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Quick Question

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Electric Smoker
What kind of a difference would I get if i removed the water pan during the smoke process? Would it just dry out the meat? Has anyone tried this?
Could another chip pan be used in place of the water pan and I would experience more smoke flavor in the meat?
I guess I could just try it but was wondering if anyone had an input to this.
post #2 of 9
I personally wouldn't put chips in the water pan. They are probably too far from the flame to ignite and if they do you have your grease dripping directly into them and there's gonna be a fire.

You can vary the amount of smoke flavor by using less or more and different types of wood for your smoking. I've been reading some interesting info on the importance of the moisture especially in an electric smoker for the meat to readily absorb the smoke so you may actually be counter productive in eliminating the water pan.
post #3 of 9
Not sure what kind of Electric you have but mine SmokinTex calls for no more than 2 - 6 oz of chunk or chip per smoke. When I broke that rule early on thinking I wanted more smoke, I was really disappointed with it being too smokey. My thought would be to use the specified amount and add it gradually for a longer TBS to happen. Just my .02 worth
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Works for me. I figured moisture was kind of key in an electric. Thanks guys!
post #5 of 9
the really big and expensive -restaurant style smokers -
do not have water pans---

the water is mainly a heat holder---

ive tried both ways---
no noticible difference
post #6 of 9
In humid climates the water pan is used mainly a heat sink. if you live in a dry area with very low humidity, the water pan or wet chips can be used to introduce more humidity to your smoke. The humidity level is important in that it cooks the meat without drying it out. Too much humidity and the meat cannot release moisture which can cause it to sour... not enough humidity and the meat will loose it's moisture faster resulting in a dry texture.

Different smoking methods require different humidity levels:
  • cold smoking - 75 - 85 %. It is important to employ high humidity levels when cold smoking.
  • warm smoking - 50 - 70 %. It is advisable to start smoking at high humidity levels.
  • hot smoking - 40 - 50 %. In case of hot smoking which is a relatively short process (about 2 hours), humidity control is of secondary importance.
This is the reasoning behind moisture as an important factor in smoke absorbsion. Low humidity and the meat is releasing moisture faster and not allowing for smoke penetration. Slow the release of moisture from the meat with a more humid environment... allows for more smoke penetration.

Pretty interesting stuff... and probably not a factor to most of us in conditions that aren't to either extreme, but under certain conditions can explain low smoke absorbtion or sour taste.
post #7 of 9
Even if you don't add water, don't remove the pan.
Many smokers are designed for the water pan to catch drippings and prevent them from landing on the heater coils , causing a fire.

My MES explcitly says to never smoke without the pan for this reason, even if no water is used.
post #8 of 9
what is different temp levels for warm and hot smoke????icon_question.gifPDT_Armataz_01_12.gif
post #9 of 9
Larry... the book I'm reading is real old school and they consider what we do cooking with smoke... not smoking meat. The bulk of the process described is cured meat. Cold smoking is defined as continuous smoking at 52 to 71 degrees for 1 to 14 days... warm smoking as continuous smoking at 73 to 104 degrees from 4 to 48 hours and hot smoking as continuous smoking at 105 to 140 degrees but is broken down into three stages with the last stage with temps reaching as high as 194 degrees.
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