The Little Chief smoker, manufactured by Smokehouse, is available in front-loading and top-loading styles. Both models are electric, depending on a 250 W electric heating element to supply the heat. The smokers can accommodate a maximum of 25 lb. of meat or fish. These smokers are for outdoor use only, and plug into a 120 V AC electrical outlet.
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For extra flavor, treat your meat, poultry or fish to a brine bath before smoking. Use 1 cup of kosher salt for each gallon of water. Consider adding molasses, spices or even a pureed jalapeno pepper or two into the brine solution. Leave thicker pieces of meat in the brine solution overnight. Fish only need to be soaked in brine for around four hours.
Mesquite and hickory are probably the two most widely used woods for smoking, but apple and pecan wood can give your smoked foods another tasty dimension. As with anything else, experiment to create your own favorites.
Smoker wood is sold either as chips or chunks. Use large chunks to smoke thicker pieces of meat; the chips will be spent before they have thoroughly smoked the meat. You can continually replenish the chips, perhaps every half hour, for as long as you wish to smoke the food, but the job can be tedious with a large roast that takes hours to smoke.
Smoke the wood well before it is introduced to the heat. Chips will be completely soaked in a half hour, but chunks of wood will require an overnight soaking before use.
When your meat is thoroughly brined, and the wood soaked, carefully lay out the meat on the smoking racks. Make sure that there is some space between each piece. Place fish on the rack with the skin-side down. Drain your wood and place it into the smoker on top of the heating element. Use the small pot that is provided to keep moisture or collect juices. Place the racks into the smoker and close up the box. Plug in the electrical cord and within about 10 minutes, you should see smoke gently trickling out from the smoker's vents. The thicker the food inside the smoker, the longer the process will take.