Review of Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker

Review of Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker

You want to make the best, most delicious jerky around. You’ve heard about Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker and decide to give it a try. After setting up the Big Chief Electric Smoker according to the instructions, you place your carefully prepared batch of marinated meat onto the Big Chief’s stainless steel smoking trays.

You plug in the Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker, allowing its efficient design to evenly heat and smoke your jerky. After about three hours of slow smoking, you take out your masterful creation—a perfectly smoked batch of mouthwatering jerky!

In this article, we are going to cover the details of the Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker. Also, we will cover some basics and summarize some customer reviews so you can decide if this is the best smoker for you.

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important aspects of the Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker

What are the important aspects of the Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker?

Type: The Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker is a basic vertical flow style square box smoker. At the bottom of the smoker is an electric heating element on which you place a wood chip pan to generate smoke.

There is no on-off switch, just a wire to plug into the wall. The smoke fills the smoker compartment and exits in the precut vent slots, resulting in a predetermined amount of airflow.

Portability: The Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker is made out of lightweight materials, making it very portable compared to other smokers. You can easily carry Big Chief Electric Smoker in one hand, making it convenient to take to your backyard or camping trips.

The only downside to taking this smoker on the go is the need for electricity. However, the element is only 450 watts, so a 600-watt generator will easily power your Big Chief or you can use it as a cold smoke generator.

Capacity: The Big Chief Electric Smoker has the capacity to smoke up to 50 lbs of food at one time, per the manufacturer. The surface area of the smoker racks is a more accurate measurement of total capacity.

There are five 16.5″ x 10.25″ that total 845 sqr inches at 3″ in height. Because you will need a bit of space around the edges, the maximum surface area will be slightly less than 800 sqr inches. These spaces will promote good smoke flow.

Wood Chip Pan: A wood chip pan is included with all new smoker and will last for many years as long as you protect it from rust. A stand pan is 6.75″ in diameter and 1.5″ deep with a heaping capacity of 2 cups of wood chips.

Typically, a full pan with Smokehouse products wood chips will generate smoke for about 45 minutes but may smolder a bit longer.

Insulation: This is a bit of a shortcoming; there is no insulation included with the Big Chief Electric Smokers. You can purchase a smokehouse products insulation blanket that will work great in the winter.

Another option is a welding blanket strapped to the main housing of the smoker. However, be careful not to block the vents or the wood chip pan door, so the smoke flows correctly.

Price: The Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker is one of the most affordable smokers on the market, and because of the overall size, this makes it “a best value.” When you compare this electric smoker to others, it is hard not to recognize its value.

However, if you plan on smoking large pieces of meat low and slow, you will need a different smoker, so make that a consideration.

Warranty: The warranty is a 2-year manufacturing defect warranty. Once your smoker arrives without damage, there is little chance that anything will break. The only part I would keep a close eye on is the electric power cord, and they are budget friendly to replace.

Also, it is possible the element will break over time, but I have an old little chief smoker with the original element that is well over 20 years old.

Accessories: The Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker only has a few factor accessories available, like an insulation blanket and drying/grilling screens. However, you might want to buy their Smokehouse Products smoke generator or a pellet smoking tray to help take your smoking to the next level.

Of course, you can always use standard accessories like tongs, hot gloves, and a grill brush.


  • easy to use and set up
  • has a capacity of 50lbs and 845 sqr inches maximum
  • Includes everything you need for your first smoke
  • portable and lightweight
  • includes a two-year warranty from the manufacturer


  • no insulation is included with the Big Chief Electric Smokers
  • limited accessories available for purchase
  • does not have temperature control, runs around 165 degrees

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Using the Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker

The Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker is one of the simplest masterpieces of all time in the electric smoker world. Take your food and use one of the Smokehouse Products recipes or your favorite recipe and get it prepped to go in your smoker.

Plug in your electric smoker so it can preheat for at least ten minutes. Layout your food evenly on each tray and load it in your electric smoker. Remove the front door of your smoker and load the trays, I load from the top down.

Close your smoker’s door and add a pan full of wood chips to start smoking your food. Repeat adding woodchips until you are happy with the smoke level.

Typically, you will continue cooking your food after you achieve your desired smoke level, normally double the smoking time. For example, you will smoke the food for 3 hours and leave the food in the heated smoker for another 3 hours.

The overall smoking time is directly related to the thickness and consistency of the food you are smoking.

There is a handy recipe book included with the Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker that is very useful. Also, Smokehouse products have a YouTube channel that can walk you through many different fan-favorite recipes. We have a variety of YouTube videos; this link will take you to a playlist.

What things should you know about the Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker?

The Big Chief Electric Smoker is easy to use and assemble. All that’s required are a few simple steps, including attaching the handles and putting all the pieces in place. Such as loading the racks, loading the wood chip pan, and inserting the power cord. The Big Chief comes with a one-page sheet of instructions that, for most people, is not needed.

Everything you need to get started on your first cook is included in the box except the food. In the box, you will find five racks, a drip tray, a wood chip pan, and wood chips. We are sure in time, you will add other tools to get the best result.

As for customer reviews, most are on the positive side, noting the straightforward design and the simple operation. However, there are a few negative reviews, and most of them are about shipping damage.

There is really no way around shipping damage, especially with such a lightweight product. Some of the other comments covered the fact that you can’t cook large cuts of meat, and they felt misled by the smoker’s description. I will state clearly that this smoker is for jerky, fish, and other low-temperature foods.

The Verdict

The Big Chief Front Load Electric Smoker is a great addition to any outdoor kitchen. Its lightweight design allows for easy portability, and the fact that it runs on electricity allows you to use it anywhere there is an outlet.

It’s perfect for smoking fish, jerky, cheese, and other items that require low-temperature cooking. Because this electric smoker is budget friendly and small, we recommend everyone adds one of the Big Chief Electric Smokers to their stable.

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