New replacement smoker - need suggestions

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2013

I had a Bradley 4-rack Digital Smoker, for about 6 weeks. I had many, many issues, and, finally when the puck burning element died, it was time to return it. I am looking at a couple different options. My wife and I live in Canada, but do have a trip planned down to the US for a week-long camping trip, the first week of July. I mention this, because I am a big cross-border shopper, and have no problems buying online and having shipped to a UPS, or buying from a store down there. My only real concern with that, is we'll be camping for a week, so we'll have all that stuff with us, plus trying to stick a nice new smoker in the back of my 2003 Jetta. As far as budget goes, I'm looking at $750 on the high end. 

The easiest option for me, would be the Landmann 40" Electric smoker, at costco, for $449.99, and comes with a weather cover. It appears to be this model:  . A couple things that really stand out to me with this model vs the bradley, is the smoke box is in a seperate compartment, so I don't have to lose temp every time I want to check pucks/water. Also, the heating element is 1200W vs an underpowered 400W in the Bradley. The impression I'm under is that I can use any chips for this system, which will bring down lifetime cost considerably, those bradley pucks are expensive, 3 pucks an hour, works out to $1.50-$2/hr. Also, from looking at it in store, the build quality does seem vastly better, and it only comes in at $30 more than I spent on my Bradley. Also, we all know how good Costco's return policy is. Also, I live about 5 minutes from there, so it's an easy purchase.

The other option I'm looking at here is the Traeger Lil Tex Elite. They run $999 up here, but seems the going rate is $799 down in the states, and Cabellas has a $75 mail-in rebate. Would be no tax for me, as an Albertan shopping in Washington state.

I am open to other ideas as well, I know that the MES 40 is a very popular model online. I just won't go back to Bradley, too many problems.

....Just thought I better put in a few qualifiers: I specifically want a digital unit, I prefer the "set it and forget it" idea, I do live in a cold winter climate, and would like to smoke year round. It is just my wife and I so I don't need a huge set up, but, we entertain a lot. Last time I used my Bradley, was 2 racks of ribs, and 20 or so chicken thighs, and that about filled the thing up.


Buy an MES, and an AMNPS and save your money to buy meat!!!! I ended up buying mine from with the 3 year extended warranty for under 200.00.
What happened next? What did you decide to do.... and was it the right choice?

I'm in similar circumstances....
What happened next? What did you decide to do.... and was it the right choice?

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