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Just closed the deal on another Big Chief

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

20 bucks:

Considering the cost of these things brand new, I'll call it a good deal.

I've already got one (top loading) plus two Little Chiefs. I'd get rid of the Little Chiefs, but they tend to run a little cooler, so the Beautiful Mrs. Tas just might have to learn to live with me having all of them.

LOL - who am I kidding - I'll probably give one of the Little Chiefs to my dad and the other to my oldest son. I've got an AMNPS anyway, so I may never even use a Chief smoker again anyway, but it's good to have options....

post #2 of 11
Nice find, Tas! That's a bargain for sure, and a guy can never have two many toys!

post #3 of 11

Old School smoking....  No controls to fuss with....  Insert meat, close door, have a beverage, or 2, wait for meat to get done.... eat.... 

Very simple and effective smoker.....  I'm gonna be dragging mine out... Skipper brought me my quota of salmon from Alaska....  I will have pics....   Dave

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the comments, guys ~


Dave - when you do that salmon, be sure to post the full method, photos etc. and let me know - I'd love to see how it's done!

post #5 of 11

Tas, morning...  will do.....   Dave

post #6 of 11

Hi --- do you still have the Instruction and Operating Manual for the Little  Chief Smoker? I would love to read it before I use the smoker


Thank You!

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi, Trapper - I don't ahve an actual paper copy handy with me at the moment, however, you can read, save and print (if you want to) one here:




These are written for the novice home smoker, so some of it might be very basic or review - but it is good information to have. keep in mind that the chief smokers are NOT designed to be the same as barbecue pits that smoke-cook the food. these are designed more for cooler or even cold smoking and for jerky, fish, sausage, cheese, nuts and things like that. Techinically you can do a pork loin, ribs etc. in ehre, even a pork or beef roast, i am sure, but it will not be what you're used to. the most common mistake i've seen with disgruntled chief smoker owners is that they compared it to their barbecue pits, and that's simply not a fair comparison.

post #8 of 11

Best smoked trout, and the first here in Oregon, I ever had was off a Little Chief probably 30 years ago....

post #9 of 11

Thank you, and thanks for creating reasonable expectations. My questions are extremely basic, such as:  

  • Where do you put the wood chips or pulverized wood?
  • How long do you soak the chips?
  • Is the wood  put in the drip pan?
  • What is the solid shelf for? Do you leave that in?


Amnswers to those questions do not appear in the Operating Instructions, so your advice would be most appreciated. Thank you

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi, Trapper -


Assuming that you have a :Little Chief right in front of you to use as a visual:




Here are the answers to your questions:


1) The chip go into the pan that inserts into the bottom of the smoker through the little door (see photo).


2) I never soak the chips - adding moisture to the little chief makes a big mess (creosote) all over the interior of the smoker, and is actually contrary to the use it is designed for, which is to apply dry smoke and some heat for removing moisture. No need to soak them - I have tried it in the past and it was a mess and a waste of time.


3) The drip tray (pan) below the bottom rack (see photo) is for catching drippings off the fish. I find it very helpful to line the drip tray with foil, so that clean-up is a snap.


4) If I'm reading you correctly, the solid shelf is in fact the drip tray referred to above.


It might also be helpful to take a look at my method for smoking trout, since I've always used the Chief smokers to do it. Here's the link:




Hope this helps, but if you have any other questions, let me know and I'll provide the best answer I can.

post #11 of 11

That is perfect! Thank you for taking the time to do this. Very kind, and much appreciated

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