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Unread 02-14-2013, 08:30 AM   #1
QDoc
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Default High Heat Moisture

Landarc touched on this recently. When cooking multiple items in a large chamber, the overall ambient moisture will be greater than when cooking a single item and I believe this allows commercial gigs to cook at low and slow without drying out the meat surface. Now when cooking a single item on a home rig I believe I get a better product when there is a little water pan in the chamber. For those cooking HnF do you have a water Pan? And for those who know about MM and his HnF Brisket, does he use his cooker with Apple juice in a pan? What do you think?
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Unread 02-14-2013, 08:41 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QDoc View Post
When cooking multiple items in a large chamber, the overall ambient moisture will be greater than when cooking a single item and I believe this allows commercial gigs to cook at low and slow without drying out the meat surface.
Cooking multiple items gives a larger mass, which will tend to even temperatures out. This could also be a factor.

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For those cooking HnF do you have a water Pan?
I don't use water for any of my cooks.
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Unread 02-14-2013, 08:57 AM   #3
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regardless of HnF or LnS I always use a water pan. And don't waste your time putting apple juice wine etc in it cuz it doesn't help. Just plain ole good water
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Unread 02-14-2013, 08:59 AM   #4
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Keep im mind too smoke is attracted to moisture so keeping your chamber moist and thus your meat moist IMO you'll have better smoke
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Unread 02-14-2013, 09:17 AM   #5
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It took me a while to become convinced, but yes, when cooking one item, or a small group of items in my WSM's I find they have less drying/charring when a water pan is used than without. So I am firmly on the side of a moist environment being important for bbq smoking for both temperature management and moisture. I still can nto say for sure whether the main difference is the temperature management or just the fact that it is moist...it is probably both.
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Unread 02-14-2013, 09:18 AM   #6
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Although I have heard some people “say” they use apple juice in their water pan I have never “seen” anyone actually do it. I did see a fellow use beer in a pan when he cooked a brisket for 16 hours on a Big Green Egg.
The brisket was really good and cooked perfect but I did not taste any benefit of the beer.
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Unread 02-14-2013, 11:52 AM   #7
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I do not believe any additives in your water pan do anything. When I was a Greenhorn I tried everything from apple juice to red cooking wine and did not notice any benefit.
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Unread 02-14-2013, 12:16 PM   #8
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I always put cut up onions and green peppers in the water pan. Not sure it does anything to the meat, but man the pit smells good while cooking....
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Unread 02-14-2013, 12:29 PM   #9
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I add moisture to either my kettle or my UDS, unless I am running them with a full load of meat. Usually, in my kettle, I will either have two soup cans full of water, or a cast iron skillet full of water in there. I believe that the added moisture makes for a better cooking atmosphere, offers less drying of the meat surface and moderates heat spike in the initial cook time. By the time I reach the stall, the moisture does not have an affect on how the evaporation of rendering process is going to proceed. But, I believe the added moisture does aid in not getting those jerky like surface characteristics.

I do not believe this is as important in a wood burning pit, or a gas put for that matter, as both of those processes actually release moisture as a part of the combustion of their respective fuel. But, since I burn charcoal, a fuel sources that has already had the moisture driven off, this makes a difference.

I came to this thinking, in part, because I noticed that my best cooks have occurred either at night, or on rainy/drizzly days, where the air is naturally more humid.
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Unread 02-14-2013, 12:37 PM   #10
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For single item cooks I get better results in smaller cookers.
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Unread 02-14-2013, 01:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I add moisture to either my kettle or my UDS, unless I am running them with a full load of meat. Usually, in my kettle, I will either have two soup cans full of water, or a cast iron skillet full of water in there. I believe that the added moisture makes for a better cooking atmosphere, offers less drying of the meat surface and moderates heat spike in the initial cook time. By the time I reach the stall, the moisture does not have an affect on how the evaporation of rendering process is going to proceed. But, I believe the added moisture does aid in not getting those jerky like surface characteristics.

I do not believe this is as important in a wood burning pit, or a gas put for that matter, as both of those processes actually release moisture as a part of the combustion of their respective fuel. But, since I burn charcoal, a fuel sources that has already had the moisture driven off, this makes a difference.

I came to this thinking, in part, because I noticed that my best cooks have occurred either at night, or on rainy/drizzly days, where the air is naturally more humid.
Very interesting observations. I cooked ribs recently on a wsm with charcoal about 300 and did not like the dry jerky surface texture.
Thanks to all for sharing your experience and knowledge.
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Unread 02-14-2013, 01:21 PM   #12
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One of the things I noticed about cooking ribs in my UDS versus a BGE. At the same temperatures, 285F to 325F, the BGE ribs were by far, better in texture and surface. Both were prepared with the same sourcing of the meat, and the same process and rubs. The biggest difference was the cooker.

Now, my UDS, like many, is a great cooker, and kills for brisket in particular. The ribs that came off it were fine, but, nowhere near the BGE. The BGE I was cooking on had just been tuned up, tightened and new gasket, it ran perfectly. And I believe the difference is that the nature of a BGE, being more insulated and more air tight, the moisture of the cook chamber around the ribs is just that much more, enough that given the same cook and technique, the ribs were just a little bit better.
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