Modified Big Chief

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by cmayna, May 22, 2013.

  1. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    First I want to thank DaveOmak for his ongoing support during my Big Chief's conversion.

    I basically installed the guts of a 750 watt Hamilton Beach fifth burner with it's adjustable thermostat. In addition, I installed another hot plate's heating light to note each time the burner came on. Also, I incorporated the box's original power supply cord and it's connector to the box (2nd pic). According to the Hamilton Beach's 7 point knob I noted the following temps using a variety of thermometers. This is of course with no fish in the box, no water or wood chips. Maybe this weekend, I'll put it to a big test with a bunch of Salmon.

    2.0 - 125f
    2.5 - 140f
    3.0 - 155f
    3.5 - 168f
    5.0 - 200f
    7.0 - 260f

    Last edited: May 23, 2013
    nickincor likes this.
  2. wjordan52

    wjordan52 Meat Mopper

    Good looking work on the mods. I'd love some details, like what wattage is that element? What are you using for heat adjustment? Have you used it since installing the new element? How did it perform? Inquiring minds want to know. [​IMG]
  3. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Added text to the original post.
  4. wjordan52

    wjordan52 Meat Mopper

    Cool! I look forward to hearing about the first smoke (with Q-view of course) [​IMG]
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    cmayna, morning.....  very nice mod job.....   Glad it works like it's supposed to..

    Don't know if I was the only one who couldn't see the pictures so I reloaded them for all and ME to see....  Dave

  6. cmayna,  How did this mod workout??  I am very new to smoking and just received a Big Chief smoker from my wife.  I really want to smoke a turkey for thanksgiving.  I know the Big Chief doesn't get hot enough to smoke a turkey with it's factory configuration, so I am curious to know if your modification maintains a temp around 225 in the middle of the smoker.   Nick
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nick....  you can always smoke the bird for 2 hours and throw it in the preheated oven....    To avoid any chance of getting ill, do not inject the bird...   rub it with salt and spices....   It would be safe to inject just prior to throwing it in the preheated oven at 325 or so...   You will want the bird to get to 140 in about 4 hours after injection...  Dave

    As a side note....  all whole, intact muscle is considered "sterile", to the USDA, on the inside...  the outside layer harbors bacteria....
  8. Thanks Dave I appreciate the advice.  I think I may try that.  However I will probably brine the turkey instead of injecting, just to be safe.

  9. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    The modification works great, but I must admit that I have not used it for smoking anything but Salmon at lower temps.  Have yet to run it at 225.  Maybe that is why I also have a gasser smoker for them higher temps.

  10. Craig,

    Thanks for the feedback.  I may try this modification after the holidays, or I may just build a UDS.  


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