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New user, new Smoker-- think i've narrowed it to two smokers - Page 3

Poll Results: Which would you prefer?

 
  • 10% (3)
    Bradley electric with Pellets
  • 65% (19)
    Masterbuilt with glass window
  • 24% (7)
    Something else..
29 Total Votes  
post #41 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenClan View Post

well i had one with the window and i am not sure about other smokers but after i started smoking the meat i cant see thru the window !!!

 

so i sold that unit and got one with out the window , since i do smoke all year and even in the winter i have noticed the one i have with no window my temps stay up longer and don't go up and down with the cold wind and here in Oklahoma ....



I can easily believe that the window would get smoked up part way through one smoke.

 

Your point about heat loss is very good.  The MES is well insulated, but the glass window would cause a heat loss -- just like a single pane window on a house.  That makes it a distince disadvantage in my mind, and one I had not thought about before.

post #42 of 49

My Views on Bradley vs MES


I bought my Bradley last August (2009) because of all the hype on them.  When I got it I was super excited as I bought their biggest and best Model the 6 rack digital.  I have used it twice.  The first time we took the pork butts out of it after about 10 hours because we couldn't get the cabinet temp up over 198º and finished them in the oven.

The second smoke we decided to see how long it would take to complete in the smoker and after 23 hours we got the pork butts to 189º or there about.  I have never been able to get cabinet temp above 200º.

I contacted Bradley and their great customer service said it must be the Temp sensor and they mailed me a new one that I could install myself.  

 

After that I decided to start reading every post on their forum and began to notice that everyone was either adding a second element or a PID or some other fix so that the thing would get to proper temps.  With the MES you don’t have to buy Bubba Pucks in order to use the last three pucks in the feeder.

I also noticed that the majority of those liking them smoked Cheese, Fish, Sausage and things not needing long smokes or higher temps.

I also noticed a lot of complaints about not getting up to temps leading to the threads on how to overcome that problem by adding the items to the smoker listed above.

I bought a new Bradley Digital 6 rack last fall and have used it 2 times. I managed to sell my Bradley on the 4th of July (2010) for $350.00 about half of what I had invested.  I took quite a loss on a unit that was only used twice


Here are some of the major differences I find.  Others will probably disagree but I believe that if you pay over $500.00 for something it shouldn’t need to be modified to use it for its intended purpose.

Bradley 6 Rack Digital

    * Dimensions: Inside 15”W x 11.5”D x 33”HT Must Cut a Slab of Ribs in Half to Fit on Rack
    * Dimensions: Outside: 17”W x 14”D x 39”HT - 24"W with Generator on side
   * Internal Heater: 500 watt cooking element / 125 watt smoking element
    * Bradley Price: $599.00
    * 1 yr Factory Warranty (They Send You The Parts You Install Them, Some Warranty!!!)
    * Must use Proprietary Pucks
 
Bradley Smoker Bisquettes 48 Pack - HICKORY  $16,99 From Yard and Pool
    * Bubba Pucks Needed to Feed Last Three Wood Pucks  
    * Bubba Pucks -
Bradley Smoker Woodsaver - Set of Three $25.95 From Yard and Pool

MES 40"

    * Sam's Item # 173462
    * Dimensions: 41" x 20" x 24-7/8  Will hold full slab of ribs without cutting in half
    * MES Price at Sam's: $299.00
    * 3Yr Extended Warranty: $39.00

   * MES has 1200 Watt Heating Element
    * Uses Common Wood Chips or Chunks Which Can Be Found Anyplace Cheap.
You Can Even Make Your Own.

Which would you buy after comparing side by side?  The cost of operating the Bradley skyrockets once you get past their original hype.  The original cost alone is a $160.00 more than the cost of the MES + the 3yr Warranty from Sam's. If It Breaks Just Take It Back and Get Another One!!! And the MES is BIGGER!

On another forum a lot of us frequent there are many MES users and ALL are Extremely Satisfied with them.  They don't have the problems the Bradley does with recovery times, wood chips can be added without opening the door, many advantages.
 

I would highly recommend getting the MES 40” if you are looking for a good electric smoker.

 

 

Am I Prejudiced Form My Personal Experiences Against Bradley YES I AM...

post #43 of 49

I have a MES 40 with Window from SAMS and love it. It's about 2 years old and I use it in a regular rotation with my other smokers and would recommend it to anyone who who was looking to buy an electric smoker. I'm doing the 1200watt mod to mine right now because I am doing 8 butts at a time the 800 watts takes a while to get to the right temp.

post #44 of 49
Thread Starter 

so the 30" with the window came in today, I went ahead and seasoned it, and only had some chicken breasts and some hot dogs around so i threw them in.  The hot dogs were awesome, tasted like summer sausage.  I used a sugar based rub from bbqpitboys on one and a memphis salt based rub on the other for the chicken.  Going in I knew that chicken dries out quick, so wasnt expecting much.  It did dry out quite a bit but had good smoke flavor.

 

The smoker itself is nice, seems like good build quality and I was able to get plenty of smoke with store bought chips both at high temps and down to 200.

 

thanks for all the help, this weekend is beef sticks as long as the amazensmoker comes in.a

post #45 of 49

Hi Strecker25 and all...

 

I picked up the Bradley 4 rack Digital Smoker about 5 weeks ago. I really enjoy good BBQ as my belly will testify...

 

Anyway, I've actually been pretty impressed with the smoker and with the "pucks".  The wood used is clean, so the resulting smoke is nothing but that - smoke.  I sat down and did the math on the cost of smoking using the bisquettes, and while it was a little more, it wasn't that much - at least as far as I could tell. 

 If you buy the 120 pack from say Amazon it will run you about $40 with shipping.  Each bisquette will run you about 33 cents apiece.  At 3 bisquettes per hour, that's only $1.00 per hour...  for 6 hours of smoke that's only $6.00.  If you calculate how much you spent on the wood, plus the time spent finding it and preparing it for the BBQ, I don't imagine the costs are that far apart.  However, I also recognize that doing all of that is also part of the experience for some folks and that's cool too...  But the whole bisquette thing is about convenience.  I live in a suburban area, and I have no idea where I would go to pick up hickory, apple, cherry, oak and alder woods, so ordering it in manageable quantities that show up on my doorstep in 5 days is pretty cool too.

 

I also really like the control I have over the process.  I can tell the digital smoke generator that I want smoke for 2 hours, set the timer on the cooker for 3.5 hours, plug in my digital thermometer then go watch the 49ers and have an absolutely awesome tri-tip at the end of the game!  No having to tend the fire or add more chunks or chips or whatever...

 

I can't argue with you about the proprietary issue...  If Bradley decides to stop making the bisquettes I'm screwed... so here's hoping there are lots of other lazy **ahem** I mean "convenience oriented" folks out there like me!

 

By the way, I picked up my Bradley 4 Rack Smoker at Cabela's in Reno on sale for $299...

 

What ever you decide, good luck and enjoy!  There is nothing like it!

 

 

.

post #46 of 49

I would also suggest to try and see how accurate your temps are for the probe and chamber temp.  I got a 40" window model sometime around February from Sam's and it has been great so far.  i don't clean the window much, but it is easier with a damp paper towel when the unit is hot.  I just got a Maveric ET 73 thermometer I think my MES might be reading high on the chamber temp and low on the food probe.  But I will find out this weekend with my new toy!

 

Check around this site and you will get a ton of ideas to try. 

post #47 of 49
Thread Starter 


It is, about 10-12 degrees low on the chamber (i measure the top shelf in the center with my probe) and about 5 deg off on the meat probe.  The problem is the pickup for the chamber temp is located on the back wall and the center of the racks tends to be hotter with smoke.  Had a great smoke this weekend with 2 racks of spares and 2 fatties.  I'm starting to get the hang of the smokers quirks and I like it a lot now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spg View Post

I would also suggest to try and see how accurate your temps are for the probe and chamber temp.  I got a 40" window model sometime around February from Sam's and it has been great so far.  i don't clean the window much, but it is easier with a damp paper towel when the unit is hot.  I just got a Maveric ET 73 thermometer I think my MES might be reading high on the chamber temp and low on the food probe.  But I will find out this weekend with my new toy!

 

Check around this site and you will get a ton of ideas to try. 

post #48 of 49

I have done a few of the Italian fatties and they were great.  You will need to try the smoked twice baked potatoes and corn.  I could go on with a long list, but this site has helped me plenty of times when thinking of what to do next.  I will even put in a plug for Jeff's rub and sauce.  I have tried the rub on ribs, steaks and even a light dust on a brisket and liked it, but I have not made the sauce yet.

 

For spare ribs I found some John Henry's sugar maple rub and some apple and pecan wood for the smoke and it was great if you like sweet ribs.  I have even used a little sweet baby ray's sauce on them before they are finished.

 

 

post #49 of 49

I voted for the MES 30", but i just bought the MES 40" 1200w with window unit, and i love it! It is the most recent model and has the little access door to get to the wiring.

 

Gander Mtn had the exact same smoker for 449.00. At Sam's Club it was 269.00.

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