• 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.

Question from a rookie


Joined Dec 13, 2016
I am brand new to smoking and recently go a MES 40.  I have a quick question regarding the water pan, or when to use or not use it.  Does time of year (weather) influence if you add liquid to the water pan or not.  I've read one thread where someone mentioned to leave it empty when it's cooler out, but haven't seen a lot of info on it.  For reference, I live in TX so cooler to me is below 50-ish.  I broke the smoker in with a brisket two weeks ago, and dumped the water pan out halfway through after there wasn't a lot of bark forming.  Any input would be greatly appreciated!


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Welcome to SMF!

The MES is so well insulated that you don't need to put water in the pan.

Most either leave it dry or put sand in it.

When you get a chance would you swing by "Roll Call" & introduce yourself.

Then we can all give you a proper welcome.



Smoke Blower
Joined Nov 9, 2015
I think most experienced users here do not use water in the pan. Some cover it in foil for easy cleanup and some put playground sand in it and cover with foil. Some users here feel that the sand in the pan helps to regulate and stabilize the temperature (I think). For myself, I have never used any water in the pan and I have not had anything come out dry.

If you decide to go with the Amazen Products pellet smoker accessory, then you definitely will not use any water in the pan.

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.