Top positive review
174 people found this helpful
It works perfectly, especially if you're lazy.
on May 27, 2013
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!