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Old 03-23-2014, 08:44 AM   #1
revkab
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Default Waterpan or no water pan?

OK, how about this?

Many of youse wit WSMs and UDSs have and use water pans. Many of youse wit uprights and offsets may or may not have, or use, water pans. So, what's the scoop?

Who all use water pans, and (particularly in my case with a big boy offset) who all with offsets use water pans? Why or why not? Does it make a difference?
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:54 AM   #2
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Most of the time the water pan is just a heat sink/diffuser. That's why you'll see a lot of guys will fill the water pan with sand. In my uds, I got a clay flower pot saucer and used that as the heatsink.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:04 AM   #3
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not that i know too much bout bbqing,but i use a water pan for diffusing and trying to get moist heat, just my $.02
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:17 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:25 AM   #5
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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.
Bludawg makes a lot of valid points I agree with myself. I however do use a diffuser in one of my UDS's. It is strictly that! I have never used a water pan. Don't need it. Like Bludawg said it is BS. The meat will stay juicy as long as you don't overcook it without a stinking water pan. I use the diffuser so I can cook on any rack without worry of scorching my meat. I don't like to remove it one time and put it back in another time so I just leave it in for everything with excellent luck!
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:53 AM   #6
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Several things and I'll try to give you a quick breakdown.

Water is used in many commercial smokers as a "crutch" to help any user no matter what experience keep a stable temperature. Will they advertise this fact? NO

Water will for the most part make you burn more fuel

If someone can't control temps just with air on a UDS/WSM type of smoker than.....


Also with regards to a UDS type of cooker I want some drippings to flash on my diffuser and some to drop into my fire for added flavor....with a water pan in the way you don't get that effect.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:14 AM   #7
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I keep a pan with tin foil wrapped and no water
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:35 AM   #8
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In my offset, the closest thing to a water pan I get is when I put some water in my drip pan to keep the drippings (if I am going to keep them) from coagulating during the cook. In my WSM, I used to use sand. It made a nice heat sync and helped to hold temps without dropping them or needing refilled.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:44 AM   #9
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I use the pan as a deflector, wrapped in foil. Never put water in it. It wastes charcoal.
Learn the cooker dry and you almost double your fuel.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:45 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:05 AM   #11
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The only time I put anything underneath the meat on UDS is when I do large fat content meat like pulled pork and brisket both fat cap down. I use a small enough aluminum tray to catch only half the fat drippings. I want some drippings but not to much. I think too much drippings turns my bark to black and makes it hard to control temps. Just my opinion on my experiments. Everyone has to find what works best on there cookers and that's the funnest thing to me about smoking meat.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:08 AM   #12
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Experiment and decide for yourself. I use one in a UDS and it does make a difference. Better smoke rings and better flavor when cooked side by side. I am a low/slow cooker for the most part and it really helps with temp regulation.

Here is some reading...some backed by science.

http://www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_...water_pan.html
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadog View Post
The only time I put anything underneath the meat on UDS is when I do large fat content meat like pulled pork and brisket both fat cap down. I use a small enough aluminum tray to catch only half the fat drippings. I want some drippings but not to much. I think too much drippings turns my bark to black and makes it hard to control temps. Just my opinion on my experiments. Everyone has to find what works best on there cookers and that's the funnest thing to me about smoking meat.


I don't use a drip pan for butts or briskets, and cook about 2/3 of the time with the fat caps down. Fatties are the only thing I'll use a drip pan for.... 6 or 8 of them can really sweat out the grease.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:28 AM   #14
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For a few years, we tried a coffee can 1/2 full of water on the firebox end of my buddies homemade steel pit, it would cook off every 4 or 5 hours, and was refilled with hot water. I don't think it made much difference at all and now I've gotten in the habit of spraying my meats every couple of hours anyway.

Another thing we do on this big cooker (and this may add a little moisture) is to add a 10# of onions in between meats on the grate during the last 6 hours of a long cook. If nothing else the onions get nice and soft and peel easily, and they work great as a side or when used in a stock.
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Old 03-23-2014, 01:08 PM   #15
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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.
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