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Smoking food was necessary in the past for preservation. Currently, technology has availed multiple ways of keeping your food fresh, but the art of smoking food has not been forgotten. The process of smoking food has been made easier as time goes by. It has transitioned from smokehouses to digital smokers. Different companies manufacture smokers and herein we assess some of the best Bradley smokers in the market that are a favorite among people who love smoked food.
We have picked four of the best models from this manufacturer. The one that tops our list and is the editor’s pick for this review is the 6-Rack Bradley Digital Smoker. It has desirable qualities that sparked our interest. They include high-quality materials used, an easy to remove ash catcher that allows for easy cleaning, full digital control, and nine hardwood variety of flavors. It has a total of six cooking racks and provides eight hours of controlled cold smoke. Other than the editor’s choice, we have gathered three other Bradley smokers to help you see the different features and make an informed choice.
The key features that we have paid attention to in this review include: the type of smoker, cooking area, and the number of grates, ease of use, measurements and weight among others. Multiple sources on the internet, as well as testimonials from previous clientele, have contributed to this evaluation. A comparison table, comprehensive reviews of each of the products, and a buying guide are included in this article to make your search for a smoker easier.
"This large digital electric smoker sports a cooking area of 858 sq. inches, two individually controlled heating elements for versatility and better results, as well as all precise controls and safety features you might need."
This model from Bradley comes with all the features of electric smokers and the merits of digital technology. The six-rack digital smoker is ideal for smoking fish, meat, chicken, and pork. Being able to use the same device to smoke different types of food helps you cut on the cost of having to acquire an assortment of smokers.
This digital electric smoker measures 17 x 14 x 39 in. And has a mass of 60.5lbs. The grates measure 11 by 13 inches. The cooking area is 858inches offering the necessary depth for smoking your food to perfection. The maximum temperature that this smoker gets to is 280ºF. The minimum temp is subject to the digital control system.
The interior construction has been done using polished stainless steel which makes it durable and easy to clean. The exterior, on the other hand, is made of powder epoxy steel which is also hard-wearing and gives this smoker an elegant look.
Aspects that digital technology allows you to control include temperature, time, and smoke. You can choose the amount of smoke you want for your meat, chicken, fish, or pork. The duration that you want your food smoked and the precise temp that you want it smoked at.
The 500watt cooking element is ideal for some people, but others have found it to be a bit low. This factor, however, should not be a deal-breaker, you can find skilled hands to swap the element for one with a higher power.
Assembly is easy if you follow the steps listed in the manual. Most users have indicated spending less than ten minutes to set up the smoker for use.
The automatic thermostat and shut off features allow the user to leave their food smoking while they run other errands. You do not have to monitor the smoking process, as would be the case with a charcoal or wood smoker.
Bradley Smoker has been in business for decades, and this model is among its best innovations. The four rack Bradley original smoker is electric and has many desirable qualities that have propelled its growth in the market.
The interior is made of stainless steel, and it ensures that this device has an extended life span. Additionally, stainless steel is easy to clean making it the ideal interior material for a smoker. The external of this smoker is made using epoxy steel guaranteeing the durability of this model.
The rack support added in the design keeps them in place and prevents tipping over. This model comes with four adjustable racks that measure 11 x 13 inches each. The cooking elements wattage is five hundred while the smoking one is one hundred and twenty-five watts. This model comes with two separate heating elements.
This model has undergone various changes to make it highly functional. The heat control has been moved to the smoke generator, and this has played a massive role in eliminating moisture that would otherwise be catastrophic to the switch.
The generator has a detachable side panel that makes cleaning stress free and also allows for easy maintenance and repair. The possibilities provided by this Bradley smoker are many; you can use it as a hot or cold smoker, dehydrator, or an oven.
The temperature controls added in this smoker are easy to operate and avail consistency in the amount of temp and smoke, whether you are using the hot or cold option of smoke.
The maximum temperature is 250°F. The fully insulated interior and the magnetic door play a significant part in ensuring that the temp control is up to standard. The extra-large front feet offer support and stability to this 55lbs Bradley smoker.
Premium packaging is done by the manufacturer to ensure that the unit gets to you while in the best condition. The inside parts of this smoker can be cleaned in a dishwasher, which simplifies the process for users.
Cooking area: 780 sq. in (6 racks) + extra 130 sq. in (10 grates)
Grates: 6 or 10
Dimensions: 40.5 x 24 x 14.25 in
Weight: 58.75 lbs
More features: Bluetooth-enabled iSmoke™ Technology; 2 removable temperature probes; fully insulated stainless steel interior and commercial-grade silicone door seal; 4 adjustable feet and two optional wheels
This Bradley Smart Smoker has been designed with the latest technology that allows you to control it using a smartphone or tablet connected via Bluetooth. It is an automatic smoker that you can manage in real-time and this offers convenience to its users. The customer support staff is available on call and before purchasing, you can reach out to them for more details on this model and how it works.
The interior, which is made of stainless steel, is fully insulated, and has a large capacity of 780 sq. inches, hosting up to ten racks of food. The size makes this smoker ideal for large families and smoking food for many festivities or large gatherings. Six racks are included in the purchase, but any additional ones are bought separately.
Two color coded temperature probes allow you to measure the heat levels in different parts of the smoker at a go and this makes monitoring easy. Four adjustable feet and two optional wheels are part of the package. They feet avail the necessary stability needed.
The net weight for this unit is around 59 pounds, while the dimensions are 40.5 x 24 x 14.25 in. It is not a bulky smoker and you can set it up indoors if you so wish. According to reviews left on various sites online, the iSmoke Tech has glitches and it is safe for you to check on your food manually.
The wood bisquettes recommended for use with this device are convenient and allows the way this Bradley smoker is set up; you are allowed to use just the right amount, which eliminates wastage.
This electric Bradley smoker features new technology in the market, making it necessary for you to read through the warranty print to ensure that the terms and conditions listed are favorable for you. Follow the instructions on the user manual to the letter if you want to achieve the desired results with minimal hassle.
More features: two separately controlled heat elements; functions as a hot smoker, cold smoker, oven, or dehydrator; fully insulated stainless-steel interior; magnetic door; 20-minute automatic Bisquette advancement
This electric Bradley smoker is among those that have been rated highly by users and experts in this industry. The fully insulated interior keeps the exterior cool to touch, and this element ensures that it is safe around the home especially one with children. Burn accidents are reduced significantly by this feature.
One characteristic that sets this model apart from the others we have considered is the automatic bisquette advancement system. It makes it possible for you to maintain clean smoke every time. This smoker advances a new bisquette onto the burner every twenty minutes to consistently release clean smoke. This feature helps you save on time and energy that would have been used to feed the burner manually.
This model is designed to serve multiple purposes. You can use it as an oven, dehydrator, hot or cold smoker. The smoking technology used is innovative and similar to that of the 4-rack original Bradley Smoker that we have discussed above.
Two heat elements that are controlled separately are incorporated in this design to avail ultimate functionality to the users. The bisquette burner is different from the oven element. The automatic smoke generator works together with the other functional features to deliver as advertised.
The generator of this fully automated Bradley smoker can smoke for up to eight hours without adding bisquettes. This feature makes this unit economical and ideal for foods that require extended periods of smoking.
The warranty for this model is given for a year. Read through all the listed terms and conditions of the guarantee to know what the manufacturer takes care of and what they don’t.
The cooking area is 858 sq. inches and accommodates a total of six racks. The overall dimensions of this model are 24.75 x 14.25 x 39 in while the mass is 62.5 pounds. The maximum temperature that it rises to is 250°F.
What we liked:
Automatic bisquette advancement system
Easy to clean and manage
Economical to use
What could be better:
Underpowered for hot smoking
The high cost of acquisition
Things to Consider
Smokers are a great addition to the home, and you need to be in the know of what to look out for to get the right fit for you. Other than the smoker, there are accessories that you might require and this guide answers all the important questions that you might have regarding smokers.
Why choose a Bradley smoker?
Bradley Smoker is a renowned name in this business, and buying from them has many perks. Some of the reasons that prompt many people to go for a Bradley Smoker model are:
This company has a solid reputation in the market, and its products have been rated to be among the best. Owing to the many years in the market, smoker models from Bradley have withstood the test of time to be ranked as top tier.
Bradley Smoker has a decent number of models in the market designed with unique features that make each of them stand out. Variations are availed in sizes, color, and smoking mechanisms, among other features. If it’s your first time getting a smoker, then we advise that you try a Bradley model.
Bradley Smokers are keeping up with emerging trends in technology and incorporate them into their designs. You get automated models as well as manual ones. In recent times, for instance, this manufacturer has released Bluetooth enabled units in the market that offer maximum convenience.
The designs that Bradley makes are finished with stainless steel, and most if not all their smokers have stainless steel insulated interiors. The materials used are high quality and the craft is top-notch, giving rise to clean designs that look good.
Heating and smoking systems
This company offers the best when it comes to heating mechanisms. The separate burners for heat and smoke make their products versatile and highly functional. You can use both at a go or opt for cold smoking when needed.
Pros and cons of electric smokers
Electric smokers have a host of advantages that are beneficial to you. There are disadvantages too that electric smokers bear, and they will be discussed here to help you decide on the model and heating systems that will serve your needs.
Suitable for beginners– electric smokers are a good entry point for people who are new to the art of smoking meats. The hassle of building and managing fire to get the perfect smoked food is not easy and electric smokers take that out of the equation for amateurs.
Continuous operation– once set up, an electric smoker does not require constant attention. Models that fall in this category allow you to smoke your food while tending to other things, and you can even leave the house since their operation is automatic.
Environmentally friendly– electric smokers have little emissions of waste. Unlike the other models, electric ones operate on clean energy, and its effects on the environment are minimal.
Temperature control– electric smokers give you a chance to choose the temp at which to smoke your food. Lower heat can be used for food that will be in the smoker for an extended period.
Large quantities can be smoked at a go– heat is evenly distributed in electric cookers, and this factor allows you to smoke food in considerable amounts.
Costly– electric smokers cost more than the other models that use gas and other energy sources. The cost of acquisition is relatively high, and so is that of repair and maintenance. Just like other electronic appliances, smokers in this family are prone to mechanical damage which in most cases is expensive to fix.
Relies on electricity– this model of smokers relies wholly on electricity to function. Power outage in your locality renders this type of appliances useless.
Not ideal for outside use– electronic smokers are profoundly affected by external factors such as rain. It is recommended that you find space for it inside the home to ensure the longevity of the appliance.
Features to consider before you buy a smoker
Many factors put smokers in different categories. You must be aware of the various features and the function each plays to be able to pick a suitable smoker. We explore some of these elements below.
When shopping for a smoker, make sure you check out the available cooking space. This factor is crucial as it helps you know the amount of food that you can smoke in one seating. Electric smokers have the largest cooking area ranging anywhere from six hundred to one thousand square inches. Go for a size that is ideal for the purpose you intend the smoker for.
Number and coating of grates
The number of racks that a smoker can host is crucial to help you gauge the right model for you. Some have four or fewer grills while others can accommodate a sum of ten. The intended use of the smoker should help you through deciding how many grates will serve you well.
The coating is crucial as well as it dictates the functionality and ease of cleaning of a model. Stainless steel racks are ideal for most smokers.
Dimensions and weight
Review the measurements and mass of a given model before you place an order. It is essential to do so to know where the smoker you get will fit. Electric smokers are ideal for indoor use and you must confirm that they will find space in your home. The other models that can be used outdoors may also need a shelter built to protect them from environmental factors.
Ease of use and cleaning
The smoker you go for must be convenient to use. If your food smoking skills are top-notch, there are many options available for you. Beginners, on the other hand, need appliances that will put them at ease when using it. Technology has made it possible to have smokers that are digitally controlled and models that are in this category are ideal for those who are starting or who have limited time and cannot keep checking up on the food being smoked.
Pick a model that has the necessary provisions to make the process of cleaning hassle-free. Those with detachable parts are easier to tidy, disinfect and polish. Some smokers come with pieces that fit into the dishwasher, hence easy to clean. The material used to finish the model you are after also dictates how hard or flexible it is to clean it.
Electric cookers are easier to clean than charcoal ones. The electric models come with a drip tray that collects most of the waste such as grease.
Manufacturers include additional features to entice new buyers and get the existing ones to upgrade their smokers. Other than the functional features some of those that smokers in modern times are fitted with include:
Temperature control panels
Digital control systems that can be operated using Bluetooth
A glass window or screen
Cooking trays, among others
Check out the additional characteristics that a smoker has before you decide to get it.
Food smokers, just like any other appliances, may come with manufacture errors, break down, or miss certain parts. You must confirm the details in the guarantee print and the provisions availed to you by the manufacturer in case of a malfunction or design defect. If you do not understand specific clauses, contact the customer service team for a detailed explanation.
Bradley smoker accessories you might need
Smokers need certain accessories to enhance their function and make the users experience seamless. Bradley Smoker designs the appliances alongside the accessories that are crucial. Some of those that you will need at one point or another are:
Bisquettes are made of hardwood chippings that are bound together at certain temperatures, and the quantities and pressures are controlled. This is a must-have accessory for you to enjoy your Bradley Smoker. Their use, however, is not limited to models from Bradley Smoker only. Bisquettes from this manufacturer come in different flavors that go into your food to give it a distinct taste. They are designed to burn to the charcoal stage to prevent resin and tar from getting into your meats.
Cold smoke adaptor
The cold smoke adaptor from Bradley Smoker allows you to achieve cold smoking when you want to. It is attached between the smoke tower and the generator. The flexible aluminum tube enables the smoke to cool down before it gets to whatever is being smoked. The unit available fits all models from this manufacturer, both four and six-plus rack units.
If you intend to leave your smoker outside, then this accessory may be what you need to prevent damage from external factors. The form-fitted weather guard cover fits the various models of Bradley Smoker units without any adjustments required.
Additional racks and hooks
Over time, you will need additional grates and hooks to replace the ones that came with the smoker. Some units allow for more than six racks, but the other four are not provided and you have to get them on your own.
Bradley Smokers sell mats that you can use to ensure that no food remains stuck on your grates. They are designed with a fine mesh that allows the smoke to penetrate the food. It does not affect the quality of smoked food that is served due to how it’s made.
This kit is a combination of carving tools that will aid you in slicing and serving your food. It is attached with magnets on either side to allow you to hand the kit on the side of the smoker or any other metallic surface.
To get the desired results for your smoked food, here are some tips;
Marinate your beef, chicken, pork, or fish
Regulate the heat and smoke
Black smoke is bad
Control the smoke flow
Choose the best wood or briquettes
Go slow and steady
Pick the appropriate chunk to smoke
Follow the instructions manual when using a smoker.
It is not bad, but you may have to keep alternating the racks to get evenly smoked food.
The 6-Rack Bradley Digital Smoker stood out for us and made it to the top of the list of items reviewed due to its digital time and temperature display, easy to clean and highly durable materials used, as well as many positive reviews from the customers. The large cooking area also sets it above the rest.
The 4-Rack Bradley Original Smoker came in second, and it has an array of features that made this happen. It is a multipurpose smoker that offers both cold and hot smoking options. It is also affordable and easy to tidy.
The unit that ranked third among the best Bradley Smokers discussed above is the Bradley Smart Smoker, which features the iSmoke technology. It can be operated with smart devices such as phones and tablets connected via Bluetooth. It offers convenience and ease of use and it is also easy to clean.