Anyone know of an Electric built the same as Bradley, but...

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jr.s, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. jr.s

    jr.s Fire Starter

    ...doesn't use the high dollar wood biscuits?

    I want a new electric smoker to replace my old Brinkmann. LOVE the way the Bradley is built, looks and seals like a refridgerator...but I hate the wood biscuit thing, to expensive to operate. Anybody know of any other smokers out there that are built the same, (Insulated walls and closes tight like a fridge), but without the automatic wood 'inserter'. Would rather put in wood chips from a bag myself.....

    How about this one in the link below....can't really tell if it closes tight with a nice heavy door like the Bradley?

    http://www.masterbuilt.com/products_smokers.htm#

    Any help would be appreciated, trying to buy my Christmas Present for this year!!
     
  2. coz

    coz Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    If you search back on this site there are people who own the smoker you have posted.I took the oppurtunity to go to Cabelas and look at several smokers in person and depending on the size you desire and your budget,I would get either a cookshack or a smokin tex.They had the cookshacks,masterbuilt,bradley,Luhr Jensen and I was at a sportsmans warehouse and seen the smokin tex.I have a habit of being hard on things and felt I would not have a good relationship with most of the others.But the cookshacks and the smokin tex start around $400 so they are not cheap but I believe lookin at them they would hold up to the abuse that I seem to inflict on my "TOYS"I have a pal that got a cookshack as a gift and he has told me that if anything happened to it he would spend the money to get another.
     
  3. illini

    illini Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    JR.S
    I own the masterbuilt you refer to, so if you have not seen my post on mods go here.

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=1702

    It can be purchased at most farm supply stores for around $180.00 and no freight if you haul away. It weighs about 50-60#

    You can certainly over-smoke easily with this unit, but the mods have certainly helped. Takes amazingly little wood to get smoke on as there is no way out unless you vent it like I did. It is made outside the U.S. so I can't tell you about it's longevity. My learning curve has me not adding very much water to the pan but using it more as a drip tray. Moisture from pan turns it into a steam cabinet sometimes. Temp controller is excellent as it is digital time and temp with internal probe. I stick a meat probe in what's cooking and run the cable down and let the bottom door seal close on it with no problem.

    I suggest you touch and feel this unit before you decide if it is right for you. Then you can compare with the bradley you have.

    PS yes the door is RIDGID but not heavy as in it weighs a lot. It has a refrigerator style seal that is magnetic and clings tightly to the box. You need to watch the hinge side of the seal though as it tends to grab the box early when hot and flexible causing that side to distort. that is why I added the small aluminum angle iron to push the seal along as the door is closed.
     
  4. jr.s

    jr.s Fire Starter

    Illini:

    How long have you had yours? On that link I posted, the advertisement says: 'air damper for better smoke control'. It also lists: 'adjustable door latch'.

    Wouldn't that mean a vent of some sort? Did yours have some kind of damper? The ad says it's a new item, I wondering if they have improved it with a vent since you got yours?

    JR.S

    P.S. I looked at the online owners manual and it shows a vent at the top of the smoker and a latch on the door, I wonder if they took your advice and solved the problems with this new version???
     
  5. illini

    illini Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Have been using mine for about 10 months and am aware of the new one but have not seen it. When ordering the factory recall stuff for my masterbuillt they told me they were going to make some changes and one was the vent you mention. As far as my feelings go, don't buy the thing without a vent.
    The recall stuff was a metal roof and false floor for the wood burning area. It does a good job of keeping drippings off of that area as some of it gets under the water/drips pan. I think that the wood gets too hot and burns too fast with that mod and take mine out most of the time with leaner cuts.
    There are others here with the Masterbuilt who may chime-in if they see this thread.
    I looked at the Cook-shack "amerique model" about $1200 and it is vented less than this masterbuilt

    For my 2cts the masterbuilt does a good job of easily making Q but will not adhere to the techniques touted by the coal and stick guys and gals. You will by necessity have to develop your own methods of using and adapting an electric to produce what you want. I have a post under PORK called ELECTRIC BUTTS that shows some of my attempts.
    Are you looking at the pricy all stainless or the black model? They are the same inside, stainless, but the outside is different. I use mine on a ridgid shelf attached to my shop/storage shed wall so it is never outside and the cheaper black is fine for me. Have never had it try to catch fire inside the box but keep a goodly size extinguisher handy just in case. Another advantage is my shop smells like a bbq-joint most of the time!!!!
    Good Luck!
     
  6. jr.s

    jr.s Fire Starter

    Illini:

    I actually spoke with someone at Masterbuilt this morning, and the ones they are selling on their website are the new 2007's, and YEEHAW, they have made some improvements! The pic hasn't been updated to show it, but they now have a door latch and an air vent.

    But as I was starting to order, another question came up. The outside size is listed as 2 1/2 feet tall, and about a foot wide and a foot deep. I measured a frozen turkey in my freezer, and it's 13-14 inches wide! Which means it wouldn't even fit without jamming it in!

    Can you tell me the exact dimentions of the INSIDE of yours? She said the 2007's are the same size as the old ones. It just doesn't sound like it's big enough for anything like a full turkey.

    Illini, have you had any trouble with not enough room in your Masterbuilt?




    Starting to wonder if I should go ahead and get a Bradley, and just don't use the automated chip part of it....assuming I could just put my own wood chips down by the cooking element.....
     
  7. illini

    illini Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    There are four racks and each is 15"W x 13" D
    they all slide in and out like an oven.
    There is 4" between each rack
    You can have 2 racks with 8" verticle clearance. etc.
    A turkey can go on an angle with room to spare on a rack. You could do 4 butts at one time. I have done 5 baby-backs (cut in half) at one time
     
  8. Yo JR.S! How big is that turkey (lbs)? It’s a legitimate question. Let us know!
     
  9. jr.s

    jr.s Fire Starter

    15" wide sounds much better, that would be plenty of room. It's strange though, the lady at Masterbuilt says that the size is the EXACT same as previous models, but the specs on the website says it's smaller.....tough call. I would hate to get it shipped and find it's only 12" wide.


    P.S. The turkey I measured in my freezer was about 13 1/2 inches from end to end, 16 pounds.....
     
  10. illini

    illini Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Call em back :p
    Can't help but feel it is the same box with modifications and a new model number

    BTW 16# is large for low and slow cooking the bird can be in the danger zone too long and get sick on you and worse make you sick
     
  11. jr.s

    jr.s Fire Starter

    Got one ordered and on the way from Cabelas!! If it's smaller than the previous models, I'll deal with it. They have the 2007 models with the vent and the door latch for $200 plus about $24 shipping. WalMart better stock up on meat, it should be here by next week!!!!!!!!
     
  12. illini

    illini Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Good Luck :D
    Keep me posted on the new unit.
    The info book that comes with it will lead you astray on how much wood to burn.

    Mine needs no where near that much!
     
  13. smoked

    smoked Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    to let you know I just purchased one of these locally at gi joe's today, I quickly took inside measurements and it's roughly 12.5" deep, 15.5" wide and about 15" clearance from bottom rack to top. It does have the top mounted adjustable damper and the door latch not sure if they improved the door seal or not and I've not yet fired her up but plan on it real soon.....
     
  14. smoked

    smoked Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    the manual that came with mine say's 1 cup of chips....not sure if that is different then the older model or not.....
     
  15. illini

    illini Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Smoked
    Yes it is different mine said fill the tray level.
    Well that is WAY TOO MUCH
    I cup is too much on mine
    2 or 3 CHIPS every 30 to 45 minutes is about right
    The more the heater is heating the faster it burns
    or smolders or whatever is going on in there.
    I have learned that you can manage the chips with a paint stirring stick, pull out the wood loading tray and manipulate the chips and leave the door shut.
    you can slow them down by spreading or speed them up by pushing them together.

    Also after dumping the chips turning the loading tray back up (180* from the dumping position will slow down the oxygen gettin to the chips and more smoldering will occur. Vic/versa turning it to the dumping position will increase the oxygen getting to the chips and speed things up

    If you can keep the thin blue smoke coming out
    then you have it down pat.

    You can mistake steam as smoke coming out so learn to tell the difference
     
  16. smoked

    smoked Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    what chips do you use, or do you find it does not matter (being size that is, right now all I have are the kingsford hickory and mesquite ones you can pick up at the grocery store). the book does make it clear to soak them for a min of 30 mins and it also say's to return the chip loader to the "load" position after unloading the chips......
     
  17. illini

    illini Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Mostly use apple and will add a little hickory from time to time. Just my opinion, but the hickory and mesquite can get strong pretty quickly
    We had an ice storm here, have been chain sawing downed limbs, so now have cherry and peach to try

    soaking is optional and you will learn which you prefer. I soak some chips and will add them with dry ones to spread out the burn rate.

    I have made some small chunks, marshmallow size, and they work fine if added one at a time

    It's a trial and error thing and what works best for you will become evident with time.

    Just don't be afraid to experiment, that's the fun of it!!

    Rotating the chip tray has not been detrimental at all
    doesn't effect much but you can slow down the process by turning the tray up
    And like I said it can be somewhat speeded up by turning it down
    If you need to purge some smoke out of the top vent just slide the wood tray out about a 1/2 inch and see the difference at the top

    Keep in mind that the more that is expelled out the top the more on time the heater will need and especially in cold weather you can work the heater too much
    Play with it and have fun!
     
  18. smoked

    smoked Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    okay, well we had one heck of a windstorm here yesterday but at least I have power back on!!!! (luckier then most right now). So I'm going to give a quick trial run on the smoker either tomorrow or sunday, and one thing is that it's going to be cold outside so part of this is to see how well it keeps temp.....since I've never run a water smoker before and I have just 3lbs of pork roast right now with my dry rub on it.....would I add water or just dry smoke?
     
  19. illini

    illini Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    FIRST you need a 2 hour burn with wood chips to "CURE" your new smoker.
    This is something you must do before you try smoking meats.
    Somewhere in your instructions it will tell you how and why to do this.
    While curing watch your temps and you can see how it will maintain your target temp
    Opening and closing the top vent will have an effect on the heaters on time
    I line the drip pan with foil this facilitates easy clean up
    Add about 3/4" of water during the cure process thats all you need
    Water in the pan is a function of temp stabilization on charcoal and stick smokers.
    On our electics with a temp controller it is more a function of creating the atmosphere you want inside.
    I use a little water but don't know whether it is terribly critical
    It will end up as a personal choice for you but start with using water
     
  20. smoked

    smoked Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    that was my next question...the book say's nothing about curing the smoker and I was worried about that. I will make sure I cure the smoker first probably later today....little lady and I have been up way too late out here in seattle watching movies......so when we actually go to bed and get up I'll crank the smoker up and let her cure and then most likely hold off on the pork loins until sunday which actually is supposed to be colder anyway......still muddling thru some ideas of using my old luhr jensen big chief as a cold smoke unit using the damper from this one and feeding it....plus right now I have 5 lbs of ground meat with my spices mix in it just marinating for my jerky....however that I do on the dehydrator, took me years to get the mix right but I've been told it's the best ever and keep that recipe a very close secret :D
     

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