smoking with aluminum pan?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by cyclonesmoker, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. cyclonesmoker

    cyclonesmoker Fire Starter

    If I'm smoking a brisket or a pork butt does it matter if I put the meat in one of those disposable aluminum pans versus putting the meat directly on the rack? Just curious? And, if I'm smoking ABT's - can I put these in an aluminum pan?
  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think most of us use a drip pan underneath, then when foiling use an aluminum pan, with some of the drippings in it. Personally I would not start the smoke in a pan because only 3 sides of the meat would get smoke, so you would be constantly turning it over every couple of hours so it would get even smoke penetration. Just my 2 cents.
    brycraft likes this.
  4. arnie

    arnie Smoking Fanatic

    I have tried the pan method and have found it works, but greatly reduces the smoke absorption.

    It will also affect the presentation if the product is allowed to sit in the juice.

    You will end up with more of a steamed rather than roasted end product.

    I have had better results when I put a pan on the shelf below what ever I am smoking

    Just my $0.02
  5. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good advice here - I use a lot of drip pans and make sauces and gravies. Even with a drip pan I foil and do not use the drippings in the foil so I can use them. I add what comes out of the foil to the smoked drippings.  
  6. cycletrash

    cycletrash Meat Mopper

    I agree.. the drippings make such awesome gravy and sauces much more smoke flavor . Definitetly make nice to reheat with.!
  7. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I smoke with and without trays. Some times I will put it in a try but I put a cooling rack or a turkey rack in the pan to keep the meat off the bottom of the pan because I don't want the meat sitting in the juices. And some times I don't use a try at all and I just let the meat drip into my UDS charcoal basket. It all depends if I am wanting to save the juices or not. Even when I don't use a pan if I am foiling the meat there is usually plenty of juice in the foil to save so either way you will have juice for adding flavor. 
  8. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    One benefit of using a try is your grate stays clean so there is little to no clean up on your smoker and I like that.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  9. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now I never use a foil pan but thats me. There's alot of folks here that use then all the time. I have used one a couple of times when I'm looking to make some aus ju for maybe a prime rib or something like that. 
  10. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I use foil pans sometimes when smoking butts or briskets. If you are not worried about getting a hard bark it works great and keeps the meat moist . I have found that it also shortens my smoking times by a couple of hours.
  11. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I do the drip pan since I have two racks in the uds. When it comes to foiling time, it goes in a foil pan and gets a foil lid. It makes it really nice to take to the kitchen without the inevitable drip trail..
  12. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I never use trays, for one they are expensive...and you really don't need them. When making beans I just use the Pyrex casserole dish and wrap the exterior with aluminum foil. In my gasser the water pan serves as a drip tray, in my UDS I like that the drippings hit the coals and add to the old school "pit style barbeque" flavor.
  13. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sometimes I use them, sometimes I don't.

    Like others have said, they are useful in their own way.

    They can be friend or foe, depending what you want in your finished product.

    I never use them for ABT's
  14. I like the idea of using the aluminum pan with the cookie rack in the bottom to keep the meat off the bottom. That seems like it will give me the best of both worlds.. getting the smoke on all sides of the meat, keeping the meat out of the drippings and less clean up. I have seen some competition smokers do this as well. 
  15. Ever since I had a nice paper towel fire in the bbq from forgetting the pan in there when done with a cook the wife doesnt let me use her good pans.

    I always use aluminum pans for brisket and pork butts but I always use a tray or rack of some kind under them when moving so they dont fold under the heavy weight. The last brisket I did I used a foil pan with a screen on top of it to hold the brisket up and it allows the drippings to be caught. I also had beef broth in the pan to keep the brisket moist, with the brisket above the pan there was no issue with smoke getting all the way around it. When I do park buts I cook them on the grate till they hit 165 and then in the pan covered with foil till done.
  16. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    I use the pans all the time, but not until it is time to wrap the meats.  As stated earlier, the pans will limit the amount of smoke your getting to the meat.  They are relatively inexpensive, half pans are about .25 each and the full pans are about .50 each at Sams'.  On smokes when I wrap, I place the meat in the pans and cover with wide alum foil, on smokes where I don't wrap, I still place the meat in the pans around the same time as when I would normally wrap, I just leave the cover off.  This allows you to catch all the goodness, but still take on smoke and build a killer bark.  I also use the wire mesh cooling racks in the pans to keep the meat up and out of the juices from time to time, especially with pork butts.  I'm not so worried about briskets sitting in it's own juices asI cook fat side down so the fat layer is in the juices not the meat.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013

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