Author Topic: Bradley 4 tray smoker, realistic expectations re temp  (Read 1458 times)

Offline Simso

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Bradley 4 tray smoker, realistic expectations re temp
« on: December 30, 2016, 07:53:52 pm »
Folks, I have had my Bradley smoker now for around 6 or so months, I have not done a lot of cooking on it, maybe ten or so cooks,

Realistically what max temp can I expect from this unit, today I'm smoking 2 kgs  of wings and set the temp to 250f, but it gets by the dial to around 205ish max,

Element is red inside, have a temp gauge on one of the shelves and it's saying 190

Thanks, ps I do like the unit, would just prefer not to finish things of in the house oven

Steve
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 08:57:58 pm by Simso »

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Bradley 4 tray smoker, realistic expectations re temp
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2016, 02:16:14 am »
Can you give more detail on the probe that was reading 190°F. Was that probe in-between racks or very near the food. If so, moisture evaporating from the meat can lower the temperature near the meat up to 40°F lower.

If you are getting a temp of 205°F, with 2kg of chicken wings, that is pretty good. The current models are listed as obtaining a maximum temperature of 280°F, but with a 500 watt element; I've never been able to obtain a maximum temperature with food in the cabinet. There is a temperature sensor that will shut the unit down if it exceeds a certain temperature. If Bradley is still using the same type of sensor it will disengage +/-20°F when it near or pass 280°F.

As the meat gets closer to being done you should see and increasing improvement of the cabinet temperature. Chicken with skin will expels a lot of moisture, this can keep your cabinet temperatures down. Leave your vent 3/4 to wide open, at least initially, to allow that moisture to escape. Since you are using a dual cooking method, starting in the Bradley and finishing in the oven, you can keep the vent wide open the whole time you are smoking. Many will start their cook in the Bradley and finish some other method, such as the oven, grill etc.


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Offline Grouperman941

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Re: Bradley 4 tray smoker, realistic expectations re temp
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2016, 09:03:20 am »
That is a large load of chicken. In addition to what Habs said, chicken bones hold a lot of cold, which keeps the temps down. As the IT rises, so will the cabinet temp.

200 F with that load is pretty good. Keep the door shut and let it ride!
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Offline teamlund

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Re: Bradley 4 tray smoker, realistic expectations re temp
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2016, 10:43:39 am »
I have a unit that is maybe 6 years old. I can set it to 320. It will get up there but I have to fire up the smoker not just the oven to get that temp. It will drop once I open the door and put in a 3lb tenderloin and it will get back up to maybe 280 eventually.. during the heat up process I put 2
Small bricks on the lowest rack with foil over the top. Those will help the temp recover because they will be hot alread... i am heating up by smoker now for a tenderloin tonight. I have already hit 320 on my wireless gauge... my Bradley temp reading seems to be consistantly 30 to 40 degrees lower.

Offline Simso

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Re: Bradley 4 tray smoker, realistic expectations re temp
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2016, 06:05:23 pm »
Thanks folks, puts my mind to ease a little bit

The extra temp gauge was an oven style one and I sat it on the shelf between the wings.

We pulled the wings out yesterday after three hours at 205 most were easy pull of the bone, a couple were still slightly bloody. These are the thicker sections

I have not done enough cooking to date with the smoker but enjoy the process (cave man in me).

I really do not want to double up in my cooking, that is, use the smoker and finish in a house oven, can see the advantages of that but I had an old charcoal smoker I did that with and it's one of the reasons I bought the Bradley.

Steve

« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 06:07:52 pm by Simso »

Offline Grouperman941

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Re: Bradley 4 tray smoker, realistic expectations re temp
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2017, 06:15:28 pm »
I really do not want to double up in my cooking, that is, use the smoker and finish in a house oven, can see the advantages of that but I had an old charcoal smoker I did that with and it's one of the reasons I bought the Bradley.

Steve

The thermometer will always read low when between racks of meat. Put it right below the lowest rack.

I always finish wings in the Bradley, and while not exactly crispy, I don't find the skin too rubbery, like it gets when doing a whole chicken. I do warm them up on the grill after the first day, though.
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Offline Simso

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Re: Bradley 4 tray smoker, realistic expectations re temp
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2017, 12:43:55 am »
Thanks,

Putting another load on tomoz, 3 to 4 kilos worth, so 4 trays of wings, now that I'm a bit more aware and understand that bones absorb the heat, I'll possibly put it on for a five hr smoke and cook,and see what happens.

Need to get a lot of the coldness out of the bones first, so thinking of ways to do that without allowing the chicken to be in bacteria growth range

Steve

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Bradley 4 tray smoker, realistic expectations re temp
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2017, 02:10:03 am »
For the Bradley I wouldn't go over 2.5kg. Wings have a lot of skin surface and will quickly give off a lot of moisture. The more wings the more moisture will be released, through evaporation. The heat energy it takes to convert water into steam will keep the cabinet temperature very low. Also if you don't keep your vent open wide enough to expel a lot of that moisture, that moisture will condense. Once it starts to condense inside the smoker, more heat is being used to convert the condensation back into steam, so that will further keep your temperatures down.

Depending on how the wings were handled prior to being prepared to go into the smoker, you can lay them out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, at room temperature for an hour. Also if you have the refrigerator space, air drying the wings (single layer and uncovered) on a rimmed baking sheet with a rack for a few hours will take some of the moisture out of the skin, and improve the final skin texture.


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Offline tskeeter

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Re: Bradley 4 tray smoker, realistic expectations re temp
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2017, 04:49:56 pm »
For the Bradley I wouldn't go over 2.5kg. Wings have a lot of skin surface and will quickly give off a lot of moisture. The more wings the more moisture will be released, through evaporation. The heat energy it takes to convert water into steam will keep the cabinet temperature very low. Also if you don't keep your vent open wide enough to expel a lot of that moisture, that moisture will condense. Once it starts to condense inside the smoker, more heat is being used to convert the condensation back into steam, so that will further keep your temperatures down.

Depending on how the wings were handled prior to being prepared to go into the smoker, you can lay them out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, at room temperature for an hour. Also if you have the refrigerator space, air drying the wings (single layer and uncovered) on a rimmed baking sheet with a rack for a few hours will take some of the moisture out of the skin, and improve the final skin texture.


Great explanation  and great suggestions, Habs.

Offline Simso

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Re: Bradley 4 tray smoker, realistic expectations re temp
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2017, 01:24:48 am »
Awesome replys, thanks......

Steve