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DRMSMKER
12-14-2017, 12:26 PM
Why do all of the insulated vertical and cabinet smokers i see people using all use water pans while most who use UDS don't? Don't they both work on the same principles or do they operate in two completely different ways?
Should i be using a water pan in my UDS?

Notorious Q.U.E.
12-14-2017, 12:42 PM
I can't comment on a UDS but an IVC will often creep higher as I'm learning on my new-to-me Pitmaker Vault. The insulation prevents ambient heat loss and the fire just keeps on adding energy to the cook chamber.

A water pan is a nice heat sink that'll absorb a lot of excess energy. On the flip side, if the fire goes out on accident, the water will radiate heat back out into the meat if the cook chamber falls below 212 degrees (209 where I'm at).

After reading Aaron Franklin's book, I've used a water pan and loved it. I tried running my Vault without water and it did get well into the 300s before I realized what was happening.

Ever since, my water pans keep her pegged at 275, which is where my Shirley runs. 275 feels right to me as my BBQ just seems to work at that temp.

Czarbecue
12-14-2017, 02:03 PM
I believe they are two different type of cookers. With a UDS, you are trying to get the same effect of cooking over direct coals, just in a barrel so it is more efficient. As Notorious already stated, adding a water pan turns it into a "water cooker" of sorts where the added benefit is temp stabilization and additional moisture in the cook chamber.

pjtexas1
12-14-2017, 02:15 PM
insulated cabinets use water as a heat sink and to keep temps down and from getting out of control. you can accomplish the same without water by using a maze in your firebox. to me water in an insulated cabinet just waste fuel heating the water.

DRMSMKER
12-14-2017, 02:31 PM
Thanks all....just trying to find out if i wanna try one over my uds. I've found a backwoods chubby with casters, heat deflector,etc. (not the chubby 3400) for $600 and i'm trying to decide if its worth it or do i just keep cooking on my drum for a fraction of the cost. Only benefit i see with the chubby is its easy to refill the fuel on a long smoke...
My drum can grill and smoke, and holds more if i use both racks.

Or am I completely off base and the chubby will change my life?

upStomp
12-14-2017, 02:48 PM
All I can say is that removing the water pan altogether from my WSM changed my world :-D

sniperfx
12-14-2017, 02:50 PM
Humphrey Pint. Use sand as a heat sink. Never used water at all. No real need too. Guru and done...

DRMSMKER
12-14-2017, 02:55 PM
Humphrey Pint. Use sand as a heat sink. Never used water at all. No real need too. Guru and done...

I already have a pizza pan with holes drilled in it on my bottom rack as a heat diffuser, but i guess i can always use a bowl of sand instead.
Will using the sand really help to steady temps that much better?
I had a chance to get a party q guru for $80 and pass. Wished i would have to try it out. Would have been nice peace of mind for an all night cook.

OklaDustDevil
12-14-2017, 03:33 PM
I have grown to like using a water pan even in my horizontal offset and vertical wood burning pits. I find it stabilizes the temperature -- keeps it from getting too hot or too cold too fast -- and adds moisture into the cook. I feel like the meat is not as dry as sometimes could be the case without the water pan.

So I don't really view it as an "insulated vertical" vs. "some other kind of smoker" issue.

FrkYrPrk
12-14-2017, 03:53 PM
Another upside of a water pan: it catches drippings. The floor on my Bandera cabinet would be much worse without it...

Piomarine
12-14-2017, 03:55 PM
In the vertical that I built I HAVE to run a water pan or I will never get the temps below 300*, it also acts as a drip pan to keep my cabinet from spontaneously igniting...again...never seen a thermometer dial spin that fast in my life!!!

W.I.T.W.A.G?
12-14-2017, 04:13 PM
I always use a water pan in my drum unless I'm doing chicken and want crispy skin.
To me it's a heat sink and it adds moisture to the cooking environment

Nuco59
12-14-2017, 05:34 PM
I'm generally run 275-300 on my drum. I use a holey pizza diffuser in my UDS - I find it hard to get even temps center to edge, without one. But I don't use a water pan- not interested in having a "heat sink"- there seems to be no need- drums are dead simple to control temps. I will occasionally use a water pan in my vertical wood fired cabinet- but for the most part, I roll without it.

pjtexas1
12-14-2017, 06:25 PM
In the vertical that I built I HAVE to run a water pan or I will never get the temps below 300*, it also acts as a drip pan to keep my cabinet from spontaneously igniting...again...never seen a thermometer dial spin that fast in my life!!!Are you running wood or charcoal? Sounds like too much oxygen and/or your fire is too big.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

SmittyJonz
12-14-2017, 08:51 PM
Insulated cabinets will have a water pan or a steel plate over the fire. Drippings will burn on the plate - I don't like drippings burning. UDS the drippings fall onto the fire -if not running a diffuser or water pan. Some like it - I don't - so I ran a water pan in my UDS to catch drippings and stabalize temps. Running an empty water pan the drippings still burn.

bonehead762
12-14-2017, 10:14 PM
I'm generally run 275-300 on my drum. I use a holey pizza diffuser in my UDS - I find it hard to get even temps center to edge, without one. But I don't use a water pan- not interested in having a "heat sink"- there seems to be no need- drums are dead simple to control temps. I will occasionally use a water pan in my vertical wood fired cabinet- but for the most part, I roll without it.

Pretty much the same for me, except I usually run around 240/250. Drilled a bunch of holes in a pattern in a pizza pan and my temps work out fine for me. Iíve never used a water pan in my UDS.

Reading about using water in my LSG IVC, Iím thinking I might be in for a little bit of a learning curve.

birt
12-15-2017, 06:24 AM
in my mini UDS i use an old ceramic coated pan (handle is cut off to make it fit) as a deflector that covers just the fire but leaves the sides open. so it blocks direct heat but still radiates enough without having to drill holes. i've been thinking about filling it with sand but haven't done so yet. i did cover it with alu foil a few times to catch drippings.
I didn't try a water pan so far because it always seems to be plenty moist during cooks. if i take the chimney off i see it's completely wet inside and it drips.

SmokePigTails
12-15-2017, 06:38 AM
I have seen a few gravity feeds that have grease management systems instead of water bowls. I use a pizza stone resting on the top of my WSM 18.5 water bowl right now.

sniperfx
12-15-2017, 08:35 AM
I already have a pizza pan with holes drilled in it on my bottom rack as a heat diffuser, but i guess i can always use a bowl of sand instead.
Will using the sand really help to steady temps that much better?
I had a chance to get a party q guru for $80 and pass. Wished i would have to try it out. Would have been nice peace of mind for an all night cook.
It brings temps back up very quickly after opening doors. It works very well. Make sure that you use playground sand only. Lowe's for like 6 bucks for 50 lbs. If you use any other type it will stink, as it has not been sanitized properly. It will smell like fish....:thumb: Cover sand with foil, and use it as a drip pan as well.

SmokerKing
12-15-2017, 08:51 AM
no water pan
steel diffuser with clay saucer full of play sand