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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 09-03-2013, 02:00 PM   #1
HUCKS
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Default sand in water pan

i was at home depot and saw a bag of sand,bought to use in water pan that i have seen others do.any way when i got home i noticed on the bag keep out of reach of children.think wtf it is sand.then read more on the bag it contains cyrstalline silica.everything i ound is that it is a inhalation hazard.would you put this in your smoker
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Unread 09-03-2013, 02:11 PM   #2
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What's your smoker anyway?

With regards to sand you're not going to be inhaling sand directly, nor will it create fumes when heated. It's amazing what they have to put warnings on these days..lol

Also if you had sand in a pan it would be covered with foil.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 02:18 PM   #3
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You'll even find that warning on sand intended for sandboxes for children.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #4
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Sand is mostly silicon dioxide from quartz.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 03:47 PM   #5
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I have and did in my ECB. Filled the water pan with sand then covered with a double layer of heavy duty foil. After the cook peel the top layer off and add a new one. Never had any issues.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 03:56 PM   #6
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I put water in my water pans...
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Unread 09-03-2013, 04:06 PM   #7
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Grill manufacturers put water pans in smokers for one reason and one reason only and that is so they are more user friendly for newbies.

Water and smokers really don't go together and that's a fact.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 04:54 PM   #8
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I use sand in my water pan during the "cooler" months and water during the 100+ Texas weather.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 05:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fwismoker View Post
Grill manufacturers put water pans in smokers for one reason and one reason only and that is so they are more user friendly for newbies.

Water and smokers really don't go together and that's a fact.

Doesn't Myron Mixon use a lot of water in his smoker? I'm not refuting your fact here but, I'm kind of a newbie and thought that it was just a different technique some people use. I figure if Myron does I can but, maybe it depends on the smoker?
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Unread 09-03-2013, 05:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sknabnoj View Post
Doesn't Myron Mixon use a lot of water in his smoker? I'm not refuting your fact here but, I'm kind of a newbie and thought that it was just a different technique some people use. I figure if Myron does I can but, maybe it depends on the smoker?
I can't speak for Myron Mixon but water is just a way to cool your pit and help regulate temp but imo that can be accomplished by better means.

Water in smokers chews up way way too much fuel.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 05:59 PM   #11
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Water pan is used to create a "mini thermal mass". Ceramic cookers don't need them..... we HAVE thermal mass. If you think it is to keep the food moist... doesn't work. If you don't want dried out BBQ, don't over cook it
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Unread 09-03-2013, 06:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fwismoker View Post
I can't speak for Myron Mixon but water is just a way to cool your pit and help regulate temp but imo that can be accomplished by better means.

Water in smokers chews up way way too much fuel.
I've used water and no water. The amount of fuel used was the same. That being said I should point out that I live in Florida.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 06:21 PM   #13
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FYI...sand is the same as silica, and diatomaceous earth, and glass, and
I'd just foil your water pan empty--it'll run just fine. Or just use the sand--it's fine
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Unread 09-03-2013, 07:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J'ville Grill View Post
I've used water and no water. The amount of fuel used was the same. That being said I should point out that I live in Florida.
If you're cooking with lower temps anyway you wouldn't see much difference but if you're trying to cook say 225 and up yes you're using more fuel. You have to burn more fuel trying to fight to overcome the cooling effect of the steam from the water.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 07:35 PM   #15
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Sunday night I cooked a brisket on my 18.5" WSM. I tried just foiling the water pan with nothing in it. My target temp was 275, but my Stoker draft assist never could shut on and off correctly to lock in at the target temp. The fan would cut off at 274, but the temp would continue to rise all the way to 290. Then it would drop all the way down to 250 even though the Stoker started blowing at 270. After two hours of watching this 40 degree swing over and over, I filled the water pan with hot water and then the temp locked in at 275 and didn't drop or rise any more than 273 to 277 degrees.

I really admire you guys that don't need anything in your water pans. It just didn't work for me when I tried it.
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