GOSMS Damper questions

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jul 17, 2005
Morning everyone,

The damper on the top of the gas GOSMS smoker, what happens when you open or close it. Of course you can not close it all the way (made that way). I know that it causes airflow, but how does it effect the temp or smoke.

Thanks for any info.

you want to leave that open at least 50% open, if you close it the foods will get to much smoke, and yes it can be closed, just bend the other tab up or cut it off with a dremel or cut off tool

I bent mine up with a pair of pliars

Thanks for the info. I will change it to 50% open. I have been using as closed as it would go. Will get the dremel out and make the alterations to be able to close it all the way.

You should always have the dampers open some. On mine, I have the top damper open all the way and the side ones at 50%. Dampers open allows airflow which allows the wood in the woodbox to burn. Choke off the oxygen and the wood cannot burn. Remember, you are looking for thin blue smoke. Sometimes, I go out to check on my unit (which is in a storage building) and think there is no smoke. Then I look at the escaping air from the top vent at an angle that I can see the sunlight in the background through the door of the building. At that point, I can see the thin blue smoke and then I know all is well. If you do not have sufficient airflow you might get a cresote or ash buildup on your meat. This can result in bitter meat. Also if you close the lower vents too much, smoke will not flow in an upward draft as the smoker design intends and therefore does not act as a smoker should.

I used to use a Cookin Cajun which is no longer manufactured. It was a stackable bullet smoker. I could make great Q on it sometimes. But you could not control it. One of the advantages of it is also a major disadavantage. With that design, you set wood chunks on the charcoal to make smoke. This allows an inexperienced person to make way too much smoke. I could and did generate way too much smoke and always had bitter meat. I believed that there was no such thing as too much smoke. When I got my GOSM propane smoker, I was dissapointed that I could not repeat the black constant thick smoke that I got from the Cajun. However, when I generated the constant thin blue smoke that the GOSM is good at, I made the best BBQ ever.

Summary, airflow is good and necessary. When I read about people bending the tabs so that they can close the vents, I wonder why? In this case, GOSM is trying to prevent you from doing anything wrong.

Aubrey Page
i bent the tabs so i could close the vents and keep rain out, then i bought a cover so there!! :lol: ha

Thanks for the info. I have been trying to make to much smoke. I now will be looking for just the thin blue smoke. I also have not been opening the damper all the way and would have a hard time getting the wood to start smoking. The damper is now open all the way.

And crazyhorse I guess I want be getting out the dremel after all. I kind of figured you cut the tab off to close the damper to keep out the rain. I have my smoker on the back porch but rain would blow in so I was putting an old butter container over it but like you I have now purchased a cover.

Every time I read a post or an answer to my post, I learn more and more about smoking. Now learning less by trial and error and more from the knowledge on this forum.

Thanks all,
I have been using my Stainless Steel GOSMS now for a year, and love it. Have had great success. Have smoked ribs, butt, chicken, ham . . . and of course, plenty of fatties.

I always keep my top damper wide open. I have never had a problem with lack of smoke flavor. This really allows for better smoke flow. This also helps to ensure that the smoker doesn't get too hot. Remember, you can adjust temp by opening (to reduce) and closing (to increase) the top damper.

My 2 side dampers I use to regulate air flow. At the beginning of the smoke, I usually have the side dampers wide open.

A modification that I made to my GOSMS, was to get rid of the included fire box, and use a 9x12 baking pan. This allows for a quicker smoke start, and also allows me to use a larger quantity of wood (this is especially beneficial when the smoker is packed full with ribs and chicken, my usual Sunday tradition). Intsead of chunks, I use cut "logs" of wood that fit the length of the pan. This also allows for a longer smoke time (be careful though, you don't want too much smoke, yes you CAN have too much smoke). This is why I leave the dampers wide open, so I can feed this large amount of wood as much air as possible. When the smoke gets going, then I close the side dampers to the manufactured maximum (about 80% closed).

Keep on Smoking!!!
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