Which racks to use?

Started by teague, April 27, 2009, 05:38:34 PM

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I was wondering if anyone could tell me a general idea of which racks to use for different meats.  I havent used my Bradley like I want to, and I'm tired of not using it, so I'm gonna try and do some cooking this weekend.  I've done ribs and they were good.  I've done a brisket(twice), and I didnt like either of them.  So what I'm wondering is which racks are best for which meats.  I did a brisket on the bottom, it got burned.  I did some wings on the top, they were rubbery so I finished them on the grill.  What I'm asking is: where should the ribs go, where should the pork butt go, where should chicken go, where should a brisket go, where should ABT's go, fatty's, ANYTHING :)?  Just any kind of help would be appreciated.  And if this is in the wrong forum I'm sorry.


I have a DBS4 and I use the 2 middle postions the most. I hardly ever use the bottom position. If you are going to fill all the positions. Almost everyone will agree that you will need to rotate the rack during the cook to prevent the ones at the bottom from burning or getting done to soon.
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I have an OBS and do the same as 10.5 - middle two racks most of the time, bottom rack last. 



Concur with 10.5.  Also, if you burned the brisket, then you probably are not properly monitoring the cabinet temperature.  I would recommend monitoring the cabinet temp with something like the Maverick and place the probe just below where the meat is, but not touching it and a little to the side of it so that the juice does not drip on the probe.

Bird skin (chicken, turkey, duck, goose, etc.) will generally be like rubber if fully cooked in the Bradley.  This can be rectified if you do the final part of the cook on a grill, in an oven, or in the Big Easy, so that the higher temps can crisp up the skin.
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Thanks tenpoint5, mines a 6 rack and when I have cooked I never fill it up all the way unless its like 3 racks of ABT's.  Gonna try a pork butt this weekend, so hopefully it'll come out good.  I'll start using the middle racks like you said.  I kinda thought that, but I didnt want to  buy another hunk of meat again and ruin it.  Thanks for your help!


Thanks everybody, I see that everybody monitors there temp.  So you dont just use the setting?  You also place a probe, or drill a hole in the door and put a gauge in?



Lots of us use the Maverick ET-73 dual probe thermometer.  One probe measures the box temp while the other monitors the internal temp of the meat.  You really can't trust the Bradley temp readings until the meat really begins to come up to temp.  You don't have to drill holes in the cabinet to use the ET-73.  Run the cables either through the door or down the vent.  The plus to the ET-73 is it comes with a remote receiver meaning you can sit in the house and monitor what the temps are but I would not recommend telling your spouse in case you need an excuse to check the smoker constantly with an adult beverage.

Enjoy and hang in there.  We're all here to help you.



Thanks KyNola, looks like I need to do a little ebaying and invest in a Maverick.  I've had this Bradley for 2 yrs now, I think its about time I start putting it to better use than just warming sausage and making ABT's.  Unfortunately I go back to work tomorrow for the next 7 days, believe I'm gonna make me a Bacon Explosion on my first day off.  Use it to lure a friend over to help me haul some things out of the garage.  I appreciate the help, I usually just search the forums, but asking is ALOT easier!! 


The Bradley is not unlike just about any other smoker - you should rotate at least the bottom and top racks if you have a full load.  As already stated, the two middle racks can probably serve you better on less than a full load on just about any meat - but to be certain, check it out on a test run with temp probes on the different racks.  Then you will know what the differences are.  I had one smoker that I would use an insulated cookie sheet on it to shield the meat from the radiant heat.  Kept the bottom from burning, but it was still a hot location due to convection heat, but not the hottest - the top rack was the hottest for convection heat.

You won't regret the Maverick purchase.  And instead of monitoring both the IT and the CT with the two probes, there is no reason you can't monitor the IT of two pieces of meat.  I'm usually pretty confident of the CT with just the door thermometer.  That is with butts, briskets and clods.  Almost everything else I like to monitor the CT closer. 

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