HomeRoast Digest


Topic: OT: Another Toy to Mod... (13 msgs / 282 lines)
1) From: Vicki Smith
Santa was very good to me, delivering a Bradley Smoker to our house this 
AM. Off I went to the website http://www.bradleysmoker.com)toread 
about PID mods, making one's own smoking pucks (which apparently 
involves spinning wood shavings in a smoothie maker), and other fun 
things that hard core smokers do.
I'm pretty sure we're having a cider brined smoked turkey for New Years :).
vicki (who also read everything on the site about food safety)

2) From: Aaron
vicki you don't need to worry about wood pucks and things like that.  
Use the chunks of wood they work just fine and a lot less work.
I find that a hickory mesquite blend works nicely with pretty much 
anything,  especially beef / chicken.
for hams I use a maple / cherry blend  might use apple if I have it but 
either way they turn out great.
Blackjack oak is good smoking, almond is, many woods are good.   Instead 
of paying big bucks for a small bag of wood at the grocery store / sams 
/ lowes etc etc.  try the various tree services in your area.  A few by 
us have piles of the wood and I can get the whole back of my truck 
filled with wood for 30 dollars.  and I get to select the type too.
welcome to the world of smoking.  ya gonna love it.. trust me.
Aaron

3) From: Vicki Smith
I've actually been smoking meat for a long time, just not with this 
particular smoker. And although I have used wood chunks, in the past, 
this smoker really does especially well with the Bradley pucks (which my 
husband neglected to buy).
The smoker has a dispenser for them built in. The chips I have, in the 
past, bought for my previous smokers, would not be usable in this smoker 
and wood chunks could not automatically feed into the smoke box.
I asked for this model after both doing a lot of investigating, and 
seeing it in action. Following the directions, and using the proper 
pucks just makes sense, at least until I become used to the machine and 
understand what can, and cannot, be modified.
Have you ever used a Bradley, Aaron?
vicki
Aaron wrote:
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4) From: Aaron
Vicky no, I have an old brinkman that is probably coming close to 8 or 9 
years old i use,  very well seasoned, I have thrown it into the back of 
my truck and done tons of beach cookouts... this baby even got hit by 
lightning once... don't even ask...... new top on the hot box area and 
new leg and she kept cookin!!!
I just get my wood and chop it into lumps and throw on the coals.. or do 
a pure wood fire on some occasions (ie ran out of charcoal)... actually 
I soak the woods in water for an hour or two before I pitch them onto 
the coals.. to me it seems to help a bit with the smoke.
I might have to look into the one you have just to see how it ticks as 
you got my curiosity up now.  but an auto wood dispenser does sound like 
it could work nicely... me though, and this is just me, Id rather 
control that myself as looking at the stuff yer cookin, get a good see 
if it needs more, howmuch more, etc etc.... 
Let me know how you like it and how your stuff turns out.. and 
remember... the longer you use it, the better your foods will end up!
aaron

5) From: Vicki Smith
One of the big advantages is that you don't have to open the smoker 
during operation. You do have to press a lever to release a new puck 
into the smoking chamber, so I will still be controlling that, but the 
actual puck placement is automatic. Each puck lasts about 20 minutes. 
Because it has a separate smoke generator, you are using cold smoke, 
which then goes into the (heated) smoking chamber.
My old smoker did not come up to a safe temperature in even moderately 
cool weather. That meant I could use the smoker just for a fairly brief 
smoking, but for safety reasons, the actual cooking needed to be done on 
the grill or in the house. For long slow cooking and smoking (like when 
I make a pork shoulder for pulled pork) I used our big grill, which 
worked pretty well, but the issues with having to open the grill to add 
smoking wood, and far less predictable temp modulation was an issue.
Where I live, low ambient temps and wind are definitely issues. The 
Bradley is Canadian made, and these folks know the reality of smoking 
food outdoors in our climate. I have a wind screen for the smoker box.
The temp control on these smokers is actually pretty good, though I 
probably will PID it at some point.
Check it out
vicki
Aaron wrote:
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6) From: Brian Kamnetz
Vicki,
That all sounds very interesting, especially the technology incorporated to
control for the cold temps. Wonder how adaptable some of that may be for RK
drums....
Brian
On 12/25/06, Vicki Smith  wrote:
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7) From: Vicki Smith
I haven't used an RK drum (yet), but I think that a closed box with an 
electric heater is just different from a grill. Now, you might be able 
to PID your BBQ grill ;).
You could take a look at http://susan.rminor.com/forums/showthread.php?t15and try to figure 
out if the PID technology would transfer.
v
Brian Kamnetz wrote:
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8) From: Mike Chester
You could theoretically PID an electric smoker, but there would be no point 
to it.  You don't need that kind of accuracy or repeatability for cooking 
BBQ or for cold smoking.  For BBQ a +/- 25 degree difference is barely 
noticeable.  For cold smoking, you want to stay below 120 degrees and make 
smoke.  The exact temperature is not important.  Save the PID for something 
that needs it.
BTW - Congrats on your cooker.  The Bradley is an excellent insulated unit. 
I almost bought one a few years ago when I wanted an electric unit, but at 
that time the proprietary "pucks" were too costly and you could only get 
them from Bradley.  I now use a Cookshack FEC-100http://www.cookshack.com/index.php?prūC100It uses micro-logs (wood pellets) for heat and smoke.  It is also well 
insulated and works well in the winter.  I have a friend in North Dakota who 
has cooked in his at -38F.
Mike Chester

9) From: Vicki Smith
The pucks are expensive. It works out to about $1 an hour if you buy the 
originals at full price. Around here, most people I know buy a whole lot 
of them in the autumn when the stores are closing down their BBQ 
departments for the season and I believe there are other brands made to 
use in Bradley's now too.
I was wondering how closely the temp would have to be regulated, Mike. I 
think sometimes we geek things out just because we can ;).
vicki
Mike Chester wrote:
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10) From: Vicki Smith
Wow, my $350 Bradley and your cookshack are just not in the same 
category. Sheesh, what a marvellous piece of equipment you have!! It 
just might be a bit more smoke power than I would ever need LOL.
vicki
Mike Chester wrote:
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11) From: miKe mcKoffee
Congrats' on the new Bradley. Indeed Fast Eddy has taken Traeger's design
(and controller) to a great level. I like convenience in the art of Q too so
have had a Traeger for 7 years or so. Speaking of Traeger about to take off
at 20# whole butcher cut pre-cooked ham that's been ~160f hickory/maple
re-smoking since last night 8pm before kicking up the electronic temp
controller up from smoke to 325f a couple hours ago. Simply "spiked" with
cloves all around about every 1&1/2". Soon time to take off the Traeger and
flame on the glaze of Vermont med amber maple syrup, orange marmilade plus
additional orange zest, allspice and ginger/wasabi sauce. 
Trying to keep a positive attitude after getting up this morning to 8 of our
lighted statues stolen from our outdoor Holiday Display... Pisses me off big
time. May be a Scrooge and just forget about going through the days of work
and expense putting it up next year.
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
<Snip>

12) From: raymanowen
One of the comments had an error in reference to the type K thermocouple
wire insulation color.
The standard is: Red wire is the Negative (-) polarity wire for All
thermocouples, and it's magnetic in type K.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

13) From: Mike Chester
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Dayem miKe, that sounds good.  I cooked a full 18 lb bone in prime rib for 
yesterday's dinner, but I did it in the oven.  My son-in-law asked what I 
had smoked.  All I had to give him was some homemade hard salami that I had 
made last month.
My FEC has the Traeger controller that you describe, but Cookshack recently 
came out with their own controller.  It is supposed to have a lot more 
accurate control of temperature than the Traeger and has cook and hold 
function with the optional meat probe.  After the meat reaches a preset 
temperature, the cooker will drop to a holding temperature.  It is also 
supposed to have automatic re-lighting if the fire goes out.  I am not sure 
if I will upgrade to this controller or not.  I feel the same way about the 
new programable panel for the Hottop.  I have put both of these items on my 
want, but not sure if I can justify the price, list.
<Snip>
That really sucks!  Makes it difficult to remain in the holiday spirit.
On topic for a moment - I tried the Congo Kivo twice yesterday, as a SO 
Americano and as a breve.  It was roasted to FC and had rested 6 days.  I 
liked both cups a lot.  Very smooth and pleasant.  I guessed at the proper 
temperature to extract it and tried ~202.  That seemed to be pretty close to 
optimal.
Mike Chester


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