Ok Bradley or Masterbuilt.

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by viper1, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. viper1

    viper1 Meat Mopper

    I have been hanging out here aand at bradleys forums trying to decide which one. Boy its a choice.I like the bradleys smoke generator, all the mods possible and especially the PID. Was getting ready to order a original when I stumbled on a guy with a Digital Smoker Smokehouse #20070910   Masterbuilt. for 150.00. I think thats sounds like a good deal. Whats everyone else say. Also a couple questions if anyone has time and experiance to answer It would be greatly appreciated.Oh this is brand new.

    1. Is it a good price

    2. Heard about electrical issues and having trouble getting parts on these

    3. Can you mod heating element and put bigger one in?

    4. What quality is the build. and does it leak heat and smoke?

    5. How much does the heat fuctulate at a set degree? if to much I guess a PID could be added but this is digital

    6. Any thing else you can tell me about this unit I should know.
  2. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    My brother has a bradley..I have a Masterbuilt.  I love my masterbuilt, and hate his bradley.  No stinkin pucks for me!

    the Masterbuilt for $150 is a decent price.  It is well built...you CAN put in a different heating element.  Masterbuilt service is great...in fact, masterbuilt has a "tech guy" right here on the forums MBTechguy. the temps, depending on weather, wind, etc can fluxuate a bit, but nothing to be worried about. 

    There are Mods that can be done to the MES too to make it an even better smoker....it does leak some smoke out around the door gasket, but that's to be expected on almost all smokers.

    I love my MES 30 and would take it over a Bradley anyday.

    Hope this little bit of info will help make your decision

  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    1. Is it a good price. Yes, but if you can afford another $150 I would get the 40" with window & remote.

    2. Heard about electrical issues and having trouble getting parts on these. The troubles you have heard about are on the older models. The new ones are very reliable.

    3. Can you mod heating element and put bigger one in? Yes, but just get the 40" with the 1200 watt element. Sam's $299.

    4. What quality is the build. and does it leak heat and smoke? Quality excellent, good customer service. No leakage.

    5. How much does the heat fuctulate at a set degree? if to much I guess a PID could be added but this is digital. You don't need a PID. The MES holds it's temp very well, it's just like the oven in your house.

    6. Any thing else you can tell me about this unit I should know. Yes, get an A-MAZE-N smoke generator to go along with it. The're very inexpensive & will make your smoking experience so much easier.
  4. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    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.
    • Never could Get Bradley Temp Over 200º.
    • 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.
  5. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

    I Love my MES40 very easy to use.
  6. I have the 30 inch in the same model you have listed and have had excellent luck with it. It comes with the 800 watt element and works great during cold Wisconsin winters. The model you are looking at also has a inspection plate where the wires hook to the heating element so if you ever have any problems with the wires or element it should be less than a half hour fix. 

    Al nailed the questions you had and i have to agree with him completely. If i had to make my choice again i would get the 40 ...if your finances allow it.
  7. rjp123

    rjp123 Fire Starter

    I have the MES30 analog model (the one with the electric frying pan control that plugs into the side of the unit).

    It rocks!  Best $150 I ever spent.  Ribs, butt, turkey, salmon and brisket all turned out perfect on the first try.

    Go for it.  You can always upgrade to the bigger model if you need it.  $150 is a great deal.  I got mine at Cabelas.
  8. rstr hunter

    rstr hunter Smoking Fanatic

    Ditto.  I have a MES with an AMazin Smoker and have used a friends Bradley.  I'd take mine any day of the week.  Another thing to consider is the cost of fuel.  With the Amazin Smoker it probably costs about $1 in fuel for each smoke.  My buddys Bradley looked like about $5-7/smoke.  I'd definately spring the the 40" if it's at all an option you'll be thankful you did later.  Good luck.
  9. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    right...I forgot to add that in my post as well.  I too have the Amazn Smoker  to do batches of cheese, snack sticks, etc...cold smoke basically.  It works awesomely in the MES 30.  I now have a MES 30 and a homebuilt UDS...I do large items in my UDS..and still use my MES 30 for cheese, snack sticks, ribs, etc.  Big chunks O meat like briskets and butts go on my UDS.

    For $150 you are getting a good deal.  But like the guys said if you can swing another $150...get the 40 you'll love the extra room.

  10. viper1

    viper1 Meat Mopper

    Actually thats a digital 6 rack your pricing. An equal match would be the original electric and its selling for only 268.00
  11. nozzleman

    nozzleman Smoking Fanatic

    I'll stand up with the masterbuilt crowd, it is the best investment you will ever make. If you are not doing cold smoking you wouldn't necessarily have to get the Amazn Smoker  because it makes plenty of smoke on it's own. The Amazn Smoker will give you longer periods of smoke without having to add wood however, it can be a fire it up and leave it for many hours operation if needed.
  12. djm3801

    djm3801 Fire Starter

    No idea about Bradley but I stayed away due to proprietary "pucks" needed. Got MES40, and i am impressed. Surprised even. Also got the A-MAZE-N last weekend and it is great for cold smoking, or hot smoking without needing to put in chips every 30 minutes or so, and it is consistent. Very happy with both purchased. Value of the window a little unimportant for me but cause i am a door opener , but it looks cool. If your needs are small a 30 would be fine. Happy with these products AND with Masterbuilt customer service, who sent me upgrade kit for my unit at no cost.
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I gotta agree with Al on this list, plus I will add that the heat fluctuation is a bit greater with lesser size heating elements. The 1200 watt element in my MES 40 has the cojones to keep the heat relatively constant, and within a few degrees of the set temp.

  14. djm3801

    djm3801 Fire Starter

    Cannot disagree. If budget permits, go for the 40". Of course factor sales tax and perhaps shipping but it i s a fine unit. I tell you, I hate stuff made in China, but everything is, and this thing, given the price and country or manufacture, is really decent.
  15. viper1

    viper1 Meat Mopper

    True but I see mes owners buy the aamnz smoker it could also be used in the bradley. I see most mes dont use their build in smokers either.
  16. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    I use my regular smoke chamber all the time on mine..it's just with a cold smoke I prefer the A Maze N..for a regular smoke at 225F...I always use the built in wood smoker
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If I'm not mistaken the regular Bradley only has a 500 watt heating element. That's awful small.

    I thought 800 watts was a little low.

    My MES 40 has a 1200 watter, and I love the way that thing recovers!!!

  18. djm3801

    djm3801 Fire Starter

    I used my MES40 with A-Maze-N for a couple of smokes and it did fine. Got A-Maze-N for cold smoking and convenience. Thing Bradley is a bit more money as well for the same size box.
  19. viper1

    viper1 Meat Mopper

    Yes you right there is a 500 and a 150 for puck smoker. The pucks do kinda put me off excempt for the new cold smoke setup. By locating the puck smoker in a metal box on floor and runing vent hose to smoker on stand. It would make a great hot or cold smoker. Also with this setup they have been installing in garage and running a chimmney. So far there has been no flameups since the burning pucks have no acsess to grease. Also the 30" is onlt 269.00 no shipping. By adding a 1000 watt element and a pid it will out preform the digital. Im wondering if I could do the same with a masterbuilt.  Can you add a pid to masterbuilt digital with out much problem? Trying to figure a way to get the smoke burning eleswhere to as I will be installing in a unconnected garage. Whats a 30 inch master built cost?

  20. I payed $156.00 for my masterbuild 30 and don't regret the purchase one bit. My friend owns a Bradley and when it is cold out he can add 3 to 4 hours to a comparable smoke in my masterbuilt

    His Bradley will be up for sale soon if your convinced you need one...he is getting a masterbuilt 40 after watching my 30 in action.
    Last edited: May 2, 2011

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