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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 07-28-2011, 05:26 AM   #1
Anchors Smokeshop
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Default Using WSM without waterpan

Has anyone ever used a WSM without the waterpan? If so, how did the meat turn out?
I was thinking about the concept of the UDS and how the drippings from the meat drip into the coals and add additional flavor to the meat and I was wondering if I could do the same in my 18.5" WSM.
My only concern with completely removing the waterpan is that the meat on the bottom rack may be too close to the charcoal and will overcook or burn.
Anyone ever try this?
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Unread 07-28-2011, 05:40 AM   #2
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Doesn't address your specific question, but I do use my WSM without a water pan for a raised direct cook of thick pork chops ala Cooper's out in Llano, TX.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...hop+Cooper%27s
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Unread 07-28-2011, 07:13 AM   #3
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I have never used a water pan, oh yes I do, to put my ceramic plate in to use as a heat sink. Go over to the WSM site, you will find hardly anyone uses it as intended. Some fill them with sand, etc.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 07:38 AM   #4
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If Im doing something high heat Ill take the whole thing out, otherwise its a foiled with a clay pot as a heat sink
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Unread 07-28-2011, 08:06 AM   #5
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It's to small a unit to do let's say a brisket or pork butt without the pan, gets to hot. Ive cooked many times without the pan doing chicken legs sausage even steak.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 08:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeydog View Post
I have never used a water pan, oh yes I do, to put my ceramic plate in to use as a heat sink. Go over to the WSM site, you will find hardly anyone uses it as intended. Some fill them with sand, etc.
I've heard of different methods such as filling the waterpan with sand or using a ceramic plate diffuser, but don't those methods stop the drippings from dripping onto the coals?
And if you are referring to the Virtual Weber Bullet site, i am banned from there. I posted a link to my blog and next thing i know, i got an email that my account had been terminated.
No loss, i pledge my allegiance to the brethren!
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Unread 07-28-2011, 10:32 AM   #7
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This doesn't go directly to you question, but I use the water pan empty. I have fewer temp issues that way. As far as the extra flavor, once the empty pan has some juices in it there is a lot of flavor transfer, IMO. At least enough to suit me.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 11:07 AM   #8
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We cook one brisket on a 18" WSM every contest without the water pan. You are correct that the bottom rack would be too close but the top rack works just fine. We cook fairly hot - our WSM brisket is usually done in about 3.5 hours. I really don't know how hot it is - we just run the WSM full open during the cook. I comes out very similar to a brisket cooked on a trash can except that you can't ever get the brisket away from being directly over the coals.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 04:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anchors Smokeshop View Post
I've heard of different methods such as filling the waterpan with sand or using a ceramic plate diffuser, but don't those methods stop the drippings from dripping onto the coals?
The purpose of filling the water pan with water (or sand or bricks or ceramic discs, etc) is to create a heat sink to help regulate the temperature. The waterpan also provides a barrier to create indirect heat. If you want the drippings to drip on the coals, then you can take out the water pan and you will have a very expensive UDS.

Personally I do not use water in the water pan as I find I can control the heat better and conserve fuel without it. I cover the pan in HD aluminum foil and leave it in the smoker for the indirect heat.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 04:57 PM   #10
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Now, I always thought that you wouldn't want your drippings to fall on the coals and create smoke, as that smoke is not necessarily good smoke.

I use water in my bowl, because water makes a pretty good heat sink. I don't know whether the humidity from the hot water helps, hurts, or does nothing. But, it makes a good heat sink, and gives the drippings somewhere to fall where it won't turn to smoke.

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Unread 07-28-2011, 05:04 PM   #11
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IMHO you should use the pan to catch drippings from hitting your fire and kicking up ash. Whether you fill it is up to you; I only use water for long cooks and just foil it for anything shorter than ribs.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 05:05 PM   #12
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I have an 18.5 WMS and never use the pan. But, I never cook on the bottom shelf. I cook butts on the top shelf, hot, no wood. I let the fat create the smoke for this particular product. I do place a sheet of HD alum foil on the grate and punch a chit load of little holes in it with a pointy knife and place the butt on that.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 05:17 PM   #13
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I'm one of those sand in the pan guys. Works great as a heat diffuser, helps keep temps low and works great. As indicated in other posts, pulling it completely would make it pretty tough to regulate temps. If you want high, high, temps, it would probably be the ticket.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 05:35 PM   #14
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I smoked a brisket flat without the bowl, and it was all right. I tried it with butts, and didn't care for the taste that all of the burnt fat left on the meat.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 05:39 PM   #15
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I use a 22" and have always followed the directions of filling the pan with 2 gallons of water when cooking my larger BBQ cuts. I've never had control issues, heat is fairly even and I can get almost 20 hours on one load of charcoal using Minion method. For chicken I either let the pan water level get very low, or remove some fluid and use it to indirectly get the job done at higher temps.
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