Bradley smoker taking FOREVER to heat up???
- linguafood Nov 16, 2013 10:35 AM
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.
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>
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.
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
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...
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....
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
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?
Well, unfortunately, my fears were substantiated.
While the ribs were very flavorful, they were tough like chops. Not *at all* like the first racks I made, which came apart easily. These needed knives (!), though most of us just used our hands and mouths to rip the meat off the bone.
It was a massive disappointment to me, and I know it showed. The smaller end parts of the racks -- or perhaps these were the racks closer to the heat source -- were actually quite tender and more like I wanted them to be.
Our guests, of course, said they loved them (and what else would they say, anyway?), but I could barely hide how upset I was. There's also only half a rack leftover (from 8), as people kept sneaking into the kitchen grabbing another rib, so clearly they weren't *awful*. Just NOT how I expected them to be.
I guess the lesson learned is that, until I get a second heating element or that magical Maverick thermometer (neither's happening until we win the lottery) I will have to severely limit the amount of meat I can smoke at one. Stupid.
Wondering now if splurging on a higher end Bradley, instead of having to buy all these extra accoutrements, would've been a better choice. Oh well.