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Thread: Smoking

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    Default Smoking

    Suggestions for using Little Chief smoker for fish and beef

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    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    Sell it on Craigslist and put the money towards an insulated smoker with temperature controls.



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    Quote Originally Posted by choq43 View Post
    Suggestions for using Little Chief smoker for fish and beef
    These are adequate for smoking the occasional batch of fish or meat.

    Let the fish or meat form a pelicle prior to starting the smoke. The exterior should start to feel almost dry to the touch.

    I like to use 1 pan of smoke if it will go into canning jars after smoking. 2 pans of smoke otherwise. If not canning, allow up to several hours to dry it out a little and firm it up a bit to your liking.

    Rotate the top and bottom racks occasionally. The bottom rack near the heating element will dry out items faster than the rest.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Go through the book that came with it. Try a few recipes.

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    A cold beer and a piece of fresh smoked fish life is good

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    If you are smoking in the winter, when cold, try and use the cardboard box as a cover for the smoker to keep the heat in better. Or you can build a plywood cover to help keep it warmer, if you keep the heat on to long it will really dry out the meat. A lot of testing after a couple hours.

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    With the little chief this time of year without any insulation, I'd go through a few pans of chips to get the smoke you want, then finish it off low and slow in the oven to get the temp control that you need.

    Scott

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I'm assuming the little chief will be similar to the big chief which is what I have. For salmon:

    Get a 50# sausage tote, place fillets skin down and coat flesh with non iodized salt and brown sugar. Repeat with next pair of fillets placing flesh on flesh, then repeat skin on skin so on. The big chief will take 3-5 pairs of fillets for pinks, silvers and reds depending on size of fish. Let fillets dry brine for 3 hours at room temp. Rinse excess salt and sugar off of fillets in cold water. Pat fillets dry with paper towels. Cut fillets into chunks 2-3" long. Set fillets on racks in smoker. Put a small fan at the flapper door entrance for the smoke pan and run 2-3 hours until pellicle forms. Fill skillet with wood chips, I prefer a 50/50 mix of hickory and alder. No need to buy alder when it grows like a weed. make sure you remove the back from the alder. I use a timer set for five hours and one pan of chips. I use the cardboard box year round to keep more heat in the smoker.

    Fairly simple and repeatable and everyone seems to like my smoked salmon.
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  9. #9

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    Well I shoulda read all this first regarding little/big chief smokers! Of course I just happened to pick crappy weather to smoke 100 lbs of kings I brought up from Homer. Windy, rain, high humidity; none of it good to run the Big Chief out on the deck, borrowed the smoker so don't have the box it came in. Struggled all night to keep temp up in the smoker, rotating racks, etc. Figured 6 hrs but it turned into more like 14.
    Making adjustment as we speak for the next batch.
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  10. #10

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    Okay, 2nd batch workin out a lot better as we speak, dried fish off with paper towels prior to goin in smoker.
    Paul, on your salt & sugar dry brine, is it an equal mixture? Thanks
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    You can buy an insulation blanket made just for the big chief smoker.
    I have one it works good.
    It has a flap so You don't have to take it off to add chips to the pan.

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    Awesome Chris! I'll check cabelas & bass pro today to see who has one; maybe Sportsmans Warehouse
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I know Fred Meyer in Soldotna has them.
    Should find one anyplace that sells the smokers.
    The Velcro isn't great but I use a couple of green bungie cords to keep it on tight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    Okay, 2nd batch workin out a lot better as we speak, dried fish off with paper towels prior to goin in smoker.
    Paul, on your salt & sugar dry brine, is it an equal mixture? Thanks
    You should air dry it until it's no longer moist on the surface before it goes in the smoker. A slight "skin" if you will. A cool area and a fan on low does the trick for me. Just patting it down with paper towels is not enough to dry the surface to get nice looking pieces at the end of smoking.

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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    You should air dry it until it's no longer moist on the surface before it goes in the smoker. A slight "skin" if you will. A cool area and a fan on low does the trick for me. Just patting it down with paper towels is not enough to dry the surface to get nice looking pieces at the end of smoking.
    I agree 100%. You have to let it air dry so it forms a "pedicle" The is VERY important when smoking fish.
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  16. #16

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    49 bags so far, working out really well since "adjusting" the Big Chief with the insulating blanket (thanks kasilofchris!), various brines, nothing too complicated. Just put in a batch with Paul H/fishinphysician dry ratio so excited to see how that simple recipe comes out.


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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Jim,
    Thanks a bunch for sharing your salmon with us. I ate all of it and loved it!
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