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jimithing78 07-02-2009 01:08 PM

Water pan or just a drip pan for brisket
This may be one of those questions that doesn't have an answer but when cooking a brisket do you guys use a dry drip pan or one with water in it or nothing at all?

Wampus 07-02-2009 01:25 PM

I always use a water pan....especially if cooking at lower temps. The idea is it's a heat sink that helps stabilize temps.

Of course, I'm cooking on a water smoker. WSM's and ECB's are water-type smokers.

The pros on here who use offsets or UDS's will likely tell you that they don't ever use water.

Think it just depends on what you're cookin on.

andy_christy 07-02-2009 01:29 PM

If you use a drip pan only you can make the drippings into an au jus. If you put water in the pan some believe it moistens & others believe it does nothing. The main thing is to experiment & do it the way you think is right.

Ron_L 07-02-2009 02:16 PM


Originally Posted by jimithing78 (Post 963489)
This may be one of those questions that doesn't have an answer but when cooking a brisket do you guys use a dry drip pan or one with water in it or nothing at all?

What kind of smoker?

jimithing78 07-02-2009 02:46 PM


Originally Posted by Ron_L (Post 963530)
What kind of smoker?

it's an offset - similar to a New Braunfels

Jorge 07-02-2009 03:16 PM

I like the water pan, especially if you are going to be opening and closing the door.

You will burn some extra fuel to keep the temp where you want it, but you will also have some hot water in there to help your temps rebound if you open the door to baste, mop, etc....

chambersuac 07-02-2009 03:35 PM

I agree with Jorge - of course it sounds dangerous NOT too :)

I use a water pan with apple juice and rub mixed in - I've used red wine in my water smoker pan, too - that was a really good brisket...

Saiko 07-02-2009 06:01 PM

I'm lazy and like an easy clean up, so I fill my water pan full of sand to act as a heat sink, then cover that with layer of heavy duty aluminum foil. I make sure I leave at least an inch or two from the top of the sand and the top of the water pan for drippings to collect. For clean up, I just throw the foil away and add another one. For briskets, I foil from the brisket from about 160 too 185 degrees, so I get all my drippings for the sauce from the foil.

Rick's Tropical Delight 07-02-2009 06:13 PM

depends on what you are smoking on. no water required in a bge drip pan with plate setter. i put the drip pan on spacers made from the corners i cut off of a rectangular cast iron charbroil grid, four 1"x1"x1/4" pieces. works perfectly so the drippings are less likely to scorch.

other smokers will use the water pan as a heat sink/heat retention and moisture adding element.

edit. maybe i should read all the responses before replying

WesternTrails 07-02-2009 09:25 PM

I've used a pan of water on in the bottom of my offset for a very large brisket, and the meat turned out extremely moist and tender - a big plus, obviously. On the other hand, the extra moisture prevented good bark from forming. Overall, my rub became a kind of slimy layer that tasted good but did not look very appealing. My hunch was that the extra moisture somehow inhibited smoke absorption as well - with no water pan, I get great bark and a very nice smoke ring, but keeping the brisket moist is fussier. Maybe the smoke ring and bark issue was a fluke, but I'm off using a water pan now.

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