SmokingMeatForums.com › Forums › Smoking Meat (and other things) › Fish › Water pans, do you use them and why?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Water pans, do you use them and why? - Page 4

post #61 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonka16827 View Post
 

I've reading the conversations around the water pan and the pros and cons.  Well, last weekend for the first time, I tried sand in place of the water in the water pan. I read a few posts that the sand would help keep the temp consistent as the liquid was such an energy absorber. All went really well and the temp held better - btw I have an electric smoker. But, I didn't foil the pan and the sand baked in like a rock. Other than having to chisel it out, I'm not sure how to clean the pan. I've soaked for a few day and that did little. Any thoughts on how to clean the sand out? Next time - Foil over the top for sure!! Thanks


Thanks for the heads up on the foil....

post #62 of 83

I always used water when I had a gasser. Lots of ways for moisture from the meat to escape in most gassers and water seemed to help. But, it was also a pita to control the temp in. One thing that was nice about is you could crank the temp up to crisp up poultry skin. Since I got the MES I never use water anymore.

post #63 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
 

I always used water when I had a gasser. Lots of ways for moisture from the meat to escape in most gassers and water seemed to help. But, it was also a pita to control the temp in. One thing that was nice about is you could crank the temp up to crisp up poultry skin. Since I got the MES I never use water anymore.


Do you fill the water pan with sand? Just wondering....

post #64 of 83

I have great respect for DaveOmak, he appears to have decades of experience.

 

I don’t think his comment was harsh and I don’t think Smokeusum was actually offended…looked like an admission to buying a “newfangled” gadget that old timers pshaw to me. Nothing over the top.

 

Anyway, I agree with Dave on his comments about watching people smoke since a kid. I’m sure a lot of them did not use water. A lot of them don’t use marinades, injections, mustard rub before fancy schmancy rub concoctions…none of that.

 

HOWEVER…my wife always stops in NC on her way back from family to get the BBQ they always ate down there. Yep, that famous “Lexington” BBQ. People rave about it and swear by it, however it never impressed me.

 

That “Lexington” BBQ joint…one that has been around forever and has been featured on many food shows, proudly proclaims they use only salt, heat and smoke as I recall. I can tell…like I said…”not impressed”.

 

My wife made BBQ butt in the crock pot for years that’s blows this “Lexington” stuff away and now that I smoke my own…I blow away this “Lexington” BBQ with a masterbuilt AND a water pan. Sorry to any diehard fans out there…this is just fact. Salt and smoke can’t compete with more complex rubs in my humble opinion.

 

Another very weird thing about these “Lexington” folks…they don’t pull meat, they only slice and chop…Huh?

post #65 of 83
I just seasoned my offset charcoal smoker. There is a grease pan and an ash pan but no water pan, what do i do? P.s. im completely new to smoking. Going ti smoke my first stuff this weekend.
post #66 of 83


Some guys use an empty pie tin or something similar. Just fill that with water and place it somewhere in the cooking chamber where it wont interfere with the air flow or meat cooking on the grate. Hope that helps.

post #67 of 83

The best advice I found on water pans was someplace else in the Forum - "Fill with sand and cover it with foil. You don't want to steam your meat. The pan works better to distribute the heat with the sand."  I filled my a couple of years ago and I've never regretted it.  

post #68 of 83
Thanks guys it does help
post #69 of 83
So this was a great read!

Now with that said, has anyone thought about half sand and water? My thoughts on that would be one the RH would be high at the start till the water evaporates. Then when that happens the sand would still be there as a regulator for the heat, but the RH of the smoker would be lower for the end of the cook. Just something I thought about while reading this thread
post #70 of 83

Not a bad idea EatMyPork. I have a propane smoker and I stop using water pans years ago after I read that when propane burns it gives enough moisture to keep the cook chamber at an acceptable level. I have also read that charcoal or wood smoke chambers run a bit drier due to a different fuel source, and since MassiveMedic has a charcoal offset, I suggest he try a pie tin.

 

Bottom line for me is do a few smokes with it, and then do a few without and see what works best for your style of cooking. I put pea gravel in my water pan 3 years ago and never looked back.

post #71 of 83
I am a dry chamber smoker too ever since a 28 time grand champion said don't fill the pan with water. I have a WSM 22 1/2 and a MES 40" both pans are filed with play sand and covered with foil. I don't soak my wood either,
post #72 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by REMSR View Post

I am a dry chamber smoker too ever since a 28 time grand champion said don't fill the pan with water. I have a WSM 22 1/2 and a MES 40" both pans are filed with play sand and covered with foil. I don't soak my wood either,

What if the 28 time champion was trying to take out the competition!

I'm a dry smoke chamber guy too. Dry wood also.
post #73 of 83
I use a water pan just because I'm using a Bradley. When the briquet is done, it gets shoved into the water to extinguish it. If you don't do that, it continues to smolder for a bit and imparts off flavors.

When I was using a Brinkmann, I used the water pan because it helped me with temperature control and because I didn't know any better.
post #74 of 83
I have read a lot about why not fill the pan with water and why you should and I have also read a lot about why you shouldn't soak your wood and why you should. Why I shouldn't do these things made more sense than why I should. I didn't just take the 28 time grand champions word for it. If you google the questions, is filling the water pan necessary for smoking foods? And is soaking wood chunks and chips necessary for smoking foods? Your questions will most likely be directed to answers by the people on the Forms.

Randy,
post #75 of 83

Wow!  Good thread.  All sorts of opinions and the logic behind them.

 

Now for my $0.02 worth.

 

Sand would only act as a mass to reduce temperature fluctuations whether above or below 212*.  If my WSM got up to 275* with a water pan full of sand then it would tend to keep the temperature at 275*.  It would reduce the duration of the temperature swings and aid in temperature recovery when a wind whipped up or the aluminum door was opened.  But if the sand gets well below or above my target temperature it makes it more difficult to attain that target temperature.  Sort of like thermal inertia.

 

Water on the other hand tends to keep the temperature close to 212* when it is at or above 212* in the cooking chamber.  It takes a large amount of energy to change liquid water to gaseous water.  Since you are usually shooting for 225* to 250* for low-and-slow smoking 212* is in the ball park and will make it more difficult for the temp to go far above 212*.  The water will also act as a heat sink to keep the temperature from going far below 212* when the water is boiling and the cooking chamber temperature drops.  But water will sort of pull the temperature down when it goes above 212*.

 

The water in the pan isn't for adding moisture to the meat or flavoring if the pan has beer or apple juice or whatever.  None of that will penetrate deeply into the meat.  It will just affect the very outer surface if at all.

 

I'm thinking water in the pan does the same thing as sand in the pan at temperatures below 212*.  Water in the pan does much more than sand at helping to keep the temperature from spiking too far above 212*.


Edited by DanielS - 3/9/17 at 1:30pm
post #76 of 83

I use a water pan. 

post #77 of 83
Never have, never will. Ruins a bark, water vapor combined with smoke gives off a bitter taste, and meat texture is mushy. Water's for drinking, bathing, fishing, car washes, and lawns: if I wanted steamed meat, I'll opt for shellfish and mussels. Otherwise, I'd join Weight Watchers to eat rubbery steamed winged and hooved animals: then someone could shoot me shortly thereafter and put me out of my misery.
post #78 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr0uch0 View Post

Never have, never will. Ruins a bark, water vapor combined with smoke gives off a bitter taste, and meat texture is mushy. Water's for drinking, bathing, fishing, car washes, and lawns: if I wanted steamed meat, I'll opt for shellfish and mussels. Otherwise, I'd join Weight Watchers to eat rubbery steamed winged and hooved animals: then someone could shoot me shortly thereafter and put me out of my misery.

 

No, mostly nonsense. But uh, carry on. :icon_mrgreen:

post #79 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezer View Post

No, mostly nonsense. But uh, carry on. icon_mrgreen.gif

If nonsensical, then why not cook with wet wood, and carve out the the time and extra step of drying the timber?

Here's a hint: lack of a clean burn. Same effect is had when water molecules reattach to the smoke from dry wood--acrid taste (see: creosote), and mushes up a perfectly good bark. Sorry, geez, but that's no nonsense--pure fact.
post #80 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr0uch0 View Post


If nonsensical, then why not cook with wet wood, and carve out the the time and extra step of drying the timber?

Here's a hint: lack of a clean burn. Same effect is had when water molecules reattach to the smoke from dry wood--acrid taste (see: creosote), and mushes up a perfectly good bark. Sorry, geez, but that's no nonsense--pure fact.

 

No guy, its complete BS. Sorry. You're comparing apples to footballs. 

 

Now, I'm not going to argue this further, so save it. :icon_rolleyes:

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Fish
SmokingMeatForums.com › Forums › Smoking Meat (and other things) › Fish › Water pans, do you use them and why?