GOSM Seasoning....???'s

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Jul 25, 2007
Raleigh, NC
So I got my GOSM (wide body) home yesterday and put it together. I came home early from work today and began with the seasoning process. I slathered on some vegetable oil on all internal surfaces, cranked it up, set the dial to medium, loaded some mesq. & hick. chips in the box, threw it in and closed the front door.
Smoke started rolling in about 5 minutes so I opened the door and the chips were on fire! I backed the flame all the way down to low and closed the tank valve almost all the way to give me the lowest flame possible. Once that was achieved, I looked at the stock temp gauge and it was holding steady somewhere between 285 - 300. I know the stocker is usually off and I have some round dial gauges in transit now (thanks to a mod I read somewhere) but for now I have to go by the red one.

My question is:
Should I see smoke for the whole time I cook? Reason I ask is, even though the chips are burnt black and I see no smoke, technically the chips are still burning and giving off scent/flavor but is this the "thin blue smoke" I read about?
I ended up adding more chips after about 15 mins because the first handful caught fire and I figured they were done...
When I added the second handful, I did see some smoke again but only for about 10 mins again and then nothing...

For reference, I'm using chips that I bought from Wal-Mart and they are about the size of..let's say...fajita sized strips of meat. I didn't soak them prior, just threw the dry chips in the box. Should I soak? Should I buy better quality wood?
I did this for about 1.5 hrs and then pulled the wood box, emptied it and put an actual chunk of hickory in there. The chunk was probably the size of a Blackberry (phone). I still had the fire low (temp now down to 275ish) but in 45 mins, the chunk did not smoke at all! Same deal, bag of smoking wood from Wal-Mart, didn't soak...

Am I just not understanding the assignment here??? It's my assumption that while smoking, I should see smoke...please someone steer this Fokker in the right direction.......??!?!!!???!

On the bright side, my GOSM sure does smell good on the inside
My experience with chips in my GOSM is that they burn out rather quickly. It sounds like you did your smoker seasoning properly. I seasoned mine by following the directions that came with it.

I found that by using chunks rather than chips the smoke was not as thick and white as those produced by chips. I would encourage you to get some chunks and try them. I find that I need to add about 1 chunk an hour. That is the same interval for any spraying or mopping that I do.

You might find chunks at a place like Gander mountain or Bass Pro Shops or even Lowes or Home Depot.

Hope this helps!

Take care, have fun, and do good!



P.S. - I don't soak my wood.
Some of the better smoking woods like Cherry and Apple are readily available in chips, but you'll find that with the GOSM chunks are the best woods to smoke.

I did a smoke last weekend with some Mesquite chunks that were large. Never saw a whisp of smoke, but you could tell that the chunks were smoking from the smell. The quality of the smoke ring and taste we top notch.

My best results with chips are to soak them for a minimum of two hours, foil them tightly, poke just a few holes, and put them on top of a ring of chunks - not directly in touch of HOT metal. They will get just enough heat to smoke and not catch fire.

MOST IMPORTANT - get rid of the factory wood box. Get an (cheap) aluminium baking dish about 9x13 and you'll have all the room you need for wood for any smoke. NOT NON-STICK

Any other questions - just ask.
Hey BF,
I am pretty new to this too, but I know that rolling white smoke is no good. If you have to look really hard to see the smoke, but can still smell it, that's good. That's the 'thin blue' smoke you're looking for. I have never used chips, just chunks, but I ditched the smoke box in my GOSM that came from the factory and cut down a coffe can instead, per Jeff's recommendation. It heats a lot quicker than the cast iron the smoke box is made of. You can go a lot longer with it and that equals less time with the door open during the cook. I had a problem with some Wal-Mart wood being prone to flaming up, but a little tin foil over the top with holes in it keeps the flare ups down. Probably just an old bag. I ordered some wood online and am very happy with it.

Beware of that red thermo in the front, its real squirrley...I use a digital stuck in a small potato on the cooking grate to measure temps...best investment you can make IMO. Once you know you've got an accurate thermo, you should be able to get low temps with the tank valve wide open, if not you may need to contact the company for a replacement regulator. There are a lot of posts regarding that on the big block GOSM.
On your quest for the thin blue, just make sure you keep that air flowing inside there, if not, you can get creosote buildup which is nasty stuff. I hope this helps!
When I started using my GOSM I was also worried about the smoke. At first I thought I had to bump the temp. up to 300 to get it to smoke, NOT TRUE. It'll just take a little longer to get it to smoke at 225.I really don't like using chips, they seem to smoke to fast, but that I mean you get a lot of smoke all at once but then they burn out. I use chunks, but do get rid of the little wood box they give you.I use a loaf pan. I don't soak my chunks but some people do. That'll be up to you to decide. As far as the amount of smoke, I found that when you see a little whisp of smoke coming out your doing good. I wouldn't but in a whole lot of wood in first, I would go with one chunk and see how that will do. You can always add a little more. Good luck with your smoking.
Thanks for the replies!

I've got both chips and chunks, so tomorrow I'll fire it up and do another "dry run" with a chunk or two.

I saw a mod somewhere that someone posted about adding 2 round dial therms. on the side so I ordered those on Monday night...hopefully they'll be here by the weekend. I also bought a couple of Taylor Digitals (#1470 I think) off e-bay for my meats, but maybe I can do the potato trick with one. Which, by the way, wouldn't that in turn work like measuring internal meat temp, Doc???? Or do you have the therm poked through the tater, just using it to hold the therm???
Sorry for all the questions, but I tend to overthink things

Here is what I'm using for wood:

Notice the miniature in the pic for size reference. I do not condone the drinking of mini's......go for the full size half gallons


Brother I am the same way, I think I drive my woman nuts with all the darn research I do before I do anything!
The tater is strictly for support, I use and abuse it and throw it away like it meant nothin to me afterwards...

I stick it through so that only about an inch of the probe in actually still in the potato. The part near the bend. Make sure that it is well balanced so the proble doesn't end up touching the grate or sides as the potato shrinks and cooks.
Agreed, liquor with a handle is a-ok in my book. As long as the handle is not made of plastic. I spent too much time hanging out with Gilbey and Old Grandad in college

Remember, you can never ask too many questions!
Ahhh..some good ol' tater love

Me and the Captain are still great college friends!
Thanks for the great tips Doc!!!
Hey BF,
I too am new to the GOSM and many of the questions you have asked are of interest to me too. I have found that replacing the factory wood box with a bigger bread pan type holder works great. When first firing it up I line the bottom with the wood chips (unsoaked) and put the bigger chunks on top. This seems to get the bigger chunks to light faster and smoke longer.
I only use chunks, not soaked. 2-3 will fit easily in the wood pan that came with the GOSM, don't use the cover, they last quite a while. If you think you need more wood capacity buy a loaf pan, NOT NON-STICK COATED, poke some small holes in the sides.
If you add thermometers locate them just under the racks. Location is up to you. I placed one low, one higher, on opposite sides.
Check those thermometers to see if they are correct and read the same before installing. Most good ones can be calibrated and have instructions.
$.02 worth.

Correct me if i'm wrong, but, wouldn't having the therm. IN the smoker constantly require you to keep opening it for checks and there by increase the cook time and loss of the smoke ???
First off, welcome to the gang! Thanks for the suggestions as well. I've read quite a bit about swapping out the stock wood box for something bigger but I'm with the few that actually like the stocker. I start mine off like you said though, I put a chunk or two in there and surround the chunks with some chips (all unsoaked) and my smoke penetration is perfect.
Last weekend I did a 7+lb shoulder, took 8.5 hours and I only used 3 chunks for the whole session! Each one was about the size of a block of cream cheese.

You are pretty much correct...however I followed Peculiarmike's lead and mounted 2 therms on the outside. Of course you drill a hole to mount them so technically there in and out but the dial is on the outside, so no door opening
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