Purchase of a Bradley smoker

Started by Bama Box, July 07, 2006, 04:55:26 PM

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Bama Box

I have a fair amount of experience (about 50-60 "smokes") with misc meats using a Brinkman charcoal smoker. Although I had good results I have not used it in about 2 years as the "ritual" became a chore that outweighed the gains. I was usually so worn out from tending the fire,water etc and prepping the side dishes that I failed to fully enjoy the final meal. I have a couple of questions: 1) I am very close to ordering a Bradley smoker but I wanted some feedback from you, the converted masses, on why I should. I love smoked foods but don't want to be "shackled" to the house while cooking, is the Bradley worth it?
2) If I buy one, I am tempted to go with the original black 4 shelf unit. I have learned over the years fewer bells and whistles mean less problems also do I really need a stainless steel/digital model? What are your thoughts? I thank you in advance for your responses.


I have the original stainless model.  If I had it to do over again the original black model would of been just fine ;D.  Once you get used to the way it works which isn't hard ;) it basically needs no attention other than the occassional check.  I think the new digital stuff is cool but I'm with ya that simple is just fine and the original Bradley is just that simple but it produces some mighty fine smoked food.  It is a slow smoker so large cuts of meat can go 18-24 hours.  Some folks don't have the patience for this style cooking but it seems you have an idea that good Q takes time ;D.  HTH.
Some people say BBQ is in the blood, if thats true my blood must be BBQ sauce.


Welcome to the boards.

Next allow me to say that nothing is perfect in the smokin' world.  However, the Bradley is about as close to it as you can get.  Especially for the monies spent.

One of the nice items is that it burns the pucks one every 20 minutes without a flame. This insures not only a very even clean smoke but allow me to mix types of woods in 20 minutes segments.  This smoke is so pure that many items I do use less than 6 pucks which is 2 hours. After that the unit becomes a slow cooker.

There is a learning curve with the unit as with anything but it is not large.  Easy to figure out. Especially with someone like yourself with the number of smokes under your belt.

I have the original SS model, but the black is the same...same. I agree about purchasing the original style unit.  However, I do use a digital thermometer.  Once I get my box "balanced" I have no worries about going to bed and trusting it to stay on course.

Next if you live in a colder area you can do true cold smoking of cheese lox etc.. I live in Florida and that is limited for me to once or twice per year if I'm lucky.

Warranty is second to none with Bradley.  Let's say you are in your 11 month and 3 weeks from the time you purchased your unit. The generator start to mis-time the pucks. You pick up the phone and explain what is happening and two days later via second day air you have a new generator.  Man-O-man it just does not get any better than that.

I'm 56 years of age and have been smokin' since I was a boy with my Grandfather.  I call tell ya now that for the monies spent the Bradley is not only a refined smoker, it is the best going as I have owned at one time or another every other home smoker that is out there.

There is a member here called Chezbubba. He is a dealer for Bradley.  His service is first class. Order today and a couple of days later it is at your door.  I know as I have purchased 3 units from him and a bunch of other stuff. Look him up in the membership roll here. His web site is listed. If you call him and place an order he can ship it to you a little cheaper as he will be saving on the paypal charges.  He also has scratch and dent unit as well.

No matter what unit you get please continue to post about your smokin' as at the end of the day we are all just fun loving food smokers under the sun...

Hope to cya on the forums,

Click On The Portal To Be Transported To Our Time Tested And Proven Recipes~~!!! 

Habanero Smoker

Olds is right about the cold smoking; placing ice inside the smoker helps a lot also. I just pulled my lox out of the smoker, and in 1.5 hours I will be taking the cheese out. The ambient temperature was 74ºF when I started with a relative humidity (RH) of 65%, and it is now 69º with a RH of 61%; the cabinet never got over 52ºF.



Bama -

Welcome to the Forum. I researched this off and on for about 6 months before getting mine in May. I ordered my Bradley from Chez Bubba on a Friday and it was here the next Tuesday. I seasoned it that evening. Then on Wednesday, around 7pm, the Ms was cooking veggies and said, "by the way, I got some catfish fillets, and you're cooking them."  Like in a cartoon, a lightbulb appeared above my head. I threw 2 pucks in my new Original black BS followed by 2 Bubba pucks, lightly seasoned the catfish fillets, put 'em on a rack, and smokedand cooked them for ~30-40 minutes with the smoker temp turned on high. At ~7:40 I took them out and they looked done to me but the resident food critic thought they needed a little more cooking, so I put them in a very hot pan for about 20-30 seconds on a side. Man-o-man, those were the best catfish fillets I've ever done. Interestingly enough, after the smoking period they seemed to firm up in a way that I had never seen when just pan-frying them. But, the point is, it was easy and quick, and I never would have done it without the BS. The following week, the same thing happened with some chicken that I was assigned to cook for dinner. Again, 30 - 40 minutes of smoking turned an ordinary dinner into something different and special. Try doing that in another smoker! Since getting my BS about 7 weeks ago, I've smoked just about every weekend. I'm not saying it hasn't been somewhat labor intensive, but for sure it is a lot easier than spending 18 hours outside feeding wood into a sidebox smoker. You can set it and forget it for at least the smoking time, then monitor temps while cooking. The results have been great. Just read more of the forum to get a taste of others' experiences.

Best regards and good smokin'

Enjoy good Southern-style smoked barbecue -- it's not just for breakfast anymore!
Play old-time music - it's better than it sounds!
Please Note: The cook is not responsible for dog hair in the food!!


Bama Box,

Welcome to the forum. I have the original in SS and love it. After the Brinkman water smoker, and all the attention it required, the BS is a real change of pace. Load up the pucks, tweak in the temperature, and you're pretty much set. As you probably see in the forum, people have buffed up their units with various accessories to make life even easier (temp probes and controllers). For the money, hard to beat in my view.

Let us know how your research comes out.



Post snafu, I hope this doesnt post twice:

My 1st mistake: Not odering BS from Chez.  His lifetime discount on pucks crushes any money I saved by ordering from Cab*las.

2nd: finding the forum after purchasing the majic box.  Better the way you have found.

The BS has turned my neighborhood into a prarie dog den.  Everytime the neighbors smell hickory, heads pop up over fences.

Advice:  Start with premium meats, make friends with your butcher.  She (in my case) will have you halfway to your goal before you start.


Welcome Bama.
I really can't say much more that hasn't already been said. Like Old's stated I've been smoking for years and years and the Bradley has turned a chore into fun times. It's as close as one can get to care free smoking and excellent service. With support and knowledge like you can get from folks like Chez and all the others on this forum you just can't go wrong. The amount of members on this forum tells me there must be a reason to go Bradley. No matter which way you go keep us posted of your adventures of smoke cooking.


Welcome to the forum Bama Box!
You have come to the right place for your interest in smoked foods. You will find a link to an awesome recipe site and you will find the members here more than willing to answer ANY questions you may have. All you have to do is ask!

My advice is to check into the scratch and dent from ChezBubba as part of your research as mentioned by Olds. Talk to Kirk at ChezBubba and see what he has available.


I got mine with the intention of smoking salmon and maybe some beef jerky :) Since then I have done briskets,butts,roasts,ribs and any thing else I figure can be smoked.You can't go wrong with the Bradley.They have the best customer service in the business ;D ;D.

Catch it,Kill it,Smoke it.

Bama Box

Thanks to all of you who took the time to reply to my questions. I ordered a BS original from Chez Bubba's scratch and dent department yesterday. I am extremely jazzed. Now the big question is what should I cook first? Talk to you soon!