I got to side with Bubba on the water pan thought. The meat isn't going to abosorb the moisture. If the meat would just absorb water, we wouldn't have to waste time and money putting salt in a brine.
Not trying to be a smart ***, but we aren't cooking sponges or crackers, we are talking meat (well most of the time
). Sponges and crackers respond differently to water.
All that being said, I don't have any emperical evidence, jsut throwing in my 2 cents based on personal experience...............and will gladly admit that I could very well be wrong...........it happens daily according to my wife. LOLhttp://www.kingfishbbq.com/sandpan.htmlI've been fooled ladies and gentlemen, I was told and held the belief that the main reason for using water in your H2O Smoker was to "Keep your food, moist and succulent" and also to add maranides to the water pan to "add EXTRA FLAVOR" Well people, it's a lie I tell you, ALL LIES!! The only reason to use a water pan is for a heat baffle, nothing more.http://www.thebbqguru.com/bbqDisplayList1.cfm?categoryID=30&parentID=210&pag eHeader=Hot%20Topics&CatImageFolder=bbqHotTopics
Questions and answersQuestion: Will a water pan add moisture to your meat while you cook?
Answer: No, the only simple way to add moisture or liquid is to brine your meat before you start cooking.
Question: Will a water pan keep my meat from drying out?
Answer: Yes, to some extent, but meat can dry out even while a water pan is in use. The water pan is an aid to keep temperatures low so that drying out doesn’t occur.
Answer: All living tissue is made up of a good quantity of water. Water boils at 212ºF and vaporizes or evaporates at even lower temperatures. This is true whether the water is in your water pan or in your meat. Get your meat hot enough inside and this moisture will turn to vapor or steam and go up the stack along with water vaporizing in your water pan.
Question: Will steaming or boiling add moisture to meat.
Answer: No, in fact you can boil or steam meat until it is tough as a boot! When you poach meat in a broth, it is important not to exceed about 140ºF liquid temperature to prevent this liquid loss from happening and making your meat tough.
Question: If this is true, then why do I need a water pan at all?
Answer: When you use a water pan, it will do several things for you. First and foremost, it is a simple and rudimentary temperature control. The water heats up early on in the cooking process and becomes a thermal mass. This makes damper adjustments less critical. If your fire gets too hot, more water vaporizes which cools the heated air rising toward the stack of your cooker. If the fire is losing heat, the thermal mass of the water maintains the temperature in the cooking chamber for a while. Second, moist vapors carry heat to the food product being cooked at a faster rate than just heated air alone would. This is why you steam vegetables to cook them quickly. The bottom line in a BBQ pit is that the water pan makes the temperature more stable around an ideal low and slow cooking temperature.