PID Controlled Bradley Smoker Clone


Bradley smokers are coveted for their ease of use, as they require very little interaction from the user once the hopper is loaded with wood pucks and the machine is powered on. The more robust models are quite pricey, so [Maukka] decided to build his own version of a Bradley smoker as an add on to his existing unit. He fabricated a smoke generator out of aluminum, including all of the components you would normally find in an automated smoker. Once the hopper is loaded with wood pucks, the smoker runs autonomously, shuffling new pucks onto the heating element, presumably at timed intervals. The main barrel of the smoker has a separate PIC-controlled heating element installed, and is connected to the smoke generator by an aluminum duct. This configuration allows [Maukka] to cold smoke items such as fish, nuts, and cheeses using the smoke generator by itself, while also permitting the smoking of meats at far higher temperatures when the main heating element is used. This is truly a fantastic build, and the cold smoker component is something I would love to have as an addition to my Weber bullet.

Be sure to explore his blog a bit to catch all of the build details, as they are separated into various posts.

[Thanks Hali Batsuiba]

21 thoughts on “PID Controlled Bradley Smoker Clone

  1. @vonskippy

    True BBQ style is low temperature and a slow cook. It’s meant for the cheap cuts of meat which need to be cooked in that manor. The smoke adds a ton of flavor, especially depending on the wood you use.

    My personal fav: 1/3 cherry, 1/3 apple, 1/3 oak or hickory soak in a mixture of water, apple juice/cider and a little whisky

  2. Cool. My contraption in Hackaday! @thermite1: temperature is PID controlled, smoke generator is PIC controlled.
    Version 2 is on the drawing board already. It will have temperature vs time setting (example: 2hrs low temp, 2hrs high temp, shut off when probe tells meat has reached desired temp ) and some other improvements like internet connection…

  3. _Most_ aluminum contains chromium (NOT the chromium supplement from the health store). Typical exposure is through inhalation of particulate while machining or hot work but I wouldn’t smoke food anywhere near non-food grade aluminum.

    Signs of exposure are serious skin rash, “chrome” ulcers which heal very slowly, coughing, nose bleeds… Some reports of long term exposure are linked to “early senility”. Switch to food grade metals.

  4. i read your page every day and i am working on a set of midi bass pedals.i have been picking over all the music and audio posts and i realized you only have to food inerfatkid says more food posts more smokers more turkey fires and bbq sorcery

  5. Aluminium used in this project is alloy 3003. Same alloy is used in aluminium frying pans etc.

    “More advanced if it used an Arduino”? Not sure about that… Everything is homebuilt, based on Microchip PIC 18F2580 programmed with CCS C-compiler.

    Arduino is for people who wants to get something done quickly and without too big effort

    Current version under testing, need to post something about it soon, has wireless connection and is fully programmable (temperature vs time, smoke vs time etc.). Have been too busy in testing it (yummy!)…

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