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Vertical Smoker – use without water pan??

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Since finding SMF I have become interested in building a UDS. I started thinking over night about my trusty old “Mr. Meat” vertical smoker, and was wondering….if I used that vertical without the water pan, would it function somewhat like a UDS in terms of the drips falling down on the coals? Or is a vertical like that (it’s similar to a Brinkman smoke & grill) not tall enough – would the meat be to close to the charcoal?

Anyone ever used a vertical without the water pan?

Still want to build a UDS, just thought I might give this a try first.

Any input is appreciated!

John
post #2 of 9
One of the big differences between a UDS and a vertical smoker is the ability to control the air flow and most vertical smokers do not allow this type of control.

I sure one of our many UDS Gurus will be able to give more insight on the workings of the UDS vs. a vertical smoker.
post #3 of 9
I have both types of cookers and would not recommend using a smaller vertical unit without the water pan if you do not have full air flow control. My small unit from Harbor Freight is honestly, one of the hardest things to turn good Q out of. When I cooked on the UDS for the first time I was kind of bored because I didnt have to do anything. It held the same temp within 10 degrees for 6 hours before I had to make an adjustment. Most of the smaller verticle units do not have enough space between the coals and the meat, its recommended to have at least 24" between the two, hence the water pan.

Hope that all makes sense.

Good Luck,
Evo
post #4 of 9
hoi John

I have a vertical smoker http://smokingmeatforums.com/forums/...ad.php?t=84468

and for some things I use no water pan

or I use an empty water pan,that I foil with alu foil

what concern your question (would the meat be to close to the charcoal)
I do not know you smoker ,and sorry I can not answer
post #5 of 9
Very good description on the differences between the two smoker types. Not to hihack this thread, but that's a nice clean avatar Dutch is sporting these days.
post #6 of 9
There is danger of fire in a vertical charcoal smoker without the water pan barrier. Even with an empty pan.... catching grease that close to the heat may end up igniting. Had it happen once.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input!

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I wondered if the meat might be to close in the vertical without the water pan. I had not considered the difficulty of controlling the temp. I think I'll keep using as I have in the past....and work on plans for my UDS.

Thanks again!

John
post #8 of 9
I use my vertical smoker with a water pan that is filled with sterile sand and covered in clean foil. The sand makes a great constant heat sink that doesn't need refilling during a smoke. I do not recommend a small vertical with no water pan, because then you are direct cooking and also risking a fire.
post #9 of 9
I agree. The pan, whether filled with water, sand or empty is there as a sink to help regulate the temps. I love using sand during the winter for a higher, more consistent temp. Have nothing there......you're basically grilling, not doing bar-b-que.
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