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Thread: Answers To Bradley Smoker FAQ's

  1. #31
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    Default Can I get a "smoke ring" using the Bradley propane smoker?


    Bradley Smoker FAQ's - Answers
    Submitted by: Habanero Smoker

    Q. Can I get a "smoke ring" using the Bradley propane smoker?

    A. Yes. The Bradley propane smoker will produce a "smoke ring", though the electric models won't.

    “Smoke ring” is a reddish/pink coloration just under the surface of the meat, and is considered a sign that the meat was properly barbecued; it does not add any flavor to the meat. "Smoke ring" can also be artificially produced, so it is not always a sign of properly cooked barbecue. The term "smoke ring" is misleading, and in other circles it is often referred to as "pink ring". The ring is not cause by a chemical reaction of the smoke with the meat, but by the chemical reaction caused by nitrogen dioxide. Nitrogen dioxide is a byproduct of burning organic fuels such as wood, charcoal, natural gas, and propane gas. You can also produce a "smoke ring" in your propane or natural gas oven. Just use the low and slow method of cooking and leave the meat uncovered.

    Once the nitrogen dioxide comes in contact with the meat surface it converts to nitric oxide, which then reacts to the pigment (myoglobin) in the meat to form a "pink ring" (similar to what sodium nitrite does when in comes in contact with meat). This reaction can penetrate to a depth of 1/4 to 3/8 inch (8-10 mm). In addition this can only occur using the low and slow method of cooking.

    This reaction does not happen in the electric smokers - although the bisquettes fall into the category of organic fuel; to produce nitrogen dioxide in sufficient quantities, the fuel must be burned at a much higher temperature then the bisquettes that smolder on the hot plate.

    See Why can’t I get a smoke ring, while I’m smoking meat in the Bradley Smoker? for more information.

  2. #32
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    Default I just ordered my Bradley Smoker. What can I do before it arrives?


    Bradley Smoker FAQ's - Answers
    Submitted by: Habanero Smoker

    Q. I just ordered my Bradley Smoker. What can I do before it arrives?

    A.
    • First go to the Bradley website, download the manual and read it before receiving your smoker.
    • The smoker is easier to use if it is placed at counter top level (33 inches from the floor). It is much easier to load and unload the cabinet at this height. Set up a table or cart that can support the smoker and a full load (at least 50 pounds).
    • If your smoker does not come with a sample package of bisquettes; order some. Better yet stock up. The average smoke uses 9 to 12 bisquettes (that equals approximately 3 to 4 hours). Read this guide to “Bisquettes” for suggestions on what flavor bisquettes to buy.
    • If you are storing the smoker outdoors, purchase the protective cover. The protective cover does a good job protecting the smoker 24/7. Members with digital generators have recommended that during cold weather to detach the generator and store it in a heated area, until you are ready to use it.
    • Order some Bubba Pucks. In the long run they will save you money by preventing you from throwing away half burnt bisquettes.
    • Spend a lot of time on the Bradley Smoker Forum, the Bradley Smoker Recipe Site, and order “Smoke & Spice” by Jamison, Cheryl and Jamison, Bill; it contains a lot of recipes that can easily be adapted to the Bradley Smoker. Also refer to this Referrence Book list.
    • Purchase a dual probe or dual sensor probe digital thermometer; either type will allow you to more accurately measure the smoker temperature plus monitor the internal meat temperature.
      • An example of a dual probe thermometer would be the Maverick ET-73 (which is also a remote thermometer), and an example of a dual sensor probe would be Polder Dual Sensor Thermometer Timer 89490. Most smokers on the forum prefer the Maverick ET-73. (Note: The Maverick ET-732 has now replaced the ET-73; and is a much better remote).

  3. #33
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    Default How long does it take to hot smoke food in the Bradley Smoker?


    Bradley Smoker FAQ's - Answers
    Submitted by: Habanero Smoker

    Q. How long does it take to hot smoke food in the Bradley Smoker?

    A. That’s a difficult question to answer because it depends on so many factors, such as amount of food in the smoker, type of meat, the weight of the meat, amount of connective tissue in the meat, amount of moisture, the cabinet temperature, and the internal temperature you want to take it to, ambient weather; and this list can go on. The most critical factor is how long it takes the cabinet temperature and recovery (More Information).

    You will often see a reference of 90 minutes per pound, when barbequing meat (that’s 90 minute per pound for the cut, not the total weight of the meat in the smoker). This is often a rule for people who use offset smokers, or water smokers that burn charcoal, wood or gas to cook with. These smokers quickly gets up to 200 – 225 degrees F. Also the 90 minute rule generally applies to the tough cuts of meat like ribs, butts and briskets that are cooked beyond “doneness”. You don’t want to apply the 90 minute rule to fish, poultry, thin or lean cuts of meat. Also this is not a realistic guideline for a 500 watt (plus 125 watt from the generator) Bradley Smoker; that takes awhile to get to the set cooking temperature. On the other hand it does give you a starting point.

    By tracking your own experiences and recording them in a Cooking Log you will soon be able to guesstimate when your food will be done. Until then it is best to smoke/cook the food ahead of time, and reheat it (for me smoked food taste better the day after). I know it takes the appeal of pulling the meat out of the smoker in front of your guests, but if the food is not done when the guests are ready to eat people are hard to impress when they are starving. Many members plan for the food to be done hours ahead of time and FTC the meat to keep it at serving temperature or hotter until the guest arrive.

  4. #34
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    Default Does the smoker make a lot of smoke?


    Bradley Smoker FAQ's - Answers
    Submitted by: Habanero Smoker

    Q. Does the smoker make a lot of smoke?

    A. This answer depends on what one views as too much, ventilation, and most importantly the type of neighbors you have. My experience has been the smoke dissipates quickly when it is out side in the open, or under an open shelter. During the period when smoke is being applied, it produces no more smoke then a charcoal or gas grill when you are cooking hamburgers. What does hang around is the pleasant smell of smoke, and other aromas coming from the food.

    It does not create a campfire like smoke, so it should not disturb or alarm your neighbors. For those who live in high rises, with neighbors in close proximity on either side and/or above you; if you have been using a grill on your patio and the neighbors haven’t complain, they will not complain when you use the Bradley Smoker.

  5. #35
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    Default What is a “cold smoke” setup?


    Bradley Smoker FAQ's - Answers
    Submitted by: Habanero Smoker

    Q. What is a “cold smoke” setup?

    A. A “cold smoke setup” is a method of cold smoking in your Bradley Smoker with the generator detached from the smoking cabinet. This gives you the ability to cold smoke at the ambient temperature. Here are a couple of pictures to demonstrate what the typical setup looks like; example #1; example #2 of one made from plywood, but one can also can be easily made from a cardboard box.

    (Note: Bradley now makes a Cold Smoke Adapter that can be purchase for little under $100 US. If you have plans of using a hot plate to smoke other woods, this unit is not large enough to accommodate most hot plates).

    For best results place the cabinet so that it is higher then the smoke generator. This will assist the flow of smoke. Also widen the vent opening, and in most cases remove the drip tray (“V” pan), both of which will help the flow of smoke (only remove the drip tray when smoking dry foods like cheese, nuts and vegetables).

    What you need is a standard 4” diameter dryer hose, medium size cardboard box (the type that holds a case (6) 1.75 liter bottles works well), and a serrated knife.
    • Fold the flaps of the open end of the box in, and turn the box over so the open end is on the ground.
    • Using the serrated knife cut a rectangular hole (4˝ x 2 inches) in one of the smaller side of the box; 4 3/4 inches from the ground. The hole needs to be the right height from the ground and large enough so the bisquette burner easily fits through without touching the cardboard, if you need to make adjustments to these measurements do so.
    • Next cut a 4 inch diameter round hole in the top of the box. Insert one end of the dryer hose through this opening; and run the other end of the hose through the generator opening on the cabinet.
    • The water bowl, supplied with the smoker, should be placed under the box to catch and extinguish the bisquettes as they are spent.
    • Slide the bisquette burner through the rectangular hole, making sure that the end of the burner is lined up so the spent bisquettes will fall into the drip bowl. That’s it; you are all set to begin cold smoking.

    • Tips for Cold Smoking:
      • Make sure the area you setup the generator on is level.
      • Smoke during the cooler parts of the day, early morning, late evening or night time.
      • Keep the cabinet in the shade, out of sunlight.
      • During warmer days, ice can be placed inside the cabinet to help keep the temperature down.
      • Unplug the heating element.
    Additional infromation: Can I use other flavors of wood, other than the bisquettes Bradley offers?

  6. #36
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    Default Can I use other flavors of wood, other then the bisquette Bradley offers?


    Bradley Smoker FAQ's - Answers
    Submitted by: Habanero Smoker

    Q. Can I use other flavors of wood, other than the bisquettes Bradley offers?

    A. Yes, with additional equipment (you will not be using the generator); and some precautions.

    Equipment: (Instructions for John Watkins Cold Smoke Adapter)
    • cardboard box
    • standard 4" dryer hose
    • hot plate
    • 9" or 8" metal pan (cheap or disposable cake or pie pan works well)
    • serrated knife to cut cardboard
    • compass to draw circle (or trace around the hose)
    • source of wood chips, pellets or sawdust (maybe even charcoal)
    Directions:
    1. Use a cardboard box that is large enough to hold the hot plate and pan with at least 3 inches of clearance on all sides from the pan you will be using. If the hot plate is larger then the pan you are using, use the hot plate as a guide for your clearance.
    2. Set box on it's side so the top flaps will act as a door so you can slide the hot plate and pan in easily,
    3. Next you will need to cut a 4 inch circular hole in top of the box and a small slit at the bottom for the hotplate cord.
    4. Run one end of the dryer hose through the hole you just cut. The hose should protrude about 2 inches into the box.
    5. Detach the generator from the smoker and store in a safe place. Now run the other end of the hose through the side of the smoker cabinet.
    6. Slide the hot plate into the box ensuring there is enough clearance on all sides. Run the cord through the slit you cut, plug it in and turn it to a low setting, just enough to make the wood smolder.
    7. Place a pan on top of the burner and add your chips (soaked), or pellets or sawdust. Only add a small amount of wood.
      • IMPORTANT: Always use only a small amount of wood, and if necessary you can change pans and add more chips during the smoking time. If by error you set the hot plate too high, the wood may ignite. A small amount of chips the fire will be contained within the pan. Monitor closely and do not leave unattended.
    8. Wait until you see the wood begins to smoke, then close the box flaps. Fully open the vent of your smoker. Place an object in front of the box to keep the flaps closed, and monitor closely during the smoking period.
    9. When you have finished applying your smoke, unplug the hot plate, and continue to cook your food in the smoker until done.

      Don't forget you will still need to use your drip bowl with water inside the smoker.

  7. #37
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    Default How Large Should Images Be For Posting?


    Bradley Smoker FAQ's - Answers
    Submitted by: Olds (aka Oldman or Raye)

    Q. How Large Should Images Be For Posting?

    A. There are two areas that need to be addressed in posting a image.
    1. KB size. – KB size will vary depending upon the format the image is saved it. Gif, png and jpg are the most common formats for the Internet.
      1. Gif will give you the poorest quality for a photograph. However, it KB size is very small.
      2. PNG format if used for a drawing normally will give you a good image with lower KB than that of JPG. However, if used for a photograph its KB becomes huge.
      3. JPG format is the most common on the net for photographs. However, its quality should be lowered to 60% of normal or otherwise its KB will be rather large as well.
    If you do not have imaging software there is an excellent free program called IrfanView

    For an example of reducing the percentage (%) of the JPG quality to 60% look at the following two examples.




    The first image is 32 KB @ 60% of 100% of quality.
    The second image is 205 KB @ 100% of quality.
    So lowering the % of quality is important with little noticed loss of quality.

    A person would have to look real hard to see any difference between these two images. The reason KB is so important is there are many areas in the world where dial-up connection is still used.

    Now if you must have the highest quality image then create a large thumbnail that links to another window that will show the high quality image.

    In the example below on how to manually create this I will use the < > brackets instead of the BB Code brackets [ ] so that the coding for this may be seen.

    <URL="http://www.susanminor.org/Rayeimages/peppered.jpg"><IMG>http://www.susanminor.org/Rayeimages/peppered-0.jpg</IMG></URL>

    In the above coding the string that is in Blue is the link to the large picture. The string that is Green is the small image that once clicked on opens up a new window for the larger image.

    This is what it looks like. Click on it to enlarge the image.

    Just make sure that when you use this coding to change from the example the < > brackets to the [ ] brackets.

    Not all posting boards are created the same. In the above example I use the quotation marks " within the string.

    Some posting boards will not accept the quotation marks " within the string. So you will just to try to find out what a board will accept and what it will not accept.

    The Bradley Posting Boards DO NOT accept the quotation " marks.

  8. #38
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    Default If a recipe calls for Morton’s Tender Quick.......


    Bradley Smoker FAQ's - Answers
    Submitted by: Habanero Smoker

    Q. If a recipe calls for Morton’s Tender Quick, can I substitute an equal amount of Cure #1, or one of the many premixed cures on the market, or vice versa?

    A. No. Always use the correct amount according to the manufacturer’s and recipe directions. If the recipe calls for Tender Quick, but you only have Cure #1, sugar and pickling salt on hand; here is a pretty good substitute mix for Morton’s Tender Quick: Basic Cure Recipe.

    Cure #1 is sodium nitrite which is mixed with salt; 1 ounce sodium nitrite to 1 pound salt or 6.25% sodium nitrite, and 93.75% salt. The salt in this mixture is to make measuring the sodium nitrite easier. When used for curing, the recipe calls for additional salt, and sugar to be added. As an example of measurement, for ground meat you would use 1/4 teaspoon per pound for small batches, and 1 teaspoon per five pounds for larger batches. General uses are for bacon, sausage, smoked meats, poultry and fish.
    Various Names for Curing Salt #1
    • Prague powder #1
    • InstaCure #1
    • Pink salt
    • TCM - Tinted curing mixture
    • TCP - Tinted curing powder
    • Modern cure
    • FLP
    • and other brand names

    Cure #2 should not be confused with Cure #1. They are not interchangeable. Cure #2 has 89.75% salt; 6.25% sodium nitrite, and 4% sodium nitrate. It is mainly used for dry curing meats over a long period of time. Because it contains sodium nitrate, that does not mean it can be substituted for Tender Quick. General uses are for dry cured meat such as; hams, prosciutto, and capicola or dry cured sausages such as pepperoni, and hard salami.
    Various Names for Curing Salt #2
    • Prague powder #2
    • InstaCure #2
    • DQ powder
    • Modern cure #2
    • and other brand names
    Saltpeter is 100% Potassium nitrate. It is to difficult to measure in the small quantities needed, which can cause either adding too much or too little; in turn you have unstable results. Though used regularly in many countries, in the United States it is no longer allowed in sausages or meats, but still allowed for dry cured sausages and meats in very reduced amounts. (It also should be noted that one can not purchase pure sodium nitrate or pure sodium nitrite).

    Morton’s Tender Quick (Morton's Sugar Cure (Plain)) is more of a cure mix. The ingredients in Tender Quick (regular mix) is 78% salt (the main curing ingredient); 21% sugar (approximate), .5% sodium nitrite, .5% sodium nitrate and propylene glycol (to keep mixture uniform). Generally when you use Tender Quick in a recipe you don’t have to add any additional salt or sugar. Morton makes three brands of Tender Quick; two are interchangeable: Morton's Tender Quick, and Morton's Sugar Cure (Plain); the Smoked Flavor Cure is not the same. General uses are the same as Cure #1, but it can not be a direct substitute for cure #1. An example of measurement, for meat you would use 1 tablespoon per pound, and for sausage 1.5 tablespoons per pound.

    Just because Tender Quick is a cure mix, it does not mean you can substitute it for some other cure mix (such as Sausage Makers Maple Ham Cure) that is on the market. Manufacturers develop their own formulas which can vary a great deal from one another; therefore you must follow the manufacturer’s directions.

    Of the three brands of Tender Quick: Morton's Tender Quick; Morton's Sugar Cure (Plain); and Morton's Smoked Flavored Sugar Cure. The first two contain both sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate and are interchangeable. They can be used dry or in a brine, and are generally used for curing bacon, hams and making sausage. Morton's Smoked Flavored Sugar Cure is different and can not be used as the others. It is a slow acting cure that only has sodium nitrate as the curing salt, and only to be applied dry, never use it as a brine. This is more suited for air drying sausage, bacon and hams.

  9. #39
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    Default Why can’t we use foil in the smoker?


    Bradley Smoker FAQ's - Answers
    From The Bradley Website

    Q. Why can’t we use foil in the smoker?

    A. You can wrap your meat in foil, basically we DON’T want you to cover your racks, or drip tray in foil. The reason for this is that the heat will be blocked below the items you are smoking/cooking, therefore not getting up to temperature. This could also cause other damage to the unit.

  10. #40
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    Default What is an “E” message?


    Bradley Smoker FAQ's - Answers
    From The Bradley Website

    Q. What is an “E” message?

    A. An “E” message is letting you know that there is something wrong with the advance system. It’s the connection between the motor arm and the micro switch, or it could be a faulty switch. Please open the generator, and take a look at that switch which is going to be a gray rectangle shaped switch; first make sure that it is connected, secondly makes sure nothing is blocking that switch and the arm. If the wires appear to be plugged in, disconnect and reconnect the connections to make sure they are secure.

    If the above does not work, check the drive guide for any obstructions; such as a build up of debris in the tracks that will interfere with the movement of the system. Also check the drive guide for any wear and tear. That is an indication the guide track is out of alignment and need to be adjusted.

    Another thing that may cause the error, it the micro switch. With your generator plugged in (only do this if you feel comfortable with working with electrical appliances); depress the micro switch. This is to test to see if the micro switch does work. The motor should engage and the motor arm should come around and depress the switch; you should hear a definite click. If it doesn't depress the switch, loosen the two motor nuts, and realign the motor.

    If this does not work contact Bradley Technical Support.

    Click on photo to enlarge.

    For more information on how to open the generator click on the following link:
    How do I clean my generator?

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