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My First Smoke

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well I decided to try my hand at smoking meat. I would like to apologize up front for this lengthy post, but I would like to know how to get different results from my first smoke.

Using a GOSM propane smoker purchased from Walmart and a book (Smoke & Spice, by the Jamisons) I tried my hand at smoking a 7 lb. pork butt and some salmon. From reading here, I gathered the thermostat on the smoker was unreliable, so I purchased a simple oven thermometer to place inside. Sure enough, it registered about 20 degrees cooler then the one in the smoker. Using some small hickory chips, I began the smoke at 9 AM. Living in So. Cal, the temperature that day got to about 90, and I was having trouble keeping smoker temp down, so I had opened the top vent fully. Still, the temp was at 220 in the morning, but climbed slowly and steadily to 250 later in the day. The soaked chips I put in the smoker box would start smoking a little after about 30 mins, then really take off about 10 mins later and smoke profusely for about 20 mins, and then die out. I would then add more and repeat, doing this about every hour and a half. After 7 hours I checked the pork temp with a digital insta read thermometer and it was just over 160, not sure what to do (because in my past experience, 160 is when pork is done) I took it out and wrapped it in aluminum foil to sit while I put the salmon in to smoke for about an hour.

The results? The pork was fantastic! Incredibly moist and silky smooth, but essentially no smoke flavor and it wasn't "pulled pork". More like the best pork roast I've ever had. The salmon, too, had essentially no smoke flavor, but delicious nonetheless. So, I am looking for some advice on what to do different next time to get a "truer" barbeque, and how I can get the temp of my smoker down. The propane tank was only open a quarter turn and the burner was on the lowest it could go.
post #2 of 6
w'sup ,yeah ? not real educated on your smoker or propane in general but someone who is should chime in shortly. As for the smoke, I guess the only way w/ propane is a smoker box huh ?Was about to say ' just throw wood CHUNKS directly in the fire till it hit me we're talkin propane !!O.k. , I'm useless to ya ! Someone who is usefull will be along !
post #3 of 6
Did you have the water pan full of water?

If you were opening the door every 10 minutes you were loosing all your smoke. Don't soak your chips. Remember if you can smell smoke you are smoking you don't and shouldn't see it rolling out of the smoker. You may catch a little thin blue smoke once in awhile but thats about it.

The GOSM propanes do run hot some people add a needle valve setup and this seems to help some. My GOSM in the 95-100* heat we have runs about 225* on the lowest setting I can get without the needle valve setup. At these temps I don't recommend doing fish personally wait till cooler outside temps when the smoker may run cooler.

For the butts try foiling at about 160* then put back into the smoker till 200* and it should pull easier and will be moist and juicy.

Hope this helps if you have any other questions feel free to ask and others may have other opinions
post #4 of 6
Yep. Wood chunks. I like more smoke in the beginning and theni let it fade out to the thin blue smoke everyone talks about. I like lots of hickory smoke. Not so much to make you sick but i really like to taste it. It takes alot of smokes to find your smoke level. Sometimes, IMO, meat doesn't absorb the smoke like the last one you smoked. Your dealt a little diff situation each time. Good luck.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your responses. In regards to the water Piney, yes it was full. I had to add once half way through. I only opened the box to replenish the wood chips and then a couple times to check the inside temp really quick. So maybe once an hour on average. The vent on top was wide open and the smoke (when it peaked) was storming out like a chimney. I think I might try chunks next time, close the vent considerably, and find a needle valve device (whatever that may be).
post #6 of 6
Here is a link to the needle valve

I forgot to ask what kind of chips were you using? Apple, Hickory, Cherry or what?
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