View Full Version : Thoughts on a water pan in a kamado...

Jon David
04-06-2013, 09:07 AM
So I've had my KJ for a week now and did a butt last weekend, bout 7.5-8 pounds, no water pan and she held her temp like a stove, I maybe had to adjust it 2 or 3 times in 12 hours and it never dropped below 210 or above 250. Well I fired up the KJ last night for 8.5-9 pounder did my normal routine let it come to temp and level out for 45 minutes to an hour and she was fine. It seems like I've had to adjust every hour! I used just a simple Weber aluminum pan with some apple juice. It hit 160 then all of sudden dropped to 154 at around 7 this mornin and wouldn't budge so now it's in the oven. Am I doing something wrong here? I'm still new to the kamado world but geez, she made me scratch my head. Any help would be great for future reference. Also is there anything special I need to do to finish in the oven, right now it's sitting on a pan with some apple juice in it.

04-06-2013, 09:14 AM
Kamado's don't need a water pan in them. The way Kamado's are designed they are sealed really well and hold moisture very well .

When you say it hit 160 then dropped to 154 are you talking about the kamado temperature or the meat internal temperature?

Jon David
04-06-2013, 09:17 AM
Meat, sorry

04-06-2013, 09:22 AM
You probably hit the stall where the collogen and connective tissue is breaking down. You have several options to get through the stall.

1. let it ride and the meat temperature will start climbing after a while. You want to make sure you don't open the cooker very often if you do this.

2. wrap the pork butt in foil/butcher paper and throw it back on the kamado. This will help retain heat in the pork butt and help push through the stall.

3. ramp up the heat past 250 to about 275-300ish. This will allow the pork butt to completely power through the stall and cook much faster.

4. combine options 2 and 3 and cook the pork butt even faster than you though. I would recommend this option if you already have the color bark you want and just want the pork butt to finish. If you do not have the proper color you want, go with either option 1 or 3.

Jon David
04-06-2013, 10:07 AM
I mean I wouldint figure the temp to just drop like that, that's what had me worried.

04-06-2013, 10:13 AM
Understandable. If you haven't seen it happen before it can be nerve racking. I know the first pork butt i did, I did it at 235 degrees and the stall happened and IT temp actually dropped a few degrees. I forced myself to let it ride and the temperature eventually came up (granted I did look through the vents to make sure the meat wasn't burning up) After a couple of hours the temperatures started climbing and I pulled the pork butt once I was able to wiggle the bone free from the meat. And boy was it nice and tender and moist!

Gnaws on Pigs
04-06-2013, 10:16 AM
I don't have a KJ, but in my Akorn, I use a drip pan with liquid when I'm cooking butts and such, and have absolutely no problems. If anything, it acts as a heat sink and makes the temp hold more stable. I think you just hit the stall.

04-06-2013, 10:19 AM
I always use a water pan, if nothing else but to catch drippings. I also think it helps to hold a steady temperature but a lot of guys don''t.

04-06-2013, 10:48 AM
I always use a water pan, if nothing else but to catch drippings. I also think it helps to hold a steady temperature but a lot of guys don''t.

Same here.

04-06-2013, 10:59 AM
The temp drop has nothing to do with water in the pan. You have hit the "stall". Where temps will stay at or even drop around the 160-165 area. It is completely normal for temps to drop a few degrees. The kamado is an oven, leave it in next time.

04-06-2013, 11:46 AM
I believe that a water pan is primarily for a heat sink. The BGE's thick ceramic construction is itself a heat sink so I don't think a water pan adds much to the equation. I assume the KJ is similar.

04-06-2013, 11:48 AM
Me too! Just sayin....