1st smoke on the gosm

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jun 21, 2007
Lee's Summit, MO
I got the new GOSM yesterday and seasoned her up.
Today I thought I'd do a whole chicken to start.
It turned out pretty good except for the skin

250 deg. until the meat was 140 then cranked her up (400 deg) until the meat was 177 then took it out.

It was very tasty but the skin was like rubber ! I've read alot of the post here that say cranking up the heat at the end will crisp the skin, what did I do wrong??

Also...I can't seem to get the smoke right. I'm using apple wood chunks and they only seem to smoke for about 15-20 min's before there is no more smoke. There is plenty of wood left in the chunk but no smoke ??

any suggestions are very, very welcome
Not sure on the crisp skin. If that approach didn't crisp it it just wasn't going to be crispy. As for the smoke, if there was wood there was smoke. Remember, the real thin light blue colored smoke is what your after. If you get at the right angle and look real close at the exhaust vent the GOSM is doing just like it should.

Hope this helps.
I looked at every angle possible, even looking down the vent and opening the door. There was no smoke. When I did get smoke there was more coming out of the sides of the door and themometer area than the vent. Thats ok with me..atleast there was smoke.

Am I looking for to much smoke??
Sounds like a successful smoke to me even though you didn't see what you were expecting. Hang in there and you will get the exact results that you and the smoker are going for.

Also....probe your chickens at the leg and thigh joint area.....
Thanks for the advice.
It was still very good eats...seems I have alot to learn. Stay tuned in for a barrage of questions
As long as the meat is juicy & tasty, skin really doesn't matter!

The skin on my breasts is not usually crispy, only on the legs and wings. I smoke my chickens at 275F for the entire smoke. I've read that there is no real benefit to cooking chicken at lower temps than that, so I've never tried it. Are you using the built in temp gauge in the GOSM for your cooking temperature? Your chicken is on the bottom rack and the temps may be different than that at the level of the GOSMs gauge. Also, the gauge may not be very accurate. Just a few things to consider.
It is possible JohnT. We have so many members now I can't remember them all so I don't know how long you have been smoking and what equipment you had before the GOSM. A properly running GOSM will produce smoke that is very hard to see about 15 mins. after you add your chunks.

Let's go at this from another angle. How many chunks did you have in the wood box? Did the chicken have a good smoke flavor in your opinion? About how many chunks did you use over the whole smoke? When you added new chunks, did you leave the old ones in the box?

Even after all this is said and done it still may just come down to some people like more/less smoke flavor than others.
Try to remember that sometimes more isn't better. If you had smokey flavor you had smoke. You will want a Thin Blue Smoke to what some refer to as Invisible Blue Smoke. Did you smell the air around the smoker and did it smell like smoke? If it did then there was smoke.

As for the crispy skin, next time try to baste the outside with butter and garlic or butter and whatever, then at the end crank up the smoker temp to crisp it up.
You can also crisp up the skin by putting it on the grill for a bit , after smoking it , if you want it crispy
thats about what I thought, without actually taking temps. Time to get a couple more thermometers.
I was running the GOSM at 250, built in themometer, so 270 seemed right for the bottom rack.

When I was getting, what I think is good smoke, there was just a little coming out of the door joint and really couldn't see any out of the top vent.

My main question is how long should a piece of apple chunk aprox. 2x2 last? It would take forever to start smoking when I would put a new piece in, then smoke pretty good for about 15-20 mins.
After that no smoke. I could look right down into the top vent and see nothing and smell very little, more like what it smells like after the unit has been shut down for awhile.

I read somewhere here that some are using a cut down coffee can for a wood box, maybe that would help

I have more posts in this forum than I have smokes under my belt...yep rank beginner LOL
I first used 2 chunks but it was putting out what I thought was way to much smoke (thick cloud out of the top vent) so I pulled one out.
I have apple wood in rough form so I can make the chunks / chips any size I need. What would the propers size for this smoker be?

I think a fist sized chunk works best for the GOSM John. I usually start w/ 2 or 3 depending on type of wood and what I'm cooking. I run the unit on high with the door open to get the wood smoking good and finish prepping meat. Usually about 30 min. or so. Then I load my meat, close the door, and regulate temp. When I add more chunks I just shove the old to the back of the box using the new chunk to push it. I never remove any wood until I'm done with the smoke. The first chunks will be nothing but ash at the end of a long smoke.

It varies how often I add chunks depending on ambient conditions and what is being smoked, but it is usually 1 or 2 chunks every 1 ½ and up to 3 hours. Once you get a good amont of wood built up during a long smoke (brisket or butt type) you can skip an addition of wood chunks here and there. Also, I never use the lid on the wood box. I think this allows more air to the "fire" and you get a cleaner better burn.
2 or 3?? I'd be lucky to get 1 pice that size in mine. I have the 3504gt and the wood box is only 5" sq.
I'll try 1 fist sized piece on the next smoke.
My apologies John, I always forget about the smaller GOSM having a much smaller wood box. Might not hurt to try a smaller chunk and use a couple. I wonder if the smaller GOSM 's benefit alot more from the baking pan/ coffee can type mods due to the smaller box. Also, there aren't 2 lower intake vents in them if I'm thinking right. All that could make them alot different as far as what works best.

Anyone know the BTU difference in the burners from the "Big Block" to a standard model? I would assume they are different with a smaller cabinet. If the wood boxes were thinner and smaller I guess it could even things out somewhat, but the air intakes missing would have to have some effect on combustion.

Keep us posted JohnT, I am interested.
I would not recommend eating the chicken skin in the first place, but if it's presentation you're looking for, there are several ways to improve the skin. Make sure it's oiled so it can crisp up from the outside. Use a rub both inside and outside the skin. Keep the bird toward the top where it is hotter. And, make sure the smoker is up to temperature before you put the bird in. And, make sure the bird is not cold from the refrigerator. It needs to be somewhere between room temperature and refrigerator temperature when you put it in. Just get the cold off it, don't let it sit around too long.

As for the smoke, the white billowing smoke you see when you first start smoking is water. Once the water is out, the wood smolders, giving off smoke. It may or may not be visible. You do not have to see smoke to have smoke - as long as the wood is glowing at all, it is smoking.

I use fist size chunks of wood. I do NOT soak it in water, as I already have water in my GOSM, and don't need the additional evaporated water from the wood to affect my food. I use heavy duty foil to wrap the wood in a single layer, then poke many tiny holes in all sides with my pocket knife. The foil prevents flaming, which wastes your wood.

A fist should last from 2-3 hours. After about 2 hours, I build another and put it with the first one. If the first one feels really light (as it does when it turns to ash), I take it out with tongs and keep it in a safe place until I soak it to make sure there are no more sparks in it. Otherwise, I leave both in and remove the first one when it can be flattened with the tongs. No more smoke there.

To repeat - the white smoke is water. It is what you see when firemen put out a building fire. Soaking wood to get water in it, then using heat to drive that water out is, uh, counter productive. While the water is evaporating, the wood is cooled. You want your wood hot enough to smolder. You don't want a flame. The foil is foolproof - just make sure it is heavy duty, as the really thin foils will actually ignite.

I have the 20" wide GOSM which has the small firebox. I also was concerned that the smoke seemed to stop after 30-40 minutes. Now, for long smokes, I use an old cast iron fry pan instead of the firebox. It holds more wood and is much easier to handle and add to. Throw in some wood chips and 2-3 large chunks. The chips start fast then get the chunks going. When it seems like the smoke has stopped by eye, I stick my snoze over it. Usually I can smell the smoke and if not, then I check to see if more wood is needed.
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