Bradley vs MES

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Original poster
Mar 23, 2011
Somerset, New Jersey
My very first post...I can't wait to get some fresh meat that I smoked myself into my mouth but first things first. I have been doing research for a while now on my possible future hardware and have decided that for my first smoker I am going to head in the electric direction. That being said I was set on a MES 30, based on both size requirements and price. I am aware of the commonly reported problems associated with the units but feel that I can work with or around them. I have been stalking around online looking for a sale and I found a unit locally for $179. I was about to take the plunge and something else has come into the picture...I can obtain a Bradley Original Smoker, model BT1S1, for $175, brand new in the box from someone. Now I know that is a great price for that unit but...Dollar for dollar the Bradley seems like the better unit. I don't like that it isn't as compact as the MES units. The biggest thing that I dislike is that I am locked into buying my bisquettes from them (I think). I do like the automated feed feature so I can do what I need to do around the house without checking that that my chips have turned to ash and have stopped producing smoke constantly. I am looknig for some opinions and guideance here so feel free to chime in with plusses or minuses for either unit. It will be greatly appreciated.

PS-I have to move kind of fast because I don't know how long this Bradley is going to be around for.
Here is my opinion,  I have had both Bradley 6rack digital and the MES 40",  My Experience with the Bradley was terrible...

I would say go with the MES 40" if it were me...

Get one at Sam's with the 3year Warranty. In the long run you would be happier...

My Bradley Experience:
  • Purchase Bradley 6 Rack Digital $599.00
  • Shipping: $ 56.00
  • Purchase Bubba Pucks $ 24.99
  • Purchase Bradley Pucks: $ 19.99
  • Total Cost: $ 700.97
  • Use Twice, took 14 hrs to cook a butt on first try and had to finish in Oven
  • Took 23 hrs to cook butts on 2nd try completed in Bradley.
  • Sold Bradley on Craig's List For $350.00
  • Net Loss $350.97
My MES Experience:
  • Purchased MES 40" @ Sam's $299.99
  • Added 3 year extended Warranty $39.99
  • Buy AMNS: $29.99
  • Buy AMAZING DUST: $4.99
  • TOTAL Outlay $374.97
  • Absolutely NO PROBLEMS...  
With MES 40" The Ability To Use Smoker PRICELESS.

Personal Opinion: BRADLEY IS P.O.S.

Disclaimer:  The above is the opinion of a person who feels very strongly about Bradley Being Junk...
There are a bunch of MES owners here..

Most of have added an amazen smoker kit goes for many hours...

Use the handy dandy search tool here and look up...MES   ...  amazen.

Tons of reading..

  And Welcome!!

Thanks to those who took the time to reply.  I should have looked around the forums a little more before posting because I did come across all of the Bradley-MES posts from the past. They did provide a great deal of info and helped me with my decision...I have decided to go with the MES. Thanks again for the help!

Now for which MES to buy...more to follow.  

I just found this thread, but I would have said the same thing as Paul (Beer-B-Q).

I'm sure you will end up happy with the decision you made.

As for "Which one???"

I have an MES 30, but it was too small for a lot of things I do, so I got the MES 40 now too, with the glass door, wheels, window in the door, built in probe, and REMOTE CONTROL!!!

I absolutely love it!

Mine is all Stainless steel from Cabela's, and it cost me $359,

but you can get the one that is black on the outside, with everything else the same as mine, at Sam's Club for $299.

Either one is Awesome, but I would still get an AMNS, and make your smoking life real easy!

If your only choice is the lesser of the two evils
...then, yeah the MES is the better of them. But the MES still will require tinkering, and modding to make you happy - from my experience....

Having had both ( and the Bradley took "flying lessons" off my deck...and it is a LONG way to the ground...) I got fed up, - sucked it up and bought a Smokin' Tex 1400. Not fancy by any means. No electronics, just a heating element, and a knob with temp. marks on it. BUT - it is built like a tank, all REAL stainless, and lots of it! really heavy for it's size, and stuffed with insulation.

And - to automate it - plug it in to a timer. Buy a dual probe Maverick. Now - it has all of the capabilities, and none of the draw-backs of the Bradley or the MES.

Best of luck with your MES - and not to dis-courage you, - start a savings account now, and get yourself a Smokin' Tex, or Cookshack when you can. It will last many time longer, and far fewer things to go wrong with it.

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