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Big Party - Big Questions

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hey Everyone,

I'm kinda in a situation here. I just bought my GOSM (3405gw) this last weekend and I'm seasoning as I type. The thing is I've never smoked anything before. I've been BBQing for a few years now, but decided it was time to enter the realm of smoking. The thing is that I might have picked a bad time to start. This weekend my wife and I are having a large housewarming party (70-80 people) and I promised everyone smoked brisket and BBQ chicken. I wishing now that I had time to do a test run, but I'm not going to be able to. So my first try at brisket is going to be in front of all my friends. So I need some help out there from all the GOSM owners (my father-in-law is going to be around to help...but he doesn't own a GOSM). Could you answer some questions for me and give me any tips that you might have (I've already been surfing the forums soaking up as much info as possible but any help is greatly appreciated).

I've read somewhere that it takes about 1 1/2 hours per pound of brisket to smoke. Is that for the poundage of all the brisket together or the average weight of the briskets individually?

About how much brisket should I make, taking into account that a lot of the people coming are going to be eating chicken too?

The party starts at 6pm on Saturday night. What time should I start smoking the brisket?

Is the pan of water in the bottom suppose to be boiling while I'm smoking?

If I have the pan of water, do I still need to mop/spray the brisket?

I saw a picture of someone with a GOSM who had 4 racks. Where can I buy extra racks for it?

So far, I'm not having any trouble with maintaining the temperature at 225 and I'm getting TBS, but I've read the posts on how to fix those.

Any help is great and thank you in advance.

post #2 of 53
Thread Starter 
Just remembered one other question that I had...

How many 5 galloon Propane canisters am I going to need?
post #3 of 53
Boy Greg ... I think you have bit off more tha you can chew! rolleyes.gif

However, we will help!

Hang tight, I will be back and others will be offering help too!
post #4 of 53
WHEW,you are going to be busy.I cant tell you how much to cook but I most certainly would start as early friday evening/afternoon as possible.The key would be no matter how long it takes shoot to have it done way early as you would be surprised how long it will stay warm if you wrap in foil and then wrapped in some old towels then put it in a cooler and it will stay warm for many hours.It also isnt so hard to reheat as it is to try to rush it to get it done.My last brisket took 18 hours at 220 degrees.Dont be surprised if the temp takes a long time to come up in the cooker when you put all the cold meat in.Another trick although I have not done it is to use sand in the water pan and cover it with foil.It will hold the temp in the cooker a lot better but again it takes longer to come up to temp.Like I said start as early as possible to ensure success.On the propane usage I would start with a full one and have a spare.I have never used a full tank in one cook BUT I have not done more than a brisket and a couple butts so we are not comparing apples to apples.I would mop or spray after the 2nd hour so that the Bark has a chance to develop.BEST OF LUCK
post #5 of 53
Last question first ... one tank will be plenty.

Don't worry about the water pan ... just keep water in it.

For that many people, you are going to need a lot of meat!!!!!

You should have 4 racks already ... if not how many do you have?

An empty smoker will run hotter ... wouldn't hurt to run up to 300º for seasoning.

The size of your brisket(s) will determine how long.

I'm not done yet ... but wanted to get you started.....
post #6 of 53
I'm a new guy, but I will make a recommendation based on what I have done. That experience is 2 packer briskets, both done the SmokyOkie way and turned out good. Also, have done two boneless pork butts (done at the same time).

I would recommend changing to pork and filling up your smoker with them. Use a good rub (Jeff's for instance) and cook at 225* until inernal temp is 190* or so. I think this would be hard to mess up.

Then just grill your chicken like you have experience doing.

IF you decide to do the brisket, the SmokyOkie method is VERY simple and produces great results. It is also much faster than cooking at 225* so is going to save you a lot of time.
post #7 of 53
Thread Starter 
It only came with three racks...
post #8 of 53
I just looked up the 3405 GW ... and it is one of the smaller units! icon_cry.gif

I don't think you have enough room to smoke enough meat for 70 to 80 people even with the extra rack ( which you will likely have to order)

May I suggest getting as many pork butts as will fit nicely in your smoker and serve pulled pork sammies ... I think that would be doable ( is that a word?)

Perhaps others will have better ideas ... Good luck friend! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #9 of 53
Thread Starter 
Well it wasn't suppose to be 70 people...originally it was going to be like 40-50 and then word spread and people came out of the bushes. I think I'll just do as much brisket as possible (I kinda have my heart set on the brisket and I also have some kosher friends coming so the pork would not be good) and then just make a butt load of chiken (looks like I'm going to have both grills fired up).
post #10 of 53
Here's the thread from SmokyOkie. I have had his briskets and they are great.


Too bad you don't live closer we could fire up Buela(my smoker) and pull an all nighter.
post #11 of 53
All of the briskets I've done have taken around 12 or 14 hours to smoke. So you better make the biskets the day before and just reheat them. No matter how you try to plan your time, remember the platue (?) is unpredictable. That may hold you up for hours.
post #12 of 53
Just get as much brisket as your smoker will hold ... we are rootin' for ya!

If you have time ... take some pix and share with us if you can.

You are a brave soul ... good luck! PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #13 of 53
Go to the Beef section in the forum and read up on briskets.. there is a ton if great info there..
post #14 of 53
Good luck Greg. Nothing like diving in feet first !! Or is this forums case, being thrown into the fire. I understand brisket is the hardest of the popular meats to smoke and get it right. Take pics for sure, and let us know how it turns out !!

- Kurt
post #15 of 53
Gosh Greg - Open mouth insert both feet eh? wink.gif
How much vacation time do you have comming? icon_rolleyes.gif
Good luck!
post #16 of 53
Thread Starter 
How do you reheat the brisket if I was to make a batch the on Friday and one on Saturday?
post #17 of 53
If you do the SmokyOkie style brisket, slice or pull, separate the au jus and the fat, put meat back in pan, add au jus, may have to add a more moisture of some sort, cover with foil, place back in smoker or 225-250 oven. If not use a throw a way roaster when you wrap your brisket and when done follow above instructions.
post #18 of 53
Start now and refridgerate! Heat and serve on party day. Electric roasters are a great way to keep the food hot at serving time and could be used for finishing off the cooking as well. (just an additional battle plan) Brisket can go dry, I would reccomend doing them in a foil pan and then sealing the pan with foil towards the end to help catch and keep the juices. Searing is another way to change things up a bit as far as cooking goes and it will help knock a bit of time off of the cook. (I would do four fair sized briskets)

I would have to reccomend a butt or three, they are almost fool proof and pork is a favorite among alot of folks.

Keep plenty of chicken on hand as well as other treats like brats and kiddie hot dogs and plain burgers, a crowd that big is bound to have varied taste.

I don't know 80 people that I would invite to my house, let alone all at the same time! And then to share my BBQ with them? I must be a terrible person!

Good luck! And post pics!
post #19 of 53
Wow you are going to ahve your hands full. I'd say you are going to have to load that smoker to the gills with brisket, realize that when you do it will almost certainly add to the cooking time.

Make sure you have plenty of good thermometers.

Have fun and don't forget the Qview
post #20 of 53
If you can SQUEEZE say 6 in there and smoke one after the other double wrap in foil and put them in a cooler you could just throw them in a warm oven say 150 to 200 whatever you've got to keep them warm until there ready to serve.

As a wise newbie once taught me ... wrap them up good in plastic wrap before you foil and you'll loose no juice! I wrapped in plastic after the foil and it works too.
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