In 1968, the Little Chief™ smoker along with a short line of smoking wood chips were introduced to the sport fishing industry in the Pacific Northwest. The Little Chief was quickly recognized as the original smoker that serious fishermen used to smoke their catch of salmon, trout and steelhead.
Stories quickly spread about the time dad used the Little Chief™ to smoke his prize 50 pound King salmon from Tillamook Bay, and the time ‘ole grizzly’ tore into the Little Chief™ late one night on the banks of the Kenai, and especially the day my son and I smoked his first kokanee together.
In 1979, the original top load model of the Little Chief was expanded to a front load model, and with further success of the Little Chief™, the larger Big Chief™ was introduced in the early 1980s along with more flavors of smoking wood chips. At the same time Smokehouse introduced a line of brines, shaker seasonings, sausage mixes and other accessories.
By mid-1980s, the next generation of outdoorsmen had begun to use the original Little Chief™ smokers and stories were being passed down from their fathers and grandfathers. The use of the Little Chief™ and Big Chief™ had now spread throughout the Western US and through the upper Midwest around the Great Lakes. The use of the smokers also migrated into smoking beef jerky, sausage, and a wider variety of fish such as tuna and other species in coastal regions.
In 1990 the smoker line expanded again with a smaller version called the Mini Chief™, perfect for traveling, RV’s, homes with limited storage and smoking small batches. By the early 2000’s the product lineup included gas smokers and a variety of accessories to make your own smoked salmon, jerky and sausage in your own home.
In January 2007, Smokehouse (a division of Luhr Jensen & Sons, Inc.) was acquired by Bob Sourek, then owner of Bear Mountain Forest Products. Bear Mountain Forest Products had been supplying Smokehouse with all of its wood smoking chips since 2003 so it was a natural fit.
As business progressed, “SMOKEHOUSE” was officially trademarked by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for all wood chips, chunks, BBQ Pellets and other wood products used for smoking and grilling on October 1, 2013 as registration number 4,409,722 and expanded upon with registration numbers 4,904,591 and 4,904,592.
In 2014, the Smoke Chief® cold smoke generator was introduced as a way to turn any grill into a smoker. The USPTO approved the patent on the Smoke Chief® in 2017 as registration number 4,528,954. Popularity of the Smoke Chief continues to grow across the country and into other international markets.
Today Smokehouse Products offers a full line of smoker accessories, including six flavors of chips and chunks and BBQ pellets, sausage making kits, meat grinders, sausage mixes, seasonings, jerky and dry rub mixes, drying screens, jerky guns, smoker insulation blankets, and other replacement parts and accessories.
Smokehouse Products is committed to supplying our customers with the very best smokers and accessories on the market today and will continue to look for ways to enhance your experience making your favorites recipes in the comfort of your own home.