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Bradley Smoker vs Masterbuilt Smoker Pros Cons (advice needed) - Page 2

post #21 of 50

MrSmoky welcome to SMF! 

 

I am a MES40 owner have been a forum member almost 6 years, I used this forum to decide which smoker to buy.  I always recommend two smokers, the first of course is the MES 40, I understand some don't have room, money, or need for the 40, so they go with 30", but I also know that many 30 owners upgrade to the 40, I never hear of 40 owners going to a 30.  There are a lot of reasons for buying the MES40 electric smoker. 

• Electric is the most economical cost smoking method, figure about 11-13 cents per hour depending on your area's utility cost

• Ease, since you don't have to hassle with fuel, either acquiring, stock/storing, and setup, that whole headache is eliminated.

• Digital control, temp & time control just like your oven or microwave, and to help monitor that temp the MES includes temp probe and some models a meat probe.  * Note I always use a backup external probe setup to double check what the MES is reading.

• Insulated cooking cabinet.  Might not sound like a big deal, well try smoking during the dead of winter in one of the colder states and you will quickly appreciate the double walled insulated cabinet.  Thus you have a very stable cooking platform.  This is important for repeat/consistent performance and quality in your Q, the competition BBQ folks using stick burners do the same by using thicker metal to keep the temp stable, however in home/backyard BBQs MFG go cheap to keep price down, not the MES the consistent performance is there due to the double wall insulated construction.

• MES 40 size/Capacity is PERFECT, you can smoke a whole rack of ribs without cutting or rolling, most smokers are not wide enough, with 4 shelves you can lay out 2 racks per shelf for 8 racks, that is enough for most families.  Using vertical rib racks, I smoke up to 16 racks of ribs at once, I could easily have rib racks made that would smoke 5 per shelf.  Some have smoked enough Q in their MES 40 for 100 people.

• Performance, there are many on this forum that have owned charcoal, gas, stick burners, and they testify that the MES Q is as good as any other method.

• More features for your buck.  No other smoker in this price range includes so many features, 1200 watt heat element, internal & meat temperature sensing, digital controller, external wood chip access, double walled construction, window to see you Q, best capacity for your buck, outstanding Q performance/quality/taste.

 

So if you decide electric then MES 40 is a top choice.

 

HOWEVER,

 

I said I recommend two, the other is the WSM (Weber Smoky Mountain), when I bought my MES 6 years ago, I would have bought the WSM instead, why?  If you read the different BBQ forums, you will find the WSM highly recommended.  If you go to a BBQ competition and walk around you will find almost every team have a WSM either as a backup or as primary cooker.  In fact in 2009 the KCBS (Kansas City BBQ Society) that's the premier competition BBQ sanctioning org, 2009 Team of the year used exclusively WSM smokers.  I believe this is a testimony to the Q prowess of the WSM, and there is one other reason all these teams have them, the WSM delivers championship Q for very little investment. 

So why did I buy the MES?  My main reason for buying a smoker was to regularly have smoked pork ribs during our summer Sunday BBQs, I didn't want to roll them, cut them for cooking.  The WSM six years ago was only 18" in diameter, with limited capacity, to cook more than one rib rack they had to be rolled or cut.  Also I wanted more capacity for those 2 or 3 30+ people BBQs we do each year.  So the WSM 18 was OUT for me 6 years ago.  Today though there is a WSM 22", with plenty of capacity and the ability to cook ribs without cutting or rolling, still not quite the capacity, but the quality of Q would more than make up for that.  PLUS if you ever feel like competing in a BBQ competition you are all set to go.

 

If you want cooking ease then MES, if you want what many consider the best quality in taste and a the choice of hundreds of BBQ competition teams the WSM.

 

 

 

 

post #22 of 50
Thread Starter 

Thank you all thats excellent advice. I believe for the cost I would go with the masterbuilt 40 which I would like to order today.Whats the difference between the MES 30 and MES 40. Just space. Will I be disappointed if I get the 30 if I am looking for rich smoky flavor? It's less money. MES 40 Is out of stock on amazon and no one near me carries it. Where is the best place to have it shipped from website or other? and What is everything I need to get in order to get this thing rolling with a serious family cookout. including a-maze-n pellet smoker. pellets, accessories. For brisket, sausage, bacon, pork, WINGS, whatever. What website can I order this from that has the best price and quick shipping. wanna be smoking within a week! Thanks! so much!!!
 

post #23 of 50
Thread Starter 

I am tempted to buy the wsm today. I read a review that the masterbuilt adds a metallic odor to the smoke. Is that the case? All in all the mes 30 would be ideal so I could order accessories and pellets, meat etc. But I would be willing to go for the wsm if it means absolute quality. However Id rather purchase the MES. Is there really that much difference in flavor? Am I being too paranoid about these details? just getting ready to order and a bit hesitant and double thinking. Thanks!

post #24 of 50

You are being paranoid.  Get what you want.  You want an MES, get one.  biggrin.gif

 

Once you season the smoker you won't have a metallic odor.   I just got an MES 30, previously I smoked with a Masterbuilt 7-in-1.  I really love the simplicity of using the MES.

post #25 of 50

Got an MES 30 wish I  had a 40.Never had metallic influence on smoke.

post #26 of 50

Smoky, buy the MES40, amnps, pellets, etc. You won't be disappointed. No flavor difference. Just smoke ring. It's looks. The WSM doesn't have the meat capacity as the MES 40. They're both great smokers. You can't go wrong. Just give yourself time to learn each unit.

post #27 of 50
Thread Starter 

Thats fine I'll stick with the MES 40. Just need to order it. Gotta find it in stock now. Thanks again!

post #28 of 50

MrSmokey, Sam's club has it online for $299, though I checked Amazon, their price is $314, so that is hard tobeat if you are not a Sam's club member and I am not sure how much they charge for shipping.  If you live near a Sam's club though, the cost of membership for a year would be money well spent

post #29 of 50

The guy saying that the MES is an Oven because it stops smoking either has no idea what he is doing or is trying to smoke below 180*F. The MES out of the box works great at the typical smoking temps of 200*F or higher. For each load of chips it will generate smoke for 30-60 minutes without issue. It's major down fall is it can't Cold Smoke, ambient to 100*F, for Bacon and Cheese, or Warm Smoke, 100 to 180*F, for Cured Sausage like Kielbasa, As the reviewer said it will not generate consistent smoke at these low temps. Enter the A-MAZE-N Products, http://www.amazenproducts.com/ , AMNPS Pellet fired Smoke Generator. Todds awesome design will generate smoke at any temperature and takes the 30-60 minute MES smoke generation per load to up to 10-12 HOURS on a full load! This comes in real handy when you have a 20 hour Brisket in the MES and you wish to get some sleep. The Amazon and Sam's model is the 2011 version and will soon be discontinued. The 2012 model of the MES 40 has a couple of changes that either correct small short comings or add convenience. The 2012 unit will be sold around $449 so it is a bit more expensive and seems to be a bit hard to find as it is on backorder through sites like Cabela's. http://www.cabelas.com/product/Masterbuilt-Electric-Window-Smokers/1322261.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3DMasterbuilt%2BElectric%2BSmoker%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts%26x%3D24%26y%3D5&Ntt=Masterbuilt+Electric+Smoker&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products

Most of the Smokers you will find on our Forum will make great Q with your help. The big decision is, How much time do you want to spend learning how to use/modify them and do you have time to Baby Sit the smoker tweaking temperature and adding Fuel or Smoke Wood...JJ

post #30 of 50

Thats a lot of A grade info in 1 post from ChefJJ ,pretty clear way ahead for you now.

post #31 of 50

I'll play the other side, I bought the Bradley over the MES for two reasons, one it can cold smoke better.  I always hit my steaks with about 45 min of smoke (but no heat) before I grill them, and man are they good.  also the puck system can be loaded up for a 18 hour smoke and no fooling around.  you don't have to use water in the bowl (I don't) and for people worried about using the AMAZE N smoker, no reason you can't use it in a Bradley. 

 

The reason the MES is so popular is because its cheep, not because it works better than any other smoker.  it works good and so does the Bradley so pick which one you want.  I was going to buy the MES originally but I got screwed around by the store and there ordering of it so they gave me a Bradley at almost cost.  really up here you are looking at almost 300 for a mes, and 350 for a Bradley non digital. 

 

Steve

post #32 of 50
Thread Starter 
Ok, well. Can get a day pass at sams which i am planning to purcuase the mes 40. Its an hour away so ...if i am making the trip what else should i purchase from sams to go with the mes 40?
Pellets, digital therm, wood chips. Etc. Ill post pics wgen i get all of these items. Thanks again!
post #33 of 50
Thread Starter 

Just ordered my MES 40 online from Sams to have it shipped!!! very excited. Now I need to get my pellets and wood chips etc.....MEAT!!!

post #34 of 50

I've had the Masterbuilt 30" for about a year now, and I love it. I've smoked everything from pulled pork, brisket and ribs to tilapia, salmon and crab legs, and it's all come out great. There's no metallic taste or anything, and cleanup is a breeze. It's $189 on Amazon now, which is probably a lot cheaper than you'll find elsewhere. I've never used any other smoker, but I have absolutely no regrets with the Masterbuilt. It's awesome.

post #35 of 50
Thread Starter 

Ok, everyone my Masterbuilt 40 has arrived! It is still in the box I am so excited and nervous about it! I just got home from work and wanted to tell you guys. I have the a maze n pellet smoker comin in the mail with a torch and 8lbs of dust or pellets! I feel like I dont even know what my next step is. buy meat? get rub recipes, marinate? modify the a-maze-n pellet smoker. Man I am excited though. I really appreciate everyone who helped me decide on this. I'll be posting pics, video and everything else as I am a multi media kind a guy! Thanks everybody. I want to do pork belly, Brisket, sausages ABT's whatever!!!!

post #36 of 50

My first smoke, I did some pork chops with salt and pepper and some wood chips.  Just cook to temp.  Your very first thing is to season it.

post #37 of 50

Be sure to "season" the smoker before using it... burn at max temp for 2 - 3 hours, with some smoke the last 1/2 hour or so.. when you smell it, you will know why this important

post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSmoky View Post

Ok, everyone my Masterbuilt 40 has arrived! It is still in the box I am so excited and nervous about it! I just got home from work and wanted to tell you guys. I have the a maze n pellet smoker comin in the mail with a torch and 8lbs of dust or pellets! I feel like I dont even know what my next step is. buy meat? get rub recipes, marinate? modify the a-maze-n pellet smoker. Man I am excited though. I really appreciate everyone who helped me decide on this. I'll be posting pics, video and everything else as I am a multi media kind a guy! Thanks everybody. I want to do pork belly, Brisket, sausages ABT's whatever!!!!

 Congrats! Get it assembled and seasoned then since it is Friday get some Meat for the weekend. If Chicken or Porkloin, you need to Brine them. Ribs or a Butt a good Rub and a overnight Rest. ABT's get ingredients and some disposable pans. Don't forget a Thermometer and a Tasty Beverage. Anything else Search, Post or PM, and you will get an answer...JJ

post #39 of 50

I have had a Bradley for many years now. I love it and would buy another if needed. I do not feel that it is costly to run and love the fact that I can put a brisket in and go to sleep knowing that I do not have to tend to it thru the night. Once I determined what wood flavors I like I bought them in bulk at cabelas. When I was originally looking I wanted something that didn't need me to check on it often since I am always pretty busy. I was also able to make a PDI control for it that will hold any temp I want so no worries with huge temp swings, and the PDI could be used on almost any electric smoker.

You do not have to keep the water bowl full. That is all up to you and what you are smoking. I use the water bowl on everything other than jurkey and deer sticks. Basically if you want moistor you put water in it, if you are trying to dry meat, like jurkey than use it without water in it.

 

I live in MN and like to smoke all year long and tried doing it out side at first and that only worked in the summer, when winter hits here you really can not count on the weather to work for you. So I installed a oven hood in my shop next to my window and this blows the smoke outside durring the winter. Now I do not do any smoking or grilling outside, I just put my smoker of grill under the hood.

 

I am sure other smokers work just as well and I am not trying to bad mouth any other smokers since I have not used them. I am just trying to help educate those who have never used a Bradley.

 

If you have any questions please ask and I will do my best to answer.

post #40 of 50

I bought a Bradley Original smoker and it broke after during the third use. The hopper kept feeding discs into the smoker. The problem is a known issue on the manufacturer website and they refused to return or refund my item. Their customer service is absolutely horrible. Stay away from Bradley Smokers.

 

I have email threads showing them not taking accountability for their cheaply made product. They refused to call me and they emailed me faulty directions on how to fix the product.

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