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Nov 16, 2013 10:35 AM

Bradley smoker taking FOREVER to heat up???

Ok, turned my smoker on high about an hour ago and it's *just* under 150. Should I be worried something's wrong?

I was hoping to start my ribs at 1 PM but that's obviously not happening.

It's brand-new, so I'd be surprised if it were screwed up already.

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  1. Nevermind. My man hadn't plugged it in right.


    1. Hmm. Perhaps I spoke too soon. After everything was plugged in nicely, and the smoker had *finally* gotten to 240, I put in the ribs -- 4 racks total cut in half, so each tray is holding a rack, basically.

      I'd say the smoker stayed just below 150 for a good 1.5 hours, and is just now creeping up towards the 200 mark....

      I'm all for low and slow, but is this perhaps a bit too low? The ribs will stay in another hour to smoke, and theoretically, I'd start squirting them with apple juice every hour after that, but given how shaky the temps have been today, I'm loathe to open the smoker unnecessarily.

      At this point, I'm more than tempted to just finish the last 3 hours in the oven. At least there I can be sure they will be at 240 or such for the remainder of the cooking.

      I understand that the amount of meat will have an influence on the temp, but shouldn't the smoker be able to handle meat on all four trays and STILL come up to the desired temp???

      I just hope they come out well.... >sigh>

      6 Replies
      1. re: linguafood

        You might want to post about this on the Bradley forum. Also you should consider some of the modifications like adding the second heating element.

        1. re: JMF

          Yeah, that might well be necessary. The goddamn thing never went over 200 anymore.

          The ribs are cooked, but look a bit dry and are still too chewy. Thankfully, they'll spend another 2.5 hours or so in the oven wrapped in foil.

          But this is ridiculous.

        2. re: linguafood

          We had that experience when we did a whole smoker worth of ribs. The heat dropped WAY down and crept back up. The ribs turned out fine but it was aggravating. We're doing a 9# pork shoulder tonight. Last time a somewhat smaller one took 16 hours! so we're doing this one all night and into the morning. Still love the results but there's definitely a learning curve. I hope you'll report back.

          1. re: c oliver

            I will. This time, I also left the membrane on the ribs as per adamant rec by someone on this board. Jeff Philipps says to remove them, but these were such a massive fucking PITA, I was not going to lose my mind.

            And I didn't even know then how aggravating the rest of the afternoon would be.

            I love the first batch o'ribs we did (just 2 racks, and no temp issues), where I had removed the membrane.

            Guess we'll see. And boy did I make that rub spicy.... ruh-roh :-D

            1. re: linguafood

              I really love it that you get as nuts as I do when things aren't going well. I was alone when dealing with the temp dropping SO much and then not coming back up. I think I was terrifying the dogs with my swearing :)

              1. re: linguafood

                I don't always remove the membrane either...but when I don't, I'm sure to score it with the tip of a knife. You can do that by either slicing diagonally across the bones in both directions or by making a series of horizontal slices across.

                Can't help you with the Bradley issues. Sorry...

          2. The irony of the whole ordeal is that I could've cooked the salmon along in the smoker, given the low temp. But there was no room anyway....

            1. Remove the membrane. It takes less time than typing about it on a food forum.

              If you are sold on a Watt burner, the answer to your Bradley problem is here.



              5 Replies
              1. re: Uncle Bob

                I've never found it necessary for any method of cooking to remove the membrane.

                I think perhaps you gave an incorrect link. It's a page of smokers. I figured it was going to be some kind of accessory.

                1. re: Uncle Bob

                  Yes, I will absolutely remove the membrane again next time. It's a total pain in the ass (at least it seemed like it would be on the racks I had yesterday; with the first batch a couple weeks ago it came off much easier), but I liked them better without.

                  Not sure why people leave it on. Flavorless, chewy, stupid food.

                  And Uncle Bob, you have no idea how fast I type '-P

                  1. re: linguafood

                    Ok....make that my typing! :))

                    There are many 'how to ideas' for removing the membrane. All seem to work ok, ... and it's what one gets comfortable with. Over the years I've gotten comfortable with these.


                    and they skin catfish too!!!!

                    1. re: Uncle Bob

                      Cool gadget. Would regular wide pliers work as well? Looking at my toolbox right now...

                      1. re: linguafood

                        Yes. But the membrane will stick in the serrated(?) tips.

                2. We turned ours on to high and let it heat (in probably 30 minutes) to 260 before putting the pork shoulder in. It dropped to about 190 and has gotten up to about 215 in about 45 minutes. Somebody on another thread commented that outside temp isn't much of a factor but that wind can be. It's calm here today; what about where you are?

                  How did the meat turn out?