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by Jude
[October 17, 2018, 11:54:16 PM]

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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Big Chief smoker  (Read 237 times)

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  • Sea Lion
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  • Date Registered: May 2005
  • Posts: 3220
This is a few years old but some parts have been replaced, lightly used, clean and well cared for and still has the box etc.

I went over to a Traeger pellet smoker so this just taking up space in the garage.

We are in Menlo Park so if you’re near by and interested make a offer and we can arrange pick up



  • Salmon
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  • Location: San Francisco
  • Date Registered: Sep 2009
  • Posts: 654
How hot can you get it?
"Slick Rick the Ruler"


  • Salmon
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  • Location: Missoula, Montana
  • Date Registered: Jun 2015
  • Posts: 243
How hot can you get it?
I learned how to smoke fish on a Little Chief smoker, and I smoked a lot of pretty nice fish with that smoker.  But the problem with the Little Chief and Big Chief smokers is that they don't have a thermometer, you can't control the heat output of their heating element, their temperature isn't controlled by a thermostat, they have no insulation, and they have insufficient ventilation.  An electric thermostatically-controlled smoker is a better way to go.  I recommend the Masterbuilt 4-rack and 6-rack smokers.  They provide excellent temperature control, they are inexpensive, and they burn wood chips which you can buy from a variety of sources.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 08:59:14 PM by pmmpete »


  • Sea Lion
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  • Location: Marin
  • Date Registered: Mar 2016
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It is possible to control the temp in a big chief.  Just takes some tips and use a temp probe.  What I like is that it will not go over 220 degrees.  Other than that you just have to keep the fillets on longer or shorter time depending on your texture preferences.  I have had good results on the big chief.  The results on that master built look super sweet and tempting though. :smt006
Word to the wise if your mama aint' taught ya' "Don't stand in front of a man and a fish he aint' caught yet.  Brock Zeman song "I'm goin' fishin"

Jackson Kraken 15.7


  • Sea Lion
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  • Date Registered: May 2005
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I smoked a lot of salmon in Big Chiefs over the years, they’ve been the go to for small batch smoking for decades

There are ways to get more sophisticated with smoking but the Chief is very basic approach. As far as the results its mostly about what you do with the fish

Not really different than what comes out of our Traeger which has temp control so is more versatile e.g. for doing ribs etc and you don’t have to keep reloading the pan

Big difference in the price tags though