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New Little Chief

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Little Chief finally arrived. Initial impression: the chip pan and rack holder are the sturdiest components. No real damage in shipping except for a dented corner which I easily fixed. I read reviews before purchasing though so not much of a surprise.

Bought some reflectix insulation, gave it three wraps and cut a little flap for the chip pan. It's 7*F here today so I decided to just do a dry run to get a handle on what operating temps I can expect. Threw some Western cherry chips in and had a nice aroma within a few minutes. Its been about twenty minutes now though and not much smoke or heat. Just a nice smoky aroma.



I'm thinking of putting a cardboard box over top with vents cut in, maybe keep the heat around longer. May also put a few layers of insulation below. Would've taken more pics but too cold for that today. More to come once it gets above freezing.

Ps the local wally world had some chips on sale made from repurposed Jack Daniels barrels. They smell awesome and I havent even opened the bag yet, think they'll make some fine jerky.
Edited by Ryan Y - 1/19/16 at 9:09am
post #2 of 12

Congrats!

 

If you choose to put a lid on, don't forget to cut a hole to allow the smoke to escape. You can also wrap the insulated unit in a welding blanket to protect from the wind. The wind sucks the heat out of the Chief smokers and it takes a long time for that heat to come back.

 

Another trick I use to get that heat up in the winter months is try placing a couple of charcoal briquettes in your chip pan. I've gotten the unit up to 200+ degrees in -25*C weather with this trick. The more you add, the hotter it will get, obviously. Start with one or two.

 

I use my Big Chief for all my cured meats. The charcoal trick works wonders to finish off thick chunks of dried beef or CB in winter months.

 

Good luck and smoke on :xrocker: 

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks DukeBurger. I put a box on top and cut a small hole to vent the smoke, decided to let it run while I got ready for work and when I checked on it 30 mins later (around and hr since initial start) it was so hot I burnt my hand trying to take the lid off! Outside temp raised maybe 5 degrees in that time so I think I'm good to go.

I may get a (clean) garbage can, vent it, and put over the whole thing. Windguard and weather shield all in one. The welding blanket sounds like a pretty good idea too.
post #4 of 12

Now you need a cabled remote thermometer to let you know what the temp is when it's all covered up...  You will enjoy that smoker...   I have a Big Totem and it works really good...  smokes stuff perfect once I got the hang of it..... 

 

Dave

post #5 of 12
The max temp
For the chief smokers is usually around 170-180 depending on the outdoor temp. So at 7 degrees you're going to pushing it. Any insulation you can do is going to help. What are you planning on smoking?

The chief smokers are great for jerky, sausage, and fish.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dave, I priced some thermometers yesterday, will add one soon.

Dirtsailor, picked up the little chief to get started with jerky and fish. Maybe some cheese and nuts. Didn't want to break the bank and if I decide to delve deeper into smoking I'll dedicate the chief to that stuff and buy an MES for the big jobs.
post #7 of 12

Ryan, morning....  You're hooked now...  you will lay in bed at night thinking of all the stuff you should smoke....   Welcome to the club...

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Y View Post

Thanks Dave, I priced some thermometers yesterday, will add one soon.

Dirtsailor, picked up the little chief to get started with jerky and fish. Maybe some cheese and nuts. Didn't want to break the bank and if I decide to delve deeper into smoking I'll dedicate the chief to that stuff and buy an MES for the big jobs.

Perfect, that's the best use for the chief smoker. When I was fishing for a living we ran mine 24-7 during salmon season. Great little smokers.

post #9 of 12

Careful when doing fish...I've read in the past that when smoking fish in your Chief, you will never get rid of the smell. I've avoided doing fish in mine for this reason.

 

I'm unsure if that smell will transfer to other foods like jerky, maybe someone else can confirm.

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DukeBurger View Post
 

Careful when doing fish...I've read in the past that when smoking fish in your Chief, you will never get rid of the smell. I've avoided doing fish in mine for this reason.

 

I'm unsure if that smell will transfer to other foods like jerky, maybe someone else can confirm.

They do get fishy. Vinegar and lemon will take care of a portion of it though.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the heads up duke and dirtsailor. I guess if it does get fishy it'll just give me an excuse to get another smoker, whether the wife buys the excuse is another story... I plan on at least leaving a bowl of vinegar/baking soda in it for a couple days after a fish smoke, if that doesn't cut it ill scrub down.
post #12 of 12

I have two big chief smokers that are dedicated for only fish.  So if you have the room and do a variety of meats, you might........yes, buy another smoker.:yahoo:

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