Anyone seen this

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by fordman, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. fordman

    fordman Smoke Blower

  2. monty

    monty Master of the Pit Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey, fordman!

    This comes up about three or four times a year and usually stirs things up a bit. And it is always a fun thingy!

    That propane pal is probably the best indicator of tank contents on the market.

    So, you are planning a smoke and have only two pounds in the tank. What do you do? Fill a partially full tank, which will cost as much as filling an empty tank? NOPE!

    I have a lot of propane fired items here and my unwavering advice is: spare tank!

    That way, you do not need a gauge you just run a tank till it is empty and put on the full spare. No guessing involved. As you get accustomed to your smoker you will know how many smokes you can get on a tank. Generally I run my GOSM just below half throttle and I get about 24 hours of burn off a twenty pound tank.

    I know that there will be others chiming in here but the best advice I can give is get a spare. And the more the merrier!

  3. fordman

    fordman Smoke Blower

    Well the reason I am looking for a guage I just got my GOMS and did a couple smokes but had to install needle valve to get temps down. Then last night after reading this

    I drilled a 3/8 hole in the side about an inch or two from the bottom and now on low burner want's to go out it's so low. Took needle valve and is still the same was. So the 3/8 hole made that big of difference or tank getting on the low side.
  4. monty

    monty Master of the Pit Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I see said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw.

    Well, fordman, I was mistaken in your quest for a propane tank gauge.

    You must have the 24" cabinet model. My 36" big block is a real charm for maintaining temps.

    And I will stand by my endorsement of that Propane Pal tank scale. They are accurate as long as you adjust for every new tank mounted.

    Usually when someone posts looking for a propane gauge they only have one tank and are afraid of running outta gas. And quite frequently folks will fork out more money for a gauge that is not real accurate than they would have to for a new tank.

    Good luck with your GOSM!

  5. fordman

    fordman Smoke Blower

    No it's a 38x14x14 stand up model. But upon double checking the tank I think it is on the low side wasn't very heavy. So thats why I think for the better control of the gas.
  6. crockadale

    crockadale Smoking Fanatic

    Fordman, like Monty told you the best defense against running out of gas is a full spare tank. Regarding your other problem of high temps. I have the big block model and when I first purchased it over two years ago, I had problems keeping the temps. Down. As I told you in your other post I drilled 3 3/8th holes in the cabinet at burner level and this helped with air flow and maintaining lower temps. I don’t have a needle or ball valve and I can get mine down to 160 deg without the flame going out. I seams that the more I’ve used it the easier it is to maintain lower temps. Also the more meat mass you have in the cooker the easier it is to keep the temps down, not a bad thing. Your GOSM is a good little cooker, be patient.
  7. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Monty has said it all, since I've bought a second tank, I have no worries about running out of fuel.
  8. fordman

    fordman Smoke Blower

    Well running out is not a big deal I have 3 20 pounders what I am getting at is I drilled one hole and I thought it made a big difference but in turn my tank is on the low side so most likely thats why I was able to get such low temps. Crock I was thinking of putting an adjustable vent down at the bottom like some cookers have but the only one I can find now is a 7" one witch is over kill. Like the little one on brinkman's now I just have to find a place to buy one.
  9. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I went with the spare tank idea. But looking at the Propane pal I can see that it would probably work all right. I wonder why one couldn't just zero set a regular kitchen bathroom scale, put the propane tank on top and watch as the 20# of propane burns off?

    If your scale won't zero set that much then just write down somewhere on the side of the tank its weight when empty , set it on the scale , you'd have a constant reminder of how much fuel was actually left.
  10. crockadale

    crockadale Smoking Fanatic

    Vents are really easy to make all you need is a peice of flat metal and a machine screw. Don't over analize a fix. Cooking at 250 is fine, learn to cook with what you have. As I have said before you have a good cooker.
  11. monty

    monty Master of the Pit Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The vent is a good idea. You can make an adjustable vent with a flat piece of steel or aluminum. Just bore three holes in a line and fit a piece of flat metal over them like crock suggested and you can open it a little or a lot.

    Hope this helps!
  12. big game cook

    big game cook Smoking Fanatic

    LIKE MONTY. i have a total of 4 tanks. that way theres no running out.
  13. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm a spare tank freak, too. Have 4 of em' right now, but would be more comfortable with 5 or 6. Have 2 LPG smokers now, so if (when) I get them both rolling along with a grill or 2, well, thinking about it makes me nervous. Imagine 25 to 30 people (1/3 or more of them adults) having to wait a bit longer for the meal that they have patiently, yet anxiously been awaiting. And I'm off (or most likely sending someone) to the local propane distributor for a refill. Not me, don't wanna go there!

    Anyway you want to do it, the extra insurance will cost you. All my extra tanks were between $24 and $28 at wally-world or sammy's-clubber. So, figure a bit over a hundred for 4 and all I do for regular cooks is make sure that at least 2 tanks are good to go. When checking my equipment between cooks, if I've got 2 empty I get 'em filled that day. I also keep a good store in the winter, as I have a propane forced air space heater in case all h*#l breaks loose. We frequently lose power during storms here. I now have 2 generators ready too. For me, just having the extra LPG on hand is just good peace of mind.

    The bottle scale idea is good for situations other than mine. I actually owned a Thermos grill (purchased in 1994) that had a bottle weight gauge built into the grill and I thought it was a joke 'til I used it. They do work fairly well. The hand heft test I use is to slosh the propane bottle to feel how much fluid motion can be detected. The weight is pretty hard to feel with a near empty bottle, as a 20# bottle (5 gallons total) with 4 lb/gallon propane weighs in at approx 47-48# when filled to 80% (it's mostly cylinder weight). The slosh test can reveal down to a quart or 2 for me if I really need (or want) to stretch it, but I pay by the gallon, not by the bottle for refills.


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