Water pan and shoulder is it needed

Discussion in 'Pork' started by sdlocal, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. sdlocal

    sdlocal Fire Starter

    Doing a late night smoke this weekend and I can maintain the temp on my brinkman very well. The only thing I have to get up for is refill the water pan.  I have heard of people filling them with sand....do I need the water pan?   

    For the record I have done good shoulders with the water pan.  
  2. smokininidaho

    smokininidaho Smoke Blower

    Yes you can use sand in the water pan. I've always used water myself. I'm not sure but you may have a temp discrepency in the smoker using sand instead of water, what I mean is using the same amount of fuel as you normally do with water your temps may be hotter in the smoker using sand so you may have to use less fuel to obtain the temp you want, not sure about this, you do need the pan in there regardless to act as a buffer between the charcoal and meat, hopefully someone with experience will chime in soon.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  3. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use a Master Forge LPG unit. I will tell you since I filled my water pan 3/4 full of sand I have gotten higher temps. So I am betting you will as well, using sand in the water pan. With that said I also add a pan of water on a rack just above the sand filled pan for moisture. My reasoning is if there is moisture in the smoker it will draw less out of the meat. 
  4. smokinal

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

    I use sand in the water pans of all my smokers. Cover the sand with foil for a real easy cleanup.
  5. I just started running sand in my water pan as well, based mainly on sprky and Al's suggestion and have to tell you, I'll not be going back to water in the pan.  I've also experienced obtaining higher temps at a lower setting with sand in the pan instead of water.

  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    These guys gave great info...When you smoke with water in the pan some of the energy is continuously used up converting liquid water into steam. When you start using sand, after heat up, all the energy goes into the cooking of the meat. So you will have to compensate with less fuel or closing down the intake damper, should not be a big deal, just different from what you are used too...Good luck...JJ
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012

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