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Thread: smoker?

  1. #1

    Default smoker?

    Anyone got any recommendations? I'm looking at buying or building one. Doesnt need to be huge. I was thinking the big chief if I cant find any plans for a mediumish sized one. I dont need a large one and perferably one i can move if I have to (being I rent right now).

    Also I'm not sure where to put this. With all of our forums, there doesnt seem to be one that this fits in so here it is.....

    Any smoking tips/websites would be great too being I've never smoked anything any and all help is appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I use the big chief, has not failed me yet. The smoker comes with a recipie book that will give you some general ideas.

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    Member RustyMonkey's Avatar
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    I bought a Camp Chef Smoke Vault from sportsmans two years ago and I love it. I got the Larger size, there is a smaller one too. It has a temp gauge on it so you can adjust it as needed for different meats. I can get it down to a steady 120 for smoking fish. It is also neat because it has three vents you can hook up vent lines into another smoker or what have you and cold smoke the fish as well. I use my BBQ to hook it up to and its awsome.

    You can't go wrong with the cheif series either!! it just got too small for me.
    "Safety does not happen by accident, it's a choice"

  4. #4

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    I like the Big Chief. I have smoked tons of fish with mine with no problems. The only drawback that I can speak of is that you can not regulate the temperature. It is pre-set to maintain a steady temperature of 160 degrees fully loaded when the outside temperature is 70 degrees. We both know that Alaska is not often 70 degrees. This causes you to have to smoke your fish for a longer period of time depending on the outside temp and how "done" you want the finished product to be. I am sure that there is some kind of calculation that you can do to figure out the optimal time, but I am no mathematician. You can purchase insulating blankets for it to help with this issue or make one yourself.

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Airborne View Post
    You can purchase insulating blankets for it to help with this issue or make one yourself.
    I use the old wool blankets like the ones issued when I was in the service.

    There are lots of discussions on smoking fish in the Alaska Pantry section.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

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    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Being a Canuck I have to vote for Bradley smokers as they're made in BC.
    Load 'em up, set 'em and forget 'em, pretty much.

    Bradley Smokers

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    I've got a Camp Chef Smoke Vault, but I don't necessarily recommend it. It's designed to run on propane, but I had to retrofit it to run on electric for use in the summer time as the propane burner gets waaaay to hot (over 200 F) to smoke fish. I went ahead and installed a Big Chief heating element and I can keep the temp down below 150. If I could do it all over again, I'd get a Bradley.

  8. #8

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    I have two big chiefs and love them, you can get about 5-6 decent sized fish per smoker. Get the red one with the removable hatch on the front as it is easier to switch the racks around while you are smoking.

    I tried experimenting with some different recipes last year but they turned out way too salty.

    I roll my fish in smoke sugar cure and let it dry for about 4 hours, rinse, roll in dark brown sugar and dry for 4 hours, rinse and soak in Yosihida teriyaki sauce for 8 hours, rinse, dry for 8 hours then smoke for 6-8 hours using alder chips.

    Just got done with 11 fish, letting them cool then into the vacuum sealer!

    When we get back from the copper in August, I am going to try and smoke for about 2 hours and then can them.

  9. #9
    Member AF EOD's Avatar
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    Wow, Primus you are making me hungry...

    Tradbow, we'll have to get Starky out there to catch us some fish for your smoker, lol... LMK how ya'll do out there today and hopefully I'll have that boat shortly.
    "Live that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Show respect to all and grovel to none. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people."

  10. #10
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    I have never had the luxury of using the lil or big chief smokers until this year. I always used the torpedo tube style charcoal smokers. I would soak them in a brine for several hours and then smoke them. (no drying or rinsing) Then after 2 hrs on the moker, I woudl take them inside, and flake the meat off into the jars and can them. I always loved this way. So good!.. UNTIL

    This year I was GIVEN 2 lil chiefs and a Big Chief. I also bought this smoker by Char broiler and love it. Have made some KILLER smoked smoked chicken and pork chops already. I plan to do my Chitina run very soon and they way I have it figured I can smoke about 18-20 fish at once I do prefer the charcoal/alder method myself.

    Bottom line is just go for it. YOu can spend a LOT on smokers, or you can build one, or you can find one a ta garage sale.. they all work...and with a beer and a day off from work.. how can ya go wrong?

    Ps.. I Do rinse and dry my fish now..WAY better quality and finished product.. was simply a rookie mistake.

  11. #11

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    There are lots of good smokers out there and its mostly a matter of preference. I like the electric models because they are the easiest to regulate the temperatures on especially if you are going to be running one for a long period of time. From there you can step up to ones that even control the temperature for you and add the wood automatically. They all seem to work well it is mostly a matter of how much attention you want to pay to your fish while they are smoking and how much you want to spend. I think brines are important to use on fish unless you are going to be eating it immediately. There once was a thread on here where several people were sharing own brine recipes. You can also buy pre-made brines for relatively cheap. Good luck and enjoy the fish.
    Greg

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    Being a NonResident, I am very interested also to see / read what success others have had with brining & smoking.
    I will be in Alaska for two weeks starting this Saturday. Hope to bring home alot of deliciuos salmon, halibut, and lingcod fillets. Plan to smoke some to see how it works out. I read on another forum that smoking is best done at an outside air temp of 70 degrees or less to prevent the fat from turning rancid. That means that I will only have a few precious months to GIT UR DONE. This week would be a terrible time. Yesterday it was 97 degrees & 70% humidity.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    Being a Canuck I have to vote for Bradley smokers as they're made in BC.
    Load 'em up, set 'em and forget 'em, pretty much.

    Bradley Smokers


    I am with Dave on this one. While it is not in keeping with the tradition of real smoking, it is a great performer. Very easy to work with if you don't want to tend the fire and wood all the time. But as I said, that is part of smoking to many folks. If you don't care so much about that aspect, check out the Bradely Smokers forums. I got a ton of info there. Some of them guys are really into it. A dedicated bunch with a quite active forum with tons of recipes, cooking time suggestions, etc... Below are a few pics of me hard at work. Just got mine a few months back but I can say this, it is very easy to use.

    -Dan












    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  14. #14
    Member 9point's Avatar
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    I have a "Backwoods" smoker; the fatboy model. Neverr smoked any fish with it but it is the cats ***** when it comes to smoking pork. It has a built in water pan that will keep your temps around 220 for at least 8 hours. Without the water it gets 400-500 easy and is great for homemade pizzas.

    Check out www.thesmokering.com for a ton of information on smokers.

  15. #15
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    9 point - 220 is waaaay to hot for fish, especially if your brine is sugar based. The sugar will carmelize when the internal temp of the product reaches somewhere around 180-190, then the product will be extremely brittle and it will taste scorched.

  16. #16
    Member nrc's Avatar
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    I haven't done this yet but I will: http://www.instructables.com/id/Yet-...-Cotta-Smoker/

    Good luck.

    Nate

  17. #17
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    Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse. I've done a lot of smoking and I really enjoy this unit. Hands down it's the easiest turn key smoker where you set the temp and leave it alone. It even has a window with inside light to check the meat without losing heat and smoke. It's about $100 cheaper than the Bradley and you don't have to buy wood pucks either!

    I bought mine from Sam's club for a smoking deal! (pun intended)

    http://www.masterbuilt.com/prod-smokers-digital.html

  18. #18

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    Thanks guys, lots of good options to consider. I'll check out sams and the other stores in town and see what I can find here locally.

    I also saw that flower pot smoker, and on another show of his, he smoked in a card board box!

  19. #19
    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnSWA View Post
    Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse. I've done a lot of smoking and I really enjoy this unit. Hands down it's the easiest turn key smoker where you set the temp and leave it alone. It even has a window with inside light to check the meat without losing heat and smoke. It's about $100 cheaper than the Bradley and you don't have to buy wood pucks either!

    I bought mine from Sam's club for a smoking deal! (pun intended)

    http://www.masterbuilt.com/prod-smokers-digital.html
    John
    That looks like a nice smoker, but how does that window work. I would think by the look of the inside of my smoker that it would be all smoked up and not able to see through. I guess if you cleaned in after each use, but I'm glad if I just get the racks all clean again when I'm done smoking.

  20. #20
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    I'm another enthusiastic Bradley user...but not the fancy digital unit danattherock has. Mine is the "Original" model. I haven't messed with fish much in mine but I do like to brine and cure meats such as:

    1. __2.

    3. __4.
    Click thumbnails for larger images.

    1. Canadian bacon cured with brown sugar and maple syrup.
    2. Traditional kielbasa.
    3. Turkey breasts, flavor brined and smoked over cherry wood.
    4. Summer sausage.

    By the way, Dan...I like that lean-to setup you have. I have a canopy that I set up for mine. It has the advantage of being freestanding but yours looks simpler.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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