Sand Levels

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by granbubba, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. Good Morning,

    I'm going to try sand instead of water.

    Has anyone experimented with different levels of sand?

    example 1 inch, 2 inch, etc. or water bowl 1/4 full 1/2 full?

    I will be trying different levels on a Brinkmann Trailmaster.


  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Honestly an empty pan works just as good as one full of sand. The only time I add thermal mass to the pan is when the ambient outdoor temp is at of below freezing. the thermal mass helps keep the pit temp up when opening the door during the cold weather. Otherwise I leave the water pan empty lined with foil for easy clean up.
  3. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I used to fill my Smoke Vault-24 gasser pan about 1/2 full of pea-gravel...worked very well. I tried 4lbs in my WSM-18, but it seemed like it might have been too much...sluggish response when adjustments were made, but then it did hold pretty steady temps.

    After a couple months I opted to run dry with just a foil liner in the pan and the WSM still runs pretty steady temps.

    If the mass of your smoker is a decent amount you may not see much benefit from added thermal mass in the water pan. I am an advocate of using little to no water, though, but with a foil liner in the pan for drippings, so they don't scorch and make your meat taste like it's roasted.

  4. Thanks, I'll start with empty pan and if needed as the weather cools down I'll add sand.

    It gets very cold here during the winter so I might need some extra mass.



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