Dishes I’ve cooked so far include:
- Pork Belly Burnt Ends
- Bacon wrapped Pork Loin
- Chinese Pork Ribs
- Beef Short Ribs
- Mac ‘ Cheese
. . . and I can honestly say that there hasn’t been a single cook that hasn’t been a success.
In fact I once did a side-by-side comparison cooking short ribs on the Bradley and ProQ at the same time (with the same process) . . . the ribs smoked in the Bradley were a LOT more moist (so much so that when I ripped open the paper the juice went EVERYWHERE . . . wife wasn’t happy!).
Anyway, let’s start off by addressing 2 of the commonly shared concerns:
Sure, I struggle to get temperatures above 260˚F . . . but why is this a problem? Low and slow is where it is at for me so cruising at 225-250˚F is ideal.
If I want hotter, let’s say for crispy chicken wings . . . well . . . I head on over to the standard BBQ / Grill.
Let’s be clear here . . . the Bradley is a smoker.
Don’t get me wrong . . . I love slicing into a 10 hour cook and seeing that beautifully uniform smoke ring. On top of making me smile it really does make the food more ‘photogenic’ and it’s what most individuals in the BBQ community appreciate.
I’m going to put the discussions around the health issues of the smoke ring to one side . . . what I’ve learnt is the ring adds no flavour what-so-ever to the taste of the meat. Sure, the meat does look less appealing without one . . . but let’s be honest . . . the food is put on the plate to be eaten . . . not admired from a distance.
So, how has the Bradley changed my outdoor cooking?
. . . more than I imagined!
Don’t get me wrong, the Bradley won’t be the only solution I rely on (I still love managing the fire), but now I can really appreciate it’s appeal.
Sitting in front of a BBQ, tweaking where necessary, is great . . . but there is more to life. I’ve cooked some great food on the Bradley and at the same time I’ve had a 3 hour Microsoft Teams meeting, cut the lawn, played with the kids . . . even been shopping . . . apart from changing the water bowl every few hours the Bradley will just do it’s thing . . . and the results will be great . . . that I can promise!
Another thing that’s really changed is my stress levels. At times I previously found myself struggling to ensure everything was ready at the same time . . . either cooking or resting . . . but now, even at times when I’m not actually smoking in the Bradley, I use it to keep cooked food warm whilst I get on with preparing other dishes.
Cooking an American BBQ platter for the family (and guests) would have been something I once dreaded . . . but it was a breeze!
So, cards on the table . . . I’m VERY happy with the Bradley so far . . . time to push the unit more and see what I can deliver.