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GOSM, Converted from Gas to Charcoal

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've recently found a new craving for my meats (charcoal fired smokers & grills).

I had 2 choices: spend about a 100 bucks and order an ECB Gourmet, or put my GOSM to use...She's been dormant since Father's Day when I got my Smoke Vault.

I removed the gas burner housing and control panel, before starting the fit and finish on the charcoal conversion.

Ash Reciever with intake vents:

Coal Pan and grates (The small pipe on top acts as a brace to prevent the pan from rotating when the intake vent is adjusted on the Ash Reciever):

Two coal grates installed...top has approx. 1" spacing, bottom is a coal grate for a Weber Smokey Joe:

Her first fire, getting ready for a smoke. I started with 2 lbs of briq, only about 1/2 was burning hot...hit 200*+ in less than 10 minutes...had it to 300* while running temp checks on cooking grates...it will choke back enough to put the coals out if you want to:

I saved myself about 90 bucks, and I'm smokin' with very little charcoal now, unlike with the SNP, which you need about 30+ lbs of meat to even justify firing it up. So far it looks like about 1/2 lb to heat it up and about 1/3-1/2 lb/hour of consumption:

Relatively simple and ultra-low cost. The LPG tank had a defective valve, so it was on the scrap list. Everything else was salvaged materials as well.

Thanks all, from another happy smoker!

post #2 of 20
Looks like you have done a good job on the conversion...
post #3 of 20
Man thats a great job on the tranformation from gas to charcoal. I too am in the market for the vault and this would be the great uses of my Gosm and you could do small racks of sausage and bacon at low temps. Great idea and now all i have to do is get the=at vault.points.giffor doing a great job.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks, it was kind of a spur of the moment thing...not much planning involved and it works really well (see pic below).

Thanks, I didn't use anything that really costed me to buy...all stuff I had laying around, so I put a few things to use, including the GOSM...she was gettin' lonely!

Here's the result of her maiden smoke of 90 minutes @ 220*:

Man these chops are good! Tastes just like a fry pan warmed low salt Ham Steak...mmm-mmm-mmm. Smoked with a Mesquite/Hickory blend and seasoned with Weber Kickin' Chicken.

Smoker temps were suprisingly easy to control...it gradually tried to get hotter as more and more coals heated up, so I just choked back the intake and left the top wide open after temps were up to what I wanted.

I will start out with less coals next time and give it a bit more time to stabilize before the smoke...it probably takes awhile to heat up that LPG tank section before it really starts cranking out the heat for cooking.

A couple longer smokes in the future will get me up to speed on how she really likes to smoke.

All in all, I'm very satisfied with this conversion. The fire-bowl assembly is a very simple design, very similar to the charcoal kettle grills with the ash reciever and intake vents.

Thanks Guys!

post #5 of 20
post #6 of 20
I like the idea, however if I didn't want to remodel my GOSM could I just put some charcoal into the cast iron pan and get it going with the gas. Turn off the gas and let it go?
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
I used to put a 9" square cake pan in place of the smoke box and fill it with one layer of charcoal. I used the burner to get the briqs going, too...problem is temp control...she liked to run hot (lots of air entering from the burner housing) so I had to reduce the number of briqs in the pan alot, then add a couple more to it every 20-30 minutes.

It works, but it requires almost constant attention, and you suffer lots of heat loss every time you open the cabinet door. I've really gotten hooked on the charcoal fired cooking lately, and I wanted a true long burn heat source for smaller smokes that wouldn't use so much fuel...that's where this mod came into play.

post #8 of 20
PDT_Armataz_01_37.gifGreat Conversion Eric....If and when the burner goes on my little GOSM, I'll do the changeover.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks! As for waiting, don't hold your breath...the key word being IF...mine is 5-1/2 years old and still works just fine...I had a gas regulator diaphram go bad 1-1/2 years ago, and that's the only problem I've ever had with her. She's been a great lil' smoker!

post #10 of 20
Congrats on the conversion, looks like you're in for some more fun smoking.
post #11 of 20
Very nice job. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif

I went the other way.

From Charcoal

To propane
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Rich! Yeah, I really got into it yesterday...got 3 slabs of spares thawing right now for a burn today...I'll have to use my rib racks and cut the slabs in half...still not 100% sure they'll alll fit, but I'm gonna give it a shot! icon_smile.gif
Hmm, I see you have what appears to be sand in your hot-pan for smoke control? Haven't tried that yet myself...I do see the concept, pretty cool idea.

Thanks Guys!

post #13 of 20
Don't really use that anymore. Old photo. I just rest the can right down on the burner. I have to close the lower vents 80% so the wood chunks don't burst into flames though.
post #14 of 20
I know what you mean. I've got mine going on 4 years now and its still working pretty well. In fact I think I am going to use it just to do Pastrami. I have the small GOSM and the rack sizes make it possible to do 4 pounders on each rack.....
post #15 of 20
I have tried to just place a couple of briquettes in the chip pan to add some charcoal flavor, they never started on fire. I think you would have to have started coals and somewhere for the ash to drop to. In my case, I wanted to keep the gas so I can smoke in the winter (gets really cold here) but wanted to play with real fire, so I bought an ECB from a second hand store, made the required Mods and for under $30 I had a charcoal smoker. A new ECB would run you $40 and about $15 for the mods. Personally I don't see converting a perfictly good GOSM to charcoal as a step forward.
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have my reasons for doing this mod. It's my first smoker, and I now have 3 smokers. The Smoke Vault 24 will remain a gasser, my SNP was previously converted to a gasser and is now back to charcoal.

I like the charcoal flavor much more than the convenience of having a propane tank attached to the smoker. It's a choice by me, a compromise possibly, but, I still have the option to return the GOSM back to gas, as nothing was done to alter the smoker itself. Nothing is forever...

This mod was a simple add-on that can easily be removed to return the GOSM to her original state in less than 10 minutes, with nothing more than a #2 phillips screwdriver for the burner housing and control panel mount screws.

post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 

Here's what she looked like the next day...

This what I found while prepping her for a second smoke today.

The remainder of un-burned briqs I picked out with tongs prior to ash removal:

Quite a few ashes remaining in the bottom of the fire bowl, as it is sloped much the same as a charcoal kettle grill bowl:

The bowl cleaned out...notice the depth of ashes using the drill-screws for a gauge I may use screws to add elevated supports to the coal grate so as to increase the clearance/ash capacity. As is, the bowl will hold over 6lbs of briq (level to top), so by increasing the grate height, a bit, 4lbs of brig is plenty for a several hours burn time:

Ash Reciever, about 2/3 full after ~3 hours worth of burn time...this is estimated by the actual smoke time along with cool-down afterwards, which took nearly 3-1/2 hours to drop below 125*.

Temps did rise to around 259* after closing intake and exhaust vents. this lasted for over an hour. This may be partially due to fact that the gas burner mount screw holes are not closed off, and air is seeping into the lowersection of the cabinet.

All in all, a very good first smoke. I'm smoking pork spares right now, and will see if I can cut back enough on briqs at the correct time so I can increase the heat output by opening the vents up more towards the end. If successful, I'll have less briqs and residual heat after the smoke.

I plan on doing a brase on the spares, so when I pan 'em up, I'll put it all into the Vault and see where we end up.


post #18 of 20
for my PF lowes unit i used one of these with 1/2 holes drilled in for a charcoal/wood chunk pan and set it on the lowest rack. that way i still have the gas option as well as coals.........

post #19 of 20
did i mention that i am lazy............oh yea....
real lazy!
post #20 of 20
Interesting. But I'm a Noob here. Where do you drill the holes and why?
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