BRADLEY SMOKER | "Taste the Great Outdoors"

Bradley Smokers => The NEW Bradley Original Smoker (BS611) => Topic started by: jon515 on April 23, 2016, 05:31:51 pm

Title: Opinion wanted
Post by: jon515 on April 23, 2016, 05:31:51 pm
I currently have a OBS and have liked it ok, lately the temperature not holding steady and temperature recovery times are a bit frustrating, recently my door broke and I really don't want to modify my smoker with different elements, fans, PID etc... So my question is I am considering replacing my Bradley with a Traeger Pellet Smoker.  Does anyone have experience with both and would like to share?

Thank you,

Jon
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: KyNola on April 24, 2016, 07:01:05 am
Comparing a Bradley to a pellet grill is like comparing apples and oranges.  Both have their place and both are vastly different.  With a pellet grill, the smoke application will not be as "heavy" as a Bradley will produce.  Most pellet grills have a much wider heat capacity range, typically 175-450 so it is more versatile in its cooking ability while a Bradley is limited in its range.  I still own and use my Bradley for specific uses and I also have a MAK pellet grill.  My MAK 2 Star General will get up to 650F degrees.  My first pellet grill was a Traeger and while it did its job I wasn't all that impressed with it.  It had its own idiosyncrasies just as a Bradley has their own. In my opinion a Traeger is an adequate entry level pellet grill but if you are going to use a pellet grill a lot I think there are better options out there. 

The Traeger brand pellets themselves are horrible.  I wouldn't recommend them to anyone.  They are 100% alder wood with the oils of the "flavor wood" added.  Alder does not burn hot and produces a lot of ash.  Look for a brand that has a base wood of something like oak with actual flavor wood added.  Oak is a hardwood, burns much hotter and produces much less ash.

The above is my personal opinion.  You should do your homework and then make the decision as to what you think will work best for your needs.
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: Doug in Alaska on April 24, 2016, 07:19:28 pm
I agree with KyNola with most of what was posted but not all of it.  I have a Traeger Texas Pro and love it.  It is great for cooking anything I throw on it for dinner.  I use Traeger hickory chips mostly and I'm very happy with the smoke taste.  I am now planning to add a Bradley to my arsenal because I like to cold smoke bacon and the new Traeger won't allow me to do so.  The new control panel throws an error and shuts the grill down if it runs at less than 125ºF for more than 10 minutes.  Honestly, I really think you need both but this is just my humble opinion.

Doug
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: jon515 on April 24, 2016, 08:23:19 pm
KyNola and Doug from Alaska,

Thank you both for your opinions, I am very on the fence of what to do.  I was looking at Traegers over the weekend, but then did some research and showing the lil tex elite didn't hold temps either.  I'm really stuck here on if I modify the Bradley, (I only really cold smoke cheese) or say forget it and get something else.... UGH Decisions.
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: Doug in Alaska on April 24, 2016, 09:11:25 pm
Agreed,  Jon515, if you only cold smoke, don't get the Traeger!
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: jon515 on April 24, 2016, 09:16:45 pm
Oh sorry, I meant the only thing I cold smoke is cheese!
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: Wildcat on April 25, 2016, 12:20:32 pm
I have a Green Mountain pellet grill and it does fine. I also have an OBS, 2 small charcoal grills and a large charcoal/hard wood unit. They all have their uses. I mostly use the pellet pooper.
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: Toker on April 25, 2016, 08:24:12 pm
So Larry, what brand of pellets could you suggest to me to buy please?
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: KyNola on April 26, 2016, 06:51:59 am
I prefer BBQer's Delight.  They are also private branded as B&B for some specific chain stores such as Academy.  The base wood is oak,70% I believe and then 30% of the flavor wood is added.  Oak burns hot so you use less pellets to maintain the heat and they produce much less ash than alder based pellets.

Again, just my personal preference and opinion Francois.
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: TMB on April 26, 2016, 07:32:34 am
I prefer BBQer's Delight.  They are also private branded as B&B for some specific chain stores such as Academy.  The base wood is oak,70% I believe and then 30% of the flavor wood is added.  Oak burns hot so you use less pellets to maintain the heat and they produce much less ash than alder based pellets.

Again, just my personal preference and opinion Francois.
That's all I use!   We buy by the pallet here at work and split the bags between 6 to 7 people just depends on who needs pellets at the time..      Save lots of $$$$$ buying by the pallet
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: Wildcat on April 26, 2016, 02:02:32 pm
I prefer BBQer's Delight.  They are also private branded as B&B for some specific chain stores such as Academy.  The base wood is oak,70% I believe and then 30% of the flavor wood is added.  Oak burns hot so you use less pellets to maintain the heat and they produce much less ash than alder based pellets.

Again, just my personal preference and opinion Francois.

Ditto
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: Toker on April 26, 2016, 02:33:33 pm
I'M a Canadian and they won't ship to me, sorry
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: TMB on April 26, 2016, 02:35:53 pm
I'M a Canadian and they won't ship to me, sorry
Can you not find B&B pellets?   That's what BBQ's Delights are under another name
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: Toker on April 26, 2016, 02:45:47 pm
Would you know their web site address please?
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: TMB on April 26, 2016, 04:59:07 pm
http://assets.academy.com/mgen/71/10191371.jpg?is=640,640

Best I can do right now.   Sorry
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: Toker on April 26, 2016, 10:18:31 pm
I sent an email, we will see what they will say. Thank you.
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: TMB on April 27, 2016, 05:28:14 am
I sent an email, we will see what they will say. Thank you.
Was using my cell phone and I'm so dumb I can't figure it out half the time.

http://bbcharcoal.com/products/pellet-grill-fuel/                   Try this site  :)
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: KyNola on April 27, 2016, 07:10:51 am
Francois, check www.bigpoppasmokers.com  They market BBQer's Delight pellets.  They are located in California and may be able to ship to you. Very customer friendly.
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: Toker on April 27, 2016, 09:21:17 am
Yeah thanks for the help. Like I said, I sent an email and we will see. I found both of your link buy my self anyway. Thanks anyway really appreciated.
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: jon515 on April 27, 2016, 10:01:37 am
Thank you for all the replies, I ended up ordering a Green Mountain Grill yesterday!
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 27, 2016, 12:58:28 pm
Did you get the Wi-Fi version, and which model? I have the Jim Bowie Wi-Fi. It's a good grill, it is so long it's has at least three distinct zones. Their latest firmware improved things quite a bit.
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: jon515 on April 27, 2016, 01:09:08 pm
Did you get the Wi-Fi version, and which model? I have the Jim Bowie Wi-Fi. It's a good grill, it is so long it's has at least three distinct zones. Their latest firmware improved things quite a bit.
I ordered the Daniel Boone with wifi I'm excited to try it and I'll probobly keep my bradley as well!
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: TMB on April 27, 2016, 02:10:54 pm
Did you get the Wi-Fi version, and which model? I have the Jim Bowie Wi-Fi. It's a good grill, it is so long it's has at least three distinct zones. Their latest firmware improved things quite a bit.
I ordered the Daniel Boone with wifi I'm excited to try it and I'll probobly keep my bradley as well!
KEEP the Bradley!!   I use mine for cheese, nuts, jerky + many more.    You will kick yourself if you got rid of it 8) 8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: Habanero Smoker on April 28, 2016, 02:14:46 am
The DB is a good model, and their customer service is good.

Their pellets are also good, but I find them expensive, and over the past year I've been testing a few brands. If you haven't already done so, go check out the Pellethead forum (http://pelletheads.com/).
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: jon515 on June 09, 2016, 10:49:17 pm
I've seen some pretty big temperature variance from right to left (gmg sent me a new control board) now the left is hot and they are sending me a new heat shield. It's always something.
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: Habanero Smoker on June 10, 2016, 01:40:29 am
Maybe I should give them a call. If I can get my heat shields replaced with the new one piece shield, it is worth a try. I've been fighting uneven temps since I've updated to version 5.6 and higher. It still cooks good, I just have to work with the different zones, which is to be expected; the JB is long and the firepot is not centered. You may still find some different zones, that that is kind of expected; as long as the variance is not too huge. I've finally got it so the far left is about -10°F than the center, and the far right is about +15°F, by adjusting my shields.

Do you have the three piece or one piece heat shield? If you have the three piece, they are probably sending you the one piece shield. What version are you running? I just updated to 6.2, but haven't had a chance to do a test run. I would be interested to know if the new shield makes a difference.
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: jesse_sanders on June 10, 2016, 06:34:36 am
I have not been impressed with the bradleys ability to come up to temperature or maintain it or recover. If you want to cold smoke buy one of those amazin tubes for like $30 and put it in the bottom of your pellet grill and roll on. I would not recommend a Bradley to anyone.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: TedEbear on June 10, 2016, 06:39:10 am
I have not been impressed with the bradleys ability to come up to temperature or maintain it or recover.

For under $100, you can add a second element and a PID controller.  There are how-to write-ups on how to do either of these.

Bradley Accessories - User Modifications (http://www.susanminor.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?27-Bradley-Accessories-User-Modifications)
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: jesse_sanders on June 10, 2016, 06:42:06 am
I have not been impressed with the bradleys ability to come up to temperature or maintain it or recover.

For under $100, you can add a second element and a PID controller.  There are how-to write-ups on how to do either of these.

Bradley Accessories - User Modifications (http://www.susanminor.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?27-Bradley-Accessories-User-Modifications)
Yeah I've seen them. But I've already spent $500 on something that should work. I don't know, just my .02

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: jon515 on June 10, 2016, 11:53:38 am
Maybe I should give them a call. If I can get my heat shields replaced with the new one piece shield, it is worth a try. I've been fighting uneven temps since I've updated to version 5.6 and higher. It still cooks good, I just have to work with the different zones, which is to be expected; the JB is long and the firepot is not centered. You may still find some different zones, that that is kind of expected; as long as the variance is not too huge. I've finally got it so the far left is about -10°F than the center, and the far right is about +15°F, by adjusting my shields.

Do you have the three piece or one piece heat shield? If you have the three piece, they are probably sending you the one piece shield. What version are you running? I just updated to 6.2, but haven't had a chance to do a test run. I would be interested to know if the new shield makes a difference.

I have the latest firmware (it was updated when they sent me the control board) The heat shield is a one piece, the new one they are sending apparently has the notch cut differently to redirect some of the heat.  Fingers crossed, the other fix I saw (but this is when my left side was the hot side) was a dryer vent run from the chimney across the grill to the left side, this supposedly fixed that grillers temp problem!
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: Habanero Smoker on June 10, 2016, 01:11:36 pm
Maybe I should give them a call. If I can get my heat shields replaced with the new one piece shield, it is worth a try. I've been fighting uneven temps since I've updated to version 5.6 and higher. It still cooks good, I just have to work with the different zones, which is to be expected; the JB is long and the firepot is not centered. You may still find some different zones, that that is kind of expected; as long as the variance is not too huge. I've finally got it so the far left is about -10°F than the center, and the far right is about +15°F, by adjusting my shields.

Do you have the three piece or one piece heat shield? If you have the three piece, they are probably sending you the one piece shield. What version are you running? I just updated to 6.2, but haven't had a chance to do a test run. I would be interested to know if the new shield makes a difference.

I have the latest firmware (it was updated when they sent me the control board) The heat shield is a one piece, the new one they are sending apparently has the notch cut differently to redirect some of the heat.  Fingers crossed, the other fix I saw (but this is when my left side was the hot side) was a dryer vent run from the chimney across the grill to the left side, this supposedly fixed that grillers temp problem!

Looks like they are listening to the customers. On the first one piece shields, a lot of users were using a dremel to cut that notch. The dryer vent hose works for some, but not others. I haven't tried it. I use my upper rack to frequently.

Good luck. Again, let me know if that one piece shield works better.
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: jon515 on June 24, 2016, 06:15:42 pm
Maybe I should give them a call. If I can get my heat shields replaced with the new one piece shield, it is worth a try. I've been fighting uneven temps since I've updated to version 5.6 and higher. It still cooks good, I just have to work with the different zones, which is to be expected; the JB is long and the firepot is not centered. You may still find some different zones, that that is kind of expected; as long as the variance is not too huge. I've finally got it so the far left is about -10°F than the center, and the far right is about +15°F, by adjusting my shields.

Do you have the three piece or one piece heat shield? If you have the three piece, they are probably sending you the one piece shield. What version are you running? I just updated to 6.2, but haven't had a chance to do a test run. I would be interested to know if the new shield makes a difference.

I received the new heat shield, still a 30 degree difference from side to side plus a huge difference from what the control panel says. It would be hard to feel more dissatisfaction.
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: Habanero Smoker on June 27, 2016, 01:29:06 pm
I understand how you are feeling. Mine is about 25 to 30 degrees difference from side to side. It is not a problem with butts or brisket. For items like chicken, small roast etc. I will rotate the food.  On the positive side they will continue to work with you to get this resolved.

Since version 6. the display on the control panel no longer give the true grill temperature, and I'm going to complain to them about it. Once it hits the set temperature, the display will stay at that temperature, even though you open the hood, and a third party probe display will show a 30°F drop.
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: jon515 on June 27, 2016, 11:02:43 pm
I understand how you are feeling. Mine is about 25 to 30 degrees difference from side to side. It is not a problem with butts or brisket. For items like chicken, small roast etc. I will rotate the food.  On the positive side they will continue to work with you to get this resolved.

Since version 6. the display on the control panel no longer give the true grill temperature, and I'm going to complain to them about it. Once it hits the set temperature, the display will stay at that temperature, even though you open the hood, and a third party probe display will show a 30°F drop.

I did contact them again, I was a little over frustrated and got voicemail and left a message that could have been worded better on my part, that said I did not get a call back. However I did get an email back and they recommended I move the deflector a 1/4 inch at a time. I appreciate the help but I am about ready to bill them for pellets and time. I really want to love the grill so I hope they can get it working.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Opinion wanted
Post by: Habanero Smoker on June 28, 2016, 01:57:25 am
I still have to fire mine up after updating to 6.2. The pellets can add up in cost, when doing all that testing. I recently lucked out. A member over at pellethead organized a group buy in my area. Keep an eye out for members posting one in your area. That is the way to buy pellets. I was able to purchase (6) 40lb. bags of Lumberjack pellets. at a cost of a little under $14 per bag. I have used Lumberjack in the past and they burned well, so when I had the chance I bought in.