This post was last updated on April 15th, 2019 at 07:56 pm
Find the right smoker for you and your meat-cooking needs. At Fire Food Chef we do the research necessary help you identify the best smoker to meet your unique needs. We read countless reviews and compare different products to make sure we recommend products that deliver on price and performance.
One of our recent favourites is the Bradley Digital 6 Rack Smoker — or the BDS, as it’s commonly referred to. Read our review on the high-quality, easy-to-clean smoker to find out why, of all the smokers on the market, this is one that you won’t want to miss.
The right smoker will up your cooking game and will make summer-time hosting easy and delicious. That being said, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration when looking for the right smoker for you— and we keep this in mind when researching the many smokers on the market.
If you are looking to add a smoker to your backyard, make sure you read our guide to help you find the best electric smoker for you. The Bradley Digital 6-Rack Smoker nabbed our #2 spot, but you’ll want to see what else made it to our list!
If you’re hunting for a compact smoker, this Bradley behemoth is not for you.
For anyone wanting to cook up a storm outside for a larger party, on the other hand, the BTDS108P is the obvious solution. You can use this versatile smoker to cook all types of meats, and you are sure to love being able to set and forget with this unit. Smoking meat can be a lengthy process — but with this smoker, you can smoke meat properly in half the time.
We’ll start off with that hulking size…
Measuring up at 17 x 14 x 39 inches externally and tipping the scales at over 67 pounds including the generator, the Bradley is no lightweight. Now, there are no wheels on this model so you’ll want to position it somewhere permanent since lugging this thing around is no joke.
You’ll need plenty of space on the patio or in the yard to accommodate your new best friend, but you’ll be glad you made the investment once you’re up and running.
A word of warning before we move on to the smoking side of things. Although it’s flagged as an outdoor smoker, it doesn’t cope well in gusty conditions. Think about the weather where you live before committing to purchase.
With that minor disclaimer out of the way, you’ll get ample cooking area for a large family. Where the sizing of most smokers is expressed in square inches, Bradley quotes by volume instead. Each of the six racks comes in at 11 x 13 inches with a total cooking volume of 3,432 cubic inches. This translates to a whole lot of burgers! The number of racks also simplifies segregating your food so you can separate meats that cook for different times.
After cooking up a feast, do you look at your kitchen and smoker in horror? Bradley has made cleaning a breeze since the wire racks and drip tray are removable.
Throw in a stainless-steel interior, and you’ve got a smoker that you can quickly clean. You can also remove the ash catcher, so your maintenance is kept to an absolute minimum.
There’s a digital display on the side of the unit with a row of 3 buttons for each part of this smoker.
“Each part?” you ask — yes, the Bradley is equipped with an oven burner to control the temperature in the smokehouse itself. This oven burner is rated at 500 watts, which in honesty could do with being a little more powerful.
The 125-watt smoking element works alongside Bradley’s proprietary wood bisquettes leading to that familiar smoked taste. As the wood burns and charcoal is left behind, gases are left to impart that smoky tang to your food.
So, you simply fire up the smoker and pop the bisquettes in the smoke generator provided. These will be automatically loaded onto the heating element by the generator. This stops you from having to keep feeding the smoker.
You can fit enough bisquettes in the magazine for a full 8 hours of cooking. Burnt bisquettes all fall into the drip tray. This means, unfortunately, you won’t be able to make use of any drippings.
You’ll need about 20 minutes to get the full smoked effect. Note that the element does need around 20 minutes of pre-heating before you get down to business. This heating element is replaceable which is a nice touch.
So far so good but how does the food taste after smoking? We can tell you the Bradley delivers fully on the taste front. You’ll get none of the aftertaste or taint that can mar food cooked without such a clean source of fuel.
The smoker is very well insulated so cook temperature is nicely maintained and none of the smoke escapes. You can always try combination cooking on the smoker as well!
The digital interface is highly intuitive, and you’ll get all the metrics you need with time, smoke, and temperature prominently displayed. These settings can be easily tweaked even if you’re not the biggest tech-lover. Unfortunately, the thermometer tends to read slightly high since it sits above the heating element.
You’ll be able to cold smoke, too. If you’re looking to salt-cure ham, bacon, or fish, this is a valuable feature not available with all smokers.
Beyond this, this unit also acquits itself admirably as a slow cooker and roasting oven, so you’ve got a great variety of cooking options at your disposal.
Build quality polarizes opinion. At first glance, it’s very robust with a stainless-steel exterior. Inside, you’ll get powder epoxy steel. A few disgruntled users have complained about plastic parts, notably the hinges, reducing lifespan. That being said, there is a dependable 12-month warranty in place.
The other notable drawback is a heating element that’s arguably underpowered for a 6-rack unit.
While it’s not a small or maneuverable smoker, the Bradley punches above its weight across all the categories that count. We certainly wouldn’t describe it as cheap, but one old saying rings true with smokers: “Buy cheap, buy twice.” If you’re still reluctant, think about how many times you’ll roll the smoker out over the course of a year. That way, cost-per-use gives a much more realistic idea of whether this top-notch Bradley is worth your hard-earned money.
This is another smoker that manages to hit the spot whether you’re new to smoking or an old hand. The set-and-forget operation means cooking is straightforward for beginners and not labour-intensive. With the addition of cold smoking and the roasting and slow cooking, the Bradley is also ideal if you’re more experienced.
For food that’s evenly and consistently cooked with that lip-smacking taste from being smoked with one of nine different hardwoods, the Bradley BTDS108P comes with Fire Food Chef’s seal of approval and is highly unlikely to disappoint.
William Clay is a BBQ enthusiast dedicated to sharing his grilling (and overall cooking) expertise with FireFoodChef's readers.