So.. the Bradley seems to be a no go... Where to go from here?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by nfmmalice, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. So, I opened my Bradley Original Smoker that I got for Christmas to preseason it yesterday, and it wouldn't work, at all, out of the box.

    Unpackaged everything, assembled as indicated in the manual, and NO power at all.  Tried to figure out what the problem was and couldn't, so I called Bradley.   After 45 minutes and a LOT of frustration on the phone, it was determined that it may have a bad transformer or something. 

    After doing some reading, it seems that alot of these Bradleys have the same issue out of the box?

    So at this point I need to make a decision, as I have a couple options.

    I can return the unit to Bradley and receive a replacement...

    Or I can return it where it was purchased, get a refund, and buy a different unit.

    I am leaning towards the latter, after all of the research I did after the fact.

    I'm looking for as close to a Set it and Forget it smoker as possible.  I did like the Autofeed function of the Bradley, but I can do without having to buy specialized pucks.  I was looking at an MES 40, but I've heard a lot of complaints about the Glass Window inthe door Smoking up.  I'm sure I'd also have to add an Amazen Mod to it as well.

    I also want one with a RELIABLE heating element.  I'm in SoCal, so cold weather heating really isn't an issue.

    I've heard a LOT of good things about the MES Smokers, and I can actually upgrade, and pay the difference at the place I need to return it to.

    Anyone have any input they can throw at a Novice (Read COMPLETELY NEW) Smoker?

    It's sad.. I was actually looking forward to my first project this weekend.  LoL.
  2. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    There are lots of guys really happy with the MES units. If there is a SAMS Club near you they have the MES 40 on for $299 - if you do that I would suggest getting the Amazn Smoker to go with it - Todd is a member here and his service and support is incredible - 

    Also - you will be getting an invite from me to join the So Cal Smokers group as soon as I can finish up the notes - love to have you join 
  3. smokinal

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

  4. About the glass window, I find it to be a very nice feature even though it does get coated with smoke buildup after a few smokes. There are several threads on this fourm describing ways to clean the window easily. There is also a MES model without a window in the door, but then that would not be much different than having the MES with a glass window and just not cleaning it. 
  5. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I been doing this for 30+ years

    No smoker is a set it and forget it.

    Sorry to hear your Bradley is not working. I use them for years without fail and have 0 problems. Sometime ya just get one that dont wanna work.
  6. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is a very bold statement to make in this day and age of electronic thermometers with remote's that warn of low and high temperatures, smoke generators that will produce consistent smoke for up to 10 hours and thermostatically controlled smokers. I can set it and forget it, as many others here can also.
  7. Point Taken.  LoL.  
  8. I still haven't opted to NOT go with the Bradley.  Still doing a bit more research between models.  Ultimately, if I did exchange it for a Different Bradley, I would probably opt to go with the Digital (Possibly even the 6 rack).  Right now the main things rolling aroundin my mind (Due to over researching, I think..) Is the difference in Elements.  I have been seeing people complaining about 600 watt elements, and wishing for the days of 1200 watt elements.  I just want to make sure that, if I DO plan on upping my investment) I do it logically, and not make a decision I am going to regret any time soon.
  9. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Have you ever seen an electric smoker on fire that was setup with a PID?

    I have, not fun to watch.

    I'm at my smoker every hour or so checking.

    Like Murphys Law..."Anything that can go wrong will go wrong".

    Guess i'm not like the others.
  10. hiram

    hiram Fire Starter

    Return the bradley and get a MES40, the drawback to the bradley is the heating element, open it on a cold day and it takes it 15 or 20 minutes to get back up to temp (the MES 7 to 8 mins. The MES has almost twice as much room, sturdier racks, a temp probe and a much sturdier box on the outside. If you do get a an MES take the wood chip tray out and save it for a project where you need scrap metal. Order a Amazen pellet smoker box from Tod along with 2 small bags 1 each of pellets and sawdust in the flavor you use most, the reason I say this is some people get great results from the pellets ( I couldn't keep them lit in my smoker)  and some don't.

    The sawdust works great in mine and I have no trouble with it burning even with a pan full of water in the smoker. Lest you think I just want to bash Bradley, I have one in my storage shed with an ample amount of pucks and a PID controller and it'll stay there unless the MES goes on the blink and I have meat that has to be finished. Step up to the MES40 and save yourself a lot of frustration in the beginning of your smoking adventures. Being able to see thru the door is a romance item, after 25 or so smokes you'll know what's going on inside the smoker, my window is black as coal as I got tired of cleaning it after every smoke.

    Not that you should care at this point in time, your bradley has a loose wire connection in the control part but you have to take the back off to access that part of the Bradley.

    My .02 he says as he runs for cover to avoid the flames!
  11. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I never said I had a fire. I seen one.

    I use my AMZNS and AMZNPS in my Bradley with ease.

    So in the end its what y'all like.





    Weber?  And the list goes on.


    Im sure you will enjoy whatever smoker you choose. And post some pics of your smokes.
  12. tdwester

    tdwester Fire Starter

    There are so many good smokers out there it all comes down to what you feel comfortable with. No matter what one you decide on I'm sure you will be turning out some great food and isn't that the main thing we are all trying to do?
  13. smoketexring

    smoketexring Fire Starter

    Personally,  when I researched smokers there was a recurring theme in my research and that was that the Bradley's were consistently unreliable.  I stayed away and I am happier for it.  If you are going to spend $300 you might as well go to $500 - $700 and you'll be happier for it.  

    Happy Smokin,

    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  14. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    If you have your heart set on an electric...get the Smokin' Tex 1400....SO MUCH better than either the MES or Bradley.  I've had and ran both a MES and Bradley, and they both have their downfalls.  I've yet to find one with my new Smokin Tex.

  15. mark4mn

    mark4mn Fire Starter

    Agreed...I have a Smokin-It #2 and am 100% satisfied with it. Was only #399.


Share This Page