Bradley vs Masterbuilt 40

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Original poster
Jan 20, 2014
~~I have been smoking meet for a few years, on a little 40 dollar smoker I bought is wal-mart. It has been great for ribs, butts, chicken, and turkeys. It takes a little time to learn how to keep the temp were you want it but it is good. Now I am thinking about buying a electric smoker, I have it down to these to makers a Bradley or Masterbuilt 40". Any help would be great.
I'm a little prejudice, but I love my MES 40. I love it since I got it over 3 years ago, after outgrowing my MES 30. The ideal thing is to have an MES 40 with an AMNPS for perfect consistent smoke for up to 12 straight hours. You can see your food through the glass window in the door. I can see and change the temps from anywhere on my property or inside my house, with the remote control. The MES is insulated very good, and heats quickly with the 1200 watt heating element.

I can only say what I hear about the Bradley, but that would be underpowered, not insulated well, and if you use the disk feeding smoker, it costs a fortune. Someone else will have to give you the good points on the Bradley.

The new MES is a nice unit, but if you want to use the pellet box, be prepared to go through a lot of trial & error to get it to work. Not saying it won't, but after 2 months I still fight it when smoking.
any in put about the pellet box.
Mine works perfectly, as long as I don't use straight Cherry Pellets. That doesn't bother me, because I use Hickory nearly 100% of the time. Many people have trouble with their pellets getting damp from humidity, and others have trouble with air flow in their smokers, but most of the time the problem is not getting it lit properly. I don't know where you live, but I understand some guys in high altitudes have problems too. If nothing helps, you can always go to the "Mailbox Mod" shown in various threads on this forum. However I would exhaust all other ideas first, because we have helped many guys to get theirs to work just by keeping their pellets dry & lighting it properly before putting it in the smoker. 

Note: If you get an MES 40, get the Generation #1, not the Gen #2.

Well I will be perfectly honest. Another smoker I have is a Bradley digital 6 rack. I have used it to make perfect salmon, gravlax, jerky and summer sausage, kielbasa etc, etc....

The only thing and I mean the only thing about it that always bugged me is the dreaded holdover and recovery. I probably have stuffed more than I was ever supposed to into it when I made jerky and what not...and granted I never did the dual element mod that you can read about in the Bradley forums, nor did I do the fan mod that you can also read about, which I know improves the smokers capabilities greatly.

But should you have to mod a $400+ smoker I ask you.

So it seems to me that I should have either done the mods to increase the recovery time and aid in the circulation of heat or not put over 10lbs of anything into the smoker. It a nice smoker and does do a good job of temp control in the summer for sure and I made a home made cold smoke adapter for it for gravlax and bacon.....that's really a great aid. But in the end my quest for a better smoker left me wanting more recovery, more capacity and more smoke....

Would I buy a Bradley again, probably. But I think the portable smokers that use a propane bottle are just as good in terms of capacity now that I have more time in the saddle. In fact you can take those camping and make pulled pork sandwiches in the middle of the Oregon wilderness.
Well I have been smoking for a few years.

I always use a reverse flow smoker that i made myself. I will say we use a Master built at the camp. One of my members purchased it last season. I love it and if not for wanting to go old school on my smokes at home I would get you yesterday for the house. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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