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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 03-23-2014, 02:12 PM   #16
JMack
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There is good info here for both ways. As a newbie here, i guess i just need to experiment.
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:40 PM   #17
Brian in Maine
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I tried it 2X without the water pan. Once with some chucks that came out OK, and once with a couple of butts that produced way too much smoke from the drippings, and I didn't like the taste of the meat at all. Now I use foil lined water pan, with little crumpled foil ball underneath to create an air gap, and that seems to work for me.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:02 PM   #18
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I like the water in my off-set. The current one I place about 8 gals in the bottom of for larger runs for moisture and stability. For small runs a pan filled in the fire box to generate steam is nice as it keep things moist. Either way works well though....
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:07 PM   #19
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i have always used water pans. I'm using a backwoods now but even when i was cooking on an offset i did. I used a water pan in my UDS not only to keep moisture in my cooker but as a diffuser
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
I don't practice safe BBQ I smoke with no protection no matter the equipment. Back in the day they used to call it Fire Management synonymous with the title Pit Master. All it's a work around for the masses to get a result and in some cases make up for a poor design. All the BS about it adding flavor & moisture to your food is well BS. It does require you to cook longer using twice as much fuel to get the same result compared to taking what the pit gives you and working with it. Others don't share this opinion and that is like my answer an opinion.
I run the mini-wsm with out a diffuser or water pan, I find that I personally get better results with out the diffuser
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:08 PM   #21
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For my smoker, level of skill and patience, and smaller quantities of meat, the water pan works well. When I do HNF, the empty pan is just a diffuser.
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:08 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peeps View Post
I stopped using a water pan once I realized I got the same results and less clean up worries trying to figure out where to dump the greasy water.
I completely agree! There wasn't any difference and I never knew where to dump the grease water
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:14 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawg Father of Seoul View Post
Okay, I'll drop the knowledge on you.

If you have a big offset (as it appears) if you are cooking a small load, take a couple big pans and fill them with water, foil them, poke a bunch of small holes in the foil, and place them on the rack.

Your smoker will cook like it has a big load.

I often use a pan of water in a UDS (on bottom shelf, not any closer than I would cook a big piece of meat) if I am cooking ribs to diffuse the heat and bring the moisture up a little.
And get this, I saw an article about a restaurant smoking water..... yes, water. Then they froze it and served the ice in special martinis and whiskies.
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:23 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
I don't practice safe BBQ I smoke with no protection no matter the equipment. Back in the day they used to call it Fire Management synonymous with the title Pit Master. All it's a work around for the masses to get a result and in some cases make up for a poor design. All the BS about it adding flavor & moisture to your food is well BS. It does require you to cook longer using twice as much fuel to get the same result compared to taking what the pit gives you and working with it. Others don't share this opinion and that is like my answer an opinion.
My only experience is with a virtual WSM (Kettle + Cajun Bandit). But the only reason I can see for the water pan besides being a diffuser is temp regulation. Period. The water itself remains at 212 degrees and makes for a very good heat sink, helping regulate the cooking temp. Getting the pit up to temp is a fuel waster as you point out though. I'll often cook without the water and just use the pan covered with foil. As to the moisture of the meat, it makes absolutely no difference in my experience. Either you cooked the meat correctly, or you didn't.
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:40 PM   #25
NYCQ
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Done it both ways and found out my food comes out better using water in the pan (WSM)
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:09 PM   #26
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Wow!!! Lots of good thoughts, but the prevailing thinking seems to say that it is a waste of effort to utilize a water pan. I have no problem regulating the temp in either of my offsets, so that's not a consideration. I had wondered if the added moisture content in the pit area would slow the water loss rate in the meat, but most here didn't seem to think there would be a difference. I also noticed several who considered that using a water pan could cause a longer warm up period (makes sense), and thereby wasting fuel (those logs ARE a pain to cut and split). And since I really don't seem to have a problem with dry meat, I guess this is a moot point.

Therefore, unless I want greasy, smoky-flavored martinis, I guess I'll skip the water pan.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:21 PM   #27
JMack
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I think I'm going to figure out how to run my uds without one. Once i get it dialed then maybe i will try and see if i get different results. Make sense?
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:11 AM   #28
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Aaron Franklin uses a water dish in his offset for brisket, no? Thought I saw that in one of his YouTube videos.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:27 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdstoll View Post
Aaron Franklin uses a water dish in his offset for brisket, no? Thought I saw that in one of his YouTube videos.
He stated he uses a water pan to cook everything on smaller cookers unless it is extremely hunid.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:46 AM   #30
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I used to use no water but after turning out a brisket on Super Bowl Sunday that had a tough bark I started using water in my WSM. I think it may make a difference in the dryer cooler months. It's a PITA dealing with it though. I remember Myron saying steam helps tenderize the meat, which actually makes sense. It's for the same reasons you use a moist towel when you got a heating pad on a sore muscle. I think moist heat penetrates better than dry heat.
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