Smokehouse products logoThe brand which stays behind both Big Chief and Little Chief is the Smokehouse Products and they are producing all kinds of smokers, their parts, and accessories.

The Little Chief, is their first electric smoker made in 1968 and it was embraced by fishermen because this little smoker made an excellent job in smoking fish.

In the 1980s the Little Chief got its big brother we all know as the Big Chief and that year was the most important for Smokehouse products because they started to sell sausage mixers, shaker seasonings, and other accessories to help their customers improve the taste of the smoked food.

Since then, one of the most famous Smokehouse products are precisely Big and Little Chief which means they are good quality smokers.

There are 3 basic models of Big Chief and Little Chief smokers so I will make a review of each product. Some of the products have different versions of basic models and I won’t make a big review because they are the same in technical characteristics as the main model, but they have one or two things different and I want to focus on differences.

So, below my main review, you will find short reviews of each version with its differences.

TABLE OF CONTENT: I know that this may seem complicated and confusing and to avoid any misunderstanding I made a table of content of all models and their versions you can see below, right before the main review:

 

Big Chief electric smoker with top load

Even though it is not their first model, I decided to start with the Big Chief electric smoker. This smoker is great for smoking meals for your family and friends because it has the capacity of 50 pounds spread on 5 cooking grids and that is pretty impressive.

The smoker is very simple to use and you can plug it in in any outlet in your home because the Big Chief smoker is made for homes. The heating element used in this smoker has 450 watts which his more than enough for preparing most food. You can smoke food on about 165°F so that is more than enough for the low smoking process.

The trick with the Big Chief top load electric smoker is that it is more convenient to move the grids together. You can put everything you want to smoke on the grids and then put the grid in the smoker which sometimes seems more convenient than loading one grid at a time.

big chief electric smokehouse reviewSince it is a top load smoker you can’t expect it to have glass on the doors so if you are looking for a glassed smoker you will have to continue your search. The wood chip pan has its own drawer so you don’t have to worry how you will add another round of wood chips in the Big Chief top load smoker.

There is one catch with the Big Chief smoker. This is a low-temperature smoker which means it is made for slow smoking. If you want to smoke some large meat like pork butt you have to finish it in the oven because a large meat requires a higher temperature than 165°F.

big chief smokerThe big Chief smoker hasn’t changed a lot since its first introduction on the market. It doesn’t have digital controls, no wifi or Bluetooth and that is a good thing. Sometimes all those gadgets can get in the way between you and perfectly smoked meal because you have to know how to work with them.

That is what I like about this smoker. It is reliable, it is easy to use and it provides a good smoked meal. I would recommend this smoker for people who are more interested in smoking fish, jerky, bacon or ribs because it is a slow smoking smoker, but if you don’t mind finishing the large meat in the oven, then this smoker would be a good choice for you too.

PROS:

  • 50 pounds of meat
  • 5 cooking grids
  • Simple to use

CONS:

  • Slow smoker
  • Goes up to 165°F
  • You have to finish large meat in the oven
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All versions of Big Chief electric smokers:

Big Chief electric smoker with top load

This is the basic model and I have already made Big chief electric smoker review right above this title. It is a smoker with 50 pounds capacity and 5 cooking grids. It has a 450-watt heating element which produces 165°F temperature. It is a pretty good smoker and very simple to use and I would recommend it to families who love smoked food.

Big Chief electric smoker with front load

Big Chief front load smoker another version of Big Chief electric smoker. This smoker has the same characteristics as the smoker above. It has 50 pounds capacity, 450-watt heating element and it can produce 165°F temperature. The only difference between this Big Chief smoker and the one above is in the way you load food. This is a Big Chief front load electric smoker which means you load your like on other smokers- from the front side. The smoker above you has to remove the top to load the food. So, if you want to load your food on the front that this version is the better one for you. Just remember, the top load is easy to load all 5 cooking grids at once.

Big Chief WITH TOP LOAD

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Big Chief WITH FRONT LOAD

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Little Chief electric smoker with front load

little chief smokerThe Little Chief smoker is the first model made by the Smokehouse products and it is on the market for 50 years and it is still going strong. That means that the smoker is good, affordable and provide great smoked food.

This Litte Chief electric smoker has the capacity to hold 25 pounds of food 4 cooking grids which is great because you can spread the food all around. The 250-watt heating element can produce 165°F temperature which is the same as the Big Chief smoker. As you can see, they are adjusting the heating element to the size of the smoker because they don’t want to have a too strong heating element. If the heating element is too strong the food won’t turn out like you want it to.

Another thing which makes the Little Chief Smoker so interesting. It is made only for the outdoors and it is UL, CUL, and CSA listed which means it has a lot of certificates.

little chief electric smoker luhr jensen reviewThe same principle on the wood chip pan like the Big Chief has, it is removable and you don’t have to open the doors to add the wood chip, you can only open the part where the pan stands. That way you will conserve all the smoke and the heat the smoker produces in meantime.

The principle with the Little Chief smoker is the same as the Big Chief smoker. It doesn’t have any additional wifi, Bluetooth or digital controls which means it is very easy to use and easy to smoke. If you think that the Big Chief smoker is great for you but you don’t need that much room, then the second best thing you can order is the Little Chief. It has the same type of smoker only it is smaller and everything is adjusted to the size; the heating element, the number of cooking grids…

PROS:

  • Model popular for 50 years
  • Simple to use
  • 4 cooking grids
  • Made for slow smoking

CONS:

  • Can’t smoke large meat
  • Max temperature 165°F
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All versions of  Little Chief electric smokers:

Little Chief electric smoker with front load

The Little Chief with front load is the smoker I reviewed above in the Little Chief main review. As the name says it has doors on the front side of the smoker. This little smoker has 4 cooking grids and the capacity of 25 pounds of food for you to smoke.Since the smoker looks exactly the same like it was introduced 50 years ago, I am sure it is a great smoker which is almost perfect for the slow smoking process. The Little Chief smoker has additional doors for the wood chip so you don’t have to open the main doors to add wood chips.

Little Chief electric smoker with top load

The technical characteristics of both Little Chief smoker versions are the same and there are no surprises there. This smoker can also hold 25 pounds of food and has a heating element of 250 watts. The only difference is the same as with the Big Chief smoker, the load position. With this smoker, you have to remove the top to put the food inside the smoker. That is a better way if you want to load the grids first, then load them into the smoker.

Little Chief WITH TOP LOAD

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Little ChiefWITH FRONT LOAD

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Bonus: Mini Chief electric smoker with top load

Mini Chief Top Load SmokerMini Chief is the smallest of all Smokehouse products and it is a true pocket version of an electric smoker. This little smoker has 15 pounds capacity which is rather small but, it is perfect for one or two persons.

The 250-watt heating element so the heating element is again adjusted to the size of the smoker. The same thing is with the number of grids. In Mini Chief, you can fit 2 cooking grids which are enough for 15 pounds of food.

What I like the most about this smoker is that is extremely easy to carry around. Now, it is not made for inside, you have to use it outside and that makes it great for camping. I am not sure if I have seen smaller electric smokers than this one which makes it very interesting for individuals and if you are looking for something easy to use and very portable then you have to consider this Mini Chef electric smoker.
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Accessory And Replacement Parts
For Big Chief & Little Chief Electric Smoker

ACCESSORY AND REPLACEMENT PARTS FOR BIG CHIEF & LITTLE CHIEF ELECTRIC SMOKERThere are many additional parts you can buy for both, Little and Big Chief which is another perk for Smokehouse products. Since many of the smokers don’t have the technology – wifi, Bluetooth, digital controls; there aren’t many things that can break electronically and that is good.

But, that doesn’t mean that people behind Smokehouse products didn’t make parts you can buy if something else breaks on the smoker. You can buy everything you need for this both of these smokers all you need to do is make sure that you have a good model. For example, you can buy Big Chief heaters if you got the feeling that your old ones don’t work like they used to. The same story is with the Little Chief smoker, there are many Little Chief smoker parts you can find to replace the broken one, like the Little Chief smoker power cord or heating element. That is great because you don’t have to buy a whole new unit.

But, that is not all. The Little and Big Chief smokers also have accessories you can use and one of the most popular ones are, of course, the Little and Big Chief smoker cover and the Big and Little Chief insulation blanket. Those accessories can prolongate your smoker’s life and that is always good to know.

BONUS TIPS: If you want to know which other accessories you can use for your Big Chief or Little Chief smoker you can read my post about Electric smoker accessories to find out.

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Conclusion: Big Chief and Little Chief electric smoker reviews

If you are a fan of old school smokers who don’t need any digital control or other gadgets to make a great smoked meal. Those people will be satisfied with Big Chief smokers and its smaller version, the Little Chie smoker. Those smokers are good quality and they are mostly made for slow smoking. If you have found yourself in all that, then those smokers are the ones for you.

But, if you think that those smokers aren’t the best for you and you want to have something more, I suggest you take a look at my Electric smoker guide. In that guide, you can learn what you can change on the smoker and which smoker type is better for you. At the end of the guide, you will see the list of best electric smokers in few categories which is a great way to find your smoker.

Smokehouse Products:Big Chief & Little Chief Electric Smoker