You guys are great. Another question

Started by tsuri, April 24, 2013, 01:30:17 PM

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I got to say, everyone on this forum has been incredible in helping me out with simple questions.  Like I mentioned earlier, I don't know anyone that owns a smoker, so I'm really a trailblazer in my neck of the woods.
My next question is in regards to the PID. I noticed every picture I see has it. How important is it and why?  Exactly what is it, other than a temp gauge?



a PID works as a Temperature Controller for the main heating element in the smoking box , It aides in keeping the temperature swings as to a  minimum .. generally  just a  couple of degrees vs. 20 or more that happen with a standard electric smoker.

Some also add a fan or blower  to aid in the heat front to back  evening out the box temp as well as cooking whats in the smoker,,,Also if you  are going to be  doing sausages that  need to sit at a  temp for a duration of time then rise to the next temp  A ramp and Soak PID would preform this  task  with out and hands on other  then doing  the first auto tune and program for the desired steps you  want

hope this  helps


A PID is not necessary for many things. I do not have one and have turned out a ton of food through my smoker.

Next time I have time on my hands, though, I will move on to making sausage, and it seems a PID is necessary to do that right. Seems like it makes fish easier, too.

A temp gauge (or multiple ones) is essential for most cooks.
I just spent $12 K on this Honda Accord! Why can't it tow my boat?!?


tsuri, as others have indicated, many folks use a PID as a highly accurate temperature controller.  You should also be aware that the electrical system in a Bradley smoker is not rated to handle the electrical loads created by heating element modifications.  The PID that many forum members use is designed to handle the electrical loads of these mods.  PID's are available that are rated for different electrical load levels, so it is easy to select a PID that will handle whatever heating configuration you are running.

In terms of temperature control, most of what members smoke is pretty tolerant to the normal Bradley temperature variation.  The products that members smoke that benefits from improved temperature control is fish and sausage.  If you're not planning to smoker fish or sausage, you might save your money and skip a PID.

However, one of the neat things about the Auber dual probe plug and play PID is that you can set it to shut down the heating process after a specific amount of time has passed, or after the product you are smoking has reached a certain internal temperature.  A handy feature is you aren't interested in baby sitting your smoker.  (Some members use a wireless thermometer to keep tabs on the internal temperature of what they are smoking.  Wireless thermometers, such as a Maverick ET-732, cost a lot less than a PID.)   

Habanero Smoker

With the BTIS1, another benefit of a PID or other temperature controller, is that you wouldn't have to frequently go to the smoker and adjust the temperature. Your Bradley is controlled by a rheostat, and as conditions change you need to adjust you heat setting.



Btw, where is your neck of the woods. Your profile doesn't state it
Stainless 4 rack Bradley
6 Rack DBS w/second heat element
Auber PID
7 Foot X 20" Pipe BBQ pit with offset firebox
Jenn-Air 75000 btu gas grill w/sear burner
Weber Performer charcoal grill
Portable Kitchen All Aluminum Charcoal Grill
2 MES 40" smokers
PK360 Grill
Vacmaster 320 Vacuum Chamber Sealer


so if I get the gist of it, for simply doing ribs, chicken and briskets I don't need a PID?  As for fish, do you think I could still cook fish in the smoker?, simple things like salmon with a hint of smoke, not necessarily to actually have "smoked salmon".

I'll update my profile, but I'm in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. About 40 minutes North of Toronto.

Habanero Smoker

If you are smoking/cooking fish like Kummok's recipe, I use to do salmon and other fish without a temperature controller, and had great results. You just need to monitor the cabinet temperatures. You can also smoke/cook fish at 225°F - 250°F in the Bradley, from start to finish. Just use one of your favorite oven cook fish recipes.