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Yolo
05-25-2015, 10:00 PM
Hi fellow sniffers.

I'm looking to buy a smoker but I don't know which one would be the best bet for a beginner.
Planing to smoke shad and salmon and if possible some other meats as well. Not looking into a super fancy one but the one that will work and will be the best buy for the money. I have seen some cheap ones and even heard a good reviews on "little chief" from old-timers but amazon reviews suggest complaints.

I will appreciate your suggestions.

Thanks

Jetspray
05-26-2015, 04:21 AM
Hi fellow sniffers.

I'm looking to buy a smoker but I don't know which one would be the best bet for a beginner.
Planing to smoke shad and salmon and if possible some other meats as well. Not looking into a super fancy one but the one that will work and will be the best buy for the money. I have seen some cheap ones and even heard a good reviews on "little chief" from old-timers but amazon reviews suggest complaints.

I will appreciate your suggestions.

Thanks
You have to choose the size you think you need. Most smokers have to be attended most of the time. For me it is all about the wood you use, problem being that some models have their own chips, wood, pellets, hockey pucks to use in their special blend. Brands like Trager are great but they require electricity (they are fully automatic for the most part), but they are very expensive. If you do get a lower cost smoker, my advice is to get some sort of remote temperature monitor system that has probes for the inside of the smoker as well as probes for the meat. Have a good time with your choices:old::fish_jumps:.........Jetspray

Line Stretcher
05-26-2015, 06:50 AM
A great and inexpensive starter is the Little Chief smoker. All of the supplies are readily available at a variety of locations and learning to use it is a snap.

Their major deficiency is that they don't get warm enough to smoke in colder weather. Theyll get you started (hooked) on smoking and then you can decide on what you want in a more expensive smoker.

Jimmy_M
05-26-2015, 07:02 AM
For a few buck more you can get a Big Chief! It's a great unit for the price, no complaints from me. The wood pellets will produce more smoke and burn longer than traditional chips. There are plenty of instructional videos on Youtube as well.

http://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/sportsmans/Smokehouse-Big-Chief-Electric-Smoker/productDetail/Smokers-and-Wood-Chips/prod9999004754/cat101724

http://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/sportsmans/Smokehouse-Wood-Pellets/productDetail/Smokers-and-Wood-Chips/prod9999004752/cat101724

Yolo
05-26-2015, 07:06 AM
For a few buck more you can get a Big Chief! It's a great unit for the price, no complaints from me. The wood pellets will produce more smoke and burn longer than traditional chips. There are plenty of instructional videos on Youtube as well.

http://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/sportsmans/Smokehouse-Big-Chief-Electric-Smoker/productDetail/Smokers-and-Wood-Chips/prod9999004754/cat101724

http://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/sportsmans/Smokehouse-Wood-Pellets/productDetail/Smokers-and-Wood-Chips/prod9999004752/cat101724

Thx,

Yes I have considered this one as well. The only problem I have with Chief smokers is that they are not getting hot enough like only 180F . Will meat even cook in such temperature because even to boil water you need 220 .
Maybe meat needs to be treated in salt or so to make it ready to eat even before smoking? I'm just new to hot smoking . I have done some cold smoking of salted fish but I suppose hot one should actually cook the meat.

Jimmy_M
05-26-2015, 07:29 AM
Thx,

Yes I have considered this one as well. The only problem I have with Chief smokers is that they are not getting hot enough like only 180F . Will meat even cook in such temperature because even to boil water you need 220 .
Maybe meat needs to be treated in salt or so to make it ready to eat even before smoking? I'm just new to hot smoking . I have done some cold smoking of salted fish but I suppose hot one should actually cook the meat.

Correct, it's great for fish but lacks higher temps for other meats. To overcome this you can use the smoker for flavor and finish in the oven or BBQ depending on how well you are looking for.

lund16
05-26-2015, 08:10 AM
Watch for sales, its simple set and forget. http://www.lowes.com/pd_526419-58355-20071514___?productId=50113704&pl=1&Ntt=masterbuilt+smokersa

Line Stretcher
05-26-2015, 08:14 AM
Thx,

Yes I have considered this one as well. The only problem I have with Chief smokers is that they are not getting hot enough like only 180F . Will meat even cook in such temperature because even to boil water you need 220 .
Maybe meat needs to be treated in salt or so to make it ready to eat even before smoking? I'm just new to hot smoking . I have done some cold smoking of salted fish but I suppose hot one should actually cook the meat.
With a smoker and fish you're not trying to cook the meat, you're preserving it. The brining process prepares the meat for drying and the smoker dries it. A higher drying temp will preserve the meat faster and for longer periods of time. 130 degrees is adequate for most fish smoking and drying if you allow it enough time to fully dry. My Little Chief hits 130 when outside temps are around 70 degrees.

Bigfab34
05-26-2015, 04:05 PM
I have a Char-Broil grill w/ side smoker box which is verstile and has enough space when needed.
Use westerner mesquite for my favorite wood or Jack daniels or Jim beam chips pre-soaked at least 48 hrs.
Chunks work good too and don't need soaking. I use mixture of char coals to get everything going and add wood as coal start to ash out. You can use side box for long smoking times ex:8 hrs. Or for 1-4 hr smoke go indirect in main grill portion.
Chiminey starter always!! Never any lighter fluid !!! I used to use my weber the same way and it works great. For no fuss and no maintenance smoking use a Electric Master Built smoker at hardware store. Double the price but easy as pie!!

sportygirl
05-26-2015, 07:39 PM
I have an electric masterbuilt ... I love it turkey tri tip pork butt trout and salmon all turn out good ... I watched for a sale got $100 off... I have 2 remote temperature gauges and Stack it full every time I use it.. We just had pulled pork tonight that I smoked few months ago ... A seal a meal is a must also..


Sent from bottom of a corona bottle

BigUnInDaBoat
05-26-2015, 08:04 PM
I have two smokers, a big propane one that does wild game and regular meats perfect, fall off the bone ribs that would blow your mind.

However its too hot for fish!

I run a lil'chief for all my fish and they come out perfect! Been smoking fish for 22 years and am on my second one.

Maybe some guys have a different opinion but if you want perfect smoked fish (from lox soft to hard smoke nearly jerky) you can do it all with a lil'chief!

BigUnInDaBoat
05-26-2015, 08:06 PM
A great and inexpensive starter is the Little Chief smoker. All of the supplies are readily available at a variety of locations and learning to use it is a snap.

Their major deficiency is that they don't get warm enough to smoke in colder weather. Theyll get you started (hooked) on smoking and then you can decide on what you want in a more expensive smoker.

If you buy a clean garbage can from a hardware store and place it over the smoker, out of the wind it works. I have smoked outside in 25-30f with that method and my little chief.

Double Haul
05-27-2015, 06:56 AM
I've used a little chief for years for fish. Works fine. If you want to increase the temp in the winter I just place the box it came in over it covering about 3/4 of the smoker. I like alder and apple wood for the smoke for fish.
I'm waiting for my new Weber smokey mountain to arrive so I can do some real BBQ

FISHERPRICE
05-27-2015, 06:59 AM
I have used and almost owned them all. Last year I decided to try a new style electric and holy sh*t this thing has put out som ereally good food. I have used pellets and chips and found both to work great . It is called a "Cajun Injector" .It looks like a mini fridge . You can get it locally and there are two diferent models of the one I got. One goes for $199 and other with glass door is like $250. You set the temp and set the time and walk away. I have smoked Turkey and Salmon so far and it is awsome !! Check it out

Buz4Bas
05-27-2015, 08:32 AM
I've used a little chief for years for fish. Works fine. If you want to increase the temp in the winter I just place the box it came in over it covering the smoker. I like alder and apple wood for the smoke for fish.
I still have this and it has worked well for over 40 years--

However I did buy a Bradley pellet smoker a couple years ago--terrific

check em out

Regards Buz

Cali Duck
05-27-2015, 09:13 AM
1 Vote for a little chief! I think Broadway Bait usually has them for $100.

Yolo
05-27-2015, 10:15 PM
I have used and almost owned them all. Last year I decided to try a new style electric and holy sh*t this thing has put out som ereally good food. I have used pellets and chips and found both to work great . It is called a "Cajun Injector" .It looks like a mini fridge . You can get it locally and there are two diferent models of the one I got. One goes for $199 and other with glass door is like $250. You set the temp and set the time and walk away. I have smoked Turkey and Salmon so far and it is awsome !! Check it out

Thanks,
Yes I saw Cajun Injector for $250 at lowe's . This one looks more like it can deliver slow cooked pork and tri tips without any other cooking in the process. max temp goes up to 275F .

Yolo
05-27-2015, 10:17 PM
Very good suggestions . thanks everyone.

Looks like Little Chief is the most popular one for shad/salmon smoking.
I'll probably start off with that smoker. I don't want to buy it online since I have heard they could come damaged so I will search local places like Big 5 or Broadway bait.

And Looks like I have seen tons of recipes on this forum for shad smoking also. I'm looking forward to give it a try.

Thanks