Sand Pan Only = Dry Ribs???

Discussion in 'Pork' started by ddave, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did 3 racks of baby backs yesterday. Did 2-2-1 just as I have in the past, Jeff's rub, foil with AJ and JD, where the results were "fall off the bone" and juicy. This time they were much drier and definitely not falling off the bone. Had a lot of tug -- more than I cared for but got no complaints from my guests. (Maybe they really were great compared to what others they have had).

    The big difference this time was I was not using a water pan at all. Had a big foil roaster full of sand as I had for my last few smokes. Temps from end to end were very consistent even with the wind howling all around. Finally built a wind break -- but more on that later. Temp recovery after opening to spritz or wrap was incredibly fast.

    I like the heat sink performance of the sand pan but am thinking I may need a water pan as well for moisture. The humidity in our area was pretty low yesterday (20% to 30%) because of the north wind.

    Any thoughts or input would be appreciated.


  2. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Add some water to the sand, or mop more often. I do the mop thing. Keeps moisture in the smoker too.
  3. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    some folks put a bread loaf pan, kinda thing, full of water, right where the sfb connects to the main chamber...............
  4. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Humidity was too low to use the sand. I was taught by my mentor if humidity was 80% or more, you don't need water. I use sand when it is lower than that, but I spritz often.
    Rich asked my other question, what type of sand did you use? I like playbox sand because it is moist. You can use it several times as long as you keep a sheet of foil on top of it, just add some water to bring it back to original consistancy.
    And of course, it could always have been the fat content of the meat....or lack of it ??
  5. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I never thought of adding water to the sand. Do you have to change it once in awhile or does it dry out on its' own? Of course mopping more often would work. I always have a bunch of mop sauce left over anyway.

    I have a baffle and tuning plates there but I suppose I could put a pan of water on the tuning plate next to the baffle.

    If the humidity ever got to 80% here, I would be whining like you wouldn't believe.[​IMG]

    According to the rock yard that I got it from, it is "golf course" sand. Pretty fine stuff and packs really well. I do have it covered with foil and man it really holds the heat!

    Maybe I will add a pan of water to the firebox side of the sand pan next smoke or go with a water pan and two smaller pans of sand. The big roaster pan sits up pretty high and is probably radiating a lot of heat right under the meat.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  6. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Playbox sand has a moist consistancy to it. Not sure about Golf Course sand, but I don't think it would be as moist, more powder like. Check out a bag at Lowes, Home Depot or Wal-Mart. After a smoke, it is dried out and to use it again, you must add a cup or two of water, then dirty those hands as you mix it around and get it back to the normal mix.
  7. SubstanceSpecific Heat
    - cp -
    (cal/gramoC) (J/kgoC)
    Air, dry (sea level)0.241005
    Ice (0oC)0.502093
    Sandy clay0.331381
    Quartz sand0.19830
    Water, pure1.004186
    Wet mud0.602512
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This thread is 3 years old......
  9. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member


Share This Page