Newbie with KC Smoker -- water necessary?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by komponist, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. komponist

    komponist Newbie

    Hi all! New to the Forum.

    Will buy a New Braunfels/CharBroil when I have room -- for now using the Rival KC Smoker I got just after Xmas. I'll post a pic eventually of the spot I dug for it out of the 3 feet of snow in our front yard in NH!

    I've done 2 Boston butts in it so far -- first one not great, second one nicely smoky with hint of smoke ring, but I want MORE SMOKE! Using 2 cups of wood chips each time -- the second time, I did what someone described as the "comedy show involving 3-4 people", took the meat, rack, and drip pan out and replaced the chips halfway through. Gotta say, however, that there seemed to be plenty of smoke left in the chips I took out -- they weren't close to the "totally consumed" stage yet.

    Here's my question -- is it necessary to put water in the drip pan on this thing? Does the presence of steam help get smoke into the meat, or does it hinder the process? Thanks in advance, you all!
  2. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member this is MY experience..........

    i have used water in the pan for YEARS........and get a nice smoke ring.......then i read using sand......but a buddy of mine said why not river rock........which i just happen to have for i tried it.......i didn't get as good as a smoke ring........this over bout 3 i know i will be hanging my *ss out by saying that......but it's what happened to me in MY universe........but i imagine we will be getting several opinions on it..........heheheh

    water is more for to help out with temp spikes.......not moisture or steam......its more of a mass that resists quick temperature changes

    btw welcome to the need to head over to roll call and introduce yourself.......tell us abit bout yourself, type of smoker, etc.

    once again......welcome

    jm2cw and mho
  3. vlap

    vlap Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am honestly not sure as to whether water is needed or not. I allow the water to run out in mine each time and have had no problems. I had the same problem as you as well. The first time I used it I found the smoke to be too strong and the food although edible was not good. (i think maybe I didn't clean it well enough prior to the first use?) The smokes since have been better and better. That little vent on the top makes a big difference. Try running it half open next smoke and see where that gets your smoke flavor.
    The kc is a great little smoker that I am having a blast learning how to produce good food from. Its just going to take some more smokes to get it down.

    Keep in touch if you discover any good information about it. I will do the same.
  4. ds7662

    ds7662 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Welcome to the site.
    I would go with Vlap says. I am not really familiar on how the Rival works, although I have seen it. Looks like a large crock pot.
    Vlap has one so he should know[​IMG] .
  5. allen

    allen Smoking Fanatic

    Hey komponist is your Rival KC smoker also a roaster?
  6. vlap

    vlap Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes they are...
  7. allen

    allen Smoking Fanatic

    how is it as a smoker? I just bought one yesterday at Walmart
  8. vlap

    vlap Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very good... Make sure you clean it well as per the instructions. I think that may have contributed to a less than tasty smoke. I kinda cleaned [​IMG]
    It has it uses. It can handle 2 butts on the top rack and a pan of dutches beans on the bottom. I really am enjoying this smoker and it has its uses. For me with limited room at an apt it is right on. Small but able to handle all the food I need to put in it and also being electric it has not been a problem for the management.

    The vent on top is useful in determining the smokey flavor. Try it half open and adjust on your next smoke.

    Also if you have not used it make sure you place the chips in the right spot or you will have no smokey flavor.
  9. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well, whether you use water or sand does not matter. As stated it is more for keeping the temps stable. Without either, you basically are grilling. No low and slow in that situation.

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