View Full Version : Little Chief- Smoking Waterfowl

12-28-2008, 08:08 PM
I received a Little Chief smoker for Christmas and want to start smoking duck/geese by making jerky and just smoking the breasts of the birds.

I have never done this before so I am looking for tips and techniques that will help me make great waterfowl meat in the little smoker.

I'm used to just grilling the meat along with putting alot in crock-pot as well.

01-02-2009, 06:03 AM
Go to www.thesmokering.com check out their forum I sure you can find something there.

01-05-2009, 02:10 PM

The Lil Chief is a great low temp smoker I have used one for years. Awesome for smoking fish, cheese and making jerky.

As far as goose jerky is concerned there are a few things you need to know to get you started. First off the Lil Chief needs to be protected form lo temps and especially wind. They do not put off a ton of heat 180 degrees is about max for them(give or take a few).

So you need an area that is protected form wind and will allow the unit to maintain it's temp. Jensen sells a blanket for cold weather use and it is helpful......a good protected spot and the blanket is even better.

Ok....meat prep. Slice the jerky across the grain in even (key) 1/4" slices. I like 1/4" as it makes it toughh for shot to "hide" in the meat and also it reduces the time in which it takes to smoke the jerky....thicker slices....longer time in the smoker.

You can use either the basic wet brine in the Lil Chief Booklet or a commercial cure like High Mountain. I have used and like both.....slight edge to the Jensen brine recipe. If you use the High Mountain then follow their recipe.

If you use the brine the trick is allowing the jerky to air dry sufficiently before you begin smoking. You must remove the meat form the brine, shake off the excess, then lay out flat on the racks and use a paper towel to pat dry. I then set them in front of a fan and let them dry until they get a sticky to touch glaze on them.....now it's time to smoke.

I prefer alder, hickory or a fruit-wood (apple or cherry) to smoke jerky with. Place your racked meat into the smoker and replace door...give it about 5 minutes to start getting back to temp and then add your first pan of wood. I only will use 2 pans of chips to make jerky, anymore and you end up with a bitter charcoal tasting mess.

Let the meat smoke for the 2 pans and resist the urge to open the smoker.....let the smoker continue to run after the 2 pans are done putting off smoke. I would not begin to check the jerky until at least 5 hours into the process.

At the 5 hour mark open your smoker and see how the jerky looks. Check for doneness. You will learn to read the meat to determine when it it done. This is the toughest part. It all depends on wind, temp, humidity and thickness of the meat.

I hope this gives you enough info to attempt your first smoke. It's a lot of fun and extremely gratifying so don't be shy!

And man wait to you smoke some salmon or trout on that bad boy!!

If you have any questions at all let me know!


01-07-2009, 04:55 PM
Thanks alot for the information. Once I get a insulating blanket and get the waterfowl gear put away for the season, I'm going to start smoking :DR:

01-08-2009, 05:43 PM
My pleasure. Let me know if you need anything or have nay questions....I can give you a buzz and discuss the finer points of smoker use.....like for example proper beer choice!

01-13-2009, 04:19 PM
I highly recommend the smoke ring forum as well. It may just lead to a whole new hobby for you. Gotta do somethin the rest of the year, AND you can drink beer while you do it!!!:pl:

01-25-2009, 04:31 AM
Only thing I would add is....seems if I kept mine on til it looked like I thought jerky should look, it was too long, seem like it dries out just a little more once it cools down, this is what Dig was talking about "reading" the meat.

Its a learning process and once you get it figured out, its a very rewarding experience!! Patience.

01-28-2009, 11:02 AM
Another foolproof method is to smoke the meat in your smoker for 1 to 2 hours and then finish it off in a dehydrator. You get the smoke flavor and are able to monitor the dehydrating.

Works for me every time.

Good Luck, John