Luhr Jensen Little Chief Smoker Instructions

Discussion in 'Fish' started by lee in mountain view, ca, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. Greetings all!

    First time poster! I recently was given a Luhr Jensen Little Chief Smoker, which is what lead me to your board! Before I can take advantage of the wealth of knowledge this board has to offer, I need to aquire a copy of the instruction manual for my smoker. I have had no success contacting Luhr Jensen. Their phone numbers and email addresses are disconnected.
    So........I was hoping someone out there in smoker land might be kind enough to email me a copy so I can learn how to properly use my smoker. Thanks very much for your time.

  2. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi Lee In Mountain View, CA...PHEW! Welcome to SMF.
    Normally this post should be in the Roll Call forum... but OK... I can help this far..plug it in. Seriously..I know squat other than it's THE fish smoker apparently. Others will help soon tho.
  3. chef_boy812

    chef_boy812 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I found this for ya, if you poke around the interweb some more, I have found the books for $2.99.

    This is an old method of preparing fish that not only makes for a taste treat, it also can be used to help preserve the fish. Some fish can be smoked lightly like lox. Some fish can be smoked heavily into a jerky. Both dry and oily fish can be smoked. It allows for the tasty preparation of fish that are otherwise rather hard to use, like Sheephead or Perch.

    A Couple Of Nice Loads.
    Not to make an ad for Little Chief Smokers, but that is what I use and I get great results with it. It is a dry electric smoker. Most smokers these days are wet smokers, that actually seem to cook the meat, more than smoking it. They don't dry the meat much either.
    The Little Chief Smoker comes in a cardboard box, that they say you must remove before use. They didn't used to say that. They used to say that the smoker works in the box and that it is the cardboard that insulates the smoker to get it to the proper heat. I have tried it without the box and it did not seem to work nearly as well. I almost think they now say to take the box off due to fire hazard concerns, but it works far better with the box on. Just cut a hole in the back for the cord and one in the front for the wood pan. I suspect that there is a real fire hazard to having the cardboard box on still when smoking, so be careful. I have had no fires YET, but there is a lot of heat near that cardboard. I am always careful of that. Sometimes I actually put some news paper on the top and over the sides to increase the heat a bit more. This would be for a big load of fish or a cold day.
    Especially with oily fish, you may want to line the drip pan with a bit of aluminum foil before smoking. It will last longer and make clean up go better.
    Spraying vegetable oil on to the smoking racks or rubbing it on with a paper towel, will help prevent the fish from sticking when the smoking is done. Clean the racks after use.
    The smoker comes with a bag of hickory chips or perhaps I should say "hickory sawdust". These work fine and there are other types sold by Little Chief, including Apple, Alder, Rose and Mesquite wood chips. These are all good, though Alder and Apple are a bit lighter and so may be more appropriate for lighter, less oily, fish. You can also get bigger hickory or mesquite chips that are made for a Bar-B-Que. I put some of this in the pan first and then cover them with the finer wood chips.
    The idea behind smoking is that it is a 2 step process of cooking. The brine mix flavors and chemically cooks the fish while it is cold. Then the smoker uses heat to cook, flavor and dry the meat the rest of the way. It is a slow heating process, that should operate at a bit below 150 degrees.
    The brine is basically water, salt and sugar. This is all it takes to chemically prepare the fish, but I have never wondered what it what it would taste like. I always add spices.
    I make my brine the night before I am going to use it to help the salt dissolve and to let some of the spices soak in. Of course, sometimes I have had to just make it right before the fish go in. It works.
    Add 1 cup rock salt and one cup sugar to 2 quarts water. I use Sugar In The Raw because turbinado sugar tastes better. Add perhaps 4 ounces of molasses for flavor. Add lots Italian spices including oregano, bay and sage. I don't use garlic for smoking and I do not add any onion before the fish, though I often do put in 1/2 chopped onion at the same time as the fish. Putting it in the brine overnight may bring out too much of the onion flavor.
    You can add some serious cayenne pepper if you must.
    A lighter fish like Salmon or Halibut, should get a lighter brine. I have made brine with honey instead of molasses.
    Brine can be used for more than one batch of fish, but after 2 batches, it is getting a bit strong.
    The fish can be prepared in a number of ways. I usually like to put in boneless and skinless filets, but the fish can be just gutted or steaked and it does not have to be skinned, though I would try to remove all scales.
    I rarely smoke a piece more than 1 1/2 inches thick, but I have. Just figure that the thicker it is or if it has skin still on it, it will cook slower and need more time or heat.
    Put the fish into the brine and try to get it well covered. The fish will tend to float some, so you stir it once in a while or perhaps lay a fork or something on it to hold it under the brine. If there is a lot of fish, with the brine made this way, you can easily add another quart of water to the mix without overly diluting it.
    The fish should set in the brine in the refrigerator for 12 hours.
    Take the fish from the brine. I pour out the brine first if it is not going to be re-used. Your hands can get frozen by repeatedly reaching into the stuff. Put the fish onto paper towels to dry off and pat or rub the fish with paper towels to get off the excess brine. Put them on the racks for the smoker with some spacing between them.
    Put the racks in the smoker and plug it in. Put wood in the pan and insert it onto the heater element. After 1 or 2 hours, empty that and put in a new pan of wood.
    I have seen trout turn out well cooked in less than 10 hours. I have needed to cook a large batch of tuna for more than 16 hours. I have cooked tuna bellies and fish for jerky, over 18 hours. It all depends on the size of the load, the heat of the smoker, the thickness of the fish and what you want at the end. I normally smoke a batch for 12 hours and always check it at that point. A smaller batch, I check even earlier.
    Take the fish out and enjoy. It is best to let it cool some before refrigerating or freezing the fish, to get rid of some of the moisture that will come out of it.
    I have smoked large prawns before. They come out tasty, but with a truly strange texture. The first bite is interesting. Sorta like good tasting rubber bands. It's worth trying.
    You can actually smoke cheeses and even fruits, at a lower temperature. This is described in the Little Chief cooking book that comes with the smoker. They also give a number of other methods of smoking, that are similar, but different than what is written here.
    Like almost all cooking, smoking has a few ground rules and after that, you can do all kinds of different things to experiment or to tune the taste to what you want.
    Part of the fun of smoked fish is what it can be used for. Here are a few suggestions of what it can be especially good for:
    Crumble it up onto a salad.
    Make a spread of smoked fish and mayonnaise or cream cheese. The fish must be cut or crumbled finely and mixed in with a fork or such.
    Break it up and put it with a fettuccini sauce on pasta. That recipe can have capers cooked in with it.
    I like to make sandwiches with it. Stronger smoked fish is sometimes best eaten with a loaf of sourdough bread. Anyway you make it, you will probably enjoy it.
  4. pitrow

    pitrow Smoking Fanatic

    Yeah, the little chief is pretty much a set and forget kinda thing. There's not much to the instructions. Load up whatever you're smokin' on the racks, plug it in and put some wood chips in the pan and put it through the door. When the smoke goes away, pull out the pan, dump out the ash and refill. Keep repeating that until your food is done.

    The little chief doesn't do exceptionally well at getting hot, I think it has a max temperature of about 180 degrees. And since it's not insulated it is tremendously effected by things like wind. So, try to build a wind break around it if you can, or even better an insulated box to help hold in heat.

    As richtee said, it's great for making smoked salmon and that's what it was originally designed for.
  5. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    lee - i've got the isntructions in .pdf format. i can email them to you or upload them to my website and you can download them from there.

    the little chief is a great smoker - i've been using mine for a while now and it is, in my opinion, the best option for trout and cheese, among other things.

    let me know!

  6. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It's not so much the instructions, the book has a few good recipes. I really like the Hunter's Delight sausage recipe. Haven't made it in years, but I do remember how good it is.
  7. ellene

    ellene Newbie

    I would like to get the instructions to the Little Chef smoker, if you could email them to me that would be great. Thanks
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  9. jomadav

    jomadav Smoke Blower

    Thanks Dave. I just downloaded it from that link for myself. Sounds like a pretty low temp unit overall - If you work within that confine all should be well. Yes I know I jumping in on someone else's thread.....haha. JD
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    They are a low temp unit.... the way smoking was done before the "Mass Construction of Smokers by industry" thinking smoking was done at 300 degrees..
  11. birdaug

    birdaug Newbie

    Hey guys thanks so much for the addy for the instructions. I tried to find them on the internet and I got chased form page to page and still could'nt get it, or they wanted me to download a tool bar, unreal. So again thanks very much.


    From Michigan
  12. furey

    furey Newbie

    I, too woould like to have the instructions but the page is no longer there.

    Thank you so much
  13. larkofam

    larkofam Newbie

  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  15. samf363

    samf363 Newbie

    Thanks !! I got my dad's smoker but instructions and now I can use it :)
  16. charny143

    charny143 Newbie

  17. jimmy49601

    jimmy49601 Newbie

    FYI Luhr-Jensen was bought out by Rapala and they now havethearchives and selling theirnproducts....THe website is
  18. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    jimmy, Welcome...  I took a mediocre look through the link and could not find any information of smokers...  could you point me in that direction....   Dave
  19. Nuttin, Dave:  plugged "Big Chief Smoker" in Rapala site's search engine and got nada.  However, searched on the world wide web for Big Chief Smoker manual, and found a download in Russian, if that helps.  [​IMG]   Otherwise, there were a couple of YouTube how-to videos.

    Aside of the fact that the last post prior to tonight was 10/17/15, I'm not sure if the gentlemen back then are still holding on and looking for their answers.  Just a hunch....
  20. jimmy49601

    jimmy49601 Newbie

    I reached out to cust service on Friday Feb 3rd so lets see what they have to say. They got all of Luhr-jensen archives so have

Share This Page