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Hello all. New to smoking


Joined Jun 3, 2007

I am a total newbie to smoking and have always wanted to try it. Last week I Googled "how to smoke meat" and this site came up on top. From what I can see it's a winner! I've just received my 5th eCourse. So many questions.

I have pretty much decided on a propane model... http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=3342513

The electric seem ok and the wood/charcoal ones scare me a little. Only because I've had problems sometimes keeping a charcoal grill going if the charcoal draws damp. It would be the same with wood. I don't mind fussing with things but the wood/charcoal seems it could drive me nuts. (I want to enjoy this not get frustrated too quickly) I like the idea of easily and reliably being able to control the temperature. AH!! Drinking a beer and nursing a fire for a few hours... I could do that!!

One question I have is about the thermometer. Do you take spot checks on the meat or do you keep the probe stuck in the meat? Do you somehow mount the display outside the smoker?


Meat Mopper
Joined Apr 13, 2007
Hey Mike....Welcome from the great state of Texas. I know you will enjoy this site as there is a wealth of data here and some VERY friendly people.
As to the thermometer....most of us leave a remote probe in the meat so that it can be constantly monitored. I have a Polder, but there are many good ones on the market. As you can see in my avatar I have a shop built stick- burner, I also have an R2D2 Brinkmann Gourmet electric. I use the ECB much more than the wood burner. I can have the electric going in 10 mins with no fuss or bother. It also makes some bodacious "Q". Again glad ta have ya'

watery eyes

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Joined May 21, 2007
Spend the extra $30 and get the larger GOSM from WallyWorld!!!

You'll appreciate the extra space when you spread your wings and start smoking larger pieces. The GOSM is Very-Easy and gentle to the new smoking afficianado.

Most everyone uses extra thermometers to either keep an eye on the internal temp of the smoker and/or the meat they are smoking specifically.

Check out the Smoking Supplies & Equipment for more information about smokers and thermometers specifically.

Welcome to SMF!!!


Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Joined Mar 12, 2007
Welcome aboard! I have a GOSM , and I would really suggest the Big Box. It will allow you the room to cook large amounts of meats at one time and believe me, you will be cookiing more and more each time. You should leave a probe in the meat to keep a close eye on the temp, because the meat temp is what is important not the length of the cook time. You should have one dedicated to the inside of your smoker to make the temp is correct, you do not want to count one the door(I have found mine to be very unreliable).Hope this helps and if you have any more questions ask away!


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Nov 22, 2006
Welcome to the forum mike glad you joined in with us. I like your attitude of having a few cool ones and nursing a fire nothing wrong with that. I do it all the time and enjoy it, I wish you many good smokes with the smoker you decide on and we do like to see pictures.


Smoke Blower
Joined Apr 3, 2007
Welcome to the SMF Mike! Glad to have you here. I use the remote probe themometer and the magnet on the back of the display sits on the side of the outside shelf in front. w/ no prob.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined May 14, 2007

Welcome to SMF. A lot of great people and good food to be found here. I use a Maverick ET-73 to monitor temps. One probe goes in the meat, the other gets clipped on the rack to monitor to smoker temperature. There are many other brands that offer a similar thermometer. I have read the built in one of the GOSM aren't consistent so a good thermometer is a wide investment.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined May 5, 2007
welcome to smf.listen to these guys about the gosm, as for me i'm a wood/charcoal man. glad to have ya aboard.


Legendary Pitmaster
Joined Nov 18, 2006
Welcome Mike -

Glad you found us! Yes you can leave the thermomter in the meat and there are all kinds and brands. The most popular being the Maverics. I personally like the old style dials type but that's just me - I do have several of the digitals as well.

I'll also suggest you go for the largest smoker you can afford or are willing to buy. After the first few smokes you'll be smoking everything that doesn't run faster than you do!

deer meat

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 8, 2006
Hey mike welcome,

Man did you find the wright place for information, and the folks on here are extremely helpful.

I agree with everyone here, go withthe larger gosm. You will not be dissapointed. that is the model i use and love it.
I use the maveric et-73 along with several other digital thermo's. The maverick is cool because you can program the exact temp you want to reach, along with smoker temperature range. the remote will beep when and if the smoker falls out of your preset range.

Have fun!

desert smokin

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Joined Jun 1, 2007
Welcome aboard! I have the GOSM you are looking at. I love it but I strongly recommend a chamber probe. My door mount is off by 15 to 25 degrees compared to my Maverick ET-73.
I only cook for the two of us so this unit is ideal. If you plan on cooking lots of different items at once or real large cuts. Definitely go the extra $30 and get the wide body.
Have only used mine twice, but it made great food and the clean up was easy with a foiled water pan. Will be doing pulled pork this weekend.
Enjoy and use the wisdom on this forum.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Nov 25, 2006
Welcome to SMF Mike. Glad to have you with us. Everyone says bigger is better... in this case they're right. Bump up to the biggest you can afford, you're gonna need the space later.

The door thermometers aren't to be trusted - they vary from unit to unit. Get an oven thermometer to put on the grates for now and a decent remote style to leave in the meat. There's lot's of info here for you to research on, so go to work and let us know what you decide on.

Keep Smokin


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jul 17, 2005
Welcome to SMF!

... and I agree with the others ... get the big one ... you won't regret it!
We all start small and simple, but as you gain experience, you will want to do more for the same amount of fuel used ...


Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Joined May 31, 2007
Hi Mike!...Welcome to the SMF!...
It's a Mighty Fine place to be!

Great Folks, Great Food, Tons of info, and more fun than you can shake a stick at!

You're gonna like it here! As you've already discovered, there are so many folks here to answer questions, solve problems and just be available if needed.

I agree with the other folks here that, if possible, get the larger unit. There's nothing worse than needing the extra space and not having it.

Again...Welcome Aboard Mike...We're glad to have you with us!

Until Later...



Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined May 5, 2007
Welcome aboard Mike! Don't hesitate to ask questions and share your experiences. BTW, we like pictures!

I agree, get as big of a unit as you can afford... you'll love yourself later for doing it.

I am using the Maverick ET-73 digital thermometer... I love it! It will give you a readout of the cooking surface temp, as well as the meat temp. My smoker is a Char-Griller w/side fire box... I am a charcoal and wood kinda guy. I don't know about the unit you are getting, but the factory thermometer on mine is a piece of crap. Get a digital, you won't be sorry!

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