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Size: 11.50" L x 33" H x 15" W|Change
Price:$485.94+ Free shipping
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on October 27, 2006
I just received this machine. I owned an original Bradley Smoker that gave up the ghost. When I saw the digital one for sale I thought that it would be more precise and a "set and forget" solution to smoking. I have tried it four times now and have discovered that the temperature variation on the unit is as much as 28 degrees over the set point and as much as 16 below the set point for a temp swing of 44 degrees. It turns out that Bradley has a forum for owners and those interested (look at their web site). Quite a number of new owners have been dismayed and disappointed in the temp swing on this unit. When I called Bradley they just said "that's the way it is with this unit" and told me it is similar to my house oven. I doubt that my home ever varies that much. The cycle time for this variation is 15-20 minutes so the food is never at the set point for very long. I don't recall swings like this with my old one.

If you look carefully at what you get for the hefty premium, it is not much. The basic unit has the automatic biscuit feed and when its out of biscuits there is no more smoke so the smoke timer on the new one means nothing. The timer on the cooking side has a time limit according to the Bradley owners so you can't leave it more than ten hours without going out and resetting it. The temperature control is not reliable so what do you get for the extra bucks. Not much to my way of thinking.

By the way, look at the photo carefully. This unit is not aluminum. It has a door that is painted an aluminum color and the body is black. I have to say that the fit and finish is very nice on the unit.

My advice is buy the original model and save yourself the extra bucks.
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on March 25, 2009
I have had this unit for a little over 2 years now and I have used it at least 50 or more times. It is very easy to set up. You have three "plugs". One is a chord that runs from the smoker box to the smoker. Then another plug that does the same. Finally you have the plug that powers the unit. Simple. Inside you find the bowl that holds water, obviously 6 racks, drip tray...normal stuff. Some people debate on this or the 4 rack version. Go bigger every time when it comes to bbq. You might say you would never use it but you are wrong. Every time I am invited to a get together I am always asked to smoke something. People buy the meat, I do the prep and the cooking. Just did 2 12lb turkeys on Sunday. By the way, 2 12lb turkeys fit perfectly. I have done 4 8lb pork shoulders as well. No problems.

Another nice thing about this smoker is the ability to cold smoke. Though some mods need to be done before you can do, or you need to live in a cold area, but cold smoking cheese is great. Every winter I smoke enough cheese to put WI to shame.

The instructions are easy to follow for the most part. I did months of research before I bought this so I was well prepared for what I was getting into. If you can't find the answer in the directions go to the bradley forum, those guys over there are the best at helping you out.

The negatives about this smoker, as one reviewer already pointed out, the temp is ungodly wrong. I bought a nice double, wireless, thermometer. Absolutely essential for smoking, no matter what smoker you have. This thing tells me what the temp of the smoker and the meat is, as well as alarms that I can set. So if my smoker drops to a very low temp, say below 100 degrees, an alarm will go off. This is good in case the unit becomes unplugged, or you and your buddies have had a few too many and forgot to reset the cooker timer. (By the way, 10 hours is plenty of time. No, meat is usually not done by then, but within 10 hours you are guaranteed to walk outside and check on your smoker at least once) The other problem I have with the temp is the lack of an extremely high temp. To get a good bark on a Boston butt sometimes requires a temp of over 300. That can be a problem with the bradley. Poultry skin comes out crispy either way, and shoulders are perfect, sometimes I just want a little more. Other than the temp, this thing is perfect.

I love this unit. If you have been using wood smokers, water smokers, vertical smokers, offset smokers, your old bbq as a smoker (which I have used all of these)....whatever, this unit will be a welcomed, headache free, addition.
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on May 18, 2010
I was really excited to get this product and spent over a year trying to get it to work. After a year and a bunch of research I came to the conclusion that the product is crap. You are welcome to do your own research but I think what you will find is that this product is very easy to use. However, the ease of use comes at the cost of a smoker that does an unsatisfactory job of actually smoking. As you know the key to good smoking is maintaing conistant heat and the Bradley is simply not designed to do this.

My list of issues are as follows:

1) The six rack smoker has the same heating element as the four rack smoker. So while it is significanlty larger it has no more power than the smaller model. I believe its heating element is only like 500 watts and I believe my wifes hair dryer has more power than that.

2) The heating element in the smoker is way underpowered for the six rack unit (and I suspect the four rack one as well). It takes over an hour to heat up to 200 degrees and then drops way down when you open it up to put the food in and takes well in excess of another hour to get back up to tempeture. It was so under powered that I would just leave the unit set at its highest setting, like 300 degrees, and I do not think I ever got the unit up past 250 degrees. Since it was so underpowered it took very long cook so that towards the end of my use with it, after the smoke had set, I would take the food out and put it on the gas barbque at 250 degrees to finish off.

3) Owing to the design every time you have to open the unit to check on the food you loss all of the heat (i.e. there is no effective heat sink) which then takes for ever heat up. Think about it, to service the unit you have to open the door competely allows all the heat to escape.

4) the design of the heating element creates hot spots along the back of unit and it is significanly hotter at the bottom than it is at the top. Bradley themselves recommend rotating the racks front to back and top to bottom to get an even cooking. This means you need to open the door which allows all the heat to escape.

5) the digital thermostat is located just above the heating element so it reads high. The spread between the tempeture reading on the digital unit and one taken manually from the top of the unit is like 30 degrees.

6) the digital thermostat has like a 20 degree varience between starting and stoping when it is at tempature. Do research, I read that people recommend buying the orginal and an after market digital thermostat which is far superiour and overall cheaper than buying the digital Bradley.

7) An electric smoker will not give you a smoke ring. The smoke ring comes from a chemical reaction related to the carbon burning off from charcol or wood. The smoke ring is a sign of good smoked food.

My reasoning for giving it 2 stars is because the smoke generator works wonderfully well.

The cons in my humble opinion so far out weight the pro's that a cheap guy like me gave the Bradley away. Spending almost $500 on a smoker to dump it becasue it does not do a good job hurts, expecially when all of the issues that I listed above are well documented on the net and I failed to do the detailed research before hand.

Rather than trying to modify the Bradley to try to get it to work I decided to buy a Weber Smokey Mountain. While WSM is lacking the electronics it is wonderful to use. It maintins the heat like an oven, I actually cannot believe how fast it heats up and how long it will maintain a constant tempeture without any adjustment. There is lots of support for the WSM on the internet and I really do not see it being any harder to use. Personally, I also like the idea of cooking with charcoal, it just adds to the mistique of smoking food and impresses the neighbors.

This product in my mind is just a gimmick which produces an unsatisfactory product. Please, do yourselves a favour and read the Bradley sites on the net and you will see all of the issue I mention above are documented and the modifications people are doing to deal with heat and tempeture issues. Knowledge is power.
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on April 11, 2015
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

Sad Fact: I'm ordering out tonight
review image review image review image
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on October 8, 2007
I had just bought the four rack smoker and came to the realization that I should have bought the six rack. I like the idea of the digital smoker as I can set it and go away or to bed for that matter and not have to worry if I am over heating and burning food. I would say both units are good. but if you are only smoking once or twice a month the manual unit is fine but daily like I do spend the extra money
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on December 24, 2014
This is our second Bradley Smoker, the first one lasted six years before the control panel quit working. We decided to buy a larger smoker this time, and we are pleased with the decision. We smoked four beef briskets the first time we used it. The smoker did an excellent job and we had no issues with the unit. The only issue we had was with OUR decision on where to place the smoker, we put it in our unheated pole barn. Not a good decision but a good learning experience. It was in the 30s on the day we used it, and very windy. Even though it was not directly exposed to the wind [ we believe effected it more so than the cold temp], it played a huge role in the length of cooking time. Our four -five hour estimated cooking time took nine hours and twenty minutes. I am thankful we allowed plenty of time for proper, safe cooking and before having guests over. Again, the unit did it's job perfectly, our location was the issue. We have since moved the smoker to a different building, it is unheated yet much smaller, not as exposed to the wind and cold. I will update when we use the smoker in the new location [NOTE: our older smoker was in the same building as the new smoker yet, we could not recall ever using the old smoker on such a windy day]. Clean-up on this smoker is EASY, I like the racks being Teflon coated, it helped cut way down on the cleaning time. The smokers control panel functioned fine, we like the display set-up and the smoker did its job wonderfully. Would we buy this Bradley Smoker again? YES!
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on October 10, 2015
The best thing about this smoker is the automatic feed of the wood hockey pucks used for smoking. They are a little expensive so you have to get them in bulk and when you can find a deal on them. The heating element has gone out on me twice in four years and I use the smoker about 4-5 times per year. The hinge and plastic trim, yes I said plastic, around the door cracked within 3 years and now I have T-hinges holding the door on my unit. The cords to the backside of the unit are very touchy and if not in just right or you have used the unit a few times, you will get an error message on the digital smoker. Check those closely when you start and periodically after you start your processing. I once thought my unit was operating only to check on it after a few hours and discovered it had shut off at some point. The lone heat element at the back of the unit will cause the meat at the back of the unit to heat much faster than that at the front of the unit. Rotation of the meat is a necessity if you want consistency. The temp readout on the unit is as worthless as ....... (you know what) on a boar hog. Such a small element with a large space to heat. You have to have a meat thermometer to know the actual temp. For me to give this 5 stars Bradley would need to make the unit all metal, keep the digital smoker, use a more reliable loop heating element and put a small fan of some sort inside to make it like a convection oven and disperse the heat evenly. This is a hobby smoker for someone who may only try to smoke something once or twice a year.
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on February 17, 2015
It's a nice smoker. I don't like the wiring in the back. It's a known problem that the newer models don't seat in the wire outlets in the back very well. Had to call customer service first time and unplug and plug the heater back in. Hopefully it will not be a continuing problem. Once that was taken care of, it smoked meat and fish wonderfully. It's pretty easy to clean up. Not too pleased that we "HAVE" to buy their biscuits. There are several online tutorials on how to make your own. "Set it and forget it" is definitely a nice feature with this smoker though. All in all, not too bad.
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on August 25, 2014
I do like the concept of this unit. 1st unit received was DOA. 2nd unit arrived quickly & worked for 2 mos then the control box that controls the oven chamber would NOT heat up past 84 degrees. Called Bradley and they are sending me a new control box. I will update once I receive the new control box and it works.
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on November 14, 2015
What a joke. I got the smoker seasoned it as instructed and then I got an error message. Called to find out there is a known problem and they send me a part and tell me to open the smoker and replace this part with wires, etc. Give me a break. How dare they tell the consumer to ":fix it yourself". I opened the unit, you can not get to the part without disconnected a mass of wires. They knew what the problem was right away when I called - they just don't want to send out replacements. I'm returning this junk!
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