Until modern times, smoking was utilitarian and very labor-intensive, involving huge quantities of meat and smoke, because the main goal was to preserve the food. But times have changed, and we’ve learned that smoking is one of the most delicious ways to prepare many kinds of food. Technology, at the same time, has made it possible for the home enthusiast to create amazing flavors in a very small package, and the Little Chief Electric Smoker is the epitome of this balance.
What to Choose?
Smoking enthusiasts all over the world have a huge array of products at their disposal to dial in exactly what kind of cooking and flavoring they wish to create. The Little Chief Front Load Smoker is an excellent option for those who wish to combine the best of portability with the utmost in flavor and capacity.
And, unlike many smokers, it can be used to dehydrate foods beautifully. Its vented design makes it perfect for this, and you can buy food-grade drying screens for it separately. Dehydration is another excellent way to preserve food that is often overlooked because it is usually time- and space-consuming.
But with this smoker, you can experiment with dehydrating jerky, fruits, anything that has a high water content that you’d like to preserve.
The Little Chief Front Load Smoker is for people who know what they want to smoke and exactly how they want to do it. The non-adjustable heating element runs at 165 degrees, igniting the fragrant wood in the dishwasher-safe drip pan just above. The fuel pan allows you to move the wood chips in and out of the smoker as needed in order to perfectly regulate the flavor of the foodstuffs inside. Having too much or too little smoke can be a real problem, and a balance of wood flavors is crucial to some recipes. And, despite its small size, this unit can smoke up to twenty-five pounds of meat at a time–most smoking enthusiasts’ needs will be easily met.
This beautiful little tool makes the world of smoking and curing available to the home chef. For so long, people have felt like a smoker is a luxury item or something only very advanced meat enthusiasts own. But one of the advancements of the 21st century is making these time-consuming tasks simple and easy; thus, the personal-sized home smoker with a footprint of only one square foot.
Getting It Home
When you get your smoker home, there’s very little setup before you can begin your smoking adventure. In the box comes a recipe and instruction book, as well as a 1.75-pound bag of hickory flavored wood chunks. There are four easy-slide chrome-plated grills that slip into any of five positions to make room for any larger cuts of meat you might want to smoke in the machine.
It is crafted of durable embossed aluminum with a two-year limited warranty, and should only be used outside in a well-ventilated area to prevent smoke inhalation. It’s only two feet high by one-foot square, so it can go almost anywhere, and a 220V Export model is also available. Furthermore, it weighs only 15 pounds, so even the kids can bring it out from the garage!
Despite its small size, it will smoke up to 25 pounds of meat, fish or anything else. It’s vented to allow for proper dehydration and is listed standard-compliant by UL, CUL, and CSA. The 250 Watt, 120-volt Heating Element operates at 165 degrees via the included 110-volt household current. However, as a safety precaution, you should use the smoker only on a concrete or other non-combustible surface and at least two feet from anything flammable.
Some Flaws to Consider
This unit is not without its drawbacks, however. There are several claims of the unit not being as solid as advertised. Especially there are cases when customers received the product with multiple dents or scratches.
The second flaw of this product is its temperature. With the non-adjustable temperature of being only 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it is just not possible to smoke a wide range of meat where high temperature is a must. Moreover, using a weak 250 Watt heating element makes this unit extremely difficult to get to default temperature in the cold environment. This is not a flaw per se, but rather something a lot of people overlook when researching a smoker. Therefore make sure you do your homework in order to find the right smoker.
Final point being this unit is quite small. The Large item like turkeys, ribs or briskets will not fit into this unit so you will have to use a different smoker for them.
All in all, this smoker is compact and very easy to use. Once you’re comfortable with your smoker, you might want to branch out into more exciting projects using better, more expensive smokers. For example, beer brewers can create an incredible German-style Rauchbier by smoking their barley and grains over fruit wood to impart a rich, dark smokiness. In another arena entirely, many foods take on a whole new dimension when smoked: tomatoes, peppers, and even herbs. When you are good with a smoker, then the sky’s your limit.