Originally Posted by Howtobrew
Okay, I am seriously considering building a UDS instead of buying an BGE for $1000.
The question that occurs to me though is that the plans for building a UDS do not call for a water pan, such as the WSM has.
Do you not need a water pan for a) temperature stability or b) humidity in desert climates to keep the food from drying out?
Also, when using a UDS I see comments that users just tossed a couple chunks on hickory on the fire basket for smoke. Are these chunks dry or soaking wet? Don't they catch fire?
Would an alternate design be to put the wood in a seperate pan above the fire basket but below the food?
You don't need a water pan in a UDS. Temp is easy to control since it's tight as a drum and if you try using a water pan you'll find you need much more fuel and oxygen to the coals than otherwise. I already tried it.
Don't soak the wood chunks. They'll be plenty of smoke when they start smoldering. They won't burn up unless you leave the top off long enough. Of course, then you'll be more concerned with the ensuing temp spike than the wood chunks.