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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 10-29-2010, 07:56 AM   #1
Smokin Turkey
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Question Water Pans in a reverse flow?

Up until recently I had been using the drip pan to keep the humidity stable in my pit but I've also noticed the pit is either too humid due to flash off or under because it simply all steamed off and dried out quickly.

I've begun experimenting with adding a shelf on the left side of my pit over where the exhaust gasses draft from under the baffle. This seems to have made a difference almost immediately with more stable water levels, food still moist, and certainly less mess to drain out when cleanup time comes.

Anyone else using water pans in the reverse flows?

BTW, I use a custom build and it's built similar to a lang or meadowcreek.

Thoughts welcome!
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Unread 10-29-2010, 07:59 AM   #2
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Interesting....how about a pic of the shelf or a more detailed explanation.
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Unread 10-29-2010, 08:15 AM   #3
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Thanks! Will get one very soon. Pit is disgustingly dirty right now and hoping this weekend to give it a new paintjob and color scheme so I'll get something then.

The shelf right now (it was only supposed to be a temp job) consists of a piece of 3/8" round steel rod bent in a rectangle 5.5" wide and 20" deep then welded inside of the rectangle is 11ga flat rolled expanded steel. I used some scraps from my CNC table and welded a few tabs verticlaly on the bottom so the shelf would slip over the lip of my drip pan and be removable for cleaning (the idea actually came from thinking, how the heck will I get a chicken wing if it ever fell under the baffle? lol.) Then I set aluminum trays on the rack and top off when I check the load. I still have some other things to add to this pit like shelves beside the drawer racks to increase capacity and keep meat from falling when I tow it loaded. The pic I'm attaching is from the initial build and doesn't have the MOD but it could help you understand what I'm talking about.





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Unread 10-29-2010, 08:34 AM   #4
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I use a reverse flow on my custom smoker (250 gal propane tank/horizontal) and used water pans as well. It took a couple of cooks to find where on the bottom to put the pans so they would not dry out and stem the meat they were located under. I also got frustrated and forgot to put a pan in when I was fully loaded (about 12 turkeys and 10 butts) and I found that I was having to do more work to keep a stable temp. I am a firm believer in using the water pans, but I am somewhat new to the smoking arean so my comments are not from years of experience, but about 2 yrs of personal frustration
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Unread 10-29-2010, 10:48 AM   #5
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I've had my Lang for well over 3 years now and have never really had a problem with dry food... This goes for when I'm doing comps with just a couple of briskets and butts to a 100 pound hog...

BTW, no, I don't inject....
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Unread 10-29-2010, 11:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster View Post
I've had my Lang for well over 3 years now and have never really had a problem with dry food... This goes for when I'm doing comps with just a couple of briskets and butts to a 100 pound hog...

BTW, no, I don't inject....
It all started when my first 2 butts I did I noticed they were considerably dryer than my butts I was used to getting off my kettle. I was spritzing with apple and injected them but they were too dry for me. Do you foil? I've never foiled a butt. I may try it after cooking with Chris at Smoketoberfest. (hope that wasn't a trade secret Chris) It yielded nice results although he has a vertical water pan reverse flow.
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Unread 10-29-2010, 12:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokin Turkey View Post
It all started when my first 2 butts I did I noticed they were considerably dryer than my butts I was used to getting off my kettle. I was spritzing with apple and injected them but they were too dry for me. Do you foil? I've never foiled a butt. I may try it after cooking with Chris at Smoketoberfest. (hope that wasn't a trade secret Chris) It yielded nice results although he has a vertical water pan reverse flow.
I just started foiling my butts at comps, and I saw an immediate improvement. We went from the middle of the pack to 1st place, then a 2nd place at the next comp.
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Unread 10-29-2010, 03:14 PM   #8
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ok so when to foil? I'm still leaning twards using this waterpan and not foiling. call me lazy but.. well I am.
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Unread 10-29-2010, 03:29 PM   #9
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for what its worth........I've got a reverse flow and have never used water in it, I can, but dont. I've never been a fan of water... that may be because I cook with straight wood and that gives me moisture, who knows.

did you use water in your kettle?

Call me crazy, but I perfer bark that hasnt been subjected to steam. Judges did one time too,lol.

the only time I foil is if I'm crunched for time
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Unread 10-29-2010, 03:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster View Post
I've had my Lang for well over 3 years now and have never really had a problem with dry food... This goes for when I'm doing comps with just a couple of briskets and butts to a 100 pound hog...

BTW, no, I don't inject....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokin Turkey View Post
It all started when my first 2 butts I did I noticed they were considerably dryer than my butts I was used to getting off my kettle. I was spritzing with apple and injected them but they were too dry for me. Do you foil? I've never foiled a butt. I may try it after cooking with Chris at Smoketoberfest. (hope that wasn't a trade secret Chris) It yielded nice results although he has a vertical water pan reverse flow.
At home, once the butts are done, I do foil and I also add about 1/2 to 1 cup of apple juice before I put them in my Cambros.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ PD View Post
I just started foiling my butts at comps, and I saw an immediate improvement. We went from the middle of the pack to 1st place, then a 2nd place at the next comp.
I only foil during the cook at comps...
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Unread 10-29-2010, 03:54 PM   #11
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ok here is another.. Do you actually foil or do you put the butts in a foil tray and cover?

to me, actually christmas wrapping my butt is a pain and messy!
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Unread 10-29-2010, 04:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokin Turkey View Post
ok here is another.. Do you actually foil or do you put the butts in a foil tray and cover?

to me, actually christmas wrapping my butt is a pain and messy!
I agree its another step more work. I never went to a comp so I don't know about time limits or anything but I like to cook them real long no foil keeping a nice crispy bark. I don't have a problem with them drying out I am always spritzing and pouring some concoction in the pan.
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Unread 10-29-2010, 06:23 PM   #13
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I foil mine around 165*. To make life easier, I place the foil across a disposable pan, then place the butt on it and wrap in up. Gives me handles to hold on to. I'm not a fan of putting the butt in the pan and foiling the pan. I have found that if I use a rub with a good amout of sugar, and make sure I have a good coat when the butt goes into the smoker, I get a great bark, even with foiling. At 190*, I start checking for doneness.
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Unread 10-30-2010, 10:05 AM   #14
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Nice cooker you have there , I never had any trouble of pork drying out
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lang, meadowcreek, offset, offset smoker, reverse flow, stick burner, stickburner, water pan

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