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Hello from upstate NY

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi. I have been grilling for years, and decided to start smoking... I remeber as a kid, my dad would like up the big barrel grill and cook a whole pig.. It would take hours, but in the end it was soo worth it.
Since money is tight I bought a used BIG CHIEF smoker thinking I could smoke anything........ Well I do not think I made the right decision. I want to smoke ribs, brisket and pulled pork..

Can anyone help.. Can I do this with the Big Chief electric smoker.....?


post #2 of 15
Hey Jack, great to hear that you started smoking!! Great habit to pick up. Welcome to the site. Sorry, but I am not familiar with your smoker. Someone will be along shortly that is though.
post #3 of 15
Welcome to SMF !!!
post #4 of 15
Welcome to the site. I have never seen one, but from what I have read on here on the site I think not.
post #5 of 15
Welcome to SMF! I've only used the MES so I can't specifically address your question, but from what I've read around here it's possible to smoke whatever you want on most any smoker as long as you can get it to fit. icon_mrgreen.gif
I'm sure someone will be along soon to give you a better answer. In the meantime you might want to check out the menu on the left side of the page. There's lots of good info there and you might find some answers.

Make yourself at home here. We're glad to have you with us.
post #6 of 15
Welcome Jack -

There are a few owners of those here and I am sure they've done ribs and briskets on them. You'll probably have to roll the ribs or cut them down but Hey it's a smoker have fun with it! biggrin.gif
post #7 of 15
Welcome to SMF. I had a Little Chief Electric Smoker. The problem I had was getting any sort of good temperature during the cold weather months. I do know that some have put an insulating blanket around theirs but I never did. I no longer own my Little Chief and I have a Camp Chef Smoke Vault. I am sure you will get plenty of use out of your smoker. Watch the temp thoughsmile.gif If you experience that problem, you might have to put it in the oven after your initial smoking period to get it done through. That's what I did a few times...although the Little Chief didn't really have room for the big stuff without cutting it down
post #8 of 15
Hey Jack. Welcome to the smf from Syracuse. Good to see another New Yorker here. I think you will really enjoy yourself and learn a lot. Have fun. Lets eat!!
post #9 of 15
I see no major reason not to tackle those items. Can you remove some racks to accomodate larger pieces of meat?
Ribs can always be cut in half or rolled to fit.
Main thing is, can you maintain temp and wait until it is done?
If you have any specific questions ... just ask away! icon_biggrin.gif
post #10 of 15
Welcome to SMF from the Adirondacks! Be sure to check out Jeff's 5-day ecourse on smoking basics. It's a great way to build a knowledge base.

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #11 of 15


Welcome to the forum tons of great smokin info here.
post #12 of 15
Welcome aboard from a former NYer, well atleast for 3 months anyway. You close to Rochester?? I was from Corning. Beautiful country there. My wife did not believe NY looked like that. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #13 of 15
Welcome. Good to have you as a new member.

Maybe I can shed a little light on this. I have used the Chief series for as long as I can remember. The Little Chief has a heat unit that is calibrated to get between 160F and 170F, tops. Even in good weather. As others say, in anything except the summer you really need a wind brake. Even then, it is a struggle. Interestingly, I still have one and it is still my smoker of choice for Salmon and other fish fillets, that I want to smoke "Low & Slow". I find it a much better choice than using something where I have to struggle to keep the temps down.

Having said all that, I understand that you have a 'Big Chief'. I still have one of those too. This unit has a heating element that will get you to 230F-240F on a good day. It might only reach 190F-200F in winter and even then you will probably need that trusty old wind brake.

Bottom line is, with even a Big Chief, you will spend quite a bit of time in the danger zone(40F to 140F) for anything of real size. You can use it successfully, but I would confine it's use to smaller cuts of meat which can make it through this temp range quickly enough to avoid any health problem. I would avoid cuts that typically get stalled in their cooking cycle or which present you with one of those prolonged plateaus. Since you will be unable to get up into that 300+F range, you will also find it almost impossible to get that crispy skin on poultry. If your family does not eat the skin, then this is a non-issue

But for ribs, butts and any other cut that you can safely smoke at under 250F you should be OK.

I know that you don't want to run out and buy another smoker. So use the Big Chief. Just use a good Probe type thermometer. Keep an eye on the internal temp of the meat and the temp inside the smoker. As long as you are not sitting in the danger zone, you can come up with some very tasty grub. Use this time as a learning time and then make your move to your next smoker, when you have a better idea of what you want and need.

Meanwhile have fun and continue to ask questions. There are lots of knowledgeable folks here who will gladly help you out.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 



I am 30 min from Rochester up by the lake..
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 


Thanks for the info... I am hoping to try it as soon as it warms up a bit..
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