i am a huge fan of the little and big chief smokehouses. i have one of each and have discovered that as long as i use them within the parameters of what they are designed for, they are top notch for things such as jerky, fish, "cold smoked" birds, nuts, cheese, sausage-type stuff, cuts of meats and, most recently, venison "dried (chipped) beef" and romanian pastrama (not pastrami), where a little drying is necessary and/or desired; moisture CAN be added to the whole experience, but in general, for things it was designed for, the "chief" doesn't need or want moisture. they are intended for cooler smoking and work well for that - as long as someone doesn't try to smoke-cook ribs or a brisket or something like that, these things are the way to go.
anyway, i wanted to ask the other "chief" users about their experiences and the other ways in which they've used them. one thing i've noticed is that when a pan of chips is "used up," leaving blackened chips, the "charcoal" still gives off a great amount of really nice, sweet smokey essence, so i usually keep the chips in the pan until they have pretty much transformed into white ash - how about you?
also, has anyone ever calculated an "average" running temperature on these things? i know this is one heck of a loaded question, because wind, weather and so many other factors play a role - but i was hoping we could find a median range, if that's possible. the only thing i know for sure is that the big chief tends to run hotter than the little chief, and that using the cardboard packaging box as an insulator really does raise the temps dramatically, if that's what you want.
anyone else? any other points of discussion?
Edited by TasunkaWitko - 12/27/11 at 9:44am