First smoke & a few questions

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Original poster
Oct 22, 2006
Northeast Ohio
Going to smoke my first butt Sunday in my GOSM big block. You guys have been great answering many of my questions as I have spent a good deal of time reading a ton of posts. I can't seem to find info on 2 probably very basic questions. Does the water pan need to be refilled or does it usually have enough liquid through the whole process? And..... Do I keep the woodpan filled or is there a point in the cooking time that the smoke has little effect on the meat? I'll be using peach or cherry chunks and some hickory chips. Your help is always appreciated.
Yes, you should periodically check your water pan, one would be surprised how much of a spike in heat they could attain when it runs dry!
As far as smoking, it varies, but I find most stuff reaches a point, after about 4-5 hours when hot smoking (meat tends to become encapsulated in a crust), that it canâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t or wonâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t absorb any more appreciable amount of smoke. Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m sure there are other schools of thought on that topic! But thatâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]s my take on it!
When I do butts or brisketts in my GOSM, I need to add water a couple times to keep it filled. A little trick that I use is that I fill it initially with hot water from the tap to help get the temps set quicker than waiting for cold water to heat up. I also keep a tea kettle full of water on top of the smoker to have hot water ready for refills.

For the wood box, I add a couple chunks every 45 mins untill the box is full of ash. I may need to empty it once for very long smokes (brisket or multiple butts). My understanding it that smoke ring formation in the meat stops when the meat gets above 135-140F, although the meat will take smoke flavor as long as you maintain smoke. How smoky you want it to taste is a matter of your personal preference.

Hope this helps.

Take care, have fun, and do good!


Thanks for the help Carl and Meowey! I'm planning a 5AM start tomorrow so that I have plenty of time and hopefully won't have to rush it. Hoping everyones help makes my first one a success.
Well, my first smoke was a success :D thanks to all the help I got from everyone on the forum. I have read many posts and asked a few questions and took the plunge Sunday. Had a few minor problems that I was ready for due to the info from you all. Had about a 9# butt that took 16 hours in the GOSM. Holding the temp steady at 225 was no problem. I learned alot and I'm already looking to improve and learn more from my next smoke. Thanks again!
Sorry no pics. Actually there wasn't much left after for pics either! It was a success though and I'm ready for another smoke for some Christmas Eve Q. I also think santa is bringing a shipment of sausage seasonings and the makings for a few deer hams. The GOSM really made the first time a whole lot easier than expected. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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