Author Topic: A few questions?  (Read 2752 times)

Offline TNRockyraccoon

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 186
    • Rocky Top Anglers
A few questions?
« on: January 21, 2014, 09:19:45 am »
Is the thermometer in the door of the smoker basically useless? It never reads close to that of the maverick....even when I position the probe close to the bradley probe.

Does adding a second 500watt element help with keeping the oven temps even or would I still experience drastic temperature differences throughout the box? Is the only benefit of adding the second element faster pre heat and quicker recovery times?

I've decided that I need a PID to ease my mind during overnight smokes. I originally wanted to add one to my smoke generator but am considering the stand alone plug and play model in order to save my warranty. Other than the cosmetic differences between a smoke generator mod and a plug and play, is there any difference in the way they work or the quality?


Offline hutcho

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 239
Re: A few questions?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2014, 11:57:31 am »
Is the thermometer in the door of the smoker basically useless? It never reads close to that of the maverick....even when I position the probe close to the bradley probe.

Does adding a second 500watt element help with keeping the oven temps even or would I still experience drastic temperature differences throughout the box? Is the only benefit of adding the second element faster pre heat and quicker recovery times?

I've decided that I need a PID to ease my mind during overnight smokes. I originally wanted to add one to my smoke generator but am considering the stand alone plug and play model in order to save my warranty. Other than the cosmetic differences between a smoke generator mod and a plug and play, is there any difference in the way they work or the quality?

If you increase your element you need to add a pid.  There was just a discussion about this recently and some decided that it would be ok to do without a pid but there is no proof whether it is needed or not.  Personally I would err on the side of caution, plus you gain tighter temp controls and a few other bonuses.

I have the auber with ramp/soak in my digital http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=34268.0

As far as I know the main difference between the plug and play and doing it your self is that 1.  Its ready to go no cutting holes or wiring stuff or anything like that, so if electricity or mechanical work is foreign this is your deal.  2. As far as I know the plug and play can only have 6 steps programmed where as diy you can get 30.  Not a big deal really just a little more programming if you change meat types alot.  Once again I dont have the plug and play so im not 99% sure on the steps.  3.  The plug and play allows you to use dual probes.  So when meat temp reaches x degrees it can adjust or shut off or whatever you are looking to do.  I'm sure there is a way to diy but haven't looked into that yet. 4.  Lastly and most importantly is the plug and play doesn't invlove hacking your smoker up and therefore voiding your warranty.   

From my experience the diy was not much cheaper than the plug and play but I didn't do mine the way most do and I feel that I gained a bit more than I would have going the plug and play route.  Plus I think it looks nice and clean.   Also I have no warranty.  Anyway just my .02 something to think about anyway.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note 2


beefmann

  • Guest
Re: A few questions?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 12:39:58 pm »
Is the thermometer in the door of the smoker basically useless? It never reads close to that of the maverick....even when I position the probe close to the bradley probe.

Does adding a second 500watt element help with keeping the oven temps even or would I still experience drastic temperature differences throughout the box? Is the only benefit of adding the second element faster pre heat and quicker recovery times?

a)  no it does not help with keeping the oven temps even,,,the additional 500 watts helps  with heat recovery  when the  door is  opened or on colder days or on  very  windy days, if you  want tighter  cooking  temps you  would  need a  PID weather it is a  plug and play or build your  own

I've decided that I need a PID to ease my mind during overnight smokes. I originally wanted to add one to my smoke generator but am considering the stand alone plug and play model in order to save my warranty. Other than the cosmetic differences between a smoke generator mod and a plug and play, is there any difference in the way they work or the quality?

A) there is really  no big difference between the  two, they  both control the temp of the box / tower, if you  want to get one that  works like the digital units, Buy a Temp PID  and a  timer through Auber, install it into your  smoke generator, Set the timer to start  when  on and  run for 4 hr 40 minutes ( 40 minute pre heat + 4 hour smoke ) then it  will turn off the  puck heater, The Pid will operate separately controlling only the 500 watt elements in an  effort to keep box temps uniform and as  close to set points as possible.

Offline TNRockyraccoon

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 186
    • Rocky Top Anglers
Re: A few questions?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2014, 08:03:01 am »
I suppose I worded my question wrong.

I've noticed when trying to smoke multiple items that the temperature varies greatly from one part of the cabinet to another. It really requires frequent tray moving and rotating. This requires a lot of opening of the door and wasting heat and time.

My question was on whether or not a second element would eliminate cooler pockets in the tower and help the tower temperature remain even from top to bottom?

I've done a lot of reading here and it's looking like a second element is primarily just to speed up pre heat and recovery times, but I was hoping it would also help with tower temperature uniformity.


Now, onto the PID. I'm going to order the plug n play single probe model and they offer two different types of probes. One is a free hanging probe you run through the vent. The other is a wall mount probe that requires a little work to install. I'm looking for opinions and maybe some reviews from those of you who use either of these probes with your Auber PID and Bradley.


One last question. This time concerning the vent. I've read on the forums to keep your vent open during use. Does this mean it's best to keep it 100% open or  partially open? Should the vent be left open for the entire duration of smoking and cooking?

Thanks for helping folks. Your knowledge and this forum have been a great resource and it's appreciated.

Offline Saber 4

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 3,349
Re: A few questions?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2014, 08:15:10 am »
I believe the different temps you are seeing could be related to the temp of the meat you put in and the evaporative effect as some of the moisture is coming out of the meat.

If I understand what I've read, (don't have any mods) it takes some type of fan to even out the cabinet temps even with a second or larger element. I'm sure that is open to debate amongst the modified folks here, just what I have taken away from lots of reading here.

I am in the vent wide open all the time camp, but others with much more experience than me have different opinions on the subject and I will let them speak for themselves.

Offline hutcho

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 239
Re: A few questions?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 08:21:06 am »
I run vent wide open as well.

I think you would need a fan to equal the temps top to bottom.  There was a thread somewhere (recipe site I think) where temps were just a few degrees different top to bottom.

I am personally going to do both the dual elements and fan as I dont like the recovery issues and its one of the perks of having a pid.  Also I have heard that duals work better with a fan so it doesn't over cook the bottom stuff so bad. 

Have you looked at the recipe site yet?

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note 2


Offline tailfeathers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,180
Re: A few questions?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2014, 08:46:41 am »
I have a 900 watt element, a single probe Auber "plug and play" pid and at least as of yet no fan to circulate air. I opted for the free hanging probe for my pid. I run it in the (always wide open) vent, down the back wall and then through the middle of the rack nearest the center of the cabinet. I let the probe hang an inch or two below the rack. I also use a maverick thermometer to monitor IT of meat and cabinet temp. I make sure the temp probe of the maverick is well away from the pid probe and I really don't notice a huge variation in temp between the two. That's why I haven't bothered with a fan up to now. I don't pay the least bit of attention to the temp displayed in the Bradley digital SG any more.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Where there's smoke, there's HAPPINESS!!!

Offline BBNRules

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 57
Re: A few questions?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2014, 10:01:54 am »
In my VERY limited experience, when the meat is closer to being done, I close the vent halfway to increase the internal cabinet temp.  It seems after 10 hours in the OBS, I get that plunge from 225-240 to 170-180 for at least 2 hours.  It got so bad the other day that I took my brisket out and used my oven to finish it off.  The cabinet went from the 170-180 back to 225 in no time.  It's happened to me twice the exact same way, coincidence, probably.  The guys on here know their stuff, just pick and choose what works for you and the food you're cooking. 

Offline GusRobin

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 4,514
Re: A few questions?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2014, 10:18:24 am »
The additional element or 900 w will not even out the temps per se. A fan will help. But some of it is also determined by how much meat and its size. A big piece of meat on the bottom rack will block the heat and make some spots "cooler" until temps eventually even out.

I initially ordered a wall mount and it wasn't too long where I unmounted it and used it as a hanging probe. I eventually bought a hanging probe. The mounted probe has the same problem as the Bradley temp probe. The optimum placement of the probe depends on the load of meat you have in the cabinet. You want it under the lowest piece of meat. You don't have the ability to move a fixed probe. The mounted probe gives a neater appearance but negatively impacts the usage.

The vent lets out moisture. I have kept my vent open from the first day I used the Bradley. My personal opinion.
"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.