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Old 06-12-2013, 12:11 PM   #1
northernrescue3321
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Join Date: 06-03-13
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Question Wet or Dry?

So looking around some of these threads it seems that most people are smoking dry. I have a WSM that I got last summer. Before that I was smoking on my propane grill that I riged with water pans and chips. I had great success with that and made some killer food on it but wanted to be more traditional. With that said I went and bought the WSM,and kept things the same, and filled the water pan in it for my smokes. Now after not using it for a few months (way to busy with work school and work) Im getting ready to start up again and this Friday will be my first smoke of the summer (pastrami). So after all that the million dollar question, should I use water, keep it dry, or is it a preferrance?

PS excuse the spelling, I can't seem to get my spell check to function on my tablet...
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:20 PM   #2
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I just foil the water pan, with no water.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northernrescue3321 View Post
So looking around some of these threads it seems that most people are smoking dry. I have a WSM that I got last summer. Before that I was smoking on my propane grill that I riged with water pans and chips. I had great success with that and made some killer food on it but wanted to be more traditional. With that said I went and bought the WSM,and kept things the same, and filled the water pan in it for my smokes. Now after not using it for a few months (way to busy with work school and work) Im getting ready to start up again and this Friday will be my first smoke of the summer (pastrami). So after all that the million dollar question, should I use water, keep it dry, or is it a preferrance?

PS excuse the spelling, I can't seem to get my spell check to function on my tablet...
Once Aaron Franklin was asked what the perfect conditions were for BBQ cooking and he said, "a warm, humid day with no wind". And then he went on to say that if it's not humid he adds water to his cook. His pits have huge water holding capacities and he uses a water pan in his offset at home as well.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:47 PM   #4
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You will not get one "right" answer to this often asked question.

I line my water pan with foil, and fill with water. I like my fat drippings to fall into water, not onto a hot metal surface.

Other people will say there are "better/best" ways to use a WSM, but my way works for me.

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Old 06-12-2013, 12:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobM View Post
I just foil the water pan, with no water.
^^^that. easier set up, easier clean up, easier to get higher temps if you want, and the food will be just as good.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:55 PM   #6
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My vote H2O
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:05 PM   #7
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I hate dealing with greasy water so I run my WSM dry (Foiled pan for cleanup). I've used water and I can't tell the difference in the food.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:11 PM   #8
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I think it depends on your climate. Around here in summer time, my first one hundred degrees are free. I find the water helps me hold a steady temp. Now during wind and cold weather no water seems to work better.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:15 PM   #9
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I've always used water in mine, until Memorial Day when I just said what the heck and ran it dry. I didnt really notice a difference in the meat, but I was astonished at how much less charcoal I used. More than likely I'll stick to dry from here on out.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:22 PM   #10
northernrescue3321
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Did anyone notice that the barks came out better when going dry vs wet. For me while I have been happy with my overall results, the one issue I can't seem to get around is my bark is always a little softer than Id like
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:15 PM   #11
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The only moisture I add is to the pitmaster in the form a of Beer applied liberally. If your roasting a Weenie on a stick over a camp fire do you put a cup of water between it and the coals or do you grasp a cold beer in your free hand??? HMmmm
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:30 PM   #12
northernrescue3321
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
The only moisture I add is to the pitmaster in the form a of Beer applied liberally. If your roasting a Weenie on a stick over a camp fire do you put a cup of water between it and the coals or do you grasp a cold beer in your free hand??? HMmmm
That is very, very true! LOL
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
I hate dealing with greasy water so I run my WSM dry (Foiled pan for cleanup). I've used water and I can't tell the difference in the food.
What Ron said. In winter here, the water just eats fuel and slows the cook. In summer, its normally humid as hell, and I've done with and without water in my WSM's and the only difference is with water, I have a mess to clean and it takes longer, and uses more fuel!
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:13 PM   #14
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I recently acquired an 18.5" WSM and found a 16-inch clay saucer which I'm going to use in place of the water pan this weekend for a butt. I really hate the shape of the bowl on the 18.5. I suppose I can always put an aluminum pan on top if needed.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:34 PM   #15
NYCQ
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I've found using water was better than dry, my food comes out better
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