Houston I think we have a (GMB DB) problem

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by kiska95, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    Hi GMB DB users out there wonder if you can help with a problem and a bit of advice.

    Had a GMG DB delivered about 10 days ago (gone to the dark side) and this Wednesday (my day off) I decided to fire it up. I had a 5KG turkey breast brined and some beef ribs rubbed and ready. Obviously I knew I had to do the initial start up an burn in process before committing the meat, which I commenced that afternoon. However after the DB did its sequence 0123 it showed 20c and as instructed I dialled it up, just to 100c to start. All started well with huge amounts of smoke from the chimney and the lid but then it stalled at 63c and wouldn't climb higher. Spoke to Darren at American BBQ, who rang me back from his sick bed I might add, good fellow that he is and said to leave it a hour or so and do a few more cold starts and it will settle down. Well an hour went by and nada so being me I pressed the down button twice and like magic it kicked in and went to 99c before stalling again. So dialled in 150c and pressed the down button and again it climbed to 149C, stalling again. I followed the same process of dialling up and 2 pushes on the down button and got it to 209C where I left it for an hour. The temp indicator light did not illuminate when near temp as the manual said it would

    Did 3 more cold starts and the same things occurred stall, dial up, 2 x down button and away it would go. American BBQ are looking into this for me, at least when Darren comes back to work he will so I am sure I will get the appropriate advice unless anyone else can offer any help or suggestions?

    The second issue which  I am more concerned about is the cooking of the food.  On the 4th cold start up (each time I cleaned out the burn pot) I decide to put the meat in. Now each time I have started the smoker I get loads and I mean loads of billowing smoke but strangely no smoke whatsoever during the cook period just heat haze out of the chimney (chimney fully open) is that correct?.So got the smoker to 140C using GMG fruitwood pellets and my up down procedure and it held temp for 5 hours no problem. I got the IT of the turkey up to 74C using the GMG probe. However the fat/drippings in the drip bucket were black, unperturbed I pulled the turkey out and the skin was black and greasy as were the ribs.; I also noticed that flames were licking up the back side of the heat shield and drip tray. Foil wrapped the turkey and cooled the smoker down. On dismantling noticed the heat shield had warped and all of the underside of the drip tray was covered in soot as was the back of the smoker and the door openings, Can this be right? The turkey itself was very tender as were the ribs but as said the skin was greasy black with no sign or even a hint of smoke flavour, you would think I had had it stuck up a chimney. so any advice on this as it seems at the minute I have an expensive outdoor oven that produces dirty food not a smoker? Am I supposed to get smoke flavoured food, I know it sounds daft but at what level? is it the pellets? I know people use colds smokers to add smoke but isn't that the point of buying a smoker to get smoked food?? Help!

    Struggling a bit and have a party booked in a couple of weeks so was trying to get some practice in but at this rate might have to resort to Hot n Fast on the Napoleon Rodeo Pro and the low n slow in the kitchen oven

    Thanks for any help
  2. Hello.  HELP!!!!!!  Is kiska speaking English?  We are talking about some sort of smoker I presume??  Dial it in??  Pressing buttons??  You mean ON THE SMOKER????  Can someone translate this to "redneck"?  Me make fire.  Me throw meat on fire.  When meat done, Me take off fire and eat!  Am I gettin OLD??  I DO have a dumb phone and a dumb TV..  The word dinosaur comes to mind.  GEEZ!  [​IMG]

    papajeep likes this.
  3. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Brian - Steve is probably in a better position to help you with the startup and temperature management on the DB. From my experience with the DC though what you are seeing with the smoke is normal. The initial billowing smoke appears to be produced whilst the heating element is initially catching the pellets and the fan is blowing hard - but once this switches off and the air flow to the hot pellets is regulated, the thick billowing smoke turns to thin blue smoke. You may only see a heat haze but you should be able to smell the smoke in that haze.

    Again with the DC, the fat in the bucket is also black and to be honest I would not want to use fat that is collected outside of the smoker that has been allowed to stand at ambient temperature for a few hours. I place whatever I am smoking on a wire rack over a roasting tray in the cooking chamber itself. That way the collected juices stay both clean and hot.

    I am not familliar with the DB grease trays but it looks as if the stainless steel tray works in the same way as in the DC. Does it have two layers that can slide over each other opening and closing the holes. When normal smoking the holes need to be closed. When the holes are open it is used for searing the meat and I have seen flames when used in this way. Again this is with the DC and the DB may be  slightly different.

    I hope this helps and maybe points you in the direction of sorting out the problem.

  4. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    Hey Danny,

    Wise words Kemosabe [​IMG]Us makum injuns aint got the fire skills yet but tryin to lurn! Hard to do when its a blue norther place[​IMG]

    Couldn't get no decent stick burner (do you know of any good rigs here?) in the northern wasteland of England  so me followed others with the helectrickty rigs like Wade the Wiley Ol Wizard. Sent smoke signals to American BBQ and had a pow wow with Darren just now, looks like the Witch Doctor going to exorcize the controller and get rid of the "Black evil  cloak" in the box so no need for any conniptions[​IMG]

    been suckin on my peace pipe and thinkin and it looks like I will have to get some stove tape as the lid seems a bit whomperjawed

    But thanks Lonestar Ranger the words have been as handy as hip pockets on a hog [​IMG]

    Seriously thanks your post gave me a great big smile!!!!!
  5. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Wade,

    As ever sound good advice Thanks!

    Darren at American BBQ is sending out a new controller, my tinternet search has revealed that the GMG DB controllers can be iffy at times and a number of people have had to have them changed out.

    I didn't bother with the Wi-Fi model (more things to go wrong) so my DB has a solid drip plate not the adjustable.

    I was worried about a drip tray in the chamber thinking that the direct heat from the drip tray would cause the fat/juices to boil or smoke and cause more problems but that not the case no? 

    So two questions, does your fan hunt? in other words sound like an old man panting for breath or does it run continuously till temp reached? second is there much smoke flavour/ring on your food? there wasn't a hint in mine and I was using GMG Fruitwood; should I go over to hickory & or Mesquite to get a more pronounced flavour? Any advice is appreciated. You see I have nothing to compare with as the only proper Q I have had is in the US so got no GMNG experience for tasting. My mate in the North east has just got a JB but has only seared not smoked. He runs a FEC 120 too.

    Thanks again Wade
  6. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It is no different to using a drip tray in an offset or in a Weber or WSM and the IT of the DB will only be as hot as the set temperature - so in the region of 120 C (240 F). As the smoking point of Pork fat (lard) is 182 C (370 F), chicken fat is 190 C (375 F) and butter is 177 C (350 F) at the temperatures you will probably be smoking this will not be a problem. If you are hot roasting above 180 C (355 F) then you may have to take the smoke points into consideration.

    Yes the DC does sound like a panting old man sometimes - or maybe even like Ivor the Engine. This is interspersed with the low wine of the auger feed. The fan is on fairly consistently until the smoker approaches temperature and then it begins to take longer and longer pauses as the temperature is reached and maintained.

    The flavour was not that of raw in-your-face-smoke but more of a subtle smoke flavour. It was similar though to the smoke flavour I get from my Weber using pellets. I mostly use hickory so I don't know how using fruit wood would affect the flavour. Try it with hickory and it may give you more of the flavour that you are looking for.

    Again Steve may be able to help you specifically with the DB.

    You may also find that it performs differently once the new controller has been fitted.
  7. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks a million wade that's invaluable very appreciative[​IMG]

    Hope Steve comes along
  8. "whomperjawed".  SEE! NOW we are talking English!  [​IMG]

  9. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    Like It!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![​IMG]
  10. Hello.  Hey Wade!  I think kiska is assuming I am joking.  You need to clue him in.  I AM dumb as 2 bags of rocks when it comes to this technology cooking.  GMB, DB,DC,FEC  Sounds like a *** da** secret government organisation to me!  Dial in a smoker??  After 40 yrs. I just bought my first ever therm. in the last 6 months and still have not read the directions.  Speaking of that; when are ya coming back this way so you can show me how this darn thing works?

    Do we need Steve to check in and help out?  I'll rattle his cage.  Even phone him if needs be.  Let me know kiska.  I'll soon have him here to add his 2p.

  11. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    Ha ha!! after reading some of your other posts I think you could hear a whisper in a whirlwind😀
    Yes a bit of help from Steve would be nice just so i can reassure myself what's going on is correct.
    Thanks Danny you sure is one three jump cowboy😉
  12. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Brian - I took some video yesterday for you to compare your experiences with the DB. Is this what you are getting?


  13. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    That was Brill Wade[​IMG]

    The start up and panting are the same, the initial smoke no. You cant stand within 6 feet of the thing as masses of white choking smoke billows out from everywhere for the first 5 to10 minutes. I will have to do a sniff test on the heat haze though once its underway.  I notice you keep the exhaust fully open, Darren at American BBQ said just 2 finger gap as mine is a screw in cap but i'm sure fully open is the way to go but I will try both. Someone else (Pelletheads I think) mentioned covering the hopper with foil before putting the lid down to avoid air being sucked in the loose lid making the fans do their job, you seen that?. I am just waiting for the new controller from ABBQ to give it another whirl as Darren recons that's the cause of all of the problems, we will see! Lol!

    Thanks again

  14. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sorry, Sorry for the the delay, been at a Wedding all weekend, just got back, now getting ready to go out for my Neice 21st Birthaday and Nephews 18 th Birthday BBQ.

    I had very similar problems with the start up procedure, this was the post I put up.


    As you can see from the post, I had to do the the "Two Step Dance". I was sent a new controller and it sorted it.

    Billowing Smoke to start of is normal, as the temperature rise the heat kills the smoke.

    Tha baffle arrangements are a mystery to all owners. Some same put all three in some say leave the left one out, some say leave the right one out, Even leave right one in but leave a inch gap!!!!! ??????It trial and error, get some parked baked rolls (6) place three a third of the way in a from the back and three a third way in from front ant equal distance apart ie, looking like a six or Diamonds playing card, cook for 10 minutes, this will show you your hot spots, then you can play with the Baffles to try and equal it out.

    Not sure about the black soot All over, you will get some as you are burning wood. Make sure Chimney Cap is at least three fingers open, this may be hindering the air flow.

    Panting like an old man is normal.

    Darren will sort you out, but do not mention to him, you are catering commercialy with your GMG, as the could void your warranty, these are only supposed to be for Domestic Use.

    Any problems PM me.

    Smokin Monkey
  15. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
  16. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Mr Monkey

    Very grateful for the help its nice to get the reassurance.

    I am all domestic use only by the way its a fellow from this Forum whose is a mate that's the commercial jobbie with a JB.

    I did take the cap fully off to exhaust but with a faulty controller nothing is gona be right, Darren reckoned that the soot was due to incorrect burn due to the controller so lets see. Have to wait for the courier before I can try again but will keep you posted[​IMG]
  17. As always; Thanks Steve.  A STAR! my man.  Spreading the word.  It's why we do this.

  18. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeah, the soot is a mystery. Once you get the new controller is should sort it out. The other fault I had was the low level pellets sensor, also the ingnitor rod had to be replaced, but I think that was my fault.

    Tried to start the Smoker a couple of times, from cold as it did not seem to start, was informed that I had probably over heat rod. Quick way of staring Smoker, if the heater fails is remove the grease tray and hand fill the fire pot with pellets and light with a blow torch, re-assemble and start as normal.

    Smokin Monkey
  19. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    Houston I think the problem is solved but...................

    I received a new controller yesterday from Darren at ABBQ and proceeded to remove the old and fit the new............. however I had a devil of a job separating the main harness plug from the old controller which should have been quite easy and straightforward. It appears that the block must have been a very tight fit on assembly and the male and female sections had been forced together. This was noticed by one of the female connectors being bent over at 90 degrees at the cable end. Gentle persuasion finally got them apart. When trying to reconnect the plugs the bent connector (blue) popped out of the plug and its body was buckled so it couldn't have gone on the spade connector; it obviously had not been making a proper connection, this may have been the problem after all. When straightened out to try and put it back in its housing the female connector broke in two. 

    I retro fitted and crimped a new female terminal on the blue cable and and joined it to its black male counterpart outside of the block. 

    Cleaning all of the soot out was a chore but I have now done an initial burn with the new controller and immediately noticed the difference (better!!). First off the fan runs continuously until near desired temp and then pants as it should to control the temp and the burn, it didn't before it just panted all of the time (where the soot came from). The fans also pick up immediately when the temperature is increased it didn't before. The smoke is no where near as heavy at start up and shut down and I can now see a wisp of blue smoke when running at temperature, great! Shut down on "Fan" at 65 degrees also went without a hitch. one questions though to our GMG brothers......

    When  Increasing or decreasing the controller it only moves at 5 degree increments, the old controller was 1 degree increments, is this correct?

    In all honesty I didn't think that I would have to start repairing a brand new unit but it does appear from a number of forum members that faulty controllers are an issue. I am aware that these rigs are built in China and therefore quality control is difficult but these very cheap plug components are easily damaged and can create a lot of problems. I have suggested that it may be worth passing the feedback to the US in that a better connectors can be had for a few pennies more.

    Hopefully I can get back to Qing if only this weather would improve! lol!!
  20. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It is great that you got it sorted Brian - but I totally agree with your comments regarding the apparent poor build quality.

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