The Bradley Smoker is a very versatile piece of kit, giving you the option of hot and cold smoking (with the added cold smoking addition) – so easy to use and yet it delivers incredible results regardless of whether you are an amateur foodie or professional chef.
You will need to plug it in, whether you are hot or cold smoking, so be prepared to get out your extension cable and be careful of the rain. This is not the same as a BBQ, a Bradley Smoker is an electrical product so you need to think carefully where you are going to keep it and whether you will be putting it away after you use it. A bit of planning is needed and you need to think about rain cover.
Hot Smoking: the picture above shows the set up for hot smoking, the heat for cooking is generated by the independently controlled electrical element in the main unit. This is a separate element from the bisquette burner. Bradley has three versions of this product and the temp in the cabinet is controlled using either a digital pad, turning the dial or sliding a switch – it all depends on which unit you have. Other Bradley Smokers have different set ups but the concept is the same, I also have the new digital Bradley.
The smoke is generated by the bisquettes automatically being fed one by one onto a heating element, one bisquette lasts for approx 20 minutes and the ash falls into a water tray. It is all done automatically so you plug-in, set up and walk away.
The main issue is the price, of the unit and more importantly the bisquettes. There are lots of wood flavours to play around with : Apple, Alder, Cherry, Hickory, Jim Beam, Maple, Mesquite, Oak, Pacific Blend, Pecan, Special Blend, Whiskey Oak but they cost roughly £35 for 120. This comes to about 90p per hour, it doesn’t seem a lot but it soon adds up when you’re doing a long smoke, so be sure to fill up the cabinet and smoke as much as possible in one sitting.
Cold Smoking: I use my Bradley primarily for cold smoking, because I use my Ceramic Kamado for hot smoking, and the set up is very simple and straightforward. As you can see from the photo below – you add the silver tubing, choose the smoke flavour, fill the cabinet with food, turn on the feeder, close the door and walk away.
Would I recommend a Bradley Smoker ? Yes I would but don’t buy on a whim. Think carefully about where you are going to keep it, the cost of the bisquettes and how much you are going to use it. If you only want to hot smoke seriously consider a ceramic barbecue and use wood chips and chunks. If you are planning on hot smoking large amounts of food and often – then the Bradley is for you.
It is a brilliant cold smoker and one of the best currently available .