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*Based on 4" raw burger with 1/2" space on all sides

Big Chief Electric Smokers

By Max Good

Manufacturer: Big Chief aka Smokehouse Products, LLC

Founded in 1968, Smokehouse Products, LLC designs and manufactures front and top load electric smokers and gas smokers/cookers that are primarily used to make smoke-cured fish, meat jerky, sausage, poultry, cheese, and nuts. Smokehouse caters to the consumer market; they do not make commercial equipment.

They also offer smoker accessories, including wood chips and chunks, sausage making kits, sausage mixes, seasonings, rubs, jerky screens, smoker insulation blankets, and replacement parts. The company markets its products through retail stores, online retailers, and its online shop in the United States, as well as through a distributor in New Zealand. As of 2007, Smokehouse operates as a subsidiary of Bear Mountain Forest Products, a large manufacturer of wood pellets.

Big Chief Electric Smokers

photo of big chief front load electric smokerBig Chief Electric Smokers come in two models, front loading and top loading. Both have the same MSRP of $159.95, but you can easily find substantial discounts. You load it by removing the front or top. Primarily designed for drying meat for jerky or smoking fish, it can work with ribs and some other meats (stay away from large cuts like pork shoulder), but the 450 watt heating element will not generate much heat in cold, wind, or rain. This lightweight non-insulated aluminum box is 18" wide x 12" deep x 24.5" high. Includes five removable chrome plated grates, recipe booklet, 1.75 pound bag of hickory chips. Small and lightweight, fishermen love their Big Chiefs. It's perfect for fishing trips when you have access to electricity.

They also make a couple smaller models: Little Chief and Mini Chief.


$160 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.

Primary Function: 




Primary Capacity: 

800 square inches ( about 39 burgers )

Manufacturer claims that all or practically all of this device is made in the USA


Review Method: 

Looked Closely At It

We have seen this product up close and we have also gathered info from the manufacturer,  owners, and other reliable sources.

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About this website. AmazingRibs.com is all about the science of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, with great BBQ recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, and unbiased equipment reviews. Learn how to set up your grills and smokers properly, the thermodynamics of what happens when heat hits meat, and how to cook great food outdoors. There are also buying guides to hundreds of barbeque smokers, grills, accessories, and thermometers, as well as hundreds of excellent tested recipes including all the classics: Baby back ribs, pulled pork, Texas brisket, burgers, chicken, smoked turkey, lamb, steaks, chili, barbecue sauces, spice rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best all edited by Meathead Goldwyn.

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