Author Topic: Low Heat when temp below 40 degrees  (Read 1162 times)

Offline mike6715

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Low Heat when temp below 40 degrees
« on: December 19, 2015, 01:45:15 pm »
Love my smoker . Smoked a lot of meat this summer and fall and worked great! My family are all farm raised and came from a hog farm so told them I'd smoke loin and ribs for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day was 40 degrees and rain could never get over 218 and ever time opened it to wrap and sauce took almost a hour to recover to 218 and had set at 250. I know low and slow is the objective ,but I was to have dinner done at a specific time and had to finish them in the oven. Bradley needs to address this issue in my option. went on and saw many with same issue and many have installed a second element. Did the same and installed a switch to disable in warm weather ,but I doubt I will use it .Warms up much quicker and smoked ribs today and it was 10 degrees at start and did normal 2-2-1 method turned out great. Maintained temperature perfect and recover when opened door was 5 min. Hoping Bradley comes out with a cold weather model .Suggest offering a 1000 element as a option .

Offline beefmann

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Re: Low Heat when temp below 40 degrees
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2015, 03:40:12 pm »
i agree. though i added a  900 watt finned  element  along  with a  blower to force the air over the fins,,,have never had an  issue since ... though here in southern california ,,,rarely do we see 40 F...

another  option is that you  could apply smoke in the  bradly and transfer to your main oven to finish at its lowest  temp,,, that is also a solution
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Offline TedEbear

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Re: Low Heat when temp below 40 degrees
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2015, 09:31:22 pm »
I remember when I added a second 500W element and a built-in PID controller it was like night and day compared to my previously stock Bradley.  Although they probably could offer a deluxe model with those added features for a few dollars more I doubt it will ever happen.  However, the "how-to" mods website is alive and well.  ;)

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Low Heat when temp below 40 degrees
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2015, 01:47:41 am »
As for the switch, I keep my Bradley outdoors 24/7, and often use my switch to turn off the second element when I don't need the extra power, and thus don't have to hook up my temperature controller. For example the other day I was smoking almonds and salts. The set temperature is not critical for this, so there is no need for me to hookup my Stoker to the Bradley. There are times I just want to apply some smoke to foods and then move them to the grill. This gives grilled foods; especially vegetables an extra smoky flavor. Also it is handy to have if you temperature controller malfunctions.

I know Bradley was testing a serpentine shaped 750watt element, but I don't think the testing went well; since they never mass produced it. It was shown in one of TenpointFive's photos.



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Offline KyNola

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Re: Low Heat when temp below 40 degrees
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2015, 07:39:36 am »
Air temperature below 40 is not as big of a problem as wind blowing across the top of your smoker.  The wind will suck the heat right out of the tower.  Block the wind and you will find that your Bradley retains heat much better.

Offline watchdog56

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Re: Low Heat when temp below 40 degrees
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2015, 09:14:11 am »
Also for temps-keep vent wide open to get moisture out.

Offline mike6715

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Re: Low Heat when temp below 40 degrees
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2015, 01:51:49 pm »
I didn't install a PID ,wired directly together with the spade connectors in plug in at rear of panel ..saw no reason for one with a cut-off switch installed ,but holds temp great.Wind or vent position made no difference in my opinion it is just plain undersized with a 500 watt element.

Offline TedEbear

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Re: Low Heat when temp below 40 degrees
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2016, 08:47:30 am »
Adding a second 500W element and a PID controller turns the Bradley into a whole new machine, IMHO.  You've already added the PID controller and adding a second 500W element is not that difficult if you follow the how-to guide.  Remember though, any modifications will void the factory warranty.

Additional Heating Element Modification

I did a modified version of the how-to guide.  I ran two short 3-4-inch loops of high temp wire from each end of the original element to each end of the second element. I've used it that way without any problem for several years now.

If you do this, be VERY careful when you cut or drill the holes in the heat shield.  The thin metal tears easily.  I drilled mine out to around 3/8" and then used a cone shaped grinding bit to enlarge them to the correct size.