Water or sand in the winter

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by garyt, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. garyt

    garyt Smoking Fanatic

    I am in Wausau Wisconsin. It is 10 degees outside with 6 inches of fresh snow. I am on shutdown at work so I have time to build a frame on wheels for my Smoke Hollow gas smoker with a windbreak so I will have that part taken care of. By the way any pictures or suggestions on how any of you have done this would be appreciated, I have an idea of how I want to make it but could always use input.
    My question today is for winter smoking is it better to use sand or water in the water pan. Thanks.
  2. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hopefully Abelman will show up here and post his experience with sand. He is in Colorado and uses sand. I even use it here in Florida. It will give you higher and more constant temps IMHO. You will not be gaining any moisture from the water pan, so you will want to spritz or mop with a marinade if humidity is low, below 70%.
    Pretty simple process, use playbox sand instead of water, cover sand with sheet of foil to catch drippings.
  3. abelman

    abelman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm here, LOL. Flash gave me the suggestion of using sand and it works great.

    As he said, I'm in Colorado so days like you're describing are the norm. I only use sand this time of year. In fact, during a 22 degree day I did a Turkey at 350 for 5 or so hours with indirect heat and sand. There is no way I could of held those temps with water.
  4. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As I metioned in another thread, water removes a lot of heat as it evaps. As far as the sand, a chunk of half inch thick steel would do the same. Block the direct heat, and hold heat in reserve for when the temp drops.
  5. garyt

    garyt Smoking Fanatic

    Am going to try sand next time, wont be able to tell if there is a difference
    because I have only done a few smokes in this one, my other one, the New Braunfels osfb that I am used to using is at my camper for the winter. This one is for home and the winter and is fairly new. just worried about enough heat.
    Thank you
  6. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sand taste so much better [​IMG]
  7. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would do a test run. Wouldn't hurt and you'll just be out alittle propane. See how hot it gets. One thing over the charcoal versions is you have an adjustible heat source. All I can do is adjust vents and amount of charcoal.
  8. smokerlover

    smokerlover Smoke Blower

    Question. I've never heard of using sand. Here in PA it's about 15 degrees.
    If I use sand do I have to season the smoker again or is it ready to use out of the box.

    Another stupid question.
    Will it change the taste at all?
  9. abelman

    abelman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No, use it right out of the box. No, it won't change the taste of the food. Best advice I can give is put foil over the top of the sand which makes clean up easier and you can reuse the sand if need be.

    If you didn't catch it, a little water in the sand for moisture helps as well.

    Good luck, it's works great in Colorado.
  10. I guess fire bricks would also serve the same purpose? I have been thinking of trying them in my Char Griller, as it is really tough to get the temps up in cold weather in it.


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