Author Topic: New to Bradley, first impression of the digital and a question.  (Read 10921 times)

Offline heinz

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Still in the process os "seasoning" it (the 4-rack) but thought I'd vent my first impression, which is actually a dissapointment, however minor. The digital display used is the pits in any kind of daylight. VERY frustration hence making my first post a venting rather than a share. Even in shade it is very difficult to set and monitor. It's not going to keep me from using it but it was rather dissapointing.

My question is re a spent bisquette. The puck is advanced into the bowl looking like a hockey puck, i.e. black but in one piece. Is that proper? I would've thought it would be more like ash, but as I'm new to the Bradley I thought I would ask.

Have also heard that some folks don't put water in the dish and therefore have the puck continue to burn. Comments?

Thank you for allowing me to vent. Now on to the serious stuff. Planning chicken as first try.

Heinz


« Last Edit: June 21, 2006, 02:47:50 pm by heinz »

Offline Oldman

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Re: New to Bradley, first impression of the digital and a question.
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2006, 03:16:47 pm »
Quote
The digital display used is the pits in any kind of daylight. VERY frustration hence making my first post a venting...

Sorry to hear about that. No one else has posted this. Perhaps there is a problem with your unit.

Quote
My question is re a spent bisquette. The puck is advanced into the bowl looking like a hockey puck, i.e. black but in one piece. Is that proper?

This is proper.

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Have also heard that some folks don't put water in the dish and therefore have the puck continue to burn. Comments?

I'm been on these boards for quite sometime and I never saw that information posted before.  It reminds me of a saleman's "pitch" concerning an item he has no knowledge of.  The Bradley puts out an even amount of smoke. The pucks are to be put out at a certain point to insure there is no bitter taste or taring.

Welcome to the forums and good luck with your first smoked yard bird.
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Offline heinz

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Re: New to Bradley, first impression of the digital and a question.
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2006, 03:39:00 pm »
Thanks Olds.

Hopefully someone will chime in re the LED's. I'd hate to 'live' with it unneccesarily. The segments are clearly visible, I.e. all 'eights' and the lit ones are really tough to distinguish.

Heinz

Offline mattmilw

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Re: New to Bradley, first impression of the digital and a question.
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2006, 05:48:19 pm »
Hi Heinz-

I have the original BS, not the digital. I built a PID for it to control the temperature. It uses red and green LED's to display the temps. The green ones are VERY difficult to read, and have to be shaded from the sun in order to read them. Even then, I can barely read them.

I'm guessing your having the same experience. I agree- it's a pain. Once you accept that it is what it is, it's still pretty cool to be able to dial in your temp and not have to worry about it.

Enjoy your smoker...it's a fine unit.

Matt

Offline Arcs_n_Sparks

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Re: New to Bradley, first impression of the digital and a question.
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2006, 06:01:50 pm »
Heinz,

If you don't let the puck burner come up to temp, the first puck will not really burn up much. First mistake I made when I got my Bradley; pushed the advance button to move things along when I should have waited.

I've designed a PID controller with red/green LEDs. Pretty tough to drive them hard enough to be sunlight readable. The outdoor choice would be a LCD display (with heat for the cold climate crowd), but that is more money.

Let us know how your smoking comes out.

Arcs_n_Sparks

Offline heinz

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Re: New to Bradley, first impression of the digital and a question.
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2006, 06:05:13 pm »
Thanks Matt.

Orange would've been a much better choice I would think. Unfortunately many things don't get the real world test. Of course it may be equally unrealistic to assume the weather will be like it was today, I.e.  no clouds or rain, just a nice bright day :-))

As it turns out I'll probably be ok as I'm making a permanent home for the Smoker in our gazebo so it'll be out of the direct 'outside' and will be usable rain or shine.

Heinz

Offline heinz

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Re: New to Bradley, first impression of the digital and a question.
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2006, 06:12:01 pm »
Heinz,

If you don't let the puck burner come up to temp, the first puck will not really burn up much. First mistake I made when I got my Bradley; pushed the advance button to move things along when I should have waited.

I did notice that the last in the session was burned much more completely and the ones in the water were black throughout. I probably looked at the first drop-off before. It's that impatient thing :-)

Is the correct procedure then to turn the smoke on but wait 5-10 minutes before advancing the 'wood' ?
And then set timer and temp at that time?

I guess it's good ol' experimentation that will make for perfection but thought I'd shortcut as much as reasonable.

Thanks all.

Heinz

Offline asa

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Re: New to Bradley, first impression of the digital and a question.
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2006, 06:40:30 pm »
I'm not as quick as Arcs, so it took me several smokes to figure out to switch on the generator to let it heat up before advancing the pucks. On the other hand, you shouldn't feel that you should have known that, if the documentation for yours is as incomplete as it is for my original BS. The light on the generator apparently means only that it is plugged in, not that anything is turned on. The switch evidently controls the puck heating element. That is what I've concluded from experience and from reading the forum  - people here from time to time have talked about leaving the generator on (presumably they mean the switch) to help keep the temp up, implying that the switch controls the puck heating element. 

As far as the pucks not burning down to ash, that is one of the primary marketing pitches for the BS - that it doesn't allow the wood to burn down to ash, which is when you apparently get toxic compounds released that are more acrid and bitter than the "clean" smoke obtained by only charring the pucks part way. I'm not knowledgable about the chemistry of wood-burning, so can't personally vouch for the correctness of that claim, but it makes sense, and stuff sure tastes good smoked with this process, so I'm not complaining about the only partially burned pucks.

Good luck and let us know how you do. By the way, posting here is the right thing to do if you want to progress up the learning curve as quickly as possible. The more experienced smokers here on the forum are very responsive and helpful.

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Offline speltman

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Re: New to Bradley, first impression of the digital and a question.
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2006, 06:53:13 pm »
  Hi Hines. I too have a new 4 rack digital. I set my smoker on rolling metro shelving, “a wire rack with wheels” I elevated it so that the display is at 45” from the ground, just right for me. The rack gives me lots of extra room for all my smoker stuff. I park this rack under a Caravan instant canopy. It is always in the shade and protected from the rain. “It always rains in Washington”  After reading your post I rolled my smoker out in the sun, “ with brisket still smoking” and behold I could no longer read the digital display. The glare made it unreadable. I had never noticed this because I am always under cover in the shade. As far as being hard to set my unit works perfect. It is very user friendly, never had a problem there. Hope this helps. scott   

Offline woodcutter

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Re: New to Bradley, first impression of the digital and a question.
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2006, 09:43:31 pm »
  Great idea Speltman. Thanks for helping a newbie.

Offline heinz

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Re: New to Bradley, first impression of the digital and a question.
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2006, 10:17:20 pm »
I guess we'll call it a design short-fall (the LED color choice).

Forces everyone indoors I guess. That's were I went as a result.
Take a look at the Bradley's new home at http://web.mac.com/heinz/iWeb/MyGMC/MyBlog/MyBlog.html

Sure beats smoking outside under an umbrella. Also looking forward to year-round smoking now that it's "inside" and easy to keep the fire going.

Heinz

Offline retired george

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Re: New to Bradley, first impression of the digital and a question.
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2006, 07:16:57 am »
 speltman, I like your rolling rack and tent/canopy idea. I'm going to get the stuff today. When it rains I will just roll my smoker in the garage. Makes dal garn good sense to me. .....Retired George

Offline jaeger

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Re: New to Bradley, first impression of the digital and a question.
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2006, 08:34:08 pm »
Welcome to the forum retired george!
Since you are retired, you can be the designated tester for all of our recipe ideas! We'd hate to have you sitting around all day trying to think of things to smoke in your new bradley!!!

Offline West Coast Kansan

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Re: New to Bradley, first impression of the digital and a question.
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2006, 10:31:22 am »
heinz, the display is tough to read in bright light. I have gotten around it to some extent in the same manner as suggested above. Lowes sells a laundry cart that works well for the Bradley. I just moved the shelf from the recommended bottom location to the top and put the frame your supposed to hang the bag from on the bottom.  The long post for the hangers works well to hang your power cord. I  also mounted my wireless temp transmitter to the long post.  I like it because it is easy to move the unit so the display is in the shade. I wish I had spent a little more for a larger cart so I could have had a work surface. The cart I bought was $29USD and the larger size is $59USD

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Offline gotbbq

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Re: New to Bradley, first impression of the digital and a question.
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2006, 03:07:02 am »
Heinz

I just got my second Bradley - the 6 shelf.  Couldn't get the heating element to work.  I called Kirk at Chez Bubba.  He suggested I really push the plug in tight.  It worked.  All is good.  The pretty colored lights are great in the shade.  Hard to see in bright light.  For my first smoke the temp took a while to get to temp, but all was OK.  It worked well.  Pork butts today.  I wish the timer ran more than 9 hrs, 40 min.  Eat a brisket after 9 hrs - chewy!

gotbbq