Masterbuilt vs Bradley

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by lamazing, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. lamazing

    lamazing Newbie

    Hi, all!  I'm new to smoking and I'm thinking of buying my first smoker.  I'm restricted to electric smokers because I live in an apartment and gas/charcoal aren't permitted.

    Realistically, I'm just smoking/cooking for myself, maybe couple weekends a month.  At most, I might be cooking for couple friends in my apartment.  I'm most likely going to smoke steak (reversed seared steak looks really cool), prime rib, ribs, and maybe shrimp/scallops.

    I'm planning to buy an iGrill2 (or Mavericks) and use it in conjunction with my smoker.  I don't think I really need the smart/Bluetooth smokers because of that.

    I'm thinking of buying the Masterbuilt 30" Digital Electric Smoker because it has really solid reviews on Amazon and it's pretty affordable.

    I've been watching Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke and he has been using the Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker.  The convenience of automatically loading the bisquettes  is pretty cool.

    From what I've been reading on the forums here, the Bradley doesn't seem to be a preferred smoker.  Any thoughts and guidance on Masterbuilt vs Bradley?  Here are the pros and cons that I can think of:

    * Pros of Masterbuilt 30" Digital Electric Smoker: Affordable, I can use any wood

    * Cons of Masterbuilt 30" Digital Electric Smoker: Smoke generator isn't automatic

    * Pros of Bradley Digital Smoker: Pretty cool automatic smoke generator

    * Cons of Bradley Digital Smoker: It's expensive.  If you have to spray/mop your meat on an hourly basis, does the automatic smoke generator really makes a difference because you can throw more wood chips in the Masterbuilt when you have to spray/mop your meat?

  2. smokingearl

    smokingearl Meat Mopper

  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    [​IMG]   What Earl said.

    One of your "Pros" on the Bradley is actually a "Con"-----Those Bradley Smoking Pucks cost a Fortune.

    My Dishwasher (Mrs Bear) would hate to have to wash those Baskets in the Bradley, instead of the flat MES Racks.

    MES  +  AMNPS  =  Smoking Heaven.

  4. lamazing

    lamazing Newbie

  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  6. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes to what SmokingEarl and Bear says.   I must ask, if you live in an apartment, will they allow you to use a smoker?    If yes, you are bound to develop new friends immediately.
  7. uncle eddie

    uncle eddie Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I have an MES 40...had it for about 14 months now.  I also have a Brinkman "taditional" offset grill/smoker (serial #1146) made out of boiler plate - a real heavy duty thing.  I find that I now use the MES 40 about 5 times for every time I use my Brinkman...which I never thought would happen.

    I too looked at the Bradley and then I looked at the cost of the glad I went with the MES for this reason only.  HOWEVER - both do a fine job smoking meats.

    BTW - if anyone balks at your electric smoker in your apartment complex - tell them it is an oven - which it is essentially - with a confined smoke camber.  As an engineer that has served on the Building Codes Commission for 20+ years sitting right next to several Fire Marshall's who are very, very serious about protecting the general public and their comrades from unnecessary dangers- the Bradley or the MES should be OK unless their is some specific covenant/restriction somewhere in your lease agreement.  Usually these restrictions are for open flames (Gas/Charcoal/Wood/Char).
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
  8. lamazing

    lamazing Newbie

    Got it, thanks!

    Just to confirm, Gen #2 (don't buy) is this:

    And the Gen #2.5 (as good as Gen #1, if not better) is this:

    What are your thoughts about the following?

    * MES 30 Gen #1 + iGrill2/Mavericks

    * MES 30 Gen #2.5 with the integrated meat probe

    Initially, I was leaning towards the Gen #1 + iGrill2/Mavericks because I felt (from my engineering background) that having a separate probe thermometer might be better for long run reliability/repairability.  But after your Gen #2.5 recommendation, I'm kinda considering getting the #2.5 and relying on the integrated meat probe.  The shiny stainless steel also looks pretty attractive too, hehe!
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
  9. lamazing

    lamazing Newbie

    I just went through my leasing agreement and can't find any stipulation on grills, smokers, etc... But in e-mails and conversations with my leasing office, they have said, "We do not allow gas/charcoal BBQ's but only electric grills."  I purchased a Charbroil electric grill and nobody has said a thing.  The Charbroil electric grill was actually delivered to the leasing office (with pictures and product description on the outside of the box) and nobody has said a thing

    I'm going to assume that an electric smoker is permitted.  I think I'm going to stay home to accept delivery of the smoker.  I don't want Amazon delivering it to the leasing office and have them flip out over smoker.  I think the leasing office is familiar with an electric grill but they might not be familiar with an electric smoker.

    My current setup right now:

    I guess making new friends is better than making new enemies, haha.  I live in the San Jose area and there's a large population of Indian living here.  Indian cooking is very pungent in apartment complexes because of the oil, curry, spices, etc... There's not much the leasing office and I can do about the Indian cooking  I don't see smoking as any different, haha.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
  10. smokingearl

    smokingearl Meat Mopper

    Whichever smoker you get, use the Mavericks. They are far more accurate than the smokers probe.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
  11. lamazing

    lamazing Newbie

    Got it!  And thanks for your tip!  I just went through my leasing agreement and I can't find anything related to grill/gas/propane/charcoal/smoker.  But I have e-mails from the leasing office that say electric grills are allowed.  I'm assuming smokers are allowed as well.  And if they ask me anything, I'll just tell them it's just an oven, hehe.

    Since you might be familiar with fire and safety, do you think I should get a fire extinguisher?  My patio floor and ceiling are wood.  I've always wondered if it's such a great idea to grill and smoker on a wood floor (even if grill and smoker are powered by electricity).
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
  12. lamazing

    lamazing Newbie

    Got it.  If the smoker's probe sucks, I might as well get the Gen #1 and buy a Mavericks, right?  The entire point of Gen #2.5 is having a built in thermometer, right?

    Any thoughts on the iGrill2?  I kinda like how you can put 2-3 meat probes and an ambient temperature probe.
  13. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    That's probably why they don't want charcoal (fire and all that). They may have issues with burning/smoking wood chips. If you have neighbors directly above there might be smoke issues as well.
  14. lamazing

    lamazing Newbie

    I ended up buying the MES 30 Gen 1 and an iGrill2.  I figured if I can't trust the built-in probe thermometer in the Gen 2.5, I might as well save my money and get the Gen 1.  Thanks guys for all your help! :D
  15. smokingearl

    smokingearl Meat Mopper

    The Mavericks work better because they don't have the limited range the igrills have due to the igrills using Bluetooth vs the Mavericks RF signal. Hope it works well for you though.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  16. Just which   AMPS product would I need?

    I see several options.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Since you are in GA (Not High Altitude), and you use a Bradley, I would go with the AMNPS.

    It is a 5" X 8" Perforated Steel Maze that can give you up to 11 straight hours of perfect smoke without touching it, once you fill it and get it going properly.

  18. thankk, but I guess I should have stated that I juut bought a Masterbuilt 30
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Same thing---Any small electric smoker should use that AMNPS, because it's too small for the Tube smoker, unless you're at a high altitude, and I don't think GA has much high altitude.

    AMNPS will be perfect for you.

  20. Thank you very much

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