The Bottom Line
Once the Bradley smoker was among the best electric smokers you could buy. The only downside was that to make smoke you had to buy their "smoking bisquettes" to use it meaning that the operating price was relatively high. Now with a fully programmable smoking system, this unit promises up to 8 hours of unattended usage and the ability to control heat and smoke production separately.
Unfortunately, quality has declined of the years, making this smoker much less appealing.
- Fully programmable
- Capable of cold smoking with additional cold smoke adapter
- Runs for up to 8 hours unattended
- Uses Bradley flavor bisquettes you have to buy from them
- Poor quality components
- Frequent issues with heating elements
- 572 square inches of cooking space on 4 racks
- Racks measure 10-inches by 14-inches
- 500 watt cooking element and 125 watt smoker element
- Four adjustable racks
- Stainless steel interior, powder coated exterior with stainless steel door
- Adjustable smoke production independent of heat
- Made in China by Bradley Smokers
Guide Review - Bradley 4-Rack Digital Food Smoker
The Bradley Smoker is a unique insulated electric smoker that uses proprietary "bisquettes" of hardwood to produce smoker. These compresses wood wafers feed into a smoke production unit on the side of the smoker where they are heated by an independent heating element.
The smoker chamber has a separate heating element so temperature and smoke production are independent, eliminating the need to run the smoker hot enough to combust wood. This means that this unit can smoke at lower temperatures than most smokers, though a special cold smoke adapter is needed for true cold smoking.
At their best price these bisquettes cost around 40 cents each and burn at a rate of about 3 per hour. This means that 24 of them would be used in an 8 hour period of time or around 10 dollars for a long smoke time. Of course many things can be done in less time, but the cost of running this smoker is generally high than competing products.
The 500 watt heating element that provides the cooking temperature is relatively low. The smoker will not be able to reach higher temperatures on cold and/or windy days. The maximum temperature that this smoke is designed to reach is around 280 degrees F/135 degrees C. To reach this temperature it will have to be a warm and windless day.
Ultimately it is the decline in quality that has brought this product line down. For many years the Bradley Smoker has been made in China. Available for relatively low prices (it can be found for around $400USD) the component quality is a problem. Many people have had to frequently replace heating elements which are simply not well enough made to last very long. While not everyone who buys this smoker has had this problem, it is kind of a gamble on how long a particular unit will last.