What to put in the water bowl....

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Jul 15, 2007
I was just curious if anyone else added items to their water bowls in a water smoker.

I have tried oranges, limes, lemons, root beer, orange soda, beer, pepper corns, garlic and some other oddities.

I haven't seen this discussed much and was just wondering if anyone else did this and what they thought?
I have used Coke and Italian dressing before for short smokes. Coke tends to put on a nice sticky caramel

I just use water now. I rely on the apple juice I spray on the meat and the rub drippings to flavor the water as I go...
Welcome to SMF Racey! Glad to have ya here. I have used dried, and fresh herbs, wine, or just about anything I can find and want to put in there. Great thing about cooking........you do what you want to do! Keep notes. If ya dont like it, dont do it again!

Hope to see ya around the forums.....
Be careful with the alcohol stuff, one of us MES guys blew off the door of his smoker doing just that

No it wasn't me, I just use it for medicinal purposes
I just did a butt and some ABT's and had little extra rub dumped it in the water. I noticed that the water was needing filled more often than usual. Ran the same temp inside as usual and outside weather temp and humidity were close to the same as last time.Wonder if the salt in the rub had an affect on the water I know it will lower(as in needs to be colder) the freezing temp of water wonder if it lowers the boil temp also. I shall research this
Saltwater boils at 200' and freshwater boils at 212'

Boiled faster is my guess

Edited because Wikipedia is telling me something different than I learned in Oceanography class in High School a LONG time ago and Culinary Arts class in college. So, either science changed or I didn't learn anything. I'm betting on the former.. They're saying salt RAISES the water temp. And then they get all scientific talking about grams per liter etc.. Fooey! I'm right and they're wrong! That is all ...:)
LOL I don't think you are. Salt in water, or even sugar for that matter, raises the boliing point of water.
Heh...you are correct about being correct. Seems to me ya don't need thermodynamics/chemistry graduates to figger if the freeze point is lower.... but I guess weird crap do happen. Water is one of the few substances that expands upon coolng... much to the chargrin of our sprinkler systems up here in da Great White North. And those beers in the freezer for the "quick cool" heh...what a mess that can make, eh.
I think every beer drinker I know, including myself, has done that at least once.

I tried using wine, onions, etc one time. It just made for a bigger mess with no real difference in flavor that I could tell, at least not enough to make it worth while to me. Now I just use water.
Sand and foil. bbq bubba posted about using sand several months ago. I tried it and won't do it any other way. Thanks again for the tip bubba. Remember, the pan serves as a heat sink to help maintain more consistent temp.
This may not be the most enlightened question but, here goes; Does the foil go over the sand to keep it clean or underneath the sand to be refilled with clean sand each time?
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