A few questions as I prepare for my first smoke.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smokinfam, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. smokinfam

    smokinfam Smoke Blower

    I am going to be smoking an 8 lb pork shoulder (Boston) tomorrow for pulled pork. I just seasoned my GOSM 3005G for the first time tonight. I had the burner dial on low and the propane tank only about 1/4 turn open in order to keep the internal smoker temp around 235F. I tried adjusting the damper on the top of the unit (the only damper) and didn't really see any difference. So in preparing to begin my first smoke tomorrow, I have a few questions:
    1. What effect does the damper on top of the unit have? Should I leave it closed or open or should I vary it between the two? Does it effect temperature or the amount of smoke in the box or both?
    2. I hear alot about the thin blue smoke, but how does one go about getting this? If I get the internal smoker temp to around 225f and then close down the top damper, would this be the trick?
    3. I noticed someone said to wrap the shoulder in foil when it reaches around 145F and then leave it in the smoker until it reaches 200F internal meat temp. What is the purpose of the foil? Does it keep it tender?

  2. bwsmith_2000

    bwsmith_2000 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You've got several issues that could be significant. First, the vent on top is for the clearing of the smoke. It's important that the vent be left in the fully open position to keep the smoke cleared. You want to clear the smoke as it is created or risk creosote ..... very bitter taste ..... not good at all.

    Nest issue, leave the valve on your gas tank fully open. That should have little to do with the flame under the wood. Your regulator will take care of the gas pressure so leave the valve fully open. You should have a knob on the front of your smoker that will allow you to adjust the hight of the flame and thus the temperature of the pit. Keep it to about 225* to 250*. And if you are going to be adjusting, keep it closer to 225*.

    You said something about tin foil etc. You can use it if you like. If you do, smoke the butt to about 145*. Pull it out, spritz it with some apple juice or mixture of your choice. Wrap it in foil and return it to the smoker until an internal temp of about 200* is reached. Pull it out and let it rest for about 45min. to an hour. Then unwrap it and start pulling it. For a little something extra, try some of SoflQuer's finishing sauce drizzled over the pulled pork. Go to the search mode to find the recipe for his sauce.

    Regarding the "thin blue smoke," that will come by simply keeping the burner going so that the internal pit temp is around 225* and the top vent is fully open. You can control the amount of smoke by how much wood you put in the wood tray. And by the way, I like chunks better than chips. The chunks burn slower and last longer.

    If you don't choose to use the foil, simply keep on smoking when the meat reaches 145* internal. Continue to 195* to 200* internal and then pull the meat after an hour rest. Either way, you're in for some fine eats.

    One more thing, you might want to avail yourself to Tulsa Jeff's smoking 101 course. It's really informative and interesting as well.

    Happy Smokes!
  3. deer meat

    deer meat Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    You need to leave that damper open if not you will get a nasty creasote build up. The thin blue smoke must pass by the meat and escape, not be trapped in it. The unit I have has a damper near the bottom on both sides of the smoker so my tricks may not work for you.
    To get the thin blue start out with a small amount of wood and just play around with it till you get it wright, and keep a chamber temperature of 225°. A digital probe thermometer is a valuable tool when smoking, I would reccommend getting one if you do not have one.
    The foil helps to baste the butt in its own juices and help break down all the connective tissue, in my own words
  4. johnd49455

    johnd49455 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I have learned that the thin blue is not a thin blue tint to the billowing white smoke but a thing blue thin smoke coming out of a fully open vent in the top[​IMG]
  5. gypsyseagod

    gypsyseagod Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    don't believe the stock gauge- is what i hear from owners- get an oven gauge or a maverick dual digital for true grate & meat temps.
  6. meowey

    meowey Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Leave the top vent open and adjust the temp by using the gas valve on the smoker unit. I would check the stock thermo for accuracy by dropping a probe from a digital thermo ($20) through the top vent. The stock one on mine was not even close to accurate.

    Hope this helps!

    Take care, have fun, and do good!


  7. crewdawg52

    crewdawg52 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    One more thing smokinfam. You have the option, once the butt reached
    145* (or what ever temp) and foiled, to putt it in the oven to finish cooking. I do this. It saves on fuel. Why waste it when the meat isn't getting anymore smoke?

    Good Luck!
  8. All good coments folks!
    Beware of the stall and don't get impatient. Your swine will stall for hours between 150 and 170 while the interstitial breaks down. You will eventually reach above 190 where you want to pull after a good rest...

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