Do you know the saying “there’s no smoke without a fire”? Any electric smoker can successfully argue that. There can be smoke, even without a fire.
As much as I like charcoal barbecue smokers, I took a look at several electric ones, just in case I change my mind about buying the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. I liked the Bradley BTIS1 Original Fully Automatic 4-Rack Outdoor Food Smoker and I’m going to tell you why in this review.
The Bradley barbecue smoker enables both hot smoking and cold smoking. Cold smoking is great for foods like cheese or fish. The temperature control lever is much easier to control than the coal quantity and the ventilation on charcoal smokers. At least this is what I understood from reading other people’s reviews about various barbecue smoker types. I find buying a smoker more difficult than I’ve thought. The more I read, the more I want to know. I hope to make up my mind before the fall, though.
The Bradley smoker features 4 racks and a 2,288 cubic inch interior. This is enough room to cook large quantities of food. It’s awesome for big parties or for cooking for a big family. It might be a bit too big for me, so I’m still not sure I prefer this to the WSM bullet smoker. What I like about this one though, is that it looks like a little refrigerator. As far as I’ve read, the materials are good quality: epoxy steel with aluminum interior.
The cooking element has a power of 500 Watts and the smoking element has 125 Watts. The smoker can heat up to 280 F. The temperature is easier to control than in case of traditional smokers, thus recommending it to beginners in the art of food smoking. This easiness comes with a small downside, though: it takes about one hour to heat up to the maximum and if you open the door the temperature drops quite fast. You shouldn’t be checking on your food too often.
The “smoke without fire” system is very convenient. The wood-flavored bisquettes will burn for 20 minutes each. As they get consumed, the next bisquettes advance in line, allowing for up to 8 hours without refueling. Besides, cleaning is easier, compared to charcoal smokers.
The tray and drip bowl will help you collect drippings during the cooking process. You can then use them for sauce or you can just discard them. Anyway, this simple feature makes your life easier when it comes to cleaning the smoker.
The Bradley BTIS1 stays cool on the outside, which is great if you have naughty children roaming around.
Bradley BTIS1 Features
- Fully automatic 4-rack food smoker
- Capacity: 2,288-cubic-inch interior
- Cooking element power: 500 Watt (heating up to 280 F)
- Smoking element power: 125 Watt
- Unique smoke without fire system featuring wood-flavored bisquettes that burn for 20 minutes each (various flavors are available)
- Runs for up to 8 hours without refueling
- Tray and drip bowl included with the purchase
- Briquettes are sold separately
- Dimensions: 14-1/2 inches x 17 inches x 31 inches
- Weight: 42 pounds
- 1-year warranty
What people say about the Bradley BTIS1 Original Fully Automatic 4-Rack Outdoor Food Smoker
There are more than 70 reviews on Amazon for this smoker. Most of them are positive. It looks like Bradley take it very seriously when it comes to customer satisfaction:
The wood pucks that generate the smoke burn for about 20 minutes each. Someone on the Bradley forum site estimated that it costs about $1 an hour to smoke the meat. I had a small problem with the feeder when I first got the unit. The wood pucks were not always being fed every 20 minutes. When I asked about on the forum, one of the Bradley representatives called me (imagine, representatives taking the initiative and calling). They had me make a small adjustment and all worked perfectly after that.
Some users advise buying an Auber Instruments PID for getting excellent results:
My number one suggestion is that anyone buying the Bradley should opt for an extra 160 bucks and get the Auber PID. You will have an excellent combo unit far better than the digital.
Another raving review:
I’ve cooked several huge pork-shoulder roasts & I keep falling in love, over & over again with this purchase. I’ll never go out to eat expensive BBQ again! Even with the expense if the bisquettes, it’s SO worth it! I mean, I used to go out & pay like $50.00 for 2 slabs of ribs, salads & sodas…
This is from somebody who seemed to encounter problems in controlling the temperature, but is still happy:
So far I have used it twice for smoking pork shoulder. Both times it has come out perfect. The controller is not the most accurate, but there are many mods out there that overcome that.
I won’t quote from negative reviews, as I found the number of great ones to be overwhelming. You can read all of them on Amazon if you are interested.