add a 2nd element to my Bradley.    It gets hot enough for my needs and I remember something I read here when I started.    "If you're lookin', it ain't cookin' "    I don't do any peeking while I'm cooking so heat recovery isn't an issue for me.   
Anyway, I've been typing too long and as I said good luck and stick with it.

Offline Bigbirdoffroad

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Re: 4 hours at 220 and still not done???
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2011, 07:33:32 pm »
Well, I ordered the PID today. Too bad it wont get here in time to use it this weekend. It was cool that Auber takes Paypal, that way my wife won't know about the purchase.  ;D I'm going to try to make pastrami on Saturday for Ruebins on Sunday. Let's hope it turns out good. Going to stick a thermometer down the vent to see what temp I really have. Wish me luck!!!!

Thanks for the info!
I'm not the smartest peanut in the turd!