Newbie advice???

Started by KyNola, March 30, 2012, 08:42:06 PM

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This thread is not going to sit well with some folks and that's OK.  When a newbie posts that they have either just received or have ordered their new Bradley and are looking for advice as to what they need, I see lots of folks saying "You need a PID".  Let's not lose sight of the fact this is a Bradley forum.  We need to be helping the newbies to learn about their new Bradley smoker and how it works "as is".  If they hang here long enough and decide to cure and smoke their own sausage or salmon, they will learn about a PID.

My apology is extended to anyone I may offend with this thread.


Excellent point.  I have had my OBS for 2.5 years now and do not use a PID and make everything from cheese, to sausage to salmon to brisket to butt!

Ka Honu

PID?  We don't need no PID!  We don't got to show you no stinking PID! 

I can't speak for the guys/gals who need "precision temperature control" for (as I understand it) some sausage and fish, but for my admittedly amateurish efforts, I wouldn't know what to do with something that has that many lights and wires if I had one.  I'd probably have to pay one of you to come over and install it and then teach me to use it (and we know that's not about to happen).  I'm perfectly content to stumble along with my "naked OBS," supplemented by the house oven, grill, SRG, and crockpot as needed.

Dammit!  I think that means I agree with you and Aggie.  I hate it when that happens!

PS - You're going to have to do a lot better than that to offend me (but don't stop trying; it keeps you young).

Richie Rod

Well, I've only had my smoker for less than 8 months. Just got a PID to use on my salmon 'cause I don't seem to be able to avoid boogers. No plans to use it on anything else, but never say never. ;)
I do agree with you now that I have started to get a feel for the smoker and it would be a shame to mess that up with add-ons.

Bradley 4 rack digital
Weber Silver B


I personally like having a PID controller on my OBS.  So far I've only smoked turkey, pork butts, briskets, ribs and a meatloaf (didn't turn out so well).  It automatically keeps the temp to within 2 degrees or so of the set-point.  The temp used to vary a lot when I'd do an overnight smoke and the outside air temp would drop 30-40 degrees.  I'd wake up once or twice to go out and adjust the slider temp control.  Not anymore.

With the PID controller, if whatever I'm smoking didn't turn out as juicy and tender as I had hoped for I now know it wasn't because of fluctuating chamber temps.  I can control it precisely and the next time I smoke the same food I might try a different temp. 

I had my OBS for about a year before I installed a PID controller but I'd never want to use a slow cook smoker again without one.  For $45 it was a great value mod and I think there should be a Bradley model option with a PID on it from the factory.


Larry I think you are spot on and I doubt if your statement offended anyone. The Bradley is fine right out of the box and does what it is designed for - low and slow smoking. The PID and other things are nice accessories that makes some things a little easier, but absolutely not required.

Bravo my friend.
Life is short. Smile while you still have teeth.

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While I agree from your premise of newbies I also think that the general cry for a PID points to an issue that Bradley should consider in a revision.   No I am not suggesting Badley include a PID but better/more consistent temperature control would be nice.   Out of the box is sufficient but could be better.

This could also be said for the other mods that are common on this forum.   Dual heating elements for faster recovery times, fan for more even heat distribution, some mod to the biscuit device for more reliability.    These items would seem to be easily incorporated into a deluxe model or a retrofit kit.

With that said we are all tinker's by nature and always wanting to "upgrade" our toys.    Not suggesting Bradley incorporate every tweak we make but the general sustained ones would seem to make sense.

Oh well, Later...



I agree. I had mine for over two  years as is with no mods or plug and play items and it did everything I needed it to do. I did get the PID cause I started to broaden my SKILLZ ;D and wanted to start doing stix, jerky and sausage. It has come in very handy for these items. Well, 2 out of 3; haven't had time for jerky
Like the recent thread that was posted yesterday this one, I recommend that he get bubba pucks, a wireless thermometer and of course bisquettes. I do admit that I will provide the link when a question is asked about it just so that the member can read up on it. Heck, I don't even mention frogmats, which I have now, this was after two years :) and I only got them cause of smoking nuts. Anyways it's your opinion and you are entitled to it. You have a lot of knowledge and experience and I do look forward to reading your comments when you are offering help or suggestions to others :). Keep it up.

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i agree and it is to help newbies and others on a stock smoker with advice on what to  do, seasonings and best times for a cook and smoking process



Very good job on this post and information. If some folks dont like it then Too Bad So Sad.


Not offended here. And you may be right about the newbies but I for one would have never liked mine with out the pid. To me its nothing special with out it. But the mods and extras make it special. Sorry
A few pics from smokes....
Inside setup.

La Quinta

Am totally with you on this Ky...I have no "toys" and have never needed them...I just avoid those threads...really not something we need. But if people feel compelled to buy that stuff...okay...


I like the NAKED :o method of smoking my foods, no PID, or any other accessories except for my Bubba Pucks. I do everything from Pulled Pork to Lox. I have the OBS and love it. Been going strong with it for four years and every year I do over 100 lbs of smoked salmon and I do not get boggers, I also do 20-30 lbs. of LOX a year with no problem. Using the Bradley without a PID or modification may take more attention to the smoker while smoking/cooking but that just gives me an excuse to sit outside with an adult beverage when making something yummy in the Bradley. Heck I don't even have and external thermometer, I rely on the one mounted in the door.  ;D

Original Bradley Smoker
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Teal Termapen


Well depends on how picky you are I suppose. You can cook in an  kitchen oven also but if its at 350 degrees I've checked them and found them to be 50 degrees or more off either way. For big hunks of meat that's no problem. but with my sausage I a'm a lot pickier then that. Also since I use a pid, I use it for every thing. Real simple and quick to set and don't know why Id want to run out all the time to change temps or check temps I have to much other work to do. I also use the Maverick 732 so I don't have to open the doors to check, So I get meat to correct temps,so I have alarms to tell me when temps are to high or to low meaning a problem which could be serious. Really don't see why any one would do it blinded other then money. I had to wait for my Maverick would you'd have to shoot me to get my pid or my 732. Sitting here watching the temps while my Easter ham is smoking and talking to you guys. Then I have a few cabinet doors to make. a small roof to put on, and finish working on my boats out drive. Versus sitting out there drinking and watching my temps to adjust by hand and opening door to check meat adding more time to the smoke. But each to their own. We all have different priority's. And thoughts.
A few pics from smokes....
Inside setup.


Thank you.  I have been using my Bradley for almost three years now and have tried allot of things on here. It is an unmolested smoker as shipped and I get along just fine.  I don't need no fancy smancy crap. Once again thank you as some may think like I did from reading posts that i needed to get a PID, but my cheap butt couldnt see spending the money, and I am glad I didnt.