Running a Bradley Smoker without water in the tray??

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by beemrider, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Hi folks.  I'm new to the forum and am not that experienced with my smoker having it for less than a year.  I was reading through the forums and another member suggested in an unrelated post about a different smoker brand, that using water will suck up BTUs and make it harder for the smoker to attain and maintain any temperature over 212F.  That struck me as being quite sensible.  However ...

    The Bradley smoker operating instructions suggest that the water bowl is necessary to quench the spent pucks that are ejected every 20 minutes.  By not doing that they continue to smoulder and its then that the most potentially harmful contaminents in the smoke are created.  (Is this BS?)

    What do you think?  Does running the smoker without water make it easier to attain and maintain a temperature and is there a downside to not using water? 
  2. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    Not BS IMHO.  I own a Bradley and you simply have to have a way to put out the puck.  In fact, on long smokes you must watch the water pan or you can end up with a fire in the pan.  This happened to me.  Good luck and enjoy.
  3. michief

    michief Smoke Blower

    Lack of water in the bowl has been the cause of several fires... always have water in the bowl.

    The water doesn't seem to have much effect on the temp, perhaps because the water is such a small amount.
  4. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I been using Bradleys for 8 years. Good idea to use water when using Bradley pucks. I never had any fires. The water will keep the temp low if you put in cold water as the element will have to heat the water. Use hot water.
  5. mrs tweedy

    mrs tweedy Newbie

    Hi there. We don't have many smoking forums in the UK and I have been wondering about getting a Bradley smoker for a while but the cost of the  bisquettes is putting me off.

    I use a ProQ for cold smoking and was wondering if I could use this in the cabinet of the Bradley and use the temperature control for the heat.

    I do apologise if this is a daft question.

    I have tried to find information on Uk websites but with noluck to date.
  6. dalglish

    dalglish Fire Starter

    I think you could but in my opinion the only benefit of the Bradley is the auto-feed of the pucks, do you have to go electric? If not maybe look at a cheaper gas option?
  7. mrs tweedy

    mrs tweedy Newbie

    We are limited to the types of smoker we can get in England.

    I have a landmann smoker and a Gas BBQ which I can use for some smoking but I wanted an electric smoker which would give me a more steady, reliable temperature for hot smoking, especially duck breasts and whole chickens.

    I bought a Peetz smoker hoping that this would do the job but it doesn't.

    I was considering the Bradley but the price of the bisquettes over here work out very pricey.  I was wondering if I were to use the Bradley smoker to get an even and steady heat and a proQ with smoke dust for the smoke.
  8. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You could you the proq in the bradley but i dont think i would. You start the proq with a candle? I dont like wax in my smokes.

    I been using the AMZS/PS for years in my Bradley with great success.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  9. dalglish

    dalglish Fire Starter

    I have both a Bradley and a vertical gas smoker, I wouldn't use the Bradley for hot smokes personally (I just use it for cold smoking Salmon, English bacon :), Chipotles etc) as it just doesn't get that hot, ok for 225F I suppose but it struggles especially if the amb.temp is low. Not sure the Bradley is any more consistent than your gas bbq to be honest. I'd use that in your situation.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  10. mrs tweedy

    mrs tweedy Newbie

    That is very helpful to know Dalglish, thanks.

    I have a cold smoker my hubby made for me and am getting to grips with cold smoking.  Have only been doing it since May but I am hooked.

    Finding the hot smoking more difficult as I want to hot smoke duck breasts and whole chickens which are my favourite.

    As I said we are limited to the types of smoker we can get over here.

    I have got a Landmann and I find it difficult to keep the charcoal to an even temperature to keep the smoke going and the chicken cooking at a safe temperature.

    I really want an electric hot smoker which gives me an even heat and temperature control with the smoke.
  11. mrs tweedy

    mrs tweedy Newbie

    You can start the ProQ with a candle but I use a chef's  blowtorch, and even if you do start the ProQ with a candle/tea light you don't leave the candle in. I start the ProQ burning take the tea light out and then put the  ProQ in the smoker Nepas.

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