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Bradley temperature control

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I smoke on a Bradley smoker and have had it for about a year. I notice that when I pre-heat the unit it seems to take a long time to come back to the cooking temperature once I put the meat in. This is especially true when I smoke something like a turkey. The meat gets done but I never seem to have the temperature dial at the pre-heat temp. Am I doing something wrong? Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.
post #2 of 6
Hi Pork,

Which Bradley do you have?

I have the 6 rack Digital and have only used it twice because it doesn't want to go over 200ยบ and takes forever to cook anything in...

My personal thoughts on them is that they are under powered on the heating element at only 500 watts.

I think the problem you are having is pretty much a common problem and that the Bradley's are basically only suited for cold smoking...
post #3 of 6
As Beer pointed out, the Bradley only has a 500w heating element..

When you put in something as large as a turkey, it takes a long time to recover since the heating element is so small and underpowered. It's battling a turkey that is, at best room temp, or at worse refrigerator temp. You're not doing anything wrong, however, here's a tip on how I battle the recovery time.

What I do to help it is, instead of using the water bowl, I replace it with an aluminum pan like this one. When preheating I fill it with boiling water. It rapidly preheats and is much faster to recover when you 1st put in the turkey/large quantity of meat. Also if you're doing a long smoke you won't have to open the door to empty the used bisquettes. The tray is so large that you will not run into this problem, thus no heat lost.

I will have to respectfully disagree with Beer about the Bradley only being good for cold smoking. Here are just a few things I've smoked in the past month I've owned the smoker.

Good luck!
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks to both of you for those thoughts. Two hours ago I pulled our Turkey from the smoker and it is in great shape. I did two things differently. First I put a pan of very hot water into the bottom and second, I used a meat thermometer instead of cooking to a set time. The bird is wonderful. I have to smoke it ahead of time and store for travel to Sun Valley tomorrow.

The part about the unit being under powered had not really crossed my mind but it makes sense. I too have had a lot of very good sessions with this smoker and do like it but just wondered if I was doing something wrong. Every little bit of information helps so thanks for the great input. Now, let the feast begin. I have smoked a ham, turkey, fatties and salmon for the trip.
post #5 of 6
Glad to hear that your turkey came out great! Yes, I forgot to mention that the IT is more important than time. I picked up the Maverick ET-73. There's no way I would be able to get briskets cooked perfectly without it.

You are going to feast like kings tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving!
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the assistance. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you too.
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