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Unread 09-21-2013, 03:46 PM   #1
SC_Dave
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Default Q for WSM owners

Son has one but I am curious. Can you cook without the water pan? Like we do who have a UDS?
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Unread 09-21-2013, 03:49 PM   #2
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Yes, but I prefer to just foil the pan if I don't want water or sand.
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Unread 09-21-2013, 03:49 PM   #3
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12" terracotta dish covered with foil. EDIT: Wait NVM that's for my Mini WSM.
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Unread 09-21-2013, 04:20 PM   #4
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Yep. I just foil the water pan for easy clean up. I also use an aluminum pizza pan that I foil, on top of the water pan as an additional heat sink.
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Unread 09-21-2013, 05:19 PM   #5
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Why is a "heat sink" important? I don't have one on UDS and as I mentioned I don't have a WSM so I'm not sure I understand the importance. Thanks guys!
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Unread 09-21-2013, 06:01 PM   #6
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I see no reason why you couldn't leave the water pan out if you wanted to. I've even seen people on here hang meat it them like a PBC.
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Unread 09-21-2013, 07:02 PM   #7
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You don't have to have the water pan in.

I leave it out when I cook wings, otherwise it is in, foiled, half the time with, half the time without water.

Totally up to you. If you like the results you get off of your UDS w/o a pan, you may like using the WSM the same way.
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Unread 09-21-2013, 07:06 PM   #8
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A "Heat Sink" is important because it blocks the direct heat. Basically makes it an indirect cooker (like an oven, heats the whole thing more evenly), as opposed to a direct cooker (like a grill).
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Unread 09-21-2013, 07:36 PM   #9
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The water pan is (IMO) most useful for those learning the tricks and nuances of temperature control. Since water boils at 212°F it keeps temperature from going too much higher than that. OTOH if you want higher temps, water in the pan is not your friend. My recommendation is for new owners to follow the directions until they get the hang of things. If you have experience with a UDS this is not necessary.

I will note that Aaron Franklin uses a water pan in an offset in his videos and I am reluctant to suggest that I know better than him (because I don't!)
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Unread 09-21-2013, 07:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HankB View Post
The water pan is (IMO) most useful for those learning the tricks and nuances of temperature control. Since water boils at 212°F it keeps temperature from going too much higher than that. OTOH if you want higher temps, water in the pan is not your friend. My recommendation is for new owners to follow the directions until they get the hang of things. If you have experience with a UDS this is not necessary.

I will note that Aaron Franklin uses a water pan in an offset in his videos and I am reluctant to suggest that I know better than him (because I don't!)
Just because AF an other big wigs use water doesn't mean anything IMNSHO.. All i know is i don't and i won't and my Q is deeelish!
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Unread 09-21-2013, 08:28 PM   #11
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Funny this post today. I just tried this today, took out water pan,put foil on the 2nd rack.lump charcoal in ring.after abt 40 minutes 275. barely got to 300 max. Did not have meat on ,was just wondering same thing.
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Unread 09-21-2013, 11:13 PM   #12
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I do all the time when I'm cooking chicken, this is a pic of some naked breasts using sugar maple lump. You can obviously see the coals underneath the meat with the bottom rack and water pan removed. These turned out extremely juicy.
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Unread 09-22-2013, 01:33 AM   #13
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I have an "ECB" that I elongated and modified to cook like a UDS (which no doubt works much like a diffuser-less WSM); have never used the water pan or any other heat diffuser, and have never had a problem with dryness or uneven cooking. The butts that I've smoked come out moist enough that they actually won't absorb as much sauce as I would like, and I have to add cream of tartar in order to get all the tang that I want. (And they are not marinated, injected, or basted before pulling.)
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Unread 09-22-2013, 02:33 AM   #14
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I have used mine with and w/o water in the pan. Water in the pan takes longer to heat up, but is more temp stable. No water in pan heats up faster and gets hotter since you're not heating the water and everything else, but requires a slightly closer watch to make sure the temps don't run away from you. Just my experience.
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Unread 09-22-2013, 03:09 AM   #15
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Like others have said you don't need the pan at all. Adds a dimension of flavor that's good in some things. I never put water in the pan. I hate the mess it makes, and I don't need it to stabilize temperatures.

I've never cooked on a U.D.S. so I don't know if the flavors are the same as what happens on a U.D.S. but I imagine it's about the same thing.
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