By: Max Good
The Bradley 4-Rack Digital Electric Smoker is a front loading cabinet smoker with a patented “smoke generator” on the side. The smoke generator burns proprietary wood “bisquettes,” puck like disks of compressed sawdust, and blows the smoke into the cabinet which has an electric cooking element. Like pellets, bisquettes are efficient energy sources and generate flavorful smoke. They are made from either apple, alder, hickory, cherry, mesquite, pecan, or a house blend. Bisquettes cost about 40¢ each and burn for 20 minutes.
The digital controller has smoke generator functions on the left and oven temp functions on the right. One needs to let the smoke heating element warm up for about 20 minutes before pressing the “Wood” button to begin advancing the bisquettes onto the burner. Oven temps are set just like on your kitchen range. Independent timers are integrated for both the smoke and oven functions.
The Bradley has a 500 watt cooking element, 125 watt smoking element. The exterior of the cabinet is 31″ high x 15″ deep x 24″ wide (plus another 13″ for the smoke generator) and the interior is 15.25″ wide x 11.5″ deep x 25.5″ high. It weighs 57 pounds including the smoke generator.
It comes with four racks, a cookbook and a user guide. It is available with or without a Jim Beam logo on the door. A larger 6 Rack model is also offered. The exterior is steel with epoxy powder coating and interior is stainless steel.
The Bradley has won awards and has a devoted following. Here is one rave from Epinions.com: “This cooks the wood to a charcoal and not an ash. When the wood is cooked to a charcoal the smoke is released but the tars and resins stay in the wood. When you cook to an ash the tars and resins are released. This is what traditionally gave BBQ smoked foods a bitter taste. With my Bradley I only get a clean smoked flavor. It is better, NOT bitter. The smoker heats to 300°F so we cook everything in it.” This is a popular misconception that is often cited by users of electric smokers. Most smoke flavor comes from gases released from wood when subjected to high heat. What’s left behind is charcoal: a fuel that burns relatively clean. Read The Zen of Wood. Many electric smokers simply don’t generate enough heat to burn the charcoal.
We’ve heard complaints about the bisquettes sticking the feed tube. And one must ask, what if they go out of biz? Where do we get bisquettes then? On the plus side, Bradley has an active user forum and their staff are there to help.
The burnt bisquettes fall into the drip pan, so you cannot use drippings in a sauce. To collect drips you need to put a pan on the bottom shelf which reduces your cooking space. Additionally, the smoke generator and the column of bisquettes need to be protected from rain and snow.
The Bradley Smoke Generator can be purchased separately from the cabinet and can be used to turn an old refrigerator or a wooden shack into a smokehouse. It comes with blueprints so you can build your own.
Bradley Technologies specializes in meat & food smoking products. Their claim to fame is a line of electric smokers that uses compressed sawdust discs called bisquettes to generate smoke. They also offer smoking accessories, cures, rubs, seasonings, sauce, books, videos and apparel.
Published On: 12/3/2014 Last Modified: 2/24/2021
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