Bradley 2 Rack Smoker Product Review

Review Overview


A nice smoker for the cottage.

This countertop smoker is perfect for the cottage or for people wanting to give smoking a try. It is much harder to set the temperature accurately than Bradley's larger sized units.

User Rating: 2.02 ( 122 votes)

Bradley Smokers have been my smoker of choice for the last number of years because I love the ease and convenience of their digital smokers. Set the temperature, fill the hopper with your wood bisquettes of choice, place meat in the smoker and walk away. There is no need to tend to the smoker, making sure there is enough wood or that the temperature is getting too hot or cold. The smoker takes care of it all really. I have had the Bradley Digital 4 Rack Smoker for a while now and it has produced consistently excellent results.

Bradley has recently released a new compact smoker. This smaller unit is perfect to sit on a countertop and has 2 racks which is still plenty of room to smoke enough food to feed a family!

Bradley 2 Rack Smoker-6

The smoker looks like a large toaster oven, or countertop rotisserie. The door swings down and has a glass window allowing you to look and see how the meat is coming along. The racks are not as big as the racks in Bradley’s main smokers. One rack was able to hold, four chicken breasts, 14 Italian sausages or 1 rack of ribs, cut in half. So, it was still a decent size and there are 2 in the smoker. It is also possible to remove the upper rack and use just the lower rack, allowing larger food to be smoked, like a whole chicken.

Bradley 2 Rack Smoker

Bradey Smokers use a special type of wood. These bisquettes are finely chipped wood pressed into the shape of a puck. One wood bisquette is burned at a time. The smokers have an internal device that times how long the bisquette is burning for. After the allotted time, the smoker pushes the burned up bisquette into a water reservoir and puts a new wood puck in place to start burning. This 2 rack unit burns a bisquette every 30 minutes, so filling the tube with pucks, allows this little smoker to work, unattended for hours.

Bradley has many different types of wood available in bisquettes: hickory, maple, mesquite, apple, cherry, pecan, alder, pacific blend and more. I love to experiment with different wood to see what I like best when smoking various meat.

Bradley 2 Rack Smoker-5

The Bradley 2 Rack Smoker has a digital display and buttons to set the temperature, oven time and smoking time. It is possible to set the smoker to work for 2 hours and have the oven cooking the meat for longer. In some cases, it is not necessary to smoke the entire time the meat is cooking, so this type of precision allows you to have total control on how long you want to smoke.

As I mentioned before, I have a Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker, which allows you to set the exact temperature. This 2 rack smoker uses a different method for setting the temperature. There are 5 temperature settings:

  • Setting 1: 160-220F
  • Setting 2: 190-230F
  • Setting 3: 230-270F
  • Setting 4: 260-300F
  • Setting 5: 290-330F

Each setting is a temperature range that the smoker will stay within. At first, I was worried that this would be a problem for me, as I am used to the precise temperature control of my other unit. But, after using this smoker many times, it has not been a problem at all. I just set the temperature so that my target was within the range of the setting and it worked out fine. The display does show the actual temperature in the smoker which was great. I was able to monitor and make sure the meat was smoking at the right temperature and if it was too hot or cold, I could increase or decrease it to another setting.

Bradley Countertop Smoker

My first attempt was to smoke 2 racks of ribs. The manual said that the smoker is for household use and if used outdoors, it needs to be protected from the weather and the elements. There is a smoke exhaust hose that comes out of the back of the smoker. The manual says this can be connected to a range exhaust hood or stuck out a window. I placed the smoker on our kitchen counter and stuck the hose out the window. The smoker worked for 2 1/2 hours and a lot of smoke did go out the exhaust hose, but there was still a fair amount of smoke that filled the kitchen. I love the smell of wood smoking, but in the future, I would use this smoker outside. This compact unit is perfect for using on a counter in a garage or in a large shed or workshop.

Bradley 2 Rack Smoker-3

Next, I tried boneless skinless chicken breasts and store bought fresh italian sausage. They came out amazing. The one thing I noticed during this smoke was that the back of the smoker gets hotter than the front. So, midway through, I turned the racks around to make sure all the meat was evenly smoked and cooked.

Bradley 2 Rack Smoker-4

I wanted to test the smoker out with fish, so I picked up a filet of rainbow trout. Usually when I smoke fish, I have way more than one filet, but this allowed me to see how a compact smoker does fish. I brined the fish in my typical brine, rinsed the fish and let it dry for an hour or so to form a nice pellicle on the surface. I like to smoke my fish at about 150F for the first hour and then move it up 10-20F each hour. I smoke for a total of 4 hours. Since this smoker does not allow that degree precision for setting the temperature, I started it at setting 1 and let it smoke for 1 1/2 hours. Then I moved it to setting 2 for the last 2 1/2 hours. The fish came out great with very similar results to the Bradley 4 rack smoker.

Sweet Pepper Bacon Poppers-7

The final thing I tried in the smoker were these bacon sweet pepper poppers (recipe here). Since the jalapeno popper stand and peppers are tall, I needed to remove the upper rack so this could fit in. The target temperature was 275F and I set it at temperature setting 4. They smoked for 2 hours and came out great. Smokey, gooey and cheesy, these were incredible and I really liked that I did not need to use the big smoker for a small appetizer like this. Sometimes I want to smoke something, but do not want to get the full smoker going. This compact unit is perfect for that.

Bradley 2 Rack Smoker-7

I was very intrigued by this unit when I first heard about it. Honestly, I was somewhat skeptical, thinking that a compact smoker like this would not be able to produce the same results as a full size model. In the end, I was wrong and this unit produced results just as good as my larger smoker. On top of that, this 2 rack smoker uses one bisquette every 30 minutes and the other Bradley smokers use one every 20 minutes. It makes sense considering there is much less space to fill with smoke. So, this unit is more economical and, if you generally smoke smaller amounts of meat, the 2 rack compact smoker might just be the perfect choice. I have a cottage and think that this will be perfect for smoking food at the cottage.

For more information about the Bradley 2 Rack Compact Smoker check out their website.

Disclaimer: Bradley Smoker provided me with the 2 Rack Compact Smoker. They did not pay me for this review and the views expressed above are my honest reactions after trying the product.

About Steve Cylka

Steve is the author of The Black Peppercorn. He is a recipe developer and food photographer. His recipes have been featured on websites like Bradley Smoker, Times Picayune, Buzzfeed, and Basil & Salt. He has also authored and co-authored a couple cookbooks.


  1. Those bacon sweet pepper poppers do look amazing! I tried something similar with my Masterbuilt and it was a huge disaster.

    I set my smoker to about 250F so I think there might have been a slight issue there

  2. I’ve always been curious how these little guys work. Looks like they would be great for apartment dwellers!

  3. These little smokers look pretty good. I’ve always been on the fence about the disc smokers. It looks like they would be a great smoker for an apartment dweller!

  4. I love the fact that Bradley has come out with a smaller smoker..It is awesome for those who have limited space but, want to give smoking a try. I would highly recommend the Bradley 2 Rack digital compact smoker!

  5. The Bradley 2-Rack Smokers are awesome for small families, or if you have limited space like apartment dwellers or if you are new to the the smoking world and want to give it a try before investing into something more..Gotta have!

  6. I used this couter-top electric smoker before.

    At first glance, it seems like a small smoker, but after using a few times, you will find you could still smoke a lot of meat in it.

    Anyone who want to buy the indoor smoker, this is the one.

  7. I have been researching countertop smokers as i am currently in the market for one. This was a good review and I am thinking about giving this bradley unit a go! Hopefully it will be what i need

  8. I just purchased a Bradly 2-rack.
    Will be using it when the snow stops(New Brunswick)
    How do you determine how long to smoke in the over-all
    cooking process?

    • More than anything it is best to follow the internal temperature of the meat. the 2 rack smoker does not always cook at the same speed as the traditional smokers.

      • Thanks Steve for the reply.
        I meant when cooking/smoking, for example, a pork tenderloin. If the cook
        time is three hours @ 225 F ,how much of THAT time should/would you run your
        smoke; all the time, last couple of hours, first couple of hours?

  9. I know part of the experience of smoking is the aroma, but with large smokers it seems that even outside our house would still cause our walls to smell of smoked meat for days. How about this one? I prefer my clothing I just washed not to smell of delicious smoke. Don’t get me wrong, but a place and time for all things.

  10. a real piece of junk! Fan sounds like it’s coming apart and smokes so much you can’t use it inside. Don’t waste your money!!

  11. I have to disagree with you Dave, I have one and it is as solid as as a smoker can be. Bradley nailed with this one mate.

  12. what is the E3 that shows up on digital display, when this happens you have to unplug and start over, 2nd piece of crap that has did this returned first and got a second one. Not very happy with the smoker

  13. he best electric smoker is always the one meeting your smoked cooking needs just in a way you like. Consistent smoke, even temperature, remote control and portable smokehouse in affordable price will surely be your demand. Certainly, no one likes comprising on quality and durability.

  14. I am interested in purchasing a home smoker…

  15. My old smoker died this month sadly. Will give Bradley 2 Rack a go, looks pretty decent.

  16. This is a very good review and I am going to buy a Bradley unit.

  17. I’ve got a new Bradly 2-rack.It seems to be pretty good for me and it has a good price. We are waiting for a better weather to make some smoked fish.

  18. Hi,
    I want to buy a new smoker for my wife. She like cooking and make many great food.Thank you for your information.
    By the way, I like your blog and learn a lot from you. Thank you !

    • My only issue with the “Two Rack ” is that is almost impossible to see the
      display in the sun. Other than that is is great.
      It is really to bad about the display.
      Terry K

  19. This smoker was great while it lasted. I was even able to sort of cold smoke by just leaving the fan on. Unfortunately the fan was noisy from day 1, and the unit failed within a year. Bradley has discontinued the product. I hope they’ll try again with a different manufacturer. They had a great idea to produce a small smoker. Most of us don’t need to smoke an entire deer, pig or cow at once and just want to smoke a family sized meal at most.

  20. capsicum looks very scrumptious .thanks for posting

  21. Hi,

    Just wondering if this smoker is ok to use in the house? Its freezing where we are and need to find an indoor one

    • I did try it once and ran the exhaust tube out the window but I found that there was still a lot of smoke coming through the door and it really smoked up the room it was in. I never did it again. Took a while to get the smoke smell out of the room.

  22. I used to have bradley-2-rack-smoker. This was totally good. But, after few years, I want to change it into the bigger and more modern one. I know the smelled taste of the food from this smoker. I still can imagining it. I am drooling now.

  23. Hi Steve
    I have only used it twice so far. I have found the smoker to be easy to use and it turns out excellent results. I made ribs the first time and then smoked some homemade sausage the next. Both were delicious! The ribs were a bit underdone at 3 hours…I need to order an electronic thermometer. The sausages were perfect.

  24. Great review! Thanks for the deep dive on this model. Thanks!

  25. The fresh Italian Sausage looks amazing! Thanks for sharing.

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