Well, I've gotten my electric smoker cleaned up...

now what?

It’s a Little Chief electric smoker, given to me by my brother-in-law, who got it at a yard sale, so I have no manual. I bought some hickory and mesquite chips yesterday, and I have a turkey in the freezer :smiley: . How do I start making smoky meat goodness?

Start to thaw the Turkey and check back in a few days! :smiley:

I usually use my Little Chief for fish. Mmmmmm…smoked salmon.

OK, GaryM, the bird is defrosting in the garage fridge!

Trying not to assume too much on this board, your smoker does have a water pan to keep everything moist, right?

If so, instead of water, try using apple juice instead…buy the cheapest you can find. I use a 50/50 mixture of apple juice & water, I know others who use straight apple juice.


By going down to your local BBQ joint and paying them to do it. Smoking meat is about as much fun as watching grass grow, and sometimes it would be better to eat the grass when you are done.

I have an odd mental image of a robot with a Meerschaum pipe…

LiveOnAPlane, yes there is a water pan. I’ll have to try juice.

UncleRojelio, the local BBQ place closed a few months ago. I couldn’t afford $30.00 a pound for their ribs, anyways. I like to cook, so I thought I’d give this a try.

Bosda, it sorta looks like a shorter, square R2-D2. :stuck_out_tongue:

Trust me, you can produce way better smoked food at home than the local BBQ joint does.
I am a sucker for BBQ, but very few places can equal what I make at home. My lovely wife won’t even go out for BBQ anymore because what I do is so much better.

I had a smoker for a few years and used it with some success. Just bought a new one last night which I now need to assemble. Mine, unlike yours, are heated by propane. Never had an electric, but had been told that in some climates they can’t maintain the required temperature.

Here’s what I know:

Cook at low temp, 210 to 240 degrees for a long time. The lower and slower the better. And use the water pan to maintain a humid environment. Juices or other flavorings in the pan are often a good idea.

I did a brisket on my gas grill last weekend, indirect heat and very low temps. Cooked it for 6.5 hours. It was good, but would have been better with a water pan and another 2 or three hours. Just couldn’t wait any longer. That’s what prompted me to purchase a new smoker.

Perhaps another poster will have some good links for us all to explore. :smiley:

You might consider brining the bird first
Here is a recipe for smoked turkey

Rick, thanks for the links. They look like they’ll help a lot (Alton Brown is a God, a God I tells ya! :stuck_out_tongue: )

GaryM, thanks for the tips. I don’t anticipate keeping the temp up will be a problem; weather forecast for Sunday (when I plan to try my little experiment) is for high 90’s and little wind.

I’ll post back with results!

Agreed. I don’t know anything about electric smokers, but I swear by the gorgeous marvel of BBQ engineering that is the Weber Smokey Mountain. I used to have one of them Brinkmans, but, while affordable, they kinda suck without the proper modifications. Buy an WSM, learn how to use it properly, and you will never go back to any other vertical water smoker.

Dagnabbit. Here’s the link again.

Oh, yeah, absolutely do brine that bird.

Well, things surely did not go as planned. We got everything set up, smoke issued from the thing, but several hours later, a meat thermometer stuck into the bird barely registered. We decided that it probably wouldn’t be safe to eat the bird, so it is sitting in the garage refrigerator wrapped in a plastic bag until tomorrow, which is our trash day. :frowning: I cobbled together ribs and chicken, though, and everyone left the house full. :slight_smile: We’ve been looking at propane smokers online, and may buy one soon. I’m not giving up yet! :smiley:

Why not finish cooking the turkey in your oven?

It had sat out in 90+ degree weather for around 6 hours. I wasn’t gonna take a chance with it making my family sick. :frowning: On the up side, it was a turkey I had bought at Thanksgiving, when they were like 6 bucks. So I’m not out a lot, except for the experience!

Bullets are good, but I prefer my egg . Water pan? We don’t need no stinking water pan!

Cheez_Whia I thought you understood that the Chief is a cold smoker, not a hot smoker. How the process works is different for both.
Meats can be cold smoked, and still be safe. Back in the days of yore dry cured hams were dry salt cured, and then smoked for days. They can be stored for ages.
Your smoked turkey is more sensitive than that, but you can prepare a safe bird on a cold smoker.
I do not do any cold smoking, so you know as much as I do about the process.

Nope, don’t know nothing about smoking, either hot or cold. :slight_smile: Gonna learn, though! Hubby and I found a propane smoker online that we will buy as soon as funds permit.

Yeah, the water pan can be a bit of a pain in the ass. Forget to refill it halfway through your cook, and your temp skyrockets into the 300s. That egg does look good, but I have no experience with it. The engineering looks sound, there’s a nice vent on top for the smoke to escape (something my Brinkman didn’t have, and all my smoked meats ended up tasting of creosote). I swear by my WSM because it’s the first smoker I’ve had that gives me consistently excellent results every time I use it. And it’s also quite beautiful.

I would look into that egg but, as they say, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. My next smoker step (if there will be any), would probably be one of those off-set jobs.