GOSM and jerky

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by dukeburger, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey guys, I've been lurking around here for a while so i decided to actually post something for once.

    I purchased my GOSM from bass pro in September mostly for the purpose of making beef jerky (got a batch going as i write this).
    My first batch turned out terrible as i could not keep the temps under 220. Every batch I've done since then has turned out pretty good as I've started controlling the heat by barely cracking the valve on the propane tank. It stays under 150 degrees by doing this.

    My problem is this: With these low temperatures, I can't get my oak chunks to burn. I've actually kept the same chunks in there that i put in before my last batch, they didn't burn at all. I realize this might not be a problem in January when it's -25 outside and can probably let a normal amount of propane burn, but what can i do until then to have my wood burn without burning/cooking my jerky?

    Any input appreciated, thanks
  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have a GOSM and I have had a problem with low temp smoking with getting my chips to light and smoke. I don't have a solution for you I just raised the temp so I could get the chips to light. Now I had never tried to smoke of dyhidrate jerky in it either.
  3. Maybe you can add a piece of charcoal to the wood?
  4. slareau

    slareau Fire Starter

    You could try to change out the wood box. Some other members have switched to a thinner metal for the box to decrease the temperature/heat and time required to get the chips/chunks smoking. Some people use a coffee can or a cake pan with foil over the top. This might help since the standard cast iron box -- at least in the BB GOSM -- takes a fair amount of time and heat to get going. Alternatively, you could put another vent in the top of the smoker to allow more heat to escape, thus lowering the internal temperature. A third option would be to install a needle valve to further decrease the amount of propane going to the burner. This runs the risk of having your burner go out while smoking which could be catastrophic.

    A fourth option would be to just use charcoal and wood in the wood box and not use the burner at all. Since you are attempting to get a lower overall smoker temperature, the relatively small amount of charcoal you could get in the box could be enough to put you in the jerky sweet spot while also producing smoke. I've never tried this and the likelihood that it would work well probably decreases as a function of the size of the GOSM you have. Also, the chip box isn't really setup to ventilate like a traditional firebox so the coals wouldn't last nearly as long as they would in a well built UDS or modified ECB.

    That being said, I haven't done any of those but they should give you a general idea of the different paths you could take.

    Good luck.
  5. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for the replies, I think I'm going to try adding a chunk of lit charcoal to the box next time and see how that works out.
    I will probably install a needle valve in the future after I've done some more reading into it, I'm not comfortable with the idea of modifying the gas line at this point in time.
  6. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The jerky's been out of the GOSM for a few hours now and it tastes great. I marinated it for 24 hours in a mixture of worcestershire, soy sauce, tobasco, onion powder, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, and ground cayenne pepper.
    Perfect snack for a hockey game [​IMG]

  7. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It looks Great... Congratulations...
  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would try some of the following.

    1) Install a needle valve
    2) cut 3/4' to 1" off of the bottom of the rack that holds the chip pan
    3) add a vent on the side of the smoker level with the chip box.
    4) make sure you are using water and try adding a bit of lava rock to the water pan
    5) place a few bricks or pavers in the bottom of the smoker.

    I have done 1) 2) and experimented yesterday, I cranked the smoker till it was 250 degrees then turned to low and adjusted with the needle valve I got the TBS at about 170 degrees, the smoke was so fine wasn't sure if it was working, but about a half an hour later I checked it and the wood chunk was completely charred (no white ash) and when I removed it with tongs I could see it still smoking. The top vent was completely open and the water pan was full.

    I used the stock box that came with the unit.
    I had to tweak it with the needle valve, this does work, outside temp was around 60 degrees, no wind.

    I will experiment this weekend with 3) 4) and 5)

    I wanted to try these steps one at a time to see what actually works for me.
    Its hard to really gauge it without the food in there and I'm sure that different types and quantities of meat will vary the temps.
    I'm just going to keep notes with outside temp, how I setup the smoker, whats in the smoker, wind conditions.
    My goal is to have everything set so that I can control the heat enough with the GOSM's knob and just leave the needle valve pre set.
  9. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's why I added a SFB to my GOSM. Another alternitive is to raise the temps to get the chips/chunks to smolder and open the door a bit to keep the temps down. Method #2 that Monty and me have used is to use 4-5 lit briquettes in the chip box and a small wood chunk about 2 inch X 2 inch in size for flavor. There was a post about it but that was 3-4 years ago.
  10. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Do you have any mod pics of youre SFB?
  11. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You actually don't want to use water in the water pan when drying jerky. Your drying your jerky...... adding a moist environment is counter productive. I use lava rock in mine and I know some folks us play sand.

    If none of these options work for you in generating smoke... think about a smoke generator. There are a number of them that you can buy and there have been some folks on the forum that have made them. I use a smoke daddy and I've been very happy with it. A small learning curve but it works excellent.

  12. blzafour

    blzafour Smoke Blower

    That looks like some good tasting jerky. Hey, I noticed you are from Snelgrove, On. How far are you from Wawa, On? I got Family that live up there and was wondering how far you are from Wawa.

    Take Care, and Happy Holidays!

  13. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the forum. That's some fine looking jerky too.
  14. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wawa is pretty far from here, I'm only an hour or so north of Toronto. Wawa is probably a 7-8 hour drive north from me :).

    Thanks for the tips guys. I will more than likely install a needle valve when spring comes. A week after i started this thread the temperatures plummeted and I've been getting lots of smoke.
    Got another batch in the fridge outside marinating as we speak and some -16 temperatures tomorrow. Perfect!

    The jerky was a huge hit when my family came over during the Christmas break.
  15. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great thread here. Yesterday I was trying to do some smoking in the 170 range. I couldn't get the chips to smoke. I raised the temp and cracked open the door. It helped a bit but temps were still to high. I'll try changing out the cast iron plate with soup can/coffee can this morning to see what happens. I've had a smoke daddy for a few months now. I'd like to make a stand for it so that I can use it between my GOSM, Smoke Vault, and Weber Grill.

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