Bradley Smoker

Postby Fallow Buck » Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:34 pm

Is there currently a 6-Rack Bradley though?

I was thinking it would be tall enough to cold smoke sides of fish.

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Postby pokerpete » Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:21 pm

Fallow Buck wrote:Is there currently a 6-Rack Bradley though?

I was thinking it would be tall enough to cold smoke sides of fish.

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Postby welsh wizard » Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:19 pm

HI FB - just purchase more racks as a seperate, no problem.

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Postby dougal » Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:58 pm

Fallow Buck wrote:Is there currently a 6-Rack Bradley though?
I was thinking it would be tall enough to cold smoke sides of fish.

welsh wizard wrote:HI FB - just purchase more racks as a seperate, no problem.

Ummm, I think it was the height, for hanging whole sides of fish, rather than the number of racks that was in question.

AFAIK, Bradley only offer a single size of box (over here at least).
However the smoke generator can be unhooked and attached (directly or by ducting) to whatever smoke chamber you might conceive of. I'm sure I've seen a picture of one attached to a garden shed...

For *cold* smoking, there's no need to heat the smoke chamber, so almost any enclosure could be pressed into service. Dead fridge? Whisky barrel? Unfashionalble kitchen unit? What can you scrounge?
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Postby Gill » Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:39 pm

The more I look into this, the more I'm drawn to a home-made solution which doesn't depend on Bradley's proprietory bisquettes.

The bisquettes are very useful for those who want to their smoking to be automated, but they are undoubtedly expensive. Moreover, as a woodworker I've got a readily available source of hardwood chippings.

As I understand it, all you need to make a cold smoker is a source of hot smoke and a duct to feed it into a cabinet made of either brick or wood, both of which have conducive thermal properties. The hot smoke has to be cooled en route to the cabinet and this can be done by means of a duct which is long enough to allow the heat to dissipate, or by placing baffles between the hot incoming smoke and the main cabinet chamber. Although old refrigerators have been used in the past, this was in the days when they were lined with metal, not plastic which can taint the food.

So am I right in thinking that a covered barbecue with some flexible aluminium ducting which feeds into a wooden cabinet fitted with a baffle might do the job just as well as a Bradley, although I would have to monitor the smoke production myself? It might be worth trying out an inexpensive home-made solution and seeing if I can make one which curtails the escape of smoke. If it fails, I could always buy a Bradley :).

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Postby Spuddy » Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:49 pm

Gill
I bought one of these as my first smoker, much cheaper to run than a bradley plus you can get up to 12 sides of salmon in it:
http://www.coldsmoker.com/
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Postby dougal » Mon Jul 17, 2006 7:15 pm

Gill wrote:The more I look into this, ...
If it fails, I could always buy a Bradley :).


Yes.


:D


The advantage/justification for the Bradley is really that it can smoke consistently with minimal attention.

As regards the expensive and proprietary disks, I have been told by one Bradley owner that he uses poles/branches of approximately the right diameter, and simply uses a "chop saw" to produce the right size disks.
He reported that thickness was more critical than roundness or diameter. He even left the bark on. He put his disks in water for a few minutes before loading up. He was pleased with the results.

I'm going to use outdoor ply to box-in an Ikea shelf unit. A kettle barbecue is to produce smoke, to be fed through Aluminium ducting to the box. Its just a matter of details like rain and fly exclusion, door seals, removable shelves... I'll have a cold smoker before the weather cools down! (Even if I do have to tend the fire ever so frequently and carefully!)

I've wondered about using a very slowly turning large drill bit as an Archimedes screw to supply fresh sawdust to an electric heating element - and remove ash. That's for the far future - my experiments with gravity feeding of a trickle of sawdust were unsuccessful - the ash is stiffer/stronger than the dust, and unless removed, blocks replenishment.
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Postby Gill » Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:23 pm

Spuddy - I've considered buying one of those but been put off by it's metal construction. Perhaps it would be fine for fillets of fish, but I'm worried that the metal would be prone to temperature fluctuations, making it unsuitable for prolonged use such as when smoking joints of bacon. Are my fears misplaced?

Dougal - I've got access to a fully equipped workshop, so cutting some wood to size and thickness wouldn't be a problem. My other half has a lathe but unfortunately I don't know how to use that (most of my work involves a fret saw) so I'll have to persuade him to help out. Nevertheless, I've certainly got the means to produce my own 'bisquettes' even without resorting to the lathe. Hmmm... the Bradley option suddenly begins to look much more appealling :roll: :lol: !

I need to think this through a bit more. The home-made route is still my preferred option, but I don't think it's worth putting too much effort into the project if sourcing cheap generic bisquettes for the Bradley isn't going to be a problem. Incidentally, how thick are the bisquettes?

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Postby dougal » Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:50 pm

Gill wrote:.... I've certainly got the means to produce my own 'bisquettes' even without resorting to the lathe. Hmmm... the Bradley option suddenly begins to look much more appealling :roll: :lol: !

I need to think this through a bit more. The home-made route is still my preferred option, but I don't think it's worth putting too much effort into the project if sourcing cheap generic bisquettes for the Bradley isn't going to be a problem. Incidentally, how thick are the bisquettes?

Here's the conversation I had in May '05
http://forum.downsizer.net/viewtopic.php?p=51102
Ivan also posted pictures of his smokers on Downsizer...

Someone else, somewhere, had some Aluminium 'bisquettes' made up, so he could intersperse them with combustible ones, to produce longer, milder smoking...

Should you fancy the idea of making your own box, you can buy just the smoke generator part of a stainless Bradley on its own.


Had you seen this setup?
Its a trifle irritatingly blog-style. Start near the bottom of the page...
http://bandb2005.spaces.msn.com/PersonalSpace.aspx
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Postby saucisson » Tue Jul 18, 2006 8:59 am

Very useful information Dougal, I shall have to give this a go myself now!
I'll report back any success or failure!
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Postby Gill » Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:22 am

I agree - it's very useful information. Thanks, Dougal.

Dave - I hope to make a start at the weekend, but I'm looking forward to finding out how you get on in the meantime. Bon chance :) !

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Postby saucisson » Tue Jul 18, 2006 8:54 pm

Tealights were too cool, meths burner too hot. I might just have cracked it though. any patent lawyers out there? :) :) :)

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Postby saucisson » Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:22 pm

Yeah!! I've just had 2 hrs cold smoking at 2 degrees above ambient, I'm just seeing if it can be topped up or needs a new (DaveM) cartridge.

If this works you could do it in a kettle barbecue or a cardboard box, can you tell I'm excited :D

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Postby saucisson » Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:56 pm

Bloody hell, I can pick the damn thing up in my bare fingers and walk around the house with it, and all it does is smoke, and it's self cleaning, all I need do is put wood chips in the top and it just keeps going. It's sitting on a kettle BBQ at the moment, I need to top it up and time a full burn.

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Postby Gill » Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:09 pm

Aw, c'mon, Dave - don't do this to us. Don't make us wait until you've got it all fine tuned. I need a description now (preferably with piccies) so that I can take advantage of an almost free day tomorrow!

:lol:

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