Bradley is a well known name for producing smokers including a line of great electric smokers. Bradley Smoker’s top of the line electric smoker is the Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker. However, if you are a technophobe, don’t let the word “digital” in the product name frighten you off. All that it means is that the Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker is probably the easiest to use smoker ever designed. The strong point of electric smokers is that they are easy to use but Bradley took the Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker to new heights when it comes to easy smoking.
The Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker is a cabinet style electric smoker with a epoxy coated steel cabinet. It has a separate smoke generator that is attached to the side of the smoker cabinet. The smoke generator uses special Bardley flavor bisquettes that are supplied by Bradley themselves. The bisquettes are made from hardwood chips. A wide variety of wood flavors are available including Apple, Alder, Mesquite, Hickory, and Maple.
The Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker gets our pick as one of our Top 3 Best Overall Electric Smoker because it is the only smoker that is truly set it and forget it. It is also the only electric smoker that allows for cold smoking. This makes the Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker easiest to use and it is more versatile than the other electric smokers.
What we like about the Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker
The feature that allows the Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker to be a set it and forget it smoker is the smoke generator with the automatic wood bisquette loader. When in use, the generator will automatically load a bisquette on the heating element. The element heats up the bisquette to release the smoke that flows into the main smoking chamber. Each bisquette burns for about 20 minutes before it is disposed into the water tray and another bisquette is loaded into place.
There is a bisquette magazine that holds many bisquettes for many, many hours of smoking without reloading. All other electric smokers will require replenishing of the wood chips if you want to do continuously smoking. With the Bradley, no other intervention is necessary until the smoking is complete.
The other outstanding feature that we like about the Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker is the digital control. The digital control allows you to control the cooking time, temperature of the oven as well as the smoke, and the smoking time. The smoker has separate heating elements for the smoke generator and the smoking cabinet and you can control both separately. It also has separate digital timers for both. This gives a lot of control and versatility to the smoking process.
The separate smoke generator also makes it possible to do hot smoking as well as cold smoking. Hot smoking involves heat at about 180 – 250 °F. Cold smoking is at about 60 -80 °F and it usually used for smoking of salt cured ham and bacon or for delicate meats like fish and seafood. For true cold smoking at even lower temperatures, 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 further before entering the smoking chamber.
The Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker has enough capacity for about 35 lbs of meat at the same time. In terms of external size, it looks smaller than other smokers with about the same capacity. This is because the smoke generator is separate so there is more space within the smoking chamber itself to store more meat.
Bradley also sells a larger 6 rack version of this smoker. However, the larger version is under powered because it uses the same 500 W electrical heating element as the 4 rack version although it has a bigger capacity. That is why we picked the smaller 4 rack version over the 6 rack version. The smoker comes with 4 adjustable trays, each measuring 11 x 13 inches. The Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker is large enough to cook for a party of 20-30 people based on the rule of thumb of 1-1.5 lbs of meat per person.
Last but not least, we like this Bradley smoker because it has a stainless steel interior that makes cleaning an easy job. The removable trays can be washed in a dish washer after giving them a quick brush with a wire brush. The interiors just need a good wipe.
What we didn’t like about the Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker
While the automatic feeder system on the smoke generator is god-sent for lazy smokers like us, the system only uses the bisquettes supplied by Bradley. Each hour of smoking requires about 3 bisquettes that cost about a dollar for each hour of smoking. Although not very expensive, they do cost more than ordinary wood chips. The other problem is of course, you have to make sure that you have enough bisquettes ready before you start smoking. Depending on where you live, getting more bisquettes may not be as easy as driving down to your neighborhood store because not all supply stores carry them. You may need to order them online.
The controls for the Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker are placed on front of the smoke generator. If you place the smoker on the floor, you will need to kneel down or bend real low to access the controls. To have easier access, you will need to place the smoker on a stand.
As with all electric smokers, the risk of failure is higher due to more electrical components. The Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker has 2 sets of heating elements, one for the generator and the other for the smoking cabinet itself. There are quite a few complaints of failing elements in the user review section at Amazon. There are also a few complaints of failure of the control panel and the smoker cabinet door. However, Bradley does provide a 12 month warranty and the feedback on their customer service is generally good.
One of the top reasons for choosing an electric smoker over a charcoal or gas one is the ease of use. You almost cannot get it any easier than a Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker. If you are the type of BBQ cook who takes pride in spending long hours in front of the grill to make constant adjustments to ensure that your BBQ turns out perfect, the Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker is not the smoker for you.
However, if you want to spend more time with your guests or have fun in the pool while the food is cooking, you cannot go wrong with the Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker.Click Here for Pricing and Reviews on Amazon