I too am a fan of having a dry smoke chamber. I haven't used the water pan in my gas smoker for years. It has been filled with sand and covered with foil. It provides better thermal mass than water (remember water will only heat to 212*). Having the thermal mass in my neck of the woods makes a huge difference when smoking during the winter, or when there is high winds. Really keeps the temp swings down. The first year I used the water pan and always had a harder time controlling the temps in inclement weather. Since I switched it out, I haven't had those issues, and I've never had a dry product. Well there was that Canadian Bacon, but blame there is on the operator not the dry smoke chamber!