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Water pan needed?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Aloha all, I am after a crisp skin on the chickens I'm about to place in the smoker. I'm working on getting the temp in there to 325 degrees. I've got a thermometer to check the smoker temp and chicken temp. I brined the chickens for 12 hours, so the good stuff must have migrated into the meat. Do you think I still need the water pan in the smoker??? Yes ....I am a newbie....Much Mahalo (Thanks) :>)
post #2 of 11
Don't know if your using gas or charcoal but I have my pan in all the time, it helps control the temps, if you don't want water some people fill them with sand
post #3 of 11
i have done beer shoved up the butt of a chicken.......using a waterpan.......but like what you said......my temps was up in the 325-350 range........the waterpan is for to keep temps spikes even........but others will be along with other opinions.........thats what is great bout this site......

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm using a GOSM gas unit. Its been half an hour with the regulator on high, and the temp is now just creeping into the 290 degree range. I've changed out my small firebox with a 10 inch cast iron skillet to eliminate flareups. (heh heh got that idea from here.) Do you think the thicker cast iron material has anything to do with the time its taking to get up to 300 degrees? I will follow your lead and keep the waterpan in there. Its almost there anyway. Mahalo you guys!!
post #5 of 11
That's odd that your GOSM is only at 290* after a half hour at wide open throttleicon_confused.gif
Are you relying on the OEM thermo on the door? Is the top vent open or closed? Is your water pan in there already, and did you put it in there with water that was already hot?

About the water pan, I say use it. I use mine all the time and my birds come out a beautiful shade of brown.
Here are a couple pics of some birds I did a while back:

Don't forget to cover that water pan with foil!!!

post #6 of 11
Water pan is a good grease collector as well!

To keep smoke build up off my pan, I wrap the bottom with HD foil, then line the inside with HD foil. After the smoke, I let it cool ... hold a slotted spoon over one corner to hold back the solidified fat and pour out the water. Fold up the inner foil with the fat and cleanup is done. I leave the bottom foil on for the next time or two.
post #7 of 11
Just my opinion...........if a smoker come's with a water pan, USE it.
That's how it was designed to work, weather you fill it with water (using hot water will warm up your pit faster) or fill it with sand (hold's temp's, better and easier clean-up) keep it in there!!PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #8 of 11
If you don't use the water/sand pan, you are basically just grilling. Sand with give you a higher, more constant temp.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Aloha, I kept the water pan in throughout the smoke. I filled it up with hot water before I began, and I have an ET-73 to keep eye on the smoker temp and the chicken temp......I think the thicker cast iron skillet and me having to open and close the smoker a few times to adjust the position of the smoker probe and to check on the kiawe (mesquite) wood had something to do with it. I got the temp to 325 degrees and kept it there the whole time. Chickens came out just like the pictures a couple posts above this and in Blackhawk's pictures from last week.....The skin wasn't really crispy like it was grilled, but it was not like shoe leather either either. The skin had a nice brown sheen to it and was better than the previous 5 I tried before. I am a believer in brining. Takes a little more time in prep but well worth it in flavor and moistness. Can anyone direct me to the thread that talked about using a insulated water cooler to hold the chickens being brined?
post #10 of 11
Aloha Old Poi Dog. Sounds like a sucessful smoke. If you can manage it kick the temperture up just a bit more for the last 15 minutes to about 375 and it will be crispier or you can throw them in the oven for a few minutes.

You are right about the brine makes it onolicious! I don't see the cooler thread but if you can fit the chicken in there you can use it! Add some ice t keep it cool.
post #11 of 11
For whole chicken, I do mine beer butt style ... it is fast and super moist without brining. Give it a try sometime and let us know what you think.
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