New Smoker

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Original poster
Aug 15, 2005
Hello to everyone. I have been looking at this site for almost two hours so far and am picking up alot of info. I have been cooking and grilling for a while and want to learn how to smoke stuff. I got the bug about 3 weeks ago doing chicken wings with a dry rub, on a black webber charcole grill using indirect heat. They turned out amazing. I have also been attempting ribs lately and have done ok with them so far. What i am getting at is I am ready to jump head first into smoking and want to know where to start. However, there is so much information out there that it is getting alittle intimidating. Please feel free to tell me anything. Also, I am leaning towards building a 55 gallon wood smoker because I will want to have enough room for next summer (after I have practiced) to have lots of family and friends over and feed them. Thank you for your time.

Good to have you in the forum.. you have come to the right place if you are interested in smoking.

I have attached a set of plans for a 55-gallon smoker. Download below

Also be sure to sign up for the Free 5-Day Smoking Basics eCourse at and you can also sign up for the Free monthly newsletter at for a little help along the way.

This forum will be a great medium for you to ask questions in the proper categories and get some really good answers.

Welcome aboard!
Thank you for the reply. I did sign up for both of them yesterday when i first joined so i am ready to go. Thank you for the plans.
Howdy kljones18. This is a great place to learn how to smoke meat. Chicken is a good meat to begin practicing on because it is relatively inexpensive and cooks in a short amount of time. If you smoke chicken at 225* (low-n-slow) like other smoked meats the skin tends to be rubbery and chewy. So if you want crisp skin on the chicken hot smoke it at 350*.

For a longer cook I would suggest cooking a pork shoulder or otherwise call a "Boston Butt". This use usually cooked to 200-205* and pulled into shreds for pulled pork North Carolina style.

If you have any questions fire away and someone will try to help you.
Hey KL! Welcome aboard! Learn what you can and share what you know!

Starting off with TulsaJeff's will be a good starting point for you. There's really too much to tell someone in a single post, so when a question arises, just post it and we'll be glad to lend a helping hand!

I'm going to have to disagree with Brother Bob on the Chicken. Chicken if not done properly can be real disapointing and could make you ill. Therfore, the best starting out meat is by far, a Boston Butt. It is very forgiving and has a tendency not to absorb an inordinate amount of smoke when you use too much wood. Ther are some tricks that will make it "Fall Off THe Bone", if not covered by the E-Course let me know and I will help you!

Good Luck!

Oh Great, I hope this doesn't mean that we now have to keep up with the JONESES !! :shock:
I don't think that my fat little body will be able to keep up!!

Welcome to the Smokingest Family on the 'net kljones18.

Hello everyone!

Ron here... i'm new to this forum and smoking. that said, i just purchased a GOSM 34" last Sunday(10/30), and smoked up a rack of pork and beef ribs on Wednesday(11/2). I was very impressed by the fact that i could hold a temp of 220 without doing anything. of course there was the occasional tweak here and there. :) i didn't experience any problems at all with my GOSM (except maybe my stomach rumbling due to being hungry!) it was my first time smoking and everything was OK... but, as my son said.."dad, the pork ribs need more flavoring". well that means that the pork ribs were not smoked enough (which i thought also).

i'm trying to get the flavor of a smokehouse that i visited when traveling to Memphis when i worked for Sedgwick. the name is 'willinghams'. just a little place, but when outside and looking at there trailer, they have won numerous rib cook-off (has anyone heard of this place)..) anyway, there ribs were not all that moist, but damn were they good. the ribs had a pull when eating and the meat was red. definitely the BEST ribs i've ever had.

i fired up the smoker and placed water, cabernet sauvignon, and cut up apples in the water pan. i filled up the chip holder w/hickory and let her season for 90 minutes. while the smoker was getting seasoned up, i used a rub we had here at the house on both the pork and beef ribs. i placed the ribs into the smoker and smoked the ribs at 220 for 3 hours, then put on a little bbq sauce and rapped 'em up in foil. i then smoke/baked them for another 90 minutes.

OK... well the rub i used really brought out the saltiness. (do all rubs have that salty flavor? i didn't have that when i went to willinghams) and although the ribs were tender, i thought they could have been more tender... sigh. BUT for my first time i thought the ribs were definitely better than our local restaurant, but not better than 'Lucille's Smokehouse' in long beach.

SO... what did i do wrong.. (and don't beat me up too bad! :lol: )

by the way, i'm glad i found this forum and website. i'm gonna try and do a turkey on thanksgiving, see 'ya-all later. (i'm going to smoke up a whole chicken this weekend.. wish me luck)


Howdy, Ron, and welcome to our group!

First of all, congratulations on the new addition to the family! I've owned the same model GOSM for a couple years, and I can tell you that you are in for some real good times as you grow into this hobby.

It sounds like you did a very nice job for your first time. I suggest that you read through the threads that describe the 3-2-1 method for ribs. I won't go into it too deeply here, since it is explained in great detail in other areas of this forum. Basically, 3-2-1 means 3 hours in the smoker bone side down unwrapped. Spray or mop every 45-60 minutes. Next, wrap in HD foil with a splash of apple juice and place back in smoker for 2 hours. Last hour, unwrapped. Voila! Moist, tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs!This method is practically foolproof.

Okay. That takes care of that. Now, the real secret to rib perfection lies in the preparation and the rub. First and most importantly, the remove the thin membrane from the inner curved surface of your rack. It doesn't matter whether you're using baby backs or spare ribs, the membrane MUST be removed. The reason for this is that during the cooking process, this membrane will inhibit smoke penetration and it also becomes very tough and rubbery, resulting in a tough, chewey and less flavorful rib.

Secondly, apply a thin coat of plain yellow mustard all over the meat prior to applying the rub. Don't worry, the mustard flavor will cook out over the long smoke. The mustard is important beacause it helps the rub adhere to the meat better and as it cooks it helps to form the ever coveted "bark" that imparts so much wonderful flavor.

Finally, the rub. This is where you control your destiny! There are many rubs available commercially and most are pretty good. I however, prefer to make my own because I have better control over the heat/sweet/salt. You will find a variety of free recipes right here in this forum that are quite good. So experiment to your hearts content! I will suggest that you give Jeff's Naked Rib Rub a try. It is very well worth the small fee. The ingredients are simple and easily acquired in any local grocery, and its very easy to modify to your own personal tastes.

Thats about it, in a nutshell. Have fun. Good luck with your next endeavor and don't forget to post your results. 8)

Hi Brianj, thanks for the tips!! i'll check out the rub in a few minutes.

oops, i did forget to mention the membrane.. which i did remove. actually, even grilling i've been removing the membrane for quite sometime.

my next 'project' as my wife called it on wed. evening will be a whole chicken on sat., or sun. i'll be looking at different recipes on how to cook that. i guess i'll use the mustard there too 'eh? just curious, do u use the standup holder for chicken/turkey? i think you can put a can of beer or 'whatever' in the holder to marinate and keep the poultry moist. if so, i'de better get busy and buy one.. that said, if i use the standup holder w/a can of 'something', would i still use the water holder? (probably not, but just asking anyway)

thanks again, and happy smokin'

Welcome Ron. Brian gave you some very good pointers, especially concerning rubs. -if you look at the ingredient listing on a bottleof store bought rub, the prominent ingredient is listed first and in rubs, it is usually salt. Develope your own rub or find a rub that is listed in the Forum or in the Smoking Meats Link and adjust that to suit your taste. Or better yet, (and TulsaJeff would appreciate it) get his rub recipe, those here on the forum that have tried it say they won't use anything else. As for me-Well Mama said I got to get my Visa back down under my limit before and can order Jeff's Rub!
Hi Ron,
That's great advise on the ribs. I think you'll really enjoy the results. I noticed you also mentioned that you are going to be doing some whole chickens and looking for some advise.
If you'll look under the recipe section I posted a really good recipe for BBQ chicken. I know there are a lot of good ones out there but this one really worked great for me. I'd like to say it's original but it is actually from a person named Danny Gulden (sp). He has a site on I understand he runs a restruant down in New Mexico. Anyway, the recipe is simple and delicious. I didn't brine just follow the directions and if yours turns out like mine, I think you'll store this recipe in your book.

Hi Bill,

well i wasn't sure if i was going to smoke up a chicken tomorrow as i don't have all the stuff to make the brine. that said, i'll check out your post and i'll be smokin' up that chicken for sure now!

oh ya, i'll post the results also.


HI Ron,
Glad to hear it. I trust you found the recipe (It's under Poultry>Whole chickens). Just make sure you don't get a really big chicken .. stay under 3 1/2 lb. That way you won't need to worry about brine etc. Follow the directions and I'll guarantee you'll like the results. I've not been smoking that long and I had tried several recipes for whole chicken. For what ever reason, they didn't work. But this one did .... at least for me. Give it a shot and by all means let us know how it comes out.

Hey Ron! Welcome to our Forum!

I'm so proud of our members, they've all learned a great deal and have become excellent Quers! Trust me, they are leading you down the right path. The 3-2-1 method will do you perfectly on your next rib cook.

I am in agreement on making your own rubs. It may take a few cooks for you to get it down to where you prefer it, but you'll get there. My suggestion, since you are relatively new to smoking, is to hold off on cooking Yardbird. I recommend to everyone that they get to know their specific cooker first. With Gas fired smokers, you don't necessarily have the heat control factor that is prevalent with Wood Fired ones, however, you will need to learn smoke control and where you're "hot-spots" are. On your next cook, go to Wally World and pick up a few Oven Thermos (around $4 ea. - the dial type). Never soley rely on your Door Thermo to tell you where your temps are. Hang them strategically on the racks inside the chamber. When you open the door to spray or mop, check the readings and compare with your external thermo. If the GOSM comes with a factory installed door thermo............Loose It! Pick up a higher quality dial thermo online or at the store.

Remember, you want to strive for "thin blue smoke" to eminate from your chimney (or side baffles with the GOSM). If the smoke is "Bellowing" out, you're using too much smoke!

Try using a Boston Butt (or Pork Shoulder Blade Roast) for your next cook. It is very forgiving and doesn't absorb smoke the way Beef or Poultry does.

Good luck, and keep us informed of your successes!

Well here we are.. two weeks ago i mentioned that i was going to smoke up a chicken.. and i did, two weeks in a row (my wife & son loved the chicken). abet no one really liked the sc mustard dipping sauce. that's ok though, i made up a a batch of the bbq sauce that i bought here.. WOW!!! now that was GREAT!!!!!! THANKS!

i cooked two birds last saturday, one for my family and one for my boss and his family. when i saw him the next day, well lets just say that he loved both the chicken and the bbq sauce.. (better than sex, he said.. well i might not go that far hahaha )

thanks for the info on the chicken!!

now i've got a problem w/the regulator (i think). when i was smoking on saturday, the flame in the smoker was small and going out! so i'm looking at everything and low and behold the regulator is completely caked in frost.. hummm, so i get the hose and just start a very low stream of water on the reguator and after two to three minutes.. WHOOSH... out comes a bunch of gas and then the flame seems to be ok.. ) but i did keep the water over the regulator until the chicken was done.

has anyone else experienced this? and if so, is the regulator malfunctioning or maybe the propane bottle was filled too much?

happy smokin'!

thanks in advance,

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