View Full Version : Smoker help??

June first
05-24-2009, 09:44 AM
I have had a buddy of mine smoke the last few batches of fish we have taken home. I am looking for some advise from some of you about which smoker to buy?

Which one do you own?
What features do you like/dislike?
Where should I buy one?

I have seen the post about canned kokes, but I just want to smoke it and eat it.......

Another question I have is, how long will it last before it spoils?
(I am pretty sure it will get eaten before it spoils but am curious) ;D

Thanks for your help! 8-)

05-24-2009, 10:07 AM
Hi JF, I have using the little chief for years and it works great and its easy to use its electric and pretty simple, . after using it a few times you will get timing down usually smoke for about 10 hrs . and they sell the wood chips that go with it . they sell them everywhere .

Capt Ron

05-24-2009, 10:15 AM
June 1st, I own a Big Chief, and I Love it. Does the Job for me.....
There are many ( smokers) out there, so I would look around.
I'm curious tho, I've seen many Posts that say up to 10 hrs of
Smoke time, I usually go 4-6 hrs, and they ( kokanee ) come
out just fine. Am I doing something wrong...........................

Good Eats..........

Stones [smiley=rollingstones.gif]Fan

05-24-2009, 10:28 AM
I'm waiting for this post to et moved to the cooking your catch section, but in the meanwhile....
You smoke your fish until it looks ready to you. We smoke it for added flavor, so we pull it while it is still moist. My buddy likes his like jerky, so it stays in longer.
I use a vacuum sealer, and freeze any leftovers, don't know how long they will last, because they get eaten within weeks.

I have used my Weber kettle to smoke small batches, my barrel cooker, and I have a Brinkman smoker that I got for 10 bucks at a yard sale. I like that on the best.
I HATE my new Charbroil 600. The burner can't be turned down enough to keep from cooking the fish to fast.

If you want to smoke a few, and have a Weber, PM me and I'll give you the down and dirty. They turn out great, just can't do a bunch at a time. :)

05-24-2009, 10:46 AM
I have a buddy who smakes fish on a Traeger grill. The fish comes out the best I have ever had. I will pick one up when mine takse a dump. Here is the website.


05-24-2009, 11:43 AM
June First - I have a Big Chief which has 5 racks and can smoke about 10 fish (fileted). I use a dry brine (5 parts brown sugar, 1 part non-iodized salt). I layer filets in this salt/sugar mixture in pyrex dishes and leave them at least 24-36 hours. Then I rinse off the fish, pat them dry and give them a couple more hours in the refrigerator. When I smoke the fish it only takes about 2-1/2 to 3 hours total and I only use 2 pans of chips max. (Alder is my favorite). Try it, everyone will love it. I usually put it in freezer bags in the refrigerator but sometimes I'll vacuum pack them and freeze them but I like to eat them sooner, and so does everyone else!!

05-24-2009, 01:07 PM
I am using the "Smokin Tex" electric smoker. Some of the features that appealed to me where. All stainless steel, temperature gauge down to 100* & will hold about 50 fillets each batch.

If you vacuum pack them they will keep over a year in the freezer.

4 to 6 hours depending on dryness desired.

Guess what I am doing today?


05-24-2009, 01:12 PM
Forget the rest, Bradley is the best! I have 2, they are automatic and fool proof. Remeber the secret to good smoked fish is in the brine!!!! :D

05-24-2009, 02:14 PM
I had a Bradley smoker and really did not care for it. It didn't give anything I smoked the great smokey flavor I was looking for. I now use a Little Chief but will upgrade to the Traeger.

05-24-2009, 03:08 PM
go with the big chief 15 lbs at a time different kinds of chips 10 to 12 hours on nice filets 3 to 4 pans of chips time depends on the weather the hotter it is out side the less time it takes i will start 15 lbs at 5 am

05-24-2009, 03:41 PM
I use a big and litlte chief. THe big chief has about 50% more capacity but that is about the difference. If its hot outside, I'll smoke a load of koke's for about 4 to 5 hours. The cooler the temp - the longer the smoke. Also, if you're smoking thicker fish such as kings then it will be longer. As mentioned previously, the brine is the secret. Ove the years, I've experimented with many concoctions and had alot of fish taste less than desirable or worse. But once you nail the brine to your taste - it doesn't get any better. Tight lines.

05-24-2009, 04:24 PM
Check out the Cookin You Catch board, there's a thread in the FAQ's just for smokers. This thread will probably get moved over there anyways.

05-24-2009, 06:09 PM
June, I agree with dwnrgr22, it's in the brine. Find the one you like. It takes some experimenting. Properly brined and smoked fish will last about a month in the frig. Vacuumed sealed in a freezer a year no problem.

Make sure you do your research on smoking. You have to brine properly or risk severe health issues. Any smoker you buy will probably cover the brining issues and have a few recipies.

The one I use most is 5 parts brown sugar to 1 part sea salt. Layer the filets covered with this mixture, refrig 12 to 24 hrs, rinse, dry 1 to 2 hours on racks then smoke. Try this also, about an hopur before they're done, heat honey in a container in the microwave so that it is very runny. Add what ever spices you like, coarse ground pepper and garlic for example, and baste it on the filets. The juice from jalapeno peppers in the honey is great also......Pratice make perfect!!! have fun...Mike

Zebco Kid
05-24-2009, 09:12 PM
June First,

I followed Koke Machine's recipe. I like mine sweet so I adjusted to 1/4 cup of salt and 1lb of brown sugar. I heat this mixture with about 3 cups of water on the stove to melt the salt and sugar. I let it cool totally, then cure for 24 hours. As Koke Machine said, Alder wood is really nice. Finally, I smoke for about 10 hours in a Little Chief. Rather than laying the fish on the racks, I have fashioned some metal hooks out of wire. This allows me to smoke more fish at one time. Finally, I cover the wood pan with aluminum foil and slice many holes. This last point allows the wood to smoke for many hours, rather than mere minutes. Time in the smoker is really a personal preference. I like the really nice fish moist, but the smaller ones more like jerky. I vacuum seal them when done, and toss them in the fridge. I like to eat 1/2 a fish when I come home from work.

Once you get it down it's really great. It takes the pressure off eating all of that fish (dreaming). And more importantly, eliminates throwing out fish because you didn't get to it when it was fresh. For me, if the trout hits the freezer, then it's destined for the garbage, as I'll have more fresh fish before I need the frozen.

Good luck.


June first
05-25-2009, 09:40 AM
Thanks all for the replies, looks like most of you use(and are happy with) the big or little chief.
I think I am going to buy the big chief and a vacuum sealer
Now it looks like I need to experiment with brines and smoking times.
Thanks again! 8-)

05-25-2009, 09:55 AM
Big Chief

06-20-2009, 10:21 PM
I have two large smokers and two smaller units I carry when camping. This is the one I have used the most in the 48 inch model.....Jetspray

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/pod/standard-pod-wrapped.jsp;jsessionid=J2MYRG5IGFFFNLAQBBISCO3MCAE FEIWE?_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/catalog/pod-link.jsp_A&_DAV=MainCatcat602009-cat20120_TGP&rid=&indexId=cat20120&navAction=push& masterpathid=&navCount=1&parentType=index&parentId =cat20120&id=0057537&_requestid=144506

Zebco Kid
06-21-2009, 11:28 AM

It appears that the door is stainless, and the rest is a coated metal of some sort. Do you clean the smoker, or just let it get progressively seasoned through use? I as because a friend recommended stainless for cleaning. They of course cost more.



06-21-2009, 12:57 PM
The model that I have is the earlier version and all stainless. The door is one solid piece on mine. I only clean the racks. As far as cooking in it just wipe down with wet cloth prior to use, turn on and heat it up before putting in the wood box (presoak the wood in the water bowl). I use the water in the bowl as part of the smoking process somtimes putting in herbs from the garden as well as a sliced lemon. The thing is to get the smoker hot enough to kill germs, then adjust down for the water and chips......Jetspray

Zebco Kid
06-21-2009, 01:01 PM
Thanks. When my borrowed little chief dies, I'm going to step up.

06-21-2009, 02:51 PM
I have a side box smoker that is a backup now. I love the gas setup and can do some serious smoking with the newer one. I find that the smoke is not as intense either nor does the smoke wander all over the place. You can regulate the temperature better and I use a remote thermometer to monitor the temps while smoking meats it has a timer, meat temp probe, and smoker box probe......Jetspray