landmann-big-block-closedI am assuming that you have already put the Great Outdoors Smoky Mountain propane smoker together and seasoned it following the instruction manual that ships with the unit… I may write a short tutorial on seasoning a new smoker soon but until then I will start with the point of being ready to smoke up something.

I am also going to assume that you have properly prepared some meat for smoking and have it ready to go into the smoker all rubbed down with Jeff’s Naked Rib Rub preferably.

Step 1 – Hook up the propane tank.. remember lefty loosy – righty tighty and make sure it is snug.

Step 2 – Open the door of the smoker by turning the handle 90 degrees counter clockwise.

Step 3 – Remove the smoke box, fill it full of mesquite, hickory, oak, apple, cherry, etc. wood chips or chunks. Replace the lid on the smoke box and return it to the wire frame cradle just above the burner where you removed it originally.

Note: I have been getting better results with using pellets in the smoke box of this smoker to the tune of 4-5 hours of smoke with a single fill. Try it out and you’ll see what I mean!

Step 4 – Get a large piece of heavy duty foil and line the water pan which is located just above the chip box. If you make this step into a habit it will save you lots of time cleaning all of the goo out of the water pan. You can simply remove the foil and dispose of it leaving a clean water pan ready for your next smoke.

Step 5 – Go into the house or if you’re lucky, the sink in your outdoor kitchen area and fill a half gallon pitcher full of hot water.. go back to the smoker and pour the water into the water pan that you just lined with foil.

Step 6 – Now for the fun part.. turn the large knob on the left a few clicks and make sure it is spitting a spark next to the burner. If no spark is coming out then feel below the control area (the area just below the 2 knobs) and find a wire.. make sure it securely connected then try again. You may need to contact the company if you are still having problems.

If it sparks properly then turn the right side knob to high (start) and immediately turn the left knob a few clicks to ignite the propane burner.

Step 7 – Let it burn on high for a minute or so then lower it to an area between low and medium to allow it to settle in at 225 degrees.

Step 8 – The wood will start smoking in about 4 or 5 minutes maybe even sooner so you want to quickly get your meat into the smoker.

If I am only smoking a small amount, I will use the rack at the same level as the thermometer to make sure I know what the exact temperature is at meat level.

If you are loading it down then make sure to leave a little room between the meat to make sure everything is smoked properly with plenty of room for airflow.

Step 9 – Once you have the meat in the smoker, close the door and latch it by turning the handle 90 degrees clockwise.

Step 10 – Sit back for about an hour or so with your favorite beverage, checking occasionally to make sure it is maintaining your target temperature and make small adjustments as necessary.

You will find that it sometimes takes as much as 2 or 3 minutes for the temperature to level out once you make a change so make a very small change and then wait to see what happens.

With practice you will find out exactly where to set it to maintain a certain temperature.

You will also notice a difference based on how much meat is in the smoker.. a smoker full of cold meat will take more heat to reach and maintain temperature than a smoker with only one pork butt in it.

Step 11 – After about 1.5 hours you will probably need to add more chips/chunks to the chip box. Just before the wood completely burns up and stops giving off smoke it will start smoking very heavy.. this is a tell tale sign that it is almost time to add more wood.

Quickly and carefully open the door and with some heavy duty tongs (big channel-lock pliers also work great) and a pair of welding glove or something similar, pull out the chip box carriage and remove the lid, then the chip box with the pliers or whatever you are using and set it on the ground.

Quickly shut the door so it can maintain heat while you are replacing the wood chips/chunks.

Step 12 – Pour out the ashes and pieces of coal still in the chip box into a metal container making sure there is nothing that can catch fire within the vicinity.

Refill the chip box with chunks or chips and return it to the chip box carriage in the reverse order of removal as quickly as possible to minimize heat loss.

For ribs, poultry, etc. you will probably only need to replace the wood one time but for larger cuts like brisket, pork butt, etc. you may need to do it 2 or 3 times.

A good way to measure it is to keep replacing wood until the temperature of the meat reaches 140 degrees and it will be about right.

Step 13 – When the meat reaches time to be almost done based on a thermometer or a tenderness test depending on your personal method get yourself another cold beverage and hang out around the smoker so you can be ready to pull the meat out when it reaches perfection.

Here are some times and temperatures that I use:

Ribs
Time – 6 hours
Target Temperature – 170 degrees

Chicken
Time – 4 hours
Temperature – 167 degrees

Turkey (12 pounder)
Time – 6.5 hours
Temperature 170 degrees

Pork Butt/Pork Picnic
Time – 1.5 hours/pound
Pulling Temperature – 205 degrees
Slicing Temperature – 160 degrees

Brisket
Time – 1.5 hours/pound
Thick Slicing Temperature – 200 degrees
Thin Slicing Temperature – 190 degrees
Tip – If the brisket is tough slice thin and against the grain, if the brisket is falling apart tender slice thick with the grain.

Step 14 – Turn the knob on the right to the OFF setting and then turn the propane tank off by turning it clockwise until it stops turning.

Step 15 – Carefully remove the meat from the smoker and carry it to your kitchen or wherever you are planning to prepare it for eating.. i.e. slicing, pulling, etc.

Step 16 – Go back out one last time to make sure the smoker door is shut and latched, and that all ashes and hot coals have been cooled down with water and are incapable of starting a fire. (That would pretty much ruin your day!)

Step 17 – Enjoy the food and the praise!

 

About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

27 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Arthur Boehm April 23, 2016 at 9:22 am - Reply

    I have had a smokey mountain smoker for a number of yea
    rs and like it very much. However, I am having trouble getting the temp over 150 degrees. Sometimes I can get it to register close to 300 degrees but something isn’t working right. Can you tell me what the problem is and how to fix it?

    Thanks

  2. wayne mac donnell March 19, 2016 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Just ordered your book. does it come with your rub and sauce recipes or do I need to order them too.

    • Jeff Phillips March 23, 2016 at 10:58 am - Reply

      Wayne, The (2) recipes that I sell on the website and in the newsletter are not included in the book. We have opted to keep them separate since so many people have purchased them prior to the book being published.

      I do offer a coupon to book owners for 20% off the purchase of the recipes. Simply send me proof of purchase (amazon invoice, picture of you holding the book, etc.) and I will send you the coupon code.

  3. Jeff Bartelt February 22, 2016 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    How do I order a burner assembly for my Great mountain smoker? I can’t find contact info. The 800 number doesn’t work.
    Thanks

  4. John November 20, 2015 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    I am going to smoke a brisket I don’t know how to make a brine up. Also going to do a turkey could someone send me some recipes

  5. Johnson McGee September 21, 2015 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Using propane to fuel a smoker is a good idea. My dad has a smoker like this in his back yard. He goes hunting and cures the meat for long-term storage. Also, he likes the smell while he smokes everything up. How much do these kind of smokers cost? http://www.caledonpropanemb.ca

  6. Jack J June 3, 2015 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Is it true that the GOSM is not really able to keep low enough temps for cold smoking cheese? That would be a real bummer. If I place an aluminum pan full of ice below the cheese tray, will that keep the temp at 70 degrees or below ? Whomever has had luck with hard cheese smoking, kindly let me know how. Thanks in advance,

    • jeff January 21, 2016 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      I have a smoke hollow gas smoker. but I think they all have large holes on the bottom for air flow..mine has three 4 inch holes on the bottom under the burners..mine is high enough that I can put a charcoal chimney under one of the three holes… I use lump charcoal and some wood chunks and can get lots of smoke without heat…or I can load it up more and make more heat and smoke for cold days ….

  7. Connor May 24, 2015 at 10:15 am - Reply

    I bought the smokey mountain series off a guy a couple days back. And it didn’t come with a water pan but a large bowl that looks like it would work well.. It would hold a lot of water.
    Is that ok still?

  8. Paul May 17, 2015 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    morgan, I have the same smoker. There is no way to keep the temperature below 90 using the burner to cold smoke. I have had success using wood chips in the cast iron and a soldering iron. I place the iron in the pan and cover with wood chip and plug iron in. Once it starts to smoke I remove the iron or unplug it. The chipsmolder on there own after that. If chips are very small then they tend to burn quicker and hotter. I then prop the door open slightly to remove some heat. You do loose some smoke but enough passes over my cheese to do a good job.

  9. Rosemarie Kovalsky May 7, 2015 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Somehow I stumbled upon your site here and I just wanted to thank you for getting me through my first smoking experience! I’m doing turkey breasts. I hope it tastes good!

  10. morgan April 11, 2015 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    i purchased a smokey mountain series propane smoker about a year ago and i enjoy using it but my one big complaint the giant brass burner will not turn down low enough to cold smoke. even on cool 40- 50 degree F days i cant get temps below 225. has anyone tried a different burner or in line regulator to help with this problem?

    • Curt Anderson April 17, 2015 at 1:25 am - Reply

      Morgan,

      I have had luck filling the water bowl with ice. I do this when I smoke salmon. The ice keeps the temp down to 170 or so.

  11. Megan October 24, 2014 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    I’ve tried to use pellets in the smoke box of this smoker and they always catch fire

  12. Rob Smith October 16, 2014 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Hi Jeff,
    I just started getting your newsletter and think you are doing a GREAT job keep them coming.
    I have a propane smoker that works great. Have never heard of wood pellets think I will try them. I sometimes put wine or beer in the water tray,any red wine or beer will work, but I do have to keep an eye on water tray to make it has some liquid in it.
    Thanks

  13. elwood newhouse August 30, 2014 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    my flame only goes 1 speed can get above 190

  14. bill August 28, 2014 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Jeff – Been using your rub for years and make up four batches at a time. Use it on everything.

    I started out in 1976 with a cast iron Brinkmann Smoke ‘N Grill which has really served me well and fortunately got the extender at that time so I could smoke two turkeys or typically, a butt over a turkey at one time, but graduated to the big boy smoker a couple of years ago: bought the GOSM propane smoker and have enjoyed it. I can smoke four 10 – 12 lb turkeys at a time . . . which makes my family + three more really happy at one time! This Summer I re-furbished the Brinkmann with new wood handles and re-painted it with high temp paint, etc., and with the extender, was able to smoke three racks of baby-back ribs using your 3-2-0 method and they were delicious.

    About the water: I bring the water to a boil in pots on the stove so that when I pour it into the foil lined water pan, it is producing steam as soon as the pan goes into the smoker.

    Also, I don’t wait for the smoker to warm up before I put the meat in. In fact, I have been preparing the meat in the kitchen, putting it into my GOSM smoker as soon as the water boils in the pots, so that everything kinds of happens at the same time. I use one of those Oregon Scientific thermometers to let me know when the meat is done.

    One more thing: When I am just smoking one layer of stuff, I take one of the other grills for the GOSM smoker (mine came with five grill grates), cover it with aluminum foil and put it just above the stuff I’m smoking to kind of keep the smoke on the stuff. I find that helps speed the process. . . .

    When you use pellets, do you use a whole smoke pan full of pellets or less?

    Have enjoyed your newsletters for years. Keep up the good work! This meat is so good, when we serve seconds, we feel like we ought to say grace again!

    bill

  15. jerry August 5, 2014 at 10:13 am - Reply

    How do I smoke fish without cooking it

  16. kevin wolf March 1, 2014 at 10:40 am - Reply

    Where is the best place to get parts for the smokey mountain series propane smoker thanks

  17. Phillip Kenney February 25, 2014 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    Jeff, I’ve been a reader of your newletter for quite some time. On the review of the GOSM you stated filling the smoke box with pellets would give 4-5 hours of smoke. To make sure I have enough pellets, what does it take to fill the wood box? My local Sportsman’s warehouse has lots of different flavors of pellets in smaller bags.

  18. Stan Smith December 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    I can not wait to try the Pork Crown Roast. That really looks fabulous to me. Not sure how much of the BBQ rub taste remains after the smoking, but if not too much, I bet a nice bottle of Pinot Noir would go well (more of a heavier Pinot vs a light Pinot). If the BBQ rub taste remains prominent, I think a Zinfandel. Any other suggestions?

  19. Jeff Kilpatrick December 19, 2013 at 8:12 am - Reply

    Jeff,

    Thanks for all the info…I have been grilling Santa Maria style BBQ for decades.  The type of BBQ is a beef cut called tri tip and is prepared on an open pit using red oak. 

    I just received a Landman's smoker, and smoked  a tri tip for the first time last night. It turned out great.

    Keep the news letters coming!

  20. rob July 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    hi

    do  u have a suppler in austraila

  21. Tony Martineau May 16, 2013 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Hi Jeff,

    I followed your recipe and instructions for smoking chicken thighs last weekend and they were excellent! moist, tender, flavorful, Mothers day meal was a pleasure, my wife was amazed that they didn't turn out to be hockey pucks, she loved them!. Thanks again. Tony from Maine

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