My darn wood chunks keep catching fire!

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by sinseven, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. sinseven

    sinseven Newbie

    My new Landmann's GOSM runs smoothly, around 200 degrees and then all of a sudden the wood chunks catch fire and It's blazing at 350 degrees..  I thought maybe it was getting too much oxygen, so i made sure the lid was on tight.. but that didn't help. Now i'm trying to smoke with 3 chunks, instead of a full chip box..

    Any thoughts on what's going on? How can I keep the chunks from burning?

    I have this one:

    34" Gas EASY ACCESS 2 Drawer Vertical Smoker 3405GLA

  2. matts

    matts Smoking Fanatic

    I haven't been putting more than one or two chunks in my smoke vault.  I don't know why yours is bursting into flames at 200 degrees.  Maybe try and raise your chip box up some.  Or wrap your chunks in foil with a couple holes and see what happens.
  3. daddyzaring

    daddyzaring Smoking Fanatic

    You could try soaking them in water, and/or putting them in a can or alumunim foil.
  4. alra195

    alra195 Fire Starter

    I'm not the expert on this model of smoker.  I'm a GOSM Big Block user and they come with a huge cast iron box and lid.  But I'd say you need to limit the amount of air getting to your wood chunks.  Search through the threads, I've seen some pretty creative ways folks have redone or replaced the chip boxes on various smokers.  Everything from baking pans with lids that have a few hole poked in them to cast iron skillets with the handles cut off.

    try these and see if that might help.

    Hope Something on here helps with the problem.
  5. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Not familiar w/ this smoker .but try not putting the chunks on the coals but put them next to the coals . that way only one side is burning .
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  6. hookup

    hookup Smoke Blower

    I have a GOSM that costs 1/3 of that price and not a problem.

    Have a real small smoke box and only add wood for 1 layer, then replace every hour to hour and a 1/2 .

    Typically smoke around 225 to 240 d F

    Some may prefer not to open the door that much, but I like to because I want to check the grease drip and look at the stuff cooking inside.
  7. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use a cast iron fry pan for my chip/chunk box on my small GOSM.  I usually only put two pieces of chunks slightly larger than a medium sized onion  in the pan and only add when the chunks are about 2/3 burnt ash.  And even then as someone said earlier,  don't pile the chunks on the burning ones but lay it to their side.  My GOSM has no vents near the firebox, so if yours has any you'll need to shut them down.  
  8. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Guest

    when you say its running at 200 is that the thermometer on the door or are us using a probe?
  9. pne123

    pne123 Meat Mopper

    My GOSM also did that.  I got a good cast iron chip box and it stopped.  the sheet metal box transfers the heat to fast.
  10. sinseven

    sinseven Newbie

    Good advice everyone!

    Don't worry, I paid 160 for this Landmann's GOSM.. the price on their site is just MSRP. I got it from BassPro Shops.

    I never read about how much wood to put in the box.. so I was always filling it. Maybe 7 or 8 chunks. I'll try 2 pieces.. It should produce plenty of smoke I hope.

    Every time my chunks stopped smoking, I would dump them out completely and put in new pieces.. so I never left the coals in the smoker. The fresh chunks were literally just bursting into flames on their own.

    I am using the door thermometer until I have a better solution, so far it seems relatively accurate. The two times I smoked, my meat came out perfect.

    I'll give the foil a go too.. or see if I can find a cast iron chip box. I know some people put a cast iron skillet in the hole where the propane burns, but with a drawer there, unlike the 1 door units, it would be really hard to access the skillet without a modification.

    Thanks all!
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  11. tulsajeff

    tulsajeff Master of the Pit Staff Member Administrator OTBS Member

    I think everyone is giving you really good advice.. the two things that I think will help the most is changing over to a cast iron chip box and/or reduce the amount of oxygen to the wood chunks. The cast iron chip box will take longer to give you smoke but it should be more consistent and should help to prevent the wood chunks from catching on fire. If the wood chunks still catch on fire then I would place a piece of foil over the chip box before putting the lid on it. You can then poke a few holes in it to let out the smoke.

    I place 5-6 large chunks in my GOSM Big Block chip box (cast iron) and it is the perfect amount of flavor and no flare ups.
  12. biaviian

    biaviian Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Jeff, I've been doing the same.  5-6 chunks with zero issues.  Then again we both were using a BB with the cast iron chip box.  Even at 260-270 the chunks didn't burst into flames.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  13. wingman

    wingman Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I will support the cast iron chip box. I had the same problem long ago and the remedy was buying a 8" cast iron dutch oven and that is what I use for a chip box. Works like a charm!
  14. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great idea, wingman!  That dutch oven doubles as a heat sink to stabilize temps, too!
  15. sinseven

    sinseven Newbie

  16. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Plenty of good info, Looks like you got some experimenting to do.

    Reduce air.

    Soaking wood ONLY delays the inevitable so don't soak.

    Try wrapping chips/chunks in foil and poke several fork holes through foil.

    If possible post a pic of the smoker box.

    Read this

    Hope that it helps
  17. wingman

    wingman Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    With the dutch oven if for some reason the wood does tend to burn to hot you can slide the lid on part way and reduce air into the wood. There is some what of a method to my madness. I think... [​IMG]
  18. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    i have an old gosm big block, the big mod that "most everyone" was pushing was a coffee can or something lighter than the stock cast iron box with lid that came with the smoker because of lack of smoke. i never used anything but the cast iron box and cover, would put in 2 or 3 chunks, turn it on high with door open til smoking well, than turn heat down. only time wood ever caught fire on me was when i didnt have pan in place above chip box and drippings fell onto the wood box. really find it hard to believe that at 200 deg smoker temps your wood would catch fire. unless the decoration on the door-errr i mean the stock t-stat is really off. they are not accurate enough to use for any real purpose. even if they worked it would only give you temp at that level in the box. get yourself a digital like an ET-73 or equivalent, never regret it.
  19. ballagh

    ballagh Smoking Fanatic

    I think it happens usually when you are running low on water in your water tray.  The water tray tends to heat up really fast when low on water and reflects the heat back down instead of  asorbing it.  That is when I have had flare ups I noticed.  I use the empty aluminum paint can in my smaller smoker, and use the cast iron one in my big propane smoker from BPS and never have problems.  Neither have a lid or grate.

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