Water pan in a MES?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by bdawg, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. bdawg

    bdawg Smoke Blower

    Anybody ever use beer in the water pan in their MES instead of plain water?

    I've made lots of beercan chicken on my grill, and just was wondering if the all the smoke hides any goodness that the beer might impart.

  2. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I do not use any liquids in my water pan

    The surface area is too large, and you end up with a "Steam Bath" inside your smoker

    Some guys add Apple Juice, but i can really see where it would add any flavor

    Spritzing or injecting your favorite liquid would be more effective

    I inject my turkey breasts with a mix of white wine, butter and garlic.

  3. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    From what I have read not much used in the water pan imparts any flavor.  However I have stuck onions, garlic, carrots, celery, pepper corns in it for the final two hours, then use the liquid for making a sauce by reducing that liquid and thickening it.  The problem with is there can be so much fat depending on which meat is being smoked, so if you have a chance to cool the liquid, then put it in the fridge for a few hours all that fat comes to the surface and can be skimmed off, the remaining juice is then great for making sauces.
  4. terry colwell

    terry colwell Smoking Fanatic

    I just used my water pan on a cook for the first time the other day making Pastrami. I put it in with water at the very end of the cook when it stated looking a little dry. Seems to have helped. The time before that one, while making Pastrami also, I went without the water in the pan and it seemed dry. I may have just over cooked it.  Its just like any other thing in cooking, Try it and see how it works for you.
  5. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have put a 6" diameter pyrex dish about 2" deep in the middle of the water pan filled with apple juice and sliced apples.  I could tell a difference with chicken but not pork or beef.  I'm going to try putting some lemon slices in water with the juice of the lemon squeezed into it on the next BUBA chicken I do, just to see if it adds any flavor.  I think that putting water in the pan would add too much moisture.  If I needed a heat sink, I think I would use sand or rocks in the water pan.
  6. bdawg

    bdawg Smoke Blower

    This site is great!

    Thanks for all the informative replies.  I'm going to experiment with leaving the water pan dry and also try variations with fruit juices and beer too, just to see if are any differences with my setup.

    As far as having it too moist in there- could that be a contributing cause for creosote?


  7. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I thought low temps was the cause of creosote formation from wood smoke? As in white smoke vs thin blue smoke. I don't think water has anything to do with it.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  8. I have read that putting cold meat inside a smoking smoker can cause creosote to form/condense on the surface of the meat. Also, thick white smoke can cause creosote to form/condense on the surface of the meat. I have never done either of these myself (don't want creosote on my meat) so I can not say that I have personally confirmed this to be true or how much it may affect taste.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

Share This Page