Question for you Big Chief owners out there

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by wagdog, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. wagdog

    wagdog Fire Starter

    Let me begin by saying that I love my big chief. I have turned out smoked catfish, trout, salmon, and whitefish that would make you slap your mama. I recently did a few batches of cheese, jerky, and bacon. They've turned out decent but my wife pointed out that they all remind her of the smoked fish that I've done. Here is my question for y'all. Do you clean your Big Chief? I clean the racks and drip pan after every use but I've never cleaned the inside. I'm wondering if the buildup on the inside is starting to flavor every thing I put in there and it gives the same or similar taste. Thoughts?
     
  2. No you don't clean your smoker after every smoke. Yes you bring it up to temp to kill the bad stuff. if you are cold smoking things change some.

    Happy smoken.

    David
     
  3. wagdog

    wagdog Fire Starter

    I've never cleaned it. I guess I could scrape some of the goo off the walls. All the fish I do are hot smoked. The cheese and bacon were cold smoked. What do I need to do different with regard to cold smoking? Thanks.
     
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I can say that if you smoke fish in your smoker, everything is gonna end up tasting a bit like fish. When I had my big chief it was for fish only. Everything else gets smoked in my other smokers. I just did fish in my propane smoker. Had to wash and scrub the racks twice and then run smoke only for 12 hours to get the smell of fish out.
     
  5. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    Personally I think unless your smoker is dripping moisture from the inside top onto your food or you rub the meat on the walls I think it is just a mental thing. Because most people associate smoked foods with fish because until you start doing your own that's all they ever had! Same as deer or lamb taste gamey to many people because in their minds meat should taste like beef or pork since they hardly ever eat deer or lamb. Also every other bird doesn't taste like chicken!
     
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you plan on cleaning it White vinegar is a good way to kill the smell.
     
  7. wagdog

    wagdog Fire Starter

    Aw man. You mean I need to get another smoker to do non-fish items? Crap. [​IMG]

    I guess I better break the news to the wife.

    Seriously though I may try the white vinegar to see if I can get some of that smell out. I do need to scrape the walls a little. It is hard to put some of the racks in. Or I may just save myself some hassle and go get another smoker!
     
  8. wagdog

    wagdog Fire Starter

    Good point. I would agree with you but we do a lot of pork shoulders, briskets, chickens, etc. on a weber so my wife has had plenty of other smoked meats. It seems to me that the fishiness gets imparted from the oils of the fish. Now it isn't bad to me but she doesn't seem to like it. Gotta keep her happy...
     
  9. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I only do fish and jerky in my little chief. Same problem with the fish smell, tough to get rid of it. I would just build a UDS if I were you and rig up a cold smoking device in there for cheese and what not. I use a coffee can and a soldering iron and it works great. I do all my cold smoking in there and have had no issues. It is nice to have a large smoker sometimes and the UDS fits the bill for me.

     
  10. wagdog

    wagdog Fire Starter

    That looks awesome!
     
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This thing has been smoking fish for pushing 30 years... It is, in my opinion, the best fish smoker on the market...... DON'T CLEAN IT...... Buy/build another smoker for meats... I too, found the fish taste carried over...

     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  12. wagdog

    wagdog Fire Starter

    Man that has been put to good use. Looks like you modded it some as well.
     
  13. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Read my signature.......
     
  14. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit


    she works like a charm. a little fishy though.
     
  15. wagdog

    wagdog Fire Starter

    Roger that. You must do a lot of fish to run two!
     
  16. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Affirmative.
     
  17. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yup.  Lots of King Salmon goes through the big chiefs during fishing season.  I was more concerned with the fish smelling like beef pork, etc.  Thus why I got the Masterbuilt for everything else including cold smoking cheese, butter.  I do cold smoke my lox in the Chiefs.

    To you and timberjet,  I modified both the Chiefs with bigger and adjustable heating elements.  Never looked back.  Just something to ponder.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  18. nevrsummr

    nevrsummr Meat Mopper

    Dave,

    I've noticed a couple times that you use a big chief for fish, do you have a post on your mods? As I am finishing up my traulsen build I am starting to get concerned about if I want to risk getting a fishy taste or smell going in my nice smoker. I plan to use it mainly for red meats and sausage. Think it might be better to take your advice and get a big chief, one just popped up on CL.
     
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  20. nevrsummr

    nevrsummr Meat Mopper

    Perfect, have you tried your amazen. In it? Loved the part about the cookies, "it takes 2 to start a fire" hahaha
     

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