Bradley vs MES

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by cobble, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. cobble

    cobble Smoke Blower

    Hey Folks,

     I already have a Brinkmann charcoal SFB smoker, and while it works great for grilling, I need to do some modding for heat retention before I can really smoke with it. Due to being lazy, and having other household to-do's on my list, I probably won't get to the modding this year, so I think I'll be picking up an electric smoker. I'm limiting myself to ones available on Amazon.com. Looking at the reviews, the Bradley BTIS1 (  ) is rated highly, but in a quick check of the forums here, people seem to hate it. I see that most prefer the MES, but those earn average ratings on Amazon. Is this the MES most people rave about? (  )

    If I'm going to spend the money, I want to make sure I get a good product, I'm just not sure what's good, what isnt, and why.
     
  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Fl
    You willfind a lot of folks here have the MES 40 and love them..no issues it seems with the 40..

      Good luck

      Craig

    Put "Mes 40" in our handy dandy search tool and enjoy the reading..
     
  3. cobble

    cobble Smoke Blower

    I'm assuming that MES 30 and 40 refer to the 30" and 40", and not specific models?
     
  4. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Fl

    Yup!!

      Craig
     
  5. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd say most here favor the MES 40 with the window and all SS. I have a gasser, not a MES, but I would think, IMHO, the big objection to the Bradley is being locked into their pucks as a source of smoke. I'm sure there will be more MES users along shortly to better answer your question. I would also suggest looking into Cabelas website for MES info and prices.
     
  6. cobble

    cobble Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the replies. Looks like aside from the propane model, Amazon only carries the 30's. From what I can tell, the only difference is space. I was looking at he model with the window, remote, and probe, but reviews say that the window is pretty useless due to smoke. Anyone have any hands-on experience to confirm?
     
  7. redneck69

    redneck69 Smoking Fanatic

    the window does get covered with grease and smoke stains.  i use vinegar to clean it with every so often.
     
  8. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

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    Here is my opinion,  I have had both Bradley 6rack digital and the MES 40",  My Experience with the Bradley was terrible...

     

    I would say go with the MES 40" if it were me...

     

    Get one at Sam's with the 3year Warranty. In the long run you would be happier...

    My Bradley Experience:

    • Purchase Bradley 6 Rack Digital $599.00
    • Shipping: $ 56.00
    • Purchase Bubba Pucks $ 24.99
    • Purchase Bradley Pucks: $ 19.99
    • Total Cost: $ 700.97
     
    • Use Twice, took 14 hrs to cook a butt on first try and had to finish in Oven
    • Took 23 hrs to cook butts on 2nd try completed in Bradley.
    • Sold Bradley on Craig's List For $350.00
    • Net Loss $350.97
    My MES Experience:
    • Purchased MES 40" @ Sam's $299.99
    • Added 3 year extended Warranty $39.99
    • Buy AMNS: $29.99
    • Buy AMAZING DUST: $4.99
    • TOTAL Outlay $374.97
    • Absolutely NO PROBLEMS...  
    With MES 40" The Ability To Use Smoker PRICELESS.

    Personal Opinion: BRADLEY IS P.O.S.
     
  9. cobble

    cobble Smoke Blower

    Is there an electric 40" or are they all propane? I cant seem to find an electric 40, and I want to stick with electric if possible
     
  10. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Beer-B-Q's comparison was based on a MES 40" from SAMS Club fro $298.99 + # Year Extended Warranty.  For another $60 you can get an all stainless steel version at Cabelas on sale right now.

    I own (2) MES 40's and use the heck out of them both.  I bought my first one at Cabelas.  The sales guy tried to talk me into the Bradley, but it was smaller and more money + I just hated having to buy those stinking pucks!

    I have a number of Bradley Owners who who use an AMNS instead of burning pucks.  Cheaper in the long run!

    IMHO, You get the biggest bang for your buck with the MES

    Todd
     
  11. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  12. cobble

    cobble Smoke Blower


    Thanks for the replies here guys. I'm getting a lot of good info. I did check the Cabelas link, but unfortunately I've got to go through Amazon.com because I have a gift card. I've got a few questions for all you MES owners if you dont mind:

    1. I read somewhere (Amazon review I think) that manufacturers recommend not using extension cords with electric smokers. I do have a power outlet in my yard, and I'm planning to put down patio blocks under the smoker. I'm just wondering how long the power cords on these smokers are. Some appliance cords are way too short.

    2. I notice that a lot of you guys use the AMNS. Being all newbish and stuff, I had no idea what that was, so I dug around here and on Google, and it seems like it's more used for cold smoking, and the hot smoking technique hasn't really been written in stone yet?

    3. Why is the AMNS needed at all? Do the heating elements not get hot enough to produce a good smoke on their own?
     
  13. Here are my thoughts..as an MES 40 and AMNS user

    1. I read somewhere (Amazon review I think) that manufacturers recommend not using extension cords with electric smokers. I do have a power outlet in my yard, and I'm planning to put down patio blocks under the smoker. I'm just wondering how long the power cords on these smokers are. Some appliance cords are way too short.

    Answer: I use a 25' heavey duty (12/3) extension cord with no problems.  A 50' heavy duty cord would probably be fine too. The thing to avoid is a light weight cord, a cord much longer than is needed, or one that is wound around a spool when in use. Some have reported cords that get too hot in these situations.  There are several threads in this forum on this subject..

    2. I notice that a lot of you guys use the AMNS. Being all newbish and stuff, I had no idea what that was, so I dug around here and on Google, and it seems like it's more used for cold smoking, and the hot smoking technique hasn't really been written in stone yet?

    Answer: The AMNS is a great for cold smoking in the MES but it also works great for hot smoking. You just have to use it a bit differently, such as shielding it from the heating element and perhaps leaving the center channel empty. There are several threads in this forum on this subject..

    3. Why is the AMNS needed at all? Do the heating elements not get hot enough to produce a good smoke on their own?

    Answer: The MES wood tray and side loader are a GREAT feature and work well on my MES40. It lets you add wood chips quickly and easily without opening the door. The only thing is that you should put in only a handfull of chips at a time and the smoke lasts for only 30-45 minutes before a reload is needed. If one does not mind tending to the chips so frequenty, then the AMNS may have marginal benefit for hot smoking. Myself, I have found that loading and starting the AMNS once at the start of the smoke and having it last the whole time is an even GREATER feature than the side loader. Once you experience the AMNS you don't want to go back to feeding the chips every 30-45 minutes. Just too convenient to use the AMNS. Kind of like using a remote control for the TV or power windows in the car. Can't live without them once you experience the convenience.

    Regarding the window, I find it a GREAT feature too. It is nice to be able to see the food during the smoke without opening the door. The windows  stays clean enough for a few smokes and it is not hard to clean when it does get a bit hard to see through. I use a razor blade to scrape off the build up and it takes a minute or two at most.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  14. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    My vote goes to the MES 40" with window, for all of the above reasons. I also owned one for over 2 years & had zero trouble with it.
     
  15. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I used to clean it with degreaser or oven cleaner, but now I just scrape it off with a razor blade.....Less Mess!

    Whichever smoker you buy will get you up and smoking...All That Matters!

    Todd
     
  16. cobble

    cobble Smoke Blower

    I'd love to get the 40, but there's a price difference of more than $100, plus shipping. The 30 will probably do fine. I'm hoping so, anyway.
     
  17. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Meat Mopper


    The window on my MES40 looks brand new after MANY, MANY uses.  After each use while the unit is still warm I use a Clorox disinfecting kitchen wipe to clean the glass, door seal, and the area the door seals to.  I don't know what is in these things but it only usually takes 2 wipes to get ALL the gunk off the unit.  I have both a Bradley (way too small in my opinion and hard to maiintain temps above 200), and a MES40.  I have not used the Bradley since the MES arrived.  I also use the AMNS for all hot smokes, but will use the chip tray now and then when I need a quick blast of smoke.
     
  18. dnovotny

    dnovotny Smoke Blower

    i quess i'm the outsider her ,,i like the bradley6,, set it and forget it,, i had mine  for over  5 years  now and no problem except size  but

    you will find that with all smokers.. unless you built your own that  is bigger...different wood if hard in my area to find

    so i use apple, pear, fruit woods to smoke in my bigger bbq pictured, but to cold smoke cheese, and smaller pieces

    of meat i love the bradley,, again to each  thier own,,, i found mine on ebay--  for $510.00 with shipping the deals

    are out there just got to look  different outlets... and yes i also use the amns and if works great in the bradley  sometimes

    to  save on my pucks,,, as long as you smoke and enjoy your cooking either smoker is good.....
     
  19. About a month ago, I got my MES 40 with window at Sam's Club for $300.  I thought it was a great buy.   Oh, and I love it, I am glad I went with the MES.
     

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