cast iron smoker box for GOSM

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bud's bbq

Meat Mopper
Original poster
Jan 22, 2007
Ada, MI
Hi all,

What a great site! Have been reading about the coffee can type mods for the fire box. Wondering if the original cast iron box that comes with the GOSM gives a longer burn than the can - thickness?.....weight?

Guess I'm not understanding the motivation to fix something that doesn't appear broken.

Thanks for the education,

Missed giving you the SMF welcome Bud, so welcome to the group.

It's not so much that the cast box method is broken as it's too small. With a larger wood box you don't have to put wood in as often, so in turn you aren't having the door open which affects the temps and cook times.

There are several options to play with. You've obviously seen the coffee can idea, which some will complain about flare ups causing heat spikes.

I personally have been using a loaf pan with air holes around the sides and cover it with aluminum foil with holes poked in it. That keeps the wood from flaring up and spiking the temps.

Others use cake pans, which they seem to like.

Hope this clears it up a bit for you.

Keep Smokin
Thanks, Pigcicles

That makes all the sense in the world. Speaking of smoke capacity, I have read some postings that suggest that on a 12-14 hour butt or briskett smoke, you should only create the smoke for 2-3 hours. How long do you keep chips / chunks burning on a long smoke.

appreciate it,

Quick trigger finger there Bud - It is said that make quits taking on smoke at around the 140º internal temperature mark. After that it's personal preference. I usually let what ever wood is in finish up after that point.

Some will smoke most or all the way through. Be careful not to try to push too much smoke too fast, as you may get a creosote build up on your food. Think Thin Blue Smoke.

Any other quizes you may have, shoot em back at us.

Keep Smokin
Bud, I also never saw the need to use anything besides the cast iron box the GOSM came equipped with. I do run it without the lid for two reasons. One it seems to ignite the wood better with increased air and then smokes better (cleaner good quality smoke, not more necessarily) without it. The main reason for ever learning reason #1 was because messing with that HOT lid every couple hours got old fast, which is reason #2.

I usually start with three approximately fist sized chunks and when they are mostly burned down add one or two more depending on what I'm smoking and how much longer I need/want alot of smoke. When I add the chunks I just hold it by the top half and use the bottom of the chunk to push the smoldering mostly used chunks in a pile in the rear. They are still making good smoke, it is just not as visible. The intention of Coffee Can Mod was not to get more wood in it I don't believe, but to get cleaner quicker ignition. The amount of wood seems to affect the amount of smoke more than how long it lasts IMO, besides I'll be in there every couple of hours adding water, mopping, spraying, basting, putting in more grub, or whatever. A chunk or two when you add water gets it done. On a really long smoke you can even skip a time here and there after a good "coal bed" is made.
Ultramag makes really good points. The hot and heavy lid has been a pain. We ordered welders gloves to deal with that. But, more importantly is the notion of getting better ignition and smoke with the lid off. Will try that at next q.
Seems like there is wide and varying opinions on how much and how long to keep the smoke going during the cooking cycle. Our most recent q was 3 racks of ribs and I used one box full of hickory chunks filled in with apple chips. Best ribs ever.

I am able to handle my Big Block smoker box lid with my trusty silicone gloves from Sam's. Works like a charm. :lol:
When I first started out with the GOSM, I used wood chips only and thought about doing the coffee can mod. I switched over to wood chunks and found that I had longer and better smoke than I did with the chips. I don't use the lid either.

Bud, as long as your meat is in the smoke, it will take on smoke. The chemical reaction between the smoke and the natural nitrates and nitrites in the meat (that creates the desired smoke ring) ceases once the meat passes through the 140* range. The analogy was explained to me like this- If you're in a tub of water for thirty minutes or three hours you're still in the water and wet! It is possible to oversmoke a piece of meat and you have to remember some folks like more smoke than others, it's just a matter of personal preference.
Great analogy, Dutch. Thanks a lot for the insight. For our super bowl q, I'll leave the cast iron lid off and only use 2-3 big chunks at a time. I've been using hickory. Any point of view on mesqeet (sp??) ?

I use mesquite every great once in a while. It is very strong. You'll just have to try it and see what you think Bud. If you do try it go easy. I'll add 2, maybe 3 chunks, over the whole length of a brisket smoke. Try it out, you may like it.
Thanks, Ultra.

The big lesson for me is how much of any wood I should use. I've been stuffing the cast iron box as full as possible with chunks and chips. For my briskets I would repeat the process two or three times during the q. Next time I'll reduce the chunks and chips.

.....thinking thin blue smoke.

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