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Author Topic: A few questions from a newbie  (Read 7279 times)

Offline DelcoSol

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A few questions from a newbie
« on: February 23, 2013, 10:54:13 am »
Hey guys I just wanted to fist of all introduce myself. My name is Frank and I live in PA. I love BBQ and currently have a propane smoker but am thinking of upgrading to a Bradley, I just have a few questions about it..

I have been looking around on the forum for a little bit now and it seems like everyone is helpful. Anyway, I am not sure which one I should get? Is the digital worth the extra money or should I just get the original? It seems that everyone is running these PID things? If I get the original and a dual probe PID is this as good as the digital? Does the PID act as a temperature controler for the smoker as well as an on/off switch once meat reaches desired temp? Also is the element upgrade needed? When done is it adding a second element or can I swap out the stock one for a larger one? Does this unit require constant attention? The issue I have with my propane one is that I have to keep an eye on it constantly which is fine except for when I am smoking for 12-15 hours then have to have people over and I am ready to pass out from exhaustion lol.

When smoking do you guys mop your meats every few hours or does the opening of the door effect temp too much? Is there any kind of water pan to infuse moisture? Does the original do cold smoking as well? Does the PID eliminate the unit turning off after a certain length of time? Sorry for all of the newb questions. Just trying to make sure I make the right choice. Thanks again guys

Frank

beefmann

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Re: A few questions from a newbie
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2013, 11:17:20 am »
welcome aboard.

i have the original with a home made PID with timer, so I say go with the original with PID , The PID id a temperature  controller    and deepening  on model it also controls the smoke generator  the Pid  generally does not care for how long it  is on for and will maintain  the set temp, unless you  run a  ramp soak PId which is good for doing sausages.

as for keeping  your  eye on a bradley, typically no you  dont, it  will advance the pucks every 20 mins or  so automatically and 1 puck is 20 mins of smoke ... 3 to 4 hours of smoke typically good on most  foods,
in a bradley you  will see some smokes in the  12 to 18 hour range depending on  the meat load.

opening the door  will affect the cook time as it has to replace the heat lost first then  start cooking again,

there is a v tray and drip pan in the bottom of the smoker that  will catch the pucks, extinguish them and catch the drippings .

as for infusing water or any other type of  liquid into the  meat,,, you  can  use the water pan after the smoke process is done.  in this process you  do want to  keep the top vent open to aid in air flow and keep moisture from building up in the cabinet and dripping onto the food giving it a bad taste. 

the Pid through Auber generally  does not have a  timer built into it for a  cook time duration,  there are a few that  do and to the best  of my  knowledge  do not need to be  used
 
as for doing any mods .. heater replacements  hold off till you  use your smoker for a  while... then  decide on which way you  want to  go,,, with the exemption  getting a  pid to use with your  smoker

dont  worry about the  questions that is what were here for

Offline STLstyle

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A few questions from a newbie
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2013, 11:29:31 am »
X2 what Beefman said.  Opinions will vary but I believe best option is original plus PID unless you want the 6 rack for capacity then digital is your only choice.


Sent from my iPhone
DBS 6 Rack
Dual 500W Element Mod
BBQ Guru DigiQ / Raptor Combo

Offline paulsnapp

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Re: A few questions from a newbie
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2013, 01:22:41 pm »
I bought the 4 Rack Digital model.  Shortly thereafter I bought the Auber Dual Probe PID because the temp controller in the digital is horrible.  If I were starting over new again, I would definitely buy the original smoker (not the digital model) and take the money saved to buy the Auber PID.  Comes out about the same.  The extra money for the digital model is not worth it.  My opinion.
Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker
Auber Dual Probe PID Controller
Second Heating Element Mod
Smoke and Stuff Fan Mod

Offline DelcoSol

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Re: A few questions from a newbie
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2013, 01:42:52 pm »
Thanks for the replies guys. Ok so my next question is what is the purpose of the dual probe PID? It says it can monitor the meat tempso does it shut off the heat if the meat reaches its desired temp? Also what is involved with the programing of the PID? So if I go with the original and this http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=151 I should be good?

Offline SmokinSignals

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Re: A few questions from a newbie
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2013, 02:14:36 pm »
I second paulsnapp on this.  I bought a DBS and just last night finished up a better PID controller for it. The DBS will walk all over the place, temp wise.

Offline paulsnapp

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Re: A few questions from a newbie
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2013, 02:30:22 pm »
The Auber PID will turn off based on what you program into it.  It can turn off based on time, smoker temp or internal meat temp.  Just depends on what you are after.  The link is the correct PID that I have.  I chose to get the permanent probe which mounts to the back wall of the smoker.  Others here have chosen the one that hangs down from the opening in the vent on top of the smoker.  Matter of personal preference.  I did not find the programming of the PID hard at all.  Some take a little learning curve but then admit it is quite easy.  There is a good tutorial for that here on this forum.  You will be quite happy with the original smoker and the PID you have chosen.  These, in my opinion, are as good as it gets.  Good luck and let us know how it all works out for you.
Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker
Auber Dual Probe PID Controller
Second Heating Element Mod
Smoke and Stuff Fan Mod

Offline DelcoSol

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Re: A few questions from a newbie
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2013, 03:08:46 pm »
Ok from what I have seen there seems to be some issues with the heating elements burning out? Has anyone had any isues that I should be aware of? Also if I do want to upgrade the element is it a matter of swapping out the stock one for a more powerful one or do I have to run two elements and do some fabrication?

Offline drano

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Re: A few questions from a newbie
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2013, 03:37:18 pm »
I've got the OBS.  Now I wish I had a 6 rack for hanging more sausage.  So if any kind of sausage is in your future, the 6 rack gives you more room (and commits you to digital since Original isn't made in 6 rack).
I'd agree with others, if 4 rack suits your needs, buy the OBS, then get an Auber PID in the future (or make your own if you're electrically inclined). 
Use the Bradley before you mod it.  If you don't do sausage, the OBS will work fine--some experience will help you maintain temp with the adjuster. 
Second element mod--you add a second element, identical to the one in there.  Pretty simple.  Here's a link. 
http://www.susanminor.org/forums/showthread.php?572-Additional-Heating-Element-Modification
You can also add a switch, which is covered in another listing on this site. 
Scroll down to Bradley Accessories--User Mods
http://www.susanminor.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?180-Our-Time-Tested-and-Proven-Recipes
Bradley had a bad batch of heat elements a few years ago.  I haven't heard of problems recently.

First, decide on 4 rack or 6 rack.  The 4 is good for butt, ribs, brisket, etc.  The 6 rack is nice for hanging more sausage. 
Then buy it, use it a few times (chicken and pork butt are easy), then decide on mods.  If you add a second heat element, you MUST add a PID--the factory control can't handle 1,000 watts.
Keep asking, we're here to help.


beefmann

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Re: A few questions from a newbie
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2013, 04:35:10 pm »
Thanks for the replies guys. Ok so my next question is what is the purpose of the dual probe PID? It says it can monitor the meat tempso does it shut off the heat if the meat reaches its desired temp? Also what is involved with the programing of the PID? So if I go with the original and this http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=151 I should be good?

the duel probe can monitor box temp as well as meat temp... I also believe that it will also turn off everything when meat  reaches its temp.. though i will let this go to the ones who own the duel probe

Offline paulsnapp

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Re: A few questions from a newbie
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2013, 03:27:10 am »
Beefmann is correct.  The Auber Dual Probe comes with a meat probe that you insert into the center of the cut.  You can then program the PID to shut off when the internal meat temp reaches the target temperature you have programmed into the PID.  I did a couple of pork loins and was looking for an internal temp of 145F.  I set up my PID to run the tower at 225F.  When the meat probe stuck in one of the loins reached 145F.  It turned everything off and alerted that it was done.  I set up the smoker, put in the meat and came back when it was done.  Completely hands off for the pork loins.  They were great!!
Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker
Auber Dual Probe PID Controller
Second Heating Element Mod
Smoke and Stuff Fan Mod

Offline DelcoSol

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Re: A few questions from a newbie
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2013, 06:27:23 am »
Ok guys. You have convinced me  :) Now all I have to do is shop around and find the best deal. Do any of you guys use those metal pucks for the smoke box?

Offline TedEbear

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Re: A few questions from a newbie
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2013, 07:21:34 am »
Do any of you guys use those metal pucks for the smoke box?

I use the ones below.  They are rings, not solid metal, and thus are much lighter and will not jam as easily as the popular pucks that some users have had problems with on here.

Bradley Smoker Bisquette Saver


Offline Ketch22

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Re: A few questions from a newbie
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2013, 03:29:08 am »
HI I use the same rings they work real will :)

Offline drano

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Re: A few questions from a newbie
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2013, 06:25:20 am »
Here's another puck saver option--I picked up 3 with the holes in them this winter.  They're light and work well. 
If you decide on a fan and want a kit, he's got that too.  And extra rack kits if you'd like to buy a kit rather than cut your own angle aluminum. 
He's a member here too. 
http://smokeandstuff.com/index.php/categories/smoker-acessories