Please help a GOSM newbie

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Oct 16, 2006
Kingsburg, CA
I just order the Big Block GOSM. I have been using a cheap Char broil water smoker until now and have never cooked more than one thing at a time. So here is my question; In what order do you put the food in the smoker? Lets say I am doing a couple ribs, a pork shoulder and some beans. What is high and what is low? If one meat drips on another is that a problem? Seems like it could really mess up the taste. Could someone explain what I need to be doing? We are having a party in a couple of weeks and I want to smoke most of the food.
I would put the beans on the bottom, the ribs in the middle and the shoulder on top. The shoulder will baste the ribs, and all the goodness will get into the beans.

If you ever do poultry it must go on the bottom to avoid any possible cross-contamination of other stuff in the smoker by any raw poultry juices!

Hope this helps!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


Hello, Iamrip! Welcome! Don't remember seeing you at the roll call so get up there when you can and introduce yourself!

I would position the beans at the bottom, the ribs in the middle and the big pieces at the top,

Dripping onto other pieces is excouraged except in the case of chicken which will always be placed on the bottom rack.

The red meats, or the other white meat, will enhance the beans with their drippings.

This is only how I would do it. Others may have different views. In the end...It is all great Q!

Hope this helps!

I just got that smoker my self! I always place the items in the smoker with regards to food safety. I would have the beans on top so they can't be dripped in, the ribs on the 2nd rack down because they will be done before the shoulder which would be on the bottom. After pulling the beans and ribs I would move the shoulder to the top to finish it off. You are going to like the GOSM!!
Hey Iamrip, we have a similar smoker and you should have some great results. The protocols that you have seen so far are right on the money. What wood are you using for the smoke?
Okay, if I understand you correctly, as long as it is not poultry, it is okay for your meat to drip on each other. This enhances the flavor of whatever is being dripped on. Is that right?

Is it okay for pork to drip on beef and poultry? How about beef dripping on pork and poultry?
I am not sure yet. This is my first time smoking pork so I thought I would look through the forums a bit more. It seems that apple wood is recommended a lot for pork. Any preferences?
This was one of the things that drew me to this smoker. So many people seemed to have it that I figured it must work well and I knew I could get some help if I had problems!

Bottom line, Everything can drip on everything else as long as chicken only drips into the water pan. As far as wood preferences, that's another story. I too enjoy hickory for pulled pork, but also have an abundance of cherry and maple available right from the wood pile I heat with.

Experiment, my friend, and you will experience many possibilites!

Can understand your concern regarding meat juices dripping on other meat. We assume that if you are doing a pork shoulder or butt, that it is about 7 or more pounds; you are smoking at about 220-240 degrees F; and you have a meat thermo; That said, the butt or shoulder will cook for 6-10 hours before you put on ribs or chicken or beans. It should be at a 165 -170 F after 7-8 hours at 230F. Those are safe temps for pork at the low end. You would foil the shoulder or butt and cook until 195 F.

Juices are good. Try to save them from the foil process.

Good luck!
iamrip -

Anything that drips is okay except chicken or turkey - poultry should not be allowed to drip on other meats or veggies.
Thanks everyone. Just thinking about this is making me hungry. I can't wait for the smoker to get here! It should be fun experimenting with everything.
Yep. No chicky on top! Or turkey. They go on the bottom.
And, I don't know............................. probably wouldn't put armadillo on top either.

You will like the GOSM. Easy smoking.
If one thinks clearly, there is no problem with poultry juices dripping onto other meats or into a pan of beans so long as you cook your food to the proper temperatures.

Chicken should be be cooked to at least 160°F. It will be safe if cooked slowly, since this allows the heat to penetrate completely. The problem is when you cook quickly, the heat does not have time to kill harmful bacteria. This is the important point. Pork and beef are cooked far longer than chicken. Any errant drippings of chicken "juice" will be made safe in the long cooking process. Also, with the rubs, mops, sops, and whatever, there is little chance ( if any) of any contamination actually penetrating into the meat.

Since pork and beef are cooked generally to pulling temperature ie 200°F, no bacteria will survive.

I would put a pan of beans at the bottom rack to catch all the goodness (fat,juices, rub, brine, etc) that I had bought. I have no problems with chicken fat, pork fat, or beef fat.

In fact, I need to get a pan to start collecting the juices.
I think that putting poultry on the bottom seems wise just in case I start messing things up. Why risk it? is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.