Author Topic: Original or digital  (Read 8814 times)

Offline LilSmoker

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Original or digital
« on: September 28, 2006, 04:03:05 AM »
Hi all, as you can see i'm new here ::)

First of all great forum you have here, lots of knowledge and info ;)

I have a question, i have been doing a lot of reading about the BS, and i am very imressed with all that i have seen and heard.
I was all set to order my smoker, when i realised that there is now a digital version, well because i'm from the U.K. i will have to wait until november before i can get one over here.
So my question is, is there anything that the digital version will do, that original cannot?, what i mean is are there big advantages with the digital?
It's just i don't know if i can wait until november, so i'm looking for advice.

Sorry if this has allready been covered, i didn't have time to search properly as i have to get back to work.

I would be gratefull for any input, many thanks.........Steve ;)
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Offline manxman

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Re: Original or digital
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2006, 07:12:17 AM »
Hi LilSmoker and welcome to the forum,

I have had the original smoker for a couple of years now and am very happy with it, certainly nothing I have seem in relation to the digital model has suggested to me it is worth the extra money.

Yes, it offers more control in some areas as per this quote from the BS publicity blurb:

Quote
Two new Bradley Smoker models with digital programming to control the cabinet temperature, the cooking time, plus a separate control for the length of smoking time.


However this also introduces some limitations as well (there is a maximum cooking time programmed in) and it does not provide a means of monitoring internal temperature of food in any case which must still be done by a third party thermometer.

The other factor is that there are plenty of modifications that individuals have done here on the forum to the original model should you so wish which would enable you to get a better spec BS than the digital model by using the original as the starting block.

Having said that I use the bog standard SS original BS and the results are marvellous. I have smoked loads of meat, fish, cheese and some vegetables without a problem. The original may need a bit more attention but to me that is part of the fun in any case!

Bottom line..... I am sure you would be happy whichever model you get. November is only the projected availability date as far as I am aware, it may be worth checking with Grakka that this will be the actual release date. These things do get delayed sometimes.

Hope this is of some help, hopefully others will weigh in with an alternate viewpoint. There are some on the forum (e.g icerat4) who have both models, they are in an excellent position to pass comment.
Manxman

Offline Oldman

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Re: Original or digital
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2006, 11:11:11 AM »
My two cents worth is to get the original... The  reason is I'm an old hand at smokin' and the temp swings of the  Digital would just does not get er done with me.

If you are a newbie to smokin' the the digital is a good way to go.  If you are not or want to refine your smokin' the the orginal is the way to go.  Believe me smokin' with the original is not a big learning curve at all.

You could always add a PID controller to it and have the best of both worlds.

This of course is my own option.
Olds

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Offline icerat4

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Re: Original or digital
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2006, 11:46:47 AM »
IMO GO ORIGINAL.  All the above statements i am in full agreement with. ;)




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Offline iceman

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Re: Original or digital
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2006, 01:48:09 PM »
I cast my vote for the fist timer to stick with the original. Just my 2.789 cents worth. (I gotta raise Old's) :D ;D

Offline IKnowWood

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Re: Original or digital
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2006, 04:25:43 PM »
I do not know about the Digital but I do know that I have had a few 24 hour + smokes doing Pulled Porrk, during my learning times.  I soon implemented a TS based on posts in the last Fall and Spring and I must tell you.  I have slept during smokes in Summer. 

My only concern now is the Cat dropping the smoker, but that is a light risk.

With the Circulation Fan mod, I will be a much happier smoker, even though its darn good now.  The flexability is amazing.
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Offline West Coast Kansan

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Re: Original or digital
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2006, 11:59:11 PM »
No wrong choice here. The digitals take some getting used to but they are consistent performers everytime. No slide control to mess with and you dont have to worry about the sun coming out or the wind starting to blow changing your oven temp. The flux in temps it seems to me only matter when you are smoking something for a very short time.  A total smoke time that goes over 4 hours will average out anyway. 

I would however argue that adding a PID controller to the origional would make a more accurate and responsive smoker (not better) and would also remove the time limitation (9hr and 40 minute limit on the digital is not really an issue for me). I reset the timer and changed my water at 10:00 tonight. I am more than good until I wake up tomorrow morning (if I ever go to bed). Adding a circulation fan will improve either unit.  Adding a longer screw and spring under the vent so you can clean under the vent would make either better. Adding a turbo power capability to the current heater power capacity would make either better.  Improving the V pan so the center hole is lower than the left and right edges would channel the drippings better and compensate for units not being level. Changing the deflector by the heater to reduce the channeling of heat up the back would be better.

Bottom line reminds me of the saying that: Perfection is the enemy of good. 

These are very good smokers for the money, ease of use, superior customer support (may be the best), and the people like Chez Bubba who sell them as well as this forum IMO ARE the best. Again, I dont think there is a wrong choice. I remember last March and April waiting for the digitals to come out in May. If someone told me today I had to wait for over a month before I could have my digital smoker or I could buy an origional now ???? I would probably ????? Go Nuts!

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Offline Oldman

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Re: Original or digital
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2006, 05:19:08 AM »
As you can see there are votes for both types of units. Wind and changing air temp have not really been a problem for me. I smoke outside my garage door. When the smokin' part is over with I move the unit to the inside of my garage and close the door. At that point if I get a couple of degrees off of my setting it takes hours for it to happen.

When I do 11 pound of brisket point it takes a good 18 hours and durning that time once it is in the garage I have no worries about going to sleep. (I do not have a PID or TS controller.)

So the choice is yours. DS is great, but wish that Bradley had it made with a PID controller instead of a contact point controller. One last thought. The swing on the Bradley is really no greater than that of a standard electic oven.  So ask yourself how many meal have been ruined by the swing of an over? More than likely none.


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Offline LilSmoker

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Re: Original or digital
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2006, 05:40:41 AM »
Hi guys, well thank you all very much for the advice and information, it's much appreciated  ;)

I think after reading what everybody has said, i'm still not 100% sure what to do, but i'm leaning towards the BS original for a few reasons:
As you guys say i can mod it with a PID, fan etc, i could buy one now which is good because i don't think i can wait much longer , and atm i think i could get one for a fair price.

Thanks again guys, i'll let you know what i finaly decide, and how i get on  ;)
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Offline manxman

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Re: Original or digital
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2006, 07:03:28 AM »
Quote
but i'm leaning towards the BS original for a few reasons:


Ah.... but then you have to decide between black or stainless steel!!  :D

Best prices I have seen on this side of the pond appear to be about £269 for black and £339 for SS with free mainland UK shipping, check you get some pucks included in the price too!

Another useful thing to remember with an eye to the future is that Grakka carry a wide range of spares for the original available pretty cheaply which is useful once the warranty has expired or bits wear out.

Some will be compatible with the digital models but not all, the digital model may well be more difficult to repair yourself or more expensive to get replacement parts for. An example is that a replacement smoke generator is around £60 on the old model, I would have thought the comparable digital one would be significantly more.

And don't forget, if you want to do cold smoking the original model is best, the smoke generator cannot be separated form the smoke cabinet on the digital models.

http://www.bradleysmoker.co.uk/recipes/cold_smoking.htm

also click on the "John Watkins tip" for cold smoking set up on original BS.

I do a lot of cold smoking of cheese and calig (fish:pollack) for example. That may well influence your decision?



Manxman

Offline LilSmoker

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Re: Original or digital
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2006, 07:11:44 AM »
Thanks manxman, hehe! i think i'll be going for the black version, i have a big stainless barbeque, and it's an endless battle trying to keep it nice and shiny ;D.

Yes i've been scouting around and £269 does seem to be the best U.K. price.

I'll see what kind of deals there are, once again thanks  ;)

 
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Offline LilSmoker

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Re: Original or digital
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2006, 10:01:45 AM »
Hi guys, well today my impatience got the better of me, i saw a BS dealer listed about 40 minutes drive from my place, so i phoned them and was told they had some in stock  ;D.
The guy gave me a price, so i told him i could buy it cheaper, after proving it, they agreed to sell me a BS for £269 and threw in some bisquettes, so i drove straight there and bought it! hehe!.

Well i just finished unpacking everything, and all looks fine except there are quite a few small dents inside the cabinet >:(, the outside is perfect, but i noticed some small marks inside, and after having a good look i noticed quite a few.
The supplier is open at 10 a.m. tommorow so i will phone them, but is this a normal thing with the BS to have marks inside?, it's just if i exchange it tommorow, i will check the exchange one before leaving the shop, and i would like an idea of what's acceptable?
I suppose in an ideal world it should be perfect, but i'm just being realistic.
Did any of your BS's have any marks, dents etc?m or have i just been unlucky?.

I'm choked now, coz i wanted to season it tommorow, and maybe do a first smoke >:(

Thanks........LilSmoker ;)
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Offline icerat4

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Re: Original or digital
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2006, 01:51:01 PM »
Im sure all will work out the.Give us the frist smoke results when up n running  ;).




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Offline Oldman

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Re: Original or digital
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2006, 02:21:16 PM »
If the dealer does not make it right by you then call Bradley direct.  They seem to have a way of making things wrong right!

I take it you are on the other side of the pond from me. If their 800 # does not work let us know... you can believe a few of us will call on your behalf.

Bradley is second to none in this area...

What is the chance you can post pictures of this damage? If not can you send them to me via E-mail? Use my business addy as it has unlimited storage: raye@rminor.com  I will post them for Bradley if needed.

Olds

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Offline LilSmoker

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Re: Original or digital
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2006, 06:51:37 AM »
Hi there, thanks Olds, i was going to post some pics of the dents etc, but i phoned the dealer this morning, and after explaining to him about the damage, he said how sorry he was and that they had another BS as a display model, but i was welcome to exchange for it.

Once i'd arrived at the shop, the guy was very nice about the whole thing, he showed me the display BS, and the inside of it was fine, but outside was scratched and a bit tatty, so the guy again appologised, and said he would phone Bradley first thing in ther morning, and get me a replacement shipped hopefully for Tuesday ;D

So although i'm already missing my BS, i'm looking forward to Tuesday! :D

I will let you guys know how i get on, it gives me more time to look at some of the great recipes.

And again i want to thank everybody for all the help and support here, this place really does feel like a community.

Happy smoking all!  ;)
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