UDS Water Pan Question

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by bmaddox, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    So I am still planning my UDS build and I can't seem to make my mind up about whether or not to add a water pan or heat deflector. I have a water pan that is about 16" across out of an ECB that I could use and I also have an old 18" pizza stone.

    What is everyone else doing? 

    Are you just letting your UDS ride without any water pan or heat deflector?
  2. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I have never found the need except in one circumstance and that is when it is really hot outside I will sometimes use a disposable foil pan with some water to help keep the temps down. Other than that I have never had any reason. You can use your ECB bowl in there if you choose though. It's all personal preference. The great water pan debate seems to pretty much have died around here.
  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I'm not so much concerned about adding moisture. This is my first UDS build so I don't know if it needs a heat deflector or not. I'm thinking I might just have a rack at the bottom to put a foil pan or pizza stone on as needed but run it with no deflector to start with.
  4. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I have two racks, one 7 inches down from the top of the drum and one 6 inches under that. The bottom rack does get a bit hotter but you can just put the bigger thing there or, heck to tell you the truth I hardly ever use the lower level for anything but a drip pan. I suppose it acts as a heat deflector but the way the heat circulates through your UDS there really is no super hot spot in the center like you would think there would be. It is pretty even heat.
  5. I put a perforated pizza pan on my second rack as a heat diffuser. I have never needed or used a water pan in there.
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No water pan needed. As for a diffuser it depends on your cook and the height of you rack to your fire. If you have lower racks close to the fire you may want a diffuser. Pizza pan works or a terracotta plant tray. I very rarely use one, but I have the capability to adjust my rack heights in 2" increments.
  7. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    I'm with Gator, perf pizza pan works great, plus super cheap.  Keeps the grease from landing directly on the coals, causing flare ups, also acts as a heat deflector, spreading the heat more evenly.  I weld a pin in place on the top of my fire basket to place the pizza pan on during cooking.

  8. You can see my drip tray/head diffuser in this picture. It catches enough of the drippings to keep the fire at bay while providing consistent temps across the whole cooking surface. I learned this after my first few smokes and it has made all the difference. After each smoke I take it out and scrub it down with the grill brush. No special treatment.

  9. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Great looking Butt's there. Sure is a shame to not save that nectar of the gods and just let it go.
  10. Yeah, so I have used a drip tray before but to be honest it is really somewhat pointless. I have a strict no peeking policy while smoking. If you're looking...you ain't cooking. With that being said, any drippings that I do get are usually crisped up in the tray by the time I open it up to check on things. I have tried putting a little water in there but it doesn't really help. I would rather catch the majority of the drips on the diffuser and allow some to fall into the coals to provide a little flavored smoke.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  11. Oh, and thank you. My butts always come out really good and are well received by the hungry masses.

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