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barrycuda

Fire Starter
Original poster
Dec 14, 2010
31
10
Hey fellows. I am an an old fart that is new to smoking but love outdoor cooking. My kids gave me a Masterbuilt XL propane smoker for Christmas. I had to take the first one back due to being damaged and had to wait for a couple weeks for the new one to arrive. I took the 5 day e-course and did a lot of reading before using the unit. Seasoned it and tried a couple of racks of BB ribs which turned out pretty good. Smoker temperature was easy to maintain. I used the 3-2-1 method. Last Sunday I tried my first (2) fatties and two 4# chix. Things did not go too good. I could not get the temperature above 225 and a lot of water was coming out around the door. After 3 hrs had to finish in the oven for the big game. Yesterday I fired up the smoker empty and it got to 300 in no time. I think I know where I screwed up. I had a large water pan that was pretty full on the rack just above the wood pan. I put the 2 chix on the rack closest to the thermometer in the door and the 2 fatties on the top rack. Keep in mind this is a large smoker. I did not use a drip pan thinking the water pan was large enough to catch the juices. I think that maybe the juices from these 4 items were causing the water pan too splash out and affect the burner. Should I use a seperate drip pan with food that will have a lot of drippings? I think if the food was closer to the water pan there would not have been a s much splash. Is it better to cook on the lower racks or the upper racks when the smoker is not full? By the way I used a probe thermometer thru a potato on the upper rack with the fatties. Thanks for the help.

Barry
 

rbranstner

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Oct 18, 2007
5,700
39
West Fargo, ND / Northern MN
If your meat is on the top rack and it drips through several racks because they are empty and lands in your water pan I guess I could see how it would splash onto your propane flame. I personally put stuff on the bottom rack if my smoker is empty but I really don't have a reason for doing that. As far as using a separate drip pan this is what my thinking is. If I am going to be saving the drippings to make gravy or dipping sauce or what ever then I use a separate pan to catch the drippings. But if I am not saving the drippings then I just let the meat drip into my water pan. But in your case if the water pan isn't big enough and stuff is splashing or dripping onto your burner then you may want to get a bigger water pan or use a separate pan to catch your drippings.
 

scarbelly

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
Jul 26, 2009
14,317
73
I agree with Ross. Just another tip for you. line the bottom of the smoker with some foil and your cleanup will be a lot easier
 

eman

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
Feb 3, 2009
5,316
138
If you still had alot of liquid in the water pan after you were through smoking , Try filling it up only half next time.  Line your water pan and the bottom of your smoker for easy clean up.
 

meateater

Legendary Pitmaster
SMF Premier Member
Oct 17, 2009
8,983
62
Hendertucky, Nv.
Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.
 

hmcm

Smoke Blower
Dec 14, 2010
133
13
Upland, California
Hi Barrycuda!  I have a Masterbuilt XL and I use a throw away aluminum pan to catch drippings that is much bigger than the water pan because that water pan isn't big at all as you know!  It seems to work pretty well for me!

Oh, welcome to SMF!
 

beer-b-q

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
May 1, 2007
10,101
41
 

Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us.
 


This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.
 


For those of you new to Smoking, be sure to check out Jeff's 5 Day Smoking Basics eCourse.

Click Here it's "FREE" ... 5 Day eCourseE
 

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