Bradley Smokers > The NEW Bradley Original Smoker (BS611)

Bradley Original not getting over 160 degrees

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Mitchell N:
Greetings all, new to the forum.  I just had this problem with my Original Bradley Smoker, purchased in July 2017.  I wanted to put this here in the event someone searches with the same issue.  I found similar issues, but not this exact one with a resolution.  It wasn't the heater element.

The symptoms were:

Today (5th use) it wouldn't go over 160 degrees.  Before today, it would get up to 225, but it would take a while, and when I would open the door for whatever, it would take 45 minutes or more to get back up to temp.  Being new, I didn't know this wasn't spec.

I went a-googling and found where others were asking for solutions.  I saw the extra element mod, and a couple others.  Someone suggested to check the plug into the back of the box.  That piqued my interest.  Mine was working to a degree, so this didn't seem significant, but then I realized I've seen my power connector loose, and even checked it today when I was trying to get the heat up.

I realized the connection being loose wasn't good, so I got a pair of needle nose pliers and bent the conductors so the female plug would seat better and didn't move.

I turned it on, and bam, within a few minutes it was up to 240 degrees.  I would have found it earlier if the element wasn't warming at all, and it didn't occur to me at first that the loose fitting would restrict the voltage, instead of not letting any through.

Been smoking for a while with a Chargriller and SFB.  I decided to make life a little easier.


KyNola:
I'm guessing your element was not working at all.  The puck burner was your only heat source.  Your dilemma is pretty common.  If the power jumper cord isn't properly seated the heating element won't work.  Glad you solved your problem.

harleyr warrior:
Good luck to you. Hope all works out for you. I had my Bradley  for a month and knew then it was lacking in heat. I decided to modify mine with a 900watt element and a convention oven fan mounted directly behind it. I've  smoked 4 6lb chickens at one time and up to 6 racks of ribs at one time. 225 at about 5 to 51/2 hours. I've smoked a 22 lb turkey from start to finish. If you are smoking small amounts of meat you will be fine. But if your smoking anything of any size it will take hours to get to 225.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk

clarke21953:

--- Quote from: Mitchell N on September 30, 2017, 06:47:28 pm ---Greetings all, new to the forum.  I just had this problem with my Original Bradley Smoker, purchased in July 2017.  I wanted to put this here in the event someone searches with the same issue.  I found similar issues, but not this exact one with a resolution.  It wasn't the heater element.

The symptoms were:

Today (5th use) it wouldn't go over 160 degrees.  Before today, it would get up to 225, but it would take a while, and when I would open the door for whatever, it would take 45 minutes or more to get back up to temp.  Being new, I didn't know this wasn't spec.

I went a-googling and found where others were asking for solutions.  I saw the extra element mod, and a couple others.  Someone suggested to check the plug into the back of the box.  That piqued my interest.  Mine was working to a degree, so this didn't seem significant, but then I realized I've seen my power connector loose, and even checked it today when I was trying to get the heat up.

I realized the connection being loose wasn't good, so I got a pair of needle nose pliers and bent the conductors so the female plug would seat better and didn't move.

I turned it on, and bam, within a few minutes it was up to 240 degrees.  I would have found it earlier if the element wasn't warming at all, and it didn't occur to me at first that the loose fitting would restrict the voltage, instead of not letting any through.

Been smoking for a while with a Chargriller and SFB.  I decided to make life a little easier.

--- End quote ---
Wrap a brick in aluminum foil and put in the bottom of your smoker next to the water bowl. If you're smoking something where you need to open the door to baste or put sauce on, it retains the heat so your smoker goes back to temperature faster.

Sent from my LGLS775 using Tapatalk

reeB42:
I got my Original Bradley Smoker about a month ago and so far I am very unimpressed. I keep hoping it will work better the next time (used about 5 times already with similar results) but it never does. With meat in the smoker it simple will not heat up past 140. Switched from Weber Bullet charcoal smoker to a Bradley electric for ease of use and regret it. 

The details - The smoker is in it's mini-shack I built as I was excited about my new electric smoker. It's plugged into its own outlet directly, vent fully open, preheat for about an hour and its up to 200ish, element works ( I can see it turn red), plugs on back pushed in solid, etc,. The other day I loaded all 4 racks with some ribs and a few chickens, Once the meat is placed inside the smoker it never gets back up to temp. After I put them in the temp dropped to 125F and sat there.  After 6 hrs....6 hrs,  it was at  140F!  I had to finally move them to my kitchen oven to finish them. As an experiment I left the empty smoker running and after around 3 hours (I forgot it was on) the temp inside was up at 250. So it does heat up when empty, great I can smoke some air balls and air ribs...

 I'm experienced with appliances and mechanics and I'd say the OBS heating element is simply too small to handle a full load of meat (i.e. anything over 3-4 lb.).   Based on the fact this forum topic seems popular I'm guessing it's a valid design problem with this unit.  I wouldn't get another.

It does not seem right to me after splurging on what I thought was a high end electric smoker I should have to upgrade it with a 2nd element or figure out a work around. For the amount of $$ they charge it should work correctly out of the box.

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