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Introduce Yourself / Re: Newbie to Smoking, Hi from Eugene Oregon
« Last post by Habanero Smoker on November 26, 2023, 04:04:17 am »
Glad you enjoyed your first cook. Congratulations!!! Contact Bradley to have them replace your tube.

Tough/leather skin on poultry is common when you smoke at lower temperatures. At least, during the beginning of your cook, keep the top vent 3/4 to fully open, to help the moisture to escape. It may sound counter intuitive for maintaining heat in the Bradley, but if too much moisture builds up inside the smoker, it hinders with maintaining you desired temperature, and the moisture may also hinder the rendering of fat from the skin.

Not enough fat renders out for the skin to get crisp, so you end up with tough skin. I and many members use a two stage cooking method. We will smoke the turkey or chicken until it reaches a certain internal temperature, then finish in a hot oven; around 400 - 450F, until the skin crisp, and you reach the proper internal temperature. Some members will remove the turkey from the smoker as soon as the smoke has been applied, and finish in 350F oven, or grill. Air drying the turkey uncovered in the refrigerator for a longer period of time; 12 - 24 hours help with the final texture of the skin. You will not get crispy skin, but the skin will be bite through. On the barbecue circuit, some competitors use one of those meat tenderizers with the needles, and prick the skin all over the poultry, to help the rendered fat escape from under the skin. Do not penetrate too deep. Those that use this method, say you don't loose any extra moisture from the meat. I've never tried that.

Lack of drippings is a result of tough skin. The reason you didn't get much drippings is because not much fat rendered out, but I would expect more drippings than a few tablespoons from the size of the turkey portion you smoked.
Introduce Yourself / Re: Newbie to Smoking, Hi from Eugene Oregon
« Last post by stratachalup on November 25, 2023, 09:10:53 pm »
2:00pm PST: Things kind of got away from me this morning, so I didn't start working with the smoker until now.  I had to clean up the area on the patio, and the table which had been used as a potting table, and work with hubby to fix a glitch in the physical machine. When I assembled the feed tube onto the smoke generator, I found that it had gotten pushed out of shape so that one end was more of a slight oval instead of a round circle. The wooden smoking biscuits would not fit into that end. We got it so that biscuits would slide freely through most of the tube, and I mounted the tube with the problem end up. I can load the tube by turning a biscuit sideways, sliding it through the slot, and then turning it again and dropping it down. It's a little annoying but it meant I could do something today instead of waiting to get a new tube or to mess with it more.

3:30 - 4:30pm PST: Burn in for an hour after the biscuit heater warmup for 20 minutes as per the manual. Load 8.5 lbs of turkey from the fridge, where it has been drying off for the past 90 minutes from an overnight brining.  I cut the wing off the breast section at the drumstick since it will cook much faster than everything else. I put the leg on a separate rack.  At 44F air temp, the smoker took about 45 minutes to come up to the desired 230F temp.  Using apple wood because I heard it was mild and a forgiving newbie wood.

8:40pm PST: Just checked the turkey in the smoker and refilled the water pan with boiling water. The pan which may have been empty for the last hour plus, oops. Forgot to set an alarm to check it every couple of hours.  The turkey wing was done, the leg section was at 137F, and the turkey breast section was at 127F. So we are getting there! Temp outside has gone down to 35F so I've got the heat cranked almost all the way up, but it is still staying where it needs to be at 230ish and recovering quickly when I close the door. Sampled the turkey wing, it's delicious!

We're not done yet, but I already have a couple of questions:

1) The skin on all the pieces is tough and leathery.  Is this normal for smoking, or was it because I let the water pan run out? Or used too much smoke?  I have had biscuits for the whole cook time and I just read that most folks only give it 2 - 3 hours of smoke, oops again. Wing meat tasted fine though.

2) I put a disposable foil pan on the bottom rack to catch drips, and hardly anything has dripped-- like maybe a few tablespoons if that.  Is this a side effect of the skin toughening up through mistakes in item 1, or is this normal for smoking? 

Thanks for any help and suggestions.  I gotta say, it was a real thrill to take that beautiful wing out of the smoker, and then to cut into it a few minutes later and taste the goodness!  Hubby and I are hooked!  Can't wait for the rest of the turkey to be done!


Just for my own curiosity, can you let me know what their explanation is.

Introduce Yourself / Re: Newbie to Smoking, Hi from Eugene Oregon
« Last post by Habanero Smoker on November 25, 2023, 02:24:36 pm »
Hi stratachalup,

Welcome to the forum. Image verification, I feel is the most frustrating forms of verification that you are not a bot. Fortunately, after you sign in for so many times, it will not ask for verification.

It's good that you are learning how the smoker functions, before deciding to make any modifications. Also modifications will void your one year warranty.

Several members have used a hot water heater blanket, to protect the smoker from the cold and especially the wind. To help the Bradley recover heat faster, after loading and/or opening the door; many members use heated brick inside the cabinet. Do a search on this forum for "bricks" or "heat sink" - using the parentheses. Starting with hot water in the water bowl, also helps speed up the preheat.

Let us know how your first smoke/cook went.
Introduce Yourself / Newbie to Smoking, Hi from Eugene Oregon
« Last post by stratachalup on November 25, 2023, 09:42:06 am »
Hello!  My husband and I are newly retired to Eugene Oregon.   I asked for a Bradley Original 4-Rack (BS611) for my holiday present this year, and it arrived early!  I'm new to smoking, and not very experienced at outdoor cookery in general, but I've been reading a lot and watching a lot of YouTube vids.  We're mostly interested in smoking chicken/turkey and making our own smoked salmon, and even smoked cheese and tofu-- I'm an unrepentant carnivore but he doesn't eat beef or pork.

I unboxed the smoker last night and put a quartered half turkey in a big pot to brine.  My plan is to burn-off/season the smoker this afternoon and use that as a pre-heat to start smoking the turkey.  I'm a bit concerned about how cold the weather is today, though.  Woke up to a hard frost and 30F temps, and predicted high is only 44F.  The smoker will be on the back patio in a sheltered space.  Is it worth picking up a hot water heater insulating blanket and cutting it down to size for the smoker?  I'd be careful not to block any inlet vents, and of course leave the top clear.

I've read about folks converting the heating element to a 9000 watt, but I'm just getting started and want to understand what I'm doing a lot better before tackling any major modifications.

cheers, and happy smoke!

PS- does anyone else have to request a new verification image 3 or 4 times to get one that's legible?!
Thank you Habanero Smoker

Yup, I did contact Bradley Smokers EU a few days ago, but unfortunately they didn't reply :(.
Maybe some EU user on the forum would be able to answer my question.

Hi  michalwelna,

Welcome to the forum.

I'm not familiar with the differences in the two different sources. There are EU members on this forum, that may be able to explain the differences in the information.

You may also want to contact the EU distributor. He should be able to clarify the discrepancy.

Grakka Limited
What is the maximum temperature I can set the 4 rack version to?
On EU site I read it’s 120*C, but on US site it’s 138*C.
I’m worried that it’s 120*C, so during winter it will reach lower temperatures, e.g. 105*C. Plus I won’t be able to make beef ribs, since they require about 135*C.
The Digital Smokers (BTDS76P & BTDS108P) / Re: Using Smoker in the winter in Ontario
« Last post by Jr620 on November 23, 2023, 09:10:58 pm »
Okay great thankyou
Accessories / Re: bradley heat element
« Last post by Habanero Smoker on November 22, 2023, 03:16:27 pm »
Hi Huzza,

Welcome to the forum.

It would be helpful if you state what model you have, and what list you are referring to. All Bradley manuals I've seen, do have the element listed on the parts list.
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