To Pan, or Not To Pan.... This is the Question

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chris b

Original poster
Mar 23, 2007
I want to know how many of you use pans when you smoke meat. I have done several picnics (that's pork shoulder for you yankees
) both ways and I really have to say that I prefer to put them in a pan. I rub the meat the night before, then I use an applejuice, cider vinegar, and rub mixture to inject the meat, put it in a pan and on the smoker it goes. I baste it every hour or so with the pan juices. I pull it at 185 to 190 and let it rest. Carryover brings it to 200 then I pull it. It has a tremendous amount of flavor, and is super moist. Once the fat is separated from the pan juices it makes a killer finishing, or side sauce. I have really come to enjoy the flavor I get out of it. Not to mention cleanup is a snap. I like the traditional way too, I just depends how I feel. If I'm going for strictly for sandwiches, I might not use a pan, and mix the pulled or chopped pork with a vinegar based sauce. But if I'm doing it as a plate, I think the pan is the way to go.

Let me know what you guys think, and if you pan or not.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it! I like doing butts right on the smoker, then put in alum pan and cover w/foil once it reaches about 160-170*. I do my briskets the same way. I've only done one picnic, so many smokes/beers ago I can't remember how it tasted.

The best answer comes from the ones you smoke for, and since you asked me
, Saturday will work good and do it the way you've always done it. What sides will you be serving us, wife & kids & I? I'll provide the beer/water/milk/JD. I think I can handle that part.
Ive seen folks that do it both ways with great results, I guess it's a matter of preference and also if you want to keep the juices or not.
Chris thats how I used to cook my briskets and they always turned out great. Haven't done them like that In a long time. I have had some requests from family members to do some the old way again so next time I cook briskets I'll do one in a pan for them.
I've done it both ways. I found that I like making the vinegar finishing sauce to give it a kick. I also felt that I didn't get as much "bark" in the pan. Fish I always do on a flat throw away (like a cookie sheet) so I don't loose my marinade and the fish "juice" doesn't drip on anything else I might be smokin. I like maple flavord salmon, but not salmon flavord pork or chicken.
All personal preference. Sounds like you have a winner if you and your guests like the results.

Take care, have fun, and do good!


I've done them both ways with good results. It may not be straight up proper to smoke yer meat in a pan.. I don't know if you've looked at your picture or not, but you're a pretty good sized lad... who's gonna tell ya it ain't right???

Really I see it as - Good is right and bad is wrong.

Keep Smokin
Like most of our friends here say, personal preference, but I feel like Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m not getting maximum smokage (a word?) or bark in a pan, it just seems to keep it too damp (for me), however after I wrap it in foil at 165°, I pan it so it wonâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t leak on my deck…go figure!
Just remember, "It ain't the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog"

(But he is pretty big
Gee Chris........Thanks for that tid bit of info.....would never have been able to figure that out, without your least if us yankees were to use a pan...we would know enough to put the pan INTO the smoker and not ON it..tends to cook a little bit better, and just might have a better smoke flavor as well...
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