Water pan question

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by acw, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. acw

    acw Newbie

    I smoked brisket on the Char-broil Double Chef tonight, and was hoping someone could help me out with a question on the water pan. This is only my second time using the Char-broil, and the first time actually "smoking." The first time I used it was to grill chickens, so I did not have an issue with the water pan. Today, I could not get them temp above 225 until some of the water in the pan had evorapated. Once the water had gone down, it would shoot up to over 250. I would fill up the pan, the temp would drop below 200 most of the time, and very gradually come back up to 215-220. Then, more water would steam out and the temp would immediately rise above 250. This was a constant battle all day long. I had about 2 chemneys full of Kingsford in the charcoal pan, so I had plenty of heat. I tried everything- opening and closing vents, moving the smoker out of the wind, and the only way I could control the temp was with with the water. Thanks to this site, I am using an ET-73 dual probe thermo, and I honestly don't know what I would have done without it. The brisket actually turned out great, but it definitely was not a "set and forget" kind of day. Unless someone has some other suggestions, I guess I will try replacing the water pan with a flower pot, or try sand in the water pan next time.
  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When you are putting water in are you putting boiling water in the tray? You need to put hot water in the pan otherwise you are going to drop the smoker temps down as it heats up the cold water in the pan.
  3. acw

    acw Newbie

    I'm putting in hot water from the kitchen faucet. I guess it's not boiling, but it's very hot. My biggest issue is the water doesn't seem to last long. About every 30 minutes, I get extremely high temps and the water pan is nearly empty. I will completely refill it, and about 30 minutes later, I get the same thing again.
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Do you have a reliable thermometer? You shouldn't run out of water that fast it seems that your pan it too close to your heat source or you smoker is hotter than you think or something. How big is your pan, how much water does it hold?
  5. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    Where are you putting the pan? I have a loaf pan sitting on the end of the grill in cooking chamber where the heat deflector plate or inlet is.

    Once I did all the mods necessary to get the thing burning and cooking right in the first place, one pan typically lasts though an entire smoke. For a really long smoke say for a butt or something I might need to refill it toward the end of the cook say after about 10 hours or so.

    BTW I cook at 225 as that would have a definate effect on water consumption.
  6. acw

    acw Newbie

    I am using an ET73 dual probe, digital tmermometer. I verified it with an instant read digital thermo, and they both gave me the same readings. I am using the water pan that came with the smoker, and there is a bracket above the charcoal ring that it sits on (it sits underneath the lower cooking grate). I'm not sure how much it holds, but I do fill it up with hot water. As a sidenote, I used sand in the water pan this weekend, and I couldn't get the temps below 300 (see another thread I posted today). I'm going to keep expirementing, maybe I'll get it right sooner or later.
  7. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sounds like you have too big of a fire under your waterpan. Are you using the minion method or just putting lit lit charcoal under the pan?

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