MES Water pan a heat shield aswell?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by bobbygee, May 13, 2010.

  1. bobbygee

    bobbygee Smoke Blower

    Hey guys,,I've been dinking with RonP tile mod and since I have a new 30" MES w/window some things aren't the same for me.I got a 3/8 glazed granite tile(couldn't find any unglazed) and had lowes cut 3" off.Placed it on top of the chip loader enclosure and gave it a test.The test went well,the tile heated up and stayed hot long after the element cycled on and off.My problem came when I tried putting my water pan back in.It wont fit with the tile inplace.The bottom of the water pan kisses the top of the loader enclosure making it impossible to use the tile and water pan at the same time.Even if I found a thinner tile, the water pan would be sitting ontop of the tile.I'm thinking the weight of the tile plus the weight of a loaded water pan is too much weight for those welds that hold the enclosure.So I'm thinking I need to use 1 or the other but not both.The manual states never use the smoker without the water pan,but that might be because the water pan acts as a heat shield aswell as putting moisture in the smoker.What do you guys think is better to use, the water pan or the tile?
  2. indyadmin1974

    indyadmin1974 Smoking Fanatic

    The water pan helps regulate the temp just like Ron's tile mod. I'm not sure how the MES is setup but I'd look at putting something inside of the water pan similar to the WSM clay saucer mod.

    I'm doing this on my WSM.

    Hopefully Ron or another MES owner with the mod can stop by and offer a suggestion.
  3. smokeguy

    smokeguy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use the water pan with water in it.

    For smaller smokes I will also put 1 or 2 fire bricks on the bottom drip pan on the left under the wire bar thing (mine is a 40" btw). Sometimes I'll also put 1 or 2 on the first shelf over the water pan on the right. The bricks really hold the heat well if it's cold/windy outside, and if you need more deflection of the heat besides just locating the meat over the water pan, then the bricks on a shelf can help with that too.

    Cheap, quick and easy to modify in seconds as you see fit or as the conditions change.
  4. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hmm, since I don't have the 30' can't help you out. Just wondering if you can put the tile on the bottom rack?
  5. bobbygee

    bobbygee Smoke Blower

    I'm going try the tile on the bottom rack tonight with the bacon wrapped chicken recipe I saw of ronp's.[​IMG] (Man ,they looked good!)I can't see why it wont work.I'm still cutting my teeth on the smoker and don't see needing 4 shelves for a while.At that point it will be covering up the water pan with about a 1/2 -3/4" gap in between top of the pan and the bottom of the tile,but I see no ill effects of doing that.If I'm using the tile as a heat deflecter, what is the purpose of the water pan?Why does the manual state it must always be used?I wasn't planning on adding water for the chicken recipe in the hopes it might make the skin crispier.

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