Propane Great Outdoor Smoky Mountain (GOSM) Instructions

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I 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:

Time – 6 hours
Target Temperature – 170 degrees

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

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!


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  1. I have a helpful tip that will keep your smoker very clean inside and greatly reduce clean-up: Put the second rack directly under whatever you’re smoking (Pork Butt, Ribs, Turkey, etc) and place a large aluminum pan directly below your meat. Add water to pan so the drippings won’t burn. Keep adding water during smoking so it doesn’t dry out; it will keep your smoked meat moist and when you’re done cooking just remove the pan. I put some paper towels in the pan afterwards to help soak up the greasy mess. then just fold up and put in the garbage.

  2. I bought a smoky mountain series gas smoker just over a year ago and have only used it a couple times. The wife loves smoked Whitefish and I am trying for the second time as the first time was a disaster. Having problems trying to keep the temp below 200 degrees. Any hints?? This is the 1st time I have logged into this site. I will later view recipes, etc…

  3. A lot of detailed information on how to use propane smoker with chip box. There was no mention of incomplete combustion of chips with the resulting heavy smoke containing particles deposited on meat. Ingestion of these particles may be hazardous to health. IMO, controlling smoke combustion is the single most important aspect of smoking.

    1. FYI, the particles that you sometimes get are not any more harmful than the natural smoke flavor itself. After all, mankind has cooked over open fires for eons. The modern, cleaner methods only account for a speck on the timeline. The only health concern that one should be aware of is excess sodium from the rubs.

      1. When smoking polycyclic hydrocarbons and other compounds are formed in the smoke. These compounds are known carcinogens. Studies published in medical literature show an increased incidence of cancer in those consuming smoked, grilled, barbecued foods vs those that do not ingest these foods. The lowest concentrations of these cancer-causing compounds are in smoke that is blue or invisible. The highest concentration is in heavy white or black smoke.

        1. If you are worried about smoke and cancer, maybe you should stick with some kitchen created meals.

          1. Most family members and guests including myself enjoy smoked foods I prepare. When the sticks are producing white smoke, the pit is not ready. Only after a thin blue smoke appears is it time to smoke the meat. Are polycyclic hydrocarbons in the meat I smoke? Yes but concentration is lower than meat coming out of thick white smoke. Do I worry about the hydrocarbons we all are consuming on a weekly basis for nine months each year? No. Why then is this information important to me and maybe someone else? Information is what I use to make a decision. I chose to smoke meat and eat it knowing the facts on what we are ingesting.
            Also, meat smoked in thick white smoke does not taste good. Check out commercial pit masters at work, sticks are turned into coals then coals are moved into pit to smoke meat. Only visible smoke is blue or not visible. Folks drive for miles to eat at these pits because the meat is delicious.

  4. 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?


    1. You will need to replace the regulator this is a quick and easy fix go to Meijer they sell a total gas hose replacement (hose, regulator,and attachment knob) for 14.99 this will have your smoker burning like the space shuttle

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

    1. 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.

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

  7. 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

  8. 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?

  9. 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,

    1. 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 ….

  10. 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?

    1. I was giving a Smoky mountain series great outdoors propane smoker I want to make sure all the parts are here I have to buy a propane tank the bottom of the heating element cost three of its bolts I want to know what kind of bolts to use or can I use anything and do I supposed to clean it

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

    1. Dave, if you find one and will let me know where they can be obtained (I need one also) I will send you some of my “Nearly World Famous BBQ Pay” (see it on I have been trying for months now and have had no luck. Thanks Lee…[email protected]

  13. 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?

    1. 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.

    2. I have the same problem I can’t really do beef jerky because it needs to be smoked at around 160 not cooked at 225 did you find out how to fix this “cooker” !!

      1. Cold smoking for cheese or salmon is best done with a tube smoker (Amazon of course) filled with pellets, then placed into the GOSM. But, getting temp down to beef jerky territory is an unknown to me. If you haven’t tried Jeff’s smoked meatloaf, shrimp, or chicken wings, you’re missing out! We never wings because they were deep fried, but tried these and loved’em. My next effort will be cold smoking bourbon for an old-fashioned like none other.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!


  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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!

  19. 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