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Foil Pan?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I will be attempting my first butt this weekend and have seen several mambers placing foil pans under the meat durring the smoke. Dumb question but is this required and why?
post #2 of 23
New here myself, but I don't believe it is a requirement, however it will allow you to retain the juices that come out (to mix into the meat or finishing sauce if you desire), as well as helps keep the innards of the smoker a bit more tidy...
post #3 of 23
For a few reasons. The pan catches all the drippings from the butt and also you can fill the pan with any kind of liquid you like, preferably juice like apple, pineapple. When I do ribs especially I use a pan underneath filled with a mixture of apple, orange and pineapple juice. Many will argue that this helps with the moisture content inside the smoker so it does not dry the meat out and others will argue it does nothing of the sorts and does nothing for the taste. I fall on the side who thinks it does help with the moisture content, but that is just me.

Also keep a spray bottle filled with juice and cider vinegar as well and spray the butt down every 45 mins to an hour or so to also help keep it moist, this definitely works and helps from drying the meat out. The vinegar also helps break down connective tissue which tenderizes the meat and the juice gives it a nice flavor.

Hope this helped.

Good Smokin !!!!
post #4 of 23
No, not required
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. I think I will put one in just so I can keep the inside of my smoker cleaner.
post #6 of 23
I used apple juice once in my smoker when doing venison summer sausage. You have to watch it. I checked my water pan and had 2 inches of juice steaming nicely. Left to go have a soda pop returned 20 minutes later to my smoker bellowing a nice stream of smoke. Thought how nice my wife added more wood chips for me. Went in the house sat next to her. Gave her a big thank you kiss. Then she proceded to tell me she hadn't. Ran out to find out in 30 minutes it had boiled dry and turned to a syrup. Wasted 15lbs of sausage that day. So if you use a juice keep a close eye on it. I personnaly don't use water or juice. Being that if you have drippings coming out how does moisture go back in?
post #7 of 23
The moisture has to come from within the meat! Wether it comes from the fat content, or an injection baste.wink.gif spritzing, mopping or basting, keeps the surface from drying out. IMO
post #8 of 23

I do it.

I did not read the rest of the replies but I deffinetly put the roast in a pan rather than just wraping in foil. It's just easier to handle that way and as I have recently learned, you should use the juice that comes from the pig to reconstitute and flavor the meat after it's been pulled. In a pan is the best way to save the juices. I bet you'll be suprised how much comes out of the meat after being foiled at 170. Heck, for $2-$3 give it a try, what is there to loose?

That's my $.02

post #9 of 23
Also, the dripping fat hitting hot metal creates a chemical reaction that creates a nasty taste to the smoke.
Why not use a catch tray ... keeps the smoker clean, and extra moisture CAN'T hurt things!!!!!
Mix the contents of the catch pan to your finishing sauce or BBQ sauce ... WIN WIN if you use one.
post #10 of 23
I put a pan of Dutch's beans under my meat if I have room. Adds another layer of flavor to the beanies.
post #11 of 23
Diesel, I've never heard of that. If I smoke a butt without a pan under it, it will come out tasting bad??? I thought the fats and juices hitting the inside of the smoker and vaporizing would enhance the overall flavor of the meat.... but I'm not sure now. lol
post #12 of 23
How about if you are smoking sponges? PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif
post #13 of 23
Can we get more details on that? News to me and would like to be informed.
post #14 of 23
What Mulepackin said. I also put them under brisket.
post #15 of 23
I set butts in an aluminum pan when I'm smoking them. After the juice starts accumulating, I use a squeeze bulb baster to draw the juice out of the pan. When it's time to foil the butt I just cover the pan.

The collected juices go into the fridge. By the time the butt comes up to temp and then cools enough to pull, the fat has risen to the top and then solidified. It can be easily removed. Then warm the juices up in the microwave and it's ready to be put back on the pulled meat.
post #16 of 23
Sounds like two topics here. Water pan or catch pan.
Some will agree, some won't. You can put anything in the water pan you like but all it does is act as a heat sink to stabilize heat inside the smoker. Sand works well also and will not increase moisture inside smoker. Catch pan is great and will help keep your smoker cleaner. I'm for that but you have to watch the drippings burning and creating it's own smoke flavor. BURNT.
Since the meat that is smoking drips juices while being cooked, how does it suck in moisture?
I don't know.

post #17 of 23
Like I originally said, I do not know if there is any scientific proof that the water pan does or does not increase the moisture content, it is all a matter personal opinion. I personally like the juice in the pan, especially for ribs. As far as it turning to syrup, I would think that may be from too high of heat.

Also, I did not specify too clearly and I apologize, it is not that the meat sucks in the moisture when spritzed or mopped, it just keeps the first layer moist so it does not burn or dry out. Again all of this is just a matter of opinion, but that is what the forum is for...for everyone to learn from everyone elses ideas and that is why I love chatting away on here !!!!
post #18 of 23
Now that's a good idea. Sounds easier than trying to wrestle it into the foil.
post #19 of 23
I found this on page 4 in SMOKE AND SPICE ... Says that you want the smoky flavor from smoldering wood, not from fat or oil dripping on coals or hot metal, because of taste and health risks. The smoke produced by burning fat contains benzopyrene (linked to many cancer researches, and one of the main sources is charbroiled food and diesel exhaust, among other things). According to the SMOKE AND SPICE book, it's unavoidable in grilling, but isn't a problem in BBQ if using a water pan.

Here's a link on Wikipedia ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzopyrene

Even if I wasn't concerned with cancer, I'd still like to collect the drippings to add to my sauce. LIke I said, WIN WIN!!!!
post #20 of 23
have done it too!!!! look at my signature photo... i think aj deserves the credit at least from me.
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