Author Topic: Low temperature  (Read 315 times)

Offline cfarther

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Low temperature
« on: January 22, 2017, 10:35:24 pm »
7 hours into a smoke,  temp set to 340, and it only reached 180 on internal temp probe..
I've read here that the delivered temp probe is inaccurate.
Strange that a~$700 machine which is advertised as  "With this model, you can set PRECISE oven temperatures,  time and amount of smoke for consistent results each time you smoke." has an inaccurate temp probe/display.

42F outside, low and slow is one thing, but this is kind of silly.

Any suggestions besides modifying an expensive machine?

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Low temperature
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2017, 01:44:53 am »
Hi cfarther;

Welcome to the forum.

Can you provide more information.

Where you opening the door frequently?
     Each time you open the door you allow heat to escape, and it takes time for the cabinet to get back up to your set temperature. Remember you are only working with 500watt element, with an additional 125watt bisquette burner.

What was your vent setting?
     You should first set it from 1/2 - 3/4 open, then adjust from there.

What were you smoking, how much food were you smoking, and when or if it was done?
     Seven hours is a long time. What were you cooking? The more food you have loaded the longer it will take for it to get to your set temperature. If you have a very large load, try reducing the amount of food you smoke at each session. Make sure you let the food warm at room temperature for an hour or so before placing it in the smoker.

Was there any food within about 2-inches of the temperature probe?
     When food is too close to the probe, moisture evaporating from the meat will lower the air temperature around it, as much as 40°F lower. It is best to purchase a digital temperature probe, and place that probe below he bottom rack. if you place that probe in-between racks you will get a lower reading.

Was it windy?
  Wind is the smoker's enemy. It will keep you temperatures down. Try to set up to block the wind.

Did you happen to notice if the heating element was glowing red?
     If the element is not glowing red, then the only thing that is heating up your cabinet is he bisquette burner. Depending on how much food you have in the smoker, the burner can get your cabinet close to 180°F. Even with the element glowing red, you should keep the bisquette burner on form additional heat. I can't recall the exact temperature, but I think the bisquette burner heats to 550°F.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline cfarther

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Re: Low temperature
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2017, 11:53:51 am »
Thanks for responding!

42F,
No wind,
Large load, all 6 racks used, not overloaded, not room temp.
Cold water first 2 hours.
Both oven and smoke generator on.
Vent 50%-100%, varied.
Seasoned.
Preheated.

I understand that anything can be made to work, I'm struggling to understand why I should need to.
I'll check to see where the probe would be in relation to the meat.

I did have a heavy load, but I thought that's what the 6 racks were for. Door opening only to change water.
Smoker did eventually reach 198 degrees, but that was after 9+ hours.  I'm still in the process of smoking a medium sized brisket, should be done in a few more hours!  Probably going to be over 30 hours, which isn't too far out of the ordinary.
Oven element red, at max temp 320 only about 2/3rds (middle) red, rest black, not sure if that's normal.
I understand the room temperature for the meat, and also the hot water for the bowl, though neither is in my manual.

Smoker comes with 6 racks, how many should I use?
I guess my main complaint is all the "work arounds" needed, makes the sales pitch not reality based.

"With this model, you can set PRECISE oven temperatures,  time and amount of smoke for consistent results each time you smoke."

I guess there should be a shroud around the temp probe if being close to meat is going to change the readings.

That said, it does work, just not as well as I'd hoped, and does takes much longer than it should.

Still not sure if I will keep, if I do I will definitely end up modifying.

Again thanks for the tips, will be implementing and testing.


Offline Smoke and Fire

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Re: Low temperature
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2017, 05:07:53 pm »
Sorry didn't read this post first. When Ioad mine up like you did it takes a long time and cold water doesn't help sometimes smoking some and finishing in oven helps. Ask questions someone will help. Ray

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Low temperature
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2017, 02:01:20 am »
The element seems to have been working correctly. I've never seen it completely red. The ends are always dark.

How big of a load you have, it not always dependent on how many racks you use. It would be based more on the type of foods you have in the smoker. For chicken wings, I never put more than five pounds in the smoker, and chicken with skin I will limit how much I put in at a time. If I used all six racks (I have a four rack), it would be to space the food out more evenly. Chicken with skin gives off a lot of moisture, and this will keep your temperatures down. Beef and other meats, you may want to consider not fully using all six racks they also release moisture. The more you place in the smoker the more moisture will be released. How much is the right amount will come with practice. Keep a log of your cooks for reference. Six racks come in handy; if you want to also smoke/cook vegetables, and/or other low moisture foods with your meats.

Also the ambient temperature has a lot of effect on the performance. When it gets warmer, you will notice better performance, and you can increase the amount you cook. You should search the forum for ways members have insulated their smoker, of have built cabinets to house their smokers.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline tskeeter

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Re: Low temperature
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2017, 03:18:35 pm »
I think that cfarther's temperature expectation might be a bit ambitious, at 340 degrees.  The older digitals peaked out at between 280 and 300.  Has Bradley modified newer versions of the smokers so that they deliver more heat?