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I do like this smoker a lot. I'm glad I got the bigger size and the digital controls. The only thing that keeps me from giving it five stars is that the max time on this cooker is, I think, 9 hours and 40 minutes. Maybe I'm missing something and someone will be quick to point it out if I'm wrong but that's the max time I can give it. It's not the end of the world because I just add more time before I go to bed but I got this type of smoke to set and forget. Anything less than that, it's a non-issue. The other thing is I haven't been able to test how long I really get out of a full load of pucks. For my ten-hour timer, they were all gone by the time I woke up which was less than ten hours. Plus, many of them weren't fully burnt which could have been a fluke. I also bought the cold smoke adapter which I regretted. I subsequently bought the A-Maze-N pellet smoker tray which I use to cold smoke things. Easier to use that versus hooking up the cold smoke adapter and cheaper too. The pellets are cheaper than the pucks and you can get up to 11 hours with the 5x8 size pellet tray. I think what will end up happening is I'll use the pucks for anything up to six hours and the pellets for longer cooks.
I settled on this one after considering the wifi smokers and the ones with glass doors. In the end, who cares about wifi or Bluetooth connectivity and a glass door will just turn black after your first smoke anyway.
This is a high quality smoker! It was very easy to assemble and it is easy to learn how to use and to clean. I live in SC and the climate is very warm in the summer and quite moderate in the winter. Given that fact this smoker does struggle to reach pre-heat oven temps when those temps are in the range of 250 degrees. Additionally, rebounds take considerably longer than I expected. I can only assume this smoker would struggle hard to operate effectively in the northern regions of the US especially during the winter months. I believe the heating element is insufficient. It is a 500 watt element. I solved this issue by removing this element and installing a 900 watt element which does a very much better job. It was not necessary for me to install a PID to control the new element and the existing 18 gauge wire was able to handle the additional load although the new load comes close to the rated maximum for this diameter wire. The modification made to the heating element is very easy, costs in the range of between $60-75, and you can view instructions on how to do it by searching YouTube. All in all, I am very satisfied!
I have owned a Bradley Digital 4 rack smoker for 7 years, I have been very pleased with it. In the past I used it very infrequently until I discovered the Bradley forums, then after reading peoples experiences I increased my knowledge and branched out into the smoking world, I just recently experienced a small grease fire in my smoker which pretty much burned it up, I am replacing it with a 6 rack digital. After reading the negative reviews for this product I had to give my two cents. Yes the factory temp sensor is inadequate, but any fault with this smoker can be overcome. First you can add a small fan kit which will circulate the air inside, you can also add an additional heat element which will greatly inprove the cooking times. If you are a serious smoker you will see the need for a PID which will control the temps far better and is highly accurate. Yes you will spend some extra money but the end result is far worth it. My best advice is to do some research before you purchase one of these smokers, you may decide that this one is not for you, if you get one you will not be disappointed once you realize what its potential is. Also visit the the Bradley smoker forums, any possible question you may have about this smoker has already been asked by someone else and has been answered.
Good- but you must still know what you are doing. I am guessing that the temperature sensor is located too close to the heating element, so the reading is always incorrect. I use multiple separate probe thermometers to monitor the temperature, and set the controller for whatever temperature setting that will give me the actual desired temperature in the smoke box.
This unit gets far too hot too cold smoke without the cold smoke adapter, so definitely get the adapter if you want to cold smoke.
The meat out of this smoker has received the best reviews from friends and family, but the proper temperature control is crucial as stated above. If you are willing to take the time to play with the temperature, this unit is fantastic. The ability to set it up and leave it closed for the entire time needed to cook makes for some great meat.
One other small issue- the limit on the cooking time is too short. Good brisket or Boston Butts take 12-16 hours to cook, so the 9 hour 40 minute limit is too short. Again, a manual work around of adding time after the cooking has begun gets around this shortcoming.
Very well versed although fragile I had two pieces of trim broke after a handful of operations and seem that it might not last threw it warranty can't compete with the time saving ease of it but the temperature on the oven and the temperature on the smoke / the cook time takes getting use to I'm working it out but it is on the expensive side of things and not sure if it was worth the money has a good juicy slab of meat coming out of it
Door of the smoker came with a dent in it. No damage to the box so that tells me it was damaged prior to being shipped. Too much of a hassle to send back to Amazon. The smoker itself is easy to use but it did take longer than the 7 hours that was suggested to smoke the food I was making
When you have alot going on this is a perfect way to get great tasting food. I often go golfing and set up the smoker and by time im back foods about ready. Cool thing too is the water helps keep the meat moist and you can use any juice as a substitute for the water me personally like to use pineapple juice for ham or apple juice ive had mine for a couple years and the only thing i recommend to get right away if you dont already have it is a table to place this on top of makes it alit easier to tend to the meat overall great smoker very easy to use
Bought this before Easter Weekend 2015 so I could smoke a 13lb brisket on Saturday to be ready on Sunday at 2pm. Started the brisket at 1pm on Saturday and set the temp at 230 degrees (increments of 10 degrees only so i couldn't set it at 225), woke up at 3am to view temps and it was on point. By the time 10am came around on Sunday the internal temp of the meat was only 145 degree(ish). 1.5/hrs per pound is the avg +/- I've always smoked (low and slow). I turned the heat up to 260 and still didn't help. There was a big difference from the LCD compared to my thermometer that I place in the smoker to compare the internal temp. I made a 2nd attempt during the week to cook a whole chicken at 250 degrees. I cooked it over 9 hours and it still did not reach the recommended temp until I pulled it and baked it in my oven. So today (4/11/2015) I bought a 4.87lb brisket, left it out for an hour prior to smoking, set the temp to 230 degrees and started smoking at 8:45am. Currently it is 8:24pm, I've set the oven temp to 320 degrees (max it'll go) at 5:45 pm and there is a 40 degree difference from what the digital display is saying compare to what my thermometer is reporting. The brisket at this time is saying it's at 155 degrees. Almost 12 hrs later for a 5lb brisket & it's still not done. I really wanted this smoker to work. I think the heating element in the smoker is too small (the size of a jumbo straw). I previously had a Brinkmans Smoker which had a larger heating element and the food cooked as it should have - even during the winter. I've requested a refund from Amazon and will be shipping this item back (even though I've used it). $500+ is a lot to spend on a product that doesn't work and unfortunately you won't know until you try it.
Note: The smoking attachment of this product works great. The heating element just doesn't heat the food as it should and undercooked meat can be harmful.
I read the reviews and was hoping the Negative reviews was due to climate, but that's not the case and agree. Maybe if I bought the 4-rack smoker it would have worked better since it was more compact to hold heat in a smaller area. I also bought 3 120-pks of the bisquesttes and will be sending 2 of them back. Sorry Bradley - I'm disappointed in this product.
Pics show: 50+ degree difference between internal temp and smoker setting. Internal temp of my 5lb brisket at a different section when pulling it out of the smoker 12 hours later Pic of the meat still cold/rare on the inside * The same thing the previous 2 attempts when smoking