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Wind chill or it's reverse??

a g k

Fire Starter
Joined Nov 3, 2014
I have had a Bradley 4 rack digital for over 4 years now, & tried to keep the oven warm in windy conditions. Added a 2nd element  & Auber PID after enclosing in a plywood 4 sided fold up shelter that included a top with chimney extension. All helped some. Then 1 day while smoking some store bought sliced bacon, found some of the dreaded black rain that ruined some of the bacon In looking at where the top vent on the Bradley was in center of top, decided to put a 6" by 8" steel panel ( left over from another project ) right on the top rack which I then fastened with wire to tray. When I tested this found that the temperatures were closer from top to bottom & from let to right & center to outside. Seems that heat could no longer go straight up, but had to go around the edges more. Then turned the rack upside down to get more room on the 3rd rack from the bottom; no noticeable difference. Can no longer use top rack this way though 

  Now for the biggest surprise. The first real smoke with this setup I used the plywood shelter as it was quite breezy. The ribs reached

done much sooner than expected. The next smoke done under breezy conditions was done without the shelter to see what would happen. It too was done sooner than expected. In all since last I added that 6"x 8" plate have done 4 smokes all with shorter times to reach done. There might be a down side to this because time for meat to absorb smoke is reduced. Also I am not talking high winds here but 20 to25mph gusts.

  In thinking about this, am wondering if the breeze is making the smoker act like a convection oven. The thought also crossed my mind how cold wind draws the heat out of flesh causing it to freeze faster. Is the warm air circulating in the oven drawing the cold from the meat???

  Would think setup probably draws more electricity, but didn't think to try tracking that.

  Would like to hear any and all comments.

  More test need to be done, but results so far are encouraging.



old sarge

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Nov 26, 2012
Just a thought or two. The steel plate being closer to the meat than the ceiling of the smoker is likely redirecting heat down toward the meat or disrupting it's upward movement resulting in quicker cooks. The plate can also restrict or slow down the draw off of heat by the wind. Sort of like shrinking the volume of your smoker.

Black rain: The ceiling of your smoker does get a lot of residue build up over time. The moisture from the meat can and will condense on the residue which could loosen and fall.

Keep on smokin.

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