Temp Problems......Turkey Day overload?

Started by chief, November 24, 2007, 05:17:15 AM

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Guys.....just got through with a Thanksgiving smoke-a-thon!  10 lb. breast on Tuesday(6 hrs.), 15 lb. whole bird Wednesday night(9 1/2 hrs.).....both turned out great, but noticed that 1 hour preheat(with warm outside temps) would only turn out 225-230 on the door thermometer.  On Friday, preheated with same results and put in two racks of boneless/skinless chicken breasts.  They were room temp.  Cabinet temp dropped to 160, and over three hours later, only made it to 180.  This recovery didn't seem right based on my history...both turkeys didn't drop that much and recovered higher in that time.  I'm worried about my ability to generate higher temps....any thoughts here?

Tiny Tim

My only suggestion is to get another reading aside from the door thermometer...a lot of them are off, some by a significant amount.


Check your door therometer on boiling water - should read around 212ยบ.



Door therm is a long way from heat source.  Even if it is acurate, your cabinet temp may have been 10 - 20 degrees higher than the door temp.  Also, the BS will only get so high in heat then it will shut itself down for awhile.
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I believe that the high moisture content in poultry will cause this.  Remember you are cooking wth a 500 watt light bulb (basically) and the puck burner is only 250 watts. 
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Habanero Smoker

Were the weather conditions, and other environmental conditions the same for each smoke?

There are so many factors to consider when you are smoking and using low temperatures. The ambient temperature, other weather conditions and wind will influence the performance. Windy conditions (even a low steady breeze) will cause the cabinet to loose temperature and not recover as fast. Direct sunlight on the cabinet will help the cabinet heat up faster. 



Sorry about delayed response....thanks for the replies. 
Habs.....conditions were pretty steady...if anything, it was cooler on the first two smokes.  I think that I'm going to have to check the door thermometer.  It never has really preheated that well according to it's readings.  I've been using a remote to check the internal temps, so I eventually get the goods to where I want them, but dropoff and recovery sure seems slow.


I have had similar problems with temperature. With the local ambient temp. at 55F my smokers would only rise to 175 F with the rheostats fully open. I had in my 4 rack bradley 4 5#turkey breasts and in my 6 rack digital 6 5# breasts. The comment posted about keeping the vent half open is good and the explanation about the moisture in the turkey is helpful- thanks.

I wish Bradley would do two things- 1. offer a more powerful heating element- 1000-1200 watts and 2. put leveling feet on the oven. I have an uneven deck on which I cook and I am always looking for something to level the cabinet!


I have not looked under the cabinet yet but it is possible you could put some leveling feet on yourself.  On rare occassions I use shims.  I normally like to keep the front side a little higher to prevent any juice from running out the door and ruining the electronics on my OBS.
Life is short. Smile while you still have teeth.

CLICK HERE for Recipe Site:  http://www.susanminor.org/


The problem is not a turkey overload, but a design flaw. I have some recepies that call for starting the first hour at 300 and the next 8 at 200. Can't do that. The Bradley has an over temp limit switch which prevents a run-away grill if set at high and left unattended. The problem is that the switch has a cutoff of 220. If you watch your dial it will go up to around 230 and then drop to about 160 and continues to cycle like that. I tried to work with the factory. Replaced the thermostat, the coil the control board, modified the drip pan and finally replaced the switches. When I brought it to their attention that there was a design flaw they stopped talking to me. Before that they were great. All I wanted was for the grill to reach the temps advertised. I was then told that I didn't know how to cook and then that I should finish the meat in my kitchen oven. The oven works fine if you don't need to go over 220. I won't buy another, not if it won't do what it is advertised to do, and they won't fix it. I have a Treager pellet grill on order as a chritsmas present. I know that will reach the temps I want to cook at.



220 is too low. I am unsure what the design spec is for the cut-out, but you should reach 275 easily. Other members have driven it higher. You need a new thermal cut-out.


I wish you well with your Traeger smoker.  While I'm sorry the Bradley doesn't live up to your expectations, it does everything I wanted it to do.  No disrespect intended, we all have to be somewhere.



QuoteThe problem is that the switch has a cutoff of 220
The true fact is the high limit is 300 F. From reading your last posting I believe your problem is the high-limit switch.

QuoteWhen I brought it to their attention that there was a design flaw they stopped talking to me.
Interesting.  While I have had issues with the generator I find it strange that you say there is a design flaw. What flaw(s) are your speaking of?

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