WSM water pan,what do you use besides water and how well does it work.

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by dlr1, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. dlr1

    dlr1 Fire Starter

    I've had my wsm for a few months now and have been reading about all the different things folks have put in the water pan. I've used water and I know  it's the best  if you want to maintain a stable temp around 225-250 but I find it to be a bit of a hassle when it's time to clean up. I have sand in the pan now and it holds temps pretty steady for the first few hours but then temps start to rise and  roller coaster on me when I try to stabalize it which defeats the set it and forget reason I bought it. I've also read the clay saucer is great if you're looking for high temp cooking and it seems from what I've read is also suppose to be easy to maintain steady temps just like a empty foiled pan. So I guess I'm just curious as to what the wsm owners use the most. I use the minion method using only about 12 lit briquettes spead around on top of the unlit,all vents open until the temps get to about 180 then close 2 of the bottom vents down and use the 3rd for fine adjustments. Like I said the temps will hold steady for a few hours then start going up, is the wsm that touchy when you adjust temps that it takes so little to change so much? Could it be the sand holding the heat until it just can't hold any more then releases it faster than I can adjust for it? Maybe I'm just frustarting myself over nothing but I just can't help  thinking  there is an easier way to do this, I want to fire it up and relax with out having to mess with the temp control every 45 minutes.
  2. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just stick with water in a foiled pan.... now for clean up I will fill you in on a little tip I picked up somewhere on the forum... (forget what thread it was... lol):

    Take a 5 gallon bucket, line it with a tall kitchen bag. When your coals are cold, dump the ash into the bucket (a small brush helps), then dump your water in with the ashes, ball up your foil and toss it in, wipe the inside of the pan with a couple of paper towels... done! The ash absorbes the water, you can empty your smoker 2-3 times into the bucket before its full, then just close up the trash bag and toss it into the garbage.
  3. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Use the smoker per/instructions

    I have a GOSM BB and I foil the water pan.



    Foil the bottom too, if not use dry paper towels to wipe sooty bottom while still warm.

    I am amazed at how many people say that cleanup is a pain.

    Is it getting rid of the water that's the pain? Because personally I don't think it could get any easier unless the smoker cleaned itself.

    I would think sand would be more of a pain.
  4. dlr1

    dlr1 Fire Starter

    I guess for me being a hassle or pain is dumping the water,yeh I know how hard can that be, but where to dump it and because of where I have to set my smoker I can't let it sit all night to cool down so that means messing with a pan full of some really hot greasy water. The last time I used water I got a pretty good burn from it and so I turned to using sand. The sand I just lined the pan with foil,filled it with sand and put a double layer of foil over it, no emptying or sloshing or burns but also like I said a lack of control. The water pan in the 22.5 wsm is pretty big, to large for just one piece of foil so you have to splice it., to bad they don't make some kind of disposable liner for them. Thanks for the input, looks like it's going to be back to water for lower stable temps and sand or foiled empty pan for when  I want higher temps for shorter cooks like chicken.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  5. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Just keep a closer eye on your water let it evaporate away so when you're nearing the end of your cook there's minimal water in the pan.
  6. I use a clay pot saucer in place of the water pan that I picked up at a garden center.  Works just fine for me.
  7. smokinal

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

    I use sand & love it, would not go back to water. 
  8. Al, How does the sand work? Do you add water to the sand?

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