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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 09-22-2013, 07:58 AM   #16
JonM106
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I tried it once on a cool fall day (low 50s/upper 40s) and breezy, and I could not get the temp above 150 or so, even with a full load of coals and a DigiQ running constantly. I can't say for sure that the empty water pan was the culprit, but now I fill it 2/3 of the way with playground sand and block the wind. Temp holds steady, even in single-digit temps.

My thought is that, once it is a temp, the sand (or water) is a big 250 degree thing that helps to regulate the temp inside the smoker.

EDIT: I bet I could get away with no pan in, say, July when the outside temps are nice and warm.
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Unread 09-22-2013, 08:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM106 View Post
I tried it once on a cool fall day (low 50s/upper 40s) and breezy, and I could not get the temp above 150 or so, even with a full load of coals and a DigiQ running constantly. I can't say for sure that the empty water pan was the culprit, but now I fill it 2/3 of the way with playground sand and block the wind. Temp holds steady, even in single-digit temps.

My thought is that, once it is a temp, the sand (or water) is a big 250 degree thing that helps to regulate the temp inside the smoker.

EDIT: I bet I could get away with no pan in, say, July when the outside temps are nice and warm.
Wind is the biggest issue for the most part for the WSM in my experience. Once I moved it into an area blocked from wind it doesn't change temps at all now. Sand I'm kind of back and forth on. Only used it a few times, and it seemed like it took forever to get hot, but once it did get hot it got HOT. I used it for smoking a turkey. Haven't bothered with it since I just prop the door open now, even though I can't do the upside door trick like the older model doors can do.
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Unread 09-22-2013, 10:45 AM   #18
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It's a temp control thing with me. If it's 90-100*F out, I use water. If it's cold and windy, no water, but I'm a low and slow Guy.
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Unread 09-22-2013, 07:49 PM   #19
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I don't use a pan when I do chicken. I use an empty, foiled pan for everything else.
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Unread 09-23-2013, 09:39 AM   #20
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cooked some wings without the pan came out great!

if your not hot enough just leave the lid on but not seated for a bit brings the temp up nicely.
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Unread 09-23-2013, 11:22 AM   #21
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I think with a heat sink( I use sand) it helps temps recover faster after opening the lid
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Unread 09-23-2013, 12:07 PM   #22
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I always cook without water, I just foil the drip pan.
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Unread 09-23-2013, 12:44 PM   #23
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No, you don't have to use the water pan but because there isn't as much clearence between the food and fire with a 22.5 WSM as there is with a UDS it does help control flareups when doing big chunks of meat like a butt, thats just my .02.
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Unread 09-24-2013, 11:27 AM   #24
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I fill my water pan with wood chips. Gives a nice flavor and you can just dump them out when your finished.
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Unread 09-24-2013, 11:47 AM   #25
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Sure u can. I tried that last weekend. Read a little more at https://www.facebook.com/Norsemenbbq (myfacebook page on bbq and grilling) Greetings from Sweden!
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Unread 09-24-2013, 01:13 PM   #26
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I use a foiled 12" terra cotta flower pot base in my WSM water pan and foil over the top of that, leaving an indention to catch drips. Pull the top layer of foil and rewrap. Good to go for the next LNS cook.

I do cook chicken without the water pan, and it always comes out great.
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Unread 09-24-2013, 04:06 PM   #27
Bob in St. Louis
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Great thread, lot of good info.
I've been using water in mine, every time. Been kicking around the idea of using sand and foil. The concept of sand having a fast recovery time appeals to me, as I'm always fiddling with snacks and lifting the lid.
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Unread 09-24-2013, 04:20 PM   #28
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It depends...

For pork butt I use a large water pan with water. I believe that keeping humidity level up and temperature stable results in more uniform temperature rise in the meat (Without a stall). (I have no idea whether this makes a better product) It also seems to make it easy to go 7+ hours without touching the smoker. Pork on one or both grates.

For whole large poultry (capon or turkey) I use the pan dry to block radiant heat, but generally only use the top grate.

For ribs I use a dry water pan if just cooking on the top grate, wet pan if using both grates.

For smaller poultry or beef roasts I don't use any water pan, but only cook on the top grate.
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