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Thinking of Buying a Bradley Electric Smoker...Opinions?

phatbac

Master of the Pit
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Joined Jun 11, 2013
Dear SMF Family,
I am considering purchasing a Bradley electric smoker. I would like this smoker for primarily cold smoking fish, jerky and maybe bacon and/or sausage. The description says it will act as a dehydrator for jerky and it can smoke up to 250 Degrees. Tell me what you think. if you have owned one or used one especially i would like to hear opinions how well it works. thanks!

amazon" style="max-width:120px">
Above is an amazon link not necessarily going to buy from amazon but here is then pic and description.

Whatdayathink?
phatbac (Aaron)
 

BigW.

Meat Mopper
199
104
Joined May 13, 2019
I had one for many years and enjoyed it. Very simple to use and produced good tasting food. It will work well for what you are doing. Only drawback was the pucks are pricey. Amazon has pucks for cheaper than you can get at sporting good stores. Wide variety of flavors. Extra racks are also pricey but worth it for jerky. You can put one rack inverted on another rack and double your drying space.
 

SmokinVOLfan

Master of the Pit
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Joined Feb 27, 2018
Never owned one but have heard the same things that BigW just said. Puts out great food but people hate buying the pucks. If you get one let us know what you think!
 

tallbm

Master of the Pit
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★ Lifetime Premier ★
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Joined Dec 30, 2016
Dear SMF Family,
I am considering purchasing a Bradley electric smoker. I would like this smoker for primarily cold smoking fish, jerky and maybe bacon and/or sausage. The description says it will act as a dehydrator for jerky and it can smoke up to 250 Degrees. Tell me what you think. if you have owned one or used one especially i would like to hear opinions how well it works. thanks!

amazon" style="max-width:120px">
Above is an amazon link not necessarily going to buy from amazon but here is then pic and description.

Whatdayathink?
phatbac (Aaron)
Hey phatbac phatbac I have never owned a Bradley but it was the one I first eyeballed when looking for an electric smoker but landed on an MES40 because everyone hates the wood pucks which are proprietary, it was weaker in power, lower in temps, and much smaller than the MES40.

I own an MES40 where I rock an AMNPS and Mailbox mod. ALSO I did the simple no back removal rewire of the MES40 and run a PID controller.

My electric smoker with the PID controller DESTROYS a stock MES or Bradley in it's performance and I can cold smoke, hold temps within 3 degrees, and burn smoke with no assistance for 12hrs or so!

Having gone through this journey I firmly believe the best and cheapest way to go is to find a used MES40 (or MES30 if u want smaller) for like $40-$50.
Take it to the car wash and wash it out.
Buy an Auber PID controller for $150 and do the simple no back removal rewire to work with the PID. Rewire is literally cutting ends off 4 wires and splicing with a wire nut to make 2 wires.

If you do this u can basically do any cold or hot smoking you can think of with SUPER tight temp controls so if u want to do bacon and sausage you won't have to worry about temp swings causing fat to melt!

I will never buy a brand new electric smoker again and I have done exactly as I suggested and gifted my mother a smoker and helped my brother with his used smoker and they love it!
One final benefit of this route is that u can easily keep this smoker running through anything short of an earthquake swallowing it up haha.

Don't be afraid to ask any questions about this idea as I know it may sound intimidating but I honestly can't think of a better and cheaper way to dive into a high quality performing electric smoker :)
 
Last edited:

Magic Meat

Fire Starter
57
32
Joined Jun 25, 2020
Dear SMF Family,
I am considering purchasing a Bradley electric smoker. I would like this smoker for primarily cold smoking fish, jerky and maybe bacon and/or sausage. The description says it will act as a dehydrator for jerky and it can smoke up to 250 Degrees. Tell me what you think. if you have owned one or used one especially i would like to hear opinions how well it works. thanks!

amazon" style="max-width:120px">
Above is an amazon link not necessarily going to buy from amazon but here is then pic and description.

Whatdayathink?
phatbac (Aaron)
My buddy has one, great smoker.
Now with the expensive puck situation my buddy didn't like buying them either, so he bought one of those cheap steel wall mounted lever soda can crushers, he found a piece of pvc pipe the same diameter as the pucks, he made a wood plunger that fits into the pipe like a piston. Bam ! Instant puck press. All you need is your sawdust of choice, a mixing bucket, a cordless drill with a paint mixing paddle and some flour or cornstarch ( for a binder) mix it together until it's wet enough to form a ball without water dripping out when you squeeze it in your hand, get your formula and amounts dialed in, load it up and press your own custom smoke blend pucks and let them dry out in the sun. !
Requires a little ingenuity and trial and error to get it sorted out but IMHO great fun for the kids and cost almost nothing once you get the can cruncher !
My friend lives near a guy that owns a small sawmill and when he cuts different woods he collects buckets of various hardwood sawdusts and dries it out on a tarp then stores each type in bins for making blends and such.
 

dr k

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,564
502
Joined Mar 22, 2013
Hey phatbac phatbac I have never owned a Bradley but it was the one I first eyeballed when looking for an electric smoker but landed on an MES40 because everyone hates the wood pucks which are proprietary, it was weaker in power, lower in temps, and much smaller than the MES40.

I own an MES40 where I rock an AMNPS and Mailbox mod. ALSO I did the simple no back removal rewire of the MES40 and run a PID controller.

My electric smoker with the PID controller DESTROYS a stock MES or Bradley in it's performance and I can cold smoke, hold temps within 3 degrees, and burn smoke with no assistance for 12hrs or so!

Having gone through this journey I firmly believe the best and cheapest way to go is to find a used MES40 (or MES30 if u want smaller) for like $40-$50.
Take it to the car wash and wash it out.
Buy an Auber PID controller for $150 and do the simple no back removal rewire to work with the PID. Rewire is literally cutting ends off 4 wires and splicing with a wire nut to make 2 wires.

If you do this u can basically do any cold or hot smoking you can think of with SUPER tight temp controls so if u want to do bacon and sausage you won't have to worry about temp swings causing fat to melt!

I will never buy a brand electric smoker again and I have done exactly as I suggested and gifted my mother a smoker and helped my brother with his used smoker and they love it!
One final benefit of this route is that u can easily keep this smoker running through anything short of an earthquake swallowing it up haha.

Don't be afraid to ask any questions about this idea as I know it may sound intimidating but I honestly can't think of a better and cheaper way to dive into a high quality performing electric smoker :)
I saw a Mes 30 Gen 2 for $1.00 on FB marketplace in great condition but it had the top left side vent which would point towards my sliding glass door. Since my Gen 1 40 has no black paint, all SS I don't see it falling apart other than the bottom hinge maybe over time but it's in great condition. But I can't help myself but to check.
 

phatbac

Master of the Pit
2,082
967
Joined Jun 11, 2013
interesting ideas...thank you all whom have chimed in so far.

Happy Smoking,
phatbac (Aaron)
 

tallbm

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Joined Dec 30, 2016
I saw a Mes 30 Gen 2 for $1.00 on FB marketplace in great condition but it had the top left side vent which would point towards my sliding glass door. Since my Gen 1 40 has no black paint, all SS I don't see it falling apart other than the bottom hinge maybe over time but it's in great condition. But I can't help myself but to check.
Hahha I hear you.

For $1 I'd jump on it if I didnt have an electric smoker and wanted to get into one. I saw somewhere on here where a guy just takes an aluminum elbow joint and makes a stack pointing upwards with it from that vent exhaust hole hahahaha. Very genius!
 

phatbac

Master of the Pit
2,082
967
Joined Jun 11, 2013
Just as an update:
i pulled the trigger on a used Bradley on eBay for $200 and went ahead and got some pecan discs too.

Can't wait,
phatbac (Aaron)
 

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,540
1,669
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Just as an update:
i pulled the trigger on a used Bradley on eBay for $200 and went ahead and got some pecan discs too.

Can't wait,
phatbac (Aaron)
Let us know how it turns out and what you make with it! :)
 

phatbac

Master of the Pit
2,082
967
Joined Jun 11, 2013
Update 2:
So i just received the smoker from FedEx if you can cal it a smoker. its more like pieces of what used to be a smoker and filthy. i am trying to send ti back to the guy i bought it from. it rusted bent and the door is broken off the hinges. this guy had to know it was junk he was sending me i have a feeling its going to be an uphill climb getting my money back.

This sucks,
phatbac (Aaron)
 

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,540
1,669
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Update 2:
So i just received the smoker from FedEx if you can cal it a smoker. its more like pieces of what used to be a smoker and filthy. i am trying to send ti back to the guy i bought it from. it rusted bent and the door is broken off the hinges. this guy had to know it was junk he was sending me i have a feeling its going to be an uphill climb getting my money back.

This sucks,
phatbac (Aaron)
Man that sucks. It's always best to pay with credit cards on stuff like that so you can dispute the charge through the credit card which makes life much easier.

Ebay is supposed to be pretty good on cracking down on bad sellers and getting your money back. Let us know how it turns out.

Finally, on used stuff like that going through Facebook or Craigslist.org where you go in person to see it in person is usually best.

Good luck with it and let us know how it turns out!
 

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