BRADLEY SMOKER | "Taste the Great Outdoors"

New Members => Introduce Yourself => Topic started by: Army_flea on January 13, 2019, 08:50:21 am

Title: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on January 13, 2019, 08:50:21 am
Hi my name Josh.  I live in Kentucky home of the corvette and Whiskey.  I’m thinking about buying a Bradley smoker But with with all the problems I’m reading about I don’t know if they are worth the 400 too 500 dollars to shell out for it.


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Roget on January 13, 2019, 11:55:44 am
I own a total of four smokers.
Two pellets, one propane, and a Bradley.
The Bradley is the first smoker I purchased. That was over ten years ago.
Over the last two to three years I have added to my arsenal. For the first eight to ten years I smoked exclusively using the Bradley.
I still use the Bradley as much as any cooker I own. I love it for cooking many things, especially ribs and port butts.
It is my default cold smoker, (think cheese) and jerky cooker.
I love all my smokers and grills, but if I could only have one I would have a hard time giving up my Bradley.
It served me (and still does) well for many years when it was the only smoker I had.
Is it the best smoker available for the money? IDK, but it certainly does a lot of things well and for the money I'm not sure you can get a better one.
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on January 13, 2019, 01:58:23 pm
I’m worried about purchasing one because of the temperature not reading correctly.  I have a regular wood smoker that I’ve been using for about a year and it’s really difficult to keep the temperature up on it. I see the post about the analog one doing better than the digital ones. Does anyone know if they will bring out a new digital one that works better.


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Roget on January 13, 2019, 03:32:01 pm
To me that is one of the few drawbacks with the Bradley.
Without a PID it is susceptible to significant temperature swings.
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: zueth on January 13, 2019, 04:26:51 pm
If you are going to get a Bradley get a PID and heating element upgrade at same time.

They are great and will using mine for smoked salmon, cheese, and pork butts.

But if I had to buy only one thing I would get a pellet grill.


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on January 13, 2019, 06:05:42 pm
Why should I buy an extra heating element and I’m new so what’s the PID? Thanks for everybody’s help.


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Roget on January 14, 2019, 09:13:48 am
I'm probably the odd man out when it comes to the need for a heating element upgrade. ;D
I have never added a bigger element to mine & never felt the need to.
For me, when using the Bradley, "low & slow is the way to go". If you want to maintain higher temps, (or want to get it cooked & over with) you possibly should look at a pellet smoker.
As to the PID, I agree it is pretty much a necessity.
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Roget on January 14, 2019, 09:22:09 am
PID = temperature controller.
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on January 14, 2019, 03:40:59 pm
Yeah usually when I smoke ribs I smoke them slow around 250.  So I guess I wouldn’t need an extra PID. 


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: zueth on January 14, 2019, 05:39:08 pm
Yeah usually when I smoke ribs I smoke them slow around 250.  So I guess I wouldn’t need an extra PID. 


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Probably will be more like 225 with Bradley, yes you can get by without extra/new heating element  but definitely need the PID.


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on January 14, 2019, 06:55:19 pm
Well with all the answers I’ve gotten I’ll probably buy a pellet smoker grill now.


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 15, 2019, 02:23:16 am
First I want to mention I'm not recommending what to buy. You may want to taste some food cooked in a pellet grill first before you decide to make the purchase; and make sure you taste it without sauce. Since a lot of the sauces have smoke flavor added. If you are looking for smoke flavor, you are not going to get it; or get much from a pellet grill. I've tried all the tricks, such as starting the cook at 140°F, or using an A-Maze-N pellet smoker tube and others - none worked. If you are looking for something that can cook low & slow or grill, or any temperature in between, keeps fairly close temperatures, and require less hands on time during the cook - a pellet grill would be a good choice.
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money ...
Post by: TwistedSanity on January 15, 2019, 01:29:43 pm
Hello Army,

I am hoping I can provide a little more insight that can shed some light on three areas of discussion so far.

A PID is a temperature control devices. The Bradley runs like an electric stove. It turns the element on and when it detects that the temperature is at what you set it too then it turns the element off. the heat will continue to climb until the insulation value allows the cabinet to start to cool.  Then once the temp gets below the setting you have set it will turn the element back on.  Again the cabinet will continue to cool until the elements heat over comes this effect and the temperature starts to climb again.
The PID pulses the heating element on and off rapidly.  The allows you to maintain a more consistent temperature  (+- 2 Degrees) than the standard programing. (on a side note I run a wireless heating prob next to the meat and adjust the Bradley's temp setting until the meat probs setting is where I want it.)

The second heating element mod. The Bradley is designed for low and slow, and it does it. It is commonly felt that the heating element is under powered for a lot of uses. It will not heat up quickly. it will drop when the doors is open,  it will take time to regain temps and it will struggle with large meat loads.  All this being said these are things many smokers show issues with.  I would suggest you look at what you want to do with the smoker. if you want to cook 12 racks of ribs, or 6 pork butts or 2 briskets, to 10lbs of snack sticks then you are probably going to struggle with the stock heating element. If you are more of a hobbyist then this may be a good fit.  As always let the meat speak for itself as to when its cooked and always leave lots of time to get the job done.  Another thing is that once the smoke has been applied you can switch it to a over to a oven (at this point they are basically the same thing) to finish at higher temps.

Breaking Down. Like all mechanical devices the Bradley sometimes breaks down. This will ring true with almost anything you decided to use. One of the reason you may read a lot of negative emails is because people seldom go online to craft a strongly worded email about how everything worked perfectly. I will say two things about break downs. Although I have never used them I often hear about how great the customer support for Bradley's is, and two,  this site right here will provide a lot of help when it comes to mechanically issues. I would venture to say they can provide a solution for 80% of issues.

My first smoker was a Bradley and it was a great unit for my first ribs, pork butt, and snack sticks.  I have a PID (this was done because of my addiction to creating snack sticks where precise temperature control is important). I have ungraded to a second heating element because I was running 2 runs of 10lbs of snack sticks every 3rd weekend and the single element kind of topped out at 8 lbs. I also own a Webber Smokey Mountain because I spend 4 months a year camping off grid and needed something to do while out there and away from electricity.

My suggestion is to figure out what you want to do with it.  If any of your must have features go beyond a Bradley's stock functionality than you may want to search for something else.  If you decided a Bradley will work than and understand that 0 sometimes happens in the best of times than a Bradley will serve you well.

Good luck and happy smoking.
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on January 15, 2019, 04:30:14 pm
Thanks!


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: mybad on January 16, 2019, 09:35:35 am
I like my Bradley, it is 12 years old now. Used it 100's of times. All original, never have had to replace anything.

They are very hard to get up to a smoking temp, mine had the slider, for temp control. Horrible. I finally invested in a Auberins dual temp controller.

Like a magic wand was waved. What a difference. I am going to upgrade the the heating element this year, if it's cold outside, it is almost impossible to get the temp up to 225, in my experience. I have a large foil wrapped brick in mine to help stabilize the temp when I open the door.

Over the years it seemed like the heating element was going bad on new Bradley's quite often. Although mine is 12 years old and working well. I love it very much compact, easy to store, easy to use.

Here is a brisket I did a year ago, was the very best brisket I have ever had. Just my opinion though...lol   http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=37956.msg426798#msg426798

In the end the choice is yours, good luck and have fun.



Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on January 16, 2019, 04:14:10 pm
Thanks everyone I will probably end up getting one of these (https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190117/eb62037df2f90587938ad894f78d9af1.jpg)


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on January 16, 2019, 04:37:51 pm
This one has good reviews to.


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: zueth on January 24, 2019, 05:42:16 pm
If you are going to get a pellet grill same your money so you can buy a good one like a Rec Tech


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: TMB on January 25, 2019, 05:51:44 am
If you are going to get a pellet grill same your money so you can buy a good one like a Rec Tech


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I second that.  I own a Rec Tec RT680 and would not even consider getting rid of it
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Roget on January 25, 2019, 06:32:20 am
Lots of pellet grills out there.
Rec Tec seems to be one of the better ones.
Green Mountain Grills (GMG) makes some good grills also.
I have two different sizes of GMG smokers & they both do a great job and are pretty well made.
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: zueth on January 25, 2019, 08:19:14 pm
Yep, I have a GMG, but if I was buying a new one it would be a Rec Tec.  Now that I have my GMG, the Bradley gets used less and less, but I do still use it, mostly for fish, cheese, and pork butts.
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on January 26, 2019, 06:11:04 pm
Man those Rec Tec smokers are expensive.


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on January 26, 2019, 06:35:28 pm
Would the analog Bradley smokers work just as good as the digital ones.


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: cathouse willy on January 26, 2019, 08:05:59 pm
The analog Bradley smokers are the same basic unit as the digital, the same 500w oven element,the same temp swings of 15-20 f. The digital unit does not have a pid and like it's analog brother needs one.The digital bradley has a number of timing steps that can be programmed. Imo get yourself an analog 4 rack and a pid from auberin controls and you'll have a smoker that will do everything the digital will do only better.
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 27, 2019, 02:18:17 am
Quote from: Army_flea link=topic=382Y35.msg428249#msg428249 date=1548556528
Would the analog Bradley smokers work just as good as the digital ones.


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Yes, but the analog requires more hands on time to maintain the desired temperature that you want.

Again, I'm not suggesting to you what to buy, but providing more information for you to make an informed decision. You haven't really stated what you needs are. If you are looking for something that will take the place of your wood burner, the Bradley may not provide you with all the options you have with your wood burner, due to the lack of heat. But it would be a good supplement to your wood burner. If you are looking for something to provide a nice smoke flavor that can make good barbeque and also cold smoke, then the Bradley would be a good choice - it's just takes more time.

In your other post you didn't state what type of wood burner you have, or will it also burn charcoal efficiently. If you are having problems with heat control, and not worried about cold smoking, their are several temperature controllers on the market that can help you control the temperature of you wood burner. The main one on the market is the BBQ Guru. If one of their devices have the appropriate adapter for your wood burner, purchasing one of those devices would be around the same cost as purchasing a Bradley smoker.
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on January 27, 2019, 05:49:47 am
I  want one where I don’t have go outside and add wood chips to it every 30 minutes and temperature stays pretty accurate. The meats I usually cook smoked ribs. Later down the road I might try other stuff.


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on January 27, 2019, 06:50:27 am
The only brand of PID I see on Amazon is called inkbird.


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on January 27, 2019, 08:22:48 am
The one that I have has a small burn box on it and I cant keep the temperature up high enough on it.  I feel like I run in and out of the house more than I should.  I would like to get something where I know that it’s smoking good and the temperature is staying at a decent setting. 


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: GusRobin on January 27, 2019, 09:39:23 pm
get a pellet smoker
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 28, 2019, 02:57:24 am
If you are looking for good smoke flavor, as I mentioned in you other thread, try to sample some foods cooked on a pellet grill; without any sauce. My experience with pellet grills;  mine, and using other pellet smokers, you may not get the good smoke you are looking for. I have a GMC Jim Bowie, I've cooked on a few different Yoders, and huge commercial style pellet smokers; and ate food from these cookers. You are not going to get much smoke - if any.

Are they convenient? Yes, and they maintain a fairly good temperature range; at least most of them. I use my pellet grill as I would my propane grill. If I want smoke flavor I use one of my charcoal burners, and control them with my Stoker. If you are burning wood you shouldn't need to add wood chips to add smoke flavor. If you are burning charcoal, use wood chunks instead of chips. There are times when I will apply smoke with my Bradley, then transfer to my pellet grill.

I would suggest you do more hands on research before you pull the trigger on any piece of equipment. Each type of cooker has their strengths and weaknesses. You need to determine what fits your needs the best.
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on January 28, 2019, 05:27:03 am
Yes you right my father-law bought one of those Boss pellet grills and the meat didn’t really have a Smokey flavor at all.  I want the meat to have a good Smokey flavor.


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: TMB on January 28, 2019, 05:35:37 am
Yes you right my father-law bought one of those Boss pellet grills and the meat didn’t really have a Smokey flavor at all.  I want the meat to have a good Smokey flavor.


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Buy an A-Mazing smoking tube. It will; add a lot of smoke flavor to you cooks.  I have 5 different sizes

https://www.amazenproducts.com/

Tell Todd Tommy sent ya'  ;D
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Roget on January 28, 2019, 11:44:29 am
Yes you right my father-law bought one of those Boss pellet grills and the meat didn’t really have a Smokey flavor at all.  I want the meat to have a good Smokey flavor.


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Buy an A-Mazing smoking tube. It will; add a lot of smoke flavor to you cooks.  I have 5 different sizes

https://www.amazenproducts.com/

Tell Todd Tommy sent ya'  ;D


Tommy is right about the A-Maze-N smoking tube.
Like Habs, I have a GMG Jim Bowie. Unlike Habs, get enough smoke from mine. Not as much as from my Bradley but enough to suit me.
I will however put in my A-Maze-N tube if I want a heavy smoke.
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 28, 2019, 01:15:30 pm

When using the GMG I will often use the 12" tube, they provide a little flavor, but not much. I guess the amount of flavor it provides is subjective to one's taste.
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Roget on January 29, 2019, 08:08:24 am

When using the GMG I will often use the 12" tube, they provide a little flavor, but not much. I guess the amount of flavor it provides is subjective to one's taste.

I like the taste of the smoke from my Bradley better than any pellet flavor I have used.
I wish they could get that good flavor in a pellet. ;)
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: TMB on January 29, 2019, 08:26:24 am

When using the GMG I will often use the 12" tube, they provide a little flavor, but not much. I guess the amount of flavor it provides is subjective to one's taste.

I like the taste of the smoke from my Bradley better than any pellet flavor I have used.
I wish they could get that good flavor in a pellet. ;)
That's hard to do for sure.  Thankfuly Kimmie like a lite smoke flavor so she can't tell and difference  ;D ;D
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 29, 2019, 01:31:42 pm

When using the GMG I will often use the 12" tube, they provide a little flavor, but not much. I guess the amount of flavor it provides is subjective to one's taste.

I like the taste of the smoke from my Bradley better than any pellet flavor I have used.
I wish they could get that good flavor in a pellet. ;)

The Bradley is my second overall best smoke flavor, and I still always cook my pork butts fully in the Bradley. I can't duplicate the flavor I get on pork butts cooked/smoked in a Bradley than I get from cooking and smoking by other means. But for barbecue, my favorite smoke flavor comes from charcoal and wood chunks.
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on January 30, 2019, 04:42:42 pm
Is the Boss stand up pellet smoker a good buy or no?


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: TMB on January 31, 2019, 05:06:07 am
Is the Boss stand up pellet smoker a good buy or no?


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PM SENT
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on February 02, 2019, 05:15:12 pm
My family usually has a ribs smoking competition every September and I’m trying to get the best smoker for the money and works good.  I will also be smoking other stuff as well but mainly ribs.




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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money
Post by: TwistedSanity on February 05, 2019, 11:58:19 am
Army,

The Bradley does a good job on ribs. Will also do a good job on any meat that is cooked low and slow and where tight temperature control, such as snack sticks,  don't matter.

Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on February 05, 2019, 06:19:44 pm
I wonder when Bradley will bring out a newer model or update the models they have. ?


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: TMB on February 06, 2019, 05:08:59 am
I wonder when Bradley will bring out a newer model or update the models they have. ?


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I don't see them doing anything "BIG" anytime soon.  Their line up needs updating but they seen to let the line up go as is  :(

 
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on February 06, 2019, 05:22:47 am
Green Mountain has some new ones coming out in March.  The new ones they got coming out looks pretty nice.


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on February 09, 2019, 03:41:49 pm
Well I finally picked out and purchased a pellet smoker grill.  Thanks everyone for the help!!! Here’s what I got. (https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190209/516f10ff9c21e4d80c5878b06ed4e511.jpg)


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: TMB on February 11, 2019, 04:52:47 am
Well I finally picked out and purchased a pellet smoker grill.  Thanks everyone for the help!!! Here’s what I got. (https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190209/516f10ff9c21e4d80c5878b06ed4e511.jpg)


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Congrats!    Those are great and a great company to deal with ;)                  P,M sent
Title: in one.
Post by: TwistedSanity on February 13, 2019, 01:47:54 pm
Congratz Army,

Enjoy your new addiction. :-)
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on February 16, 2019, 12:44:50 pm
Well I’m doing my first test on my RECTEC smoker.  I’m smoking a Boston BUTT. (https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190216/13a30aeff069641bf50ec77f89a4f004.jpg)


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: TMB on February 19, 2019, 05:28:19 am
Well I’m doing my first test on my RECTEC smoker.  I’m smoking a Boston BUTT. (https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190216/13a30aeff069641bf50ec77f89a4f004.jpg)


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Well?   How did it turn out?     Also, what is the butt sitting on (what's in the pan??)
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on February 25, 2019, 05:26:56 am
It turned out really good.  I learned that theirs a difference in a Boston Butt shoulder and a regular Boston Butt.  One is usuallyused for barbecue and the other for a roast. It turned out good though.  I got it sitting in a pan. The pan had juices in it from the butt.


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: TMB on February 26, 2019, 06:01:57 am
It turned out really good.  I learned that theirs a difference in a Boston Butt shoulder and a regular Boston Butt.  One is usuallyused for barbecue and the other for a roast. It turned out good though.  I got it sitting in a pan. The pan had juices in it from the butt.


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I always use a BUTT never a shoulder butt, reason is with my bad hands and back it's easier for me to pull the butt apart vs a shoulder with a bone
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on March 13, 2019, 06:27:44 pm
So is Bradley bringing out a new smoker now?


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Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: TedEbear on March 14, 2019, 08:45:35 am
So is Bradley bringing out a new smoker now?

Didn't you read the other thread?

Bradley BS1019 Professional Grade Smoker (http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=38255.msg428332#msg428332)
Title: Re: I’m thinking about buying a Bradley Smoker is it worth the money investing in one.
Post by: Army_flea on March 14, 2019, 10:16:34 am
I looked for it couldn’t find it.


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