The quest for what to use in the pan of my wsm is over NOW with PICS

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by dlr1, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. dlr1

    dlr1 Fire Starter

    I've been bugging ya'll about this thing for a while and I think I finally found what works for me, I'll know better on my next low temp cook. I know water is the perfect heat sink for low temps but I wanted to find something that would work about the same with less weight and won't slosh around. I tried sand, didn't like it,to hard to get temps stable at any temp for me and I had heard that the clay saucer would pretty much have the same results mainly because they absorb the heat then let you have a healty dose all at once it seems. The plain foiled pan is good for high temps but can be kinda touchy for lower temp cooking so I'm told and read that one person warped his pan that way. I had made mention of using a 1/8 thick steel plate in the pan which no one has tried before, so I brought home 2 round pieces of metal, one a little over 1/16 thick or lets say about the thickness of the water pan and the other 1/8 thick. The dimensions are 15.75 for the thin one and a little over 18 for the thick one. The thin one nested about 1.5" above the bottom of the pan and the thick one about the same distance above the thin one which still leaves room at the top to collect drippings. Everything is foiled with a dbl layer on the top for easy clean up. The weight was much lighter than sand or water, I ran the temps up to 270* and closed one vent and let it get to 310* then closed 2nd bottom vent and the temps held there for a little over 2.5hrs until the chicken was done. Time to see how easy it was to bring the temps down and closed the 3rd vent about 90% and the temps dropped to around 260* and stayed long enough to make me happy then shut it all down. So far I would say I am satisfied with the results. I think and 18" plow disk would have done the trick because the ones I saw on line where about 1/8" thick and I didn't have to pay for the disks I brought home. Thanks for letting me rant.

  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    How about some photo's of it?
  3. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Rant?  Did you say Rant????  On the contrary, it's an excellent suggestion.  While I've always used water in my WSM, I've been concerned on what to do after all the smoking is done, the food consumed with broad smiles on the faces of my guests, and we're left to do the cleanup.  We're left with the pan of greasy water and wondering where to dump it without clogging the plumbing, etc. 

    So basically what you're saying is that you have air gaps under the 1/16" disc and between the 1/16" and the 1/8" disc, with the 1/8" disc becoming the foil wrapped bottom.  Outstanding idea.

    As Al said, a photo or two would help cement the idea.

    Now, I've got to go out and scrounge around for the appropriate size disc's. 

    If we still gave points, you'd get a big one from me.[​IMG]
  4. dlr1

    dlr1 Fire Starter

    Here's some pics if anyone is interested. First off I made a mistake in the size of the disks,the thin/smaller one is 15 5/8"dia and 1/16th thick and the large/heavy disk is 17"dia 1/8th thick. The bowl depth is about 4 1/2 " deep, the distance from the top of the rim to the thin plate is 3 1/8" and from the rim to the thick plate is 2 1/16" approx.
     First pic size comparison - 2nd pic thin disk and third pic is thick disk all assembled[​IMG]


  5. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I mentioned this to a couple of cronies and one of them knew a place so there's three of us going out to get some discs made, before the weekend.  Thanks for the great suggestion.
  6. dlr1

    dlr1 Fire Starter

    I'm think I'll get the chance to try a low temp cook this weekend so I'll see how that goes and let you know.
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    It sure looks like a great idea, can't wait to see how it works.

    I don't have access to metalworking machines, as probably most of us don't. 

    I'm thinking this could be something you could sell as a WSM mod.
  8. teebob2000

    teebob2000 Meat Mopper

    Hey Dave, what I've taken to doing is using a large foil pan I found at Costco (would imagine they're at Wally/Sam's too?).  They're 20"x13", probably 5" deep, so they fit on the lower shelf perfectly (if you crimp up the corners a little bit), I think they were 15 for about $8.  Then after my coals are out, I dump the ashes into the pan and that takes care of the liquid.  Assuming I finished my bag of charcoal, I slip the pan into the bag horizontally, roll it up a little bit at the end and set it into the garbage can.

    I thought it would be simpler if you could cover the WSM's water pan in foil, but even the HD wide rolls aren't big enough to cover it sufficiently.

    They also make for good serving trays for a messa ribs or a lot of anything.
  9. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    That's  a thought too, but DLR1's suggestion keeps it simple.    Yes, the lack of a foil in a roll wide enough definitely puts a crimp in the plans.

    Al, we found a welding / fabrication shop that can whip out this kinda thing with no problem, and generally from stuff just laying around.  I'll post how much it cost so you've got something to compare against.
  10. dlr1

    dlr1 Fire Starter

    Another thing you could look into is a harrow/plow disk, they come in different sizes and are all about 1/8th" thick but they have a slight curve to them which I thought would be ideal and I was just thinking about using only 1 disk, that was the first thing I looked for but when a friend at work showed me these drop/scrap disks at the shop I figuered I'd give them a try. Hopefully this weekend will be the low temp control test. If I could find some cheap throw away aluminum pans that would fit over eveything instead of foil that would be a plus so I'll check WallyWorld and a few other places , I have to keep the cost down.. The whole idea just seems good for some reason so I have to follow through with it.
  11. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You want pans or cover?  If all you're looking for is cover, check out disposable pizza platters made in tin foil.  Some are quite large and actually large enough to cover the top disk.  Disregard, I see you're using the pans for water.  Won't work for me, I use all the shelves for cooking.  Why not set a shallower pan on top of the top most disk?
  12. dlr1

    dlr1 Fire Starter

     I was just wanting to make a leak proof liner so the drippings doesn't get all over everything. I'm splicing 2 pcs of 18" foil but the grease still finds a way to ooze through, when I took it apart to takes pics I found a small,really small, puddle of grease in the bottom because I was in a hurry to cook and didn't take the time to press everything as tight as I normally would not to mention the cost of foil is getting there. I'm really trying toget away from using water if I can

Share This Page