If you are in the market looking for a small electric smoker that can take care of your moderate BBQ needs, the Little Chief Electric smoker is your answer!
Little chief electric smoker, as the name suggests, is the smaller sibling of the more popular Big chief electric smoker from the Smokehouse. So, if you are familiar with the features of the Big Chief smoker, you already have a good idea of what to expect from the smaller sibling.
In brief, the Little Chief smoker is a toned-down version of the Big chief. The features remain identical. But, the entire unit comes in a smaller package. That includes the cooking size and, of course, the price-tag of the Little Chief.
If your BBQ needs are relatively intermittent and small, the Little Chief gives you the option to save some more extra cash.
We tested this smoker to see if it is capable of handling standard outdoor BBQ needs. So, what did we find? And should you consider buying the little chief electric smoker?
Little Chief Smoker Review
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Here are some of the key features of the Little Chief Electric Smoker that stood out from the bunch of similar products.
Ease of use
If convenience is something you keep in high regard, the little chief smoker hits the bulls-eye. This smoker is extremely easy to operate and certainly lives up to its name. With this smoker, you do not have to be a seasoned Barbecue enthusiast to master smoking with it.
The only trouble you would have to take is to slide the cooking pan inside the smoker. There aren't any complicated cutting-edge controls you would have to learn. The Little Chief sticks to the basics – let the wood chips do their job, so you won't have to keep an eye on it frequently.
There is also minimal assembly required. You only have to screw in the handles to the top and the door, which only takes about 5-6 minutes, at most.
In brief, if you are capable of plugging in the electric cord to the nearest power outlet, and slide the cooking pan inside the smoker, you should not face any problems with the Little chief smoker.
Despite its significantly modest price tag, the Little Chief does not cut any corners on its core features. Its build quality is identical to the Big Chief smoker. Both the exterior and the interior construction feature a durable, embossed aluminum material.
Of course, aluminum isn't as rigid or sturdy as stainless steel construction. But, it provides a massive advantage in the form of lightweight. The unit weighs just above 12 pounds, and you can easily carry it around your backyard using the handle on the top.
Aluminum materials also ensure longer operational life due to its exceptional corrosion resistance. Since you will be using your smoker mainly for outdoor purposes, rust resistance is a vital aspect. Moreover, aluminum materials help in reducing the price tag by a considerable margin.
So, while aluminum products may not be as strong and robust as the conventional stainless steel, it does come with its fair share of benefits.
The Little Chief is a proper low-temperature smoker. Let that idea sink in first before you purchase the Little Chief Electric Smoker. If you go in expecting a crazy 225°F (+) heat, you will be disappointed.
So, if you are someone who likes beef briskets, you might not find the ideal product in the Little Chief smoker. The Little Chief has a non-adjustable heat that runs at 165°F consistently. This makes it suitable for smoking food items like salmon, beef jerky, sausage, steelhead, and trout, etc. The temperature on the internal cooking compartment is relatively consistent. So, you won't notice any significant temperature fluctuations once it gets smoking.
However, there is no standard insulation on the external surface, so it may not perform quietly as impressive if you take it out on a cold day.
Overall, the Little Chief is an impressive low-temperature smoker. If you are looking beyond the 165°F heat smoking, you are in the wrong shopping section.
The little chief's smoking performance is impressive! Again, keep it in mind that we are talking about food that requires low-temperature smoking.
At first glance, the design of the Little Chief seems rather unconvincing. But, once you get things smoking, the intricate design elements come to light. The smart engineered ventilation on the top does an excellent job of keeping the smoke circulated.
The ventilation also keeps the meat optimally dehydrated. All-in-all, the Little Chief, does an excellent job of giving the meat an authentic smoky flavor and the right texture as well. It is hard not to be impressed by its smoking performance, considering what you are paying for it.
But again, at the end of the day, we wouldn't recommend trying to smoke your premium brisket or a large turkey on the Little Chief.
For anything that requires a standard 165°F smoking temperature, the Little Chief is excellent. It even out-performs even some of the higher-end smokers.
The smoking space of the Little Chief is one of the only downsides to this smoker. But, considering that it is designed to appeal only for smoking small foods like salmon or sausage, space is more than adequate.
On a full load, the Little Chief can smoke fish and meat up to a maximum weight of 25 pounds. For smoking your salmon and jerky, this should be more than sufficient, even for large parties.
Other than that, the smoker comes with four (4) chrome plated smoking grills. However, you get five (5) grill racks. So, you can adjust the position of the grills to fit large meat or a small turkey. If you need more smoking space, you can purchase or DIY a grill and make it a 5-grill smoker.
The chrome-plated grills are extremely easy to slide, so you can adjust, remove them entirely depending on your smoking needs.
The Little Chief is extremely easy to clean. Moreover, the drip pan is dishwater safe making it optimally convenient for cleaning after a great BBQ party. One of the more unique aspects of the smoker is that it comes with a complimentary BBQ recipe and a 1.75-pound bag of Alder natural wood chips. This, in specific, is something that not even the higher-end products offer.
In addition to paying less for the smoker, you cut down your investment on wood chips as well. For a quick overview, here are the pros and cons of this smoker:
The Little Chief is one of the classic examples of how good things come in small packages. It is not a premium electric smoker by far. But, for the amount you pay, the features included in the smoker are outstanding. Of course, the Little Chief does not handle intense grilling/smoking like briskets, or steak. But at its price point, neither do any of its competitors offer that as well.
If you are looking for a smoker to kick-start your salmon or beef jerky smoking experience, the little chief is the best option you are going to get.