Food Smoking FAQ

My smoker isn’t giving off any heat, what is going wrong?

Firstly, make sure you’re getting power to your smoker by ensuring that all the cords are firmly connected. Now, take your short and long power cord, connecting them together to create one long power cord, and plugging them from the smoke tower (larger unit on the right with the racks), directly into the outlet. Leave it plugged in for 5-10 minutes and check to see if your heating element glows red. If it does not, remove the shorter cable, and simply plug the longer cable into the smoke tower directly to the outlet. Again, leave it for 5-10 minutes and check to see if your heating element glows red. If your heating element glows red then you may just have a problem with your jumper cable (the shorter power cable), please call our customer service line 1-866-508-7514 for further assistance. If your heating element does not glow red, then it may be burnt out and you can order a new heating element or again call us on our toll free customer service line 1-866-508-7514 so we can get you smoking again soon. 

Why isn’t my smoker reaching full temperature?

It’s important to note that our heating elements are 500 watts, and are not designed for high temperatures. Bradley Smokers are crafted to maintain low and slow cooking temperatures. Nonetheless, here are a few tips and things to note about the temperature of your smoker.

  • Opening your door releases the heat stored inside, which takes some time to build back up. Try to open the door as little as possible.
  • Preheat your smoker before putting your food in it. Some Bradley Smoker users have found preheating slightly higher than you’ll be cooking at helps as well.
  • Put your meat into the smoker at room temperature. This prevents the drastic drop in temperature when you place a cold piece of meat into the smoker, directly from the refrigerator.
  • Keep your smoker protected from wind and the elements, and out of below freezing temperatures. Ambient temperature affects the internal temperature of your smoker, so the colder it is the longer it will take to heat your smoker.
  • If you require the use of an extension cord, make sure it is heavy-duty and less than 20 feet long.
  • Cook with your vent open, as this releases some of the moisture inside. It is important to note that you should never cook with your damper closed more than ¼.
  • If your heating element is flickering while heating up, or is not solid red across when hot, you may need to purchase a replacement heating element.

If you continue having an issue maintaining the temperature inside your smoker, please call our toll free customer service line at 1-866-508-7514.

Why is cold smoke so important?

Creating smoke without heat is the best way to control the flavor of any food being smoked. In most food smokers, heat is generated by burning wood. As the wood burns from ignition to complete ash, the wood generates heat. At the point where wood is self-consuming, (burns without any heat source) it produces a lot of heat. At this point, there is very little smoke produced, and the temperature within the food or bbq smoker is out of control. A food smoker will produce a far superior tasting food if the temperature and smoke remain at a constant and controlled level.

What is the difference between a cold or hot smoked product?

Most smoked foods that are produced for resale are first cured, and then cold smoked. Cold smoking is usually done below 100°F or below a temperature that burns or liquefies fat. Heat is added at the end of the smoking process for appearance and flavor. A hot smoked food needs very little curing and has the appearance, taste, and texture of fully cooked foods.

What is a meat cure?

A meat cure is a combination of salt and sugar. It can be liquid (a brine) or coarse and granular (a cure). It can include many other ingredients to enhance the flavor or preserve the meat. You can buy a meat cure from grocery stores, meat supply stores, or some butcher shops specializing in sausages and hams. You can also make your own; however make sure you have a proper smoker recipe and you know the correct proportions for the type of product you are smoking.

Can you cold smoke food without curing it first?

Yes, you can. This is one of three ways you can cold smoke food. Try taking any meat product fresh out of cold storage and smoking at the coolest temperature possible. Do not let your food smoker go above 100 degrees F. Season or marinade to taste. Only smoke for 1 to 2 hours and then cook as you would normally. Keep the damper at the top of your smoker wide open, as this helps in keeping the temperature low. This can be a little tricky in the middle of summer when the air temperature is above 60 degrees. The new flavors you can create are fantastic.

How much does it cost to smoke with a Bradley Smoker?

The cost to smoke with the Bradley Smoker is about $1.00 per hour. This is about the same as using wood chunks purchased in a store.

How does Bradley make the flavor bisquettes?

That’s a secret. However we will tell you that the bisquettes are made with all natural products and the wood we use is clean and has not been used for some other purpose before we made it into a bisquette.

How long has Bradley been making smokers and bisquettes?

We have been making BBQ smokers and food products for backyard cooks and the restaurant industry since 1986. Many of the finest hotels and restaurants around the world smoke their own foods using a Bradley Smoker. Visit our recipes page or the Bradley Smoker Youtube channel to learn more about the variety of foods that can be made in a smoker.

What kind of wood goes well with seafood?

Certain types of wood give a better flavor with different food groups. There is no hard and set rule to this, however try using hickory or mesquite with pork, beef or red game meat. All types of seafood are excellent with alder, maple or our own special blend. Fruit woods work very well with poultry and fresh water fish. Try using cheery with wild duck or chicken.

Can Bradley Bisquettes be used in other Smokers, BBQ Smokers and Grills?

Yes, we have 24 Pack Bisquettes available in all our flavors that you can purchase from grocery stores etc.

How can I control the moisture inside my smoker?

You can control the moisture in you smoker by the vent in the top. The more closed it is, the more moisture will be kept in. The more open it is, less moisture will be kept in. Please keep in mind not to close the vent in the top all the way when smoke is running. For example, when doing beef jerky your want to dry the meat so keep the vent all the way open the whole time.

How long should I smoke my food for?

Smoke your food for half the time it will take to cook it. For example, if you are cooking for 6 hours, smoke for the first 3 hours. For more information, check out the Beginner’s Guide to Food Smoking.

Where can I order parts for my Bradley Smoker?

You can order parts by calling our customer service team at (866) 508-7514.

How do I register my Bradley Smoker warranty?

You can register the warranty for your smoker at the Warranty Registration page.