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Tutorial w/Q-View: Sealing Mated Foil Steam Pans for Brasing/Steaming


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 27, 2008
I had to come up with a plan this evening for finishing 2 butts in my Smoke Vault 24. I didn't want to place 2 large baking pans one over the other, as the lower pan will act as a heat baffle and channel the heat out towards the cabinet away from the upper pan...been there, done that. Rather than staying up all night just to rotate the two pan's rack positions, or using tons of foil to build a large tent over the pork butts on their 2" high rack, I needed a sure-fire fix, and I needed it soon.

So, how do I fit 2 large butts into one pan while keeping them elevated on an accessory rack to keep them out of the liquids and preserve the bark as much as possible?

Mated steam pans is how...

Here's how I did it:

Tear-off 4 heavy duty pieces of foil about 4" each:

Smooth the pieces out, being careful not to tear them apart or cut your fingers/hand on the long edge...we'll want to hide this edge in a moment:

I creased and folded the strip in half:

Now, we'll crease and fold the cut edge, which we'll keep on the inside as the next crease/fold is completed:

All four, ready for the final step before sealing up the pans:

The strips are now creased and partially folded to approx. right angles (90*), keeping the cut edge inside of the fold for safety:

I finished the above steps in about 4-5 minutes prior to taking my meat out of the smoker to pan it up, so minimal cooking time/heat was lost.

The seam of two large foil steam pans, one inverted on top of the other, and the 12" x18" aluminum baking pan I will use to support the weight of the contents:

I placed the foil strips with the crease/inside of fold over the pan seam and crimped it snugly all the way on both long sides, then centered a piece on each end and did the same. I formed the end of the foil strip around the corners to overlap the side pieces.

Sealed-up safe & snug...this should hold the pans relatively tight and keep excessive amounts of steam/condensed water from escaping the pans:

Top view:

Into the Smoke Vault 24 to finish the cooking for the night:



Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 21, 2007
They sat that necessity is the Mother of Invention, and you came through with a plan. I showed that trick to my wife when she was catering. I admire your creativity. It's all good my friend.


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Joined Sep 12, 2009
Thanks for the great tip Eric !


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