Temp Sensor Problem?

Started by davesliter, June 13, 2009, 03:55:37 PM

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In the middle of an all day brisket smoking project with my BDS and a problem cropped up... the oven temp reading on the bottom left digital display is fluctuating between 250 and 270 degrees, but the oven temp setting is set to 220 degrees, so the heating element shuts off. There is no way it is 250 to 270 degrees inside and the meat temp is dropping. Moved the brisket to the oven but cant get it to operate properly. Checked and rechecked all cables/conenctions, and plugging the tower stright to the wall does light the element, but no way to control temp. Anyone seen this? Sounds like the temp sensor is broke? How do I fix/replace?

Dave Sliter


I would start by taking the brisket out (I assume you have already got 4 hours of smoke on) and put it into a foil pan with a foil lid and into the oven.  It will finish great there.

Next I would suggest unplugging all the cables and replugging them.  Unplug and replug multiple times to ensure a good solid connection.  Don't go by appearance here. 

Leave the Smoke Gen side off.  Take the VTRAY out and place an oven temp probe next to the center of the box next to the build in Temp Sensor.  Turn the unit on with the oven set temp at 260 deg.  Verify the built in temp sensor and the oven temp probe read close to the same.  Remember the reaction times of the probes will be different so there may be significant differences if one is faster reacting than the other.  I believe the Bradley sensor is fairly slow so as to not over react with cycling the heating element on and off due to small variations.

If the unit does not heat up, or does not hit 260 deg and stay there within +- 20 degrees, there may be some loose wiring inside the smoke generator.  Take the generator apart and look for loose wires.

If this all fails, call Bradely on Monday morning.  They will walk you through some trouble shooting steps and take care of the problem what ever it takes.
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Sounds to me like you are experiencing the wide temp swings that the BDS is famous for in the early stage of smoke/cooking.  Many of us that own a DBS don't rely on the temp that the BDS reads early in the process as it is sometimes way off.  If you have not done so already, I would recommend buying a Maverick ET-73 dual probe thermometer.  You can accurately monitor the temp in the box and the temp of the meat.  Even better, it has a remote receiver so you can sit in the house and see exactly what is going on in your smoker.

As the meat comes up to temp, the temp swings in the BDS will diminish.



Good spot Kynola,
For some reason when I saw the post, I was thinking Dave was using an external temp probe and the box stopped heating even though the digital read out indicated it was.
Yes the Bradleys do fluctuate.
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Habanero Smoker

You didn't mention how much the meat temperature dropped. I have had briskets and butts drop as much as 3°F when they plateau (also called the stall). Plateau is when collagen is breaking down into gelatin is at it's peak. This rapid break down requires a lot of energy, and will draw it from the heat, causing the internal temperature to stall and at times drop in temperature. This can last more then a few hours. Collagen will begin to break down at around 160°F, I usually see the plateau around 165°F, though it may be higher or lower.