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water or not add flavor or not ?????

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
have to ask......new to smoking with a fire box .do i add a water pan and if i do should i add flavor, IE " apple juice or ????" . i just smoked a brisket over the labor day weekend and i did add a water pan but not real sure i needed it, but not real sure if it helped.PDT_Armataz_01_01.gif
post #2 of 17
Usually the water pan will help stabilize temps. I don't think wasting money on flavoring is worth it.
post #3 of 17
DITTO.My bro used to use Beer in the WSM water pan.The only benefit to beer was we drank the extraPDT_Armataz_01_03.gif
post #4 of 17
It's difficult to say if flavored water adds flavor to the meat. If it does, it is extremely subtle. But you know, the smell of water with some beer and onions in it combined with cooking pork and hickory is enough to melt my brains. So I generally throw some stuff in the water. If nothing else, it will drive your neighbors nuts.

BTW it doesn't hurt anything, so try it both ways.
post #5 of 17
Oh, one final thought. Nice perfume doesn't make Halle Berry any more pretty, but it sure adds to the ambiance.........
post #6 of 17
LMAO Steve! (Halle)

Agree with all above...never have put anything in my water though...the smoke and dry rub is enough for me...sometimes an injection of marinade.

post #7 of 17
I'm with Steve...
post #8 of 17
I'm with Steve too. I like to add anything from beer with dry rubs or herbs to wines...
The aroma is killer! It might not make the meat taste better, but it sure makes ME feel better! biggrin.gif
post #9 of 17
I use sand in my pan-I thinks it works better
post #10 of 17
I forgot I had a water pan in my smoker...... I think I filled it the first couple of times with water, .... then.... I honestly kinda forgot it was even in there..... I have never had anything turn out dry...... But I would agree with both RonP & Desertlites (Which in my opinion, are 2 of the finest people on this great earth biggrin.gif) that the water & or sand will help stabilize temps.
post #11 of 17
It does that. But because water boils at 212F, the smoke chamber temps don't rise far above that - particularly if you use that water pan as a baffle. My smoker runs a steady 225 with the water pan. So you have to keep that in mind depending on what you're cooking and how much time you want to spend.
It does help keep the outside of your meat from drying out. And indeed you can use it to add flavor! But you only need a splash of flavoring as indeed, it's gonna be subtle no matter what. A half-bottle of beer, or perhaps some vinegar or even a shot of bourbon....

My baffle/waterpan is now a fullsize restaurant baking sheet, 18"x26"x1". I've hammered the center of the pan inward, and poked a couple holes in it. I put it roughly 1" away from the firebox, and it's raised above the firebox opening.So a bit of heat/smoke goes straight into the cooking chamber, but most hits the pan before being dispersed. And because of the raised holes in the center, it is dispersed quite evenly. The water around the sides of the pan keeps temps stable all around.
post #12 of 17
Basic science say's when mixtures evaporate, water is the only thing that turns to gas, but you will get some vaporization of the other products depending on the temperature. Thus the smell. Not sure if the particals of the vaporization have any real affect on the taste of the meat. I have done it both ways with no noticable differance. This being said however, I am with the group that the smell you generate coming out of the smoker can be heaven. I add a bit of apple juice and a can of beer to the water just for this affect. Drives my neighbors crazy.
post #13 of 17
Have always used diff liquids (wine plus other stuff) and wondered if it really mattered. Now I will try just water.
Back to the sand. Do I just put it in the pan that I put liquid in? Are we talking full of sand/half full or what. Sounds better than trying to clean that pan every time I use the smoker.
post #14 of 17
I agree adding flavored liquids is more of a waste than anything.
If I want extra flavor I'll just inject with something and stick with water in the pan.

Dave, if you use sand buy clean sand at a hardware sand.
Play sand. Put it in your water pan, fill 'er up to 3/4 full or so, more won't matter.
Cover it with foil, otherwise you will have to deal with cleaning off the top layer of sand but the foil you can just replace.
post #15 of 17
just plain ole h2o in mine but all the dripping that flo into it give the great aroma between the rubs and sprays ya need no more imhoicon_smile.gif
post #16 of 17
Sand just acts as a large heat sink. Heat capacitor. Heat reserve bank. Slower to heat up, but equally slow to cool off, thereby steadying the temps. Many folks fill the water pan with sand, firebrick, river rock (Careful-can blow up...) and then cover in foil to avoid messy.
post #17 of 17
This is my thinking as well. I can't remember the last time I used water, it was ages ago.
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