Newbie needs advise

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Original poster
Jan 3, 2007
I am a newbie to this forum; I have used a Brinkman electric smoker for years and want to up-grade. my question:
Masterbuilt or Bradley

On the Bradley: the downside is having to purchase the bisquuetts and I'm wondering if, for hot smoking, can you simply put chips in a pan in the bottom of the smoker? Can you cut disks of wood and use in the automatic feeder instead of the bisquettes?

What do you guys think of these two smokers?

I don't own/have necer cooked w/ either one, but I think that if you buy a Bradley and try to circumvent their system, you're defeating the purpose of owning a Bradley. I've heard many times also that the Bradley units don't use much , and so are not expensive to use, but then that all comes from folks that have laid out the bucks for one.

I've seen Mstrblts that are thrown together about as cheaply as can be, and I've seen somethat seem to be fairly well put together. The Bradleys seem to all be pretty well made.

I, personally use a large woodburner, and while gas and electric are easy to use, and can produce good grub, I don't think they can compare to a good stick burner. But if I were to buy a gas smoker, I would avoid the Bradley just because you're locked in to them.

Let us know what you do and how it turns out.

Don, been there done that....being making a choice between these two smokers. I went with the masterbuilt unit and have never been keep in mind I have one of the new 2007 models that has all the improvements made to it. The masterbuilt is slightly smaller then the bradley and only uses one heating element, however you are not stuck in the propriatery puck purchases!!!! Also keeping in mind that the masterbuilt is easily purchased at 199 anywhere....well the cost difference is more then a deciding factor. My unit is built like a brick house, but I also emphasisize that when looking make sure you buy the new model (it will already have a door latch, damper and external grease pan as well as all the saftey improvements from the way back recall.....and keep in mind yes the bradleys were recalled also because they tended to like to shock you when you plugged them in).
Make absolutely certain you are getting the new model if you decide on the Masterbuilt.....there are a lot of the old models left on the store shelves....No top vent and no latch look elsewhere...they are the same price
Well I have one of the original style Bradley that I got about a year ago. I really like it, and it is well built. And yes the only downside is cost and being tied to their pucks. I built a PID with a thermocouple to control the heat instead of using the slider which really is nice, it will hold within 2 degrees of the set point once it reaches temp. I hear the digital units don't hold the temp that close, but are still fine. You can go to Bradleys web site and there is a forum of a great bunch of people just like here that can tell you all about things.

Thanks guys. I called Cabelas today and spoke to customer service; I gave her the model no. of the new model off of the Masterbuilt page and they claim they have in stock the new model with improvements.
I have been lead wrong by customer service people before and are leery of ordering and the old model arriving.
I think I will call Masterbuilt tomorrow and see if they will confirm Cabelas has the new model.
I'm leaning toward the Masterbuilt, mainly because of the puck issue.

I talked to Cabelas also about the new Masterbuilt 2007 model. They do have the 2007 model, but only in the Black painted version, they still have the 2006 model in Stainless Steel only. Until all the stainless steel 2006 models are sold, they will not get anymore. So if you want the black version, its the only 2007 model they have. I am waiting for the stainless model, because it looks so awesome and its made very well. SRS
I just bought the 07 model in black from my not so local Cabelas this weekend. I called ahead and after finding out they had 40 in stock I took the hour drive to pick one up. It is nice to see they incorporated some of the things I have seen people complain about in reveiws and posts. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.