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Beginner is Springfield MO

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

I just bought a used Great Outdoors Smoking Mountian Series charcoal smoker and am attempting my first smoke today. I am total new to smoking but have been reading allot on the web. Any suggestion on using the Great Outdoors smoker would be welcome.

I am smoking a tenderlion and boston butt today.
post #2 of 7

Re: Beginner is Springfield MO

yo mo dude,
there is many of us from the show me state at this forum.
im one of them.

BUT there is knoledge from all over for free--
im talking about HANDS on knowledge.

to me thats the best.

post #3 of 7

Re: Beginner is Springfield MO

Welcome tlg588 and congrats on the new smoker.

Since a GOSM smoker is painted on the inside I'd suggest giving it a dry run before cooking in it. Heat the smoker up on low for an hour or two to give the paint some time to cure. During this time you may notice a funky smell, which is normal for the first fire-up. Then gradually increase the temperature and let it run on medium for a little while longer. Once the odor is gone the paint is pretty well cured. At this time it's up to you whether you wish to oil down the inside or not. It is necessary to oil bare metal to protect it from rusting so on the GOSM it is optional (but recommended wink.gif ). Not you're ready to cook on it and should have a pretty good idea on how to control the heat.

If you have any specific question be sure to ask. :D
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Re: Beginner is Springfield MO


Thanks, the smoker is a year old. I bought it used from a nieghbor of a friend. He moved up to an (offset smoker?), looks like a barrel laying on its side with a small barrel on one end. I spray my GOSM with Pam before cooking as suggested by the guy I bought it from.

My shoulder did not go well. I had to remove it at 160F, ran out of time waiting on 195F.

I need advice on maintaining the fire. When maintaining the fire should I light charcoal before adding it to the fire? or should I be able to add unlit charcoal to the fire? I have read about the Minon method but the fire pan does not have any holes for ash.
post #5 of 7

Re: Beginner is Springfield MO

With the charcoal model you'll definitely want to do something about the firepan. What happens is when you first build a fire it will burn well and the temperature will be hot enough to cook with. But as time goes by and the coals begin to burn down, ash builds up in the firepan and the coals start to smother in their own ash. Sufficient oxygen cannot get to the fire so it dies down and doesn't put out enough heat to maintain temperatures.

This isn't poor fire management on your part so don't beat yourself up.

What you need is a good charcoal fire grate or an elevated charcoal basket that sits in the ash pan. Once the fire is up out of the ashes and the ash is able to fall away from the live coals, they will continue to burn hot throughout the cook and life will be a lot easier. Of course then you'll need to make sure things don't get too hot. wink.gif

Pork shoulders can take anywhere from 12 to 22 hours to cook depending on the quality of the meat and conditions in your smoker. I know of a fellow that cooked one with very high heat and finished it in under 3 hours. Of course you risk burning the rub and limit exposure to smoke so I don't recommend cooking this way but if you're low on time you can ramp the heat near the end to speed things up. Butts can take the heat pretty well and are a very forgiving cut of meat.

You can pre-light your charcoal to prevent temperature drops if the coals burn down too much. Otherwise it's OK to add unlit charcoal. Some folks mention and unpleasant odor when adding unlit Kingsford to the fire while others say there’s no bad smell (haven't heard how they respond to the new Kingsford). Another tip for adding coals is to put in a few chunks of lump charcoal with the briquettes to get things started and to give the temperatures a little boost if needed. It'll get the charcoal going in less time. A basket as mentioned above is the only way to run a Minion Method burn (that I know of) in your smoker. I wouldn't put any holes in the ash pan/firepan.
post #6 of 7
Welcome to Smoking Meat Forum tlg588. There are several of us here that use the propane version of the GOSM-I beleive that you're the first with a charcoal GOSM. Bob is right in stating that you need to elevate the charcoal up out of the ash
post #7 of 7

Re: Beginner is Springfield MO

I gave my charcoal model to my brother-in-law to make room for the SS Big Blocks.

Miss it every once in a while. :(
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