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New Smoker and how much water i should use?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I just purchased a Masterbuilt electric smoker. 179 dollars at home depot. For years I have always use the cheap 79 dollar round barrel electric mokers with great success. With the round smokers the water bowl wold probably hold 1.5 gallons of water and while smoking pork ribs for 5 or so hours it would almost be gone.

With this new Masterbuilt smoker, the water tray is about 2 cups. I smoked some salmon yeaterday and over a 2.5 hour period it did not use hardly any water.... And the salmon was on the dry side.

Anyone else have this problem? I am guessing that when i smoke some ribs the water will not be gone and the ribs will be dry.

I have even thought about putting the large water bowl in my new smoker.

Other problem was little smoke, but I read on this fourm not to soak chips so i tossed in some dry ones and it worked well.
post #2 of 3

You don't need any water in that smoker. The water does not add moisture to the food. It acts as a heat sink to help stabilize the temps. The reason you don't use it in a Masterbuilt is that the smoker is so well sealed it turns it into a steam chamber. Some people fill the pan with sand or add fire bricks to the smoker to help with the temp but I just leave it empty and go for it. 

 

As for the salmon being dry, are you using a separate calibrated thermometer or trusting the one in the unit? My MES is never correct so I always cook by my Maverick thermo. You could have been cooking too hot without knowing it. 

post #3 of 3

To keep your meats moist, consider brine before you smoke, not putting water in the smoker. .

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