Hi folks! I live in western Lake Worth FL. After several years of messing with those tiny smoker boxes on my bbq grill, I finally got a Masterbuilt barrel type smoker. Cant wait for the weekends so I can do my smoked ribs etc. Even tried my hand at a prime rib roast. Best food I ever had comes out of that smoker! Wish I had gotten one years ago. My question is this: How necessary is it to use the water pan in this type of a smoker? Ive been leaving it out and not finding that the meat gets 'dry', moreover, I find taking it out and dumping the water, as well as trying to clean it a chore. Looking forward to lots of smoker talk with you all!