Another addiction

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Fire Starter
Original poster
Dec 14, 2010
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.

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.
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
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.
Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.
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!

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 is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts

Hot Threads