Another Newbie - More Newbie Questions

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
Jul 16, 2006
Oregon Coast
For years I have used an "Unnamed" little electric smoker for fall Salmon. This was the only time of the year I smoked anything and it was a "No Brainer" because it was set to smoke/cook at the correct temp.

I have been a member of SMF for quite a while. Just lurking around in the shadows, reading everything the rest of you members have posted. I feel I have learned a fair amount just from this activity. I finally got to the point I wanted to participate.

Yesterday I bought a GOSM 3405GW. Wanted the Big Block but no one locally had it and it was going to be between $55. and $70. added on, to ship it here. I settled for this one instead, knowing that it will work well and I will be able to learn a lot. I can always move up later, if need be.

I assembled the Smoker then seasoned it according to what I have read on SMF. Reaching and sustaining a high temprature: ie(300F, 350F, even 400F) was easy. Then I tried to see how low it would go.

Here is where I ran into my first issue:
The top dampers are wide open. The gas is turned down to 'Low'. In fact it goes a quarter inch below the 'Low' setting before you reach the physical stop. After a half hour the temp is still 240F.

With the top dampers open the heat comes pouring out, but I fear the smoke will, as well, so I am not too happy with that. Propping the door open a little would certainly help, but seems silly that they would make a device that required this as a solution.

I know I am not the first to have this issue.

Can some of you more experienced members give me some suggestions?

Would love to hear from anyone who has an idea or suggestion.


First congrats on yor purchase. I have the GOSM also.

I am wondering about the temp outside and wind conditions. I know when I have upper 90's I have to move to the shade if there is no wind. I run the dampner wide open most of the time due to the elevated temps here. I still have good smoke penetration.

Make sure you chunk the chip box out and go with the cut down coffee can or a loaf pan which is what i use. The factory chip box is too small
Hello, welcome to SMF, don't have a GOSM but IMHO 240 will probably be ok as when you fill it with cool meat it will help displace some of the temp. Good luck with the new smoker and enjoy the "Q".
Welcome aboard the SMF from another GOSM owner! Most factory temperature gauges are incorrect. I checked mine with boiling water before assembly and found it to be off about 25 degrees +. I intend to install some accurate thermometers in the near future. You want the smoke to flow over the meat and out the top so, by all means, open the damper to regulate the heat. When you turn on the propane tank, try turning it on only 1 1/2 turns and see if this enables you to get a lower cooking temp. Hope this helps!
Sometimes the outside environment will kick your temps up too. Wind no wind, hot sun, cold snow etc. First be sure your thermomters are calibrated then check your temps.

Congrats on the new smoker!
i only turn my propane tank 3/4 of a turn and i maintain 225 with the knob turned between med and low
Pescadero, lotsa good info up there!

You'll love that GOSM once you get er figured out.

Make sure to jump over to Roll Call and get a proper SMF welcome!

Glad you found us!
Thanks to all of you who responded to me.

I have taken the last few days to follow up with your suggestions and have learned a bit, from each of you.

First, I bought three of the Oven Thermometers and hung one on each rack. Interesting that some of you said the bottom rack was usually hotter, because it was nearer the heat source. Others of you found that the top rack was hotter, because heat rises. My thermometers showed that when the top damper was open the top rack was cooler and the bottom one hotter. When the damper was closed down somewhat, the situation reversed itself and it was hotter on the top. I guess that makes sense???? Of course, smoker temp in general rose or fell too, corresponding with the damper setting.

No matter what I did, I could not get the temp on the door thermometer to go under 245F. Fortunately the shelf thermometers registered 10-15F cooler, so were running between 230F-235F. As some said, when I added the water pan and cool meat, the temp did drop, but it would climb back up to 245F quickly, even though the meat was still cool and just starting to warm. This did not seem to hurt the pork and poultry but I would like to get quite a bit lower for Salmon, and don't know how to do it.

I also experimented with the tank opening and the smoker heat setting. I found that my smoker goes a quarter of an inch below "LOW", before it hits the physical stop. But, I couldn't see any difference in the flame or the level of heat, regardless if it was set to "LOW" or past it to the physical stop. Next I played with opening the propane bottle. Some said they opened a quarter of a turn. Others a half. Still others three quarters. On mine I found that from the time I cracked it on, just enough to achieve ignition, all the way to wide open, there was no change. It was either "ON" or "OFF". By "OFF" I mean, you could hear the propane coming out, but it was not enough to support flame, which was going to prove dangerous. The propane bottle setting is clearly not going to be a help in regulating the heat for me.

Nonetheless, I had a lot of fun and turned out some edible results. So far I have done Chicken Hind Quarters. Boneless Country Pork Spares and a Boneless Pork Loin. I haven't had time yet, to try an actual smoking rub, but utilized a rub that I have often used for regular BBQ Grilling. This is certainly an area in which I can improve, but even this worked out nicely.

I have much to learn but feel you have helped me get started of on a good footing. If anyone has more suggestions on temprature control, I would gladly try them.

Thanks again to all of you. I am sure I will have more questions soon.

There has been a lot posted, almost on a continuous basis, about wanting the 'thin blue smoke'. An equal amount has been posted about not wanting the white or grey billowy smoke. But, I don't know how to avoid the one or achieve the other.

I have come to believe that when the smoke actually starts, it will be white and billowy, which is natural. Most say that it soon settles down. For some, I see that it never settles down. For others it settles down almost automaticly. What makes the difference. How do you get it to settle down into that almost invisible range that everyone desires.

Some have said that they cover their chip/chunk pan with tin foil and punch a few small holes in it. I presume this lowers the oxygen and therefore slows the burning process down. Is this the best method of achieveing the nearly invisible blue smoke or is there a better technique.

I am definitely missing something about this subject. I am a little confused here and could use some suggestions.


my take on this- depending on the type smoker/pit you use.. just use a few chips or a chunk @ a time until you get the desired amount of smoke(remember-if you can smell wood,it's smoking). some woods smoke more than others-in my experience, hickory & mesquite produce more smoke than say apple,plus have stronger flavor. if you're a stick burner-after starting your initial fire,pre burn wood in a separate barrel or wood stove and just add the coals ( this is how it's done in most professional establishments-especially in texas where mesquite is used). also a quality charcoal makes a difference. hope this helps.
Hey Skip, a fella gave the address for a web site that sells a small brass valve like is used on weed burners. He said to turn the main valve on low, and put the new brass valve behind the main valve and then fine tune with the brass valve. I ordered 4 of them. I think I can put the web site up here? Bayou Classic Depot
[email protected]
Yes!! The valve is like, $4, you gotta hunt to find it, I can't remember where it was, but keep looking, its there. OK, click on, propane parts, click on, miscellaneous propane burner parts, "view parts", there it is.
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Terry: Thanks for the informatin. I just found them and ordered me one. Will keep you posted on results.

Salmon came out pretty good. Most got eaten right off the rack. Was hard to hide enough to make a chowder, but I managed.

Sorry we couldn't hook up better on IM but let's keep at it.

Big Arms beat me to it .. i was going to say check that regulator .. as well as getting a secondary adjustment valve .. i am a scaverger .. i used to get mine off those old grate style home heaters.. use them to fine tune the flame for frying fish...

i love the cheech and chong pix...

How ya doing? Ex-HP, huh!! Have a lot of friends who were once with them. Hope Woodburn is treating you good.

I have been down in the Newport area since 2000. Wish I had moved down 20 years sooner. Just love it.

I too, am just getting started in smoking and have sooooooo much to learn. Fortunately everyone on SMF are very open and very helpful, so I am making a little progress.

Thanks for saying hello.

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