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MES 40 electric smoking Ribs today. Water or not?

cxthree

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Joined May 16, 2009
I am breaking in my MES 40 electric smoker to day.  I have ribs in it and they are smelling great.  :)

I have a question on the water bowl.  Do you guys always use the water bowl when smoking or only on certain types of things?  I began smoking on my grill years ago with a smoker box add on.  i never used water becasue I did not know better, I guess.  With the last smoker and this new MES 40, I have just used the water bowl almost all the time. I am just wondering if thats the best way to do it or not. 

Any advice is appreciated.  Thanks. 
 

eman

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Use the water bowl ! It not only creates a moist smoke inviroment but it also acts as a heat shield for the meat above it.

 I have smoked a few things w/o the pan and it doesn't come out near as good .
 

tjohnson

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Using the water pan is a personal preference.  Just as Eman swears by it, I don;t use it.  I think you'll find both opinions for and against using it.  For ribs, I smoke for 3 hours, add moisture and wrap for 2 hours, and finish up by unwrapping the ribs and either finish in my smoker for another hour, or on the grill for 15 minutes or so.  This works for me, but may not for others.

Now, for long smokes like brisket or pork butt, I fill a disposable pan with some water and let the juices from the meat drip into the same pan.the water pan.  Again, personal preference.

Some guys fill the water pan with sand adn use it for a heat sink.

Make sure you wrap your water pan and lower drip pan with foil!!!  Much easier clean up!

Enjoy!

Todd
 

cxthree

Newbie
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11
Joined May 16, 2009
Thank you both.  I am use to no water and I think I liked the ribs better using that method.  I am still learning this smoker though.  My ribs turned out good, but not as good as I use to make.  I think I may try no water next time.  WHen I use to use my grill, I would grill them with indirect heat and a smoker box.  I would keep the heat low for about 3 hours then sauce them really good and hit them with high heat to singe the sauce a bit.  They would be a little crispy on the outside but very tender.  The ones today were good and fairly tender.  Just not as good as what I use to make.  Like I said, I am still learning this smoker so that could be part of it for sure. 

Enjoying the MES.
 

eman

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TJ is right. It's all in the cook.

 if you are used to having a lil bark on your ribs you won't get that w/ the water in the pan. The steam is what makes everything so moist and fall off the bone. Not using the pan will allow the meat to form a good bark.
 

chillicothe

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Joined Nov 20, 2010
I used a the water pan but made up a mixture of vinegar and apple juice in there and smoked my ribs today for roughly 6 hours.  Put the sauce on there after four and half hours or so and then wrapped them up in foil for 45 minutes and shut the vents to keep them warm till we were ready to eat.  Had a nice bark fell off the bone.  They were truly a thing of beauty
 

chillicothe

Newbie
6
10
Joined Nov 20, 2010
I used a the water pan but made up a mixture of vinegar and apple juice in there and smoked my ribs today for roughly 6 hours.  Put the sauce on there after four and half hours or so and then wrapped them up in foil for 45 minutes and shut the vents to keep them warm till we were ready to eat.  Had a nice bark fell off the bone.  They were truly a thing of beauty
 

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