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Author Topic: Add water or no water in WSM?  (Read 14321 times)

jcnaz

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Re: Add water or no water in WSM?
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2016, 10:29:56 PM »
@AZRaptor Can you link me to the ceramic briquettes? I just bought a deep bowl yesterday, with the intent for water. Not after this thread though. Lifting that sludge, past all the other tabs, without spilling... After a few beers. No thanks.

@TheDude,you may abide with these ones:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/39086862?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=74&adid=22222222227026990857&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=56096179689&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=88703418489&veh=sem#about

 ;D

I use this same technique on most cooks, but in a shallow bowl that I made from a Smokey Joe lid ( this only works on the 18 WSM). I wrap the lid in foil, put some briquettes in the bowl, then two layers of foil over the top. The shallow bowl gives me more room for fuel, and for stirring the coals when needed.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 10:36:58 PM by jcnaz »
A bunch of black kettles
-JC

addicted-to-smoke

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Re: Add water or no water in WSM?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2016, 03:32:03 AM »
I might as well try water again; the second cook shelf always seems to go unused anyway, and so I'd use that for a drip pan. I won't go back to using the water pan as the drip pan, for the reasons already mentioned above.

I'd need to make a decision about the lower cook grate on my 18, either continue to use the correct one and watch it slowly and expensively die, or use a 22 kettle charcoal grate if just holding a drip pan.

But all of that speaks to my frustration about the WSM: not using full capacity as a normal course of action, but paying the sludge price if I do, with crap in the water.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

AZRaptor

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Re: Add water or no water in WSM?
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2016, 05:50:02 AM »
@AZRaptor Can you link me to the ceramic briquettes? I just bought a deep bowl yesterday, with the intent for water. Not after this thread though. Lifting that sludge, past all the other tabs, without spilling... After a few beers. No thanks.

They were these or something very similar, but I think it was these.

http://www.amazon.com/Char-Broil-2984653-Char-Diamonds/dp/B000ZIIUHW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1460728061&sr
I'M A RECOVERING WEBER ADDICT
Selling: Black & Green Gas Assist SS Performers, Brownie Gas Kettle, 1980 B Code Black MBH, 70's & '04 SJ, Weber Firepit, Black Happy Cooker On the Bubble: Blk Offset SJ

Lemans

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Re: Add water or no water in WSM?
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2016, 02:27:36 AM »
I have 2 WSM,s used water once and ended up draining it halfway thru the cook because
I could not reach 250 degrees. Now I just foil the pan.  Easy lean up and stable temps
I can't stop lovin my Weber!!!
2-22 WSM, 22.5 gold, 22.5 MT code EE Red Head ,22.5 AH in Green ,18 silver , Green SSP code EI,Weber Ranch,mini WSM black,4-smokey joes black, lime, copper, crimson Sjg  IQ120 electric 22.5 silver economy 2004..that makes 15. I know WEBERITIS !!

DonoBBQ

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Re: Add water or no water in WSM?
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2016, 05:55:07 PM »
Thanks for the write up @MeatAndPotatos I always use water personally. I also dont refill it I let it steam the first few hours amd then let it go dry after that.  By then it usually has a bark so I let it go.  If it starts looking dry then I'll spray it down with water.
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JDann24

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Re: Add water or no water in WSM?
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2016, 06:05:31 PM »
Water all the way for me. It helps me maintain my temps around 225-228.
Looking for colored 18's and SJ's.

rjmitch89

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Re: Add water or no water in WSM?
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2016, 06:23:41 PM »
Whether or not to use water in your WSM depends on the result you're looking for. Anyone who says that there is only one way to do it is leading you astray. Water acts as a heat sink and will keep temps lower. Cooking poultry?  Unless you want rubbery skin, you want higher temps that are tough to reach and maintain with the water. 

After all of that, it really comes down to what works best for you. There is no absolute right or wrong way to do anything.

Best of luck!


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kettlebb

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Re: Add water or no water in WSM?
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2016, 06:33:16 PM »
I don't have a wsm but I put water in my drip pans on my kettle for pork and brisket. Never for any poultry.


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SmokenJoe

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Re: Add water or no water in WSM?
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2016, 07:17:19 PM »
Interesting conversation on WSM water pans.   Many great points of view from longtime kettleHeads right down to first time posters (by the way, I'm I allowed to use BTW, @rjmitch89, hello and welcome to the discussions here on the WKC from Eugene, Oregon).

Let's keep this going, shall we???   Why use a water pan at all on a WSM???   'Cause it was part of the original product purchase???   Well, maybe the question is why use water in a kettle or smoker???   After all, most of use know that a "damper" on our beloved WSM is a boon to the final result and does not need to have any water involved.  (Here damper means: foil wrapped water pan, or foil wrapped clay pot liner, or ???)

Here is my current thinking:

(1) Mostly to control temp's???  I dunno, my WSM 18", w/o water, holds temps to + or - 10 degrees.   When you're new to kettling (is that a word), that sounds WAY our of bounds, but as you progress you realize that meat cooks just fine at  + or - 20 degrees of these magic numbers.  Soooooo, why so much concern over tight temp ranges???

(2)  Water moisture in the cooker aides in "smoke ring creation" according to many including Raichlen, but I don't cook my meat so that someone else thinks that I have a huge "smoke ring" for what ever that's worth.

(3) Well I'm not aware of a "real" third reason, but com'on cookers, help me learn a little more of the value of water in the water pan.

SJ
"Too Beef, or Not too Beef" ...

Looking for Dark Blue MBH 22", Dark Green MBH 22", Yellow MBH 22", Glen Blue MBH 22", Avocado MBH 22".

rjmitch89

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Add water or no water in WSM?
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2016, 02:56:50 AM »
Interesting conversation on WSM water pans.   Many great points of view from longtime kettleHeads right down to first time posters (by the way, I'm I allowed to use BTW, @rjmitch89, hello and welcome to the discussions here on the WKC from Eugene, Oregon).


Thanks for the welcome, SJ!  Love the discussions here.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 03:00:16 AM by rjmitch89 »

Lightning

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Re: Add water or no water in WSM?
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2016, 07:41:57 AM »
I have DEFINITELY noticed sweeter/better smelling smoke by adding water to the pan and allowing more air in to help the fire burn better (along with allowing temps more in the 250-260 range vs 220s). More fuel consumption has been the only downside.

Out of curiosity, which WSM are you using?  I've discovered that mine settles into that range and runs nicely between 250 and 260 with very minimal intervention when I'm running a hot steady fire and starting with the water pan filled with tap temperature water and I'm using a 22 inch smoker.

SmokenJoe

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Re: Add water or no water in WSM?
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2016, 09:24:30 AM »
@Lightning  I have the classic 18.5" WSM,  it's an older 2002 mdl but cooks and holds the temp quite well.   It's comfortable at around 240, so if I need more precision I use an Auber Inst SYL-1615 Temp Controller.  I LIKE a LOT of smoke flavor in the meats I cook, so I put in more than the usual amount of wood chunks.  Never noticed a difference with or without water (used water quite a bit when I first got my WSM) in the smell of the smoke, but then I'm usually smoking a good cigar while I cook :)

As a side note:  I've owned and used a Smoke-n-ator for quite some time.  Without a water pan, it's not very good at controlling the temps.  The ribs cooked on my 22" kettle w/ that setup were nearly ALL smokering since you must feed the water pan continually during the cook to maintain your cook temp.

SJ
"Too Beef, or Not too Beef" ...

Looking for Dark Blue MBH 22", Dark Green MBH 22", Yellow MBH 22", Glen Blue MBH 22", Avocado MBH 22".

toolhead

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Re: Add water or no water in WSM?
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2016, 03:17:53 PM »
I will line my pan with foil and use water on longer cooks (butts/briskets) but just do the foil for shorter cooks (ribs).

But experienced WSM users are all over the place on this.  And, hopefully, a few more will chime in with their procedures.

I really don't think that there is a provable "right" or "wrong" way to do it.  Take in what everyone says and figure out what works best for you and your family.





BD

This...imo...water is a gimmick...dont use water n meat is never dry
Grills

mrbill

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Re: Add water or no water in WSM?
« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2016, 02:33:25 AM »
after many trials, i found the water really doesn't do much other than act as a heat sink. i cooked various things with and without water in the pan. aside from helping the temps hold steady, i didn't notice any difference in the final product. a former competitive bbq'er i know suggested crumpling up some foil into balls and filling the pan with them, then covering the pan with more foil. he said the balls and air trapped under the foil covering would still act as a heat sink, but prevent the mess and hassle of dealing with water in the pan.  i tried it out a few times and now that is how i always run my wsm. temps hold steady similar to having water in the pan and whenever the top layer of foil gets too dirty, i just remove and replace it. some grease/juices do get into the pan over time, so every so often i'll throw all the balls away, clean out the pan and replace with fresh foil balls. never had any issues with dry meat doing this.
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rjmitch89

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Re: Add water or no water in WSM?
« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2016, 05:46:37 AM »
I've heard of people using sand in the water pan to act as the heat sink and then use a metal pan to cover it (to prevent the sand from getting messy).  Sounds like it would work.

But you're right. Water in the pan does not make anything more moist.

Great discussion.


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