WSM Water Pan Surprise

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by jp61, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I almost always line the inside of the water pan with foil for easy cleanup (22.5")

    One piece of foil is not wide enough to cover the pan so I take two sheets and lay them on top of each other 

    On one side, I tightly fold them over about .5" a few times. Then open it up like a book, now it's big enough

    This was a first....

    Charcoal was burning (minion) and smoker assembled other than the lid

    At this point the pan was still empty, don't remember exactly for how long but no longer than five minutes, if that

    I started to pour the hot water into the pan and in a matter of seconds the foil puffed up like a balloon, not fully, but far enough where it definitely got my attention

    Not exactly sure what happened...

    My guess is, that at some point I either tore a hole in the foil somewhere or the seal between the two sheets wasn't tight enough or both

    The water got under the foil somehow and do to the pan being hot, it flashed over to steam expanding rapidly.

    I normally have the water near me and ready to go, so once the pan is in the smoker, I pour in the water

    The point is, that stuff can and does happen if one is not alert, in a hurry or whatever

    Nothing happened to me, but, I could have gotten a nice puff of steam on the hands/arms/face

    Anyway, thought I'd run this by you guys for a heads-up
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sounds like you were pretty lucky.

    It could have turned out badly.

  3. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You were lucky, man. Those are just the freak kind of things that we all need to be aware of.

    Thanks, Joe
  4. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Al, I believe it looked worse (unexpected) and my description may sound worse than it actually was. But, that is the way it went down.

    Whatever "little" pressure that built up escaped somewhere in a direction away from me. There's no way enough pressure could build up in that scenario to cause any serious injury IMO. I suppose if I got hit by the steam and panicked, it could have escalated into something worse.

    A little distraction is the reason why this happened. As I mentioned, in the past I always filled the water pan right away, whether I used foil or not.
  5. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You know how the sayin' goes..... Chit happens! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
  6. I've thought about foiling my pan but so far, the clean-up has been a breeze.

    I'll worry about it when it becomes more unmanageable.

    They also make heavy duty foil that doesn't tear as easily.

    Much better than the crap my wife bought before at the 99¢ store.

    The more expensive foil works way better for wrapping ribs, that's for sure.
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I Prefer a dry smoke chamber. So this is never an issue.

    I do foil my pan. I buy heavy duty foil from our restaraunt supply. It's large enough to cover the pan no problem. If you use foil it's the best way to go. Ditch the tiny store bought rolls.

    If you don't have a restaraunt supply you can order it online from several suppliers or Amazon. The 500' rolls I order last a good 8 months.
  8. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I've been using heavy duty foil from Sam's for years, but it's only 18" X 500'. That's not wide enough for the 22.5" WSM.

    Never had an issue in the past and won't in the future. Even if it's not water tight there won't be any issues if the water goes in right away.

    Depending on what I'm smoking, sometimes I let the pan go dry and that is when the foil helps the most with cleanup.

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