Yes. The smoke/drying process is actually two parts. The initial phase uses the wood chips to impart the desired wood flavor to the product, the secondary phase is the time needed to dry the product to your taste. Unplug the smoker when your product is dried to suit your taste or goal.
No. Do not wet the chips. You will only create steam (moisture) inside the smoking/drying chamber, when what you are trying to do is to drive out the moisture.
You will want to run your pans of smoke in the first few hours in the Smoker. Two or three pans may be sufficient for the flavor you desire. You do not need to continually add smoke through the entire drying cycle.
You can leave the finished products in the refrigerator for about two weeks. For a longer period you will want to freeze it.
No. Your smoker is designed for a cooler smoke/drying temperature. The unit will not achieve the necessary temperatures to ignite large chunks of material.
No. The Big Chief is intentionally designed to do large quantities of product (50 pound capacity). If your “load” does not completely fill the Big Chief smoker, then you must reduce the smoking/drying cycle to a time period commensurate with the quantity of product that you are processing. If your load is 75%, reduce the cycle time to 75%; if your load is 50%, reduce the cycle time to 50% and so on. The cycle time (total drying time) depends on the recipe and type of food you are smoking. See the Recipes & Operating Instructions booklet that came with your smoker for over 50 recipes that include approximate or estimated total drying time. Please contact Customer Service if you do not have a Recipes & Operating Instructions booklet.
Also, please remember that there are other factors that impact the total cycle time, such as the ambient (outside) temperature, windy conditions, temperature of the product when you put it into the smoker, use of an inadequate extension cord that might drop the supply of voltage. Please remember that the smoke/drying process is subjective and it is an “art-form”. Regularly check the contents of the smoker to be sure you are not over-drying the load.
DO NOT use your smoker box as an insulation blanket. However unlikely that a “Mr. Murphy” event will occur, it still is not a safe practice to use your flammable shipping carton as an insulation tool. Smokehouse Products offers a non-flammable smoker insulation blanket just for this purpose.
Each package will cover about 5 pounds of meat.
The aluminum may have a reaction with the salt that may leave a bitter or even metallic flavor. It won’t hurt you to eat it, but you may not like it.
Iodized salt may give the product a slightly bitter flavor.
ALDER ~ The Northwest’s favorite! Mild and sweet. A good flavor for ALL game, seafood, and fish.
CHERRY~ Distinctive and delicious. Excellent for all dark meats and game, poultry, pork, and beef. Combine it with other woods for new flavor sensations!
APPLE ~ The sweetest and mildest, delicate and fruity. None better for turkeys and other poultry. Its subtle, velvety flavor may make it your favorite!
HICKORY ~ The commercial favorite and famous for its flavoring of hams and bacon. Zesty and exciting — guaranteed to please!
MESQUITE ~ Westerner’s delight! Hearty, clean smoky flavors. Great for all red meats and poultry.