Water in the smoker

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by texasdude, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. texasdude

    texasdude Newbie

    Can someone help me figure out why a smoker needs water in it?  When I cook meats in an over, if I have liquid in the oven, it dries the meat out.  Also, when I worked at BBQ restaurant as a kid, they had an offset fire box rotisserie smoker, and I don't recall them ever adding moisture to the process.

    Thanks.  Keep kewl and smoke on!
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dude, evening.....  water pans have been put into "commercially made" home use smokers since they couldn't control the heat....  too large of a propane burner and the water was used to suck up the Btu's and lower the heat......  Anyway, that's my opinion....  Growing up, I never saw an old timer put a water pan in his smokehouse....

  3. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    A smoker doesn't need a water pan in it. They have become common in certain types and even in competition. But if you are patient and confident in your cook and can leave the door closed without peeking every 10 minutes you'll find the moisture in the meat will keep a humid environment. You can also peek in and spritz a couple times for thinner cuts and ribs.
  4. What are the advantages between wet and dry smoke I use the wet method, put beer, onions spices in water pan...Chicken and Beef always come out excellent...Ed"C"
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Chris, afternoon and welcome.......  Please take a moment and stop into " /Roll Call/   " and introduce yourself and get a proper welcome from our members....    

    We're glad you stopped in and joined our group...    Enjoy the long smokey ride....     Dave
  6. I'm not sure but I think the cookers Miron Mixon sells have a water pan in them.  The WSM I use has a water pan but I rarely use water in it.
  7. I use the water pans, it keeps a consistent temp for me, right around 230. If I want a higher temp smoke, I take it out and get 250-275. I haven't noticed if it makes any difference in tenderness or moisture of meat though.

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  8. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

  9. Here's what I reckon.  

    The 'item / Substance / material' you use, whether it be water, sand, bricks or clay pots, is for the purpose of drawing heat into the 'item' used, thus useing up some of the available energy (heat the coals generate) and keeping the general temperature in the BBQ lower than it would be if no 'item' was used?

    The more 'mass'  there is in the bowl, (water etc.) the longer the bbq it takes to reach it's optimum temperature (because it's heating up the water etc.) and also there is less fluctuation in temperature.  (High / Low Spikes)

    Water turns to steam at 100°c - 214°f so not good for crispy food if we cook at 225°f +

    Sand would seem to me the best substance to use, as we can add or subtract the amount used, to raise or lower the temperature. (given that all other things are the same, time after time)

    I think a close 2nd would be clay beads that you use for blind baking, they would be easier to clean.

    just my thoughts

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