Author Topic: New customer with problems.  (Read 7950 times)

Offline Ferdbird

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New customer with problems.
« on: January 04, 2004, 04:23:35 PM »
I just got my new smoker for Christmas and I am very concerned about a few issues.  If anyone can help me with these I would be very grateful.

1.   The smoker will not get above 150 degrease.  I do not have it on an extension cord; I have it on my deck plugged into the house directly.  The element gets red but I can not get the heat up very high.
2.   I heard on the included video that you must rotate your trays.  I made some of the “sun dried tomatoes” as indicated on the video and they came out very hard and dry on the outside edges all the way around but in the middle they were very wet and not dried.  I also have made 4 batches of chicken wings so far with the same results.  Some even are so dry and brittle that they just break apart.  If one is to maintain the internal temperature then you would not open the door, but you must open the door to rotate the trays.
3.   I smoked two whole chickens last night.  I had it turned all the way up and I ran 6 hickory biscuits through the smoker.  I started it at 4:20 pm and I did not remove it till 1:00 am.  It took that long to reach 160 degrease internal temp.  The chicken was done but with the chicken as well as any other meat that I have cooked it is white in color.  This includes chicken, ribs, wings, ect.  I have purchased an external thermometer with remote pager so I did not open the door that much, only once again to rotate my trays.

I hope these items have been discussed and a solution can be found for I would hate to return this smoker.

Offline Richard Pearce

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Re: New customer with problems.
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2004, 10:19:31 PM »
At first mine seemed slow to rise in temperature but with use it didn't seem such a problem;(my mind or the smoker I'm not sure!) The real problem in Summer is keeping the temperature <b>down</b> for cold smoking! Like you, I have had very little luck with tomatoes but everything else has been great; smoking yesterday my temperature rose to 211 degrees.
I have not had the white chicken problem which definitely sounds like too low heat. You may consider not worrying about the heat and making sure you get the smoke on them and then finish them off in the oven.
Couple of points:
It takes a long time to heat the goodies up as well as heat up the smoker itself. If you have a good load in as I did yesterday with 18lbs of bacon, 1 chicken 3 pheasant and a duck, it takes about 2+ hours before the heat really gets above 160 degrees but after that it rises fast and, most importantly, <b>recovers</b> very fast. One tip for a fast recovery when you have to open the doors is a large brick, Creusot type metal pot or ceramic heatproof something in the smoker (I use a half-brick down by the pan in the bottom). Though this slows down the initial heat rise, it helps the heat to recover very fast after you have opened the doors as it absorbs a lot of heat and releases it fast when you close the door again.
I use a remote transmitter meat themometer that I stick through the top vent. This gives me an exact reading of the heat inside wherever I am around the house. The probe is actually meant to go in the meat but it works just fine giving the heat in the smoker; then use an instant read thermometer when you open the door. btw do not dangle it with the cable inside as moisture builds up and runs in to the probe and it's broke! (learned that the hard way!) just stick the 5 inch metal part of the probe in the smoker. This gadget also stops you "watching the pot" and lets you do other things.

to recap:
1. a large mass iside will help heat recovery.
2. eight hours is too long for a chicken to come to temp; this sounds like warranty time.
3. don't get rid of your smoker! just be a little patient and you'll love it's product; my favourite is the maple chicken recipe in the book; it seems like far too much salt but it isn't and it needs no advance preparation. ps if you get rid of the smoker you won't have all the fun of this forum!
Richard Pearce

Offline Ferdbird

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Re: New customer with problems.
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2004, 12:58:33 AM »
Thank you!!  I will try the brick.  I know this is a heat problem because ALL, EVERYTHING, I have cooked has been white and not done.  I have had to finish everything in the oven.  This is not what I wanted.  I will keep trying for now.  I guess I will just do cold smokes till summer.

Offline Ferdbird

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Re: New customer with problems.
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2004, 01:00:20 AM »
Thank you!!  I will try the brick.  I know this is a heat problem because ALL, EVERYTHING, I have cooked has been white and not done.  I have had to finish everything in the oven.  This is not what I wanted.  I will keep trying for now.  I guess I will just do cold smokes till summer.

Offline Chez Bubba

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Re: New customer with problems.
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2004, 01:33:31 AM »
Ferdbird,

There are a couple of things to check before throwing in the towel. First of all, even though you're not using an extension cord, what other resources are drawing power from the circut you have the unit plugged into? This could limit the amount of juice the smoker can draw.

Secondly, check the tightness of the screws in the ceramic holders that attach the light tube to the smoker. For some unknown reason, if they are loose, the smoker will not come up to proper temp. They should be snug, finger-tight. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN THEM OR THEY WILL BREAK!

Although a rare occurance, since Bradley makes these for sale in the UK as well, sometimes a 220v bulb gets accidentally put in a 110v smoker. Look at your bulb & verify that it the right one.

I've done several batches of smoke dried tomatoes & they have turned out wonderfully. Is your top vent open all the way? Your chicken project sounds very odd as well.

Don't worry, Bradley will stand behind their product all the way. Sounds to me like something's up with your unit, we just have to figure out what it is. Feel free to call me at (574) 276-8746 & I'd be happy to discuss the possibilities with you.

Kirk

http://www.chezbubba.com
http://www.brianswish.com
Ya think if next time I check into a hotel & they ask "Smoking or Non", they would mind?

Offline Ferdbird

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Re: New customer with problems.
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2004, 11:21:26 PM »
This is amazing.  Even though I am having problems I just can't get over the good quality answers and customer service.  I will take you up on your phone call and report to everyone the results.  Thank you all for the great assistance.  

P.S - I just finished two cheeses.  One a sharp chedder and the other "farmers Cheese" from Sams Club.  I smoked it for two hours with the Cherry, no heat.  I like it but the wife has stated that she thinks it is to overbearing.  I think she is just familiar with hickory and not the cherry.

Anyway I will keep the fire lit and check all your sugestions.

Offline Ferdbird

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Re: New customer with problems.
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2004, 09:09:29 PM »
If this works you can see a picture I took of the tomatos.  As you can see I think the BS has a heat distribution problem.  I rotated the tray every hour.


Offline Richard Pearce

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Re: New customer with problems.
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2004, 12:39:23 AM »
I see your problem!
Richard Pearce

Offline Ferdbird

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Re: New customer with problems.
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2004, 05:55:28 PM »
So what do I do for heat distribution?  Does Bradly have an internal fan for circulation?[}:)]

Offline Chez Bubba

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Re: New customer with problems.
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2004, 12:05:27 AM »
FB,

Did you smoke just that rack of tomatoes alone, 4 racks of those tomatoes, or that rack along with a combination of other food? If it was a combination, please explain the layout, top to bottom.

The ones in the middle started out the same size as the others, right? It's only because they didn't cook the same as the perimeter ones that they're so much larger.

Regarding turning your trays: Yes, the stuff in back gets a little more heat than the stuff in front, that's why they suggest it. But, if on the bottom rack you have a larger roast at the back and the shelves above have ribs, there should be no reason to rotate your racks. The roast will absorb that extra heat & make everything above pretty even.

I don't always rotate the racks, probably 50% of the time. When I do, I only do it once, halfway through cooking. The basic rule of thumb is every time you open the door, even for a peekie-poo, add 30-45 minutes to the cooking time.

I like Richard's idea about the brick, think I'll have to give it a try too.

Going back to your chicken, I usually cook a whole chicken for about 4 hours, smoke the whole time. If you only put in 6 bisquettes, only 4 of those ever made it to the burner plate. It takes 2 to get them out to it.(That's why we sell Kummok's Advancing Chips.) That's not much smoke to give it color and with the low temp, the skin wouldn't brown up like if it was in your oven.

Like I said before, we'll get this figured out,

Kirk

http://www.chezbubba.com
http://www.brianswish.com
Ya think if next time I check into a hotel & they ask "Smoking or Non", they would mind?

Offline Ferdbird

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Re: New customer with problems.
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2004, 03:06:04 AM »
Let’s see if I can remember.  The food consisted of 2.5 racks of wings, 1 rack with two chickens, 1 rack of tomatoes, 1 rack of onions with 2 Portabella mushrooms.  The order was 1 rack of the two chickens on the bottom, next rack up was the two stacked racks of wings.  Next up was the rack of tomatoes with the rack of onions and mushrooms on that and on top was the last half rack of wings.  I placed the chickens on the bottom closer to the heat.  I stuck my remote thermometer into the chicken breast.  I rotated the racks every hour only in a clockwise rotation not top to bottom.

I did know about the problem advancing the biscuits so I did order some and have them in my possession now.  Your wife sent them just yesterday Kirk, one day delivery to Illinois.[:D]   Anyway I did manually advance the last two biscuits so I did get all the smoke, 2 hours worth.

It was cold out so after I got tired, 1 a.m. I took the smoker into the garage and went to bed.  Of couse I hade the smoker off, just the internal heater was going.  I left the tomatoes and onions in to kind of dehydrate them into a “sun dried state” like the ones on the video.  They stayed in till 0700, or a total of 15 hours.  I left them on the middle rack or three from the bottom.

At this time it is very cold out and it is late at night so I wanted to test the smoker in these extreme conditions.  It is 26 outside and I have the smoker turned on with nothing in it.  I am going to give it two hours to see how hot it gets.

I just brought home a beef brisket, 2 pot roasts, pecans, 2 different cheeses, salmon and some white fish.  I plan to smoke the pot roast Thursday for a party on Saturday.  The rest I am planning on doing this weekend for something to do.

I did follow one suggestion that I read on this board.  I purchased the book “Smoke and Spice”.  I heard it was the bible of smoking.  I have had it for two days now and have read half of it.  Most every recipe starts with “start your smoker and get it up to 200 – 220 degrees.  I hope I can get this BS to do that.

I also just purchased your jerky trays and I hope to start that the weekend after next with some brisket.  I also just got my deer back from the packers.  I have about 80 pounds of ground venison that I am going to make into sticks and smoked sausage.

Lets have fun!
[8D]

Offline Regforte

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Re: New customer with problems.
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2004, 04:37:44 AM »
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Ferdbird</i>

I did follow one suggestion that I read on this board.  I purchased the book “Smoke and Spice”.  I heard it was the bible of smoking.  I have had it for two days now and have read half of it.  Most every recipe starts with “start your smoker and get it up to 200 – 220 degrees.  I hope I can get this BS to do that.
[8D]
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
Hi ferdbird,

One word of advice about the book. It's a very good book for recipes, but it's not very accurate when it comes to smoking in general, i.e. temps and times. Pretty much every recipe says to smoke at 200 - 220. Take that with a grain of salt. I smoke certain fish at 180 F for instance, and ribroast at 250. That said, I do own the book and I use it regularly.

Regforte

Offline Richard Pearce

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Re: New customer with problems.
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2004, 10:57:04 AM »
As far as I'm concerned, the ability to <b>cold</b> smoke is actually the BS's forte! [;)]
Richard Pearce

Offline Ferdbird

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Re: New customer with problems.
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2004, 02:15:37 PM »
Major update on the quality of my BS.  I turned on the smoker last night for two hours empty and I had 200 degrees.  I left it on and at 0700 today it was 300.  The outside tem was 25 so I am very happy with that.  It just looks like my pre-heat time will need to be extended before I place any product into the BS.

Man is this fun!!!![}:)]

Offline Chez Bubba

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Re: New customer with problems.
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2004, 03:38:19 AM »
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Ferdbird</i>
<br />I did follow one suggestion that I read on this board.  I purchased the book “Smoke and Spice”.  I heard it was the bible of smoking.  I have had it for two days now and have read half of it.  Most every recipe starts with “start your smoker and get it up to 200 – 220 degrees.  I hope I can get this BS to do that.[8D]
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Better yet, find the recipe that starts out "Open 1 can of beer & drink half". How can you go wrong with this one?[:D][8D]

http://www.chezbubba.com
http://www.brianswish.com
Ya think if next time I check into a hotel & they ask "Smoking or Non", they would mind?