Table of Contents
So you either want to step into the world of smoking, or you are looking to replace your existing smoker - either way you are not sure if a Bradley Smoker is right for you.
Don't worry! We've got you covered.
We have take the time to review the top 5 Bradley Smokers and have come up with this helpful guide.
We will go into detail on the actual smokers (their features, the good and bad bits, where you can buy them from, warranty details etc) then tell you a little about the company and sum it all up with a nice conclusion.
Each machine is different but Bradley Smokers have a great reputation for making super high quality products.
They are also one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to innovation and have some unique features not found on other smokers.
Top 5 Bradley Electric Smokers - Reviewed
Top Pick: Bradley Smoker BS916
After having looked at the different Bradley Smokers, this one really stands out. Even though they all come with great features, this one in particular caught our eye.
It is probably one of the most innovative smokers currently on the market.
The BS916 comes with an attached smoking box (you can clearly see this on the photo) that holds your wood chips.
This feature is very nice as it allows you to add your wood chips, adjust your settings and walk away without worrying about over/under cooking your food.
Once the smoker detects that it is running low on chips, it automatically drops the correct amount. Just below this there is a touchscreen display panel that literally allows you to control everything.
As you can see from the photo, the touchscreen is super easy to use. It has been designed in a way that allows you to easily keep check of all the settings. It is also brightly lit so it perfect for using in both sunny and low light conditions.
To cook your food, you simply select the time and heat you like on the panel.
Once that time has passed then the smoker will automatically turn itself off - never burn your food again. You are also able to select exactly how much smoke you want to suit your taste.
A feature we loved about this Bradley Smoker is the Bluetooth connectivity.
As it is Bluetooth it will work with literally any other Bluetooth device, including your PC, tablet or smartphone. If you have an Apple or Android there is a dedicated Bradley app you can download which looks really nice.
With the app you can check and adjust the settings while you are in Bluetooth range - most people are in range throughout the house if their Smoker is in the yard. The app will also alert you when your food is finished cooking - perfect if you are entertaining guests.
When it comes to design, the BS916 is very impressive. It has a stainless-steel interior and the door is constructed from commercial grade silicone.
It is a very sturdy machine and it suitable for both home and professional settings (I have actually seen this machine being used commercially).
There are integrated probes inside the Smoker that detect and regulate the temperature. One of the key must's to making great smoked food is a consistent temperature, they these probes work very well.
The secondary use of these probes it to let you know when your food is done (using the app you can be alerted).
There are two heating elements inside this Bradley Smoker. The standard heating element is there to regulate the temperature and is controlled via the digital panel.
It sets and maintains the desired temperature ensuring that meats are cooked all the way through and to your liking.
The secondary element is connected to the automatic wood chip function and this regulates the desired amount of smoke.
Overall this machine is amazing.
It has some great features and we especially love the Bluetooth app which alerts you when your food is cooked. Even though you can find cheaper Smokers, we believe that the extra price is totally justifiable.
Runner Up: Bradley BTDS108P
The Bradley Digital 6-rack smoker is a beast. There's no getting away from its size - a massive 780 square inches of smoking space.
This smoker is perfect is you often entertain guests. As the name suggests there are six racks which can accommodate all your dishes and meats.
It is good to have this many racks so you can cook different foods on different levels based on how long they take without having to mess about.
Probably the best feature of this Bradley is that is can accommodate cold smoking. If you don't know, cold smoking is the process of infusing your food with great tasting smoke but without actually cooking it.
It's great if you want to add a little flavor to store bought fish that is already cooked. This model can run for up to 8 hours on a cold smoke so you can be sure your food with come out deeply infused.
As with the BS916, there is a nice digital display panel on the side of the machine. It is really simple to use - it has 3 clearly marked buttons which let you turn the smoker on/off and adjust the temperature of both the heating and smoking element. A nice touch is that it displays the internal temperature and also how much time is remaining on the current cook.
There are two separate elements in this model - one is an oven burner and the other a smoke burner.
As the name suggests, the smoke burner will heat the wood chips and create the smoke that infuses your food. The oven burner heats the internals high enough to ensure that your food is fully cooked all the way through.
As you would expect from a high end smoker, the built quality is second to none. Bradley use stainless-steel parts and components throughout. Not only does this give the machine a beautiful finish, but because it is used on the inside, it makes cleaning much easier.
You can remove most stuck on sauce and grease with ease and because it is steal, the smoke won't stick to the surface. This is an import feature because everyone knows cleaning your smoker can sometimes be a right pain.
As mentioned above, the interior cooking area is huge - 780 square inches. It's one of the biggest on the markets which means it can be used commercially. If you are cooking larger cuts of meat then you can remove one more of the racks to make space.
Overall this is a great machine.
It is obviously pretty large so wouldn't really suit a small family. It would be great if you frequently host parties or if you have a large family that love BBQ'ing. I have also seen these machines in a commercial setting so if you are looking for a smoker for a business, you'll be hard pressed to find a better one for the same price.
Alternatives: Bradley Smoker BS611 S Original
Today Bradley make lots of different Smokers, but when they first started they only had one model.
The Bradley Original Smoker is them paying homage to that first model. It was designed to mimic the look, feel and ease of use that made it such a huge success.
Because they have taken it back to basics, this model is great if you are just getting started smoking - it's really simple to use and it is on the lower end of the price scale.
You will notice that the design is similar to the other Bradley Smokers with the smoking box and control panel to the right of the actual unit.
As and when required the wood chips move from the smoking box and into the heater unit to create the desired smoke and required temperature.
As you would expect from a model in this price range, the controls are not digital - however they are still really easy to use. There is an on / off switch and then a temperature knob which goes from high to low.
The 'low' setting is similar to room temperature which is great for cold smoking. As explained above, this is when you want to infuse already cooked foods with a smokey taste.
The 'high' setting is 250 degrees Fahrenheit which is more than enough to get a great taste and ensure meats are cooked right though. It will take some time getting a feel for the correct setting, but once you have the hang of it you can cook some really good meat.
The actual cooking unit is super insulated and it does a great job of locking in the heat and smoke.
This means you can use it on both hot and cold days, and in close proximity to your house without fear of the smoke stinking it out.
As with most other Bradley models, the inside and racks are made from stainless-steel which makes them easy to clean. The racks are removable too which also helps.
Overall this smoker great.
It may not have the fancy digital display or an app to alert you when your food is cooked. But it does create delicious flavorsome foods at a very reasonable price.
Jim Beam BTDS76JB Bradley Smoker
The Jim Bean model came into existence due to the popularity of the Bradly Jim Bean Bisquette.
It's easy to see why they are so popular - the taste is out of this world amazing.
"The bisquettes are so rich in flavor, you can actually smell the bourbon essence still in them."
We have a whole review section dedicated to the best pellet smokers & grills.
This Bradley Smoker is a 4-rack model and comes with all the top features you would expect.
The outer casing is a beautiful stainless-steel that is designed to last. The interior is also stainless-steel which makes cleaning a breeze. The highlight is the very nice Jim Bean logo etching on the front - perfect for any Jim Bean fan.
The digital display on the side is the same as the 6-rack smoker above. It has a simple one touch on / off button. The digital temperature gauge also doubles up a handy timer so you can keep track of when to take your food out.
The back-lighting is also good so you can easily use it in the evening or low light conditions.
As mentioned above this is a 4-rack stainless-steel model. You can configure the racks how you like - which makes cooking larger cuts of meat easy. For most families 4-racks is plenty of space and with a little practice you could easily cater for small parties too.
Because the racks are steel they are very easy to clean as the grease, sauce and smoke don't stick. You can find cheaper smokers but I find paying that little extra for this feature is well worth it.
The feeder tube is a good size so you can fill it up and not worry about running low on bisquettes for a while. Based on the settings you choose, the feeder will automatically drop the chips to create the desired heat and smoke.
Like all the other Bradley Smokers, you can use this one as a cold smoker. The top temperature on it is 280 degrees Fahrenheit which ensures your food will cook all the way through.
Overall this model basically a smaller version of the Bradley 6-Rack Smoker.
I should mention that if you don't want / need the Jim Bean logo you could go for the standard 4-Rack Smoker - it's a little cheaper but doesn't come with the logo.
Bradley Grills BG40404SS
This model looks totally different to the others we have reviewed - and for a grill that doubles as smoker you won't go far wrong with a BG40404SS.
The stainless-steel design is synonymous with Bradley's high quality and it ensures even cooking at both high and low temperatures. This model combines everything you love about outdoor cooking with everything you love about smoking.
Inside the hood there is a primary and secondary cooking area. The primary area directly on top of the grill is 490 square inches and the secondary area which includes the separate side burners is more than 200 square inches.
This is more than enough room for a good size family or party function.
Above the grill there is also a removable grate that you can use to keep plates and cooked food warm. This is a great little feature, especially when entertaining guests. If you don't need then grate then it is removable and frees up more room for smoking.
Looks can be deceiving and even though this looks like a typical grill, it is also a pretty formidable smoker.
You bring it up to temperature via the knobs and then add come wood chips inside. Keeping an eye on the temperature via the dial and ensuring you keep the lid closed, you can cook some delicious food with this.
There are 4 good size burners that site on opposite sides of the grill.
They are made from cast iron, which does a great job of regulating the heat meaning an even heating point.
As with a kitchen cooker, you can choose to use just one burner or use them all simultaneously.
It has an electric ignition switch which makes it super easy to turn on - no fussing around with a lighter or fire starter.
Overall this is a nice machine. It isn't a dedicated smoker, but it does a pretty good job considering. It has a great cooking area, with an eye catching design. If you want the best of both worlds then this grill is well worth considering.
Anything Else About The Models?
So there you have it - our review of the top 5 Bradley Smokers.
Each one is brilliant in its own right, however the final decision will come down to your individual needs.
If you already own a Bradley or are considering it then please comment below your experience and thoughts - we would love to hear from you.
If you are looking for something a little different but in the same price range then the Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker is a pretty good alternative.
If you are looking for a more expensive alternative then the Kamado Joe Classic is pretty amazing.
What You Need To Know Before You Buy Your First Bradley Electric Smoker
Your neighbours are doing it.
Your friends are doing it; even work acquaintances are doing it!
You know you should be doing it too, but which is the right electric smoker for you?
Well, my fellow meat eaters, you’ve come to the right place. If you’ve heard of the Bradley electric smoker and you want to know whether its worth the money this review will tell you.
Before I get down to the nitty-gristle let me say that I love the Bradley way of life, but the smoker is by no means perfect.
It has some minor flaws, but compared to other products, within the same price range, this is one of the best. Stay with me and you’ll see why.
Available with a 4 and 6 rack option, the Bradley Digital Smoker offers an easy cooking experience, whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned (ahem) BBQ master.
The racks on both models are removable, allowing you to cook anything from ribs to a turkey or an upright beer-chicken. Size-wise, it’s perfect for impromptu family get-togethers or large neighbourhood gatherings.
What I really enjoy about the smoker is the ease of use. Pretty much everything is controllable, from the temperature, time, and the smoke so you can decide how much smoke you want, how long you want your food to be smoked for, and at what temperature.
I’m going to put this out here now, if you like micro-managing and checking up on things every 10 minutes or so, then you’re probably not going to enjoy using the BES, because this is possibly the only smoker that really lets you ‘set and forget’, allowing you to get on with other things.
Let’s get into a bit more detail and look at the features that make it a great smoker.
Stand out features of the Bradley Electric Smokers
Size and ease of use
I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll say it again, the Bradley Electric Smoker is a ‘set and forget’ smoker, making sure every single BBQ is a success, with meat perfectly smoked, even if you’ve never used a smoker before.
Size-wise, both the 4 and 6 rack hold a lot of meat, and because the racks are removable you can smoke all sorts of cuts of meats, as well as turkey and beer-chicken. You can also hang any meat you might be cold-smoking
The (automatic) wood loader
this handy feature is what makes the Bradley so easy to use.
The generator automatically loads a bisquette onto the heating element, which heats up the bisquette releasing the smoke that flows into the main smoking chamber. Each bisquette burns for about 20 minutes before another bisquette is loaded into place.
Without you doing a thing. The bisquette magazine holds enough bisquettes for eight consecutive hours of smoking, while other smokers need wood chips to be added to maintain the flow of smoke.
Hot and cold smoker
the stand-alone smoke generator allows for hot and cold smoking, and as I mentioned before, the Bradley is the only smoker on the market that can do both.
Hot smoking needs temperatures between 180 – 250 °F, whereas cold smoking is at about 60 -80 °F. For genuine cold smoking, you can buy an adapter, which is a flexible hose that connects the generator to the smoking cabinet.
The extra ‘distance’ the smoke has to travel results in it cooling down even more Bradley sells a cold smoke adapter which is basically a flexible hose that connects the generator to the smoking cabinet. The extra length that the smoke has to travel allows it to cool down even more before it hits the smoke chamber.
the insulation makes this ideal for outdoor BBQing, even in when it’s cold. And the temperature stays consistent.
The stainless steel interior also makes cleaning up really easy. The racks are dishwasher safe and the inside just needs a wipe down.
Set and forget system
Probably their most unique feature that sets them apart is how easy they make it for you to cook great tasking smoked foods at home - mainly down to their 'Set and Forget' system.
In summary – here’s the smoker’s best bits:
What I would change about the Bradley Electric Smoker?
There can be a fairly significant temperature deviation between what the thermometer is telling you and what the actual internal temperature is.
This can obviously affect your cooking but once you’re aware of it and know how to accommodate it, it’s not a deal breaker. This is also common amongst electric smokers and it just takes a bit of getting used too.
I’ve also mentioned that there are two sizes available; a 4 rack and a 6 rack.
The heating element works well for the smaller smoker, but it seems it’s the same element, heating wise, in the 6 rack, which means it’s underpowered and it takes a while to heat up.
Again, it’s by no means a deal breaker and once you know about it you can start preparing two hours earlier.
One of the most awesome things about the Bradley Smoker is also one of the negatives.
The automatic wood feeder that makes it the perfect ‘set and forget’ smoker only uses Bradley bisquettes.
And you need about three bisquettes for about an hour of smoking. This is still a cost effective way of cooking but the bisquettes cost more than ordinary wood chips.
You’ve also got to make sure you’ve got enough bisquettes before you start smoking because, depending on where you live, it might not be a case of just popping to the store to get more. Not all stores stock them and you might have to order them online.
What are the key features of the smoker?
- The full digital control - The digital interface allows you to control everything with the touch of a button, from the time to how much smoke you need and how long you need it for. The automated wood feeder ensures you don’t have to interfere with the cooking process or worry about the amount of smoke
- The capacity and racks - Both the 4 and 6 rack are large and you can smoke a lot of meat, of all shapes and sizes, as well as poultry
- Separate Burners - Bradley electric smokers come with separate burners to generate smoke and oven heat, ensuring perfectly cooked food
- The construction - The insulated interior is what keeps the temperature constant regardless of the weather conditions and also keeps smoke from escaping. The door seals with a gasket to also help keep temperature stable and keep the smoke in. There is a replaceable heating element in the bottom of the smoker that is used to maintain the proper temperature.
Here's a Short FAQ
How Does A Bradley Electric Smoker Work?
The Bradley Electric Smoker is one of the easiest smokers to use.
It is a in that it uses wood bisquettes that are fed automatically onto a small hot plate to create constant smoke.
A new bisquette moves onto the hot plate every 20 minutes and the old one is pushed off into a bowl of water to be extinguished. This is how the temperature and smoke is maintained throughout the smoking process.
Can you use it in cold weather outside?
Absolutely! This is another feature that makes the Bradley Electric Smoker such a popular choice.
It has a fully insulated interior, which means it retains its temperature no matter the weather conditions.
Are there any differences between the 4 and 6 rack versions?
No there aren’t any other differences between the 4 rack and 6 rack versions apart from the size.
I can tell you though that the 4 rack probably works a little better because it seems the heating element suits its size, more than the 6 rack, which takes longer to warm up.
What is the temperature range of the smoker?
The hot smoking temperatures range between 180 – 250 °F, and can be pushed to about 300°F, while the cold smoker ranges between 60 -80 °F.
What kind of chips can you put in the Bradley Smoker?
Bradley Smoker bisquettes are used in the smoker. They’re made from a variety of hardwoods, to give you a lot of smoked flavour choices.
How long to Bradley Bisquettes last?
A pack of 120 bisquettes should last for 40 hours of smoke as the smoker consumes one bisquette every 20 minutes.
What kind of wood goes well with the food I'm smoking?
There are various different woods available to suit your taste buds and for specific recipes.
If you’re a newbie then get sample packs so you can try out a few different woods to get a feel for how it impacts the flavor. There is no right or wrong wood because it comes down to what you prefer.
I can suggest using hickory or mesquite with pork, beef or red game meat. All types of seafood are excellent with alder, maple or Bradley’s own special blend. Fruit woods work very well with poultry and fresh water fish.
How do you cold smoke with the Bradley Smoker?
The cold smoke adapter fits between the smoke tower and generator using a flexible aluminum tube that lets smoke cool before reaching food, allowing you to do a true cold smoke.
What kind of food can you cold smoke?
You can cold smoke sausages, cheeses, ham and fish.
Can I hang meat in my smoker?
Yes. The removable trays allow you to hang meats and it comes with hanging clips, to make the process even easier.
Are there any negatives you need to know about?
There are one or two things that you need to know about but they’re not major and they’re definitely not deal breakers.
The 6 rack version takes longer to heat up because of the element which seems better suited to the 4 rack smoker. There is also a temperature variation, of about 20 °F, which could affect your smoking time.
You can work around these negatives once you’re aware of them. Lastly, you can only use the Bradley bisquettes with the smoker, so you need to make sure you have enough before you start smoking.
What do other people say about the smoker?
The Bradley smoker is one of the most popular for a reason, with most users loving it. People agree that the affordable price tag and ‘set and forget’ convenience more than make up for the little niggles.
How do you clean a Bradley Electric Smoker?
Everything about this smoker is based on ease of use and convenience. The stainless steel makes cleaning the interior easy, as in wiping it clean with a damp cloth and the removable trays are dishwasher safe, or can be cleaned with a wire brush.
Bradley VS Masterbuilt: Which is better?
Both are excellent electric smokers, with the Masterbuilt being great value for money in terms of what you get.
However for a little more, the Bradley offers some extra features, For me, the Masterbuilt saves me money, but the BES saves me time.
Are Bradley smokers worth the money?
For what it offers and what it does the Bradley smoker is excellent value.
There are similarly priced smokers available on the market but do not have the added features and of course there are cheaper ones but they could end up costing more in the long run because of the quality.
Bradley smoker temperature range
Bradley is the only smoker available in the market that allows for cold and hot smoking. Hot smoking has a temperature range of 180 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (can be pushed to about 300), whereas cold smoking ranges around 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
In order to correctly achieve the temperature range in cold heating, you need to buy an adapter.
It is a flexible hose that connects the smoking cabinet to the generator. Since the smoke has to travel an extra “distance” from the generator, it cools down, even more, reaching the cold smoking temperature range before hitting the smoke chamber.
Bradley Smoker Original vs. Digital
The original will need 500 watts of power and has four racks.
It can reach a maximum of 250 degrees Fahrenheit and doesn’t have a thermostat as its digital counterpart.
The digital Bradley smoker can be found in two sizes, 4-rack, and 6-rack. Basically, it is the Original smoker with a bigger brain.
Since temperature stability is possibly the most important factor to achieve the taste and texture that you require, digital smokers are quite effective, not to mention very convenient for you if you need only to set the temperature and check back at least once.
It has the same operating range as the original of 180 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and uses 500 watts of power. Additionally, it comes with a crisp control panel.
Let's Compare The Two
Price and value
The Original currently sells for about $215, which is significantly lower than the Digital. This can be attributed to it not having the thermostat.
It provides very good value at this price point, though you should weigh the cost of the wood pucks over a long time as they are not often sold locally.
The Digital comes in at a price of around $315. Assuming that everything works perfectly, this is a more than generous price.
Of the two, the Original has the highest user rating, currently averaging at 4.3 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. Generally, users loved its construction, self-automation, and the uniformity of the smoke and the results. Nonetheless, there were a couple of negative reviews.
These focused mostly on failures and defects, with one reviewer noting hinge and door cracking for no reason. Although some people didn’t like that they had to use a specific type of wood pucks, the additional expense was well worth it because of the smoke quality and consistency.
The Digital, on the other hand, has received a serious beating on Amazon. With an overall rating of 3.8 out of 5.0 on Amazon, the smoker has one user after the next complaining of either its partial or total failure. However, for products that worked properly, the user expectations were met and exceeded.
If you want a Digital experience on an Original smoker, you can purchase a dual Auber PID alongside your Bradley Original Smoker.
Bradley smoker mods
Like all other smoker models, Bradley’s allow you to make a couple of modifications to get the most out of it.
However, there aren’t many major modifications that you can make because the smokers come almost entirely convenient. The major ones include:
Bradley smoker heating element upgrade
When coming up with the smokers, Bradley understood that smoking is best done slowly in manageable temperatures.
However, this may not work for everyone as some do not like to wait for long hours for it to reach the desired temperature range. Also, the default heating element that comes with the unit may malfunction or fail, reducing the speed of heating up, or not heat up at all.
If you are among those who don’t value to the long wait as your meat gets ready or your heating element malfunctions, you can see from the previous sub-heading that you can modify your heating element.
If not completely replacing the existing 500W one with a 900W, you can add another 500W to the existing.
With a modification to the heating element, you will be able to reach your desired temperature in a matter of minutes as opposed to hours if you don’t.
Bradley smoker vs. Weber Smokey Mountain
Weber Smokey Mountain is a very popular option that lands on the expensive side of grills.
Being eerily similar to Bradley Smokers, making a choice between the two may not be as simple as it may seem.
There is some variation in some features and functionalities as discussed below.
Even though you may arrive at the same results using either of the two, Bradley smokers will get you there far simpler and hassle-free. Weber requires that you open the smoker to add wood manually, which is a pain, and you keep losing heat every time you do so.
The wood pucks that are required for your Bradley to work give out consistent smoke and results.
When it comes to grilling, Weber beats Bradley ten-nil.
But if you are looking for a smoker rather than a griller, the Bradley will work wonders for you.
In terms of capacity, while the Bradley has more than enough space to hold an assortment of meals at once, the Weber is slightly larger.
If you like that exceptionally strong smoke flavor, the Webber wins out, although it needs constant supervision. The initial price of the Weber is also higher but with continuous use, the cost of the bisquettes makes Bradley much more costly.
What makes Bradley such a darling is that it is easier to clean, and most importantly, easier to reach and maintain a set temperature.
Bradley smoker vs. Masterbuilt
Bradley smokers, when compared to Masterbuilt, are not cost-effective at the very least. They are way more expensive during purchase and operation. However, the quality of service that you get from them more adequately justifies the price.
What makes Bradley smokers preferable to Masterbuilt’s is, of course, the automated feed system. It is also associated with an extra heating element should one deem it necessary, unlike Masterbuilt.
Speaking of modifications, the Masterbuilt doesn’t allow any additional modifications so if you love adding this and that to get the most out of your smoker, the Masterbuilt may not be the choice for you.
The Bradley original has no digital thermostat like the Masterbuilt and if you want to correctly maintain the temperature, you will have to purchase an additional PID.
With the masterbuilt, you can buy any wood chips from the store, or make your own from Alder, or whatever type of wood that you choose. The Bradley requires that you specifically purchase the bisquettes from them, less you decide to modify it and replace the hopper.
If anything goes wrong with your Masterbuilt, you will have to purchase the whole unit. There are no replacement parts for it. With the Bradley, any and every part can be replaced when it malfunctions.
Bradley smokers in cold weather
Cold weather and snowfall should be no reason to set aside your Bradley smoker.
You will only need to add a little more to the planning process and enjoy the fact that low and slow is not a problem at times.
There are only three things that you need to worry about. The wood puck system, maintaining the temp, and the wind. In extremely cold weather, you should set your smoker up about three hours to loading to get it preheated.
If you want to smoke at a certain temperature, say 150 degrees, heat it up to a higher one, say 200. The toughest problem, however, is if you have a large load. It will take it a while to recover once you have finished loading.
Bradley smokers work just as well in cold weathers as in warm ones.
Nonetheless, you have to be flexible about dinner time. But if you can’t wait, you can use it to smoke your meat, then finish cooking in the oven.