Author Topic: Smoke generator not smoking as much  (Read 3545 times)

Offline Edward176

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 465
Re: Smoke generator not smoking as much
« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2019, 10:24:24 AM »
After reading all these posts on Bisquette Burner temperatures and smoking issues (or lack of smoke) I decided to dig up my Infrared thermometer and give mine a test (Bradley 6 rack digital). Needless to say I was surprised as to the results. After 5 minutes I had 245°f, 10 minutes 327°f, 20 minutes 335°f and after 60 minutes I had only 350°f. I ran only my bisquette burner and not the heating elements and the door was closed the whole time. So I tried it again today and ran the bisquette burner for 45 minutes and only achieved a temperature of 380°F, nowhere near the 500-550°F that is suggested. My bisquette burner is cleaned after every use so that isn't an issue. I suppose the logical solution here is to replace the bisquette burner, even though my pucks are almost entirely blackened after use. I've pulled them out of the water pan and break them open and just the top middle isn't burnt. Maybe that's why?
Any suggestions of input welcome.

Offline Orion

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 356
Re: Smoke generator not smoking as much
« Reply #31 on: May 21, 2019, 10:28:02 AM »
If it’s not broken don’t fix it. Burnt is burnt. My pucks are usually unburnt a tiny bit at top centre too. I smoked some ribs the other day when it was a good warm day and had good combustion so I think it varies between winter and summer temps.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 10:31:17 AM by Orion »
It's going to take a lifetime to smoke all this.

Offline Habanero Smoker

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 14,859
  • KCBS - Master Certified Barbecue Judge
Re: Smoke generator not smoking as much
« Reply #32 on: May 21, 2019, 01:55:38 PM »
If it is working correctly, and you are getting sufficient smoke; I wouldn't change the burner. I tested my indoors - less interference from sunlight, and possibly wind. I had a difference in my testing from the first time, to the one I recently tested. With my infra red (Thermoworks IR-GUN-S); I need to keep the sensor perpendicular to the surface I am measuring to get the most accurate reading.

I will occasionally have bisquettes that are not burnt in the middle. This generally happens with my smoker when I am cold smoking, or applying smoke at a temperature below 180°, or the first couple of bisquettes that hit the burner.


Offline Edward176

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 465
Re: Smoke generator not smoking as much
« Reply #33 on: May 21, 2019, 03:06:56 PM »
Thank you for your input guys, after reading your replies I'm inclined to agree and not replace my burner, since it is making smoke and burning the bisquettes, why replace it if its doing the job.
Thank You

Offline Broke_smoke

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Re: Smoke generator not smoking as much
« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2019, 04:40:42 AM »
I'm thinking the temperature reading was probably not accurate since you have burned busquitte and smoke and several hundred degrees different reading. If you do also have a probe type, you might turn the burner on for 20 minutes then lay the point at a 45 degree angle. It was easier to do all that with the smoke generator removed from the unit. The oven heat was not affecting my readings. I am in Florida though and it was probably about 75 in the shade that day. I agree with everybody though; if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Offline Edward176

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 465
Re: Smoke generator not smoking as much
« Reply #35 on: May 22, 2019, 02:09:52 PM »
I did my testing in the garage with all doors closed with an ambient temperature of 67°F. So there wasn't any outside influences (wind/sunlight/temperature extremes) just me and my Infrared Thermometer. I'll probably test the Bisquette Burner again with my meat thermometer and Infrared thermometer just to see how close the readings are. I seem to have amply smoke as I see it raising out my chimney every smoke. I've just compensated by manually resetting the bisquette timer after 5 minutes on the first bisquette to make sure its smoking plenty. In the past the first bisquette was only half burnt up, but now they are all pretty burnt up. I can understand why they aren't completely burnt since I normally smoke at 130-150°F and seldom get to 190°F. All in all  my Bradley is performing well and its the best hobby I've got :)   
Thanks for everyone's input.. Always a pleasure knowing help and advise is close at hand.

Offline Gafala

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 612
  • Gem faceter by choice, BBQ Smoker by heart.
Re: Smoke generator not smoking as much
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2019, 04:10:06 PM »
As for  bisquette  not burning all the way through it could be moisture in the  bisquette . Just a thought. I had that happen to me once and I found out it was a minor moisture problem put them in a oven on low heat to dry them out.
Bradley 4 rack Digital, 900 watt, Auber PID
Bradley cold smoke adapter
Char-Griller Smoking Pro BBQ Smoker with rotisserie
Brinkman Bullet Smoker
Weber 24”
Custom Hard Cure Cabinet for Salami
One Auber Master Temp monitor and two remotes with probes, up to ten remotes can be used.

Offline Broke_smoke

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Re: Smoke generator not smoking as much
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2019, 08:24:23 PM »
I have also gotten the partial first bisquette thingy when
I just turn on the smoker and start the first puck with no preheating. The rest are good because the burner's nice and warmed up.

Offline Broke_smoke

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Re: Smoke generator not smoking as much
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2019, 06:57:56 AM »
Reporting back on progress.
The fix to the puck feeder is still working fine, however I wanted to
do a quick one puck smoke of some salmon burgers last night and that failed.
   I put in one bisquette that was from the new pack bought about a month
ago and stored indoors. I preheated the burner for about five minutes,
but the puck never took off smoking. It produced very little smoke. I was
busy and didn't take a temperature reading on the burner plate. But this seems to
prove an intermittent problem that is not necessarily related to old bisquettes.
Please don't anyone suggest that I needed to preheat longer. I've been using a Bradley
for seven or eight years and I know when they're working as they should.
    I had thought this unit was dead when I opened this post, so I did order a pellet
smoker as I was curious to try one. So I have backup smoker. But, I just wanted to mention
some pros and cons if that is legal here. Actually my comparison is very positive toward the
Bradley, despite my current dilemma. When the Bradley is working correctly and in
the past that has been most of the time....  The Bradley has these pros -
* Much easier to clean up than pellet.
* Much less wood weight to deal with. Since the wood pellets are also producing the heat,
   a big ten pound bag doesn't go very far in comparison to a box full of bisquettes.
* More smoke from the Bradley, especially if using high heat in the pellet smoker which
   tends to reduce the smoke.
* Faster startup
* Probably safer. I still use my Bradley on the screen porch. I am well aware that
   the danger is a grease fire. However the grease dripping is more self contained in
   the Bradley and as long as I have a clean drip plate and not smoking a long, giant fatty
   cut of meat, then I don't worry much about fire. I would not trust a pellet smoker
   on my porch as there's real, smoldering embers there and the entire inside of the grill
   tends to get a coating of flammable fat on it. Cleanup is much more labor intensive
   with the pellet grill to remove all that grease.
*  Thus far the pellet grill I bought seems to get a coating of sawdust all over everything.
    I asked the manufacturer about it and they said that happens some when it's new. I don't
   know why new would be different than any other time. It does not seem to affect the food.

Pros for pellet - and I have not used it that much yet, but so far and the model is Camp Chef Smokepro SG.
* Can reach temps of 500 degrees. I often wished the Bradley could go higher in temp.
* You get some smoke ring, but not as much as pure wood fire.... if that's important to anyone.
   It doesn't seem to affect flavor, but looks pretty.
* Flavor...this question is still up in the air. I haven't used it enough yet.
* This unit has a sort of searing capability, but it's sort of meah. There's a rod that you
  pull that moves a flareup guard out of the way of the pellet burner. So, theoretically if
  you have food directly above it, you might get some searing. I have not used it much yet,
   so I'll reserve final conclusions, but thus far it didn't do much for a steak for the extra $150 that feature
   cost me over the base model. They do have a model that has an actual separate searing burner
  on the side that runs off propane. But, I have an outdoor hotplate that we use for lots of cooking
   that could sear just as well and not require an extra source of energy. Imagine, electric, wood and
  propane required to run one grill. Pretty strange. I do want to highly recommend the Duxtop 9100mc
  Induction Cooktop Expert though. I have it sitting right next to my Bradley. I did a lot of research before buying
  that cooktop several years back. It supports wide pans and gets very hot with the correct type of pan.
  We use it for searing but really more for outdoor stinky, smokey cooking that would normally stink up
  the house or inevitably get grease all over the stove.
* Pellets are readily and locally available. I don't like that I cannot get Bradley bisquettes locally and
   quickly if I did not prepare properly in advance. That's not often and not terrible, but it has happened.

That's it for now. I don't know what to do about my failing puck burner...replace the burner or whole
smoke generator? I guess the burner first, but I don't really know without getting into electrical testing
which I'm not very good at.