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Drip pan

steves8860

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The other day i put a drip pan in like this picture shows. It worked, but I'm thinking that maybe my placement could effect how the smoker works.

This smoker was an Aldi's Special. Speculation is that Dyna Glo makes it.
I don't know enough about smokers to say what's good, but I'm having some fun with it.
 

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bill1

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Typically, a 2" gap on all sides is optimal. Bending your sides in a bit should do it...JJ
Steve--A drip pan to keep the bottom of your cooker clean is a good thing. Some like to put water in it for added cooking humidity. Others like the water to make cleaning up the pan easier (oil floats on water.) Others use the pan empty so the drips hit a hot surface and cook a bit to add to the aroma/flavor. (Some will still line the bottom with a sheet of foil so the pan can be re-used.) Not sure which camp you're in (or maybe still deciding.)
Jimmy is right you want a gap from the pan to the walls so the smoke can rise around the pan and get to your meat. You could consider a sheet of steel or aluminum on the next rack above your meat cut to a size that extends to the inner edges but has a 2" hole in the middle so the smoke that comes around the edges of the pan is forced to the center on it's upward "draft" path...that helps surround your meat in smoke so the smoke is not just hugging the walls.
For large cuts of meat, the drips seem to be where the meat is resting on the grill, so pretty much the center. You could use a smaller pan then. But for multiple small cuts (like chicken thighs) you'll want to ensure you arrange the meat away from the walls so it drips into your pan, which usually means using multiple shelves or larger pans.
Looks like a nice smoker...have fun!
 

SmokinAl

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Almost everybody uses drip pans, except the hardcore smokers who never clean their smokers. Which would include most of the great BBQ restaurants in the US. Have you ever seen the inside of one of Aaron Franklins smokers, they are covered in crud, but he is using them every day so any bacteria gets killed off when he fires them up. I use a weed burner on my grates when the smoker has set for a while and not been used. If I get too much buildup in my Lang I do a deep clean. Steam clean it & scrape the crap off the RF plate & wire brush the grates.
Al
 

Bearcarver

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The other day i put a drip pan in like this picture shows. It worked, but I'm thinking that maybe my placement could effect how the smoker works.

This smoker was an Aldi's Special. Speculation is that Dyna Glo makes it.
I don't know enough about smokers to say what's good, but I'm having some fun with it.

Like chef jimmyj chef jimmyj said above make sure you have enough space around & between any trays you put in your smoker.
As an example I had two trays of Chicken Thighs on the same rack in my MES 40 one time. I had a little space on the ends, and a little front & back, but no space between the trays.
That screwed everything up, until I moved them late in the Smoke. Below are the notes I made when it actually happened:
I noticed during the smoke, my Maverick above the Thighs (left side) was averaging 160* to 210*, and the Maverick below the Thighs (right side) averaged 240*, then 260*, and then 290*. At first I thought it was either the upper probe being close to the cold meat, or the 2 Foil Pans on one rack was trapping the heat below them. Once the thighs got hot, I realized it was definitely the Pans trapping the heat. They took up nearly the whole depth & width of the Smoker. Normally the thighs would have been done by 5 PM, but they were only at about 142* IT at that time. When I removed the Taters, I moved one of the Foil Pans to the top position. This changed both of the Mavericks to the 270* to 285* range. The Thighs were all between 165* and 172* at 5:50 PM, and I removed them. They were still Awesome!!!

Bear
 

bill1

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It can be more trouble than it's worth (unless you have lots of side grate locations) but when you have multiple grates of small meats (e.g. chicken thighs) in a vertical cooker you can set up a front-to-rear labyrinth smoke pattern by putting solid metal sheets in that fit tight on the sides but are 2" or so short in depth so the smoke is directed from the back to the front on the lower level, then front to back on the next level, etc. Your draft is essentially the same but you're directing the smoke (and heat) more effectively at each grate level that way.

This is analogous to my earlier suggestion (with large cuts) to put a tight-fitting plate with only a center hole above the top of a large cut of meat.
 

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