Bradley smoker temp fluctuations



  • Let me start by saying I like the Bradley Smoker because it lets me achieve the lower temps needed for doing my summer sausage. Having said that, I did a temp test on my 6 rack digital Bradley Smoker. I found that the digital temp on the readout was always 20 - 23 degrees higher that a calibrated ambient thermo pro probe held in the middle of the box. The temp fluctuations taken with the ThermoPro were as follows given a oven set temp of 120 degrees. High temp was 123 degrees and the low temp was 103 degrees. When the heating element turned off the temp fell at a rate of 1 degree per minute, so 20 minutes from 123 degrees down to 103 degrees. On the heat up cycle it only took 2.5 minutes to go from 103 degrees up to 123 degrees. These test readings were taken with an empty cabinet, no smoke, no water, 80 degree outside temp, and no wind. I use a large water/drip pan when smoking and this should slow the temp cycle and I can adjust for the incorrect temp readout.
    Is this 20 degree temp swing normal for electric smokers or is the heater element going bad?


  • Team Blue

    My Masterbuilt 30 smokers always stayed pretty even but my 40 that I bought last winter had pretty similar heat swings. It was all over the board and my cooks took HOURS longer than I expected them too. Home thermometers gave wildly different readings than that of the smoker thermostat.

    I called the company and they suggested that I need a new control panel. I swapped the new one out with zero change. Masterbuilt then suggested it was the internal thermometer which is wired and permanently sealed into the cabinet itself. They sent out a new cabinet and I swapped out the door and panel…voila! Everything has worked perfectly since then.

    I now have a perfectly functioning smoker and a pretty fancy planter for my salsa garden!

    DAF95D25-C348-4509-9DA5-8DC9A362ECFB.jpeg


  • Team Blue

    Question…If you grow Jalapenos in an old smoker do you get Chipotle?


  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    1GRINDER It sounds like you might follow Joes lead and try the same thing because even our uninsulated Weston 30 inch verticle smoker doesn’t fluctuate that wildly. My guess would be something wrong with the thermostat but I could be wrong, I have zero experience with Bradleys so it might even be somewhat normal for them to do that.

    Joe Hell I SO want to come up with something clever to say but I have been making product all week and I am brain dead! TYhe plus side is that A) I have listened to all the audiobooks/podcasts I could want while processing/cleaning and B) we had some leftover so I am making pork snack sticks with Chorizo! I added cure so I could smoke it at low temps and Encapuslated Citric Acid. With the Citric Acid, I added it earlier than normal in the mix cycle to intentionally break the encapsulation earlier in the process as I did have any vinegar. I am seriously questioning why I did that now…it made sense at the time!! If I had stopped and thought about it I would have realized it wouldn’t make a difference in the taste if it was released right away or later…@Austin this is what happens when I am left to my own devices!!!


  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    FYI that smiley face with the glasses is supposed to be a B with a closing parentheses after it…


  • Power User

    Joe Hell not sure I cann tomato sauce in old moonshine jars lol


  • Team Blue

    craigrice Me too! A quart jar is my preferred cocktail glass as well.


  • Power User

    Joe Hell we have got to be related some how !


  • Team Blue

    1GRINDER If I can add another little tidbit for other grill gadget users… On my recent experience of the Pit Boss I also see wild fluctuations. I expect this out of a non-insulated grilling device so I generally set the temp lower than my target. It is HOT in these parts right now and it seems to have little impact on temp fluctuation


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