Author Topic: Newbie With Questions  (Read 124 times)

Offline alfordsteven

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Newbie With Questions
« on: September 06, 2020, 10:52:26 AM »
Greetings:  I was introduced to Bradley on Steve Raichlen's show.  While the MasterBuilt line seems rated better, the ease of use of the Bradley (with the wood pucks), plus the digital readouts seem to make it (for me) the one to have.  There are just two people in the household, and at most I would be smoking for 2-6 people.  Hence, I think the 4-rack is the one for us.  In reading the bottomless number of reviews of the device online, I'm wondering about the criticisms and whether others share them.  To wit:
1) The 4-rack (76L?) is underpowered with a 500-watt element.
2) Owing to this, when the device is opened for basting (while smoking) it takes 40 minutes to return to the assigned temperature.
3) I live in Oregon at altitude, and the winters get cold.  I would like to continue smoking through the winter.  I understand that the digital device can be detached and stored indoors.  However, were I to smoke during the winter when the temperatures were in, say, the 30s, does the device have sufficient insulation to work outdoors and maintain the proper temperature?
4) Walmart seems to be the only big box store that sells Bradleys.  Since we have one nearby, I was going to purchase one there (amazon is out of stock or something).  Would that be the best place?

I am excited to get a Bradley smoker, but the reservations of other users have me wondering if this is the right choice.  Thanks for your time!  Steve

Offline manfromplaid

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Re: Newbie With Questions
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2020, 11:23:01 AM »
welcome to the forum.  I also live in a cold climate (central alberta) and use my smoker year round. BUT you need to make accommodations for the conditions. I have BDS 4 rack. my smoker is in a plastic shed 4X6 which I use a small ceramic heater for when I want to cook. I heat the shed before plugging in my smoker so as not to power up when cold or frozen. I found the 500 watt to be under powered for cold weather use. I went ahead with the dual element mod and bought a PID.  you will find even only cooking for 2 that making extra and freezing or storing that the 4 rack works well. keep it dry out of the wind and don't open the door to often you can cook anything with just the 500 watt plus keep the smoke generator on for an extra 125 watts of heat. I am happy with my unit and have not had any problems I could not solve myself. hope this helps some good luck .

Offline TedEbear

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Re: Newbie With Questions
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2020, 06:39:07 PM »
For added insulation, some people have used a hot water heater blanket and wrapped it around their smoker.  Hold it in place with a few bungee cords.

Offline Edward176

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Re: Newbie With Questions
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2020, 12:50:02 PM »
Greeting and Welcome to the forum. Where I live I have Mr and Mrs Claus down the street from me so I'm familiar with winters and cold weather smoking.  I have the Bradley 6 rack digital and have it in my garage and can smoke all winter as well. I found that the wind was my worst enemy and sheltering it from that made all the difference. Mind you I too did the dual 500 watt element mod and use a PID and enjoy smoking all year long. I think most people either don't realize or don't know that this electric smoker is "a low and slow" smoker and not an oven. Most complaints that I've encountered are people that load their smoker with lots of meat and expect it to heat up instantly and run at 300°F. Whether you get a Bradley or some other brand you'll encounter similar results.