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No clue what I'm doing!


Joined Feb 19, 2007
Hey hey hey!
Ok, I'm Darin, 33, live in Mpls.
Got into smoking because caught lots o Salmon in Vancouver last Labr Day. I used a smoker my girlfriend's dad has that looks like a big red upright bullet where you put the soaked chips right on the coils. (Smoked the salmon to 150 degrees in about 35 minutes.)--not sure if that's proper, but that's how he had me do it & it turned out awesome.

Wanted to get my own, & didn't do a ton of research but heard the Little Chief was a good cheap starter, so I asked for one for Christmas.

I've been mostly smoking cheese--which is perfect for Little Chief in winter. Probably have to wait for summer to do more fish. Too cold here & Little Chief(if you're not familiar) has walls that are thinner than the box it came in. Probably going to upgrade soon.

Looking to do more cheese & peppers & probably dabble in some bacon & turkey.

Can't wait to check out more in this board. Good stuff here!


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jun 7, 2006
This is the place to learn! Take Jeff's 5 day course, you'll learn a lot, but most of all just read previous post's. You'll learn a ton. It won't be long before you're upgrading to a larger model! Smoked salmon is great, try Dutch's maple glaze recipe!


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Nov 22, 2006
Welcome aboard Madsmoker. Just jump in with both feet and hang on. Its all about trial and error we all have been there.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined May 21, 2006
Darin, some of the other smokers in cold climates have been building wind breaks and styrofoam igloos and such around their smokers. Have you tried anything like that? I know the Little Chief is thin but it is also small and has a heat element inside so it should still work in pretty low temps with a little bit of work on insulation.


Smoke Blower
Joined Jan 13, 2007
Welcome Madsmoker. You are at the right place to learn and ask questions....lots of questions. Won't take you long and you will be an expert. Keep us posted and be share and share your experiences as you smoke.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Dec 19, 2005
Did not take me too long to upgrade from my little chief. However while I ad it I built an insulation box around the smoker and it did ok. The only real issue that you really do need to be careful of is if it does not get passed 140F you remain in the danger zone too long. If you are doing cheese that should not be too large of an issue


Thread starter
Joined Feb 19, 2007
Cheech(or anyone else),
I'd love to see what you did to your Little Chief as an insulator. Luhr Jensen sells an insulator for about $25.00. Did you try it? Anything you'd recommend?


Meat Mopper
OTBS Member
Joined Oct 12, 2006
Hey Madsmoker,
Welcome to SMF.
I use a big cheif and a cardboard box (the box it came in is good) To insulate the smoker. It doesn't do all that great but it works. I only use the chief to cold smoke (cheese, eggs, and etc) and to do Jerky. I have made snack sticks and sausage but I finish in the oven after the two hours of smoke. Empty the smoker will achieve 200 degrees, but if it has any load 140 is max. The luhr Jensen Smokers are what they are, fish smokers. Don't be down about it though they are fun if you stay within the capabilities and don't try to make it something it isn't. Besides it is a great excuse to go buy more gear then you too can suffer from G.A.S. (Gear acquisition Syndrome). It is an uncurable disorder that you can only treat the symptoms by satisfying the urge to get more, better gear.

Somke on

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