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LT72884
07-17-2010, 10:46 PM
I hear alot of people talkin bout how they put sand in the water bowl of the WSM. Whats the purpose of doing that? I think landarc told me that i could line my UDS's cooking grate with a single piece of foil and then put sand on top to catch the drippings. So im wondering how well heat passes through foil and sand or will i have to run the UDS higher in order to achieve 250 on the cooking grate?

thanx

Im trying to work with what i have because i do not have money or time to make an offset or some other indirect cooker that is fuel friendly

Boshizzle
07-17-2010, 10:58 PM
I use a foil lined round clay tray that I bought from Home Depot for about $8.00. It works perfectly as a diffuser. No sand, no water, just a round clay pot tray.

You don't need the sand.

LT72884
07-17-2010, 11:02 PM
I use a foil lined round clay tray that I bought from Home Depot for about $8.00. It works perfectly as a diffuser. No sand, no water, just a round clay pot tray.

You don't need the sand.

and that catches all the drippings and doesnt mess with the temps of the UDS?

How big is it?

Is it on a cooking grate or right above the fire?

thanx

Saiko
07-17-2010, 11:03 PM
I can't speak for the UDS, but the purpose of sand in the WSM is simply to act as a heat sink. The idea of a heat sink is to have a large mass of basically "anything" that eventually stabilizes at the same temperature it is exposed to. The theory is that when you have temperature swings at your heat source, the temperature changes in your chamber won't be as radical because this large mass of heat sink material isn't going to change temperature very quickly.

Think about it another way. Let's say you fill a huge roasting pan full of sand and put it in a 350 degree oven and let it sit for an hour. Now if you adjust your oven temp to either 250 or 450, it should take longer for it to swing either higher or lower because of this large mass of sand that's still sitting at 350 degrees. Now instead of just having to heat or cool the oven, you have to also heat and cool this large mass of sand.

Water serves the same purpose, but has to be refilled for long smokes and is a pain to clean. And it's contribution to the moisture of the meat has been debated endlessly.

Boshizzle
07-17-2010, 11:05 PM
The clay tray I use is about 15" in diameter. No problem with temp control.

LT72884
07-17-2010, 11:17 PM
I can't speak for the UDS, but the purpose of sand in the WSM is simply to act as a heat sink. The idea of a heat sink is to have a large mass of basically "anything" that eventually stabilizes at the same temperature it is exposed to. The theory is that when you have temperature swings at your heat source, the temperature changes in your chamber won't be as radical because this large mass of heat sink material isn't going to change temperature very quickly.

Think about it another way. Let's say you fill a huge roasting pan full of sand and put it in a 350 degree oven and let it sit for an hour. Now if you adjust your oven temp to either 250 or 450, it should take longer for it to swing either higher or lower because of this large mass of sand that's still sitting at 350 degrees. Now instead of just having to heat or cool the oven, you have to also heat and cool this large mass of sand.

Water serves the same purpose, but has to be refilled for long smokes and is a pain to clean. And it's contribution to the moisture of the meat has been debated endlessly.
I was thinkin that. i was thinkin that foil would act as a reflector so the heat would reflect off of the bottom of the cooking grate rather than pass through. So i have to find a method that will be close to 20 inches in diameter that allows heat to pass through but catches the drippings. Im thinking the clay pot, if i can find one close to the diameter of my cooking grate which is 22.5 with out blocking to much air flow..

Chef Jim
07-17-2010, 11:27 PM
I tried the sand in my Pro Q. Lined to pan and filled it half way with sand. My temps were going through the roof so I added water. Things slowed down and I got my smoke done.

I think part of my problem was the pan sits almost on top of the basket. Yes I have had to add water, but this pan is large enough that I do not have to refill often.

Every smoker is different and what works for one might not work with another. Guess that's half the fun of cooking.:becky:

LT72884
07-17-2010, 11:56 PM
Every smoker is different and what works for one might not work with another. Guess that's half the fun of cooking.:becky:
that is for sure. I love the UDS because i built it and its very fuel friendly. Plus i have no money cuz it is all for school so antoher build is out of the question. I just have to make the UDS work for me. Just gonna be hard when i need to do more than one butt and one rack of ribs. I need a drip pan big enough to catch all of the drippings..,.

thanx

stl-rich
07-18-2010, 02:28 PM
I use a foil lined round clay tray that I bought from Home Depot for about $8.00. It works perfectly as a diffuser. No sand, no water, just a round clay pot tray.

You don't need the sand.

I then put the foil wrapped saucer into the WSM pan and wrapped wirh more foil. EASY CLEANUP

With a UDS, folks con't have anything but space between the meat and the fire - the fat/meat juice dripping on the fire is a source of nice flavor.

After I build my UDS/WTS I'll try it both ways, but KISS and how others have been successful tells me a lot.

theflints01
07-18-2010, 04:13 PM
I could put sand in my WSM water pan, but it works so good as an ash pan for my kettle, I'll just keep using it for that. Try cooking with no pan a few times. You'll probably find you can still keep the temps stable and you'll use about half the charcoal. Only drawback is that some people don't like the flavor from the fat dripping into the coals, but most do.

DC-Q
07-18-2010, 04:41 PM
I use a foil lined round clay tray that I bought from Home Depot for about $8.00. It works perfectly as a diffuser. No sand, no water, just a round clay pot tray.

You don't need the sand.

Me too, works great!

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff72/bbq-brethren/DC-Q/taracotta1.jpg

Johnny_Crunch
07-18-2010, 04:54 PM
I just added an additional grate and put a piece of foil on it below where the meat is sitting. Seems to work fine. Is that suppose to create a problem?

FretBender
07-18-2010, 09:01 PM
The foil is great cuz you can take it off when soiled and just put in a new piece. With either water or sane and no file you have to change the water of sane to get rid of the bad stuff.