I just wanted to give my thoughts and initial impression of the 2-rack. As I went through the burn in seasoning session.
The box says it is a counter top smoker. However the owners manual says that it is a convection smoker. This made me want to look into things a little better and is what made me decide to basically do a review.
Out of the box
It was at this point in the inspection I got excited. NO PLASTIC!!! Yes it is all metal no worries about cracked plastic or doors falling off.
Another nifty little idea is the rack tool. No more burnt fingertips!! Only drawback on it is there isn't any place to hang it. You know to keep it handy. More on that later
Works rather well on both the food racks and the drip tray. I like the bigger drip tray that covers the whole bottom of the oven.
The back of the unit with the exhaust on the right. I have to attach the discharge hose to it yet.
The bisquette catch bin. This is on the left side of the back of the unit. The black button on top of it. Is used to expel the spent pucks into the water in the catch bin after the smoke period is complete. Simple to use. Rotate 90º clockwise and pull out. Reverse to put it back. works pretty good!
Poked and prodded around and noticed. That there is no way to access the puck burner plate. On my other Bradley's I burn pucks for 20 minutes. This unit burns them for 30. Will there be more residue? Will being unable to clean it effect the feeder or even the burning of the pucks? Will find out when we use it, I guess.
Lets get this outside for the seasoning session. First off we filled the spent puck bin with water to the indicator line. then placed it into the back of the unit.
Plugged the unit in, and the first thing I noticed is that the display is really hard to read. The display could be A LOT brighter. Even with my hand over it to block out most of the light it was hard to read.
Positioned the exhaust tube so that the smoke would be traveling up hill. Will this cause an issue of condensation forming in the tube? This will be something I will look for as I continue using the unit.
Will be looking for black smoke residue running down the back of the unit by the exhaust hole. The exhaust hole is in the upper left back corner of the oven.
To power the unit up. You push the Oven button. The blower fan begins and the unit starts to warm up. Then you set the time that you want the oven to run for. Then you set the oven temp. Now here is where things get interesting. Unlike the digital smokers which allow you to set temps in 10º degree increments. You are afforded 5 POWER LEVELS to choose from, it auto starts at PL 05. So you will be cooking in a temperature range rather than at an exact temperature. This unit isn't big enough to do sausage in any how. So I wont complain there. I was going to say that there should be a sticker on the front of the unit with the power levels and ranges on it. Then I thought about it. If they do that then there is going to be that one guy who is going to raise a stink, because the temp swing went out of the ranges for the power level it was set at. If your interested here they are.
The Power Level and ranges are:
PL 01 73-103ºC 160-220ºF
PL 02 90-110 190-230
PL 03 110-130 230-270
PL 04 125-150 260-300
PL 05 145-164 290-330
Now to set up the Smoker feature. Pretty simple turn it on and set the smoke time. There is a bit of interesting information in the owners manual if you read it. I did, so I didn't freak out. When you first plug your unit in and fire up the smoker. the smoker will advance 2 times so that the pucks can get to the heating element. It will only cycle once if you leave the unit plugged in continually. I was only going to apply 30 minutes of smoke during the seasoning session. So I had put 3 puck in knowing that it would cycle. As I turned on the smoke. I watched the first puck get cycled in. but when the plunger cycled the second time. The remaining 2 pucks lifted and tilted forward into the void. Thus the plunger failed to grab the second puck and load it in. I looked and there isn't a manual feed button to manually run another cycle. Thus I waited for the 30 minutes to time out and tried it again. Yes I could have just shut it off and turned it back on. But I didn't. That being said there should be a manual advance button if this should happen during a smoke and you catch it. I restarted the smoke cycle and it cycled one time. I had another misfeed. This could be an issue. I shut it off this time and restarted it again but pushed down on the pucks with my finger keeping them flat. Everything went well.
Temp in cabinet at start up was 78º. After 15 minutes, No Smoke we covered that above, the temp was 238º. At 30 minutes the temp was reading 300º.
By now the smoke is rolling and filling up the oven. WOW does this thing make some smoke! I tried to get you some pictures but they didn't turn out. I did have some issues with the smoke. The smoke leaked out of the oven in a couple of places.
I had smoke exiting out from under the unit, from where the pencil is located.
I had a small amount of smoke escaping, from the middle of the door on the top. About where the dark shadow is in the picture.
I also had a small amount of smoke exiting through the feeder tube.
Remember when I said there needed to be a hook or something to hang the rack tool on? This will work for now.
Just to let you know. The used puck bin IS HOT! DO NOT grab it with your fingers to empty it. DON'T ASK how I know this.
The best way to empty it is wait until the unit cools down after a cook. I wanted to see how the puck extractor worked. It does a pretty good job. As long as you remember to turn it before pulling. The knob will come off if you don't. How do we get the bin out you ask? Well you use the rack tool. it seems it was made for this. Well until you try to empty the water out anyhow.
A look inside the bin
After dumping the water out.
In conclusion I have a question for you. Have you noticed that I have refrained from calling it a smoker? That I have been referring to it as an oven. This unit in my opinion is not a smoker in the traditional sense. You are not going to be putting a brisket or a pork butt in this thing and doing a long cook. This unit is more suited for making appetizers. Maybe even baking. I see it being used to hot smoke a couple steaks or hamburgers and finishing in the unit or transferring to a grill. The 2 rack will be best suited for the single person or a couple. It probably wouldn't be the best choice for a large family like mine (6 people). With the smoke leakage. I don't see it very popular with the ladies in the kitchen. Now us guys we like that smokehouse smell. I am hoping that after the unit has been heated and cooled a couple of times these issues will go away. If you do a lot of camping. This is the unit for you I believe. It has a small compact size for easy storage in your camper. Not to mention it has a small footprint. So it won't take up much real estate on the picnic table.
As I said in the beginning. These are just my thoughts and opinions on the Bradley Counter Top Smoker, as I went through the seasoning process. Thanks for looking and listening!