I sleep like a baby with my GOSM running all night long. I have really seen much more consistent temps since I switched to sand in the pan, it will hold 230* all night and all day and I have never spilled it or made a mess, in fact I haven't even moved the pan in months, I keep it covered in foil and use a disposable foil pan on top of it to catch all the drippings.
That's a great idea. I need to try that.
Have you tried pea gravel yet.
I would be a bit nervous sleeping while my GOSM is running all night long, but will take cat naps with the maverick in place.
IT just baffles me that you get more consistent temps and maintain 230° using sand over water.
I could see if you wanted to run the smoker at higher temps like 275-325° then I would think the sand would be better than water at these temps. Or using sand when the outside temps were below 50° or so.
In all fairness I can't say one is better than the other because I haven't used sand as much as water. I am sure each has it's place and one may be better than the other depending on some variables such as the type of smoker, the desired temps, outside temps etc...
I know if I was in the OP's shoes having a 1 quart water pan and doing 14 pound briskets, that I would ditch the water and try finding a substitute media too!
My water pan holds about a gallon so it does not need to be filled too often.
When the temperature drops a bit I will experiment with some different media and see what works best for my GOSM.