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Home Brew Forums > Food and Beverage > Meat Smoking, Curing and Sausage Making > How about this smoker?
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:51 PM   #1
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Default How about this smoker?

So I got a gift for xmas of a smoker WOW that was a surprise. I guess people do listen to me...sometimes. Anyway it is this smoker Big Chief Front Load Smoker. Do you think this is a good starting point? I don't have allot of room in the back yard (more like a concrete slab) so a big wood burner is out of the question. I guess any input would be good if anyone uses this model? thanks

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Old 01-04-2011, 03:53 PM   #2
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If it was given to you, I'd call it a good starting point

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Old 01-04-2011, 04:03 PM   #3
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I have one, and had the little chief before that. I love it. I use it for smoking salmon, summer sausage, and salami. Also great for .cold smoking cheese and almonds. I haven't smoked or cooked any large cuts like boston butts, but I'm sure it's possible. One recommendation....keep the box. The smoker holds heat so much better when used in box.

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Old 01-04-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Reelale View Post
One recommendation....keep the box. The smoker holds heat so much better when used in box.
Are you sayin to run it with the cardboard box over it? I figured it was a good starting point just wanted to see if anyone used it. I'm sure the purists will say its not good unless it's a wood burner. Once I move maybe ill consider upgrading. Also with storage is this something I could store in the basement or will it "smell like a smoke house" down there?
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:04 PM   #5
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Are you sayin to run it with the cardboard box over it? I figured it was a good starting point just wanted to see if anyone used it. I'm sure the purists will say its not good unless it's a wood burner. Once I move maybe ill consider upgrading. Also with storage is this something I could store in the basement or will it "smell like a smoke house" down there?
The little chief was a top-loader, so I just kept it in the box and cut a flap to load more chips. Front-loader I just place the box upside down over it. A friend of mine built a box out of 2" insulation sheets for the big chief, works fine as well.

Yes, it will smell like a smoker. I keep mine in the garage. Odor seems to dissipate with time, and the only smokey smell I get is when I open the box.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:19 PM   #6
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I have both the Big and Lil Chief smokers. I use 'em all the time.

One thing to remember is that it's not going to cook your food. You will need to finish cooking it with some other means. If you're doing ribs, pork butt, or chicken...you'll want to smoke it in the smoker for 2-3 pans of chips, and then finish cooking the food in and oven, or on the grill. The smoker just doesn't get hot enough to cook meat all the way through.

We got my Dad one for Christmas last year, and he uses it quite a bit. At 75 yrs old, it's pretty easy for him to smoke some ribs for a few pans of chips, and then finish them on the grill, or in the oven.

I use mine for fish, nuts, bacon, Canadian bacon, cheese etc....

To store it, install the front cover backwards....so the handle is on the inside of the smoker. Then it will fit right back in the box. I store mine like that in the garage, and it doesn't smell at all.

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Old 01-05-2011, 12:41 AM   #7
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I have an older version of the Big Chief, which is a top loader. I store it in it's box in the garage, doesn't seem to smell until I open the box. I use it mainly for jerky and sausage. I've had it for almost 20 years and it still works great.

I'm sure I'll get some flack about this, but since this smokes at a relatively low temp (somewhere below 170*F) you really need to cure the meat first with something like instacure or prague powder.

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Old 01-05-2011, 12:56 AM   #8
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I have an older version of the Big Chief, which is a top loader. I store it in it's box in the garage, doesn't seem to smell until I open the box. I use it mainly for jerky and sausage. I've had it for almost 20 years and it still works great.

I'm sure I'll get some flack about this, but since this smokes at a relatively low temp (somewhere below 170*F) you really need to cure the meat first with something like instacure or prague powder.
^^^^^^absolutely.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:00 AM   #9
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I'm sure I'll get some flack about this, but since this smokes at a relatively low temp (somewhere below 170*F) you really need to cure the meat first with something like instacure or prague powder.
You won't catch any flack from me about that. Something in there aside from cheese and nuts really should have cure #1. Make sure you at least do a little bit of reading about cold smoking and cures before you throw some meat on there.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:36 AM   #10
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do you guys recommend any sites to read up about what all I should know before I crank this baby on?

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