I recently purchased a master built gas smoker. My questions are what would be better running with the water pan filled with sand or water. Ive seen sand can help with temp control I noticed when mine ran out of water the temps would stabilize nice, so does the water pan really help keep the meat moist or is it ok not to use the water pan? Ive also read that someone else uses a cast iron pan for wood chips instead of the box it comes with has anyone used this method or a different one? Your input would be greatly appreciated thanks.
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Fill the pan with sand and wrap with foil will work better. You can also wrap a brick with foil instead. The water is being used to help with temperature control. Water boils at 212° at sea level and slowly evaporates meaning less water so less to hold heat. The cheaper smokers are about the only ones that use a water pan. Yes some use a cast iron skillet and a lot use a AMNPS or a AMNTS.