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Author Topic: Water Pan  (Read 1021 times)

Fisho84

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 12
Water Pan
« on: June 20, 2019, 06:59:38 PM »
Gday all, I know this will start a massive debate so lets not get angry with each other. but I have an 18" WSM and when ever I cook I always use boiling hot water in the bowl. now I have heard a lot of people saying to take it out and also some say to use sand. what are the positives and negatives in using water, sand and no bowl at all.

many thanks

dogman

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 246
Re: Water Pan
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2019, 08:35:56 AM »
I think you will have a hard time getting anybody angry here. I have not seen a better bunch of guys in an online forum. I asked about this and I think the consensus is everybody runs dry, a few guys don't even use the pan.

Anyway, have very little experience with water pans and what little I do have has not been good. I think most guys are running with the pan empty, wrapped in foil. It is just too much of a mess to figure out how to throw out brisket drippings without an expensive visit from your plumber at least for me. I asked about maybe using it to hold some smoking wood but I don't think anybody responded to that idea.

I did just read on a food safety site that a bowl full of water in a smoker is good from a food safety perspective because it creates steam that kills bacteria. I don't know if that is relevant at the temps most people are running in WSMs.
Beer! It's what's for dinner...

HoosierKettle

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 6078
Re: Water Pan
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2019, 09:33:05 AM »
For low and slow, I use water in the pan. I dump what’s left in my can I keep spent ashes. I use no pan for my chicken cooks.


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michaelmilitello

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1307
Re: Water Pan
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2019, 09:57:05 AM »
This is a fun three hour argument.   The WSM is designed as a water smoker.  However, it can be used successfully with or without water or no pan at all depending on the application or weather conditions.  You do what you like and gets you good results!


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powermatt99

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 54
Re: Water Pan
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2019, 10:49:48 AM »
I prefer a dry pan out of sheer laziness. My 18" WSM holds temp pretty well without the water. If you use water, you have to watch the water level during longer cooks so you don't run dry which causes a temp spike.

Fisho84

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 12
Re: Water Pan
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2019, 03:37:38 PM »
Sweet thanks all so if I was to do a 3.5 kg(7.7lbs) brisket do I put water in the pan or leave it empty?? I have done it in the past with water and came tip top

Walchit

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1539
Re: Water Pan
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2019, 04:51:28 AM »
I got a ceramic pampered chef bowl, I've been foil wrapping the wsm pan, then wrapping the ceramic bowl and sitting it inside the pan. Seems to work pretty good. If I'm not using the bottom grate I put a foil pan with a little water to catch the drippings.
If you had the right sized pizza stone you could probably put it in place of the water pan, Idk though
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 04:53:17 AM by Walchit »

Jan M.

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 372
    • Mogschrauber
Re: Water Pan
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2019, 01:00:53 AM »
Hi,
I tried:

No pan:
I couldn't get the heat low enough for "normal" low&slow. I guess for a e.g. hot&fast brisket this is the best way.

Pan but empty:
Same heat issues as with no pan. No diff. for me. Maybe it saves the meat more from burning :-)

Pan with sand:
Works fine. Heat was not super stable but it worked really good. BUT all the grease in the sand ... for me not an option. I had mold on it just the next day.

Pan with water:
Works best for me. The WSM is designed for water and I have the best experiences with water. I can control the heat much better with this method. I also have the feeling that the heat is much more constant.
According to Harry Soo a moist meat surface helps to form a good smoke ring and also helps to create a good bark. I think all the chemical reactions on the surface of the meat benefit from the humidity.

So I believe in water in the pan. :-)
Btw. I also do not foil my pan.
Best regards,
Jan

BoxcarTom

  • Happy Cooker
  • Posts: 4
Re: Water Pan
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2019, 05:32:52 AM »
I have done multiple cooks to figure that exact question out and what I've discovered is this ... with my water bowl full I can barely reach 235°. It's a perfect temp for my brisket and butt cooking. I leave out the bowl when I do ribs so I have to control the temps with airflow

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HoosierKettle

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 6078
Re: Water Pan
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2019, 05:59:43 AM »

I have done multiple cooks to figure that exact question out and what I've discovered is this ... with my water bowl full I can barely reach 235°. It's a perfect temp for my brisket and butt cooking. I leave out the bowl when I do ribs so I have to control the temps with airflow

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If you like ribs that way, you should consider a hanging rack. It’s the only way to go and increases capacity. Very even top to bottom.


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Fisho84

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 12
Re: Water Pan
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2019, 12:11:18 PM »
I have done multiple cooks to figure that exact question out and what I've discovered is this ... with my water bowl full I can barely reach 235°. It's a perfect temp for my brisket and butt cooking. I leave out the bowl when I do ribs so I have to control the temps with airflow

Sent from my SM-N960U using Weber Kettle Club mobile app
Ok that explains alot i found it difficult to get to temp at the start of the cook but as the day goes on i am needing to close the vents

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