Author Topic: BDS Review  (Read 6926 times)

Offline BigRich

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BDS Review
« on: January 25, 2014, 01:54:06 PM »
I love cooking with my smoker.  It's a great invention.  It's incredibly easy to use and produces consistent results.  It's light weight which makes it easy to move.  It's compact and that makes it easy to store.  The pucks are relatively inexpensive and also easy to find.  Bradley's customer support is great also.  The cost of one is also reasonable.

However, this model is not made well.  I've had the smoker for 2 or 3 years and this is what I've encountered.

1). My element has stopped working.

2). The plastic trim on the bottom of the door cracked. 

3). The plastic trim below the door cracked.

4). The smoke tube holder pins are bent.

5). The screw holes below the plate that covers the puck shuttle are drilled in the wrong place

6). A few screw holes were stripped out

7). Many screw holes do not line up

8 ). The digital display is partially illuminated when the unit is off

9). The racks and v- tray are incredibly difficult to clean

In light of these issues a few things have been made clear to me.  First, this smoker will likely not last much past 5 years.  And two, when the units were being built, they weren't being built to an exact spec causing massive misalignments within the unit.


You can see where the shuttle has been rubbing on the cover plate.

Offline renoman

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Re: BDS Review
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 02:57:26 PM »
I concur with everything you say. The concept is great, Bradley service is great but the smokers are just cheaply made. Cheaply made in China.

Offline RedJada

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Re: BDS Review
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 03:04:26 PM »
 Seems to be a trend here lately. Two years with my OBS and not a single problem. I guess it's just how you take care of it.

Offline BigRich

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Re: BDS Review
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2014, 01:47:27 PM »

I guess it's just how you take care of it.

Why do you say that?

Offline smokindw

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Re: BDS Review
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 05:54:49 PM »
Dont get me wrong I'm loving my new Bradley 4rack digital but I've had a couple of issues out of the box myself! First when I bought the unit brand new and went to season it the generator wouldn't turn on at all. Called bradley and went through the steps of re seating all the wires with no luck, called bradley again n they sent me a new generator.  Used that generator for 2 two hour smokes and a 1hour seasoning and the bisquette burner quit. Luckey still had the 1st unit that wouldnt power on and switched out yhe burners and haven't had any trouble since! One thing I can say is they make the smoke generators very easy to switch out components!  All n all I would still buy another bradley just for the fact I know whatever prob might occur they will take care of me!

Offline weazel

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Re: BDS Review
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2014, 10:45:37 AM »
I have had my original smoker for over 10 years and have left it outside uncovered in the elements for most of its life...  I am buying a new one but I think I have got my money's worth.

Offline renoman

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Re: BDS Review
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2014, 11:34:29 AM »
I have had my original smoker for over 10 years and have left it outside uncovered in the elements for most of its life...  I am buying a new one but I think I have got my money's worth.
Question for you Weazel. Was your 10 years old Bradley made in China? Were the Bradleys always made in China or was there a time when they were made in the US or Canada?

Offline Smoker John

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Re: BDS Review
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2014, 11:44:46 AM »
So far I have had mine for 3 years & it has been fine, time will tell
Bradley Digital 4 Rack
Bradley BS712

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: BDS Review
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2014, 01:04:54 PM »
I have had my original smoker for over 10 years and have left it outside uncovered in the elements for most of its life...  I am buying a new one but I think I have got my money's worth.
Question for you Weazel. Was your 10 years old Bradley made in China? Were the Bradleys always made in China or was there a time when they were made in the US or Canada?

This August will be 10 years that I have had my OBS, and yes! it was made in China. Also at that time they came equipped with a glass element; which I replaced about 5 years later when I did my duel element mod. During that time it has taken a 3' high fall from my cart, and on another occasion it took almost a 6' fall off the deck. I believe the glass element was installed during both falls. Suffered some door damage, and a dent in the back. Other then that it still works fine.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline BigRich

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Re: BDS Review
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2014, 03:29:15 PM »
I think you guys are making unfair comparisons.  This thread is about my digital smoker.  I don't know how to read the serial number but it will tell you the year it was made.

You can't compare different models and because upgrades are made to specific models from one year to the next you may not even be able to make comparisons for the same model manufactured in a different year.

And although RedJada didn't respond, I'd like to clarify something.  Originally I thought the door trim broke because I mishandled my cabinet.  Then I saw all of the other threads where people were having the same issue and began to doubt myself.  It wasn't until I replaced the trim that I knew it was defective and that I hadn't mishandled it. 

Remember earlier when I said the screw holes didn't line up and that the unit wasn't made to an exact spec?  Well when I was screwing in four of the trim screws I heard a distinctive crack.  The damn trim is breaking when the screws are initially installed.  Eventually the cracks in the plastic get larger and larger until the door finally comes off it's hinges.

So for all those thinking they broke their doors, rest assured you likely didn't.  It's like what renoman said ,  they're just cheaply made.

Offline KyNola

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Re: BDS Review
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2014, 08:22:07 PM »
Rich, you're right we shouldn't compare different models.  Mine is a digital just like yours, built in China.  I purchased it in 2007, making it almost 7 years old.  My original heating element is still working just fine.  I have no cracks on the door, bottom plate nor anything else.  You can't read the serial number so you don't know what year your model was built.  I can understand that.  When did you buy it?  You joined the Forum in 2013.  If you bought it in 2013 your unit is still under warranty and would make no difference when the unit was manufactured providing you registered it with the folks at Bradley. Assuming what I said is true all you need to do is contact Bradley and they will make it right.  They might even make it right if you are out of warranty.

If they don't, wanna sell your unit?

 

Offline BigRich

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Re: BDS Review
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2014, 04:37:09 PM »
I can't read the serial number meaning I don't know where the date is.  There's a picture of the serial number in my first post,  I was hoping someone would read it and tell me when it was built.  Either way, I've had it for 2-3 years so no, it's not under warranty.

As far as selling it goes, that's not a bad idea.  I'd want to to see what if any other issues people have had with this unit first.  If there aren't any, then I'll let it ride and see how much life I can get out of it.

The best thing would have been to purchase the right model to begin with.   I was up at Gander Mountain a few days ago and noticed they were only stocking the OBS.  Being people here rave about it, I might give that one a try down the road if Bradley hasn't corrected the issues on the BDS by then, if they haven't already.

Offline Gafala

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Re: BDS Review
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2014, 04:54:01 PM »
I have had my digital 4 rack for 1 1/2 and no problems just finished a salmon smoke work great.
Bradley 4 rack Digital, 900 watt, Auber PID
Bradley cold smoke adapter
Char-Griller Smoking Pro BBQ Smoker with rotisserie
Brinkman Bullet Smoker
Weber 24”
Custom Hard Cure Cabinet for Salami
One Auber Master Temp monitor and two remotes with probes, up to ten remotes can be used.

Offline BigRich

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Re: BDS Review
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2014, 05:27:35 PM »
Yeah, I'd like to believe they've fixed their issues since I've bought mine,

devo

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Re: BDS Review
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2014, 05:48:07 PM »
My BDS is about 3 years old. Bought it around the time they had all the element problems. Think I went through 3 of them before they solved that problem. I had my share of micro switch problems and had my SG apart many times before I got it to work right. It still don't burn the pucks to the point they should be but it works. I bought the A-MAZE-N-TUBE-SMOKER and have not looked back. Will never buy another bradley bisquette again as the pellets are much cheaper and the tube smoker works with no problems. Funny how two moderators on this very forum use it on almost every smoking post they put out here. Now the plastic parts are another bad thing that comes with the bradley smoker. I posted the front plate on mine cracking and a moderator from a very warm part of the US said WOW never saw that before, Guess he should come up north where plastic cracks when it's 40 below.


Now lets talk about the customer service, yes its very good and Brian goes out of his way to help you out. He deserves a raise for all he does. It has to be one of the toughest jobs out there with all the complaints they get. All you have to do is look on this forum to see all the bad reviews compared to the good reviews. Bad out ways the good but I am sure the southern folks will have something to say about that too.  I have had many a private chat with the older bradley people owners and they feel the same way but just can't be bothered to post on here about the bradley craftsmanship. Many have said if they had it all over to do again they would have bought something else.
As far as I am concerned I bought a $450 box with 4 racks that I smoke in. I could have bought enough stainless to build three of them at that price and paid a welder to weld it together.

RANT OVER.........OK your turn bradley lovers to give it back to me :)