Royal Oak and I am jury rigging an old water heater. What is the reasoning for soaking chips ? Any science to it ? I guess it would create a longer smoke ... I guess. I currently set the included chip box directly on element. It also is my theory to just put enough chips in to layer the bottom of the chip box and dump and add during the smoke although I am separated from my Royal Oak at this time to test this out. I have to admit I have been pretty much loading the box up. I ended up with a lot of half charred chips.Any suggestions for my build ? I also could see just going to the Amaz N pellet smoker. It costs almost as much as my RO but oh well. Looks like a good and long smoke and good for cold smoking too. I do like my RO as far as build quality and especially at a cost of $53 (open box Walmart end of summer) about 6 years ago. So I guess I can look at the money I saved can be put to good use buying the Amaz N. For the sake of my almighty dollars, any suggestions for decent pellets because theirs seem way high ? I like hickory for pork, oak for brisket and Apple for fish but I'm open to combos for right prices. Water pan, is that for the benefit of heat disbursement ? Any better medium ? Grease and drippings I could see as a problem.