MES 30 / 40 w/ AMAZEN vs Bradley? Capacity?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jazzy, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. jazzy

    jazzy Newbie

    I'm about to buy a smoker mostly for personal use but also to do trial runs of smoked salmon for a new small business I'm considering selling smoked salmon.  Trying to keep costs and time to a minimum.  

    The Bradley initially caught my eye because of the wood briquette loader but then I see the MES is very highly rated and recommended.  If you were going to be doing A LOT of smoking, (like 5 days a week), do you think you would be better off with the MES with AMAZEN or the Bradley in the long-run?

    The main thing that concerns me about the Bradley is that you are tied to those briquettes and they are not cheap, but I'm not sure how the cost comparison would stack up compared to chips or pellets?  In need a set-it and  forget-it type setup as I've got other stuff I need to be doing than tending to the smoker all day.
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    MES with the AMAZEN is hard to beat.

    Day in and day out it just keeps on smoking.
  3. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Al X2!

    You're not stuck buying pellets from me.

    You can get a 20# or 40# bag locally

    Bradley Pucks cost about $.40 ea. and smoke for 20 minutes or costs $1.20/hr. X ??? Hrs

    Pellets @ $3/lb. burn for 11 hours during cold smoking in the AMNPS.  11 hours would cost about $.27/hr

    At 225° you'll get about 7 hours out of a single fill.

    Buy a 20# or 40# bag locally and save big bucks!

  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What Al said---Nothing can compare with an MES 40 & an AMNPS for the ease of getting perfect smoke, without touching it for 8 to 12 hours at a time!!

    It's Unbelievable!

  5. jazzy

    jazzy Newbie

    Well I got the MES 30.  I'm going to be doing Salmon 80% of the time, Babybacks 10% and Jerky 10%.  I know both Salmon and Jerky you don't want much smoke.  I've seen 1-2 hours smoke time on the Salmon.  Is the AMZNPS going to benefit that much if I don't need long smoke times, or does it just smoke a lot better than the MES stock smoker tray?  

    Can I use pellets in the MES stock smoker?

    Sorry for the newbie questions. ;)
  6. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Try the chip pan out and see for yourself if it's gonna work for you

    Pellets burn up way too fast in the chip pan

    Don't know where you got your info from, but some guys smoke salmon for 20+ hours.  it depends on what wood you are using and the heat inside your smoker

  7. hiram

    hiram Fire Starter

    I tried the Amazen in my MES40 but I insist on using water in the pan and it kept going out., too much humidity I would guess. As I insist on using the water I rigged up an external smoking box using the bradley smoke apparatus, I'm building a cabinet for it now if you would be interested I'll post it in a few days. The Mes40 is light yrs. ahead of the bradley for room and higher watt element, I could never lay a brisket on my Bradley rack without scrunching it up.

    They both have their pros and cons, the bradley is too small and is lacking with 500watt element, the MES is spacious and 1200 watts so recovery time when opening the door is minimal but the smoke part of the MES is a joke, who wants to feed the chip tray every 30 mins. I'd never go back to the Bradley after using the MES, my 2 cents.
  8. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Not being a watt burner, I have a question.  Why do you "insist" on using water?

    Good luck and good smoking.
  9. hiram

    hiram Fire Starter

    Water tray keeps the meat moist and tenderizes it too. You can get away without water on butts and really fatty meats, brisket and BB ribs tend to dry out without moisture. Another advantage is you don't have to spritz the meat with apple juice every hour, I have used all sorts of items in the water pan from beer, cooking wine and whiskey. The cheapest beer you can get your hands on flavors the best don't ask me why but it does.

    Not that we are championship caliber but almost all BBQ competitors are turning to units with a water vat.
  10. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ok. Now I assume you are cooking your meat in a pan with water? A modified smoke/braise?

    I thought you were using a water pan which the meat was not placed in?

    Good luck and good smoking.
  11. I am no expert on the Amazen, but I have not had any problem with it going out using a water pan in my MES40. I have read of problems when the chip feeder is closed (causing the box to be starved of air) or when the Amazen is placed over the water pan. Anyway, I just thought I would mention it for those that might mistakenly read that they have to skip using a water pan wth the Amazen.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011

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