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240 of 244 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like my smoker and I like the quality of this smoker
It looks like a very small refrigerator.
Every piece of sheet metal is sanded on the edges, no cuts from sharp edges.
Easy to put together, no more difficult than putting together a refrigerator.
Quiet as a refrigerator too.

Read the instructions and season it first as directed.

You will need extra wood pellets. It does not come with...
Published on November 27, 2007 by C. T. Vanderdecken

versus
128 of 136 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good in concept but falls short.
This is a very slick little unit with a digital temperature control and automatic smoke generator, using a wood chip biscuit feeder. Technically it should be hands off. More on that later.

It is made in the Orient and resembles one of those small inexpensive refrigerators complete with plastic trim. The interior is lined with very thin gauge Stainless Steel,...
Published on March 25, 2011 by BrianD


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240 of 244 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like my smoker and I like the quality of this smoker, November 27, 2007
By 
C. T. Vanderdecken "In the Art & Style of a G... (Somewhere near Asheville, North Carolina) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker (Lawn & Patio)
It looks like a very small refrigerator.
Every piece of sheet metal is sanded on the edges, no cuts from sharp edges.
Easy to put together, no more difficult than putting together a refrigerator.
Quiet as a refrigerator too.

Read the instructions and season it first as directed.

You will need extra wood pellets. It does not come with any in the box, so order some extras. Each pellet lasts about 20 minutes.Bradley Apple Bisquettes 48 pack
NOTE: you have to put at least 4 pellets in the stacker to get it to burn 1 pellet. Just the way it works. I put in two pellets and nothing smoked. It needs 4 pellets to push the pellets along the tray to the burner. Not a problem, just try to remember that 3 of the pellets won't burn.

So, if you want to cook for 4 hours you need: 3 pellets per hours x 4 hours = 12 pellets + 3 pellets to get them to burn plate = 15 pellets.

I tested a Butterball Turkey Breast first. I followed the Bradley instructions in their cookbook Bradley Recipe Book Volume 1 for the turkey cooking temperatures. I used their glaze recipe under the skin. I also used a wireless remote meat thermometer Oregon Scientific AW131 Grill Right Wireless Talking BBQ/Oven Thermometer feed the probe wire through the roof vent of the smoker. I used the apple pellets from Bradley Apple Bisquettes 120 pack

I sat back and waited. A few hour later the Oregon Scientific AW131 Grill Right Wireless Talking BBQ/Oven Thermometer began to chirp "almost done" "Almost done". The wireless thermometer is great because I was smoking the week of Thanksgiving and it was in the 30's outside so not having walk out to the smoker to check the meat was ideal. (My wife was concerned about the smoker being able to maintain cooking temperature in the cold outside. This smoker was stable, the temperature stayed steady. the outside of the unit did not get hot to the touch, except around the smoke vent which is to be expected.)

I used a Taylor Analog Instant-Read Dial Thermometer to verify the temperature of the meat when the wireless told me it was done. Both thermometers were within a degree of each other.

I took the turkey breast out of the smoker and let it rest for about an hour. The color was extremely golden skin. Not black or Smokey but as if was dipped in golden lacquer. A gorgeous turkey breast. No burnt places, not excess smoke, perfect. When I carved the Turkey breast it was as moist as a wet sponge. Unbelievably tasty, nothing like store bought smoked turkey. The taste of the turkey was like that of caviar compared to fish sticks, it was rich, smooth and wonderful.

This smoking robot works. Just add a Oregon Scientific AW131 Grill Right Wireless Talking BBQ/Oven Thermometer to you don't have to walk outside and let it do its job.

Also, we ran the smoker on our back porch, about 10 feet from the house. It only exhausts a small amount of smoke while working. It did not look like a fire at the, just a little smoke, less than the steam from a tea kettle. If you cheat and peak while it is cooking you will get your clothes smoked and have to change for dinner, but the smoke from the smoker did not get into the house otherwise.

Easy to setup, easy to control and easy to cook with. Oh, the trays are 11x15 so you could put a 12-14 pound turkey in it. Next is a Roast, Ribs and some Cheeses. The Bradley Recipe Book Volume 1 also includes recipes for cheese, fruit, and more. Just follow the instructions and be patient. It can do both hot and cold smoking.
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128 of 136 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good in concept but falls short., March 25, 2011
This review is from: Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker (Lawn & Patio)
This is a very slick little unit with a digital temperature control and automatic smoke generator, using a wood chip biscuit feeder. Technically it should be hands off. More on that later.

It is made in the Orient and resembles one of those small inexpensive refrigerators complete with plastic trim. The interior is lined with very thin gauge Stainless Steel, and has 4 thin gauge racks. It is fairly light weight especially without the smoke generator attached. Assembly was fairly straight forward and is easy to move around.

The smoke generator uses lightly packed disks consisting of small wood chips. These are distributed by Bradley in various wood types. The smoke generator heats them individually on a small plate until they smoke. After 20 minutes another is indexed into place, pushing the used up bisquette as a blackened disk into a water tray, just short of rendering it to ashes. A tubular magazine holds enough bisquettes to last for many many hours.

The main issue I have with it is it's very poor temperature control. The key to smoking meat is to keep the temperature low and slow. This unit struggles with that, deviating considerably from the set temperature, specifically going higher. There is a 500W heating element in the smoke tower that comes on once the thermostat drops 10 degrees below the set temperature. The actual temperature in the smoke tower rises rapidly once the heater comes on but the thermostat lags way behind, allowing the actual temperature to rise well above what is desired. The temperature could be some 40 degrees or more above the thermostat reads. This is an especially serious problem if you are using a sugar based rub, because it will start to burn above 240 to 250F. Not to mention the fact that the meat will cook too rapidly.

Also being that the smoke tower has so little mass there isn't much to hold the heat, so opening the door to check on the status or baste causes the temperature to drop rapidly.

The other issue I have is that after 3 hours of smoking, I was surprised to see that the meat showed little evidence of smoking. The taste was there somewhat but seemed weak.

In my final analysis I would say you get what you pay for. Conceptually it has a lot to offer, and it's design seems very well thought out, but in practice falls short. With just a little more effort in the way of a better thermostat it would be immensely better. Also I'm not convinced it needs a 500W heater, it's possible a 250W unit could keep up and improve heat versus thermostat control.

Update: It's Superbowl Sunday 2012 and I'm using my Smoker for some Chicken Thighs. It's only the 4th time I've used it in just short of a year from when initially purchased it. It heated up initially but then packed it in after about 30 minutes. The heating element has failed. I now get to check out their customer service.

Update: Customer service is so far excellent.
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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - no hassle smoker, January 3, 2009
This review is from: Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker (Lawn & Patio)
I've owned the OBS for about a momth now and have smoked all kinds of meat. It's so simple and easy that I know I will be using it far more frequently than a standard smoker just because it's easy. I'm able to run it on my deck without worry of torching the house since it cooks with electric element.
One of the cons of this product as I was researching it is that you have to buy Bradley's wood chips (biscuits) to use in the feeder mechanism and the cost associated with that. I don't see that as a problem at all since you'd be spending money for charcoal and or standard wood chips anyway. True that running this unit would be a bit more expensive than another electric smoker. But, it's well worth the additional operating cost to be able to run an overnight smoke without having to get up in the middle of the night several times to add wood for smoke or stoke a fire.
One last thing....if you're comparing the Original Bradley to the Digital Bradley; buy the Original and purchase the Auber digital PID with it instead of buying the Digital Bradley. The Auber digital component is a plug and play digital temp control unit that is much more accurate than what is provided with the Digital Bradley. I find on the Bradley forum that many who bought the Digital Bradley end up purchasing the Auber PID to override the standard Bradley digital component anyway.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value - excellent smoker., May 19, 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker (Lawn & Patio)
I've actually had this for nearly two years. My wife initially scoffed at my purchase, suggesting it would only be used a couple of times before it was forgotten. However, she's since come around and we use it frequently -- she actually uses it more than I do. We've probably put about 150 pounds of salmon and easily 600-800 pounds of brisket through it. In addition to ribs, turkey legs, sausage, potatoes and even eggplant.

My one complaint is that the fuse holder broke about a month ago (20 months after I bought it). I repaired it with a $1.99 fuse holder from Radio Shack and about 15 minutes of labor -- by no means is this a deal-breaker, but at the price they could have sprung for a more durable component.

All-in-all the ease of use of this la-z-que is unbeatable. I can put a brisket in before I go to bed, load the feeder tube with pucks, set the temp and know it'll be perfect when I wake up.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works perfectly, especially if you're lazy., May 27, 2013
By 
This review is from: Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker (Lawn & Patio)
Are you one of those BBQ Pit Master Gods? You know, the ones that OBSESS over the perfection of getting your meat to be totally perfect? You dream of winning BBQ competitions, and you read and research for hours on how to make your ribs, brisket, chicken, etc., perfect? Yes?

THIS SMOKER IS NOT FOR YOU. Go waste your time with charcoal, chip boxes, etc.

This smoker is for lazy people LIKE ME who have better things to do, like spending time talking to your cookout guests, playing in the pool, and drinking another beer. It's basically (to borrow an infomercial phrase) "set it, and forget it". You don't have to obsess over your BBQ to be successful with this smoker.

Want to make ribs? Set smoker for 220 F, rub ribs, put them on the trays, insert into smoker when temp is ready, smoke for 2 hours, take ribs out, wrap in foil, cook for 2 more hours, and enjoy. You DON'T need to open the door, you DON'T need to add anything, and you DON'T need to adjust the temp. Let the smoker do the work, and enjoy your beer. I see some negative reviews on this smoker, and they all seem to be from people who are basically "busy bodies" and don't follow the KISS method - Keep it simple, stupid. Put the meat in, and don't mess with it. I've also seen people complain that the temp drops when they open the door. WHY THE HELL ARE YOU OPENING THE DOOR? The ONLY REASON to open the door is to remove meat or put it back in, after a foil wrap. If you're removing meat to wrap in foil, the smoker will be back up to temp by the time you return. Any smoker or grill looses heat when you open the door/lid. You should have a temp probe with alarm if you're concerned about meat temp.

I've smoked countless racks of ribs, several briskets, a whole chicken, and chicken wings in this smoker. The only thing that didn't turn out so good were the wings. Too dry.

I remember when I started to research online how to smoke a brisket. Based on what I read, you would think you need 100 years of brisket smoking experience, Somebody's secret rub recipe, and the finger of the almighty himself, to touch the brisket to finally get it right. WRONG. Brisket is AMAZING out of this smoker. It takes about 12 hours (depending on size), and a ANYONE can do it. Get a brisket, trim and dress as you like. I like McCormick's Grill Mates Cowboy Rub. Wrap in foil, and let it sit in a fridge for a day or two. Bring it out of the fridge and unwrap about an hour before cooking. Place it in the top rack with a temp probe for 150 F. Smoke for about 5-6 hours. When it gets to 150 F, take out and wrap in foil. Put it back in, set probe for 203 F. When it gets to 203 F, take it out and let sit for about 30 min. Unwrap, and slice. Your guests will BEG YOU to make it again next time.

Each tray will hold a whole rack of ribs (two half racks per tray), a 6 lb brisket, or a nice sized chicken or turkey breast. When you're cooking at low temperatures, you can't put really cold meat in the smoker. Especially for something thick like a chicken or turkey breast. It will take forever in any smoker or grill at that low temp. Let the meat "warm" a bit before you put it in the smoker - and DEFINITELY make sure all chicken is completely defrosted, or you'll make somebody sick.

Cleaning the trays, bowl, etc. is easy. Give them a scrub with some dish soap to get the "chunks" off, and put them in the dishwasher. They will come out pretty clean. Us a steel brush occasionally on the biscuit heating pad to keep it clean. Don't worry about cleaning the inside of the smoker, but you will want to use some mild dish soap and water on the rubber seal on the door. It can get a little "sticky" after a few uses.

The only fault I can see is the need to buy the wood biscuits from Bradley. Not really a fault of how well the smoker works, I just wish Bradley would do a better job of getting their products in stores so I wouldn't have to order all the supplies off Amazon. I can't find them anywhere locally. They do sell certain varieties in the 120 count boxes, which will last you a long time. Just plan ahead if you can't get them locally. If you do decide to get a Bradley smoker, get a cover for it. IGNORE the bad reviews on them, they are probably from the old cover. They have since redesigned it with better materials that are much sturdier.

Remember: BE LAZY!
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70 of 83 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappinted Customer, May 18, 2010
By 
FGOrr (Vancouver, Canada) - See all my reviews
Note, comments relate to the 6-rack digital but I believe are largely applicable to all the Bradley Smokers

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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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bradley Digital Smoker 4 Rack, April 4, 2007
This review is from: Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker (Lawn & Patio)
This electric smoker makes the job easy. I wanted to stick to our grill but my wife talked me into this. It's great. The smoke delivery system is great and precise. I decided against propane and charcoal for many reason that an electric smoker overcomes, e.g. electronic timer, automatic brisquet feed, digital temp control, etc. Reason this isn't 5 star: 1) packaging not sturdy enough. Box didn't look damaged but upon opening the first delivery, metal was rippled and door edge crimpted (bent) obviously due to being dropped. Amazon exchanged with no problem. 2) Construction/fit quality not perfect (FYI-made in China) 3) becasue it is electric, it has a great compact design but I need to set up a table outside to set it on to avoid bending over to view digital read out or to access internal shelves. I paid $449 3/07. Brisquests are available thru amazon at the best price when shipping is considered. They can also be purchased locally thru Bas Pro Shop.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded expectations, March 29, 2007
This review is from: Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker (Lawn & Patio)
This is a great device for smoking all kinds of food, I have mainly used it for bacon, jerky and duck or turkey breasts but I intend to expand its use a lot more through the year.

Coerce somebody else into cleaning the racks and other removable pieces though, it's a pain!
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smoking made elementary but will never crisp the skin., January 14, 2008
This review is from: Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker (Lawn & Patio)
I have one and I love it. Its effortless with the smallest amount of maintenance so far, just keeping that box clean and free of debris is the most youll have to do. As for the smoke, the flavor is spot on. When it comes to smoking birds, youll never get the thing up high enough to crisp the skin like a charcoal smoker. Yes sometimes a smoker wants high temps. This little baby will never do it, not on its own. But when it comes to cold smoking or smoking at 220ish to 240, this baby cant be beat for the ease of use and perfect meat flavor. If you got the cash pick her up.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Still doesn't cut it like a pellet or wood smoker does, March 3, 2010
By 
This review is from: Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker (Lawn & Patio)
Overview: It works exactly as described and does produce electric heat and smoke from pucks. However, it does not produce the good smoke flavor or the true smoke ring like a Traeger or a wood fire smoker does.

Pros:
- It does produce smoke
- It is fire and forget, so there is no need to keep an eye on it. Just plug it in, set the temp, set the smoke time and come back when the meat reaches temperature
- It's nice to be able to leave it for 8 hours and never check on it
- I like the stacked racks so my pork drips onto my chicken, etc.

Cons:
- Does not produce a good solid smoke flavor all the way through
- Does not produce the pink smoke ring of flavor deep into the meat

I have made some decent pork loin in it, but brisket and turkey didn't smoke deep enough. My friend has a Traeger and we have tested the same recipes and same methods on both of our smokers and each time the flavor from the Traeger is better.

Tips I found on a Bradley though:
- a cut piece of 3" PVC pipe with a cap over the top does well in wet weather to keep your pucks from absorbing water.
- a 13x9 pan does a better job of collecting burnt pucks than the bowl for long smokes
- Set the temperature 30 degrees hotter on cold days to keep the temperature up (I've only smoke in the winter above 40 degrees but even then it had trouble keeping up)
- a good wireless thermometer is a must so you don't have to open the doors
- the wider the vents are open the more smokey the flavor
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Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker
$549.00 $370.91
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