First smoke with the Big Block

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
Apr 17, 2006
Garden City, MO
I finally got to use the new GOSM yesterday. Kept it pretty cheap and simple since it was my first time out with it or anything like it. I smoked a 3lb. chuck roast and a couple pounds of Italian sausage. I also tossed in a basket of onoins, peppers, and mushrooms.

I can't think of anything bad to say about the GOSM so far. I thought the smoke flavor was normal and I had about a 1/4 inch smoke ring on the roast. Temps were very easy to control (very calm day here) and once it started smoking it made perfect smoke the whole time. I only wish I could get pics on here to prove these claims. :oops:

I'm gonna kick it up a notch next weekend and do a couple butts for pulled pork and maybe some beans. Might be cole slaw, I gotta alot of time to change my mind on the sides between now and then.

I'm also gonna try the baking pan next weekend. I used the cast iron box that came with it when I cooked and on Sat. when I seasoned it. The main issue I personally have with the box is if you need to add more wood chunks it is a real pain. I had bought a baking pan, but I wanted to use it basically like it came a time or two so I would know the difference the pan made myself. That cast box is a clean up pain too. That thing holds heat like crazy. Not really pain I guess just slow to get everything cooled down and HOT to handle.

Do you have to run your heat higher when you don't use the cast wood box? That is what I figure might be the downside to the pan. Oh well, I'll hush up and go lay down for a while now.

I never noticed a difference in temps when I tried the baking pan thing. The only down side to the cast box for me is the time it takes to take off the cast iron lid and put it back on. I have used the cast box without the lid, putting the lid on only when I thought there was too much smoke.

I have noticed that when I smoke chicken thighs on the lower levels of my Big Block that the chicken on the left and right side will cook faster than the chicken in the center of the grate. I believe the heat from the burner is rolling up the sides around the smoke box and water pan and starts mixing up better once it a little ways pass the water pan. When I cook several briskets or pork butts the bottom items internal temperature will always be about 5F lower than the internal temperature of the top items. I always try to place the food as high up as possible in the smoker hopefully in the area of more consistent heat and I do have better results following that practice.

I can't tell you how many of my wife's pot holders I scorched trying to handle the cast iron smoke box :lol: or how many times I got in trouble for it. :oops:

The stainless steel Big Block is constructed a little differently than the smaller models I started out on. I drilled a few more holes in the rails to allow height adjustment of the food racks, water pan and smoke box. So now I don't have to touch a thing to add wood.

I also stopped using the lid for the smoke box after a couple of cooking sessions. Burnt myself or dropped it too many times.
The lid is probably a good thing if you're burning chips but since I use only chunks it's not necessary.
There's good info here. I also use the SS GOSM with the standard cast iron wood box. To add wood whether it be chunks or chips, I use a pair of cooking tongs. They're fairly strong. Using them, I have no trouble with pulling the rack out, removing the lid and adding wood. I then again use the tongs to replace the lid and slide the whole thing back in.

The interesting thing here is the used of chunks and no lid. That sounds like a great idea. I'll certainly give it a try next weekend. It would definitely simplify the restocking process when using chunks. Thanks for the idea.

Just repeating the others, but I used the baking pan for the first time this past weekend and it was so much easier than the cast iron.
I'm set up to try it all now. I already had one pan, but I bought another on my way home from work this morning. If it had dawned on me yet to ditch the lid I could've tried that first. I almost ditched it right into the pasture on the first smoke. :evil: That swapping two pans sounded like the best fix, but the racks not very hot so if you didn't have to mess with that lid it would be easy to slide the rack out add 2 or 3 chunks and right back in. It takes a while to get that cast iron box up to temp and smoking, but I bet you get a faster cleaner ignition adding wood to it than switching to a cold pan everytime.

Bob, I had remembered seeing a post when I was contemplating the GOSM where you had added some rack positions and I think lowered the smoke box. I was gonna look at mine again b4 I ask, but are your rack, water pan, and smoke box slots adjustable at all as the unit came or were they fixed like the black ones are. I think ours are more different than I originally thought, because with the single wall construction of mine if I drill alot of holes to move and adjust, I am gonna have holes in the smoker.

As far as the pot holders go I can't imagine how many you been through so far. I have only seasoned once and smoked once and pretty well toasted two pot holders and really put a hurtin' on a basically new ove glove and have been in trouble twice. To whick I say "I told you I need some of those fancy gloves." :D
I found a picture that somewhat shows the guides for the food racks in the GOSM SS Big Block. The color is off because I had to brighten it up by changing the Gamma settings so the picture would be bright enough to see inside a dark smoker.

I hope you can see how each rail guide hangs in a hole in the front and rear channels. I need to take some pictures of my Mod to show the additional holes I drilled in the channels.

I wouldn't recommend drilling holes in the side of your smoker if it doesn't have these channels. :lol:

Here's how I've been using the cast iron lid for my smoke box
Great pic Bob, thanks. The one I have is totally different. The slotted places the racks slide in are made of one piece, would all move together and are bolted right to the side of the smoker. If I move one thing I move it all. I suppose it's the same as the smaller Great Outdoors units you had before if I was guessing. If that doesn't make sense, I'll take a pic and post when I get home this weekend. My wife finally found the cable to load pics on the puter. WE had thought we were moving and it was in storage.
Yes, you have the same type "uni-rail system" that was in my smaller GOSM smokers. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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