Sand or Water?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by onedragon221, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. Ok? i was watching this clip on youtube, insted of using water they used sand in the water pan?
    any thoughs on this?
  2. scpatterson

    scpatterson Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Defeats the purpose doesnt it????
  3. raceyb

    raceyb Smoking Fanatic

    In my personal opinion, sand is ideal and i use it. I use sterile play sand and cover it with clean foil. I haven't used liquids in my water bowl for years. Most of what I smoke is brined or marinated or is fatty and doesn't need the moisture. The sand makes a great heat sink as well. All in all, it's a personal choice. Try both and you'll pick one over the other.
  4. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There has always been a disagreement on this subject as to whether water in the pan is really necessary and will sand do. Water or sand will accomplish creating a heat sink but I personally like to put apple juice, or some kind of flavored liquid in my water pan. I do think it adds to the flavor of the meat and I know it creates a moist smoking environment. I put lava rock in the pan when I'm doing jerky because your drying it out. Try it different ways and see which way you like it.
  5. hoser

    hoser Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I'm basically with Racy on this one, although I have used both methods. What I asked myself was "do I want to smoke the meat or steam it?" water pan = steam. I'd rather go with lava rock or sand, and spritz or mop if I feel I need the extra moisture.

    Experiment with both, and you'll find out what's right for you.

    Good luck and good smoking[​IMG]
  6. chubbs

    chubbs Fire Starter

    What about both? Fill your pan with lava rocks and then add water...I thought about trying this.
  7. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For me I use water or other liquids in my water pan for the heat sink and the moisture during the smoke.
  8. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What purpose is that? [​IMG]

    I use both. If ambient temps are low, sand will allow you a higher and more consistent temp in your smoker. Find moist playbox sand and do as Racey states. You can easily reuse the sand by just adding some water and stirring to the same consistency.
    In Florida, if our humidity is high, we really do not need to use water, but still there are some meats I like water in the pan.
  9. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use a clay plower pot saucer thing in my WSM.........same idea as the sand, but without having to F with the sand.

  10. Thankz for the info... going to try the sand tomorrow. Its suppose to snow tomorrow, how will that effect my temp? oh by the way? I love this forum! ALOT OF GREAT INFO FROM EVERYBODY! Thank you..
  11. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The cold will burn through more fuel but it's the wind that will steal the heat from your cooker.
  12. ok? so is there a workaround for this problem?
  13. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Pretty easy; just get the cooker out of the wind. I built a wind break for my WSM.
  14. smokemaster

    smokemaster Smoke Blower

    I do the same. Wrap that baby in foil and clean up is a breeze.[​IMG]
  15. Hmm? Cool!! LOL my wife is going to hate me LOL
  16. LOL part i dont like is the clean up...
  17. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well the sand will help your temps, that's for sure. Abelman out in Colorado said the sand really helped him thru out their winter months after he started trying it. I know in snow and wind that anything that helps with creating higher temps is welcomed.
  18. Ok? Is there something i can wrap my ECB in, like a blanket?
  19. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You'll be ok if it's just cold. If it gets windy just move the smoker so as to block the wind. Or use anything you have that will act as a wind break.
  20. raceyb

    raceyb Smoking Fanatic

    The problem with wind that I have experienced is that the gusts will get in and force the hot air out of the smoker. As the smoker starts to build back up, the next gust draws hot air hot and on and on. One really needs a wind break to solve that problem in my personal opinion.

    Now if it is just real cold out, you can wrap your smoker with an insulated blanket, a water heater jacket, etc., to help offset the loss of heat.

    I'm so glad I live in Florida. [​IMG]

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