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Little Chief Element Modification (pics included)

BigTony

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Joined Sep 22, 2021
I know this is an old thread but an internet search led me here and now I'm looking to do the same thing. I bought my Little Chief front load smoker new back in the 1990's I don't recall exactly when but I've probably smoked a ton of fish in it. Back in the 1970's my folks had a top load Little chief and actually wore it out and replaced it before my father built a larger smoker.

This smoker has always been large enough for what I do with it but as the years have gone by it seemed like it doesn't get as hot as it used to. Replacing the cord around 10 years ago was the best thing that happened to it. The original cord was trash and never could take the heat. I replaced it with home made cords a few times before the high temp cords were available.

Anyway after reading this post, I went on line looking for a cheap hot plate. I found one on Amazon for under 9 bucks. If I ruin it, what the hell, I've wasted more money on that on less important projects that didn't work out. Anyway I'll post back when I get to work on the install. The hot plate is about 2 days out and I couldn't get to it until the weekend anyway...

Update: I got an eMail from my card company that I had been charged 23 bucks for a $8.59 hot plate. It seems they're gouging on shipping but I was able to get the order canceled. I suppose that's what I get for not checking the box for prime shipping only items. Anyway I'm going to town tomorrow and I'll see what I can find. It's for certain that I won't find anything cheap out in the sticks where I live...
 
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BigTony

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Joined Sep 22, 2021
I've been looking around on line and I think the days of the $10 hot plate are gone. Over the past couple years inflation has hit everything. Anyway all the under $20 hot plates I've seen have terrible reviews regarding quality and durability. I'm going to get into McMinnville, OR. Today and I'll see what BiMart has to offer. I won't go into it here but I'll never go into a Walmart again if I can at all avoid it...
 

old sarge

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NOT exactly what you may be looking for and definitely over $10. Also from a company that has been in business for many decades. But here goes:
 

BigTony

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Joined Sep 22, 2021
That element won't fit my Little Chief. If someone made an upgraded element, I think they'd sell. Anyway I tested the element with an ohm meter and it read 50 ohms. That seemed pretty good so I plugged it in and it got up to 400 degrees before I was concerned about damaging my instant read thermometer. I'm wondering if the extension cord I've been using with it is bad. Anyway I didn't get a chance to look around for a hot plate but it's one of those things I can put on the back burner so to speak...
 

daveomak

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You want an element about 1000 watts so when it comes on, it gets the wood smoldering FAST before the tiny smoker gets too warm... That way you can smoke fish at a cooler temperature... My smoker works awesome for fish... Fish like 10-12 inches it works perfect... Or slices of filet salmon....

11-27 Atl Sal 009.JPG 11-27 Atl Sal 004.JPG

Brown sugar / Rum glaze is pretty good....

Atl Sal Done 001.JPG
 

cmayna

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BigTony, Look into a Proctor Silex burner. I removed the element and wired it into my Big Chief.
 

BigTony

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Joined Sep 22, 2021
Will do. Those pix of smoked fish made hungry and considering going salmon fishing this year... It's been a drought year here in Oregon and I wasn't going to bother getting a fishing license but salmon season is just around the corner...
 

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