Help for 1st time GOSM user

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frag monger

Original poster
May 21, 2006
Seattle, WA
OK. I'm a 'virgin' smoker. I'm getting ready to use my GOSM for the first time tomorrow.

I was wondering how, exactly, to use the water pan. Am I supposed to keep it filled w/ water (how full?) the whole time I'm smoking?

Also, in your experience, how often do you have to add more wood chips to your smoker box? I'm using a cast-iron smoker box from the hardware store (rather than the one the unit came with, which seemed considerably more 'cintzy').

Finally, I'm planning on smoking a whole chicken and 1-2 racks of ribs. Should I put the ribs above the chicken or vice versa? I think ribs above, but wanted to be sure.

Thanks in advance! I'm off to the store to get the meat. :)
frag monger

yes keep the water pan full withen one inch from the top at all times

i use an old cofee can for my wood chunks and i fill it once and leave it alone

and yes i would put ribs over chicken

hope this helps

oh nice pic of the dog i have a short hair same color
Howdy FM

Before filling the water pan I line it with HD foil to make cleanup a whole lot easier. I didn't catch if you had the gas or charcoal model
but since you mentioned a smoke-wood box I'm thinking it's the propane model. Yes, you want to keep water in it for a couple of reasons; If you have the charcoal model then water helps to even out temperature fluctuations when adding fuel. The water pan also acts as a barrier between your meat and the fire. If the pan goes dry the oils from dripping fat could possible reach their flashpoint causing them to burst into an uncontrolable grease fire, believe me I know :oops: but the ABT's weren't a complete loss :lol: . So keep water in the pan. A note of caution!!! If the pan does go dry, refill it with extreme care. Adding water to a dry pan or one with hot oil WILL cause steam and popping oil. Add a little water and move away for a minute, then you can safely fill the rest of the way.

You can use chips in your GOSM but wood chunks will last a lot longer. I have to add chunks every couple of hours. Also there's no need to soak chunks.
Frag, I've made the switch from chips to chunks so now I'm only having to open the smoker every couple of hours instead of every hour. An other tip when filling the water pan is to use HOT water. You'll still experience a temp drop but one that's not as noticeable than if you used cold water.
Thanks for the tips everyone. Tomorrow will be the day. We'll be doing 1 whole chicken, 2 racks of beef ribs & a couple of pounds of top round sliced for jerky.

The jerky is marinading now & I'm about to go brine the chicken. I plan to use a dry-rub on the ribs.

I'll have to try that coffee can trick next time. For now, I purchased a smoker box for chips that's a little larger than the default one the GOSM comes with (it's thicker-walled too).

So I'll try that this time & see about the coffee can & wood chunks for next time.


When it's time to change chips, I assume I just pull out the smoker box, open it, dump the spent chips, add more & replace. Is there more to it than that?

Thanks again for the tips/advice everyone. :)
That's about it. I have a 1 gallon metal bucket that I set on the ground just below the smoker door so when I pull the wood box and remove the lid I can just dump the ash and burnt chunks into the bucket. After I reload and replace the box I just dump the bucket into my ash can (a 30 gal. oil drum that has a 3/8 inch expanded metal screen mounted about 8 inches down from the top of the drum. I still have the lid so I can keep it covered to keep the kids out of it.). is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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