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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm doing a batch of chum,and the high for today is only going to be about 40 up here. Other than leaving it in the smoker longer,are there any cold weather tricks? I don't have the box for my Little Chief any more,so I can't insulate the smoker any better. I usually smoke the fish for about 8 hrs,but I think about 12hrs is going to be in order this time.
 

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I smoked some salmon yesterday in a big cheif. I went ahead and bought the external insulator. Anyhow I smoked it for 12 hours and it turned out good, I had a high of 39 degrees on my weather station. I was happy of the performance in the cool weather. If you can find some cardboard around and tape it to fit I am sure it would do just as good.

SS
 

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an old sleeping bag works great.
 

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I did tape cardboard all around the smoker. It does work real well.
 

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I smoked some salmon on Saturday, burr it was cold. Anyway, we just bought a new microwave, and the box fit real well. I just laid it over the top, and the flaps were right where the pan was. Just lift up the flap, and add more chips, it worked great! Took 10 hours. Last time in 80 degree weather earlier this fall, it took 12 hours without a box.

The office staff loved it today!

SKP
 

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ICTHY,

I built a box out of a roll of the foil type insulation with a wooden frame for my big-chief and it gets much hotter than it ever did using the old cardboard box. Also Luhr Jensen sells something similar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I checked out the Luhr-Jensen website,and didn't see any kind of blanket or wrap for the smokers. Is it available at most sporting goods stores?

I just checked the fish and it looks like a couple more hrs and it will be done. its been in since 8am this morning.
 

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Itchy,you can purchase the insulated blanket at Fishermans Marine for $23, works good lasts along time.
 

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I used a garbage can leaving a small gap at the bottom to let moisture out. It worked well for me.
 

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i usually run about three trays of chips through the little chief and then I bring the fish inside and finish it in a 180 degree oven. be sure to place an old cookie sheet below the fish to catch the drippings. Also, while smoking the fish I will toss 2-3 regular charcoal bricketts to help kick a bit more heat.

good luck!
 

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To keep my Little Chief warm I got a sheet of foam insulating board with foil on each side. I cut it to size with a utility knife and used duct tape to hold it together. I cut it so there was about 3 inches clearance around the smoker on the inside of the foam box.
 

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Do yourself a favor and try this...After rincing off the brine,lay out your fish on your smoker racks,turn on the oven and preheat to around 350 degress.Sit the racks of fish on cookie sheets and bake in the oven for about 25 mins.While doing this,fire up your smoker and have it ready to go.After the baking is done,put the racks in the smoker for 3 to 4 hrs and your done!!! An old friend of mine told me about this method yrs. ago,so having two little chief's,I did one like this and one the old way.When I finished,I couldn't tell any difference at all!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
At 10pm last night it still wasn't done. I brought it in and finished it in a 300deg. oven for 10 minutes. It turned out well,and I may have to start finishing all my salmon in the oven.
 

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I gave up on the small smokers and I now use my gas grill. I turn on only 1 burner, as low as it will go, put my wood chips in a metal baking pan (swiped from the wife)right over the burner and put the brined fish on the top rack. Total smoking time is roughly 2-3 hours and it comes out great! Just like using the smoker, you'll need to add chips once or twice but that's about it.
 

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I too, smoked some chinook this weekend in Salem, where it spit rain and snow for much of the day. I found that adding some 1/4" plumbing insulation on all sides of the smoker works well. The type I use is tacky on one side and so sticks to the side of the 'lil Chief quite well.

Even so, I did have to bring the fish inside and finish it in the oven at 170 for an hour or so. They were thick chunks of fish, otherwise I could have finished it outside I think.

Also, I agree with the above post about the cookie sheet or tin foil. If the fat from the fish drips on the heating element, everything you cook for a week will taste like alder chips.
 

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I ran a big and one little chief last weekend. Used the box they come in for insulation. the big was done in about 6 hours and the little took about 1.5 hrs longer. I am very careful about having these smokers no where close to anything combustable at any time, especially when I have them in the box. I take a spray can of auto body undercoating and spray the bottom and about 6 inches up the sides of the box when it is new and they have lasted over 12+ years.
 

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I just did a batch in my new Great Outdoors propane smoker I bought last month at Lowes in McMinnville.
I didn't worry about the outside temperature.
 
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