Top critical review
36 people found this helpful
Looks great on paper, but ranks poor in exeuction
on November 22, 2010
I am an avid home cook and have always been interested in smoking my own bacon, pastrami, pork butt, etc. I don't want to invest in a Big Green Egg and my apartment does not allow for a charcoal setup so the Weber is out of the question. When I saw the Bradley Propane Smoker, it felt like a perfect match. With Amazon's low price and free Prime shipping and Bradley's reputation on the BBQ circuit, I couldn't resist. While it (sort of) does what it says, it does so in a really cheap and often poor way.
1. The rails meant to hold the propane tank does not work well. It's too tight of a fit. If you use a lot of force, you can get a typically sized camping tank in there but you will end up scratching the tank or any stickers on it. If you have a tank that has a plastic sleeve at the bottom (to minimize impacts from drops or hard put downs), it will take quite a bit of wrangling to get in there. I resorted to connecting it up directly to a large LP tank.
2. There is a heat/flame unit and the biscuit burner. The flame unit has its own starter and adjustment knob. The problem is the knob does literally nothing. You can adjust it from zero-point to max and the flame doesn't change. This is the biggest problem with this design. With the heat at the "lowest" point and the biscuit burner on, the internal temp reaches in excess of 250F. It actually goes close to 300 which means you cannot cold smoke. It ends up basically roasting your meats. There's nothing you can do to stop this short of rigging a setup that removes the smoker out of the tent and piping the smoke over.
3. The metal grates, heck, the entire inside is very difficult to clean. You are going to get a lot of sizzling fat dripping down or "exploding" in the interior. After hours of smoking, everything gets baked on with a sheen that's very difficult to remove.
4. No customer support. For being such a large company, I was surprised when they never replied to my inquiry. Not even an acknowledgment.
5. The tents need to be replaced. Like I said, they get really worn down and dirty inside.
Before you buy this product, know exactly what you are getting. If you think you can control the temps, or need to get down below ~300F, look elsewhere.