Author Topic: Cooking times for Bradley vrs. wood burning smoker.  (Read 733 times)

Offline JohnM70

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Cooking times for Bradley vrs. wood burning smoker.
« on: August 28, 2018, 03:47:13 pm »
I have very good luck with smoking, Pork Butt, Brisket (except for the first one), chicken, turkey, etc. I have a Bradley 6 rack with a 1300 watt heater. My stepson built a wood smoker which will hold 100 +lbs of meat/poultry etc. It is big enough to have a 20-gallon water tub in the bottom. He smoked 40lbs of bone in pork butt, sprayed the butts every hour or so with apple juice/water combination. He keeps the temperature at 125 degrees with 1 temp probe not sure where it is located. He maintains that the cooking took 12.5 hours and IT was 195...
In July I smoked 4 bone-in butts which equaled 38 lbs (3 @ 10lbs and 1 at 8lbs). My 4 took about 25 hours and they stalled around 170 for about 5 hours, not at the same time. The smaller finished at about 18 hours and the rest finished about 2.5 hours after each other. None finished at the same time. IT was 195. I use JAN's rub and CYM.
If you watch any cooking shows they all seem to complete the smoking in 12/14 hours. To mee 125 degrees is 125 degrees whether you are using electric, work or a BIC lighter. Now from the pictures, you should be able to see the probe for the PID and 2 Maverick temp probes along with 2 meat probes.
The bark on my butts becomes very hard and some people don't appreciate this. What my wife and I do now remove the bark (the hard stuff) and chopped it up in a food processor then add it back. Also, I use a roman pork puller.
I just don't understand why the times are so different. Maybe I can get Hab, TedEBear, KyNola, and other cooks who think about this quandary to comment.



The photo bucket was beating me up so I could only get one picture.
Bradley 6 Rack BDS with cold smoke attachment, Maverick remote dual temp(2), Thermapen and,  Auber Dual Probe PID, 1300 Watt Mod, Weber Genesis E310

"I keep cutting it off and cutting it off and it is still too short"

Offline rnmac

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Re: Cooking times for Bradley vrs. wood burning smoker.
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2018, 06:09:52 pm »
Hi JohnM70. Great looking pic. You have me thinking about a nice big sandwich for a midnight snack.
My pork butt adventures all take between 15 & 16 hours. The butts I get are between 8 & 10 lbs.
I usually pull them around 195 degrees and ftc for 3 hours.
I'm using a stock 6 rack digital Bradley.
I hope this comparison might help.

Offline JohnM70

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Re: Cooking times for Bradley vrs. wood burning smoker.
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2018, 08:48:41 pm »
Thanks for your reply. Well, 28lbs was for an RC fly-in for the 4th of July weekend. They must have liked it because I only had 6lbs left! :( but it made some great sandwiches. I am not sure what the difference is but even when I had the stock 4 rack it took upwards of 18/20 hours, for 2 8+ pounders.
Bradley 6 Rack BDS with cold smoke attachment, Maverick remote dual temp(2), Thermapen and,  Auber Dual Probe PID, 1300 Watt Mod, Weber Genesis E310

"I keep cutting it off and cutting it off and it is still too short"

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cooking times for Bradley vrs. wood burning smoker.
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2018, 02:35:21 am »
Hi JohnM70;

Just for clarification are you cooking at 125°F, or 225°F? I also would be interested in what others think.

I feel it basically comes down to the amount of BTU's each unit is putting out. Although the set temperatures are the same, after loading the Bradley; depending on how much food is loaded, it will take the Bradley hours to get to your set cooking temperature. With a wood or a charcoal burner, that is putting out a lot more BTU's you are probably looking at 20 - 30 minutes. This also goes for the recovery times. Each time you open the door the Bradley struggles to get back to your set cooking temperature, while with a wood burner it is a matter of minutes, and you hope you don't overshoot.

Another thought could be the capacity. With the small capacity, and air circulation of the Bradley, it is prone to trap moisture more readily. Too much moisture requires more BTU's to obtain you set temperature. With a wood burner, even though he has a 20 gallon water pan, it's putting out enough BTU's to handle this. His wood burner probably has good air circulation.

I have a couple of charcoal burners that I like to use, but when it comes to my butts I always use my Bradley. This is one barbecue meat that I prefer done in the Bradley. It's a flavor that I can't duplicate with my charcoal burners. My chicken, ribs, and occassional brisket, I prefer to cook using charcoal. Coincidently I'm starting a 9 lbs. butt today in the Bradley. I have a duel element modification. I cook them at 200°, to an IT of 175° - 180°F, and I'm looking at about a 16 hour cook.


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Offline Roget

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Re: Cooking times for Bradley vrs. wood burning smoker.
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2018, 06:22:38 am »

I think Habs has it about right.

Compared to my pellet smokers, my Bradley takes probably 2-5 hours longer to get approx. the same product.

For a butt, I always set my cooker @225°. Realistically, the Bradley is probably only at 225° 50-70% of the cook. Every time I open the door to spritz, etc, it takes a while to  recover.
It probably is cooking at 200-210° a lot of the time. That makes for a great tasting butt, but it takes a bit more time.

By comparison, my pellet smokers recover almost immediately, so I am actually cooking at a higher temp most of the time.

Personally, I prefer the product I get from the Bradley over the pellet smokers. (but again it does take longer)
I am relatively new to pellet grills & I am still trying to dial in the times & temps it takes to get my meats to come out the way I like them.
I think maybe lowering the smoker temp (on the pellet smoker) to around 200°-210°, might be the answer for me.

With the Bradley I always know what to expect.
A long cook doesn't bother me. I've got nothin' but time.

YCDBSOYA

Offline JohnM70

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Re: Cooking times for Bradley vrs. wood burning smoker.
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2018, 09:54:39 am »
Hi JohnM70;

Just for clarification are you cooking at 125°F or 225°F? I also would be interested in what others think.



With the Bradley, I always know what to expect.
A long cook doesn't bother me. I've got nothin' but time.
  ME TOO

My goof I meant 225F. :-[ I always warm up the box before I put the product in. With the 1300W element, the initial warm-up takes about 20 minutes. After the initial load takes about the same amount of time. Although, it seems it gets a litter faster as the butt/product gets warmer. I usually do not open the door that often usually when the pucks are done and I change water... 4 butts can generate a lot of fat! However, as the butts get closer to 190F mark (instance read thermometer) I test a little more and move the probe to the cooler part of the meat. My problem is that I can't find the fat pocket on the first try. >:(  I should explain that a little better. If the butt gets to an IT of 150-165 in 5+ hours I suspect that I have hit a fat pocket and adjust the probes. I like the idea of multiple temp probes as I can see how the placement of the meat affects the temp in different locations.
I normally keep the vent wide open... it got stuck and I am too lazy to fix it.

Hab, when you pull at 175-180, do you slice or pull the butt.

I love the Bradley because when I set the probes I use the alarms on the Maverick's to let me know I should check the box. My step-son needs to stay up at night to be sure the wood is in the firebox. I am due to smoke some butts again soon so I will pay more attention to the temps.

My neighbor wants me to try a picnic, but I did one early in my smoking ventures and I was not that happy. I will do a little research and see what I can do.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2018, 11:18:18 am by JohnM70 »
Bradley 6 Rack BDS with cold smoke attachment, Maverick remote dual temp(2), Thermapen and,  Auber Dual Probe PID, 1300 Watt Mod, Weber Genesis E310

"I keep cutting it off and cutting it off and it is still too short"

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cooking times for Bradley vrs. wood burning smoker.
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2018, 01:35:49 pm »
At 175°F, the butts pulls very easily, and I prefer the texture much better when I take them higher. I discovered this by accident. In my early use of my Bradley, smoking a couple of butts with the single element my cabinet temperature wouldn't get much over 200°F. Back in those days the elements were made of glass, and I don't believed they performed as well as today's metal one.

Any way, I use to rotate my butts approximately half way through the cook, or shortly after the stall. On one occasion when I rotated the tray, one of the butts was touching the back wall, when I attempted to pick it up and reposition it, it broke apart. It was done and ready to pull. The internal temperature at the time was 175°F.  The next time I smoked a butt, I purposely cooked at 200°F, and tested the butt for tenderness when it hit 175°F, again the butt was ready to be pulled. Since then I've cooked my butts that way. The cook time is about the same, as if you cooked at 225°F and took it to a higher temperature, but for me the texture of the meat is too soft when you take it to 195°F - 205°F. The key seems to be to keep the smoker between 190°F - 200°F

When you pull, there can still be fat pocket or two that haven't fully rendered. Prior to smoking I trim the surface fat to 1/8", so that it will almost completely render, and I don't loose too much bark. I also carve out that fat vein prior to smoking it. Carving the vein is probably not necessary, since I can discard it when I pull it.

Since my dual element mod, because the recovery time is faster the butts are done anywhere from 175° - 180°F.


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Offline JohnM70

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Re: Cooking times for Bradley vrs. wood burning smoker.
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2018, 09:44:59 pm »
At 175°F, the butts pulls very easily, and I prefer the texture much better when I take them higher. I discovered this by accident. In my early use of my Bradley, smoking a couple of butts with the single element my cabinet temperature wouldn't get much over 200°F. Back in those days, the elements were made of glass, and I don't believe they performed as well as today's metal one.


Well, well the older I get the more I learn (that is my indication that I am not turning to dust)! I cannot wait to try my next butt... very soon.

On a different note, I have access (through a friend of a friend) to some great Pork cuts. What is your take on smoking a "picnic" and is there is anything special I should do? I know I can look it up in the forum but since I have your attention...

Many thanks. 
Bradley 6 Rack BDS with cold smoke attachment, Maverick remote dual temp(2), Thermapen and,  Auber Dual Probe PID, 1300 Watt Mod, Weber Genesis E310

"I keep cutting it off and cutting it off and it is still too short"

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cooking times for Bradley vrs. wood burning smoker.
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2018, 01:44:37 am »
I rarely smoke picnics. When I do I remove the skin and only leave a small amount of fat. I smoke them the same as I do my butts. They are leaner than the butt end, but still turn out moist. Sometimes I will bone them. The long tubular muscle is called the cushion. I will smoke that separately and use the other muscles of the picnic for when I make sausage.

As for my method of smoking butts, when I test them I use a dining fork, insert it into the thickest part of the meat and if it twist with little resistance it is done. Testing using the temperature probe by how easily it slides in and out; I find doesn't give you the best result. The butt I did the  other day, wasn't quite done at 175°F. I had to take it to 180°F.


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Offline paulopadrao

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Re: Cooking times for Bradley vrs. wood burning smoker.
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2018, 03:18:19 pm »
Sorry but in portugal we do not have much habit of making smoked pork. I have a 4 breadley and I make salmon, cheese and seafood. I have already tested beef meat but meat with fat is tricky to arrange. I liked to do pork butt. I have maverick probes. I ask
What is the internal temperature of the butt pork to look good?
Do I always keep temperature and smoke at all times when baking?
Should the air hole be closed or open?
Should I put water in the bottom dish?
These are the things that help me most. nor synonymous with your English and the terms used. thank you.


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Offline paulopadrao

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Re: Cooking times for Bradley vrs. wood burning smoker.
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2018, 03:23:21 pm »



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Offline paulopadrao

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Re: Cooking times for Bradley vrs. wood burning smoker.
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2018, 03:24:22 pm »



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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Cooking times for Bradley vrs. wood burning smoker.
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2018, 02:06:43 am »


What is the internal temperature of the butt pork to look good?
The internal temperature you want to cook to would be 195°F - 205°F, for pulled pork. Or around 180°F - 190°F, if you want sliced pork. The range difference can be due to a particular cut. It depends on how tough and/or fatty the meat is. Start testing for tenderness at the low end of the temperature range, and remove it from the smoker when it is tender.

Do I always keep temperature and smoke at all times when baking?
Keep the temperature the same. If you are cooking at 225°F, you want to keep it at that temperature until the meat is done. Of course it will take awhile for the Bradley to get to that temperature. It can take as long as 16 - 20 hours to fully cook. You only want to apply 3 - 4 hours of smoke at the beginning of the cook .

Should the air hole be closed or open?
Never smoke/cook with the vent fully closed. Try a setting of 3/4 open.

Should I put water in the bottom dish?
When smoking meats, especially fatty meats, always keep water in the bowl. This not only put out the bisquettes, but help prevent possible grease fires. When smoking pork butts I would change the bowl, after all the bisquettes have been used up, then about every 3 - 4 hours after that. Even if the bowl looks full after 4 hours change it, because it is mainly grease at that point.

Search around to the forum, or the internet to see how to prepare a pork butt prior to putting it in the smoker.


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         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)