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Author Topic: Smart Smoker Modifications  (Read 246 times)

Offline jpowers40828

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Smart Smoker Modifications
« on: June 07, 2019, 11:34:26 am »
Good morning,

There are some differences between the digital smoker and the smart smoker. Most of the mods i've seen have not been on the smart smoker.

First I rewired the smoker with 12 gauge high temp wire. I'm not sure it will matter, but it makes me feel better.

Based on information in this forum, i added a second 500w heating element to the smoker. This has drastically reduced warm-up and recovery times. This is done by drilling a 9/16" hole on each end of the heat reflector under the original heating element. The ceramic ends of the heating element fit well in the reflector and keep the wire from contacting any metal. Power is looped over from the other heating element. The ceramic pieces holding the original heating element in place need to be modified so the wire can leave it. I used an angle grinder with a masonry blade to notch out a groove that went downwards out of the back ceramic piece.

With the additional power, i needed a more powerful controller. I ended up getting the WIFI Electric Smoker Controller 1800w by Auber. Installation was very simple, it can be plug and play. I opted for the wall-mount cabinet sensor so i did need to drill a hole for that. It is not a great picture below, but i mounted it about a half inch from the top of the cabinet, centered on the left hand side. I'm going to add an additional sensor down below the first rack, so i can see the heat variation from the bottom to the top. Instead of plugging the cabinet into the Bradley controller, you now just plug it into the Auber.

I have the cold smoke box setup as well. I used a frame i had laying around to raise the height of the smoker and some aluminum tape to seal off ducting.

The sensor cable that comes with the Bradley is pretty short, so it does not work to cabinet to the Bradley controller. The bypass could just be used, but originally (before the second element) I wanted a way to do a cold or hot smoke without changing the configuration. I also had an issue where it was temperamental and the thermometer would read high temperatures and cause issues. At first i hard wired the two units using a piece of ethernet cable. Now I've used a couple aviation connectors to make a removable cable, which should make a better connection than the Bradley sensor cable. I used a step drill to drill a 5/8" hole in back of the smoker and the in the controller, then soldered the sensors to the connector. I used 18/4 security wire to make the cable (it was $.66 a foot at home depot). This eliminates the need for the bypass plug. It allows me to see the temperature inside the cabinet and the door alarm to still work.

The last thing i've done is add a fan to reduce the temperature variations from the bottom to the top of the cabinet. Auber makes a Circulation Fan Kit which is pretty tailored to the Bradley. Overall, the installation was fairly easy. It is supposed to reduce the temperature difference to 11 degrees. I can post an update once i receive my additional cabinet temperature sensor and can monitor the difference.

Offline _Bear_

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Re: Smart Smoker Modifications
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2019, 01:08:42 pm »
Excellent write up and pictures. I will keep this bookmarked for when I buy a Smart smoker.
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Offline Orion

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Re: Smart Smoker Modifications
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2019, 02:59:35 pm »
Mods look and sound good, so nice to have the extra element.
It's going to take a lifetime to smoke all this.

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Offline cathouse willy

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Re: Smart Smoker Modifications
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2019, 03:50:01 pm »
From the photos of the new element there doesn't seem to be a cover over it to keep juices and fat from ending up on the hot element. There have been a few fires caused by fat drips and glowing elements.A sheet metal shroud should prevent that.

Offline TedEbear

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Re: Smart Smoker Modifications
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2019, 05:48:03 am »
Here's how I did mine:

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Smart Smoker Modifications
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2019, 01:34:16 pm »
I never added a wire guard on my second element. I can't figure out why Bradley installed a guard over the original element. The guard will prevent larger objects from coming into contact with the element, but not drippings. The drip tray, when installed properly, and if no food is touching the back wall, prevents both drippings and larger objects from coming into contact with the element.


Offline Toker

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Re: Smart Smoker Modifications
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2019, 08:45:06 pm »
How do you like your fan improvement? I just installed one but didn’t have time to test.