What kind of temps and time are you shooting for? Rytek's book calls for a long low smoke, which yields a fairly dry, brittle stick. It snaps when you bend it. Think tubular jerky.Some of the seasoning mixes I've used (more recently Leggs) calls for a shorter, slightly hotter smoke. Which yielded a softer moister stick, more like a small diameter salami. I like both. If you are going for the dry style, I'd would avoid the water, maybe use sand instead. If the hotter smoke, I'd use water, as it will also somewhat steam cook the sausages.