Author Topic: Smoker won't get up to temp  (Read 41260 times)

Offline ericblaine

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Smoker won't get up to temp
« on: November 22, 2012, 12:14:14 PM »
Totally frustrated with my smoker and its the 2nd time I have used it.  It won't heat up past 180.  Its plugged directly into a grounded outlet, no extension cord.  The fuse is not blown and all connections are secure.  The smoker mechanism seems to work fine and the pucks do smoke and advance as normal.  The lower heating element is glowing red but not brightly.  Two digital thermometers verify its not getting above 180.  Smoking a 15 pound turkey that was cooled to room temp before it was put in.  I let it heat up to 180 for an hour empty and with the meat in it won't get above 160 now.   The first time I used the smoker it heated right up to 340 degrees in about 30 mins and now it seems broken.   Anyone have an ideas?

beefmann

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Re: Smoker won't get up to temp
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2012, 12:24:26 PM »
what is the ambient temp?
is there any breeze ?

both these factors will come into play if it is very cool , 50 F or cooler and a breeze will suck the head right out of the smoker.... also check the voltage at the outlet, if it is low it wont allow the heater to get as hot,  is your slider control to the right? giving the heater all the power it needs?

Offline Keymaster

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Re: Smoker won't get up to temp
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2012, 12:54:54 PM »
Even if theres nothing plugged into the same outlet as the Bradley there could be a refrigerator or something else on the same circuit. Sounds like you know about circuits by the way you have already tried to troubleshoot the problem. If your Turkey is Room Temp it will take awhile to bring the box temperature up to the desired Temp. Hope all works out, were here to try and help.

Offline GusRobin

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Re: Smoker won't get up to temp
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2012, 07:32:52 PM »
was your vent closed? Should be wide open with poultry>
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devo

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Re: Smoker won't get up to temp
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2012, 07:45:40 PM »
Quote
The first time I used the smoker it heated right up to 340 degrees in about 30 mins

Is it just my smoker that will not come close to this temp or is this some super duper smoker I never heard of?  :o :o

devo

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Re: Smoker won't get up to temp
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2012, 07:52:02 PM »
Thinking about this a little more, if your smoker got that hot the first time out then your high temp sensor is shot.

Offline KyNola

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Re: Smoker won't get up to temp
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2012, 08:59:32 PM »
A 15pound meat load placed in the Bradley will also inhibit the temp's rise.

Offline TedEbear

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Re: Smoker won't get up to temp
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2012, 10:56:17 PM »
Smoking a 15 pound turkey that was cooled to room temp before it was put in. 

Not that it has anything to do with the smoker not getting as hot as it should but you should never let a turkey sit out and get up to room temp before cooking.  You have 4 hours to get through the danger zone once it reaches 40*F to get it above 140*F before harmful bacteria can start to make the food go bad.

Offline gbsorenson

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Re: Smoker won't get up to temp
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2012, 10:36:57 AM »
This is one of the reasons I'm finally going to break down and get a new smoker. We shouldn't have to modify it just to get enough heat to do your smoking. In the summer it's fine, but in MN winters you just can't get enough heat out of it. I'm going to keep my DBS for doing cold smokes and the occasional nut's and sausage smokes. I'm leaning towards getting a pellet smoker/grill.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 10:42:57 AM by gbsorenson »

Offline KyNola

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Re: Smoker won't get up to temp
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2012, 10:52:20 AM »
I have owned my BDS 4 rack for over 5 years. There has been zero mods done to it to boost the heat output.  It sits outside year 'round and it has never failed to come up to heat.  I would submit to you that if you figure out a way to block the wind from blowing over the top of your vent that your Bradley will work just fine year 'round.

A Bradley is not designed to hit 350 degrees and bake a cake.  It is designed to be a smoker.  Smoking temps generally run 140 to 250 unless you are cold smoking.  Patience is a virtue.

Offline gbsorenson

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Re: Smoker won't get up to temp
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2012, 11:06:57 AM »
Mine (6 rack) has been running for about 24 hours, set at 225 with two 9# pork butts. It is outside, and there has been a breeze. Right now the temp is at 195, that is as high as it has gotten in the 24 hours. In the winter I usually smoke in my unattached garage (wife hates it) with the window open and small fan in window. IMHO they need a higher watt heat element in the 6 rack smoker, most of the other similar style and size smokers I've looked at have a 1000 watt. Don't get me wrong, I've had a good time with my Bradley, just wish it had more heat for winter smoking. Time for me to try something different.

Offline GusRobin

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Re: Smoker won't get up to temp
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 12:15:15 PM »
Mine (6 rack) has been running for about 24 hours, set at 225 with two 9# pork butts. It is outside, and there has been a breeze. Right now the temp is at 195, that is as high as it has gotten in the 24 hours. In the winter I usually smoke in my unattached garage (wife hates it) with the window open and small fan in window. IMHO they need a higher watt heat element in the 6 rack smoker, most of the other similar style and size smokers I've looked at have a 1000 watt. Don't get me wrong, I've had a good time with my Bradley, just wish it had more heat for winter smoking. Time for me to try something different.
add a second 500 w element
"It ain't worth missing someone from your past- there is a reason they didn't make it to your future."

"Life is tough, it is even tougher when you are stupid"

Don't curse the storm, learn to dance in the rain.

Offline gbsorenson

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Re: Smoker won't get up to temp
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2012, 10:42:15 AM »
I could, I just don't want to. I will keep the Bradley for small jobs and cold smoking, but want to add a pellet smoker to my arsenal. I am hesitant because I've read a lot of people are disappointed with the lack of smoke flavor from pellet grill/smokers, but I figure I could always smoke it in the Bradley first and finish it on the pellet smoker if I want it more smokey. I also would like to be able to do bigger briskets, it can be hard to find 10-12 lb briskets sometimes. And I often have to smoke several for bigger events.

Like I said in an earlier post, I do still like my Bradley and plan on continuing to use it, this just gives me a good excuse to add another toy to my patio! ;)

Offline Alanfromwis

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Re: Smoker won't get up to temp
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2012, 01:23:09 PM »
  Instead of adding a 2nd element, consider a change to a 900 watt finned element as the fins are a more efficient heat transfer system. That is why most heating & cooling systems that are not forced air have fins. A little more expensive initially & I have not heard of any failures with them, however there may have been.
Alan
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Offline irnman1827

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Re: Smoker won't get up to temp
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2012, 01:27:09 PM »
Totally frustrated with my smoker and its the 2nd time I have used it.  It won't heat up past 180.  Its plugged directly into a grounded outlet, no extension cord.  The fuse is not blown and all connections are secure.  The smoker mechanism seems to work fine and the pucks do smoke and advance as normal.  The lower heating element is glowing red but not brightly.  Two digital thermometers verify its not getting above 180.  Smoking a 15 pound turkey that was cooled to room temp before it was put in.  I let it heat up to 180 for an hour empty and with the meat in it won't get above 160 now.   The first time I used the smoker it heated right up to 340 degrees in about 30 mins and now it seems broken.   Anyone have an ideas?

Have you contacted Bradley? Their customer service is excellent.