Water or Not

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by ryanje, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. ryanje

    ryanje Fire Starter

    Hey Everyone,

    Do you guys use water in your water pan or not? I read somewhere that buring propane creates moisture already.

    How would using it or not using it affect your results?
  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I always use a water pan unless I am smoking sticks or summer sausage. The pan retains heat and helps your smoker maintain and recover heat really well and also adds moisture to your meat. You can also add flavoring to your water pan such as apple juice, rub, etc.
  3. csmith2884

    csmith2884 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Water or juice always ...have read here about sand and might try that sometime, but I think it needs something to even out the heat.
  4. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Some use water, some use sand covered with foil. It is primarily a heat sink and helps smooth out temp spikes and helps with recovery times.

    In the summer time if the humidity is really low, I might use one in my offset to add a little humidity to the cooking environment. It doesn't add moisture to the meat. The only thing it can do is slow the rate at which the meat loses moisture.

    I never use one in my drum since the drum is a very moist cooker anyway.

  5. ryanje

    ryanje Fire Starter

    Being that using a water pan creates a more moist environment, is it harder to create a good bark?
  6. yount

    yount Meat Mopper

    Here is the point of a brisket that was smoked in the perfect flame with a water pan i always use it
  7. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have a brinkman gas vertical smoker and always use the water pan
  8. ryanje

    ryanje Fire Starter

    Im drooling! Nice. You make any mods? Use chips or chunks?
  9. buffalosmoke

    buffalosmoke Meat Mopper

    I use a water pan in my GOSM. Sometimes I'll fill it with sand too. Lately it's been water though.
  10. yount

    yount Meat Mopper

    I sent you a reply to your pm hope it helps also posted it here on the forums cant wait to see some of your q-view
  11. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It does add moisture, but very little. There primarily as a heat sink. In Florida, with such high humidity, you can use Playbox sand also. I actually like to use it during the cold months though, as it will allow you higher and more constant heat. Having no pan, it pretty much seems like you are grilling.
  12. timtimmay

    timtimmay Action Team

    I have some ceramic briquettes in the smoke path.
  13. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i use water and bricks.........at an averave RH of 15 we need all the moisture we can get.
  14. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In my experience with a GOSM big block, the water pan helps stabilize temps. When the water level drops to haslf or below, my temps also drop. I add water, and the temps come right back up again. I also have found that it helps keep the meat from drying out, and I try to use the rack directly above the water pan.
  15. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This isn't talked about much but Dave makes a very good point here. The humidity level in the smoker is a direct influence on the ability of the meat to absorb the smoke. The meat already has the moisture, your not adding moisture to the meat by introducing the humidity. If your smoker is too dry it pulls the moisture out of the meat creating a dry environment that the smoke has difficulty penetrating. Too much moisture and the meat can not release moisture properly and it sours. When I first started smoking I thought that the water pan was used to introduce moisture to the meat where in reality it is creating an environment that keeps the meat moist while smoking. That is another reason for leaving the exhaust damper all the way open while smoking especially with a water pan.
  16. csmith2884

    csmith2884 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I have always been happy with the bark I get....
  17. jon foster

    jon foster Smoke Blower

    I don't think I've ever used our smoker without water in the pan.

  18. ga.rick

    ga.rick Smoke Blower

    i smoked on a propane smokin/grill brinkman for the last few years and now on a propane converted ecb i have always used water/juice in mine sometimes i experiment with cut up fruit or an onion or even pour a beer in there with applej, man that smells good steaming. but unlike the post with the gosm when my pan gets low my temp seems to rise hmm go figure.
    good smok'n

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