4Pogo7 is thinking Water pan - Water vs. Other things

Discussion in 'ECB Owners Group' started by 4pogo7, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. 4pogo7

    4pogo7 Smoking Fanatic

    Water pan - Water vs. Other things

    I have an E-ECB (Electric ECB) and whenever I use it I fill the water pan with water. On longer smokes it runs out and then is dry for the rest of the time. I know it is debatable what the purpose and use of the water pan is; temp regulation, meat moisture, meat flavor, temp recovery, drip catcher, heat deflector, heat regulator.....; but what do you guys think works best? Fill it, don't fill it, fill it with sand, fill with water, beer, juice, pop....take it out, empty with foil lining, up side down...

    I guess 4 main questions:

    Do you use your water pan?

    What do you put in your water pan?

    If using liquid, do you refill your water pan when it goes dry?

    What have you found to be the best way to deflect heat, retain heat, and stabilize temp?

    Thanks Everyone!

    PoGo
     
  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    See my answers above. Since the E-ECB is so inefficient at holding heat, and the element gets crazy hot, I use the water pan with that smoker. I don't think it adds any flavor or moisture (especially since I never use it on my other two smokers) but it does help with the temps. 

    PS - as mentioned before, I am checking out for the weekend so if you have any more questions I will get them on monday [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  3. 4pogo7

    4pogo7 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks @bmaddox!

    Anyone else have thoughts on this one?
     
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hope nobody minds,

    I joined this forum just now, so I could comment, because after 4 days you only got one reply.

    I have never put anything in my Water Pan in my MES since the first month that I had it.

    The reason is that the MES is insulated so well that it stays plenty humid inside without adding any water, so I would have to agree with "bmaddox" who says to use water because the E-ECB doesn't hold heat well.

    As for what to put in-----When I used to add liquid to my Water Pan, before I learned that I didn't need it in an MES, I tried Beer, Apple Juice, and water. There was no difference between them, so I would say if you're going to add anything to your pan, I would just add water.

    And I would heat the water to at least the same temp as the Smoker is at the time you're adding it. (I would just Nuke it)

    Bear
     
  5. 4pogo7

    4pogo7 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Bear, I appreciate the insight and experience!
     
  6. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Better watch out there is a bear lurking around the ECB group..... [​IMG][​IMG]  
     
  7. 4pogo7

    4pogo7 Smoking Fanatic

    [​IMG]
     
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Watch It !!
    [​IMG]
     ​
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  9. 4pogo7

    4pogo7 Smoking Fanatic

    LOL Dang it @bmaddox  you poked the bear! And I laughed!
     
  10. bill1

    bill1 Smoke Blower

    one more line of data...

    Do you use your water pan?

    yes!  Never would consider NOT using it.  Blonder's arguments for humidity/moisture seem convincing.  (Also, it's a stabilizing heat "anchor" in there, although the same can be said about a pan of sand, concrete, etc.)  I even put a drip/catch pan OVER the water pan (in a vertical ECB) so the water/air interface doesn't get masked with  low-density fats/oils floating on top.      

    What do you put in your water pan?

    I confess I've frequently added cheap beer and minced garlic.  Not sure it does anything.  Carbonation might help the boiling surface release a bit more vapor, or so I tell myself.   

    If using liquid, do you refill your water pan when it goes dry?

    I've got the parts to externally install a siphon and auto-fill system (like an old fashioned 5-gallon water cooler) but for now I remove my insulation and quickly open the access door. If I'm in a long stall and get impatient, occasionally I'll  give up on the refilling--might speed things up a bit.    

    What have you found to be the best way to deflect heat, retain heat, and stabilize temp?   

    Most of my heat is from electric filaments (rest from external pellet burner) so I thermostatically control them with a cheap PID.  Plus insulation is critical.  I've been using a cardboard box with top and bottom opened up so it's a diamond chute in cross-section and then slide it over the entire unit.  Wife says it's ugly so I've bought some sheet steel to put an outer layer on over the Brinkmann can spaced with a couple dozen brass circuit board spacers--should work like double-walled boxes in the commercial electric smoker world.  (The sheet will cover the access door so that's why I need the water auto-fill system.)      
     
  11. 4pogo7

    4pogo7 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks @bill1  for the info! I was hoping more people would chime in on this. Sounds like your double wall insulation method will be interesting, hope you post a Q-view of your mods!
     

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