Smokehouse Products Big Chief Top Load Smoker Review

Overall Rating


  • Affordable yet durable
  • Solid aluminum body for outdoor use
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Fixed heating element for best performance
  • Free recipes included with the unit


  • No water pan
  • Takes a lot of time to cook
  • Only for outdoor use

This smoker is quite good considering its price. If you’re a fan of smoked meat and delicious meals, this is the perfect thing for you.

Companies often tend to delude their potential clients with false advertising and redundant praising. Well, it’s not the case with this electric smoker. It does exactly what is promised in the advertisements. If you’re planning to buy an electric smoker, don’t rush with the purchase.

Instead, read these reviews thoroughly and try to find the best suiting smoker for yourself. This way you’ll avoid overpaying or buying a product with features you might not need at all.

We’re here to give you an insight in some of the features this product has to offer. We’ll try to help you make the right choice this way. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur, it doesn’t matter; your meat will come out delicious out of this smoker.

The best thing about this thing is its quality. It’s very well-made, durable, and compact. Also, it’s pretty straightforward and easy to use. You don’t have to be an expert to use this thing; anyone can do it, and it takes just a few minutes to get a hold of it.

The Features

No Heat Loss

The first thing this unit thrives in is keeping the temperature. There is little to no heat loss, and it’s well-insulated. Instead of hassling with temperature levels by yourself, this smoker will do it for you. The consistency is quite important for a good-quality electric smoker. If the temperatures aren’t consistent and there are many sudden drops in temperature, the meat may not cook well. So, you won’t have any issues whatsoever when it comes to heat loss and maintaining the temperature.

Huge Capacity

The other thing that’s pretty neat with this smoker is its vast cooking space. There’s a lot of cooking space in this smoker; you can smoke up to 25 pounds of meat. If you have a large family or you’re planning a weekend with friends, this smoker will cook enough meat to feed all of them. Once your friends and family taste the meat you’ve smoked in this unit, they won’t believe how delicious it is. That’s the main thing here; you don’t have to be a chef to smoke delicious meat.

Dishwasher Safe Drip Pan

The drip pan is dishwasher safe. Although it’s not a massive advantage, it comes in handy. If you’re lazy or you don’t like to wash the dishes, you can put it in the dishwasher, and that’s it.

This smoker comes with four chrome plated racks. They can be adjusted or removed entirely if you, for example, need more cooking space.

Front Loading System

It has a front loading system which allows you to load meat with ease instead of hassling with it.

The Benefits and Tips

  • The obvious benefit is the vast cooking space. As we said, Big Chief Top Load Smoker is perfect for large gatherings or barbecue parties with friends. Also, you can cook and smoke any meat you want. In fact, Smokehouse says that you can smoke up to 50 pounds of fish. Some of the clients tried to smoke 50 pounds of salmon, and it came out perfectly smoked. So, we can safely say it’s true.
  • Its heating element operates at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It has no issues with maintaining the optimal cooking temperature, and that’s one of the important parameters.
  • Also, the price is more than good. It’s quite affordable with the price of around a hundred dollars. Considering the quality of this product, it’s a bargain.
  • Because this smoker only has one temperature setting, it’s better for slow smoking rather than cooking. If you’re looking to make some beef jerky or smoked fish, this is the thing you’re looking for. Because of its firm and solid design, this unit can withstand rough conditions.
  • It’s also pretty lightweight, so it’s easy to move it around if you ever decide to do so.
  • That said, this unit also has some minor flaws. For example, the lack of temperature control can be a burden sometimes. Although it’s not a deal breaker, it would come in handy if it had temperature control.
  • The other downside is that it’s not recommended for large chunks of meat. Instead of putting a huge piece of meat in it, cut it down to smaller pieces, and that will allow the smoke to penetrate the meat in an even manner. And we all know the most important thing for smoked meat is to be smoked evenly.
  • The housing is made of embossed aluminum, and it’s only for outdoor use. Do not use it indoors.
  • The interior parts are pretty easy to clean. There are no unreachable spots or corners; you can clean it in a matter of minutes. Make sure you maintain it on a regular basis to prevent the fat, oil, and grease from accumulating. It’s better to prevent this from happening instead of dealing with it when it happens.
  • Also, we advise using the non-stick cooking spray for even easier cleaning. If you find any grease on the racks and it’s tough to clean, there is a way of getting rid of it with ease. Put the racks in your kitchen oven and set it on high temperature. Kitchen oven can warm up to 900 degrees which is more than enough heat for fat to melt. After that, wash it down with water.

The Conclusion

This is a unit for smoking meat. Don’t expect it to have amazing cooking abilities because it has no temperature control and that could jeopardize the doneness of the meat. On the other hand, if you’re interested in smoking beef, chicken, fish, or whatever, this is the perfect thing for you.

It will be a great accessory for your front porch or your yard. It’s easy to clean but remember to stay consistent. This smoker can last for years with proper maintenance. Overall, it’s a quality and a compact unit, excellent for smoking, not very good for cooking.

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