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Bradley 6 rack temperature issue?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by thatguy23, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. thatguy23

    thatguy23 Newbie

    Hey folks!  I was super excited when my wife bought me an awesome smoker for Christmas.  She did her homework and bought what she thought was a great model.  I'm pretty happy with it overall, but I've got a few questions that maybe some other users could help me answer before I call up customer service.

    I've read that the temperature sensor reads well below the actual temperature of the box... have you found this to be so?

    My issues is that I am currently smoking a turkey and I'm not able to get the unit up past about 240-245 degrees even though I have the oven temp set at the hottest (360) and I can clearly see the element glowing red hot.  The temp of the meat is increasing nicely however and I'm sure my turkey will turn out pretty well.  The ambient temperature is 10 Celsius (that's 50 F for all my smoker owning friends south of the border) so I'm a little upset that I can't get the temperature up past where I seem to be stuck.  Do you think I've got a bum unit or is this basically the coolest outside temp I can smoke at?  It's windy too, but I've got the unit just inside our garage so it's not directly affecting the box (i.e. it's not right out in the elements).

    I also think it might be a seal problem... there is a small patch of door seal right at the top corner that doesn't lie 100% flat and tight.  I think I'm looking really hard for a flaw though; I'm not sure that something so small could make much difference.  I've also got the vent at the top nearly closed... I would say I've got it a quarter cracked open.

    Call customer service or just accept the limitations?

    Thanks in advance.

    P.S. I've only used it 4 or 5 times and the food has been excellent (ribs, chicken, jerky).  
  2. JckDanls 07

    JckDanls 07 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Welcome to the forums... thinking more info is going to be needed...

    • What are you using to take temps with ?
      Do you have a separate thermometer (preferably a digital wireless) from the Bradley's built in therms ?
      Are therms calibrated ?
      Are you using a pan full of water ?
      Do you keep opening the door to "look" ?
      Any other vents besides the top one ?
      Any other info you think one would need to help solve the problem ?

    I don't believe the seal is hurting that much.. If you can get it to seal better (good deal), If not, I wouldn't lose a bunch of sleep over it....

    Others will be along to help shortly...
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  3. thatguy23

    thatguy23 Newbie

    Alright... I can answer most of that. So I'm only relying on the therm on the smoke generating unit. I've got a digital therm for meat temp and it seems to be accurate. Internal temp of the turkey is stuck around 150 and even withy the smoke unit running for some extra heat I'm stuck with a box temp around 230 as it's a little chillier than it was earlier.

    Was using an extension cord but I ditched it and plugged straight into the outlet... Also check to make sure all my electrical connections were tight. Water in the bowl at the bottom... It also collects the pucks as they are pushed through.

    Only opened the door a few times to test the meat (maybe once every two hours) and the meat was pretty close to room temp when I put it in.

    The unit only has a top vent and I can get it a bit warmer with the vent mostly closed although a Bradley forum recommended leaving it open as too much moisture can affect the temp and potentially back smoke into the generator which will wreck the unit.

    In retrospect, the seal looks just fine. I can see it's not super tight but it's not serious... I've seen pictures of worse seals on other forums.
  4. JckDanls 07

    JckDanls 07 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    you can take the probe out of the meat and just hang it in the smoker (not touching anything) and compare temps with Bradley's therm.... The water in the pan is also holding your heat down... as water will only get to 212`... wash your probe before sticking it back into the turkey.... I am betting that temps are off.. most manufactures therms are no where's near close...
  5. I have a Bradley 4 rack digtal and it took a bit of a mind change to understand it.  I thought I would want to cook something hotter and some things cooler.  Well, The reality is the thinking behind the Bradley is "Low and Slow"  the larger the mass in the box the less able it is to get hotter.  Net result is you don't have the option to cook hotter.  It is a low temp smoker.  The flip side is you can do a cold smoke in it.

    All that said a low cooked turkey would be great, but if you don't have the time smoke it for a bit and then do the Texas Crutch which is wrap it tightly in foil and finish at a hotter temp in the oven.